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#442989 - 07/21/12 08:41 AM Today's Belize News: July 21, 2012
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Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, July 20 until Monday, July 23, 2012

What we are looking at is an active TW approaching Jamaica and gradually making its way to the extreme NW Caribbean by Monday afternoon. Even before the wave axis crosses the coast of Yucatan and Belize on Monday night, it will be generating heavy showers and TS on Sunday & Monday.

A surge in the easterlies coupled with an approaching Tropical Wave will generate outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms across Belize later this weekend. This activity will increase in intensity on Monday, Monday night and Tuesday morning of next week as the TW makes its entry over Yucatan and Belize.

Conditions will become increasingly favourable for another bout of showers and thunderstorms this weekend across the country of Belize associated with instability in the atmosphere and the lifting side of an upper level trough axis over the southern Gulf of Mexico. A surge in the low-level easterly flow over the NW Caribbean and northern Central America will herald the approach of an active TW on Monday and Monday night, resulting in an upsurge in the shower and thunderstorm activity, which will become intense at times. The bulk of the rainfall will be concentrated over the central area of the mainland and along the coast on Monday and Tuesday.

Daily rainfall totals over most places will result in rainfall accumulations in the range of 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch today Friday and Saturday. However, he rainfall will be on the increase on Sunday through Tuesday, with daily totals in the hills and coastal areas ranging from 2.00-3.00 inches. Higher rainfall rates are possible in the elevated terrain of the Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo districts, resulting in rapid runoff and a high probability of flash floods on Monday through early Wednesday. Residents in flood prone zones and hilly terrain should remain vigilant and be prepared to move to higher grounds if the need arises…

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

Coral Reef Ed-venture schools San Pedro’s kids on conservation
The Hol Chan Coral Reef Ed-Ventures, a children’s educational summer program held in collaboration with Smiths College from Massachusetts, USA and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve held gradation for its 13th year on the island on Thursday July 12th at the Lion’s Den. The program teaches children about reef ecology and conservation. The program was started some 13 years ago by professors of Smiths College working along with Miguel Alamilla of Hol Chan in an effort to give back to the community in which they had been conducting much research. The camp has grown immensely from an enrollment of about two students in its first year to some 125 registered students this year. Each year, six students from Smith College visit the island for a six weeks stay to conduct the program and this year was no different. The program serves as a summer internship for the participating college students. Prior to arriving on the island, the students have a week of preparation and one of which is used for research on the reef along with their professors. As part of their research, the students get to enjoy our barrier reef eco-system through scuba diving as they research the various fish species and their occurrence.

SPTC, SAGA and SPAH to work together to humanely euthanize dogs
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) have decided to work together in humanely euthanizing stray dogs on the island. The decision to work together was made during a meeting by the two organizations with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and his councilors. The meeting was as a direct result of a decision made by the council last week where 31 stray dogs were eradicated using strychnine. Mayor Guerrero defended his position by saying that the decision taken by the council was because there was a number of issues arising from stray dogs in the community. The issues ranged from serious health concerns expressed by medical practitioners on the island as well as complains from both locals and tourist about dog feces found all over the island and the garbage scattered by these dogs. But even with the serious concerns being highlighted, the humane society adamantly objected to the method used by the SPTC. The SPTC used strychnine capsules, placed within pieces of meat, to introduce poison into the body of the stray dogs causing a slow and painful death. Both SAGA and SPAH took their plights to the SPTC proposing a more humane way of conducting the eradication. Considering that the council had expressed that they would continue with the eradication of stray dogs, all three interested parties met on Monday July 16th to discuss the best possible and humane way forward to deal with the situation. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero expressed that better heads prevailed and a more humane way will be used to reach the same goal of eradicating stray dogs off the streets of Ambergris Caye. “We have decided to work together and we have set out a plan of action how we intend to eradicate stray animals in San Pedro. It will be done by SAGA and the San Pedro Animal Hospital with support from the council. We have given them some tasks to do. First they will go out and identify problematic areas and find out the amount of dogs that are problematic. Our goal is for us to eradicate 20 dogs per week until we can bring the number of stray dogs completely under control,” said Guerrero.

Jose Alfredo Castillo, Missing since Monday July 9th
The family of a San Pedro businessman is concerned after their loved one has been missing for over a week. 40 year old Jose Alfredo Castillo, owner of a vegetable stand located on Pescador Drive has been reportedly missing since Monday night, July 9th. According to his wife, Marta Castellanos, she last saw her husband on Monday morning when he left en route to Belize City around 8AM. He is reported to have had on his person over $1,500 which should have been used to purchase vegetables to re-stock the business as well as payment for their monthly rent. According to Casatellanos her husband first went to Caye Caulker where he dropped off her son and the made his way to the city. “He went to Belize City where he arrived at around 3pm at my aunts house. I had been calling him since that evening to find out whether he had made it okay, but he wasn’t answering his phone. My aunt said he told her that he was going to return the vehicle to the parking lot and come back but he never reached. The following day, well I thought that the pickup might have broken down and he was stranded somewhere. I waited on Tuesday and I noticed that he hadn’t returned on the last boat and still no word from him. I’d been calling him all day on Tuesday as well, and he did not respond. So on Wednesday I called his father and asked if he’d do me the favor of taking care of the fruit stand as we are the only ones that normally take care of the stand. Once he agreed to take care of the place, he told me that my husband’s aunt hadn’t heard from him and that no one at the market is reporting having made any sale to him. So, on Thursday, I went to Belize City to the big police station to find out what happened to him. They asked me if any of his family members had seen him and I told them that no one had seen him. There was a report from some guys that know my truck, who are normally about in the night time and they said that they had seen my truck parked in front of a bar known as JMC. So I gave that information to the police to see if they can investigate the case, whether he came out of there or whether he was assaulted, as he had $1,800 with him. I’m expecting the worst, especially with the crime situation in the city. I thought that he might have been robbed, taking away the pickup. The police went and investigated at the bar and from their surveillance tapes, it showed that my husband entered the bar around 6PM the Monday afternoon and he was well dressed. It showed him drinking with some of the girls there at the bar. I am very hurt. I have not heard anything else about him. The police never told me when he left or whether he left the bar of anything.”

