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#436016 - 04/18/12 02:03 PM Today's Belize News: April 18, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 7
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Danielle and Elina win The SPSun’s Easter Egg Hunt
The San Pedro Sun holds an annual Easter Egg Hunt in the paper every Easter issue. This year, 7 eggs were hidden throughout various pages, including the Visitor’s Guide. From the paper hit the streets, readers started their hunt for those rather elusive eggs. With $150 gift certificate from Rapidito Loans on the line, there was a serious search happening. Imagine our surprise when two very enthusiastic young girls showed up at our office, saying they’d found them all.

Ambergris Today

BTL Directory Cover Tribute To The Maya Deer Dance
Belize Telemedia's 2012 telephone directory is available to the public and was officially launched on March 29, 2012 with a grand unveiling of this year's cover. This year's edition highlights the Maya Deer dance -as the company joins in with the rest of Belize in celebrating the 2012 Mayan Calendar. As the magic and spotlight is placed on an integral part of Belize’s rich ethnic and cultural makeup, BTL is elated to highlight the Maya.

Two Businesses Hit Hard by Thieves
CSM 2000, a leading computer service management business in San Pedro, was targeted by one smart thief between April 15 and 16, 2012, as entry to the shop on Pescador Drive was through the window air conditioning unit that was removed from the wall. Once the masked thief gained access to the shop, he cut off the power as if knowingly aware that there were surveillance cameras inside. Gecko Graphics was the second business that was targeted over the weekend as owner Marie Carole reported to San Pedro Police that sometime between Friday, April 13 and Monday, April 16, 2012, that her shop was broken into.

The First Families In San Pedro (Part 4)
In last week’s issue of Twenty Five Years Ago about the first families of Ambergris Caye, I tried to include as many names which I compiled from my readings of Danny Vasquez’s book and from narrations of my father and grandfather. Most of the names sound familiar to me and to most people over sixty years of age in San Pedro. I am happy to know that there have been readings from Corozal, Cayo USA and even from Guatemala. A teenage friend of mine now living in Los Angeles USA wrote to me saying that she read it intently hoping to find the family name of Sanchez in the article? I am delighted that friends from Corozal who are related to Danny have sent some photos to add to this story which is a collector’s item. (See last week in archives)

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize legislates its scrap iron industry
While T&T talks about regulating an apparent lucrative scrap iron industry, Belize is several steps ahead. Effective April 16, 2011, Belize’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, through the Department of the Environment, passed the Scrap Metal Recyclers Regulations. “The main purpose of these regulations, storage, transportation and exportation of scrap metals through a licensing system,” read the online regulations at: www.ddoe.gov.bz. Under the new legislation: 1. Any person or company who buys or sells scrap metal for the purpose of export or proposes to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer must make an application for a licence to be a scrap metal dealer or recycler to the Department of the Environment. The licence may be refused or granted subject to the conditions by the department and valued for a period of 12 months. 2. The transportation of scrap metals within the country of Belize shall only be via authorised trucks. Authorised trucks are prohibited from entering certain areas, such as along the Arenal Road, Calla Creek Road, Jallacte Road and the Bullet Tree Road. 3. Materials which are substantially made of copper, bronze or material which are considered as antiquities or artifacts, as per the National Institute of Culture and History Act, are strictly prohibited from being exported. Any persons found in possession of any such prohibited material can be detained and shall be liable to a fine of no less than US$5,113 (B$10,000). 4. Scrap metal dealers must first obtain an “export permit” from the department for each exportation of scrap metal and pay the necessary fees associated with such permit. According to the Belizean government, these regulations also address the environmental impacts associated with the collection and storage of scrap metals through the requirement of an environmental compliance plan by licensees, as well as the collection of data on the trade of scrap metal in Belize.

Celebrating Book Week
April 23rd, 24th & 25th BELMOPAN • BELIZE CITY... Bet on Books! A celebration of books and reading to commemorate International Book and Copyright Day Book Week’s programme of events and International Book Fair will celebrate books and reading with a full programme of panel discussions, book launchings and book readings and will continue the discussion on the potential of Belize’s Book Industry, the contribution it makes to Belize’s economy, and its significance to the educational advancement of all Belizeans.

PHOTOS: DJ Mario's Birthday
DJ Super Mario has posted some pictures from his birthday weekend. DJ Geraldo brought some Hennessey for the occasion.

BTIA's Staycation Belize Video
The Belize Tourism Industry Association is doing a marketing campaign aimed at Belizeans during the slow season, encouraging them to travel within the Jewel. Some hotels are offering huge discounts. They are having a raffle, at only $2 a ticket, with quite a few prizes being stays at different premier resorts.

Cayo Classifieds for the week
The best classifieds around. For Agric weekend, Megafoods is having a 10% discount on all retail goods. There's a 50% off coupon for use of Midas Resort's pool in there. And many other great deals.

Behind The Scenes at the Feed the Children Fashion Show photo shoot
See what happened behind the lens at the Feed the Children Fashion Show shoot at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel with Danny Chung. Some fun in the sun was had. Check out the picture on the top right, and see if you can see who doesn't belong. Cornerstone Foundation will be having the fashion show on the 28th of April at the SIRH's Bedran Hall.

Rotary's Eye Clinic pictures
Thanks go out to the Rotary Club of San Ignacio for making their Eye Clinic happen. "For the 7th time the Rotary Club of San Ignacio supports an Eye Clinic in San Ignacio. Since 2005, ophthalmologists have come every year to the community hospital to do medical examinations and eye surgery pro bono. This year five eye doctors from the United States will treat approximately 200 patients. Surgery will be done on 30+ patients. Examinations and surgeries will take place from Sunday to Wednesday succeded by follow-ups on Thursday. The treatments include cataract surgery, pterygium and diabetic retinopathy. The clinic aims at indigent people of all age groups who can not afford eye surgery. The preliminary medical examinations and the registration of patients were done by local volunteer nurses. For 2013 another Eye Clinic is planned."

