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#443241 - 07/25/12 08:47 AM Today's Belize News: July 25, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Volleyball Team remains undefeated in the OW Volleyball Tournament
The San Pedro Volleyball Team traveled to the Orange Walk over the weekend to square off in two games garnering two more wins, against Hard Core Juniors from Corozal and the Unpredictable’s from Orange Walk. The games took place on Saturday July 21st. In the first game against Hard Core Juniors, SP Boys won two straight sets with scores of 25-9 and 25-10 respectively. The second game saw the boys going up against the Unpredictibles in a game that they dominated once again in the first two sets with scores of 25-16 25-20, garnering them a spot in the semifinals. The team is scheduled to play two more games on August 11th, 2012. The first game sees the boys going up against the also undefeated Bad News Boys followed by a game against Sounder Barrio Boys. Winning these two games will give the boys a definite spot in the finals, scheduled for September 1st at the Complex Building in Orange Walk.

Palindomos Teatro Independiente presents La Celda Compartida at the Paradise Theater
A group of four actors, called Palindomos Teatro Independiente from San Jose Costa Rica, were on Ambergris Caye presenting a play entitled “La Celda Compartida,” translated as “the shared cell.” Palindomos’ stop to the island on Saturday July 21st is part of a tour through Central America and Mexico. While in Belize Palindomos took their play to three municipalities. La Celda Compartida, directed by Dr. Diego Salgado, was presented at the Paradise Theater to about 100 people. The play is based on four people from different walks of life that end up sharing a cell. Confused as to how each individual arrived where they are, their frustration builds up as they try to figure amongst themselves how they ended up in the enclosed cell. Their frustrations eventually lead them to believe that they are inside a prison cell surrounded by glass walls. All four eventually begin to reminisce on a crime that may have landed them in the prison. Pretty soon the group realizes that the one element they have common is that they all have some connection with the father of one of the girls in the cell who is in the illicit business of drug trafficking to North America, using ‘drug mules’. Each in the cell was affected by this person’s operations either directly or indirectly. With no help from outside the closed room, the group eventually begins putting the pieces of the puzzle together just to realize that they were not even in a cell, but rather trapped into the reality of “Death”. The decisions in their lives had lead them to their faith and inevitable death.

Ambergris Today

Belize is Finalist for Miss World Top Model in China
Belizean beauty Chantae Guy is presently at Ordos, China as she is proudly representing Belize at the Miss World Pageant. Miss Chantae Guy is among 120 contestants vying for the prestigious title and is definitely making us proud since she was chosen to compete for Miss World Top Model Competition. Miss World will be presenting its Top Model competition in association with burgeoning Chinese luxury cashmere label, ERDOS 1436. This year there’s a real treat in store for those lucky enough to be selected! Chinese luxury cashmere brand, 1436, is providing all the clothes that the contestants will wear on the catwalk. That means the most luxurious cashmere on the face of the planet, all hand-wrought by the most skilled craftsmen in the industry. As the brand’s Creative Director - and fashion legend, Graeme Black - puts it, ‘It’s cashmere couture’!

Archaeological Sites in Belize to Benefit from Sustainable Tourism Investment
A commitment from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Belize Tourism Board to invest in a quality tourism experience and improved visitor management at Belize’s archaeological sites was cemented on July 13. Construction contracts totaling over $680,000Bz ($346,000US) were signed with two local firms, ASCON and Usher Construction Ltd.

