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The San Pedro Sun

New Senior Officer Sgt. Raymond Berry joins San Pedro Police
Sgt. Raymond Berry recently joined the San Pedro Police Department taking up the responsibilities of Case File Reading and Motor Vehicle Maintenance. Sergeant Berry brings with him over 29 years of experience with the Belize Police Force. Berry has previously held the position of Executive Duty Officer with his main duty being street patrols. In San Pedro, Sergeant Berry will be responsible for ensuring that all motor vehicles are properly maintained and ready to run to guarantee constant patrols. As a File Reader, he is responsible for ensuring that case files are properly put together with all the elements of the crime necessary to assist the prosecutor in ensuring the prosecution of criminals.

Belize at the 42nd Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly
Belize is being represented at the 42nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) being held in Cochabamba, Bolivia by a delegation led by the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize. The 42nd Session, which got underway on Sunday, June 3, ends today, June 5, 2012. It was convened under the theme “Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas.” During the inaugural session on Sunday, President Evo Morales of Bolivia proposed a profound analysis and restructuring of the OAS to make it more responsive to the realities of today and to the demands of its member states. In the framework of the OAS General Assembly, the Belize delegation also met with the Secretary General of the OAS, H.E. José Miguel Insulza, the British Secretary for South America, and with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, among others. The OAS General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the OAS and it meets once a year. The other members of the Belize delegation included H.E. Alfredo Martinez, Senior Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, H.E. Nestor Mendez, Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS and Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, and Ms. Kendall Belisle, First Secretary at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Foreign Minister Elrington returns to Belize on Friday, June 7, 2012.

Photos: Xcalak celebrates 112th Anniversary
Xcalak, the southernmost village in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, celebrated its 112th anniversary over the weekend of May 31st to June 2nd. As part of the celebration, the people of the neighboring town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye were invited to participate in the events. Annually the San Pedro Dance Academy as well as football players traverse the sea to add to the fun. During the event on Saturday, Nairi’s Football Club of San Pedro Town participated in the football marathon. At the end of the football marathon, the local team of Xcalak placed first, Sarteneja Football team placed second while Nairi’s Football Club settled for third place. The night was full of entertainment by both Mexican and Belizean dance groups. The San Pedro Dance Academy rocked the crowd with tropical and Caribbean Belizean performances. At the short ceremony, Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town was one of the speakers. He reminded the Mexicans of Xcalak about the family and friendly bond that exist between the two communities. “San Pedro will always be a friend to Xcalak just as the people of Xcalak have been to our Belizean people in good and bad times,” said Guerrero. Deputy Mayor Guerrero congratulated the people of Xcalak on their 112th Anniversary. The evening proceeded with a dance that went into the wee hours of Sunday.

San Pedro joins Belize and the world in observing “World No Tobacco Day 2012”
Over 200 islanders walked the major streets of San Pedro Town on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2012 celebrated under the theme “Tobacco Industry Interference.” The event took place on Thursday May 31st and started from in front of the Central Park and ended at the same location. The walk coincided with events planned country wide in various major district towns and cities. The walk was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health through the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The main purpose of the walk was to create awareness about the use of tobacco and other drugs and the serious dangers they pose to public and personal health. According to a statement from WHO in Belize, “the campaign focus is on the need to expose the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control because of the serious danger they pose to public health.”

Ambergris Today

Residents Cry for Street Repairs
Repairs on a section of Pescador Drive after a water main breakage that sent the utility company digging up a large trench took some time to start, but the timing of the repairs couldn’t have been worst. Today makes day seven of work and repairs to the section of the cobblestone street caused traffic to be detoured to the back street parallel to it. With all the rainy that we have been experiencing lately, the detour street became a muddy, pothole ridden mess.

Primary School Softball Competition
Primary School students gathered at the Old Football Field on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, as the zone elimination for the National Sports Council’s Primary School Softball Competition took place. Participating schools included San Pedro RC School, Holy Cross Anglican School and Isla Bonita Elementary School. Battling out for the female first place position were the girls from San Pedro RC School and Holy Cross Anglican School. The girls played quite a match the girls from Holy Cross came out victorious and will be representing San Pedro at the Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Central Bank of Belize publishes annual report
The annual report of the Central Bank of Belize, published on June 4, highlights the central bank's achievements in 2011 and considers the economic outlook for 2012. The report, which marks the Central Bank of Belize's 30th anniversary, considers the progress the central bank has made in 2011 from its ‘financial sector assessment programme', which is aimed at identifying deficiencies in financial regulation. The results of this programme provide a "cohesive framework" for assuring the future security of the financial system, the report says. The report is "cautiously optimistic" in the economic outlook for Belize. GDP is expected to grow at 2-2.5% in 2012, and the report notes that the government has made progress towards cutting its budget deficit.