One Day on Earth screening on Earth Day
The SISE House of Culture will be screening the movie One Day On Earth for free, on Earth Day, at 7:00pm, at Midas Resort. "Watch this unique film created from over 3000 hours of footage, and shot in every country of the world on October 10th 2010. Together, they created a picture of interconnected humanity never before possible."

Belizean Flour Tortilla Version One
There are two versions for hand made flour tortilla. In this video, I show you how to make the crunchier, meatier version of the meal. Flour tortillas have long been a large part of Belizean's diet. Best when served hot.

Channel 7

ATHLETE SHOT WHILE TRYING TO DEFEND HIMSELF
A Belize City student and outstanding athlete was shot last night while struggling to fight off two robbers. Around 8:45 last night, Anthony Leslie was walking on Yarborough Road along with another student - heading home after classes - when two men approached them on separate bicycles and robbed them at gunpoint. Leslie tried to fight off his attackers when one of the men fired a shot at Leslie- hitting him to the lower right side of his back. Some may just write it off as another southside shooting, but this evening his father gave us an emotional interview explaining that his son - an outstanding athlete, is lucky to be alive:..

MANHUNT ENDS: BERNARDEZ TIRED OF THE CHASE
Last week, 7News told you about the manhunt for 17 year-old Ernesto Bernardez, who police say assaulted one police officer, stole his gun, and used it to shoot and injure PC John Valerio in a separate incident. The Police Press Office even printed the minor's photo on wanted posters which were placed all over Caye Caulker where the incidents allegedly occurred. Well, the manhunt which started earlier this month, has ended - but not with the police finding him. Instead, Bernardez handed himself into Ladyville police yesterday, and he was taken to family court today, given that he is still a minor. He was slapped with two counts of attempted murder upon PC John Valerio Sr., and Police Officer, Ian Wagner, two counts of use of deadly means of harm upon Valerio Sr., and Wagner as well as one count of wounding upon Officer Wagner. He was also charged for stealing guns from these police officers.

HIGHSCHOOLER VICTIMIZED BY AMANDALA SUICIDE STORY
Tonight a Belize City family is grappling to cope with the fallout from a headline story in Today's Amandala. The story is about a teenaged girl who committed suicide on Monday evening. She wrote a suicide note which explains that she did it because she couldn't have the boy she said she loved. It is an unspeakable tragedy for her family - and tonight's story is not about the suicide. But the young man named in the suicide note - which was reproduced in the paper - shows the name of the young man - a 17 year old - who she says broke her heart. The public disclosure of his name has, quite understandably thrown the 17 year old into a tailspin and his family called us today to cry foul. The family says that with the disclosure of his name in the note, this high schooler's reputation has now been irreparably damaged.

FISHERMEN BAWL HARD TIMES: SHORT SEASON = SHORT ON CASH
As we've been reporting, the conch season is closing two months early. The decision was taken because the co-ops have filled their quotas. But, try telling that to the conch fisherman. Right now, they say, conch is plentiful - and money isn't. They say that the early closure of the season will mean no big back pay, or second payment - and that means they'll be left out in the cold. As we understand it, when there's a bumper crop of conch, the Co-op earns more from its international buyers, but that was in the era before quotas. And now, two fishermen we spoke to say that a top-heavy administration at their Co-op - and the shortened season translates into major losses for them. Here's what they told us today:..

CUTHKLEVIN CONTACTS SUPPLIER: YOU DIDNT SEND WHAT I ASKED FOR?
Last week we updated you on Vernon Cuthklevin's containers - which are still impounded at customs. Customs was preparing to charge him for making a false declaration - which carries a fine of over two million dollars. But, that might not be so simple. 7news has learnt that Cuthklevin has informed customs that he and his attorney have been in contact with their supplier to tell them that the product they sent, is not what they ordered. With that, Cuthklevin intends to relinquish all title and ownership of the product. That makes it difficult for the customs to charge him for making a false declaration - since they cannot prove he knew it was false. Customs is awaiting official confirmation of this renunciation of ownership before it makes its next move.

THE CONSPIRACY CONTINUES: MORE POLICE CHARGED FOR THEFT
Yesterday we told you that Special Constable John Myvette was charged for stealing $990 dollars from Ronel Rivero - at the police station. Rivero claims that he was seeking refuge in the police department until daybreak because he was afraid of being robbed when Myvette stole his money. Myvette has been arrested and charged and - after paying a bail of $1000 - he is to return to court on June 4th. But that is not the end of that story. Today the Police formally arrested and charged PC ACASIO TECK for theft - jointly with SC Myvette. The Commissioner of Police has also ordered an internal investigation into this report, and as a result, ANOTHER police officer, Sgt. Aaron Zuniga along with PC Teck was charged with disciplinary OFFENCES by the Department's Internal Affairs Section.

