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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Belize Weekly Fishing Report
Well, the weather was fairly good all weak long, except for a few showers here and there. Also it was a bit unusual to get the breeze to be blowing from the northwest. And it did pretty strong for a couple of days, but it was welcomed, since all we had been having is hot humid weather. So it help cooled down the island a bit.
Anyway, my Turneffe fishing trip turned out to be a barracuda catching trip. I saw a big marlin jump and a sailfish but could not get none of them to bite. I ended up catching 16 barracudas, a king mackerel and a tuna, but a slow day of fishing beats any day at the office!! ...
The San Pedro Sun
Italian Travel Documentarian films in Belize
Italian Travel Documentarian, Alessandro Di Nitto was in Belize filming for the Italian travel program “Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro“. The program is broadcasted on Italian National TV Channel RAI 3. A portion of his filming adventure was spent on Wednesday April 18th and Thursday April 19th on La Isla Bonita, taking footage.
Alessandro’s professional career has garnered him much experiences in television and cinema since 1987 in roles such as production organizer, author and creator of new programs, studio and external director and budget manager.
His experiences include the production of fiction, culture, sports, tourism, music and documentaries. In the last 15 years his professional activity has been focused mainly on travel documentaries. In this capacity, he has travelled world wide, producing travel documentaries for Italian travel programs mostly for the national channels RAI 1, RAI 2, RAI 3, LA7.
The Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) was held in Belize City on April 25th and 26th. The event, sponsored by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), was held under the theme, “Selling the Adventure” with the main objective to promote Belize to international stakeholders. Organized in 1996, BETEX has become a mainstay and occurs every two years, attracting over 300 local and international tourism professionals, press representatives and visitors.
BETEX 2012 commenced on Wednesday night with a welcome reception and opening ceremony held at the House of Culture in Belize City. Guests, local and international, had the opportunity to mingle and socialize in anticipation of the show on Thursday April 26th at the Princess Hotel.
Of notable presence at the opening ceremony were; Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mrs. Heredia, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Honorable Patrick Faber and Mrs. Faber, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Mrs. Tracy Panton, Director of Tourism Mr. Javier Peradez, President of NICH, Mrs. Diane Haylock, President of the Belize Hotel Association, Mr. Doug Thompson, and President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Mr. Jim Scott among others.
Another detainee dies in San Pedro Police custody
A detainee died while in Police custody at the San Pedro Police Station. Sometime after 11PM on Thursday April 26th, the lifeless body of an individual was observed inside the holding cell located in the back of the Police Station. He has been identified as 38 year old Kevin ‘Bocco T’ Myvette, AKA Kevin Kelly, of Fairweather Street in Belize City.
According to the officer commanding the San Pedro Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienie Robinson, sometime around 10PM last night, 24 year old Felipa Estela Lamb, was walking on an area near Barrier Reef Drive when she was robbed in the vicinity of Central Park. While she would not go into details, Lamb indicated that while on the beach near the Central Park, a man on a bicycle rode up to her and snatched a gold chain off her neck. She further explained that the man then grabbed her and covered her mouth and took her black and gold in color purse which contained $100. Lamb said that the man, after realizing that people were observing the incident, began hollering “give me my phone, give my phone” and grabbed her red and black cell phone and made good his escape. Quick response by Police and Belize Defense Force personnel led them to the man, later identified as Kevin Kelly.
Water Heads and Hydrants inspected by Fire Department & SPTC
The San Pedro Town Council affirms their proactive approach in every aspect of running the town. On Monday, April 23rd, Councilor Kenrick Brackett, along with Fire Chief Ernest Dominguez and retired Fire Chief from Louisiana, USA, Gordon Cagnolatti visited various water access areas and inspected the hydrants on the island.
Cagnolatti is a retired Fire Chief with 28 years of service with the Louisiana Fire Department. Cagnolatti has been visiting San Pedro for over 15 years and was contacted by Brackett to advise on the water access situation by fire trucks in San Pedro.
The visit started with the fire hydrant located immediately outside the San Pedro Fire Department. The hydrants were checked to assure that they were functioning properly. Fire Chief Dominguez informed Brackett that across the town core and south of San Pedro, there are a total of nine fire hydrants. Dominguez told The San Pedro Sun that while the hydrants are in place, they are more of a second choice for water sources during a fire on the island. The hydrants are supplied with water by the Belize Water Service, so there is a limit to how much water can be pumped out during an emergency; hence it is used as a secondary option.
Annual Secondary School Principal’s Conference hosted on Ambergris Caye
Principals of secondary schools convened in San Pedro Town on April 26th and 27th at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room for the annual conference of the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools. The host principal was Emil Vasquez of the San Pedro High School. This year the conference focused on “Discipline; the legal aspect.”
According to Chairperson of the principal’s association Maria Johnston, three lawyers and a representative of the Ministry of Education were invited to be a part of a panel. “We invited them to enlighten us on the education act and to assist us to align our student’s hand book regarding due process when it comes to disciplinary action with children so that we don’t act in contravention to the law or constitution of Belize,” said Johnston. She explained that while discipline is a problem in the secondary schools, it is more “litigious” in city schools when parents choose not to work with the management of the schools to discipline their children. It is the hope of the association that with the legal insight, they will be able to put measures in place that will address such issues of disciplinary action in secondary schools.
“The Fire’s Rest” art exhibition opened in Belize
The contemporary art exhibition “The Fire’s Rest” by Mexican artist Arturo Valencia, opened on Thursday, April 26th, at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.
