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#440725 - 06/16/12 08:47 AM Today's Belize News: June 16, 2012
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Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, June 15 until Monday, June 18, 2012

Here is the Weekend Outlook. It will be wet once again...

Residents in low-lying and hilly areas should exercise caution this weekend. Remain vigilant!

Low pressure system forming just offshore the coast of Belize this weekend! The models do not develop it into a tropical cyclone. Rather, the low remains diffused and weakens by Tuesday, as it drifts northeastward.

The feature of interest over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend through Tuesday of next week will be a deepening and lingering low pressure system over and just offshore the coast of Belize. The model does not develop the low into a tropical cyclone, but rather weakens the system by late Monday, and move it NE into the western Caribbean. This low will infuse more moisture into the area and will favour widespread outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most areas, some heavy at times. The GFS model is concentrating a lot of the rainfall over central and northern coastal areas. So, Belize City and northern communities will get the greater part of the downpour once again. Also, the rainfall will likely get accentuated in the elevated terrain, and elevated areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and the NE and East slopes of the Maya Mountain divide will receive substantial rainfall. The soil is already at field capacity in most watersheds of the Toledo, Stann Creek, Cayo and Belize Districts; so the runoff will be quick and communities in low lying and hilly areas can expect flash flood conditions.

Daily rainfall totals over central and northern coastal areas will range from 1.00- 1.50 inch over most districts this weekend. Higher, daily rainfall amounts of 1.50-2.00 inches are possible in the higher elevations of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts associated with localized, heavier showers and thunderstorms.

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected in the Tropical Atlantic Basin during the next 48 hours.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Oceana pleased that Belize is Nominated for International Award
The world has taken notice of the historic decision of the Government of Belize to work with Oceana and bring about a complete ban in all forms of trawling in all Belizean waters, including our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Belize is the first and only country in the entire world that, at present, has made this unprecedented move placing it in a class of its own in the region and globe and this has earned it a place as a nominee for the Future Policy Award. The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. It is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In 2012, the award is dedicated to exemplary coastal and ocean policies. This year 31 outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions are in the running for the best policy worldwide to protect oceans and coasts.

Nationality and Immigration Department celebrates 26th Anniversary
The Belize Nationality and Immigration Department is celebrating its 26th anniversary on Wednesday June 13th. As part of the celebration countrywide, the government department hosted activities that were opened to the public. The Nationality and Immigration Department was established on June 9th, 1986 under the first Minister of Nationality and Immigration Hon. Dean Barrow. The office in San Pedro, located on Coconut Drive upstairs of the Scotia Bank, displayed posters which outlined the requirements for obtaining passport, visas and procedure for becoming a citizen of Belize.

SPHS Prom 2012; “A Peacock Masquerade Ball”
Hundreds of onlookers gathered to witness what is possibly the most glamorous night on La Isla Bonita. San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) senior students held their prom on the night of Thursday June 14th. Held under the theme “A Peacock Masquerade Ball”, blue and green carpets were rolled out for the students at the Banana Beach Resort. The entrance was decorated with the peacock theme in mind, and students were able to take their photos there before heading inside to enjoy themselves. Prom King and Queen, Monica Muñoz and Charles Richards During the course of the night Prom Awards were distributed for Best Couple, Best Dressed Male, Best Dressed Female, Best Entrance, Prom Queen and Prom King. Prom Queen: Monica Munoz Prom King: Charles Richards Best Entrance: Rachel Lisby Best Dressed Male: Glenn Gillett Best Dressed Female: Yadira Torres Best Couple: Marelie Cisneros and Konrad Gonzalez

Lobster Season Opened!
The Belize Lobster Season 2012 has officially opened and already fishermen are bringing in their catch of the day. Fishermen at both the beach side of the island and at El Embarcadero (docking station) are excited since the first day yielded an excellent catch. Since 4AM this morning, fishermen went out to sea, some to check their traps and sheds, while others simply decided to search the reef for the delicious crustacean. At the beach side, the Big Daddy’s boat came in shortly before 11AM with over 120 pounds of lobster tail, all ordered out by various businesses who will no doubt offer lobster on the menu starting today. “It was a good day for us,” said one of the five fishermen on board Big Daddy’s boat who proudly stood next to their catch.

Galen U and UNC Wilmington team up for Public Archaeology Education Program
Schools on the island were visited by a team of Archaeologists and students for a series of presentations and talks as a part of a partnership between Galen University in Belize and the University of North Carolina, (UNCW) Wilmington in the USA. The partnership is a public education program geared towards young minds to enlighten and introduce them to the field of Archaeology and Anthropology and encourage them to consider those studies for their future as well as to educate them about the importance of studying our history and preserving archaeological sites for future generations. Dr. Scott Simmons of UNCW along with archaeology students Victor Cucul and Ismael Teul of Galen University served as “Ambassadors of the Past”, visiting the various schools on Ambergris Caye and talking about the history and culture of past civilizations, specifically the Maya, who were the original inhabitants of this entire region and whose impact and civilizations are still evident today. Victor and Ismael, who are both ethnic Maya themselves, provided a unique perspective into the life of Maya people and culture that once existed here in Belize and used the Marco Gonzalez site on Ambergris Caye as a present example of the Maya influence not only on the mainland but also right here on the island. They talked of the many different languages that were spoken by the Maya, 31 in fact, and about the different ethnic sub-groups that existed within Maya people. Students were fascinated to know that although both students were in fact Maya people, they too were of a different group from each other.

Guest Editorial: We need tougher laws… But not for me
An article by Brent Toombs – Concerned Citizen. In memory of Jasmine Lowe. Another young girl is dead. The country is momentarily galvanized by outrage and grief. Another vigil will be held. People are calling for protest marches. “Enough is enough!” we cry. And ultimately what will change in Belize? Absolutely nothing. I hope to God I am wrong. I really hope I am underestimating the people of my nation. I hope that one day soon we will look back at the tragic events of this week and remember Jasmine Lowe as not just another unsolved mystery, but as an angel sent to bring real change to our beleaguered country. That her death was the tipping point when society finally moved to take real concrete action and accept the burden required for change. That in the wake of this young girl’s murder, Belizeans finally decided they would become part of the process required to return our country the “tranquil haven” we love to sing about. Unfortunately, recent history has shown that once the emotions subside we will not only return to our apathetic ways, but we will actively resist any attempt to improve the situation.

Belize Voted Among World’s Best Destinations By Travel And Leisure Readers
The results are in and according to the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, Belize ranks among the world’s best destinations in 2012. Just released to the Belize Tourism Board by the editors of the Travel and Leisure magazine, this August, Belize will be featured in three places; Travel and Leisure magazine, the official website TravelandLeisure.com, and in the I-pad edition of the publication. “It is always an honour to see and know that our beautiful Belize continues to be recognized world-wide for all it has to offer,” said Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Travel and Leisure is one of the world’s most recognized magazines. Published 12 times a year, the publication has just shy of five million readers. As for the World’s Best Awards, every August since 1995, these awards have been determined by an annual reader survey which asks travellers and travel providers to rate destinations, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, river cruises, and car-rental companies.