5 ACCUSED, 1 CHARGED; PITTIO TAKES BLAME
24 year-old Robert Pittio, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard Extension; 23 year - old Carla Bodden; 18 year-old Allan Moody; 29 year-old Chester Faber; and 45 year-old Sharon Faber, who all reside at #8565 J.R. Street, were brought to Magistrate's Court today. They were all jointly charged for possession of a controlled drug. According to the woman police officer who busted them, she conducted a search at the residence of the last 4 accused yesterday at around 11:30 a.m., and she found 1.34 ounces of marijuana in a black bag under the house. According to the officer, the 5 accused were present, and Pittio owned up to the weed saying quote, "It's just a little wet weed, a little bit of dust, that I was going to use to make fudge,"

FROM ANONYMITY TO INFAMY: THE YOLANDA SCHAKRON STORY
Yolanda Schakron - she's become so famous that it's hard to remember a time when she wasn't a polarizing national figure. Indeed, her rise to fame has been meteoric - and here at 7news we've tracked it closely. Tonight we retrace that upwards trajectory - and look behind her ascent to the forces that kept pushing her upwards and outwards. Jules Vasquez reports; Jules Vasquez reporting We first met Yolanda Schakron, private citizen in December of 2009 - after her nephew Chris Galvez was murdered the night before. She was, then, just another grieving, devastated relative of a murder victim:

SUMMIT ENDS WITHOUT REACHING A CONSENSUS
The Sixth Summit Of The America's is over - and the biggest news seems to be the secret services that the US Secret Service was obtaining. And that's because the summit failed to reach consensus; in fact it ended without the thirty Heads of State and Government signing a joint declaration. They also disagreed on Cuba - the 32 Latin American and Caribbean nations, Belize included, want Cuba included in the next summit, the USA and Canada do not. According to one news report, "The rare show of unity highlights the steady decline of Washington's influence in a region that has become less dependent on U.S. trade and investment." Belize was represented by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington.

ART SHOW: BLACK & WHITE WITH A SPLASH OF COLOUR
Tomorrow night a young Belizean artist will make her debut at the Belisle Gallery Bliss Centre with her exhibit: Black & White With A Splash of Colour. Lauren Young has been drawing from she was a child. She has steadily been building up a catalogue of works and tomorrow evening from 6 to 8:30 they will be launched. It features mostly black and white sketches, and when we caught up with Young today, she told us more about her drawing style and what can be expected at tomorrow's show. Lauren Young - Belizean Artist "It's a display of sketches and drawings that I have done over the past 8 years and I have decided to do a premier show at this time. The sketches on display are from the age of 16 when I graduated from high school up to this point. If you notice a lot of the pieces in this collection or display has to do a lot with the human anatomy, that's something that I like when it comes to the shadow playing and all of that, that's something that I like when it comes to the anatomy because it shows a lot of the details that you wouldn't notice a lot of times."

Channel 5

Student shot by robber while walking home
The streets of the Old Capital are becoming even more dangerous. Three persons were murdered over the weekend and two others were shot. The bloodshed didn’t let up on Monday night when a student was shot as he resisted being robbed at gunpoint. Anthony “Lionman” Leslie was heading home when thieves pounced on him. Classmates, [...]

Guatemalan woman murdered in Stann Creek
A Guatemalan national was killed in Belmopan on Saturday. One man is detained and charges are pending. There is another Guatemalan national, who has been murdered in recent days, but is only now reported. This time the victim is a woman, who was murdered in San Roman Village in Stann Creek, on Good Friday. Sixty-four [...]

Did a Media House go too far in suicide reporting?
There were three confirmed cases of suicide on Monday. Two of them were in Punta Gorda and one in the Belize District. The policy here at News Five is that we don’t normally report on the cases because of the emotional difficulty added to the families of the deceased. There are also reports that media [...]

Conch Season closed early
Fisher folks have a ten-day grace period before the early closure of the conch season takes effect. That period expires next week Monday and the season will re-open on October first. The official explanation is that the conch quota has been exhausted; but tell that to the fishermen who earn their living from the conch. [...]

Belize produces oil; should consumers pay $12.12 per gallon for fuel?
Tonight’s question is: Since Belize produces oil, do you think that consumers should be paying twelve dollars and twelve cents per gallon for fuel? 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.

Not a drop of potable water in Hopkins
The village of Hopkins is among the fastest growing tourism destinations in southern Belize. Hundreds converged in the village to enjoy the pristine beaches and cultural experience over the Easter holidays. But since Sunday, Hopkins has been without potable water. It has created a crisis and things are at a standstill. Schools, hotels and resorts [...]

Teen wanted for shooting cop is arrested
The countrywide manhunt for Ernesto Bernardez, a teenager accused of shooting police constable John Valerio Sr. on Caye Caulker on April second, is finally over following an all-points bulletin for his arrest. On Sunday, Bernardez’s mother turned him over to Belize City police at the Eastern Division after he was on the lam for almost [...]

Daughter confronts dad; dad charged for slaps
Hattieville Chairman, forty-seven year old Gilbert Domingo, was today arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of Harm and the victim is his twenty-five year old daughter, Tania Domingo. The charge is in connection with an incident at a house party in the village on Saturday, in which Tania claims her father [...]

Black and White with a Splash of Color
Lauren Young is an up and coming artist who hopes to get your attention. This week she will mount her first display at the Belisle Gallery at the Bliss Institute. Young has been sketching for many years and more recently, she’s been experimenting with paintings. Her inspiration comes from most things that catch her eye [...]

Belizean fashionista sews her way to catwalk
Last week we told you about local fashion designer, Rebecca Stirm, who is making waves in a regional fashion design reality series, Mission Catwalk. In the second episode and first judged challenge last week, Stirm won with a Belize-inspired dress. She has once again captured the eyes of the judges in the third round to [...]

Stunning performances on KTV Latino
The two groups of performers on KTV Latino have merged and the competition is now in the semi-finals. Six singers took the stage last week and tonight its going down to five. The finals are inching closer and the competition is fiercer as the contestants attempt to prove that they deserve the ten thousand dollar [...]

LOVE FM

ORANGE WALK CANCER SUPPORT GROUP CELEBRATES FOURTH BIRTHDAY
The Orange Walk Cancer Support group has been providing much needed support for patients over the last few years. Arturo Cantun reporting... “Today the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group is celebrating its fourth anniversary. President of the group, B...

SERIES OF BURGLARIES REPORTED ON AMBERGRIS CAYE
Maria Novelo reporting... “A series of burglaries have been reported to San Pedro Police and while no one has been charged, owners of the targeted establishments we spoke with suspect there may be a possible link between the incidents. Marie Carol, owner of Gecko Graphics tol...