The exhibition is the result of the plastic work produced by Arturo Valencia-Ruiz for the past three years. It will tour different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for the next months and Belize was chosen as the first country for this exhibition.
Arturo Valencia’s research is centered in exploring different raw materials within the painting tradition. For him, artistic materials intervene in communicating reflections or memories to the viewer that have directly nothing in common with the work itself, except that the work relates itself with vital aspects of the human being that in this proposal are represented by wood and iron.
Village Arts and Craft Expo: All Villages Are Invited To Participate
The BTB is inviting all small village producers in the country to be a part of the first ever “Village Arts and Craft Expo” on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at the Princess Hotel & Casino from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
The Village Arts & Craft Expo is a collaborative project between BELTRAIDE, the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) and the BTB. Its major initiative is to showcase the arts and crafts of the country’s villagers. The Expo is expected to draw small craftsmen from across the country that will be able to exhibit their products in one location to the public.
All small village craftsmen are invited to apply today at the BTB office on Regent Street in Belize City, and become a part of this memorable event. Clive Myers, Destination Planning & Development Coordinator at the BTB said, “Small village entrepreneurs suffer from brand recognition and are always in direct competition with inexpensive neighboring imports in terms of arts, crafts and packaged goods. The Village Expo will afford them the opportunity to market their product while gaining recognition by the Belizean public and other visitors.”
Morgan Freeman lends his voice to the San Mateo Empowerment Project
The San Mateo Empowerment Project (SMEP) has been working to raise money to build roads in the San Mateo community on Ambergris Caye since 2009. San Mateo is a community of roughly 1,500 people and despite being a part of Belize’s largest tourist destination it exists without access to proper water, sewerage or electricity. Before these problems can be addressed, miles of unstable wooden bridges must be replaced with roadways that allow for vehicular access to the community.
The San Mateo Empowerment Project is an effort spearheaded by the University of Mississippi Service Learning Class of 2010 and works to provide roads for the residents of San Mateo in place of the “London Bridges” board walks that they use every day. The Ole Miss students created this video to help in their effort to raise funds and awareness of the issues facing San Mateo and the work that are carrying out in the community. They even got the help of well known-actor and activist Morgan Freeman, who is a strong supporter of charitable projects undertaken by Mississippi Institutions and residents. Morgan, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee spent most of his childhood in Mississippi and was more than happy to be a part of the effort and narrate the video made by the University Students.
Prime Minister Meets with Civil Society in Response to Crime
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, today convened a meeting with civil society to apprise them of the government’s response to the recent increase in gang-related crime and the heightened tensions in Belize City.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security, the Director of RESTORE Belize, and CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister presented the latest update on the current police operations to ensure citizen security and the way forward for maintaining peace. The Government then requested the cooperation and support from civil society to promote peace and to address the underlying social conditions which make our Belizean communities vulnerable to crime.
The Monkey Room at Mahogany Hall
After two full days running around western Belize following HRH Prince Harry during his Royal Visit it was truly a heavenly experience to kick back and relax in the natural surroundings of the Cayo District. It was my turn for the royal treatment as the magnificent door of my personal mansion opened up and greeted me to Mahogany Hall Luxury Boutique Resort.
The newly opened luxury boutique hotel is truly a jewel of the jungle as it sits on the banks of the Mopan River and boasts eight unique colonial-style rooms that take you, as they say, “back to the comforts and services of an era long past”. And truly, my breath was taken away by the sights and sounds from the viewing deck as I stepped through Mahogany Halls huge front doors.
Gerry Experiences BETEX
The Belize Tourism Expo “BETEX” kicked off and I was there to witness and socialize with many Belizean and International businesses. The excitement was in the air at the Princess Hotel as many businesses were getting their finishing touches on their booths and ready to show off their best presentation skills. BETEX is a business-to-business event held every two years which showcases Belize travel destinations, hotels, tour operators, and other tourism service providers. It provides an excellent...
Unlearn Old Habits and Replace with Effective Ones
By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant - Ancient Chinese wisdom reminds us that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Following these lines of wisdom, I encourage all Belizeans, most especially school leaders and parents throughout the entire country, to join me in taking those first few steps on our very long and difficult but “necessary” journey to reinvent, reform, and strengthen schools in Belize. Today’s high dropout rate by...
Dorian’s Angels at Geo’s Hideaway Café
In the hustle and bustle of our little town one is always looking for a cool place to relax in the company of good friends, enjoy a refreshing drink and something good to eat. With this in mind the Angels escaped from the busy office and set off looking for a place to hideaway for a little while. We found ourselves at one of the island’s newest hotspots - Geo’s Hideaway Café & Meat Market. Angel Perlita and Angel Sofie were greeted by owner Geovanni Guerra at his café with a big...
BTIA Launches Successful Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX)
The Belize Tourism Expo 2012 was officially opened on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, attracting an audience of approximately 300 - 350 local and international tourism professionals and international press representatives to Belize to see what the country has to offer. The opening ceremony took place at the Belize House of Culture. Guests at the opening ceremony enjoyed Traditional Marimba music, along with other cultural performances by the Maya Center Museum Dance Group.
Second Detainee Dies in San Pedro Police Custody
According to Dr. Zuniga, Kelly was motionless and nonresponsive when he arrived at the station and CPR conducted on him was futile. A pending post mortem will determine the exact cause of death. Eye witnesses to the crime have reported to Ambergris Today that the officers used excessive force while apprehending Kelly. ASP Robinson stated that a complete investigation will take place into the matter by officers of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).