Ambergris Today

It's Lobster Time! - Season Officially Opened
Fishermen arrived close to midday with a hefty load of lobster which were of very good size. Lobster season in Belize runs from June 15th to midnight on the 14th of February, 2013. Tourists and locals will now be able to enjoy a variety of delicious lobster dishes cooked in all restaurants or at home instead of only the select few restaurants which are provided with licenses to serve lobster throughout the year.

Belize Voted Among World’s Best Destinations By Travel And Leisure Readers
The results are in and according to the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, Belize ranks among the world’s best destinations in 2012. Just released to the Belize Tourism Board by the editors of the Travel and Leisure magazine, this August, Belize will be featured in three places; Travel and Leisure magazine, the official website TravelandLeisure.com, and in the I-pad edition of the publication. “It is always an honor to see and know that our beautiful Belize continues to be recognized world-wide for all it has to offer,” said Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Travel and Leisure is one of the world’s most recognized magazines. Published 12 times a year, the publication has just shy of five million readers. As for the World's Best Awards, every August since 1995, these awards have been determined by an annual reader survey which asks travelers and travel providers to rate destinations, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, river cruises, and car-rental companies.

Lobsters Beware!
This year I got the opportunity to experience lobster fishing first hand. I woke up at 6a.m. (way too early) and met up with my two colleges; Perlita and Delsie at Mario Graniel’s dock (Delsie’s Cool Daddy). I hopped on the boat and headed to the south of the island, where we reached the first lobster shade. I will be honest, I had no idea what I was doing out there and I confess it was my first time lobster fishing (the shame). When I was growing up I remember going to my dad’s dock and I would wait for him and my uncles to come in with massive amounts of lobsters, then they would quickly clean them and go sell them. I would never ask my dad to take me with him to get the full experience, so when I heard that lobster season was coming I was up for the challenge. Mr. Mario Graniel taught me the skillful technique in capturing the lobster and collecting them. As I snorkeled to the bottom to take a peep under the shade, I was amazed at how many lobsters were just peacefully waiting for me to test my skills on. At first it was a bit tough to hook the lobsters, but as soon as I got the hang of it, it was beware of the lobster killer. Rawr!

Misc Belizean Sources

Marco Gonzalez Maya Archaeology Exhibition
Attention Community and Businesses The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC) in partnership with the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project will be hosting the opening of the Marco Gonzalez Maya Archaeology Exhibition. The opening night event will take place on Wednesday June 20th upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard starting at 6PM. The event is part of a three days exhibition planned by the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project. The exhibition will take place from June 20th to June 23rd upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard and will be open to the entire public from 10AM to 6PM. Entrance to the exhibition is free. Through this medium, the SPCC is humbly requesting monetary sponsorship to offset expenses for the opening night. Donation can be made to the San Pedro Cultural Committee. For further information please contact Jan Brown at 662-2725 (Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project) or Jorge Aldana 634-1171 (Vice-Chairman of SPCC). Thank you in advance for your support. Yours sincerely, The San Pedro Cultural Committee

for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer of Jasmine Lowe. Call: 911 or 0-800-922-tips Cash Reward is up to $10,000 or more depending on the quality of information.

Belize Red Cross Telethon Today
You can pledge for the Belize Red Cross tomorrow by calling 653-6811. "The Belize Red Cross Telethon is this Saturday, June 16th 2012 at James Brodie & Co Ltd, Northern Hwy, Belize City from 9:00AM until 4:00pm! Only 653-6811 is currently active to take pledges. All other numbers will be active on telethon day! Pledges can also be taken at Telethon site! Huge thanks to our sponsors Brodies, Smart Belize, DigiCell for their generous donations!"

Rotary's Breakfast with the Graduated Scholars
Rotary had a breakfast for their scholars that recently graduated. Congratulations to all of them for finishing high school with good grades. "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio sponsors 24 high school students. 6 have graduated this summer and finished school with good results. This morning the successful graduates were guests at the club´s weekly morning meeting. After four years of hard work they received many congratulations from our club members and were presented with individual plaques to commemorate their graduation. Dr. Dionne Miranda from BTL gave a motivating speech to the graduates reminding everybody that positive thinking and a vision is key in life."

Channel 7

Killing In A Small Village
The wave of killings continued yesterday evening - but this time it happened outside of the major population centers, in a small village just outside of Orange Walk. Yo Creek was the scene of a vicious machete stabbing - which, as we found out today, may have been provoked by too many drinks of extra strong rum between friends. Here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 27 year Javier Ack was stabbed in his heart with a machete here under this lime tree - their regular hangout. He had been drinking and socializing with five other friends for much of the day. They were drinking extra strong rum, known as red top - and today the evidence of their libation was still at the scene. Alejandra Cocom "I saw Amir and Javier were arguing about money." Robin Schaffer "Were they drinking?" Alejandra Cocom "Yes since the morning." But at 5:30 pm the good time ended when Ack and a friend Amir started to argue over money. But Ack was stabbed by another man who entered the fray: Alejandra Cocom "The one who did this, he was not here when I saw Amir and Javier fighting. I think he was at home." Javier Ack lay dying on the ground - blood gushing from a wound to his chest:

Runaway Girl Returns Home
Last night we told you about Claudia Zetina, the 15 year old Cayo resident whose mother reported that she had run away. Well, tonight, the good news is that she was found safe and sound in Teakettle this afternoon - and has been returned to her mother.

Daylight Shooting In City, Scares Many, Injures None
For the past three weeks, there have been explosions of violence in Belize City every weekend - resulting in multiple shootings and deaths. And today, may have witnessed previews of another turbulent weekend when shots rang out around 11:00 am in a congested area. A man was standing at a bus stop on Mahogany Street in front of St. Luke's Church when a lone gunman jumped the fence for the church and approached him. He put a gun to the man's head, and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun snapped. The would be victim then slapped the gun out of his assailant's hand and ran. The gunman picked up his weapon and and fired two shots shots, but his target received no injury.

Six For A Sawed Off
21 year-old Delon Hinds, 22 year-old Oscar Gonzalez, 19 year-old Rasheem Garnett, along with two 16 year-old minors, and a 13 year-old minor are on remand tonight after they were busted with a sawed-off shotgun yesterday. According to police, they conducted a search at a residence located at #24 Ordonez Steet, and they found 16-gauge sawed-off shot gun which was loaded with 1 cartridge. All six males were present at the time of the search, and as a result, they were charged with keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping prohibited ammunition. They all pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today. Due to the nature of the offense, bail couldn't be granted. The 3 adults were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, while the 3 minors were remanded to the Wagners Youth Facility. They will be brought back to court on August 13.

Fire At Abandoned Home In City Scares Neighborhood
There was a fire in Belize City around 8:30 last night. It happened at number 49 Taylors Alley where an abandoned 2 story wooden structure was engulfed in flames. Being in an alley, where homes are clustered together it posed a major hazard. At least 4 wooden structures were adjacent to the site of the blaze. In the end though it was brought under control and only the house was completely destroyed. We found out more form the Fire Department today:.. Ben Matura, Operations Officer, BNFS "Last night we got a call approximately at 8:30. It was for number 9 Taylors' Alley. We arrived there within two to three minutes, when we arrive there was a wooden two structure completely engulf in flames. We got into operation and extinguish it. After that we found out that it was an abandoned building. It was abandoned for like 25 years. It was just sitting there and had vegetation grown all over it and it was just abandoned." "It was abandoned and from sources and neighbors we gathered that it was frequent by drugs users. The neighbors also said that there was someone that night with candle, so we believe that they left a candle on when the building caught fire."