HOME INVASION IN DANGRIGA
Two women in Dangriga town were assaulted over the weekend during an armed home invasion. Shari Joseph, who owns and operates an Internet Café on Sharp Street in Dangriga town, is one of the victims of the terrifying incident. And she told her story to Love FM’...

ST. IGNATIUS PARISH ROBBED
The church is a place where the God-fearing attend to pray and worship. But on Monday the collection money at Saint Ignatius Church on Basra Street became the target preyed upon – by thieves. Love News has learned that the incident occurred just after ten on Monday mo...

TEENAGER SURRENDERS AFTER SHOOTING POLICEMAN
A seventeen year old youth from the Gungulung area of Lake Independence finds himself in hot water tonight after he was remanded to the Hattieville Prison on some major charges. On April second in Caye Caulker it was reported that the teenager wrestled away a policeman...

CTV3

Major Development To Take Place Near The Belize/Mexico Border
On Thursday April 12th, the CEO of DHS Holdings Michael Rohling announced to US Media Houses that DHS Holdings has begun the First Phase of Development of the Cenote Falls Shopping Centre, slated for development on the recently acquired 40-acre parcel of land in Northern Belize. DHS Holdings claims that global franchises such as McDonald’s and over the top stores like Abercrombie and Fitch and Nike will be opening its door in Belize. According to Rohling, over one hundred million dollars jumps the border from Belize to Mexico. With this development, Belizeans will have the opportunity to take advantage of retail options not presently offered in the country. Over the weekend when we headed further North we visited the area Rohling is taking about. While there we noticed that a vast piece of land has been cleared yet no machinery was on site. Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection Erwin Contreras, is quoted as saying that a development of this magnitude will have a positive impact on our local economy. The Company is also submitting documentation to secure an online gaming license in Belize.

Minister Rene Montero Fires Two Employees From The Ministry Of Works In O/W
Last week it was widely rumored that seven employees from the Ministry of Works here in Orange Walk were soon to be terminated by the Minster of Works Rene Montero. In fact, a letter sent to the Minister by the Administrative Officer at the Ministry in reference to the termination of the seven workers was even published by the Belize Times. But up to Friday the rumors were just that, rumors, that is, until two of the men whose name was listed in the letter were sacked. Adrian Wade who was employed at the Ministry for more than 3 years and was up for a promotion and Cirilio Teul who worked at the Ministry for 12 years, received their walking papers on Friday. Today when we spoke to both men they told us that their termination came as no surprise and that they were fired because of political reasons.

Xaibe Residents Call Out On Minister Godwin Hulse To Solve Land Dispute
The last time we reported on the Xaibe Land issue was in January but from all indications the matter could soon make headlines again. Viewers might recall that before the General Elections allegations were that the now Area Representative of Corozal North, Hugo Patt, sent to survey 175 parcels of land that would have been given out by him to gain political mileage. Residents of Xaibe; however, beat Patt to the plan, cleared out the land and claimed ownership before he did. Last week Monday a group of fifty men from the village headed out to the expansion area to survey the land for the opening of roads. The men were at work when police officers arrived at the area prohibiting them from continuing with the project. Chairman of Xaibe Village Daniel Tzul told us more.

Yo Creek Resident Accused Of Knocking Down Basilio Novelo Goes To Court
This morning 29 year old Abner Sosa, a resident of Yo Creek Village, accused of knocking down 47 year old Bacilio Novelo who died on the spot, appeared at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. Sosa was charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and failure to stop and render aid. On Friday April 13th around 5:00pm Novelo was heading back home to the village of Yo Creek on his motorcycle when he was run over by Sosa who was traveling towards Orange Walk Town. Sosa, who police say did not stop and render aid, handed himself over to authorities on Saturday morning. Magistrate Merlene Moody offered Sosa bail which he met.

OWTC Launches New Website
In a press conference held yesterday at the Orange Walk Town Hall Mayor Kevin Bernard informed residents about the financial status of the council. When it came to the council's finances it was basically all bad news because what the present council inherited from the town’s former administration was a mountain of debts. Despite the indebtedness, the council has hit the ground running getting the job done with the little resources they have available. With less than two months of taking over the affairs of the municipality the Orange Walk Town Council has embarked in a number of projects including the refurbishing of town hall and the upgrading of streets and drains. In yesterday’s press conference Deputy Mayor Josue Carballo in charge of Civil Works, Traffic, Streets and Infrastructure outlined a list of projects the council has accomplished so far.

Leaders Of The Western Hemisphere Fail To Agree On Contentious Issues
The sixth Summit of the Americas held this past Saturday and Sunday in Cartagena Columbia, saw the participation of thirty heads of state from the Americas. Leaders from the Western Hemisphere failed to agree on several of the region’s most contentious issues while topics such as drug policy and Cuba were at the hike of discussion. The fact that Cuba has been excluded from attending the summit raised controversy among Latin American leaders and while majority of the countries were in support of Cuba’s participation, the United States and Canada were not in favor. ALBA member countries made it clear that they will not participate in another summit without the inclusion of Cuba. US president Barrack Obama; however, maintained his stance on the exclusion of the communist country but was open to a transition.

4th Annual Cancer Walk To Take Place On Saturday
This coming Saturday hundreds of community members will set out in the fight against cancer as the fourth annual cancer walk, organized by the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group, takes place. "Together we fight; together we win" is this year’s theme celebrating survivorship and honoring those who lost the battle against the deadly disease. The walk-a-ton promotes and extends the awareness of cancer to the general public every year. “Actually we are celebrating four years that our group was formed and we usually have a cancer walk to celebrate our accomplishments closest to our anniversary date so this Saturday April 21st we are having our fourth cancer walk at six am in the morning.”