Channel 7

Is Jack Back?: 13 Year Old Girl Killed In Cayo
13 year old Jasmine Lowe, Girl Scout from Santa Elena in the Cayo district went missing on Monday - and the very worst fears were confirmed today when she was found dead a mile outside of Santa Elena Town in Cristo Rey village. 7news was at the scene and we spoke to her family, police and friends about her disappearance and death - here's the full story: Jules Vasquez Reporting Christopher Lowe - Father of the Deceased "It's the worse news possible for any parent, that they found her but not how we were hoping." They found her dead here at this farm in Cristo Rey Village where workers started smelling something rotting.

Teenaged Boys Still Missing
And concerns also persist about 17 year old Edwardo Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat who went missing on Saturday and up to this evening their mothers still haven't heard from them. The two teenage boys were last heard from on Saturday morning while they were heading from San Ignacio Town to Belize City. They were travelling in a dark green Suzuki pick-up truck with Texas License plates. According to a friend of the boys, the two mentioned to him that they were going to visit a friend on George Street. Police say upon reaching Belize City Kareem exited the vehicle while the other headed towards a friend's residents located on George Street,. Since ten no one has seen either the boys or the vehicle.

Thomas Back to Court
Yesterday, 7News told you about 19 year-old Hugh Thomas and the 17 year-old minor who were charged for burglary. According to the GSU, they were caught in the act of trying to hide items they had just stolen from an early-morning home invasion on Dean Street. Well today, they were brought back before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for additional charges. As we reported, the GSU responded to a burglary in progress at #8 Dean Street. While inquiring with the house owner, they were informed that two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing caps had burglarized her house the night before around midnight stealing her keys and some items. The same robbers returned at 4:00 am on Monday with firearms. A homeowner's 12 year old daughter was held up at gunpoint while the robbery was taking place. Her mother reported that while in the garage she heard noise's inside the house and upon checking she saw the robbers stealing her TV, fan, 2 bicycles and 2 cell phones from inside her house. The GSU made their patrols and caught Thomas and the 17 year-old minor with the stolen items, and as a result, they were additionally charged with aggravated burglary.

10 Years For Killing Security Guard during Armed Robbery
Last week Thursday, we told you about 27 year-old Shandoy Jeffords, who was convicted of manslaughter and burglary for the gruesome 2005 killing of 50 year-old Antonio Almendarez, the security guard at Fidos Bar in San Pedro. Today, he was given a 10-year sentence by Justice Adolph Lucas. In mitigation to the court, Jeffords begged for leniency. He also maintained that he was wrongfully convicted for this killing, and that he wanted a chance to be in his son's life and to try to be a positive role model in the near future. After considering his plea, Justice Lucas sentenced him to serve 10 years for the manslaughter and 7 years for the burglary. These sentences are to run concurrent to the 2 years that he already is serving for a firearm and ammunition conviction in Magistrate's Court. As a result, he will only serve 10 years for this conviction.

US Donates High Tech Vehicles To Police
The Central American Regional Security Initiative - known as CARSI - is an initiative of the US Government to spend 105 million US dollars this year to beef up security in the region. It is of course, about the fact that U.S. drug demand makes the countries of Central America very unsafe - and indeed four of the highest murder rates in the world for 2011 - Belize included - were recorded in Central America. So, CARSI is an attempt to try and fix the problem - the old fashioned way - by throwing money at it. To be fair, though, it's more than that - and over the past year, Belize has received 16 million dollars in performance based support through CARSI. And today one of the largest donations was handed over: 1.1 million US dollars in 17 vehicles to be used for crime scene investigations, prisoner transport, mobile patrol, and community policing support.

Two Times Accused of Arson To Court
32 year-old Marsha Bood, a domestic of #147 Antelope Street is at prison tonight because she was charged with arson for allegedly trying to burn up a man's door. According to police, 45 year-old Godfrey Dougal reported that he was at his apartment at #126 Antelope Street on May 23 at around 7:30 p.m., when he smelt kerosene. He said that he immediately went to his mahogany door, opened it, and that's when he found it on fire. According to Dougal, he managed to get the fire under control, but not before it extensively damaged the door, along with the screen door, and the framing. Dougal told police that he saw a woman running away from his yard when he found the door on fire, and police investigation led to Bood being arrested and charged. She appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who had to question her about a previous damage-to-property charge that which she had faced. Because the origin of that damage to property was discovered to also be fire-related, Chief Magistrate Smith decided to remand Bood to prison, where she will remain until July 16, her next court date.

Deliverymen Robbed
2 different delivery men were robbed at gunpoint yesterday in Belize City in separate incidents. Mark Andrew Swift, a 25 year-old deliveryman of Madisco Marketing and Distribution Ltd., reported that at about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, he was making a delivery at Max Grocery Store when he was ambushed by two men, one of whom pointed a black handgun in his face. The other man then stole his cell phone, and they then searched his delivery truck and stole a bag containing $571.77 in cash. 4 hours later, Juan Herrera, a 22 year-old salesman for Citrus Products Limited, was also robbed at gunpoint. Herrera reported to police that he was making a delivery at Tommy's wholesale on Central American Boulevard at around 4:30 p.m. Herrera said that he was approached by a man who pointed a chrome handgun at him and demanded money. He complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the proceeds of the day's sale for the company.