Final Election Petition Snuffed Out
By now, you the viewers, may have had enough of those election petitions which were filed earlier this year in the Supreme Court. However, the last of the 4 was heard today, and just like the rest it, it went right out the way it came in. The PUP's Albert Standard Bearer, alleged that Herman Longsworth, the current Albert Area Representative was disqualified when he ran for the office. According to Craig, L&V Construction Management Limited, of which Longsworth is the Managing Director, was still under contract by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to build a perimeter fence for the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. When this petition was called up today, things took an anti-climactic turn because Craig's attorney, Said Musa, made an application to withdraw the petition, instead of presenting their arguments against Longsworth. Justice Michelle Arana accepted the application, and the petition was dismissed. It was a very abrupt end to the matter, so we asked Longsworth's attorney, Michael Young, to explain. Here's what he told us: Michael Young "David Craig the petitioner applied for leave to withdraw the petition against Herman Longsworth and the judge of course granted leave and awarded cost in the amount of $7,500. They mentioned in relation to this application to withdraw that the reason why they had not proceed with the petition is because it is only after we set our case completely that they knew that the contract had been completed but that is clearly not the case because at the leave stage there was this certificate which was signed by the representatives of the consultant that the contract had been completed and furthermore when you make an application to challenge the returning of and elected representative - you are supposed to have sufficient facts as a basis upon which you can make that application and they simply did not have it."

Acquitted Of Attempted Murder
Lance Welch and Jermaine Matura were acquitted of 2 counts of Attempted Murder today in the Court room of Justice Herbert Lord. It was alleged that IN April of 2009, at about 8:15 p.m., Glen Burgess and Keon Francis were on Kraal Road, when Matura and Welch ambushed both men. They each reportedly pulled out firearms and fired several shots at both men, but they missed. 3 days later, Burgess made a report against them. But yesterday in court Burgess took the stand and recanted the entire statement with all the facts that he had given to the police. Burgess forgot that he gave a written, signed statement, and he even went as far as to say that he never gave one period. Crown Counsel Francis was forced to treat Burgess as a hostile witness, but in the end, she could not get any usable evidence against the accused men.

Car Dealers Getting Bad Deal?
This morning we went to Orange Walk to follow up on a dispute between the Town Council and a loose affiliation of car dealers. The car dealers use a prime parking area to display their vehicles - have been doing so for decades. But the new Mayor says he's fixing up the park area - and now he says they have to pay. We got both sides of the story today. Jules Vasquez has the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Car Dealers in Orange Walk's Town Center were in an uproar today - they have been for weeks because they say the town councils are trying to tax them out of a livelihood. The issue is this parking area here at the center of Orange Walk Town near the park. Car dealers have been using it for decades - and they have been doing so for free. Isidro Leal - OW Car Dealers "All of us are here for over 20 plus years - selling vehicle form the park. Nobody can throw us from here. This is our living. This is what we feed our children from." Jules Vasquez "Have you all ever paid to park out here?" Isidro Leal - OW Car Dealers "Never yet." Now, the recently elected town council wants them to pay thirty dollars a month.

Full Speed Ahead On South Street
A couple weeks ago we told you about the Belize City mayor's ambitious plans to fix Belize City's streets with concrete. Well, one of those streets is finished. South Street in downtown Belize City was completed on time and opened two days ago. Calle Al Mar, however, was to be completed today, but due to torrential rains, work has been pushed back until tomorrow, and it should be open for public use by next week Tuesday. The next streets on the roster for the concrete treatment are possibly Belize Bank Street, Ferrell's Lane, and Puma Street - which is the one between Coney Drive and the Northern Highway.

And Health For All...
This morning a health fair was held at the Matron Roberts Polyclinic to promote wellness in Belize. Representatives from The Belize Red Cross, BFLA, KHMH and other health centers in Belize were offering free testing and information at the fair. The turnout wasn't spectacular due to heavy rains, but that did not dampen the Regional Health manager's spirits as she told us more about the importance of the clinic in Belize City. Melinda Guerra, Regional Health Manager "Today we are trying to promote wellness. Wellness is a key area for the Ministry of Health and there are quite a number of illnesses throughout the country such as diabetes, hypertension and mal-nutrition. In average we have about 2,500 persons who are registered with the National Health Insurance program that we have and some are come to the clinics as free services."

Lucky With Watercolor
Today the House of Culture opened an art exhibit - at which, children were taught how to paint using watercolor by a master. Lucky Chiang has been painting for over 30 years, and over time his artwork has evolved from traditional Chinese paintings to a mixture of styles - all which revolve around his fascination with nature. Activities coordinator, Tanya Savery told us more about what is being portrayed and how the children became involved. Tanya Savery, Activities Coordinator - NICH "What we have happening here today is the opening of the lucky charm water color exhibit and we have about 39 pieces that are on display and also for sale." "I thought it would be imperative to invite some of the school children to come as well to see a different form of art - water color is very different from oil acrylic paintings. It's a lot easier and quicker to do. He is showing some of the students what he will be displaying during his summer classes that he will have here at the Government House as well." "I am just hoping that it just open your minds a little bit more so you can see thing

Casting Call At Courts
Judging by today's rains, it may not look like it, but summer is upon us, and with the long holidays come many events to keep students occupied. The Courts Summer Slam Competition is one such event that is sure to capture the attention of youths as rappers, dancers and singers compete for a $1000 cash prize. The competition will begin next month, but the coordinator is already looking for possible contestants and is holding auditions tomorrow at 10:00 at the Bliss. Joseph Stamp stopped by our studios to tell us more. Joseph Stamp, Coordinator - Courts Summer Slam Competitions "It's a competition that puts singing, dancing and raping against each other and so they get to compete for 4 weeks. We try to find out who is the most talented and the most creative. We try to get the schools involve. A lot of the prizes are geared towards helping the students."

Fathers Favored At Concert
Father's day is right around the corner, and if you want to show dad a little love, you can take him to the 4th annual Father's Day Song Competition and Concert. It has become something of a tradition, and will feature 10 Belizean artists competing for a $1000 cash prize. President of The Association for Belizean Artists First, Tony Wright, stopped by our studios to tell us about the competition and what the public can expect. Tony Wright "It's a show about dad where 10 artists will be performing original songs just for dads. we from the association for Belizean artists first - we came up with this idea that we need to show dad some love and so we ask artist to write songs about dad, something nice and we had about 15 entries and a panel of judge sat down and decided which was the best 10 from out of that 15. That's how we got to select the 10 finalist that will be performing." "We have a selection of very good songs and a lot of the artists; Kenny Gladden, Radiance Thompson and all the other artists up there are really great Belizean artists." "People need to come out on Sunday evening and have a evening of fun and entertainment and support Belizean artists at the same time."