Minister Saldivar Response To Residence Of Taylor's Alley
Residents of Taylor’s Alley are claiming that on March 21st they were victims of a raid carried out by the Gang Suppression Unit and members of the Police Force. The incident placed tremendous pressure on the already fragile gang truce. Immediately after, a commission of inquiry was created consisting of former Commissioner of Police Hughington Williams, a Representative from the Ombudsman office Ian Gray and the Chairperson for the Independent Complaints Commission, Donelle Hawke. Based on the commission’s findings on Wednesday April 11th the Ministry of National Security issued out a press release apologizing to the residents of Taylor’s Alley at the same time stating that the force used by the police officers was excessive and uncalled for. The release also stated that all ground commanders and individuals who used excessive force will be removed from their units, training will be provided for members of the specialized units and a thorough review of the criteria of members will be carried out. On the day the release was issued residents of Taylor’s Alley fired back by stating that they did not accept the apology. For context here is what one resident had to say.

LOVE TV

Burglaries on the rise in San Pedro>
And while police in Dangriga look for stolen electronic items, in La Isla Bonita a troubling spate of burglaries is catching the attention of residents and law enforcement authorities alike. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

Orange Walk cancer group celebrates anniversary>
The Orange Walk Cancer Support group has been providing much needed support for patients over the last few years. Today marks an important milestone as we hear in this report from our Orange Walk correspondent Arturo Cantun.

Three suicides in 24 hours>
The subject of suicide is often a touchy issue. Because of the emotional sensitivity of the issue, the media does not generally report on instances when a person takes their own life. But there are three suicides tonight that are particularly troubling. Correspondent Paul Mahung has our first report tonight. The third suicide for which [...]

Psychologist explains suicides>
And while three families are tonight reeling from the loss of loved ones to suicide; the question is could something have been done to reach out and help these victims. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo spoke with a psychologist about this troubling trend.

Jailed for counterfeit money>
33 year old Deon Smith, a laborer of a Partridge Street address who was found with a $20.00 Belize currency counterfeit note, was sentenced to one month today by Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, after he pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeit currency. The incident occurred around 2:40 pm on Saturday, April 14. The police [...]

UNICEF representative meets with San Pedro Mayor>
Representatives from UNICEF met with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero to address issues regarding the disparities our children’s health, education and life chances. And while infrastructure and facilities are lacking, UNICEF and the Town Council in San Pedro are creating ways to better the lives of children on the island. Love News spoke [...]

Belmopan man killed
The murderous rampage was not exclusive to Belize City. In the nation’s capital, the weapon of choice was a motor vehicle. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

Special Constable accused of theft
33 year old Ronel Rivers, a car salesman of Belmopan, found out on Saturday morning that not even the Queen Street police station is a safe place. Rivers said he was drinking at Caesar’s Palace around four o’clock that morning and he decided to go to Queen Street police station and stay there until a bus was ready to leave for Belmopan because he had about $1,500.00 and he did not want anybody to rob him. Rivers said that while he was at the police station a special constable by the name of John Myvette insisted on searching him. According to Rivers, during the search Myvette stole $800.00 out of the $990.00 he had in his pants pocket. He said Myvette did not know that he had $500.00 in his shirt pocket. Rivers made a report to the police and Myvette was arrested and charged with theft. Myvette pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared in Court today. He was released on a bail of $1,000.00 and his case was adjourned until June 4. On February second of last year, Myvette was acquitted of a charge of extortion.

Cane farmers meeting fizzles
A scheduled meeting of cane farmers did not go as planned. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the story.

Maya Center residents want financial accountability
Resident of Maya Centre in the Stann Creek district are calling for the intervention of Minister of Local Government Godwin Hulse following allegations of gross misconduct by members the village’s water board. At a meeting held in the village on Sunday, the residents discussed the issue and other matters relating to the governing of their community. And since no answers were forthcoming from the members of the water board, the villagers decided to ask for the minister’s intervention. The Maya Center villagers are claiming that funds belonging to the water board are being used contrary to the village council and water board acts and that no proper accounting is being afforded them. Also at the Sunday afternoon meeting, the villagers discussed issues relating to vagrancy and drinking in the village and other issues relating to the community development. Love News will continue to monitor the story and bring you updates as they become available.

Toledo environmental agency fully operational
The Fort Honduras Marine Reserve Community Manage Access System is now fully operational in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

PlusTV

Former Ombudsman launches public protest against UNIBAM agenda
Paul Rodriguez is making his protest very public. Day two into his protest against the UNIBAM agenda Paul Rodriguez...

Belize's Football Federation sees big things ahead
Football Federation of Belize President, Ruperte Vicente, was a guest on Rise ‘n Shine this morning (April 17). The...

Belmopan City Council embarks on eradication program of stray dogs
The Belmopan City Council has partnered with the Regional Health Office for an eradication program of stray dogs wi...

Downtown San Ignacio getting much needed face lift
The upgrading of Burns Avenue and preparation for the Cayo Resource Centre have been progressing over the past few ...

Belize ranks 5th in world's most dangerous countries
It seems that Belize continues to hold the distinction of being one of the most murderous nations per capita. April...

Two Toledo men commit suicide
And there are two unfortunate cases of suicide in the Toledo District. Police visited the residence of 42 year old ...

Student shot during robbery attempt
A Belize student finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. On 16th April Police visited the KHMH where th...

Financial hardship forces conch season extension
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Hon. Lisel Alamilla has met with officials of the Beliz...

Cop charged with theft
Yesterday we told you about the unfortunate situation with RONEL RIVERO, a resident of Belmopan. He had reported th...

Min. of National Security tours bases of operation
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar is on a familiarization tour of the Police Stations and Immigratio...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Amandala

Leroy Gomez shot at 9 times!
A resident of the Lake I area of Belize City today escaped with his life, unhurt after a gunman open fire on him around 6:30 a.m. while he was riding his bicycle on Casuarina Street towards Vernon Street.