Misc Belizean Sources
LEAP: Attention Parents: Corrective surgery
Evaluations May 18 & June 8, Surgery May 19-20 & June 9-10. Northern Regional Hospital, Orange Walk.
Village Arts and Craft Expo: All Villages Are Invited To Participate
The BTB is excited to share that it will be hosting a Village Arts and Craft Expo this May.
The BTB is inviting craftsmen from villages all over the country to participate in this event. Deadline for them to apply is May 5th 2012.
The Village Arts & Craft Expo 2012 is a major initiative to showcase small producers of arts and crafts by our village communities.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is seeking participants for the village Arts & Craft Expo 2012. The Expo will draw all small producers to one location where they can exhibit their products to a variety of buyers and open a new and direct way of marketing to various channels. They will be accepting 10 – 13 participants from each district.
The show will be held at the Princess Hotel & Casino on May 12th 2012 from 9am to 4pm.Application deadline is May 5th 2012.
Belize and Guatemala agree on date for simultaneous referenda
At the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday, delegations from Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros, met with OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, to determine the date on which the simultaneous single issue referenda will take place in both countries in compliance with the special agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice.
In a cordial and cooperative atmosphere and with a view to advancing with the process, the ministers agreed that the simultaneous referenda will take place on October 6, 2013. To this end, the ministers stated that they would now take the necessary steps to begin informing the populations in their respective countries to sensitize them as to the territorial dispute, as well as on the need to find a peaceful and permanent solution to the differendum.
DHS Holding Company Announces Meetings With Ministers of Government in Belize
DHS Holding Company (PINKSHEETS: DHSM) is tentatively scheduled to have meetings with Ministers of Government in Belize, as well as the Prime Minister, sometime between May 16 - May 18. The meetings will be attended by Michael Rohling, CEO of DHS Holding Company, and Charles Barrett, President/Director. Also attending the meetings will be the project's Belize architectural firm, iE International, and Daniel Arguelles, a partner in the firm.
At the meetings, DHS Holding Company will present Site Plans for the complete Cenote Falls project that will include the Casino, Hotel and Shopping Center. The plans will also include the project's proximity to the Cenote (lake) that adjoins the site and is the inspiration for the project's name.
2012 Belize Maya Summer Vacations a “Rare Opportunity”
The 2012 summer holidays present a rare opportunity to learn about ancient Maya culture and history in the Heartland of the Maya, a noted Belizean anthropologist said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s resident Mayanist, anthropologist Joe Awe, said 2012 is an exciting time not only for the Maya people of Belize, but for archaeologists, anthropologists, Maya healers, academics and professionals from around the world, and this created rare opportunities for tourists interested in Maya culture.
“It’s a very exciting time in Belize and the entire Mundo Maya right now. With so much interest in 2012 there has been more attention to Maya culture in general as legitimate researchers work to bring Maya history and culture to light and debunk many of the myths and nonsense we see in the media and on the internet,” Mr Awe explained.
Chabil Mar Villas Voted Top Family Resort in Central America
Chabil Mar Villas, a luxury boutique resort in Placencia, Belize, recently received a 2012 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice award for being one of the top 25 hotels for families in Central America. This award comes after several previous TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice awards for best service and best luxury hotel in Central America in 2009 and 2010.
Chabil Mar offers guests a secluded, all-inclusive resort with 20 individually decorated luxury villas, an exquisite honeymoon suite, destination wedding options to take over the entire resort, 400 feet of private beach front, two infinity pools, a private pier and lush gardens. All amenities at the resort are guest exclusive, allowing resort staff to give individualized and personal attention to each guest. Its central location in Placencia Village, Belize offers guests of all ages a variety of land and sea adventures, making it the ideal location for family vacations.
BOCO T DIES IN POLICE CUSTODY
Another man has been killed in the custody of San Pedro Police.
38 year old Kevin Kelly, known as Boco T is the second man to die while in custody of San Pedro police in just over two months. But the story of his death is not clear cut. Kelly apparently broke his neck while escaping from police last night. The police say he jumped a fence - and fainted twice before they got him back to the station - where he fainted once more.
When police realized he was having difficulty breathing, they called the town's Doctor, but by the time he arrived Kelly was dead. Doctor Javier Zuniga is quoted in the San Pedro Sun as saying that his death may have been as a result of, "severe head or neck injuries," possibly form falling from a high fence.
The Sun explains that Kelly was the suspect in a robbery earlier that night. Police went to detain him and were escorting him into custody when he ran off. Police chased Kelly and fired shots at him. But he jumped over a high fence behind an area known as Four Sisters Plaza - which is where police are saying he may have injured himself - because he started fainting when they picked him up form that area. He had scrapes to the forehead and elbow.
ARTHUR YOUNG CREMATED, PINKY TILLETT BURIED, WHAT NEXT?
George street boss, Shelton Pinky Tillett was buried yesterday and, according to reports, Taylor's Alley boss Arthur Young was cremated early this morning.
Our sources say he was moved from the morgue at the hospital as early as 5:00 am. There was no funeral and no wake for Young; his family simply held a private service for him today. Young was killed on Sunday night by police. They say he was shot in the struggle for a police man's weapon - while eyewitnesses have reported to us that he was in handcuffs - which would have made a struggle impossible.