Channel 5

Killed while drinking with friends in Orange Walk
There were two murders in Orange Walk last week and this week will end with two more bodies. In the wake of the shooting death of forty-four year old store owner, Sunil Punjabi at his establishment, Lucky Store on Tuesday night, the life of another Orange Walkeno was inexplicably extinguished. Twenty-seven year old Yo Creek [...]

Postmortem results on 2 murder victims released
While a postmortem examination is pending for the body of Javier Ack, police have issued the findings on the two murders of Keith Lewis and Sunil Punjabi on Monday and Tuesday night respectively. The first was with respect to the murder of twenty-four year old Lewis in Belize City. Lewis was reportedly pursued by at [...]

PIV member escapes 4 gunshots
Shortly before eleven this morning shots were fired on Mahogany Street but luckily no one was injured. According to eye witnesses, a small group of men were sitting under the bus stop when a man believed to be from the PIV gang got off his bike and fired about three to four shots at his [...]

Protest against violence in Cayo
The recent murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe has struck a chord with Cayo residents, who are now standing up against the general increase in criminal activity in the area. Today, a peaceful demonstration was held that started at Columbus Park in San Ignacio and headed over the bridge to Santa Elena. The supporters [...]

Cayo’s top cop says crime is down
Even though, the residents say that violence in Cayo has escalated to the point where some don’t even report crimes because they have lost faith in the police, the Officer Commanding the San Ignacio Police, says statistic show that crime is down.   Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, O.C., San Ignacio Police “The numbers will reflect [...]

Reward for capture of Jasmine Lowe’s killer
A ten thousand dollar reward is being offered for information that can lead to a conviction for the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Several taxi drivers have been detained and released during the investigations, including Glen Velasquez, who told us today that his vehicle looks nothing like the one in the surveillance video. [...]

Fire in Taylor’s Alley
On Thursday night an old building in the Taylor’s Alley was burned down. Firefighters were quick on the scene to put out the blaze which was in the middle of other residences.   Benisford Matura, Operations Officer, Belize Fire Service “The department got a call about eight-thirty last night for number forty-nine Taylor’s Alley. We [...]

Amateur Athletic Association dissolved
Earlier this year, the Belize Amateur Athletic Association came under fire by its own members. A discord with the president and members resulted in election that was not sanctioned by the international governing body. So after a mutiny in October 2011, it appeared that the BAAA was operating with two heads. It caused chaos when [...]

Another witness contracts amnesia
In January of this year Earl Claire was sent to jail for three years and fined ten thousand dollars on a drug trafficking charge of twenty-three thousand grams of Marijuana. But Claire appealed that sentence and he was ordered a retrial today. During the appeal hearing, Attorney Dickie Bradley submitted that during the trial the [...]

Given another chance at trial for marijuana conviction
Lance Welch and Jermaine Matura were today acquitted of the 2009 Kraal Road attempted murders of Glenford Burgess and Keon Francis. The two men were acquitted of the attempt murder after the two victims refused to testify against the alleged gunmen. The charge was in connection with the shooting of Burgess and Francis who were [...]

Cayo Family center of Jerry Springer type controversy and abuse
Our newsroom received a desperate call on Thursday evening from a Santa Elena woman, who was afraid to go home because her common-law-husband was threatening to kill her. Maria Vasquez says she reported her abusive spouse, Manuel Aldana, to police and then spent hours on the roadside with her six children waiting for him to [...]

Prime Minister rolls out new appointments
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held his first full press conference in months earlier this week. On Wednesday the PM did some house cleaning and announced the appointment of new members of his administration.   Dean Barrow “Since a continued and comprehensive information flow to the media and the public is so essential, I have appointed [...]

Who pays for those pimped out ministerial rides?
Barrow also faced a question that has faced every administration since Independence in 1981. How is it that even during austere times when ministries are expected to tighten the proverbial financial belts, ministers can still be seen driving the most expensive sport utility vehicles that the world has to offer?   Dean Barrow “Let me [...]

Years of manatee research in Belize and Cuba
While the streets and highways are populated with SUV’s and pose a minimal risk for pedestrians, our coastal waters also hold dangers for one large mammal. Manatees face a distinct threat from mariners whose boats either injure or kill them in the areas that they live. That is why the Sea to Shore Alliance’s conservation [...]

Waiting for your call at the Belize Red Cross telethon
The Belize Red Cross always comes to the rescue in times of disaster and is now branching out its program to include additional services to youth and vulnerable residents. But in order to keep assisting those in need, the Red Cross needs your help. This Saturday, the organization is holding its annual telethon to fund [...]

Matron Robert’s Health Fair and Free Testing
Another organization that is doing its fair share of work is the Matron Robert’s Polyclinic Two. The healthcare facility is located in Belize City and over the years it has offered quality medical care for the public. News Five’s Andrea Polanco visited the Matron Robert’s Polyclinic and joined members of the public for a free [...]


An art exhibition by Taiwanese-Belizean painter Lucky Chiang is being mounted at the Belize City House of Culture. Thirty nine water color paintings will be on display for the next few weeks. Today, Chiang spent time demonstrating how to make water color paintings to students of various primary school from around Belize City. Tanya Savery is the activities coordinator at the Belize City House f Culture. TANYA SAVERY, Coordinator “What we have on display right now would be about 39 pieces from local artist by the name of Lucky Chiang. They are on display as part of an exhibit, he did a couple pieces a little while ago and recently did some more and approach us with the Embassy of China here in Belize and what we wanted to do is just show case a local artist that have a different approach in expressing himself. Luck Chiang n particular uses water colour which is a very unique and different way to paint. Instead of taking many hours like oil or acrylic painting, it just takes a few minutes. What I did for today for this morning was invite a couple schools, a couple classes from some schools to come and take part and as you can see he is explaining to the children how to do the painting which is also what he is going to be doing over the summer classes. What I ask the children to do personally was to take a look at the pieces and to interpret it for themselves that art is in the eye of the beholder. Just because it is labeled and called one name that doesn’t mean that that’s all that they see and so far the children have been very receptive and responsive and we’ve gotten some interesting ideas from them.”


2012 Top PSE Students For The Corozal District
A total of 6,983 candidates sat the Primary School Examinations this year. The PSE assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills in the four subject areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. This year the overall performance was at a C level. But while that increased, the average grades did not paint a pretty picture; in fact they were pretty bad. But there are those who excelled in the examination and tonight we applaud the students from Corozal who made it on the top ten lists for the District. Coming in at 1st place at a district level and 22nd at the national level is Corozal Methodist School’s Carl Galvez who scored a total of 377 points in this year’s PSE. For this bright mind his astounding achievement comes from his hard work and hours of preparation for each subject area. Carl Galvez, Student, Corozal Methodist School “It took me countless days and nights of studying but it paid off. I studied a lot for English because it gives me some trouble but it is challenging but not hard. My parents and my teacher are the ones who pushed me constantly towards the goal that I wanted. I was surprised when I heard the results because I was expecting to do well but not first in the district.” Today we also caught up with Marcos Cowo who placed 2nd in the Corozal District with a score of 372 points. We spoke to him while he was celebrating his achievement at a football match.