Tuff E Nuff is in the finals of the 2012 Interoffice Basketball Competition
Hometown hopefuls Tuff E Nuff Tours are fresh off a league topping 8 – 1 season and a 2 – 1 semifinal run to reach the finals of this year’s Interoffice Basketball Competition. In their semifinal match, after dominating the competition in the regular season and sporting the best record this year, Tuff E Nuff went up against the only team that were able to snatch a victory from them, Quan’s Engineering. In another surprise defeat the San Pedro based basketball team went down 1 – 0 after Quan’s Engineering managed to overcome them yet again. However, after carefully analyzing their opponents and making the necessary adjustments to the team roster, the Tuff E Nuff boys were able to come back from the deficit and clinch victory in the best of three series by winning the next two games back to back, exacting their revenge against their QE counterparts with only a 10 man rotation. As player/coach Rico Black said in an interview with The San Pedro Sun at the start of the season, Tuff E Nuff always felt that they had a very good chance of making it to finals, and now their confidence has been vindicated as they come up to face their rivals Alamilla’s in game one on Friday, July 20th at 9:00pm. In what is sure to be a heated clash, Tuff E Nuff will face some of the same players in the Alamilla’s team who once played together with them on the history making San Pedro Tigersharks championship team in 2007. Ex-teammates now come face to face in the Bird’s Isle basketball stadium to find out which team is this year’s best and settle the rivalry that has been brewing all season. Black believes that with the strength of the team they have now and the dedication the adjusted roster has been showing, Alamilla’s will have their work cut out for them in order to overcome the Tuff E Nuff squad. Tipoff is at 9:00pm for the first in the 5-game series that will see some of Belize’s best players battle it out on the court to take home the gold.

Ambergris Today

Solani Graniel Says Goodbye to Teen Talk
Every chapter has an end and unfortunately mine has come to its one. As my senior year has come to an end and having recently graduated, I am soon moving on to start a new chapter of my life as I will be now attending St. Johns College Junior College at Belize City where I will be majoring in Environmental Science. My year as Teen Talk Reporter for Ambergris Today has unfortunately come to an end. I say regrettably because I enjoyed every minute of it. As we move on to what the future holds with many experiences yet to discover, I would like to take this time to first of all thank Mr. Angel Nuñez for asking me to be part of the Ambergris Today team as Teen Talk reporter from 2011-2012. When I read the message he sent, I was more than happy and quickly replied to him with a “Yes”!

Misc Belizean Sources

Updates on jaguar situation at Belize Lodge

Retirees enrolled in Belize's Belize Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Incentive Program

Illegal logger shot dead in Belize forestry reserve
A shooting incident occurred on Thursday evening in the Colombia Reserve in the Toledo District of Belize when a patrol encountered three men who were allegedly engaged in illegal logging approximately 2 miles east of the border with Guatemala. There was a confrontation that resulted in one fatality and the arrest of two other men believed to be Guatemalan nationals. Police were flown in to the area on Friday morning to conduct an investigation. The dead man has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo. Two others, José Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos, have been detained by Belize security forces. Illegal activities including xate harvesting, logging and gold mining are a persistent and growing problem in Belize, and encounters with law enforcement officials often occur in areas along the border but seldom result in injuries or fatalities. Meanwhile, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is away until the weekend, has been informed of the incident and he will reportedly be speaking with Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, to discuss the incident.

LightHawk: Flights Show the Way for Jaguars
The thin wire strands surrounding the cattle paddock would not keep out the hungry jaguar. As its ribs protruded against a once magnificent dappled coat, the mangy cat sized up the herd looking for the easy kill. As more forest is swallowed up by development, agriculture, and ranching, jaguar habitat and traditional sources of prey are lost too. These cats must then choose between the wrath of ranchers or slow starvation. Rather than force that choice, LightHawk provides flights to help biologists discover and protect pathways connecting large protected areas so that jaguars in Mexico and Central America can roam free forever.

Jaguar Pathways
Large protected parks and sanctuaries provide ample natural prey like deer, tapirs, peccaries and sloth that jaguars need to survive. But to thrive, they need room to roam, to find their ideal mate and produce the next generation of jaguar kittens. By establishing and maintaining linkages, or corridors, between protected areas, jaguars are able to roam great distances to find suitable mates and establish home territory. This ensures a healthy next generation of young jaguars. But making these connections isn't as easy as drawing lines between protected areas on a map. "Our flights with LightHawk...have been fundamental to setting up priority actions for ground-truthing," says Roberto Salom, Mesoamerica Jaguar Program Coordinator for Panthera who works to protect jaguars and other large cats around the world. "[It] is essential in a setting where resources are limited." LightHawk and Panthera have established a strategic partnership in part because flight is so critical in helping secure a Jaguar Corridor in Mexico and Central America for big cats and other wildlife. Flights identify illegal encroachment on the ground, such as deforestation and development, reveal opportunities to give the cats a bit more elbowroom and prioritize what happens next on the ground. The success of this work often relies upon the dedication and involvement of local communities and government.