Police also say he was killed in the back of a pickup truck, but we found evidence of a bloodstain on the street at the entrance to Vista Del Mar, which is where two sources told us he was shot and killed.
He was shot three times to the chest.
PM MEETS WITH CIVIL SOCIETY TO ALLAY FEARS
And so, with the city's two biggest gang leaders dead and buried or cremated, what happens next? Will there be retaliations and continued gang warfare - or will there be some measure of peace?
No one knows - but the state is trying to assure all vested interests that it can ensure citizen security in the city. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, today met with civil society representatives and the Opposition to tell them what government is doing to address the recent spike in gang-related crime and dissipate heightened tensions in Belize City.
It was a full court press for GOB as the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security, the Director of RESTORE Belize, and CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister presented the latest update on the police operations. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, and other representatives of the Opposition were there along with religious and business leaders, the Crime Control Council, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize.
OCTOBER 6, 2013 IS REFERENDUM DAY IN BZE AND GUAT
Belize and Guatemala will have simultaneous referendums on October sixth, 2013. That was agreed to at a meeting held today in Washington DC at the headquarters of the Organization of American States. Delegations from Belize and Guatemala were headed by their respective foreign ministers, Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros.
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is in Washington tonight and, via telephone, he told us that the date was decided upon because general elections have recently been held in both countries.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
"Since we completed our electoral process early this year we are now in a position to try to decide on a date when that could possibly be done and so we met today to try to determine the date which would be most convenient to do it and we have decided that the 6th of October would be a convenient date.
We had to think in terms of getting the finances to do the education campaign that is necessary, we need to inform and sensitize the Belizean people as to exactly is involve in this referendum and then we would have to find the finances also for the holding of the referendum."
UNIBAM SUFFERS MINOR SETBACK IN CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE
UNIBAM - the United Belize Advocacy Movement has become a household name because it's asking the court to overturn Section 53 of the Criminal Code, which outlaws carnal intercourse "against the order of nature" with "any person or animal." UNIBAM says that the law contravenes provisions of the Constitution that protect human dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms.
The case first went to court in January where preliminary objections from both sides were heard.
Justice Michelle Arana delivered her judgment on those matters today.
Michel Chebat, one of five attorneys representing the Churches - which vehemently oppose UNIBAM's effort - gave us the bottom line on the Judge's ruling:
Michel Chebat, Attorney for one of the churches
"In a nutshell what the judge has done is that she has struck off UNIBAM as a claimant in the case which was one of the primary applications made by the church interested party."
"Her ruling is that UNIBAM is an inadequate person and so they could have no rights being affected. So in this case she has struck out UNIBAM as a claimant."
LIFE FOR MAN CONVICTED ON STRENGTH OF DEAD WOMAN'S STATEMENT
On Tuesday, we told you about 22 year-old Emmerson Eaghan who was convicted in the Supreme Court of the June 2009 murder of 35 year-old Dennis Nembhard.
Today, he was sentenced to life in prison by Justice Adolph Lucas.
Eaghan was given an attempt to prepare a mitigation plea, but in court today, he called no witnesses to speak on his behalf, and the task was left up to his attorney, Simeon Sampson, to address the court.
Justice Lucas then looked at the evidence in the trial and he noted that Eaghan's fate was already decided by the jury who accepted the written police statement from the now-deceased Shelmadine Sanchez.
Sanchez's statement detailed the entire murder which included her identification of Eaghan as the gunman.
THREE FISHERMEN STILL NOT FOUND, COAST GUARD GIVES UP
For the past two nights, we've been reporting on the search for 3 Sarteneja fishermen lost at sea. 49 year old Silvero Tepaz, 50 year old Teobaldo Tepaz and 20 year old Mejadi Tepaz went missing at sea over the weekend, and today the men still have not been found.
This afternoon, the Coast Guard told us that the search has ended, and the case will be suspended until any new information comes in. The coast guard searched almost 100 miles, covering the area extending from English Caye Channel to Gladden Spit and found nothing. On Wednesday, their vessel was found near Glover's Reef, submerged.
If anyone has any information concerning the disappearance of these men, please call the nearest police station.
CHILDREN CAUGHT STEALING - ADULT SET THEM UP
Shoplifting, it's a plague to businesses all over the world - and Belize is no exception. There are many well-known shoplifters who've been before the court many times.
But tonight, the shoplifting that we'll show you takes it to another level. It shows children caught in the act on surveillance cameras.
It is disturbing in and of itself, but it's even worse because it appears that an adult is putting them up to it. Now, you probably can't even imagine the social circumstances that would push people to this - but for the shopkeepers who keep losing inventory - they don't care to know - they just want the thievery to stop.
Monica Bodden visited with one of them days ago. We have blurred the faces of all the persons involved.
TWO DISTURBING CASES OF RAPE
There are two disturbing cases of rape to report from the Corozal district tonight.
At 7 yesterday evening while walking in the San Andres Area, a 22 year old woman was being followed by a man - who was sexually harassing her. When she passed an abandoned lot, she alleged that the man threw down his bicycle, grabbed her by the neck from behind and dragged her into the bushes. He choked her until she went unconscious. The woman told police that when she regained consciousness, the man was raping her. She claimed that he told her if she didn't do what he said, he would choke her again. Minutes later Skeen told the young woman that they can go somewhere else -which is when she took the opportunity to run away from him. Police say they are investigating.