Belize Film Festival Sets Records
The 7th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival is breaking records this year as it has received over 120 submissions from 24 different countries. 67 of those films were selected for the festival. But the magnitude of submissions is not the only record being broken. The festival will open with a Belizean feature length movie directed and produced in Belize with an all Belizean cast. It took about 6 days of filming, and we have a sneak peak of that for you now. Matthiew Klinck - Make Belize Films "The move is called 2012, Kurse a Di Xtabai. It's the first move, as far as I know, that is a supernatural thriller that is shot entirely in Belize with Belizean actors in Kriol. So it's really exciting. It takes place mostly out in the jungle and in the caves out behind San Antonio Village. And it's about a curse. If you've heard about Xtabai, she is basically released from an ancient Mayan, and she curses the village of San Antonio. And the Belizean Government is afraid that this fever that is spreading might leave the village and infect Belize City and other places. So they lock down the village with the military. A group of students escape out into the jungle to try to find a solution to the curse. And Like I say, it's a full Belizean cast, and we had a lot of fun." Robin Schaffer "What does this mean for the film festival that a Belizean film is actually going to be showing at it, and has been created for it?"

Belizes Best 3 on 3 Ballers To Go International
Three on three basketball, it's played on every court and in every backyard across Belize. What is referred to as "pickup basketball" may not have the prestige or glamour of the full court game, but really, it's the everyman and woman's game. And now FIBA is embracing it as more than just a recreational past-time; it's slated for inclusion in the Olympics - and a world Championship is also planned for this year in Seville, Spain. Quite incredibly, Belize's Under-18 programme which has been getting regional attention for its raw talent - has gotten a berth in that World Championship. And now, the Belize Basketball Federation has to have a national three on three tournament to find the best under 18 talent. But it isn't just about the tournament, it's also about the love of the game, and so that tournament will include under and over 18 - and will go across the country looking for the best talent. It's being done with key assistance from key corporate sponsors, Bowen and Bowen and Sprite. They held a press conference with the Belize Basketball Federation today.

Post Mortem On Jasmine Lowe
And, before we close, we have an update to our headline story. Police Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran finished his post mortem on 13 year old Jasmine Lowe this evening at around 6:00. He could not determine the cause of death due to the advanced state of decomposition. He did observe superficial wounds, but these would not have been enough to cause the death of the 13 year old. As we noted earlier on, her remains were taken immediately to the family property for burial...

Channel 5

13 year old Jasmine Lowe murdered
All hopes were dashed aside shortly after noon today for the family of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. The young girl went missing on Monday after she left her father’s house in Santa Elena. Lowe was preparing to participate with the Scouts in Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan. Lowe is believed to have taken a [...]

Twin Towns residents say it’s time to take action against crime
Galvanized by the tragedy that struck the communities of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, residents addressed the media on the scene where Jasmine Lowe’s body was found. They say that it is time for action because too many young girls have been murdered and the crimes remain unsolved.   Miriam Ochaeta, Concerned Citizen “It was [...]

Developer cuts through Biological Corridor without permission
Minister Lisel Alamilla has issued a stop order on a development in a protected area in the Belize District. The developer, a Guatemalan company named Green Tropics Limited, was dredging a canal in the hearth of the reserve and the government is looking at its legal options. It is not known when the land was [...]

U.S. donates police vehicles with cameras and crime scene equipment
The violent crime statistics has placed Belize among the five most violent countries globally. The US government today stepped in with a major donation that will hopefully assist to improve those statistics. Through a regional security initiative, CARSI, the US handed over today a fleet of vehicles, loaded with state of art security equipment to [...]

Borders and airport to get electronic passport systems by October
Although Belize has designated border crossings, the processing of visitors and nationals can sometimes lag. To speed up the process and to make it efficient, the western and northern border as well as the international airport will be experiencing an upgrade in their management systems. Passports will be read electronically which will allow easy compilation [...]

Asst. Commissioner says Police will rid department of rogue cops
On Monday June fourth, robbers armed with high powered rifles stormed the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. While having their weapons pointed at the credit union employees, they raided the facility of thirty four thousand dollars and then escaped in the credit union’s Hilux. But the suspects were soon caught and have been identified as: twenty-nine [...]

Shandoy Jeffords sentenced to 10 years in prison for Manslaughter
Twenty-seven year-old Shandoy Jeffords of Belize City was convicted of manslaughter last Thursday in the death of fifty year old Antonio Almendarez, a Security Guard of Fido’s restaurant on San Pedro. Jeffords was charged with manslaughter and not murder because he had agreed to testify in trial against three others, but he had failed to [...]