Contractor Hired For Upgrading Of Two Streets In Orange Walk
Last week Mayor Kevin Bernard announced that four streets here in Orange Walk Town will be upgraded with funding from the Belize Social Investment Fund through the Belize Municipal Development Project. The goods news tonight is that a contractor has been hired to carry out the necessary work on two of the streets. With a bid of just a little over $200,000 M&R Construction Company was hired for the job. Kevin Bernard, Mayor O/W “M&R Constructions from Buttonwood Bay actually got the bid and that’s was one of the lowest bid which was like $208,000 estimate. These are the contractors that will start in the Aviles Lane and the portion of Tangerine Street. Then there are further bids that are going to continue for the remaining for the other two which is the Santa Familia Street and San Ignacio Street. So yes I think it is good news for us. Work will commence by the end of June. We are doing our part when it comes to our financial obligation to SIF and the World Bank. We expect that the contractor looks into hiring local individuals to do the manual labourers who needs job and especially in the Orange Walk East area. So I welcome the news and I think it is something good for Orange Walk. In terms of our commitment, the initial stage was $800,000 which where the council had to put an additional $824,000. But with the change to include the other streets the bid when up with $1.2 million to the project cost. So we had to inject a further amount of money. Last month we paid $2,700 and just last week we paid the other $1,100. In the middle of July and the final pay is in August. The council has made some significant contributions and that’s why we have a say in term of who should be hired.”

Panta Locke Receives Bail
On Monday July 4th 48 year old James “Panta” Locke was charged for the crime of robbery at the Corozal Magistrates Court after he was accused of walking into the Princess Hotel and Casino located at the Northern Border and robbing the cashier of $5,000. Since Locke was unable to provide officers with his correct address he was declined bail and remanded to prison until his next court date scheduled for July 11th. But Locke got lucky because yesterday his sister visited the Corozal Police Station and provided officers with his address. As a result Locke reappeared before the magistrate’s court where he was granted bail to the sum of $4,000 plus surety which he met. His next court date is scheduled for July 4th. When we first reported on the incident we were told that the money had been recovered by Corozal Police; however we have been made to understand that none of monies stolen has been recovered.

OWTC Hosts Third Mayors Association Meeting
Today the Orange Walk Town Council hosted the third Mayor’s Association Meeting held since the March 7th municipal elections. The meeting was held at Smokey Mermaid where a number of issues were discussed. President of the Mayors Association and Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez, headed the meeting this morning and shared why the meeting is important for the municipal bodies. Simeon Lopez, President, Mayor’s Association “The purpose is for the mayors from all the other municipalities to meet on monthly bases to discuss best practices that affect our municipalities and get around those issues and give advice to one another. Also, to make sure, since 50% of our population are in the municipalities then our association represents a large section of the population of this country. So the main idea is to meet and present our concerns to the ministry of local government.” Other than the upcoming September Celebrations and the beneficial position that Belize has within the Caribbean and Central American Region, the Mayors also discussed the slow progress of the Belize Municipal Development Project.

Prime Minister Says Economy is Doing Remarkably Well
Yesterday the Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow gave Belizeans the bad news that they should expect austerity measures in the 2011/2012 budget. Government will experience a thirty million dollar fall off in tax revenue as a result of the drop in global oil prices and the declining oil production of Belize Natural Energy Limited. But despite the fact that cuts in expenditure are forthcoming and obligatory the Prime Minister boasted that Belize’s economy is doing quote unquote remarkably. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “In terms of the main stays of the economy the position can be stated quite short all things considered we are doing remarkably well, tourism continues have a great rebound and the Minister informs me that he expects as much as a ten percent growth increase this year over last year. There is also wonderful news on sugar, last week the crop ended with the most impressive numbers in recent memory. There is 15 percent earnings Increase over last crop and the bonus to the cane farmers themselves will be in the region of $30 million. Bananas are also doing very much better than could have been imagined with improved yields and a new increased pricing arrangement with the marketers. It is the same sort of story with Citrus and at least in one instance we have seen the glimmer of what we hope will be a new cooperation between the Citrus Growers Association and CBBL. In Aquaculture the Bowen Shrimp Farm is back on track with a new investment partner. I should also mention that a letter of intent has been signed by the Sovereign Investment Fund of CATAR to buy Caye Chapel and turn it into a four seasons branded resort.”

Bond Holders Not Too Happy With Restructuring Of Superbond
A few weeks ago Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Belize’s credit rating sending it deeper into junk territory as it went from C-A-A-1 to C-A. It is the second time this year that Moody’s has cut Belize’s debt rating, citing a probable restriction of government’s $547 million bond and “weak economic growth”. When the downgrade was announced Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow was in Miami with his ailing wife. Upon his arrival in Belize last week Barrow was interviewed by the media and questioned about the downgrade and the superbond. During the interview Barrow mentioned that government could amend certain terms of the bond. Following that announcement Belize’s bondholders formed a creditors committee out of concern that the country could become the next sovereign to default on its debts, according to the Financial Times. The ad hoc committee represents holders of more than $200 million of the $547 million bond due in 2029. In the release creditors indicate that while they are sympathetic to the challenges facing Belize, any proposed amendment that results in a net present value or principal loss to creditors would not, based on the committee’s current understanding of the situation in Belize, be considered acceptable or, for that matter, necessary. How the recently formed committee will impact the present negotiations of the superbond is left to be seen. But the news forthcoming doesn’t seem to be all that good.

Government Will Need To Work Under Austerity Budget
Tomorrow will mark 100 days since the Dean Barrow Administration was re-elected into office by the Belizean populace. Yesterday the Peoples United Party held a press conference where they chastised the present government of the day for having failed to come up with a comprehensive plan to move the country forward 97 days after winning the General Elections. Amidst a number of lingering questions including when will the budget be read, what it will hold and what plans the government will put in place to abate the spiraling crime rate, today the Dean Barrow Administration held their first press conference since winning the general elections. Accompanied by an entourage of high ranking officials, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed Belizeans that Cabinet will approve the draft estimate for the budget tomorrow. The budget will then be tabled at the House of Representatives on Friday June 29th. And while you might be saying at this time “finally the budget for fiscal year 2012/2013 will be read”, that’s just about the only good news that came out of the press conference today. According to Honorable Dean Barrow, GOB will not be able to meet their expenditures if more oil is not found. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “There is no doubt that this will be a difficult budget reason number one is what is happening with global oil prices there steep drop is good news for consumers at the pump but our countries export earnings are being hammered and Government will experience a $30 million fall off in tax revenue as a result of this the far lower oil prices and also as a result of the declining BNE production. Oil is of course a finer resource and we are already beginning to see production trailing off we need to find more oil We have also started discussions with Venezuela and with Puma now Puma is the local successor to Esso here in Belize and what we are trying to do is to begin sourcing all of Belize’s imported fuel from the Bolivarian Republic. If we can bring this to a successful conclusion we can then take advantage of the Petro Caribe arrangements to trigger the hugely concessionary financing that would accompany oil purchases from Venezuela.” As it pertains to the famous restructuring of the Superbond, Barrow says it will play an important role in Governments 2012/2013 financial plan.