And there was another rape incident reported in the Corozal District - this time a minor is involved. A 15 year old female in the company of her mother reported to police that sometime in the month of April 2011, when her mother was not at home, her stepfather went into her room and raped her. The minor also reported that it was the third time that he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police are investigating.
COMMONERS CRIME SOLUTION
In the last 3 weeks, Belize City has seen a spike in the number of crimes, especially murders. We've shown you the public's reaction and the police's attempts to try to get things under control.
Well tonight, we'll show you a grassroots movement which goes by the name of the Port Loyola Commoners. They held a press conference today and had much to say about the situation, it's causes, and possible solutions to the root problems.
The organization chaired by Nedal Murphy "Jihad" McLaren, gave a fiery speech which included accusations of government corruption in structural poverty, poor education, and myriad other issues.
Here's just a section of what McLaren had to say to the media today:
Nedal Murphy "Jihad" McLaren
"I think that for us to acquire better leadership we must take responsibility for our deeds. Those children are our children. It is us who have them like that. At age 19, 20, 21, 22 it is us the parents that fail. Violence has gone sky high."
BTB'S NEW BOARD PUT TOGETHER
As we reported last night, The Belize Tourism Board is witnessing an excellent out-turn in overnight tourist arrivals so far for 2012. But, while things are good, the governance of the BTB continues to be an issue. First there was the fiasco with Director Seleni Matus, and then CEO Lindsey Belisle left right after the election. Now, there's a new CEO - who is the old director, Tracy Panton - and the Board of Directors has a new chairman and directors.
Yesterday Tourism Minister Manuel Junior Herredia outlined the new Board membership for us:...
Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
"We have done slightly changes in particularly at BTB with the board. Now I have a mixture of the stakeholders and the private sector working together."
"Ian Lizarraga, he understands the industry. He is a person that is fair and I think he is committed to this industry, so I can guarantee that you will see improvement."
"Last night as you saw BETEX was particularly well attended. You could feel emotions over there. Everyone is happy and everybody is trying to do the best of it and that we intend to continue doing."
BEL AND UNION ARGUE OVER GAS TURBINE EMPLOYEES
On last night's news you saw 30 of BEL's employees skip their lunch hour to take it to the picket line. The flashpoint that pushed them to picket is the a dispute over three employees who were dismissed.
But they have plenty of other issues - many of them dating back to the time when Fortis was controlling the company. One of those issues, though, stems from this management's decision to eliminate the staff at the Gas Turbine. BEL says it's too costly to keep them around all year when they only work a few days year, while the Union says they are essential to the company's smooth operation.
Here are both sides of that argument:..
Dorla Staine - General Secretary - BEWU
"I want to add that besides the guys going, one of the key points for us being here also is for 4 brothers at the gas turbine plant who the management have decided, that within one year, their posts will be redundant. For the Union, this is a very major concern not only for them as employees, but the general public as well. The gas turbine is the back start engine. In case of emergency, that the engine they look at to get up the system quickly. How could management even think of a decision like that? Which management with responsibility would do that? We asked them - we were in a meeting Friday gone - are you shutting down the gas turbine? The said that they wouldn't.
FIRE SCARE AT MIRAB
This morning Mirab department store in Belize City had a fire scare - and a full-on disaster was averted through the staff's quick thinking. At around 9 this morning, after the employees entered the store, they saw smoke spreading all over and heard a crackling sound.
The supervisor immediately turned off all the power and called the fire department. According to the Fire Department, the smoke turned out to be the result of a faulty electrical wire which caught fire in the ceiling. The air conditioner then carried smoke all over the building, alerting the staff.
The fire department says that if they had not caught it early, things could have turned out much differently. The store was open as usual after the wire was repaired.
Wesley Upper And Belize Primary are Champs
The National Primary School Basketball Championship tournament was held today in Belize City. Winning district Teams converged on Rogers Stadium for the boys, and YWCA for the females.
In the male category, Wesley Upper School won first place with Holy Family RC School from Stann Creek coming in second and St. Nazarene Primary School in Cayo finishing third.
In the female category, Belize Rural Primary School was first. They defeated Louisiana Government School from Orange Walk which placed second. Again, St. Nazarene Primary School placed third.
Shaquille Crawford from Wesley Upper, and Kristy Terry from Belize Rural were chosen as the tournament's most-valuable players.
Belize's Special Olympians Get Special Help
Today at the Lion's Club and the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, Special Olympics Belize carried out its first medical screening for Belize's special athletes.
They were assisted by Special Olympics International, the world governing body for Special Olympics.
The screening was done by persons from Special Olympics Belize who were trained by personnel from the international delegation in areas of vision, physical wellness, and dentistry. In the screening, the athletes had an opportunity to check their health in these 3 areas and then make arrangements to get help.
This afternoon, we stopped in at the Belize Elementary Auditorium and got a chance to speak to the regional and local directors of the Special Olympics bodies.
Here's what they said about yesterday's training and today's proceedings:
Dr. Peter Seidenberg - North American Regional Director, MedFest Special Olympics International
"Special Olympics has come down to perform 3 screening examinations of our Special Olympics athletes. We have also come to train local physicians to be clinical directors for 3 areas: opening eyes, which is for vision screening, special smiles, which is for dentistry, and then for medfest, which is the medical clearance for the sports physical. Today, the athletes came through and they were screened by each of those 3 disciplines, and so - for example - if they were having vision difficulties, opening eyes identified it, and with grants from the Lions Club, a lot of the athletes would actually be able to get glasses for free.