Building Support from 1,000 feet up
Still unpacking her office, Belize's new Minister of the Environment had a full dance card. Panthera knew that the aerial view would give her an instant understanding of the dwindling jaguar corridor and asked for LightHawk's assistance. When getting on the minister's schedule was proving impossible, Armando Ubeda, LightHawk's program manager in the region, had to get creative. "I knew this was a really important flight for the future of the jaguar in Belize," he explained, "so we moved our other scheduled flights around and kept our Cessna 206 in Belize until we could fly the Minister." The flight was a success. "...without a flight that permitted a bird's eye view of the area, it would have been really difficult to explain to the Minister what the corridor is, how it functions and the specific threats that affect it," said Elma Kay from the University of Belize. "Since our flight with the Minister, an illegal trench cutting through [a protected area] has been discovered and her awareness of the corridor and its issues have helped us to get her unconditional support in prosecuting those responsible."

Seeing Progress from the Pilot's Seat
Every year, retired insurance broker and avid pilot Bill Rush travels from his home in Boulder Creek, California to fly with LightHawk in Mexico and Central America. "Some of my favorite missions are flying with Panthera," explains Bill. "These cats traverse over extremely large areas and require ease of movement for feeding and breeding. Having flown two seasons in a row with Panthera, I am seeing progress in the corridor initiative and the number of jaguars being photographed... It gives me a triumphant feeling of accomplishment and progress when the numbers begin to trend in the right direction." As jaguar habitat continues to be lost or fragmented, humans and jaguars are coming into increasingly close contact. Jaguars continue to be hunted by people, such as ranchers, who view them as a threat to cattle and therefore their livelihoods. LightHawk and Panthera will continue efforts to maintain safe places for this apex predator to thrive, and to keep these great cats and their future generations safely out of harm's way.

VIDEO: Jaguar climbing tree in pursuit of a sloth
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest cat of the Americas and a formidable predator. Its common name comes from the native Indian name ‘yaguara’, meaning ‘a beast that kills its prey with one bound’ (3) (4), and its power is clearly displayed by its muscular build, deep chest, large head, broad muzzle, and strong jaws (2). This remarkable cat possesses a visually striking coat of large black rosettes, mostly enclosing dark spots, set against golden brown to yellow fur, which pales to white on the cheeks, throat and underside (2) (5). Melanistic forms are also relatively common, often called ‘black panthers’ in the Americas. Jaguars vary considerably in size in different regions, but genetic studies indicate that there are no subspecies (6). Jaguars found in the dense forested areas of the Amazon Basin are generally smaller and darker in colour than those found in more open terrain (3).

"Big PAWS UP from Trip Advisor!"
Congratulations to the Belize Zoo for having such a great ranking with Trip Advisor! They have plans at the zoo to make it even better. "And now, we are positioned to become an even better nature-destination in Belize. How so? Our current focus is to transform The Belize Zoo into a SHED zoo. Becoming a (S)Stroller-(H)Handicap-(E)Elderly-(D)Disable- Friendly destination is on the front burner of our must-see-happen plans of transformation. Yes! We are so proud of this recent designation of honour from TripAdvisor, but our goal to become accessible to ALL the people of Belize, no matter what the physical profile commands, is of prominent importance to the entire Belize Zoo staff... And we look forward to a closer working relationship with the Belmopan Rotary Club . Our common mission to see that kids with special needs can enjoy the wildlife of their country is playing a big role in fueling both Rotary and Zoo efforts."

KHMH Kid's Ward Turkey Dinner Fundraiser
Today in Macal River Park, they will be selling Turkey Dinners at noon for $10. The Challenge Gobie Foundation is doing the fundraiser to help build a Kid's Ward at KHMH. Buy a turkey dinner, and help a child.

Verano Beer Sampling Tomorrow
Belikin's new flavor of beer, Verano Beer, will be around for free sampling in Cayo tomorrow. You can find Bowen & Bowen tents at Costless Supermarket and the M&J Shopping Center tomorrow.

Balance Exhibit Opening pictures
The SISE House of Culture along with the Belize Audubon Society opened the Balance Exhibit last night in Cayo. After a short inauguration, the exhibit opened, where guests were given some delicious refreshments and food. There are some great pictures in the exhibit. It runs through the month of July. "Belize Audubon Society launched the Balance photo exhibit at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture. The exhibition features faces and places at Belize Audubon Society. Come and check it out!!!! It closes on July 31st, 2012."

Kurse a di Xtabai Documentary
Daniel Velazquez, who is working on the documentary film based on the making of Kurse a di Xtabai, has released some footage. The first part will be called 'The Judgement,' and it features the Belize Film Festival's awards ceremony, and the commotion that happened during and after.

Kurse a di Xtabai at SIRH
Today at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel's Bedran Hall, they'll be showing Kurse a di Xtabai at 7:00 and again at 9;00pm. It was filmed in the Cayo district, and there's even a part that takes place at Sacred Heart, and it even stars some students from SHJC.

VIDEO: In his own words ... A Crooked Tree man tells how a crocodile almost killed Devin Swasey.
I have seen the Crocs in the lagoon but never thought they would be so fierce. Will be praying for the quick recovery of the young man.

Channel 7

Truly Tragic Traffic Accident Kills Three
Three people are dead after an early morning accident on the Northern Highway. It happened at mile 11 and a half - at the junction of the Old Well road - which is about a hundred yards from El Ca's. At about 2:30 am, a white Saturn Car has heading in the direction of Corozal while a Saturn "VUE" SUV was heading towards the city. Reports are that at mile 11 and a half, without warning the car suddenly veered into the path of the oncoming SUV. No one even had time to apply their brakes; they had a massive drivers side to divers side collision. Five people were in the car, and three of them were killed on impact. That included the driver, Police Constable Deon Makin, who was crushed behind the wheel, a still unidentified female who was in the back seat and was crushed as she was thrown forward by the impact, and 25 year old Edwin Elvis Crawford who was also in the back seat behind the driver.