June 15th Marks The Closing of the Logging Season
Tomorrow Friday June 15th, will mark the closing of the logging season here in Belize. According to a press release issued out today by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department loggers are informed that harvesting of tress beyond the 15th of June will not be permitted. The closure of logging activities coincides with the arrival of the rainy season which is not conducive to logging operations. Apart from an increased risk of loss of human life, logging during the rainy season often results in damage to forest soils and to public access roads. CTV3 News understands that that the Ministry will not consider any extension of forest permits and licenses after tomorrow. The logging season is set to re-open on October 15th 2012. Also tomorrow, Belize will be represented in the 6th meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) which will be held in The Bahamas along with 16 other member states. The one day meeting is aimed at charting the course ahead for the management of the region’s fisheries, which employs an estimated 182,000 people either directly or indirectly. At Friday’s meeting, the ministers of the region will review the activities of the CRFM over the past year; determine the policies, directions and programs for sustainable development, management and conservation of fisheries resources in the region; and provide guidance on the way forward to the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and CRFM Secretariat. Matters such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, developments in international law, and the establishment of an aquaculture working group will also be up for discussion. Ministers will also discuss proposals for the development of a regional strategy to tackle the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean, as well as disaster risk management and climate change. Another matter of huge importance that will be tabled is the CARICOM/Spain diagnostic study to determine poverty levels in 10 CARICOM fishing communities.

Ranchito Government School Gets New Cafeteria
The Humanitarian Experience for Youths (HEFY) is a Lather Day Saints oriented, non-profit organization for teens ages 16 to 19. The organization has a humanitarian service program that caters to poverty stricken areas around the world. Each year the organization conducts expeditions to different countries and offers their labor and resources free of cost. Since Monday June 11th HEFY has been hard at work at the Ranchito Government School in the Corozal District constructing a new school cafeteria. With the school currently catering to an enrollment of 221 students in the primary division and an additional 21 students in the pre-school level, the building of a new Cafeteria could not have come at a better time. Yacenia Tun, Principal, Ranchito Government School “It is a group from the United States called Humanitarian Experience for youth and they belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so these group of teenagers they sponsor everything they select a country and due that I am a member of that church they were able to get in touch with the president from our church and asked me if I need any assistance and I said yes. So they decided to come and see how they can help the school and since our cafeteria is not in good condition they decided to build our cafeteria and everything is funded by them and it is teenagers from 15to 17 years of age.”


Security Guard is a lotto winner
A forty-five year old Belize City security guard is the latest lotto jackpot winner. Pauline Conorquie today claimed the big prize of sixty two thousand five hundred dollars. The mother of three was prompt at the Tropical Gaming office this afternoon to pick up her winnings, and Conorquie told Love News that the numbers: 8-12-24-29 and 32 changed her life overnight. After the mandatory fifteen percent government income tax, Conorquie took home fifty three thousand one hundred and twenty five dollars. The lotto jackpot now reverts to fifty thousand dollars. And you can watch the winning numbers as they are drawn right here on Love Television at nine o’clock on Saturday night.

Government announces closure of logging season
Logging season ends tomorrow to make way for Belize’s damp rainy months. Logging season closes yearly as a way to manage logging licenses and to prevent damage to forest soils and roads. Chief Forestry Officer Wilber Sabido says that the off-season is an important way to prevent future road costs. The Forest Department says no extensions will be considered for permits and licenses after the close. However, anybody interested in logging next season is free to apply. Applications can be sent to the Forest Department in Belmopan. The deadline to apply is July 31ST and the new logging season starts back up in October.


Cab driver detained for Jasmine Lowe murder says his reputation is tarnished
As we told you earlier this week, the initial lead that police had been going on for the Jasmine Lowe investigation...

San Ignacio residents turn up the heat in the quest for justice
Resident of San Ignacio and Santa Elena along with the People's Coalition of Cayo continue with their public awaren...

Double home invasions, attempted abductions in the west
While officials in the Police department continue to say that Crime is down in the Santa Elena/ San Ignacio Area, y...

Free self-defense course for young girls in Cayo
Renée Wentz is a trainer in self-defence methods, particularly for women. For the past few years, Wentz has taught ...

Mayors' Association endorses the proposed 'Jasmine Taxi Laws'
The Belize Mayors’ Association met this week in Orange walk and one of the big topics of discussion focused on the ...

Harvest for Kids Belize gets off the ground
Farming and the Gospel – these two words perhaps are not customarily used in the same thought; however it is the mi...

Belize in major debt crisis?
The Financial Times (FT) is a news and information organization, recognized internationally for its integrity and a...

Man's close call as gun fails to go off
A Belize City man saw his life flash in front of him, twice. This morning sometime after 11am Emil Audinet was stan...

Cop charged with extortion
Belize Media is reporting a complaint of an extortion attempt by a Police Officer; 29 year-old Police Constable Nor...

Candlelight vigil in Dangriga for Jasmine Lowe
A rally and vigil was held last night in Dangriga Town. The Mayor of Dangriga joined efforts with Religious and Com...


Two brothers arraigned on rape charges
Victim says one watched while the other raped her... Today in Magistrate’s Court #1, brothers Austin, 29, and Jermaine Stevens, 23, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, for abetment to commit rape and rape.

Cop allegedly asked wife for $400 bribe to release husband
Police tight-lipped about one of their own being charged with extortion... This evening, Police Constable Norman Bol, 29, attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit, was able to leave the court on bail after being charged with extortion.

Crime and social breakdown have put Belize “in crisis” -- BNTU
Retiring Gen Sec, George Frazer, says Belizeans “must get disciplined… live within their means”... The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) today, through a press release, expressed a need for Government, the Opposition and our social partners to come together to address the extremely serious “escalating wave of violent crimes and social breakdowns plaguing our country,” saying that we are “in crisis,” and “on the brink.”

Indian businessman executed in his store
Sunnil Punjabi, 44, an Indian businessman of Guadeloupe Street, Orange Walk Town, was shot to death in his store yesterday, Wednesday, around 8:00 p.m.... Police said that a man entered the store and fired a single shot into Punjabi’s face, hitting him in his nose, and the gunman then walked out and rode away on a bicycle.

Keith Lewis, 24, shot to death in Lake I
Just over twenty-four hours after the tenth person was shot in the city in the Lake I area during a spate of senseless shootings that occurred over the weekend, during which ten people were shot and two died, another man was shot to death in the Lake I area of the city.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:05 AM)

#440726 - 06/16/12 08:48 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 16, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Two brothers arraigned on rape charges
Victim says one watched while the other raped her... Today in Magistrate’s Court #1, brothers Austin, 29, and Jermaine Stevens, 23, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, for abetment to commit rape and rape.

Cop allegedly asked wife for $400 bribe to release husband
Police tight-lipped about one of their own being charged with extortion... This evening, Police Constable Norman Bol, 29, attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit, was able to leave the court on bail after being charged with extortion.

Crime and social breakdown have put Belize “in crisis” -- BNTU
Retiring Gen Sec, George Frazer, says Belizeans “must get disciplined… live within their means”... The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) today, through a press release, expressed a need for Government, the Opposition and our social partners to come together to address the extremely serious “escalating wave of violent crimes and social breakdowns plaguing our country,” saying that we are “in crisis,” and “on the brink.”