Churches deliver a holy blow to UNIBAM
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) received a major blow inside the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana. UNIBAM is challenging Section Fifty-Three of the criminal code, which bars carnal intercourse against the order of nature. The crime is an indictable matter with the possibility of ten years in prison. This morning, a ruling [...]
UNIBAM struck out of case, but not giving up
Caleb Orozco and UNIBAM issued a press release this evening on the court ruling in Orozco pretrial hearing. In the Caleb Orozco and UNIBAM versus The Attorney General of Belize litigation, the second claimant, UNIBAM was removed. Caleb Orozco, the first claimant, maintains standing under the Constitution of Belize and according to the release “will [...]
Belize Energy Workers Union wants C.E.O. Jeffrey Locke removed
The Belize Energy Workers Union (B.E.W.U.) staged a midday protest at the gates of Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) on Thursday afternoon. They said that they have honored their Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, it is B.E.L. which has done little to resolve the issues which are close to boiling point. The union wants three dismissed workers [...]
Belize City man survives shooting
Despite the police presence, there was a shooting incident in Belize City today. It occurred in the Gungulung Area and the incident has left one man injured. Shortly after one p.m., it is reported that a man was walking on M&M Street when a hail of bullets were fired. Neighbors in the area say that [...]
Another person dies in police lockup
The death of Arthur Young was foretold by the man himself. He often said that the police would kill him. And though the police said that he was accidentally shot, three bullets bring little comfort to the family of the Taylor’s Alley leader. Since Young’s Sunday night shooting, another man has died in police custody. [...]
Tourist drops dead after snorkeling trip
Also in San Pedro, another person dropped dead; but unlike Boco T, the circumstances are not suspicious. A retired native of Washington D.C. died at the Sun Breeze Hotel. According to the police, seventy six year old Elizabeth Mennings went snorkeling on April twenty fifth. As soon as she reached the beach front of her [...]
Grassroots NGO talks solutions to crime
The recent gangland slayings in the old capital has the entire city on alert. Eighty B.D.F. soldiers and police officers have been stationed across Belize City to prevent rivaling gangs from taking their battle into an all out war on the streets. Many of the gang members are youths themselves. The issues of crime have [...]
Life behind bars for convicted killer
Life behind bars! That was the sentence for twenty-two year old Emmerson Eaghan who was convicted for the June 2009 killing of thirty-five year old Dennis Nembhard. Nembhard was senselessly gunned down while walking home between Flamboyant and Oleander Street in the Saint Martin de Porres Area of Belize City. Eaghan was convicted on Monday [...]
More persons charged for weapon used in shooting
Two more persons have been charged in connection with the nine millimeter pistol and point thirty-eight ammunition found at a Castle Street address. The weapon are believed to be used in this past Wednesday’s shooting of Jermaine “Horse” Garnett. Gion “Gizmo” Bernard has been fingered for the attempted murder of Garnett, but when his mother, [...]
Bus conductor charged for slapping minor
A Bus Conductor of Benque was today in court to answer to a single charge of harm upon a seventeen year old female. Thirty-five year old Felipe Kotch is accused of allegedly slapping the minor while she was walking on Saint Jude Street, and it appears he did it for no apparent reason. The minor [...]
Two atrocious rapes in Corozal
Two females including a fifteen year old minor were raped in separate incidents in the Corozal district. The first involved a report made by a fifteen year old girl who in the company of her mother told police that in April of 2011, she was allegedly raped by her stepfather. The minor says that on [...]
Economist says opportunity for Belize as High Growth Country
In January we told you about an article printed in the Washington Times on a comparative look on Belize and the Cayman Islands. The writer, Dr. Richard Rahn, who is an American Economist, draws conclusions on why Cayman is rich and Belize is poor, although both are small Caribbean countries with similar climate, mixed cultures [...]
Road to Twin Towns get a facelift
The signing of a contract to begin work on a road construction project to restore a stretch of the Western Highway adjoining the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio was held Thursday morning in Belmopan. Present were Minister of Works Rene Montero and John Woods of Cisco Construction. The project, which will cost [...]
Road work will be labor intensive
According to Woods, the project will employ a number of residents living in the Cayo District. John Woods, Cisco Construction Ltd. “The big thing about this job is it is very labor intensive so we should be able to put an awful lot of people in the area to work and that’s always gratifying [...]
Date for Belize/Guatemala Referendum Set
Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, along with a delegation of negotiators including Senator Lisa Shoman, left for Washington on Wednesday afternoon to meet with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros at the request of OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The purpose of the meeting was to determine a date on which a simultaneous referendum will [...]
Shipment of Belize beans found contaminated
Belizeans love their rice and beans, but half of that equation is getting a bad rap in the Caribbean. According to the Jamaica Observer, their government has seized another imported shipment of food deemed unfit for consumption. The article says, “Approximately twenty-two point seven-three metric tonnes of red kidney beans (red peas), valued at more [...]
National Primary School Basketball Champs
The annual National Primary Schools Basketball Championship was held today in Belize City. After several months of elimination games in the various districts, six primary school male and female teams, each representing the best in the sport at an elementary level, converged at the Roger’s Stadium and the YWCA basketball courts. But their skills weren’t [...]