Allegedly robbed in police station – by police!
Ronel Rivero told police that he had money on him and went to the police station for safety.. A Belmopan resident has accused a special constable working out of the Queen Street Police Station of stealing money from him while he was waiting to catch the first bus out of town.

Salvadoran Roberto Galdamez charged with murder
Police say Galdamez, 33, knocked down Rudy Marroquin, 24, and ran his van over him in the street! Salvadoran Roberto Galdamez, 33, appeared today in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Adolph Lucas on charges of murder, attempted murder, and keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license.

4 sent to prison for Farm Center robbery
Charges dismissed against two women of the six accused... On October 4, 2011, Gladwin Penner and Wayne Humes were robbed at gunpoint while they were making a delivery to Farm Center, which is located at #1 North Front Street.

Wilson Abimael Ramirez, 18, remanded for brutal murder of Ethelbina Barillas, 64, both of Guatemala
An official of the Guatemalan Embassy in Belize has confirmed to Amandala that the body of Etelbina Barillas, 64, a Guatemalan banana worker who had been living in San Roman, Stann Creek, Belize, was repatriated to her home country, after a relative called and requested assistance to have it transferred there for burial.

She took her life for love!
A family of Belize City is tonight mourning the loss of their teenage daughter, who reportedly took her life with a rope after she was convinced that the boy she loved did not return her love.

The stage is set: Police vs F.C. Belize; BDF vs Placencia Assassins in home and away
Premier League playoffs... The final Premier League regular season games, Week 10, were played over the weekend, and the final playoff spot was clinched by F.C. Belize with their road win yesterday against Juventus. With a 1-point lead over San Felipe Barcelona going into yesterday’s games, as it turned out, F.C. Belize didn’t need the win, as San Felipe fell on the road to San Pedro Seadogs. The stage is now set for North Zone champions Belize Defence Force to clash with South Zone 2nd place Placencia Assassins; while the only undefeated team, South Zone winners Police United will square off against North Zone runners-up F.C. Belize. .

84th Holy Saturday Cross Country finishers in detail
According to the modern racing rules, cyclists need to complete the race within no more than 30 minutes after the champion, to have their names be ranked as officially completing the race. Of the 79 riders who started the 2012 Cross Country, 42 are recorded as officially finishing within the time limit.

Sixth Summit of the Americas concludes with five mandates
Belizean officials, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, were among the delegates from 34 nations in the hemisphere—all minus Cuba—who attended the 6th Summit of the Americas, held every three years, and held this year, 2012, under the central theme, “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.”

Conch season to close next Monday
Conch quota exhausted; restaurants have until May 12 to deplete stock... The annual closing of the conch fishing season takes effect midnight, next Monday, April 23, two months before it typically closes and the earliest the season has ever closed, we understand.

EDITORIAL: Mini–Guatemala
It is important for the masses of the Belizean people to understand that the Guatemalan claim to Belize is a serious matter, that it materially affects our lives in Belize on a daily basis in ways which we cannot really see or touch. The United States we Belizeans love so much, is pro-Guatemala. Take it or leave it.

From The Publisher
Sunday morning I was driving up to Ladyville when I passed a brother hitching a ride, a little past Biltmore on the other side of the road. To these old eyes, he looked like someone I often see walking his dogs in Buttonwood Bay. Mistake. This brother came running for the ride, and it’s a stranger.

The Reporter

Drug Value: $10 Billion, Cuthkelvin faces fraud charges
Six containers of ‘fertilizer’, imported by Vernon Cuthkelvin and impounded by Customs when the shipment arrived in Belize on February 23rd, have been chemically analysed and found to be methylamine hydrochloride, a precursor in the manufacture of methylamphetamine. The amount in Cuthkelvin’s containers could be used to make over 400 metric tonnes of methamphetamine, “crystal meth” or “speed”, a highly addictive drug, sold mostly in the United States and Europe. One pound of meth fetches about $12,000 on the streets in the United States. The contents of Cuthkelvin’s containers are estimated to be worth as much as US$246,000; but if converted to meth, would fetch US$10 billion. In his Customs declaration, Cuthkelvin had declared the contents of his containers to be titanium dioxide and ammonium sulphate, a cheap fertilizer imported from China for use in his company, Belize Garden Consortium. The size of the shipment raised red flags at the Customs, a multi-agency investigation was launched, and samples of the contents were sent out of Belize for testing. The Reporter has since learnt that Customs may charge Cuthkelvin with making a false declaration, which carries a hefty fine of three times the value of the imported goods, if Customs can make the charge stick. That would be US$728,000 or about BZD $1.45 million. With General Sales Tax, Cuthkelvin could find himself paying a fine of 2 million Belize dollars, if convicted.

CitCo proposes $15m Bond To fund 100-day Action Plan
A clean city, with better infrastructure and a better quality of life for all city residents, achieved through transparency and accountability of delivering value for money were the main priorities of the Belize City Council’s 100-day plan, which Mayor Darrel Bradley presented at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, April 11th. To fund this ambitious infrastructure improvement program, Bradley and his team propose to launch a $15 Million municipal bond. This would allow the council to acquire a roller, grader, back-hoe and other equipment to implement a $1 million street improvement program, in which the council and residents would go 50-50 in meeting the costs of paving their streets. The council also intends to pass a law such that 30 cents of every tax dollar collected as City revenue be spent on infrastructure. The council will assess the condition of all city streets, and set up a system to continuously repair and maintain streets. Working closely with the central government to implement existing infrastructure projects, the council will also build cement drains along certain streets in the city.