Meighan back in court for Aggravated Assault against cop
An eighteen year old was remanded to prison on Tuesday for Aggravated Assault and Discharging a Firearm in Public. Today, Tyrone Meighan was back in court on additional charges following an alleged confrontation with a cop at the Queen Street Police Station. Meighan is again being accused of Aggravated Assault, this time upon PC Andres [...]

Heavy rains caused the flooding of the River Valley
On Tuesday we reported on the loss of crops in the Belize River Valley caused by flooding from recent torrential rains. Closer to the old capital, it is just beginning to get back to normal in the Ladyville area where a primary school had to close for two days due to flooding. Further up, in [...]

Basketball Tour begins
Three by three games; it’s a popular form of basketball but you’ll mostly find it played in backyards. But the perception of this variation of basketball is changing internationally and the Belize Basketball Federation is moving forward with it. The B.B.F. has partnered with Bowen and Bowen’s Sprite and Belikin divisions to hold a National [...]

Keeping protected areas secured
Earlier in the newscast we reported that an order has been issued to stop dredging in a protected area. We caught up with Minister Lisel Alamilla at the opening of a program for Protected Areas Management. The Ministry is partnering with the University of Belize, which is providing the training. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. [...]

LOVE FM

BELIZE RED CROSS IN TOLEDO PREPARES FOR HURRICANE SEASON
PAUL MAHUNG - Correspondent The Monday evening meeting was chaired by Belize Red Cross Toledo Branch Chairlady, retired Matron, Shirley Mahung. SHIRLEY MAHUNG, Belize Red Cross (Toledo Branch) “Initially, this meeting was called in order to plan for the hurricane seas...

BELIZE'S DELEGATION ATTENDS GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE OAS IN BOLIVIA
Belize’s Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington led a delegation to the 42nd regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The session which began on Sunday ended yesterday. It w...

BELIZE JOINS IN CELEBRATING WORLD OCEANS DAY
Belize will join the rest of the international community in observing World Ocean’s day on Friday. This year the focus is on getting young people involved in the global effort to conserve the world’s oceans. The theme for this year’s observation is: Youth:...

Wednesday, June 6 - POLICE NEWS
19-year-old Hugh Thomas and a 17-year-old boy who were charged yesterday with burglary and handling stolen goods, were charged with aggravated burglary when they were brought to court today. They pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to...

BREAKING NEWS - Body of 13 year old Missing Girl found
Love News has confirmed that the lifeless body of 13 year old, Jasmine Lowe who went missing from the Cayo District earlier this week has been found. The body was discovered on the Cristo Rey Road.......More details coming in our 6pm News Report. ... Read more >>

CTV3

BSI Says Sale Of Company Accepted In Principle
On June 30th it is expected that after all the proper signatures are placed on the dotted lines American Sugar Refinery the largest cane refinery company in the world will become the major shareholders of the Belize Sugar Industry Limited. The company is expected to inject US$60 million into the Sugar Industry making ASR a majority shareholder of 80% to 85% of the total shareholding in BSI. A further investment of US$30 million to improve and expand the sugar factory will also be made if the deal between both sugar companies is sealed. And while word on the street is that the negations will go through today BSI issued out a press release stating that ASR’s offer for majority shareholding in the Belize Sugar Industries Limited has been approved in principle. Interestingly in the release BSI states that from January 2011 there was contact with American Sugar Holdings and American Sugar Refining. After the company expressed interest in investing in BSI and after several trips to Belize in March of 2012 ASR made a written proposal for the investment of equity in the company and further capital investment in the industry. In early May 2012, the BSI Board approved the proposal in principle and authorized Management to complete the due diligence and conclude negotiations by the 30th of June 2012.

FFB President Discusses Future of Football In The North
Over the weekend Ruperto Vicente, President of the Football Federation of Belize, visited Orange Walk and sat down with various football team representatives and the Orange Walk and Corozal District Football Associations. The meeting is part of Vicente’s country wide tour in which he seeks to become acquainted with the football ambience at a district level. Chairman of the Orange Walk District Football Association Rafael Avila, told CTV3 News today that one of the main issues discussed during the meeting was the finances of the federation which is not in a good state. Rafael Avila, Chairman of O/W District Football Association “He informed us about a schedule of matches that is coming up in the near future and where Belize is to participate in the Central American region as well. He informed us that next two Saturdays we will be meeting in Belmopan, all the district associations, so that all of us can come in line and work together as a team. So whatever the Corozal District is working on then all the other districts are working on as well. One of the main concerns is the same thing that they have- finances. It’s been quite difficult coming across financing because- to run a tournament, and body who have been in the profession of foot ball then they know that running tournaments is costly. This is so because we have fees to pay. We have referees to pay and we have security.”