Good Samaritan Scares Off Robbers, Follows One, Helps Apprehend Him
Around 2:30 this afternoon - the popular Senor Coconut's restaurant on Eve Street was held up by robbers. We understand that the two men entered the establishment demanding money. According to reports, one of the robbers was armed with a handgun and pointed it at an employee's head. A waitress managed to run outside and shout for help. A man who was in the vicinity heard what was happening and fired a single shot in the air from his licensed firearm. The armed robber then fired a shot from inside the restaurant and the bullet exited through front glass door. The pair of culprits then dashed out of the restaurant. One of them ran through Mortuary lane while the other casually walked unto Queen Street. But he was being followed by the same man who fired the shot. He called the police and with quick response, the robber was intercepted on North Front Street in front of Petticoat Alley. But things didn't quite end there; the armed robber began fighting with the officer for his gun. While the struggle was going on the good citizen who assisted from the start, jumped out his vehicle and held the robber at gunpoint. He was then subdued and taken away. At this time we are not certain if the robbers got away with any money - but at least one of them is detained tonight.

Why Did Paul Martinez Stab And Kill Raheem Smith?
Last night, 7News told you about 18 year-old Raheem Smith, the young man who was fatally stabbed in an altercation on the far end of George Street yesterday evening. Smith's family told us that their initial information from bystanders was that the altercation started over Smith's bike. We also told you that police had a young man in detention, and he was being investigated as the main suspect in the incident. We chose not to reveal his identity because police still haven't brought any formal charges against him as yet. Tonight, however, the rules of identity bar us no longer because the family of 18 year-old Paul Martinez came to us today saying that he only attacked Smith in self-defense. According to his mother, Martinez borrowed Smith's bicycle to go run errands, and when he returned with it, one of the tires had a flat. According to Paul Martinez, the tire was flat before and Smith only pumped it before loaning it out. Well, this was the spark and the heightened tension of peer pressure led to the fight. According to Martinez, Smith hit him over the back with a piece of board, and he responded with a stab in self-defence. Here's how his mother explained what he described it to her:

OAS Calls BDF Shooting "Reprehensible"; Belize Objects To Language
Tensions are high between Belize and Guatemala tonight and a troubling statement from the OAS isn't making things any better. As we reported last night - a BDF patrol encountered Guatemalan loggers inside the Colombia Forest Reserve at a position two miles within Belize. There was a confrontation, which resulted in the BDF shooting and killing Luis Alberto Martinez and detaining his two partners Jose Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos. It is being investigated by the Belize Police department and the OAS - but this afternoon, the OAS issued a statement leading us to question their impartiality in the matter. The statement says - and we quote: "The Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, expressed his regret at the death of a Guatemalan tenant farmer in the adjacency zone between Guatemala and Belize. It quotes him as saying, 'The death of a person in a shootout is always reprehensible and I hope that the circumstances in which this occurred are cleared up promptly."

The Port In The Court, Again
Earlier this month, 7News told you about the Port of Belize case against the Government of Belize which was started by its previous owner, Luke Espat. As we reported, this case is before the courts because the management of the Port claim that GOB violated the Belize City Port licensing agreement of January 2002, the Commerce Beight Port Lease of 2002, the January 2002 Prospectus, the Share Purchase Agreement of March 2002, the Cruise Terminal Agreement of April 2004, the Privatization Cooperation Agreement of December 2005. All of these agreements were made with the Musa Administration, but they were never effected. As a result, the Luke Espat led management filed the case claiming financial damages, and even got Justice Hafiz-Bertram to grant an injunction against GOB and the Belize Port Authority to terminate a lease contract which they claimed the Port Management did not honor. But the lease termination and the damage claims before the courts presently are two completely different things. And that's the main point which the Government attorney, Denys Barrow, used to convince Justice Hafiz-Bertram to discharge the injunction, which had been in place for several years. Here's how he described how and why the injunction was granted:

Man Throws Loaded "9" In Drain Cops Dig It Out
18 year old Shane Godoy, a resident of Aloe Vera Street, is at prison tonight after police busted him with an unlicensed firearm. A police patrol was on Peter Seco Street yesterday at around 10:30 p.m., and they passed Godoy as he was riding home. When Godoy saw the vehicle, he allegedly pulled an object out of his pants waist and threw it into a nearby yard. Police say that the officers detained Godoy, and escorted him to yard where he threw the object. They retrieve the item, which was discovered to be black Sig Pro 9mm pistol, which was loaded 5 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. As a result, police charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty to the offenses. Senior Magistrate Frazer remanded Godoy to prison until August 21.

Man Survives Croc Attack
Tonight a Crooked Tree resident is in an induced coma at the KHMH - after an encounter with a crocodile. According to reports, the incident happened on Thursday afternoon. 30 year old Devin Swasey along with 2 others was spear fishing in the Blackburn area of the Crooked tree lagoon - when he was attacked by a large crocodile. The reptile held on to Swasey and pulled him under water for a period of time before he was rescued. Swasey received bites to his head, hands and shoulder. We'll follow up on his condition next week.