Indian businessman executed in his store
Sunnil Punjabi, 44, an Indian businessman of Guadeloupe Street, Orange Walk Town, was shot to death in his store yesterday, Wednesday, around 8:00 p.m.... Police said that a man entered the store and fired a single shot into Punjabi’s face, hitting him in his nose, and the gunman then walked out and rode away on a bicycle.

Keith Lewis, 24, shot to death in Lake I
Just over twenty-four hours after the tenth person was shot in the city in the Lake I area during a spate of senseless shootings that occurred over the weekend, during which ten people were shot and two died, another man was shot to death in the Lake I area of the city.

Barrow’s “discipline” budget June 29
Belize “doing well” despite oil shortfall; “we need to find more oil,” but no new taxes... No cuts for national security and “pro-poor” programs; DFC write-off for homeowners, students, and Mahogany Heights... Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, yesterday, Wednesday, June 13, called his first official press conference in that capacity since being re-elected with a reduced majority in the House of Representatives on March 7, at the River Hall, Belize Biltmore Plaza.

Dangriga sports
The Dangriga Basketball Association (DBA) U-19 Tournament continued at the Why-Not Island on Saturday, June 9, with 2 games played. In game 1, Seine Bight clipped Hopkins, 47-33, behind Andrew Ortiz 17 pts 18 rebs and Ryan Michael 11 pts. For Hopkins, Raheem Augustine had 11 pts and Maximo Elijio 9 pts. In game 2, it was Foreshore Spartanz, 37-30, over New Site Vipers. Foreshore was led by Shai Peters 15 pts 11 rebs and Domingue Nicholas 7 pts; while for New Site, Mark Gamboa had 13 pts and Manricio Rosalez 12 pts.

Teófilo Stevenson: the amateur boxer who chose Cuba over a million dollars
Offered a fortune to fight Muhammad Ali, Stevenson said he’d rather keep the love of his people, which he did until the end... In the iconography of post-revolutionary Cuba, one athlete stands above many others alongside Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. When the greatest heavyweight in the history of amateur boxing, Teófilo Stevenson, died this week at the age of 60, he took with him a little of the past that probably will never be revisited.

Belize Rural Primary girls and Crooked Tree Gov’t boys are Belize District Primary Schools Softball Champions 2012
The Belize District Primary Schools Softball Finials were played today at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City with 4 male and 4 female teams participating. In the female (F) category were Holy Cross Anglican of San Pedro, Belize Rural Primary of Double Head Cabbage, and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene and Unity Presbyterian from Belize City; while the males (M) included Holy Cross Anglican of San Pedro, Crooked Tree Gov’t of Crooked Tree Village, and St. Martin De Porres and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene of Belize City. It was a straight knockout format. In game 1, (F) Buttonwood Bay Nazarene blanked Holy Cross Anglican, 7-0. Winning pitcher (WP) was D’Andra McFadzean; and losing pitcher (LP) was Carla Yenez. Game 2 saw (M) Crooked Tree Gov’t emerging 2-0 winners over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene. WP - Lawrence Banner; LP - Bryan Pavon. In game 3, it was (F) Belize Rural Primary with the 10-3 victory over Unity Presbyterian. WP - Erlean Casasola; LP - Ashanti Carr. Game 4 was another close male contest, as (M) Holy Cross Anglican edged St. Martin De Porres, 4-2. WP - Royan Mendez; LP - Derrick Menzies. It was then straight into the championship round, with the first round winners squaring off. (F) Belize Rural Primary prevailed, 11-4, over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene to claim the female championship. WP - Erlean Casasola; LP - D’Andra McFadzean. And in the male match-up, (M) Crooked Tree Gov’t gained an 8-4 victory over Holy Cross Anglican. WP - Lawrence Banner; LP - Royan Mendez. Primary Softball Nationals on Friday The National Primary School Softball Championship is scheduled for Friday, June 15, in Belize City. Representing the Belize District in the females will be Belize Rural Primary School, while the males will be represented by Crooked Tree Gov’t School.

TIDE Freshwater Cup games, results and plans
The two Senior Freshwater Cup semifinals were played on Sunday, June 10, at the Toledo Union Field. Game 1 saw Estrellas FC blasting Cattle Landing Dolphins, 4-1, with goals from Orvin Paulino (15 min) and Derick Hines (57, 71 & 89 min). Miguel Bardalez scored for the Dolphins. In game 2, Belcampo FC and Mavericks FC played to a 2-2 draw in regulation, with Aduan Usher (20 min) and Mani Galvez (98 min) scoring for Belcampo, while Kerwin Mangar (50 min) and Leslie Williams (90 min) tallied for Mavericks. The game remained tied after overtime, so it was on to the penalty kicks, where Mavericks prevailed, 3-1, over Belcampo. Of the 5 penalty kicks taken by Mavericks, Jamie Tansley, Juan Hernandez and Ray Arzu scored , while Kerwin Mangar and Mike Williams missed. Only Dario Williams made good his penalty for Belcampo, with Donaldo Cucul, Sheldon Lambey, Max Cal and Aduan Usher all failing to convert.

Ideas and Opinions
Take the seeds of two fruits of the same tree. Place one in loamy soil and the other in strong ground. The first will grow up to be a fine tree, producing much fruit of a high quality. The other, if it grows up to be a tree, will not be as productive and, its fruit will be of an inferior quality. The same with people. Separate twins at birth. Place one with a middle class family, having both parents. Put the other with a single parent mother, who has two or more children of different fathers and live in the ghetto. We know what their prospects are, so I will leave it to your imagination. Still, it must be remarked that the circumstances of our birth influence greatly how we turn out.

Editorial: Crime and politics
One party had been deprived of a stage for so long that they had 10 speakers vent as if it were a rally for the grand old party. In the end, only one question came from the emasculated press corps. The other party had one speaker; the audience was, as if they had flat-lined. This time, though, the press was engaged. They, too, had been deprived for too long.

Lauds Adele; wants follow-up article re “Don’t make my mistake”
I read with keen interest the article written by Adele Ramos entitled, “Don’t make my mistake”, published in the Sunday, June 3, 2012 issue of Amandala. I thought that it was good to focus on the prisoners for a change, since we usually read about outlaws and their deeds only when they have recently committed their crimes and when their court appointments occur.


Countrywide internet outage
We woke up to a countrywide internet outage yesterday, which I was ok with as it helped keep me on track to finishing a guest post I was working on to help promote 2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest. Then I enjoyed watching My Morning Matters in bed until we got internet again – what a treat. Maureen, Tracy and I went to trivia last night and Andy joined our team to make 4. It was Paul’s first quiz while Cindy was away and boy was it hard, our team got totally smoked and came in last place. Dinner and a movie took the prize money and Brain trust came in a very second our team was not even in the race this week. Maureen just poped me on the coconut phone saying hurricane Carlotta in the Pacific coast of Mexico just to the north of the Guatamala border is causing our dark skies. Looks like it is going to throw down rain big time any minute and makes me wish I had gone to town to get my printing done at Gecko Graphics yesterday afternoon instead of waiting till today. Hopefully it will clear up for a bit after the rain hits.