Three Law Enforcement Officers Investigated For Robbery Of Credit Union Robbery
On Monday at around 8:35am the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch in the Stann Creek District, was robbed at gunpoint by 3 men, 2 of which were wearing masks. According to the official police report released today, the Manager of the credit union, 46 year old, Barry Bardalez reported to police that he was inside the credit union with several other employees and about twenty customers, when the three men armed with what appeared to be (2) 9MMs and a M16 rifle entered the establishment and demanded money. Fearing for his life and the life of others, one of the cashiers opened the vault and then proceeded to open the safe after which the robbers helped themselves with an undisclosed amount of cash in Belize and US currency. The money was placed inside a green military bag. The thieves then made good their escape in a 2008 green Toyota Hilux pick-up truck bearing license plate TOL-C-4051 belonging to the credit union and valued at $75,000. It was later discovered that the criminals also made off with two 9MM pistols brand and serial number unknown, and with (15) live 9mm rounds valued at a total of $6,500.00.

Minister Of Education Says Amalgamation Of Schools Will Soon Is Good
On May 31st, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Honourable Patrick Faber held a town’s meeting here in Orange Walk at the Gala Lounge. The meeting started at 6:00 in the evening and went well on to about 10:30 in the night. Apart from discussing the National Strategic Plan, Minister Faber spoke about the pros and cons of the education system in Belize during his lengthy speech. With the aim of improving the country’s education system, Faber proposes to amalgamate schools. It’s a rather daring plan, but the Minister says the idea is to create more space for students, especially for those living in rural communities. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports “We can bus people from San Juan Nuevo. Bus the students from Douglas. Bring them to San Pablo. We can unite the two campuses, San Pablo RC and San Pablo Community. Correct if I am wrong. And what they complain about at San Pablo RC about 40 children to a teacher can readily be solved if we amalgamate. We can save money and put monies into making sure that there is a better quality of education in that area.”

LEAP To Conduct Surgeries On The 9th and 10th Of June
The Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP) is an organization comprised of volunteer specialists who dedicate their time, expertise and often their own resources in the endeavor to bring free surgical care to children and adults born with deformities. Throughout the years LEAP has made its presence known in Belize and has since been instrumental in conducting hundreds of surgical operations for Belizeans. The mission is back once again and will be working along side the Rotary club of Orange Walk and the Northern Regional Hospital on Friday June 8th providing services for Orange Walkenos. John Avila, President Rotary club Orange Walk “This is the second time LEAP mission this year three weeks ago they were here to operate on cleft lips cleft pallets and any facial deformities as well as hand problems for people with hand palsies or nerve palsies you know problems moving their fingers and things like that they will be here to operate on those kinds of conditions. It’s been about 17-18 years Orange Walk has been working hand in hand with LEAP and the northern regional hospital. Well I believe that we have these missionaries that come to Belize to do these kinds of services and they approach the Rotary club to support the logistics regarding transportation to and from the air port and hosting and helping to assist them during their mission here and that’s how the relationship with LEAP developed.”

Sports Keeping Youths Out of Trouble
Sporting in Orange Walk has always plays an integral role in the lives of youths creating a form of unity both on and off the field. So far the level of sporting activities within the Orange Walk District has been on the rise with the initiative of Ladrick Sheppard, Councilor in charge of youths and sports. Keeping in the context of his portfolio, Sheppard has organized several sporting activities for young athletes. Currently Sheppard has embarked on a 5 aside inter office competition that is geared at bringing back the sport of baseball into the spotlight. Ladrick Sheppard, councilor in charge of Youths and Sports “Currently I am working on different sporting activities we have just started the under 12 competition that plays on the barracks we are at the fourth week at this moment and these guys will be playing a double run robin heading into the finals sometime in early august. I have assisted in softball Jimmy Smith is the president of the softball and I’m just assisting him as much as I can so that the sport of softball go to that level that it was once again. It has been something that has been a great achievement to all the Orange Walk people we know that the sport of soft ball has been very low but like I said working along with these different teams and getting back the respond from all the players we know that we are in a positive line. Next I will be working on the inter office five aside which will be organized by Richard Diaz he is basically the man that will be carrying this competition out I will be assisting him as far as I could. We know that these games are played at the people stadium so we must work with the assistance of derrick Gillette who is the man in charge of the people’s stadium so he is also working hand in hand with us and that is a good respond for him working along with people who want to do sports.”

LOVE TV

Scouts celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee
A Beacon lighting ceremony was held last night by the Scout Association of Belize at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. The event was held as part of Belize’s commemoration of the diamond Jubilee for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. During the ceremony Chief Scout Dr. Erasmo Franklin told the crowd that the beacon that was lit last night was one of over four thousand across the commonwealth to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic milestone. Governor General Sir Colville Young is currently in London where he joined in the festivities there, and so his stand-in in Belmopan Carlos Perdomo was the main speaker at last night’s beacon lighting ceremony. Sixty torch runners representing the sixty years of the Diamond Jubilee, marched into the field to present the torches around the beacon. The Beacon which was designed by Belize Natural Energy was lit promptly at ten o’clock last night. Scouts from all over the country attended the ceremony.