Special Olympic Athletes get full physical
Earlier today, two hundred special needs athletes received top notch treatment during a session that was focused exclusively on healthcare. The countrywide event is an annual program that came about as an initiative from Special Olympics Belize to provide athletes with special needs the necessary medical attention they need to make them productive in their [...]
Birthday bash for April, the Celebrity
Every local wannabe celebrity has a birthday bash at a paid for event at nightclubs. This particular birthday bash, had the presence of the Ugandani dancers, an elected area representative and, get this, the birthday girl was treated to four cakes. And unlike other local celebs, this bash is the feature of tonight’s newscast. It [...]
Friday, April 27 - - - - - POLICE NEWS
A burglary in San Pedro town has netted thieves over five thousand dollars worth of electronic items. The incident is reported to have happened on Wednesday afternoon. American national David Becker reported to police that he left home around noon on Wednesday afternoon and upon ...
43rd ANNUAL NATIONAL AGRICULTURE AND TRADE SHOW OPENS
The forty third annual National Agriculture and Trade Show opened this evening in Belmopan. Over the course of the next two days, farmers and agriculture producers will showcase their products and services. Thousands of Belizeans are expected to attend the two day event. Du...
MEDICAL MISSION PLANNED FOR THE COMING WEEKS IN BELIZE
The Ministry of Health Central Health Region in collaboration with Health and Development Services International Inc.,HANDS International is organizing a Medical Mission in Belize City and rural Belize District from April 30 to May 4. The objective of the mission is to provide free out...
HEALTH FAIR FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS HELD
A Health Fair for Special Olympics Belize is being held at the Belize Elementary Auditorium. The event which began this morning at eight provides examination in different areas to Special Olympics children. Elodia Bautista is the National Director for Special Olympics. ...
INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY INTO THE DEATH OF BELIZE CITY MAN IN SAN PEDRO
Authorities are investigating the circumstance surrounding the death of a Belize City man in San Pedro. Maria Novelo has the story. “Authorities say that around ten o’clock last night, they received a report of the robbery of a woman in this municip...
PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH MEMBERS OF CIVIL SOCIETY
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today met with members of civil society. The Prime Minister briefed the group of the government’s response to the recent spate of gang warfare and the heightened tensions in Belize City. A part of the meeting also involved presentations by Ministe...
UNIBAM STRUCK OFF AS CLAIMANT IN THE CASE FOR GAY RIGHTS IN BELIZE
The constitutional challenge to section fifty three of the criminal code inched one step closer to a full hearing in the Supreme Court today. In a preliminary ruling handed down this morning by Justice Michelle Arana, The United Belize Advocacy Movement, known by its acronym UNIB...
BELIZE AND GUATEMALA AGREES TO SIMULTANEOUS REFERENDUM ON TERRITORIAL CLAIM
Belize and Guatemala have agreed to a date for the simultaneous referendum on whether or not the unfounded claim to Belizean territory by Guatemala should go to the International Court of Justice. The agreement was announced today following a ministerial meeting which was held at...
Father Of Three Commits Suicide After Receiving Phone Call
Tonight a family from the Village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District is mourning the death of their love one. 30 year old Coast Guard Mario Castellanos hung himself in his bathroom about 8:00 o’clock last night. The one who discovered his lifeless body is his wife 29 year old Filiberta Castellanos who at the moment has not yet figure out why her husband took away his life.
Tonight 29 year old Filiberta Castellanos has become a widow and her three kids have been left without a father. Around 8:15 last night, 30 year old Belize Coast Guard Mario Castellanos from the Village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District hung himself in his outdoor bathroom. His body was found by his wife who with saddened words told us the agony that the family is going through.
The couple has been together for the past twelve years and are parents to three kids, ages ten, seven and four. When Castellanos arrived home Wednesday, he showed no signs of depression or any signals of suicidal thoughts. In fact, Fileberta Castellanos says that he came home happy, that is until he received a phone call.
Gun Recovered By Corozal Police
In wake of the recent murders and gang activities in Belize City, Police and BDF forces have been concentrated in the Old Capital in efforts of curbing the crime situation. But, that is not to say that Belize City is the only place police have stepped up their game; in Corozal Town, police recently conducted a search that yielded unlicensed ammunition and one person remanded.
On the 24th of April, Corozal Police conducted a search at the residence of Lionel Leopold Daniels located in the Dominguez Layout area and discovered a Model 9 .22 Caliber Revolver loaded with two live rounds of .22 ammunition. Daniels was the only one present at the time of the search and as such was arrested and charged for the offences of one count kept firearm without a gun license and two counts of kept ammunition without a gun license. Daniels was remanded to prison until his next court date.
Studio 54 Opens In Carmelita Village
There’s a new family oriented entertainment spot that has popped up just a few minutes out of Orange Walk Town. Studio 54 is situated in Carmelita Village and is home to an array of wholesome family entertainment. Now, you may be thinking that the location might be a bit too far from you watching here in Orange Walk Town, but we can only say the trip is worth it because the establishment is like no other.
Studio 54 offers two swimming pools for it’s patrons along with a fully stocked pub and restaurant. And To top it all off, a Night Club for those wishing to party into the wee hours as Noel Codd, Manager of the establishment told us.
Noel Codd, Manager Studio 54
“Well what happened is that we are here in Carmelita and we have no entertainment and likewise in Orange Walk we need a lace we can go with our family where we will be safe because we have tight security here and we are right in front of the Carmelita Police Substation. So one good thing is that families will be able to come here and relax and at the same time feel safe.”