Summer in a Bottle – Belikin’s Verano Beer
Belikin Beer is doing something good - being innovative and creative by brewing seasonal craft beer and giving its customers something tasty, flavorful and FUN! It is definitely something new for the company to be producing newer beer flavor blends and at a more frequent pace. There is more talk about Belikin and its signature flavor of Belizean Beer which is known the world over. With the addition of a new Belizean brewmaster, Nolan R. T. Michael, the Belize Brewing Company Ltd. is bringing new life to the brewery and fascinating its customers with different flavors of beer, in addition to its regular Belikin, Stout, Premium and Lighthouse blends. Their seasonal craft beer flavors are fun and keep Belikin drinkers wanting more. The Verano Beer, which was just introduced this past week, promises “Summer in a Bottle”. The color of a bright golden sunrise, and with a light citrus aroma, Verano sublimely combines an orange tartness with a subtle sweetness for an extraordinarily refreshing taste experience. The brewery states that this innovative beer owes its unique appeal to the lager fermentation process, which imparts a melody of tropical fruit notes, and is combined with Belizean orange peel and exotic spices, such as an enticing hint of wheat malt from renowned Breiess Malting. All of these flavors come together beautifully to create a thirst-quenching, clean-finishing beer perfect for those warm summer days.

Misc Belizean Sources

Channel 7 presents Olympic Coverage with Caribbean Flavour
For the 2012 London Olympics, Belizeans will be able to enjoy culturally relevant, professionally packaged Caribbean flavored programming without a North American bias. Channel 7, the longest established television station in Belize, has teamed up with International Media Content (IMC), a Caribbean corporation, to exclusively provide Belizeans with coverage that provides a global view of the games, while giving special emphasis to Caribbean athletes. There will be more than 396 hours of television coverage between the games’ commencement on July 27th and the closing on August 12th. For this coverage, IMC has sold rights to 18 broadcasters across the region, including Channel 7 in Belize. The coverage begins on Friday morning at 7:30 AM – and that day’s programming culminates at 2:00 pm when the opening ceremony airs live from London with Caribbean commentators. The programming package will include six main programme slots (Daybreak, Daytime, Crunch Time, Olympics Extra, London 180 & Las’ Lap) providing Channel 7’s viewers with up-to-date information and coverage of the events, expert analysis and insightful features. The event coverage – whether track-side, pool-side or in the field – will be coloured by expert analysis from a team of seasoned sports broadcasters and former Olympians. Viewers will get a front row seat for the events, and hear from the Caribbean’s Olympic stars as they cross the finish line in record time. The coverage will be unprecedented in its scope, its span, its packaging, its relevance and its breadth – and Channel 7’s viewers are in for a treat.

Cheese Making Classes at Caves Branch
Caves Branch is doing something different. They're offering packages where you can learn cheese making skills between the jungle adventures. Sounds unique. Hope they sell some cheeses at the Saturday market. "Whether you love to eat great cheese and want to know more, or have a desire to make cheese at home for friends and family, or want to pursue cheesemaking as a career, these classes are designed to help you attain a deeper understanding of the secrets of cheese making. And when you’re not in class, explore the Caves Branch Jungle lodge and participate in exciting jungle tours."

BNYCF Chess at Hode's
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation is having chess for all levels this week in the mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 at Hode's for kids between 8 and 15. Beginners are welcome. "Beginners, intermediate with prospective junior coaches"

National Song Competition Extended
They've extended the deadline for entries for the National Song Competition. You now have until August 10th. You could win up to $4000. The September Celebrations are right around the corner. Call 227-2110 for more information. Good luck! http://www.mynationalsong.bz

Kurse a di Xtabai in San Antonio
Kurse a di Xtabai had a screening in San Antonio, which is where much of the movie was filmed. The Make-Belize Films group is embarking on a tour all around Belize. "we shot most of the movie in the San Antonio area, we had a great screening lots of people came out to see there village in the movie, Don Nicasio who plays the Bush doctors, is now a local Celebrity, a big part of this is to promote Belize natural beautiful, visit Elijo Panti national park."