Man jailed on theft conviction
36-year-old Steven Bennett, a labourer charged with theft and a mischievous act, was sentenced to seven months for each offence after he pleaded guilty to the charges. Chief magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentences stipulated that they should run concurrently so Bennett will serve seven months. The incident occurred yesterday at K Park Supermarket in King’s park. Police reported that Bennett went into the supermarket, purchased some items and said for them but he did not pay for one tin of Dak chopped ham valued at $5.00. When Bennett left the supermarket he was apprehended by a security guard. When he searched Bennett, the search resulted in the discovery of the chopped ham in the left pocket of his pants. Bennett had one previous conviction for theft. When he was detained by the police Bennett gave his name as Richard Ferguson.

Man charged for jacking bicycle at gunpoint
24-year-old Justin Richards a.k.a Owl, one of two persons who the police believe jacked a beach cruiser bicycle at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. She remanded him into custody until July 20. The complainant, Tevin Ferguson, reported to the Police that he was riding his bicycle on Vernon Street and when he reached in front of Cox Tire Shop he was accosted by two persons, one of them armed with a firearm. Ferguson said they stole his 26 inch beach cruiser bicycle valued at $200.00. The second suspect has not been charged yet.

Charges brought in burglary case
Two persons, one of them a 17-year-old boy were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. The adult was 19-year-old Hugh Thomas, an unemployed. Thomas, the 17-year-old boy and two others, one of them a 17-year-old girl, were charged with handling stolen goods for a 29 inch color television that had a value of $530.00. The adult charged with handling stolen goods was 19-year-old Monica Ramclam. Thomas and the boy pleaded not guilty to burglary and handling stolen goods. Ramclam and the girl pleaded not guilty to handling stolen goods. The prosecutor objected to bail for Thomas and the boy on the charge of burglary. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence of burglary has become prevalent, that the evidence against the accused is strong and only one of the stolen items was recovered and if granted bail they might interfere with the complainant. Thomas and the boy were unable to give good reasons why they should be granted bail. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart upheld the objection and she remanded them into custody until July 5. Thomas was remanded to Belize Central prison while the minor was remanded to the Wagner’s facility. Ramclam and the girl were each offered bail of $5,000.00. The burglary occurred around 4:40 a.m. on Monday, June 4. The complainant 30-year-old food vendor Genoveva Noble who resides on Dean Street, reported to the police that she was at home asleep when she was awakened by a noise. She said when she looked she saw a person stealing her television.

Teenager accused of home invasion
A minor in Belize City was the victim of a home invasion allegedly orchestrated by another minor and a teenager. The twelve year old accompanied by her mother reported to police that around 11:50 pm on Sunday June third, while she was at home, two male persons entered the house and pointed a gun at [...]

Cayo teen reported missing
Tonight worried parents and friends of a thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena Cayo are desperately searching for her. Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe left home to go to her mother’s place of employment around mid-afternoon on Monday and has not been seen or heard from since. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, [...]

PlusTV

Search for missing girl scout has tragic outcome
Tonight a family and a community mourn the loss of a vibrant young lady who had a promising future. Jasmine Lowe wa...

Controversial Belmopan Farmers Market to stay at current location
After an exhaustive two years and almost losing a little over two million dollars in grant money it seems that all ...

Deadline for public disclosure of assets at hand
In the year 2008, Belize legislated the Prevention of Corruption Act #21 in accordance with preventing, detecting a...

Massive flooding in Belize Rural North affects communities
The Belize District has been experiencing tremendous amounts of rain and in particular the residents of the Belize ...

City of Belmopan hosts public meeting
Area Representative for the City of Belmopan the Hon. John Saldivar along with the Belmopan City Council held a joi...

Training Program for Protected Areas Management launched
The Ministry of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development today launched a National Training Program for Prote...

Police release names of cops, BDF charged with robbery
Police have formally arrested and charged three men in connection with the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union robbery th...

Man sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter and robbery
Last week Shandoy Jeffords was convicted of manslaughter and robbery. Today, he was given 17 years for both crimes....

Security guard narrowly dodges bullets
Yesterday, we told you that 18-year-old Tyrone Meighan was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and discharin...

GSU take in four men after raid
Members of the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search at #10 Caesar Ridge Road, Belize City on Tuesday morning ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker’s Lobster Fest coming very soon!!
If you don’t have any plans set yet for the end of June, then think no further, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest will be the event to attend with three days full of fun and excitement!! Below is the flyer indicating what will be happening for the three days starting with pageant night on June 29th. You don’t want to miss this!! Caye Caulker has been celebrating the opening of the lobster season since 1994!