Report condemns "excessive, unjustifiable" use of violence un Taylor's Alley
In the wake of allegation of police brutality following a police operation in Taylor’s Alley last month, new Police Minister John Saldivar appointed a three-man team to look into what actually took place in Taylor’s Alley. Former Commissioner Hugh Williams headd the team which presented its findings to Saldivar last Wednesday, April 4. The report was made available to the media late Wednesday evening, April 11. The report found, “...Police Officers’ use of force on March 21 in Taylor’s Alley was “ excessive and unjustifiable.” Members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) had led the police operation, assisted by the Anti Drug Unit (ADU) referred to in the report as a “specialized unit.” The report added, “While the team is mindful of the fact that there may be occasions for the use of force, it was of the view that there is no indication that this was such an occasion.”

Herman Lanza shot and killed
Belize City Police have no leads, suspects or motive for the brutal slaying of well-known street figure Herman Lanza around 9:00 Holy Saturday night, April 7. Lanza was gunned down at the corner of Poinsetta and Casaurina Streets, just a short distance from his home on Black Orchid Street. Patricia Lanza, 32, said her brother was at home all evening, but had stepped out to buy cigarettes at a shop half a block away. She recalled hearing loud gunshots shortly after he left. Lanza was wounded in both arms, his upper abdomen, his back and forehead. Police crime-scene technicians reportedly recovered four expended 12-gauge cartridges and two 9 millimeter shells from the murder scene.

Ride-by shooting gets Kevin Pott and girlfriend
City police are investigating a shooting which has led to the death of Kevin Pott, 22. Kevin Pott was shot and killed while walking with his girlfriend on Mahogany Street, Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez told The Reporter on Tuesday, April 10. The shooting occurred near Brick City Barber Shop about 7:30 Easter Monday evening. His mother, Barbara Pott, recalled that Kevin had only left their home to take his girlfriend, Shanice Rowland, to her home two streets away. Police say Pott was shot in the back of his head. He had another gunshot wound in his helly and another in his lower back. He died before friends could get him to the hospital.

Sea Cucumber season closed
The fishing quota for sea cucumber has been filled and so the season is officially closed as of April 13, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Belize Fisheries Department announced this week. The general public is advised that this closure is in accordance to the Fisheries Act (Chapter 210, revised edition 2003), so no person should take in sea cucumber in Belizean waters of Belize nor buy, sell or have sea cucumber in their possession. Anyone who contravenes any of the provisions of the Fisheries Act shall be liable on summary conviction as stipulated in the Act.

Former VSO volunteers reunite in Belize
There was a big and unusual party on Caye Caulker over the Easter weekend when 12 former VSO volunteers gathered together with spouses and friends in a party of 21 for a first ever reunion and birthday bash in Belize. All lived and worked in Belize as volunteers for 2 to 6 years between 1995 and 2003 and this Easter was the first time some had returned to Belize since living here as volunteers. Nine flew in last week from New Zealand, Canada, Costa Rica, England and Scotland to join three who still live here, and have spent some time revisiting old friends and favourite places. Holy Thursday saw 16 meet up at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal. The party included Maria Dolores Edeso (Spain) and husband Oscar, Jack Longstaff and Crissy George (Canada) and Jack’s wife Kira, Caroline de Kock (Zimbabwe) and husband Dave; Jan Trow-Smith, Karen Furness, Stephen Williams, Hilary Hunt, Glenn and Valerie Mower, Nita Odedra and Valerie Blackwell, with husband Brian, from England.

Cordel Hyde spurns UDP offer as Consul General in New York
Mr. Cordel Hyde, a former Senior Deputy Leader of the Opposition PUP and a former Cabinet minister, has denied that he has accepted a senior government post as Consul General in New York. The Barrow government announced the appointment on April 3rd after a Cabinet meeting when Foreign Ministry postings were announced. But Mr. Hyde immediately rejected the report, saying that no offer has been made to him. Unlike his colleague, former Minister Mark Espat, who has accepted an offer to lead Belize’s super-bond re-negotiating team, Cordell Hyde has said that he will not accept any offer from the Barrow government. Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington took the blame for the spurned offer. He told Channel 5 that it was his fault for not communi-cating with Hyde, that he had recommend-ed his name to the cabinet.

Queen honours Belizeans for outstanding service
Several Belizeans were honoured this week for outstanding and selfless service to the community. Attorney- at- law Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts, S.C., received the insignia as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his contribution to the Law and Public Service. Dr. Ann Gillett Elrington received the insignia as Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the Belizean diaspora and Medicine. Louise Bridget Lewis received the medal as Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Education and Community Development. Mayor Simeon Lopez J.P., of Belmopan received the insignia of Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his contribution to Education and Public Service.

Rebecca Stirm of Belize wins Catwalk
Belizean fashion designer Rebecca Stirm, 18, has won a culture-inspired challenge in the second episode of Caribbean Fashion Sesigner reality series Mission Catwalk, filmed in Kingston, Jamaica. Stirm’s winning design drew on Belize’s Hispanic and Mayan influences, even though she had a very a short time in which to apply her creativity to come up with a garment that would only cost US$20 to make. The show’s host and executive-producer, Keneea Linton-George, had instructed Stirm and 14 other designers to “create an outfit that reflects the style and culture” of their individual countries joined by “the common thread of independence.” Season One winner Shenna Carby gave the designers pointers. “I wanted a lot of material, so I looked in the curtain section,” said Rebecca. “I was able to get a lot of this very, very light, airy fabric for a little bit of money since we were on a tight budget. I added embroidery to give it some detail and intricacy.”