Babs' Barbecue Sauce

Channel 7

Ashcroft Wants The Judge On Trial
Lord Michael Ashcroft wants Justice Sam Awich removed from the Court of Appeal - after he only just got there. Ashcroft and other Alliance functionaries have signed unto an unprecedented letter to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission asking that body to remove him for misbehavior and/or inability. Ashcroft and his employee Dean Boyce say they have been prejudiced by what they call Awich's behavior. The constitution does make provisions for the removal of a judge - which would have to be referred to the Belize Advisory Council. It's only happened once before in the case of Justice George Meerabux. Ashcroft is asking the Belize advisory Council to investigate the question of Awich's removal. The 12 page letter dated July 17th makes the case that controversy and objections surrounded Awich's appointment - including objections by the Bar Association AND the Leader Of The Opposition. The leads Ashcroft in his letter to conclude that the appointment was unlawful and should be investigated by the Belize Advisory Council.

Police Ass'n Leaders Put On Interdiction
The leaders of the Police Association Police corporal and Acting President Eldon Arzu and Detective Sergeant and Vice President Edlin Lorenzo have been placed on interdiction. That's the very reliable report reaching our newsroom this evening. The two officers went out on a limb to publicly disparage their senior command for rushed transfers - and after attempts at dialogue stalled, the command didn't break off the limb, it cut down the whole tree! Reports are that the association has been dismantled - and now its leaders have been administratively zapped - with the commissioner's decision to place them on interdiction. Today, Lorenzo told us they are seeking legal advice. But, the advice they've gotten so far doesn't seem to have served them too well - since they ended up publicly challenging the senior command and the ministry. And while they appear to have been cut off from the Department - they haven't been isolated completely. Today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize sided publicly with the Police Association saying that they stand ready to support them in their actions. Now the Police Association is not and cannot be a Union - that's the law, but, nonetheless, the NTUCB, the umbrella agency for all unions is calling on the Commissioner and the Minister of Police to fix this situation with much haste.

Guatemalans Sell Chiquibul Gold For $70/Gramme
First they came for Xate, then timber and now it's gold. That's what we showed you on the news last night as 20 Guatemalans were found earlier this month almost five miles into Belizean territory in Southern Chiquibul panning for gold in the Ceibo Chico Creek. Tonight we revisit that story - and examine how difficult it will be to stop what is the new plunder in the Chiquibul:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is what panning for gold looks like - he tells the BDF he's been here for three days. This man has been here for two days, it's his first time - he says he knows the area is within Belize. This man tells the camera that they pay $250.00 Quezales per gramme - that's 69 Belize dollars. The soldier warns them that they don't want to see them here again, and they should pass the word on to all the other gold panners along the Ceibo Chico. It's not much, but it's the best that can be done - because driving all of them back to Guatemala will be complex:

Woman Held Up While Exercising/Man Pleads Guilty, Changes Plea
Today 38 year-old William Tush was taken to court for assaulting a Belize city woman while she was doing her evening exercise on Sunday. It happened around 4:30 as the Belama resident was walking near the NAPA roundabout on the Northern Highway. Today, asking to appear off camera, she told us how the assailant came up from behind her and put a sharp object to her neck. She didn't sense him coming because she was connected to her ipod. Here's her narration of the terrifying event:.. Voice of: Victim "Well walking along I saw this guy cross the street in front of me and he was walking - on the northern highway and like right in front of Friendship Restaurant he bend over and tied his shoe lace, so then I overtake him. Continue walking I felt him walking behind me but it was more like I felt safe because someone was on the road with me, so I just continue walking and he continue behind me. I had my IPod in my ear and I was singing while going along and when I reach like just after the round-about by that 3-storey unpainted building I just felt something by my neck and then the guy just pull my hand while holding a knife - into this yard. he took me by surprise, so at first I wasn't really fighting or anything because he really took me by surprise, but when I realize what was happening and he was saying come on lets go while pulling me - then I started to struggle. I just push him and that's when I receive this cut, then I ran. I ran screaming and the same time a car came that had a husband, wife and a child and they stop and ask what happen, they saw my hand bleeding. I told them "that guy" pointing at him and they saw the guy running away. They say that they will call the police. I saw the man jump in his vehicle and just chase after the guy."