Blogs

Panama: So Far I'm Really Digging It
So last I spoke to you, I had arrived at Finca Bachita in Playa Coronado, Panama. For those of you who asked, the house is named after my friend Cesar's very cute mom, Beatrice. Bachita is her nickname and Finca means farm/estate or plantation in Spanish. The town of Coronado is about an hour and a half west of Panama City and one of the oldest private communities in Panama. It's huge...with over 2000 good sized residences plus a couple large and ugly high rises, a clinic, a horse farm, restaurants and a long grey/black beach along the Pacific. Just outside the development on the main road (the PanAmerican highway to be exact), there are very American supermarkets, malls, spas...everything. Look at this wine selection at the local market...and $5-$10 a bottle... Panama is developing incredibly quickly and prices are rising quickly as well. But to me? Everything seems CHEAP! Definitely cheaper than Costa Rica and much cheaper than Belize. We woke up early the first morning to shop for a few things that Panama is known for...fresh produce and seafood. It seemed almost silly to buy mangoes or even avocados...trees in almost every yard are BURSTING. Even trees along the highway seem to buckling from the weight of so much fruit. I do not exaggerate when I say that mangoes are everywhere. But all are not created equal. We stopped at a roadside stand that sold five or six different kinds of mangoes plus another fruit, the kinep. Giant mangos...5 for $1USD. You really can't beat it.

Adventure with the Divaz
Cayo Adventure Tours took 5 moms rock climbing, zip lining, and canoeing in Barton Creek Cave. Plus TV's Divaz Next Door will be airing the adventure next week, but here's a preview. Looks like they were in good hands with Teddy Waight, known for his tubing adventures in Bullet Tree Falls. "Looking up, around and down into the water...pausing now and then to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly with my eyes closed to fully take in the moment and be grateful for the entire experience. I couldn't keep my eyes closed for too long because I didn't want to miss a moment of this opportunity. Quartz shimmering like diamonds as the 1000 candle lightbulbs bathed the rocks with illumination. Our tour guide from Cayo Adventure, Teddy, was highly knowledgeable and he deftly guided us through the water with his expertise and his stories."

How to Take Action to Help the Environment
I am a proud competitive student from Garden City Primary School in Belmopan that enters every competition at my level. I am twelve years old and about to enter high school in September. I had always been looking for a competition like this and to enter this competition is like a dream come through. Everyday you go outside and when you look around your community you see many more things that you can do to help your environment look as clean as you. I look around my environment and say to myself ‘Had I’ve always been living in this area and not been paying much attention to it’. In my environment I sometimes see dirty parks, broken swing sets, homeless dogs and a few people asking for food. But mainly I would like to help the people who are asking for food by getting a group of kids in my area and do a walk-a-ton and fund raise money so that we can get some food for them . I would want to become an ECO KID because I will be able to make changes in my environment and community. I can create signs and posters with friends in the area to keep the parks and my community clean. We can do weekly or daily clean ups to keep the place clean. I think being an ECO KID is an opportunity to allow you to become famous of your initiative to the environment.

Caye Caulker Lobsterfest 2012 Update!
For those who have not bought your tickets or secured your hotels, time is of the essence. We are now firmly in June and the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest is nearly upon us!! If you do not know the dates – Friday 29th June, Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July are the dates to be here. Friday will open with the Miss Lobster Fest pageant at 7.30pm – Five lovely girls – Jasmine Skeen, Shania Sanchez, Jasmine Arce, Vicky Canul and Sylvia Joseph will be fighting (in a lady like manner) for the 2012 title. As you can see from their photos, this particular competition will be tight – from my view all five girls should receive the title!! As a change to the weekend’s entertainment – the occasion will be followed by an evening of music and dance – with DJ Julian and TAGG International. Saturday morning there will be the opening ceremonies, followed by an afternoon of beach party and games. The highlight of Saturday and indeed the entire Lobster Fest will be the entertainment lined up for the big party in the evening – Youth Connection, DJ Clarence, TAGG International and DJ Khris will glide us smoothly through the evening – don’t miss out! Sunday will be more of the same with more beach party and games – more music and more fun for all the family! And how can we forget … the reason for why we celebrate this weekend … the island will be filled with all styles of mouth watering lobster dishes throughout the three days!!! So come one and come all … come and celebrate with us at Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2012.