Farmers of the year honored
The organizing committee for the National Agriculture and Trade Show has announced the winners of the Farmers of the Year Awards for 2012. The Woman Farmer of the Year is Mrs. Maria Balan from Paslow Falls, Cayo District. The Senior Farmer of the Year is Mr. Jorge Moralez of Consejo Road, Corozal District; and the Junior Farmer of the Year is Mr. Nandy Aldana of Concepcion Village, Corozal District. The NATS Committee congratulates the winning farmers and thanks the other nominees who participated in the competition. The theme for this year’s show to be held on April 27-29 is: “Agriculture: creating greater business opportunities, a healthier population and a more robust economy”. Traditional booth holders are reminded that they need to pay for their booths. Booths which are not paid for will be offered to other customers on a first-come first-served basis.

PUP gets to challenge recount refusal in Cayo Northeast
After hearing submissions from both sides, Supreme Court Justice Minet Hafez ruled in favor of granting leave to the opposition People’s United Party Cayo Northeast candidate, Orlando Habet, to file an election petition to challenge the refusal of Returning Officer Jose Castellanos, to allow a recount of the votes. Habet has filed a number of claims,which included bribery and misconduct, against the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s Elvin Penner and Castellanos. Penner and Castellanos’ attorney Rodwell Williams, S.C. objected on Tuesday, April 10, to several of the claims presented by the PUP attorneys, Said Musa, S.C. and Anthony Sylvestre. Williams argued that the time limit for filing the claims had passed.

FIFA to audit FFB books
The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) the world governing body of football, has contracted a Belizean firm of auditors, Stanley Ermeav to audit the financial accounts of the Football Federation of Belize for last year, FFB’s recently elected president Ruperto Vicente told The Reporter on Wednesday, April 11. This is because the newly elected FFB Executive Committee found little more than $1,000 in the FFB’s Scotiabank account when it took office on March 16 following elections held on March 15. Former president Dr. Bertie Chimilio has promised to deliver a full, financial report by Friday, March 23, but at a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management on March 27, FFB President Vicente announced he had not received the report.

Giovanni Choto wins the 84th Cross Country Cycling Classic
Triathlon champion Giovanni Choto of the Western Spirits Galen Eagles Cycling Team of San Ignacio won the 84th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic organized by the Belize Cycling Association on April 7.Giovanni returned the garland to Belize after a six year hiatus dominated by foreigners, following the 2006 wun by his teammate, Shane Vasquez Giovanni completed the 140 mile ride from the starting line in front of Leslie’s Imports on the Western Highway, circling the Columbus Park in San Ignacio and back to the finish line on Marine Parade in front of the Memorial Park in Belize City in six hours 16 minutes and 45 seconds . He won the $5,000 first prize sponsored by Bowen & Bowen, and the champion’s trophy from the Belize Cycling Association. He also won a $5,000 prize from the Ministry of Sports for being the first Belizean, another $5,000 prize from United Insurance for the first Belizean and four different trophies awarded to the champion, including the Jeffery O’Brien Trophy in memory of four- time champion Jeffery O’Brien, the Elston Kerr Cup and the Altreith Smith Memorial Trophy as well as the winner’s garland of roses contributed by Florasol.

Blogs

A Walk on A Breezy Day: A New Casino and Some Tasty Hog Fish
Yesterday was a beauty, warm, sunny and breezy. The sea was pretty choppy and churned up. Lots of sea grass was keeping the beach raking crews very busy. I spent most of my day getting a serious sunburn on my face. But I did get out of the pool for a bit. There is a building going up on the Grand Colony dock...a dive shop I hear. Early last week, a team was working on it feverishly for 2 or 3 days. But for some reason, they stopped. This huge dock was built 3 or 4 years ago...and then hardly used at all. Except as a playground for the local kids. It gets lots of weekend action. Belize Yacht Club has enclosed their former lobby area and filled it with slot machines. I guess they are dusting off the old casino license (their larger casino closed a few years ago). They are also going to open a bar there. Wonder how the residents of the BYC are feeling about this? An employee indicated that he thought it would open "any day now".


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#436017 - 04/18/12 02:04 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 18, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

International Sources

Another win for Belize on Mission Catwalk
AFTER an initial win on episode two and placing runner-up in the following episode, Belizean fashion designer Rebecca Stirm won episode four of second season of Mission Catwalk, with a design inspired by a selection from Cinderella Hats. "When I saw the hats, I immediately knew which one I wanted to work with. The lady-like peach hat had caught my eye. In my original sketch for the piece, I had planned on doing a soft summer dress. After looking around a bit though, and reali"ing that everyone else was doing dresses, I chose to do a blouse and pants," Stirm notes.

"A Trip to the Belize Zoo"
This is a well written article, and it has the history of the Belize Zoo in it. That's Junior the Jaguar! There's a video too. "The Belize Zoo, tagged as 'the best little zoo in the world,' is very unique and different from any other you’ve been to. It was started in 1983 after a film crew finished a documentary, and had no where to leave the star animals of its show, now tamed they could not be returned to the wild. One of the crew’s staff stayed behind to care for the animals and the rest is history. It receives no funding from the government, it only houses native animals, and it has never taken an animal from the wild. The zoo sits on 29 acres of natural habitat only changed by gravel trails and the animal’s enclosures. It houses more than 150 animals and more than 45 different species."

Actun Tunichil Muknal review
Another well written article about ATM. "Actun Tunichil Muknal (referred to as ATM for short) is a cave in Belize containing thousand-year-old artifacts and human remains. The cave, once used by the Mayans to appeal to the gods, is now open to the public for tours. Knowledgeable guides lead packs of adventure seekers through the cave on a daily basis, following the same path taken by the ancient Maya thousands of years earlier... We continued to navigate through the cave, at points swimming through shoulder-deep water, until we drew closer to our final destination. A climb up a steep, dusty rise led is into an expansive cavern, illuminated solely by the weak lights of our headlamps. Artifacts dotted the floor, many still lying in their original positions. Our guide informed us that ATM is considered a “natural museum” because its contents remain unmoved from where they were deposited thousands of years ago."


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