Check That One Off the Bucket LIst: The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a miraculous engineering feat, a modern wonder of the world and something that I've always wanted to see. (See my Central American Bucket List) Not only is it a 48 mile long connection dug in jungle and rock between two oceans but the boats going through start at sea level, rise up 54 feet and then back down through a system of three huge locks. All using gravity. And the size of these boats? It's no joke... The trip generally takes 8-10 hours. The canal was completed by the Americans (well, actually the workers were mainly from the West Indies, primarily Barbados) in 1914 and handed over to the Panamanians on December 31, 1999. Visiting is a very cool thing. The first set of locks from the Pacific side are the Miraflores Locks about 15 minutes outside of town. There is a good sized visitor center and viewing area. To enter as a non-resident, you can pay $5 USD to only access the viewing areas or $8USD to see the movie and the museum. Pay the extra. The movie is worth it. Particularly if you are interested in the new locks that are being built to accommodate even larger boats...boats that can hold up to 12,000 containers or are 160 feet wide (currently the locks are 110 feet wide). These mega-locks are set to open on the 100th anniversary of the completion of the canal in 2014. When you first arrive, you won't be impressed. The building is 3 stories high and you are allowed on only two and the observation area is way too small...way too crowded. Try to get a spot along the edge...people with their cameras will be elbowing you to get in front. A large scarab beetle landed on the woman in front of me...something to photograph while I waited for the first ship of the day to enter the locks. The boats go from Pacific to Atlantic in the morning and the opposite way in the afternoon.

Royal Love Affair Between Belize and Prince Harry Blooming
Lucy Fleming, owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, said that recent correspondence from the British Royal Family to the Government of Belize is one more indication of the close ties enjoyed by both countries, and helps explain why Belizeans are happy to retain Queen Elizabeth as their Queen. “The Department of Foreign Affairs recently sent us aletter explaining that they received correspondence from Prince Harry earlier this month personally thanking everyone involved in hosting him, and expressing how much he enjoyed his visit to Belize,” Ms Fleming said. “At Chaa Creek we’re accustomed to hosting celebrities and VIPs, but to have someone with such a high profile and busy schedule as Prince Harry to take the time out to personally thank you is pretty exceptional. I think this helps explain why the Royal Family is so loved by so many Belizeans,” she said. Prince Harry visited Belize last March as part of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee ceremonies. While in Belize the young Prince took part in a massive “block party” organised in his honour in the national capitol of Belmopan, launched a racing canoe named after the Queen for the Belize’s La Ruta Maya River Challenge, toured the Maya archaeological site of Xunantunich and stayed at The Lodge at Chaa Creek for a rainforest experience. Ms Fleming said that while at Chaa Creek the Prince enjoyed a massage, sampled a mojito, a rum drink made famous by Ernest Hemingway and a Chaa Creek speciality, and personally complimented the kitchen on a Maya themed dinner the Prince said he particularly enjoyed. “He was a marvellous guest, very warm, down to earth and easy going,” Ms Fleming said, “He seemed genuinely interested in Belize and Maya history and culture, as well as our own personal experience and the evolution of Chaa Creek. And now, to hear that he took the time out on more than one occasion to thank us, well, I think that speaks volumes about the sort of person he is and why the royal family is still so popular with Belizeans.” Prince Harry called his visit to Belize “such a wonderfully enjoyable adventure, though brief, with memories that will last a lifetime,” and said “Thank you for such a warm and friendly welcome to such a beautiful country. I am hugely grateful for the very happy memories, and I’m very sad to leave.”

Lobster season opens today!
Not good news if you are a lobster but excellent news if you enjoy to eat lobster – the harvesting of one of Belize’s largest exports commences today on 15th June. For the past four months the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus Argus) have felt safe from fisherman and enjoyed their ocean. Fisherman in Belize each year cease farming the lobster to respect the laws the Fisheries have in place to sustain numbers. Lobster fisherman’s catch is on the decline in Belize over the past twenty years due to over-exploitation. So tonight, if you are here on Caye Caulker or indeed Belize, your food of choice would most likely to be lobster – so, are you staying for dinner??

International Sources

Honduras Committed to Protecting Marine Treasures
Honduras, in the heart of Central America, normally makes headlines for its political upheavals and violence. But sometimes there is good news, too. It is one of only a few countries with a shark sanctuary off its coasts, and it has just created a protected area around a reef of a coral species formerly on the brink of extinction. This month Honduras is celebrating the first anniversary of the declaration of the Bi-Oceanic Shark Sanctuary that encompasses its entire exclusive economic zone, some 240,000 sq km spanning both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. A photographer dives near a great hammerhead shark. Credit: Jim Abernethy - Courtesy of the Pew Environment Group Its coastal waters are home to numerous shark species, including hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, nurse sharks, tiger sharks and even six-gill sharks, which can reach lengths of almost five metres and are found in the Caribbean waters off Roatán, one of Honduras' Bay Islands. "In the Gulf of Fonseca (on the Pacific) there are hammerhead sharks, one of the most endangered shark species due to the fact that their fins are highly sought after in Asia for making soup. There are many young hammerhead sharks in the gulf, where they are protected," biologist Stephen Box, who has studied the threats to these creatures in the Honduran sanctuary, told Tierramérica.

“Where the hell is Belize?” with Wes Allen at the Rusholme Supper Club
Wes Allen returns from a recent trip to Belize with a menu inspired by the simple but nourishing cuisine of this little known Central American country. Many people are surprised to find an English-speaking country hidden on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Despite sharing borders with Guatemala and Mexico, Belize has more cultural similarities with the Anglo-Caribbean than it does with Latin America, due to its history as Britain's only colony (British Honduras) on the Central American isthmus. Wes Allen hosts popup brunch and southern barbecue events in his backyard and has been a vendor at the Toronto Underground Market selling homemade spice blends. The menu is based on the Belizean staples of fish, coconut milk, plantain and cassava. · Garnaches - open face crispy tortillas with with refried beans, cheese, onions and hot sauce · Snapper rundown, red snapper with a coconut milk chili sauce · Fried plantain · Cole slaw · Coconut rice and beans · Carrot-habenero hot sauce · Cassava pudding with vanilla sauce “Where the hell is Belize?” is a culinary meeting event of the Rusholme Supper Club.

College students in Belize: Loving the children, loving like a child
There are few things I do in my life that make me feel like I actually make a difference, and one of those things is missionary work. On May 27-June 2, I went with the University of Central Arkansas/Hendrix College Catholic Campus Ministry and 15 other missionaries to Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo, in Belize. Among those of us in attendance were Deacon Richard Papini, campus minister, and Father James Melnick, associate pastor of St. Joseph Church in Conway and CCM chaplain. This was my third mission trip, but my first time in Belize. I had previously attended the Christ the King Honduras Mission in 2008 and 2011. I was cautious to not go into this mission expecting it to be just like the CTK mission. The Belize mission was primarily an evangelization and construction mission, which is different than the medical work that is a big part of the work in the CTK mission. At first, I was a bit wary of going on a mission that was centered on evangelization. Usually, I associate missionary work with taking care of the people's primary needs, such as medical care, education and shelter. I was not so sure that we would make such a huge difference in the lives of the people if we only took care of their spiritual needs, but the Lord had big plans for us. With morning prayer and Mass every morning, we were given the strength to do our work, his work.


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