International Sources

Airfare Expert: Why airlines don't dare offer a price break
If you've been searching for airfares for summer, you know it's a tough time for bargain hunters. But the airlines don't dare give you much of a price break - they can't afford to. Yes, they're still raking in money from bag fees, but not as much as they used to, and although there has been a slight break in oil prices recently, fuel costs continue to be well above what airlines paid in 2010 and 2011. Are there good deals for summer flights? Last week, an American Airlines sale featured a Los Angeles-Atlanta flight for $462 round-trip. I've said what you should pay for summer airfare for a cross-country flight is anything under $340; I still believe that but you'll have to shop carefully (my tips below will help). What's going on? There's a reason Delta Air Lines recently announced plans to purchase an oil refinery: the high cost of jet fuel. While the price of oil did drop this month, at $90+ a barrel it's still about two-and-a-half times the Jan. 2009 price ($36+ per barrel) and more than 10 bucks higher than it was last September. Do airline jet fuel costs mirror the price of oil? Not exactly; jet fuel prices lag a few weeks behind oil price changes and in some cases may not change at all, as the cost of refining has been stubbornly high. Make no mistake, oil prices seriously affect an airline's bottom line; jet fuel now makes up as much as 30% of an airline's operating costs. Why don't airlines manage the price of oil better? Hedging (airlines locking-in fuel costs by essentially betting on the price of oil-related futures) has fallen a bit out of favor due to cost and volatility. Southwest for one used to hedge oil prices effectively, but oil's yo-yo bender of recent years makes that difficult. Check out these jet fuel prices (per gallon) from select dates during the past few years: •Jan. 2007: $1.57 •Nov. 2008: $4.81 •Mar. 2009: $1.11 •Oct. 2009: $2.09 •July 2010: $1.91 •Feb. 2011: $3.01 •Dec. 2011: $2.74 •April 2012: $3.32 This unpredictable up-and-down movement is proving pretty much unmanageable. What's an airfare shopper to do? Follow these four tips: 1.) Shop Tuesday for the best deals; barring unusual sale activity, you will not find the best deals on weekends. 2.) Make some sacrifices; most of us want to leave on Friday and return Sunday to make the most of our vacation time but those are the most expensive days to fly. Travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and sometimes Saturdays for a significant price break, and don't turn up your nose at overnight flights, dawn flights or connecting flights because those can be cheaper, in many cases by $100 per person or more. 3.) Compare prices; if you only shop one airline - even 'discount' carriers like Southwest or JetBlue - you may not get the best price. Legacy carriers have been known to beat the low cost competition, occasionally by hefty amounts. You won't know if you don't compare. 4.) Delay your summer trip until late August when prices tend to drop in preparation for the new school year.

John McAfee: That's One Way to Code all Night!
The stereotype of the code jock is pizza and Jolt Cola. The founder of McAfee was allegedly working on a more potent weapon -- something that no number of cans of Mountain Dew could stand up to -- meth. At least that's what they say in Belize. After making a mint from McAfee Inc., John McAfee somehow found himself nude in Belize in bed with a 17-year-old woman (or would you call her a girl, she's clearly on the cusp). Sounds good so far. But they weren't alone for long. McAfee has an unlicensed gun, so the cops busted in, busted him and knocked off his dog. Like any self-respecting ex-exec, McAfee ran away. Here's where it get's complicated: The Belize Police claim McAfee was running a meth lab. Now he did, it appears, have lots of lab equipment since he started an antibiotic company in that country. And he claims he had a veritable cache of legal guns. So why would he then have one that was illegal? The whole thing is in some crazy limbo, with McAfee back in the open and speaking on the record." That, my friend, is some weird wild stuff.

Guys! I Have the Next Big Thing: A Social Network for Hermit Crabs
These amazing creatures live on the tiny island of Carrie Boy Caw off the coast of southern Belize. We (I just hired an intern a few seconds ago via Twitter) believe we can help these creatures strengthen their communities, so that they can find more and better hermitages throughout their lives, which largely consist of eating eating overripe fruit, animal remains, and feces while stealing abandoned shells and looking creepy. We were drawn to this lucrative demographic by an article in Scientific American we read today while coming up with our business model that described the difficult situation that hermit crabs find themselves in. In previous years, most hermit crabs on the island "were living in shells that were a tight fit or had one too many holes." Naturally, these aspirational consumers were always on the lookout for "more spacious dwelling[s]."

On a Tiny Caribbean Island, Hermit Crabs Form Sophisticated Social Networks
Carrie Bow Cay is a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea, about 14 miles off the coast of Southern Belize. The island is so small—0.77 acres—that you can walk its entire perimeter in under 10 minutes. Scientists regularly visit Carrie Bow Cay to study coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows, as well as the animals that live in these unique ecosystems. When Sara Lewis and Randi Rotjan of Tufts University travel to Carrie Bow Cay, they spend most of their time underwater, examining corals. But they also wanted to make the most of their time on land, inbetween dives. So the biologists decided to study the behavior of Caribbean hermit crabs (Coenobita clypeatus), around 1,000 of which live on Carrie Bow Cay's sandy shores. Like all hermit crabs, Caribbean hermit crabs—which are the most popular pet variety in the United States—depend on other creatures' shells for protection. Strip a hermit crab of its shell and you will see its soft, pink abdomen curled behind its head like a fern's frond. Most hermit crabs favor snail shells, although some use the shells of bivalves, like clams and scallops, and others have made do with driftwood, stones and pieces of glass or plastic bottles. In 2009, Lewis and Rotjan surveyed the entire hermit crab population on Carrie Bow Cay. Many crabs were living in shells that were a tight fit or had one too many holes. As they grow, hermit crabs must move into larger shells, so they are always on the lookout for a more spacious dwelling. And an undamaged shell is preferable to a broken one, even if the shells are the same size. Knowing this, the researchers decided to dramatically change the available hermit crab real estate on Carrie Bow Cay. They placed 20 beautifully intact shells that were a little too big for most hermit crabs at various spots around the island and watched what happened.



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