Black Jaguar "Bosh" Now Named "Lucky Boy"
Last night we told you about the black jaguar named Bosh who was rescued from an abandoned tourist Lodge in the Toledo District. We reported that he was rescued by the wildlife conservation network - but actually, it was the Belize Zoo that did the job. Zoo staff built a transfer crate, coaxed the cat inside with beef liver and took him on a three and a half hour ride to the zoo. He could not be tranquilized due to his extremely poor health. He is now at the zoo where his name has been changed from Bosh to Lucky Boy. He is being nourished with a specialized feline diet to build up his strength. You can check the zoo's facebook page for updates on his condition.

Butane Price Tweak
Last night we told you about the sharp decrease in the controlled price of butane. We quoted prices sent out by the ministry of trade. Well, those prices were slightly off, but, no matter, you still get a 30 dollar decrease in price which took effect today. In Belize City, the price for high grade Mexican Butane is now 104 dollars per hundred pound cyclinder - not 103, and the lower grade Central American Butane is 97 dollars, not 96 dollars.

Placencia Robbers Caught
Tonight, 28 year-old Michael "Mikey" Palacio, 36 year-old Martin Augustine, and a 17 year-old minor are all detained by police for a burglary which took place in Placencia. According to police, Andy Williams, a salesman for Belize Western Energy Limited, told police that between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. last night, his Seine Bight home was burglarized. Stolen were a 19-inch flat screen TV and an electric guitar, to a total value of $825 dollars. Police launched an investigation today, and they recovered the items. They also detained the 3 men, and Palacio the 17 year-old minor were charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. Augustine was charged with handling stolen goods. All 3 men await an arraignment in Magistrate's Court.

Legalize It? Or Decriminalize It?
Before we go into our next story, we warn you that it discusses and displays use of marijuana which may be unsuitable for young audiences. So if you have children around the TV, you might want to ask them out of the room or change the channel. No doubt, the hot topic this week is decriminalizing marijuana - after Government announced that it had named a committee to explore the subject. And the reason it's a hot topic - is because, frankly, based only on anecdotal evidence, we'd say that marijuana is very widely used in Belize. You can argue over whether that is a good or bad thing, but it is a real thing - and thus the committee has been tasked to figure out what to do with all the casual users - those who risk imprisonment - and sometimes end up in jail, just for a joint. Doug Singh - who first named a committee to explore decriminalization when he was police minister, now, finds himself chairing that committee. He says they started by looking at decriminalization laws in other countries where anywhere from three to 25 grammes was decriminalized. He said the Belize model that is being explored falls somewhere in the middle.:..

"Puppy" Leslie Says Three on Three is Real Deal
For the past two weeks, we have been closely following the Sprite Belikin National 3 by 3 basketball tour. So far, district tournaments have been played in Belize City, Belmopan, and San Ignacio, and according to the organizers, there has been moderate support from the Belize public. Well, it's going to Dangriga this weekend, and one of the big name participants in the Belmopan round, came to our studios to encourage Belizean ballers around the country to participate. Darwin "Puppy" Leslie, one of the elite players who've emerged over the past ten years, encouraged all ballers to support the tour when it comes to their town. Darwin "Puppy" Leslie, member of Belize National Basketball Team "The caliber of players that came out in Belmopan, I participated in Belmopan - it was all the elite players in Belmopan and fortunately we came out and top successfully. The next stop will be Dangriga by the roundabout, "Drums of our Father," so I am just inviting all the players, its U-18 category and its senior category. I am just encouraging all the players to out and try this new stuff "3 on 3" is something that we play all the time at the basketball court, just that this around its more structured, it has a little more rules but it's awesome." "I am encouraging all the players countrywide, whenever you hear these guys are in your town come out and enjoy. They have prizes also; you are not playing for free so I am just encouraging the whole nation of young basketball players and senior players to come out and give these guys your support." The tournament will be played near the Drums of My Fathers roundabout in Dangriga on Saturday at 9a.m.

They Love King Selassie-I
As we told you earlier this week, Rastafarians will be celebrating Halie Selassie's birthday this weekend. The Rasta United Organization will be having an all day celebration at BTL Park on Sunday - with a fair during the day and a concert in the evening. Ras Ruben and Serafim Gabourel explained that it's kind a recruitment drive - and orientation session for the wider society:.. Ras Ruben "The whole aspect of sharing is to enlighten the people about his majesty divinity and to teach the people. It's all about education, so at this time when we say to be festive and celebrate is also to educate and enlighten the people so that they become more aware of his Imperial Majesty and would bring the message to the broader community because a lot of people want to know." Serafim Gabourel "That's what Rastafarian is about - doing good, because the man of right is God in man and the man of wrong is Satan in man. Once we beat the drum we release the tension from the people and bring calmness and harmony once again - bring back the love, the love that we lost, we need to bring that forward." The event starts at 10:00 am on Sunday.

Channel 5

Afternoon robbery at Senor Coconuts; 1 suspect is injured
There was a shooting at Senor Coconuts on Eve Street in Belize City just before three this afternoon; a suspected robber was injured in a foiled robbery attempt by armed bandits at the restaurant. According to employees, two men who posed as customers entered around two-forty-five asking for food. The two pulled out firearms and [...]

3 die in early morning collision on the Northern Highway
A police officer and two others are dead tonight after a horrible traffic accident on the Northern Highway in the wee hours of this morning. Police Constable Dion Makin Junior was behind the wheels of an SUV that collided into a car. In the cops’ vehicle were five others who are believed to have been [...]

Reaction from across the border on Guatemalan killed by B.D.F.
On Wednesday evening, a Guatemalan logger was killed in a shootout with the Belize Defence Force. It is second such incident this year and it is being vehemently protested by the Guatemalan government, which called a press conference late Thursday evening. The Organization of American States has been brought into the picture and both are [...]