According to Codd, Studio 54 is unique in its own way. It caters to people of different ages and those who are looking to stretch their dollar.
Day Six- Sarteneja Fishermen Still Lost At Sea
Fifty-nine year old Silverio Tepaz, along with Tiobaldo Tepaz and Mijari Tepaz, has been lost at sea since Saturday April 21st. It has now been six days since anybody has heard of these three fishermen of Sarteneja. Their families have explored all options and efforts in trying to locate their loved ones and remain steadfast in their hope of finding the men. When we spoke to family member Gloria Cruz in an over the phone interview, she told us that the search party has grown and the efforts have intensified. Eleven more fellow fishermen and relatives have joined in the search and a total of seven boats are being utilized apart from that of the Coast Guard and the Belize Defense Force.
Silverio Tepaz is of fair complexion, medium built, about 5feet 6inches in height, has short black hair, and has a scar near the right eye. Mijari Tepaz is of fair complexion, medium built, about 5feet 4inches in height, has short black hair with a round face. Teobaldo Tepaz is of fair complexion, slim built, is about 5feet 4inches in height and has short black hair.
The three men were expected to arrive back home on Saturday night. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these three men is asked to contact the nearest Police Station.
Student Of Louisiana Government School To Represent Orange Walk In National Spelling Bee Competition
Today the buzz around town was about the Orange Walk District Finals for the 18th Annual Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee 2012. The top 10 spellers from the Orange Walk District gathered at the Multi-Purpose Complex this afternoon where they put their hard work and preparation to the test. The event saw two participants of each zone which was from Southwest, South, North, East, and central.
The tension was high today as students spelled their way through the five elimination rounds of the Orange Walk district finals. After each round several students were eliminated from the competition while others continued in the fight but only one could claim the title of district champion who would move on to participate in the National spelling bee competition. At the end of the 5th round Angela Trujio of Louisiana Government School was dubbed the winner.
Sports Day Organised For Primary School Students
Today children from Compassion School in Yo Creek Village celebrated sports day with numerous sporting activities. The school hosted what they believed would be their last sports day in 2009 because they saw it unnecessary to continue the annual event. But, through the school’s Parent Teacher Association, sports day is once again revived for the benefit of the children.
Janine Ayuso - Reporting
This morning the village of Yo Creek was brightened with the smiles of young children who were more than eager to take part in their very own sports day. The school children invaded the Yo Creek football field where they set up for an exciting day. According to the school’s principal, Manuel Rejon, the day was not only intended to be fun but was a crucial factor in developing the students sporting skills and physical fitness.
Manuel Rejon, Principal
“It’s an initiative by the PTA, they started about this idea of having sports day, since in the past we had sports day and so we stop doing it and so they want to have the kids involved in sport and so we saw it was a great idea and that is the reason why I as the principal decided to support the PTA and have an organize sports day. It develops sportsmanship also team work and it gives them an opportunity to socialize with other schools.”
Awareness Campaign For The Control Of Malaria, Dengue, And Chagas Launched By The Ministry Of Health
An awareness campaign is currently underway in Belize to inform the public on the different diseases caused by vectors within the country. The Ministry of Health and the Vector control department are geared towards the maintenance of a healthy environment that provides for the prevention and control of Malaria, Dengue and Chagas. The awareness campaign is a countrywide event that is being conducted in different schools and communities alerting the public of the issue at hand.
Reality Youth throws free concert for the homeless
A free concert and feeding initiative will be held for the less fortunate this Saturday at Battlefield Park in Belize City. The man behind the event is gospel artist Reality Youth. He today told Love News what the concert entails.
Once again the event will take place at Battlefield Park, this Saturday from two o’clock in the afternoon until six in the evening.
Green walk on Earth Day successful
This past Saturday the Belize Audubon Society held its fourth annual walk for a green Belize. The event was a part of the celebrations for Earth Day. Dirk Francisco is the Publicity Coordinator Belize Audubon Society.
Math training for teachers nears completion
The Ministry of Education is about to wrap up a seven month training for teachers in an effort to dispel the negative attitude towards Math and to help them deliver better in the classroom. The teachers hail from 12 primary schools in the Belize District and their engagement today took them through working with different shapes, quite like that of a pre-schooler. But in this case, it’s all aimed at training at a higher level to impart the learning to students at the primary level. Nelson Longsworth of the Ministry of Education’s Quality Assurance and Development Services says that the primary goal is to produce better results on the Primary Schools Exams.
The training had at its helm Professor Allan Dawe of Mount Saint Vincent University in the US. He summarizes how this session makes a difference in the classroom, especially for students who are not Math enthusiasts.
Friday marks the end of the training session.
PM to accompany his wife for medical treatment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida this weekend. According to a government press release, Prime Minister Barrow will accompany his wife Kim Simplis Barrow for the continuation of her medical treatment. The Prime Minister is scheduled to be out of the country all of next week, and during his absence from the country, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is due back in the country on May sixth.
Santa Elena town road getting major upgrade
A contract for the upgrading of the La Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena town was signed this morning in Belmopan. The contract for the road works was awarded to CISCO construction company Limited. At the signing ceremony, Minister of Public Works Rene Montero explained what is included in the project.
Chairman of CISCO Construction, John Woods, also spoke at the signing ceremony, saying that he is honored that his company was chosen to carry out the road construction project.
Work under the project agreement signed this morning is expected to commence immediately.