OAS observing investigation into death of illegal logger
The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry posted an official release on its website. It condemns the killing of Martinez and puts the incident in the area of Machaquila near El Carrizal, Peten, three kilometers east of adjacency zone. In a most unusual statement, Guatemala also questions the effectiveness of the office of the O.A.S. in the Adjacency [...]

Mother of accused murderer cries self-defense
On Thursday night we told you about the fatal stabbing incident on George Street that claimed the life of eighteen year old Raheem Smith. Sometime around two in the afternoon, Smith received a single stab wound to the upper right side of his body but died shortly after at the K.H.M.H. Smith’s aunt told News [...]

Chris Lowe to be arraigned for wounding Bert Vasquez
This coming Tuesday, Christopher Lowe will be arraigned on a charge of wounding. Lowe is the father of thirteen year old Jasmine, whose murder in June triggered a massive community protest in San Ignacio. On Thursday, Lowe was among the spectators when Bert Vasquez, his daughter’s murder suspect, was being taken to the Magistrate Court. [...]

List of new butane prices released after $30 decrease
It was announced on Thursday that butane prices would take a huge dip of thirty dollars per hundred pound cylinder. The higher prices are for the LPG Imported from Mexico while the lower priced butane is imported from Central America. The Ministry of Trade and Consumer Protection says that in Belize City and Corozal, butane [...]

Kenrick Williams gets life in prison for strangling 16 year old girl
Thirty-four year old Kenrick Williams, convicted of strangling sixteen year old Elia Gonzalez to death in 2004, has been sentenced to life in prison. Gonzalez, a student who was heading home to Libertad from school in Corozal Town, was accosted and dragged into some bushes where she was raped and suffocated with her shoe lace. [...]

Trio accused of stealing 125 tons of sugar granted $30,000 bail
Two weeks ago, Belize City fishermen, thirty year old Ernel Brooks, thirty five year old Alex O’Brien and sixty eight year old, Oscar Mena, appeared before the Magistrate court to answer to theft charges of over one hundred tons of raw brown sugar from the Belize Sugar Industry. All three were denied bail on three [...]

Seine Bight bandits arrested after Thursday night burglary
In Seine Bight, quick police work led to the detention of three men for a burglary at the house of BWEL salesman Andy Williams, between eight and eleven o’clock on Thursday night. Stolen from the victim’s house on the Main Peninsula Road, were a flat screen television set and an electric guitar. Police launched an [...]

San Ignacio Police gets upgrades to fight increasing crime
Through the U.S. Embassy, the San Ignacio Police Department has received an automated fingerprint identification system. The Aphis system will be linked to Belize City and Belmopan data bases. The department is also supplementing technology with human resources. And as part of a Special Constable Programme, on Wednesday forty-one special constables completed training. Some will [...]

Fun and First Aid at the Red Cross’ 1st Summer Camp
The Belize Red Cross today held its closing ceremony for its first ever summer camp that catered for school age children from the south side. The students were engaged in a fun and educational camp that fostered good behavior and equipped them with first aid skills. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has the story.   Andrea [...]

Football stars in Smart Summer Camp take home trophies and certificates
Outstanding campers received certificates this morning in the Stars Summer Camp. The football camp drew a large number of participants that honed their skills on the various techniques of the sport. Freelance reporter Duane Moody was present for the closing of the camp.   Duane Moody, Reporting The SMART sponsored Stars Summer Camp that fosters [...]


Workers from the Belize Lodge & Excursion in Punta Gorda are disgruntled of unpaid wages and have taken steps to address the situation. Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Workers of a lodge in Toledo remain very concerned about their unpaid wages.&...

A summer camp hosted by the Belize Red Cross at St. John Vianney School in Belize City. Field officer for strenghting resilience in urban youths through education, Evelyn Landaverry, spoke to Love News about the camp EVELYN LANDAVERRY, Field Officer “The ...

Belize has taken part in food festivals in Taipei, Taiwan and Antigua, Guatemala. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, says that it along with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accompanied Royal Mayan Shrimp Farm and Hot Mama’s...

A traffic accident early this morning on the Northern Highway has claimed the lives of three persons and has left two more injured. The mishap occurred at two twenty-five this morning at mile eleven and a half and involved two vehicles. Love News has received unofficial rep...

The home of a Belmopan businessman was burglarized during his absence. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports FEM CRUZ, Reporter “Douglas Johnson, fifty two years old Belizean business man of #13 Pine Street, Belmopan City told Love News that sometime between the...

Motorists on traveling on the Southern Highway for almost a week have been enjoying the use of the new Kendal Bridge. Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Buses and travelling vehicles on the Southern Highway this week were among those who made the histo...

The severely malnourished Jaguar that was found at the Ballum Na resort near Indian Creek village is now in his new home and in safe hands. Love News spoke with Umberto Wahlers, head of animal management at the Belize Zoo for an update on the Jaguar. UMBERTO WAHLERS, Hea...

Teachers take a one day workshop on Traditional Creole games at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical reports. DALILA ICAL, Reporter “When children in this generation think of games, most of the time, if not all, they think of vi...


Owner of Belize Lodge and Excursions catching heat
The Belize Lodge and Excursions in the Toledo District has found itself in the center of controversy. That is after...

Cayo district making strides in combat against crime
The Cayo District is making strides toward greater efficiency in its fight against crime, one of which is in area o...

Scotiabank San Ignacio branch donates scholarships
Scotia Bank Belize Education Foundation San Ignacio Branch handed out seven primary school scholarships to children...

BDF Youth Cadet Corps summer camp
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp, is being held at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School campus in Santa ...

Dep. of Human Services facilitates workshop for incoming officers
A workshop was held in Belize City at the Belize Institute of Management conference room for the Department of Huma...

24 year old suffers heart attack on basketball court, dies
Ian Chavez Resident of George town village and the Liberian of Richard Quinn R.C pass away from a heart attack arou...

Gruesome road accident claims three lives
Lady Ville police responded to a traffic accident at 11¼ miles on the Northern Highway just before 3am this morning...

Teenager murdered over bicycle misunderstanding
A teenager dies over a bicycle misunderstanding. On Thursday July 19, CIB personnel visited the K.H.M.H. They saw t...

Butane cost goes down
And the price of butane is down. The Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consum...

Guatemalan delegation tour Belize's farms
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture along with the MESOTERRA Project of the Central American Universi...


“If we could only get our hands on you!”
Jasmine’s father, Chris Lowe, charged with attacking Bert Vasquez... Feelings of revulsion and anger ran high among citizens of San Ignacio and other supporters from throughout the nation who appeared in front of the police station and Magistrate’s Court when police brought Bert Vasquez, 28, back to court around 11 o’clock to be given disclosure for 13 assault and indecent assault charges he had previously been charged with, and also to receive additional charges against him.

Guat illegal logger, Luis Alonzo, shot dead in forest reserve
Belize security forces say the illegal loggers were about “3.2 kilometers” inside Belize territory... Belizean security officials have confirmed that a Guatemalan, whose identity has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, was shot dead inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve, Toledo, three kilometers from Belize’s western border with Guatemala, in what Belizean officials claim was an armed confrontation between Belize Defence Force (BDF) officers and illegal loggers.

Raheem Smith, 18, stabbed to death over a bicycle
He and a friend allegedly had a deadly quarrel over punctured bicycle... Inspector of Police Fitzroy Yearwood this evening reported one suspect in custody, and said that police continue to investigate the exact circumstances of the case.

Trouble in the ranks; police officers want “an end to injustice”
A group of police officers have decried what they contend is the continued injustice meted out by their high command, who have long maintained the practice of effecting the transfer of police officers without due process and without giving them the transfer grant due to them, to facilitate the move to their new locations.

Life in prison for Kenrick Williams, 34
Convicted of murder of Elia Gonzalez, 16... The mandatory sentence of life in prison was today handed down to Libertad resident Kenrick Williams, 34, for the murder of Corozal schoolgirl Elia Gonzalez, 16, in 2004.

Corpse of missing woman left exposed 24 hours
Residents of Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District, are angry after the decomposed body of one of their own was left exposed in the open area where it was found in the village, for 25 hours, because police ordered that it remain there until the arrival of the coroner. The coroner, Dr. Mario Estradabran did not arrive until a full 25 hours after the body was discovered.

FFB holds Referee Seminar, Grassroots U-13 loses to Honduras and Guatemala
Forty-seven referees this past weekend convened at the FFB Goal Project headquarters in Belmopan to attend a Referees seminar facilitated by FFB’s National Referee Instructors Eugene Contreras, Mauro Manzanero and Director of Referees David Henry Jones…The seminar commenced on Friday, July 13, and concluded on Sunday

Belize sends 3 athletes, 4 officials to 2012 London Olympic Games
It is announced by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association that the Belize Delegation travelling to London to partake in the 2012 London Olympic Games will be leaving the country on Saturday, July 21.

BBF’s Sprite/Belikin 3x3 basketball tour travels to Dangriga
This weekend, Saturday, July 21, the Sprite/Belikin 3x3 basketball tour travels to Dangriga at the Drums of our Father roundabout, starting at 9:00 a.m. The tour is taking shape, with winners in the Men’s Senior from Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio. In Belize City, the well-experienced seniors, including Angus “Walla” Cherrington and Vince “Post” Estrada, were victorious; while in San Ignacio, prime time player Kurt “Chengo” Burgess teamed up with three upcoming players - Zui Usher, Shelton Defour and Dujon McNab. In Belmopan, national team player Darwin “Puppy” Leslie was joined by Leon “Bigs” Williams and Lindbergh “Prince” Graham to take the championship in the capital city.

A plea for “Summer Camps”, for the children
A lot of focus and studies are directed towards the reforming and rehabilitating of young men who have gone “the wrong way” and gotten themselves into the world of gangs and criminal activity. A lot of effort and resources, for example the so-called “gang truce” initiative, are spent in trying to reclaim these young people into a positive and socially cohesive life style.

Oscar Kareem Usher, 25, walks from attempted murder of Kenrick Longsworth
The victim “remembers nothing” and “doesn’t want to testify”... Usher is accused of the attempted murder of Kenrick Longsworth, then 17, on October 14, 2009 in a shooting incident which occurred at the corner of Lovely Lane and Victoria Street, in which Longsworth was shot three times – once each in the left and right pelvic area, and once in the abdomen.

Budget passes Senate without amendments
“...the time is long past due that we should learn to live within our means.”... The Senate this afternoon passed without amendments the 2012-2013 revenue appropriation bill, also known as the national budget, in addition to revisions to the Evidence Act, to allow for the admission of inconsistent statements to the court in the event that a prosecution witness retracts an earlier statement, as well as amendments to the Income and Business Tax Act, which features a reduction in the tax levy on Belize Electricity Limited from 6.5% to 1.75%.

BNE’s Sheila is back
British Virgin Islands court says Tony Quinn directorship was invalid... “My purported suspension as a Director of INE was invalid and of no effect. I therefore remain a Director of the company and will regain my position as Chairman of INE with immediate effect.” – Sheila McCaffrey... There are major developments on Belize’s oil scene as a recent ruling in the British Virgin Islands has indicated that Sheila McCaffrey, who was one of the founding directors of International Natural Energy (INE) and its local subsidiary, Belize Natural Energy (the only oil-producing company in Belize), was never validly booted from the company. McCaffrey has since issued a statement declaring that the chairmanship of INE returns to her, although INE contends that Susan Morrice remains the INE chair.

On cannabis
The decision by the government to consider the decriminalization of marijuana is a bold and long overdue move. And while in the United States decriminalization of marijuana has been picking up steam over the last few years, and Argentina and Mexico just a few years ago approved a similar initiative, Belize, we believe, would be the first country in the Caribbean to so do.

From The Publisher
Someone (perhaps Robert Frost) once said that home is where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in. With respect to a man’s tribe, his “’hood,” or his “peeps,” this is the body of people to whom a man will turn and cling when he is experiencing any kind of crisis.

Chinese justice
As politicians, lawyers have the opportunity to modify or amend laws for the future convenience of their law firms. This practice is prevalent in most, if not all so-called democracies. Anyone who has seen documentaries on the North American Library of Congress will understand what I am talking about.

Victim of the system: Open letter to the DPP
Keyron was born to Ruben Taylor and Golda Johnson in the City of Belmopan and is the eldest of (5) five siblings, four boys and one girl, who is the youngest. I became a single mother with Keyron right from the time of birth, so I moved from Belmopan and came back to Belize City to my family. Keyron attended Port Loyola Pre-School, then went to Wesley School, all three (3) divisions, and finally Wesley College, where he graduated in June 2009.


Humane Animal Eradication Begins in San Pedro
A few weeks ago I blogged about the brutal stray dog eradication by strychnine poisoning by the San Pedro Town Council on July 9th. Since that time, Bill Milstead with SAGA Humane Society (and my husband) and Dr.Laurie Droke with San Pedro Animal Hospital met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero to stop the eradication by strychnine poisoning after a national out cry from animal lovers about the inhumane process used to control the dog population in San Pedro. Mayor Guerrero agreed to stop the inhumane practice but also made it very clear that he is depending upon SAGA to handle the humane eradication of the island dogs in an efficient and timely manner or the town council will authorize the poisoning by strychnine poisoning again. The first week of August SAGA will begin the process of picking up any stray animals on the streets and will do so on a continuing basis. Any animal picked up will be held for 3 days. If the animal has not been sprayed or neutered, SAGA will do so and the fees will be passed on to the owners. If no one claims the animals, a decision will be made as to the adoptability of the animals and they will either be humanely euthanized or kept a short while longer in hopes of finding a good home for them. SAGA is asking for your help by donating, you can contribute by going by SAGA or through the website at www.sagahumanesociety.org. SAGA is a 501c charity through the United States which makes your donation 100% tax deductible for Americans.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:01 AM)

#442990 - 07/21/12 08:42 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 21, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

International Sources

Travel Picks: Top 10 cities for street food
San Pedro is noted especially for its conch ceviche. Other street food cities include Bangkok, Istanbul, Mexico City, Singapore, Palermo and Ho Chi Minh City -- some great company!

Watchful Shrimp, Defending Their Territory
Collecting shrimp is a complicated business. I am not as seasoned as my colleagues, but I quickly learn how tedious it can be. After taking a photograph and estimating the volume of a sponge, we have to locate every shrimp inside. Synalpheus have the amazing ability to wiggle their way into the sponge’s inner depths, making themselves very difficult to find. And they are not the only inhabitants of the sponge or coral rubble. We often find brittle stars, polychaete and fire worms, various tiny crustaceans, mantis shrimp and even the occasional octopus. Although some sponges are quite malleable, others are rubbery and difficult to pick apart. Reaching into the bags for rubble is like a carnival game. We all hope to avoid certain species of sponges that require more effort than others. Depending on the species, a sponge with the volume of a tennis ball could take 30 minutes or more to dissect. For some of the tougher species, we often use a serrated bread knife to carefully slice pieces of sponge, trying not to do the same to the shrimp. Many species of sponge are quite painful to touch. The chemicals they exude can sting or itch for days. Others can leave dozens of tiny glass needles, called spicules, that make up their skeleton embedded in your fingers. Although others in our group prefer to wear gloves while dissecting sponges, I find them too restrictive. Needless to say, my hands will likely ache for the rest of the week, full of spicules, cuts and fire worm hairs. When we finally locate a Synalpheus shrimp, we delicately grasp it with forceps and place it in an individual plastic drinking cup to avoid damaging fights with others. After each piece of sponge is visually inspected, it is dipped in freshwater for a few seconds. If a Synalpheus manages to escape visual identification, it typically snaps its major chela, or snapping claw, after being immersed in fresh water. By the end of a session, maybe hundreds of shrimp each rest in its own plastic cup, occasionally snapping. We then return the coral rubble, and all the other creatures we found inside it, to the ocean.

"Belize was Unbelizable"
Belize was a surprise trip from my BF for my birthday and we had an incredible time! It is a quick trip, total time of about 4 1/2 hours in the air from LA with one quick stop in Houston to fly into Belize City where you are a short drive into paradise. We were in San Ignacio which is the home of the jungle and all the animals that come with it, caves with turquoise blue water and sacrificial remains, mayan ruins, and sweet corn colodas (will post recipe soon)! There are also beautiful coastal islands in Belize that some friends we met were traveling to after San Ignacio and we want to make a trip back to do those! Here is my photo diary below!


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