Man Accused Estranged Wife Of Land Theft
43 year-old Anne Marie Morrison, a paralegal residing on Waha Street, in the Belama Extension Phase 2, is currently being criminally investigated after her estranged husband reported her in relation to forgery for a parcel of land. According to police, Dean Morrison, reported that between January 21 and June 25 of 2009, Anne Morrison unlawfully obtained his land parcel: lot number 2544-1, block #16, 205 Waha Street. He also reported that on January 21, 2009, Anne Morrison allegedly forged his signatures for the transfer of the deed to the parcel from his ownership to hers. Dean Morrison even went on to say that on June 25, 2009, she even forged his signatures for the transfer of the lease to the land from his ownership to hers. Police investigated his report, and they charged her with 2 counts of forgery, and 1 count of obtaining property by deception. Today, she was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, who couldn't take a plea from her because the offences are going to be treated as indictable.

Crooked Tree Man Survived Croc Attack And A Coma
30 year old Devin Swasey- the man who was bitten by a crocodile 6 days ago - has awakened from a coma. According to Swasey's mother, he is recovering exceptionally well. Swasey was attacked by a large crocodile on Thursday afternoon - while he was spearfishing in the Blackburn Lagoon in Crooked tree village. He was along with 2 other persons at the time who witnessed the incident. We understand that the croc held on to Swasey and pulled him under water for a period of time before he could be rescued. Today his mother spoke to 7news about how lucky her son is to be alive. Elisa Swasey, Mother "My nephew came and ask me to please get up and change my clothes so that we can go to look for my son who got bitten by the crocodile, but before all this they wanted me to go with them for a walk and I ask them where - they told not to worry where and I told them that I have work to do, after that they told me what it was. I went to change my clothes and went with them but by that time they had already left with him to the ambulance." Monica Bodden "At that time what was going through your mind?" Elisa Swasey, Mother "All I can say is that maybe he will survive because they told me that he got bitten in his head."

The Case Against Weed Decriminalization
On Friday's newscast you heard from Doug Singh - the former police minister who's now the chairman of the committee to examine the decriminalization of marijuana. He said the committee is only considering the options - but also added that most of the members of the 8 persons committee are pro-decriminalization - including two members who are regular users of marijuana. And that's why he's invited PUP Senator Karen Bodden to lend her considerable experience and knowledge to the committee. She meets with the group for the first time on Thursday - but spoke to us today. She said that the public, national conversation about marijuana use is one that she's been waiting to hear for a long time She's happy that it's finally started but, So far, not so happy with the direction it's going. She told us more:.. Senator Karen Bodden "Today I am happy because I believe that we are at that point where that conversation that takes place in an honest, open manner. For me I am excited because what I have been trying to do for decades as you put it - I can finally see it happening. I can finally see parents throughout that period - have suffered from all the ills of marijuana use. In particular parents who have come to me seeking assistance for their child are now able to better understand the conversation and basically decriminalization should have been at the end of a continuum, so to speak. Had we been responding as we ought to have been responding to the data presented throughout the years - it would have been a time now when people would have had access to the right education, where students coming out of school would be armed with skills that they could make decisions, where the society would not feel that the lesser burden is just to decriminalize it and get them off your back because that seems to be how people start to feel - that we are so caught up in this marijuana issue that we have no way out and all that would not have been happening at the pace that it is happening today where in my mind its being manage in a haste that doesn't make much sense."

Rivers Riled Up At Port Again
By now - if you watch this newscast with any regularity - you should know Raymond Rivers. He's the firebrand stevedore - who seems like he's never happy with the port management or his own union representatives. And tonight he's angry with both of them! Rivers called our newsroom to complain about a proposal being put forward by the port management. In the ingoing negotiation of a labour agreement, The Port is proposing that union representatives who form a part of the work gangs that offload wheat and sugar ships, as well as containers - should no longer be paid for by the Port Management. An irate Rivers says that's union busting simple and plain:.. Raymond Rivers - Stevedore "We have a union rep. for the container, we have one for the sugar and we have one when we go on wheat and right now the man is proposing zero on wheat, zero on sugar and zero on container. This man doesn't want any unionism about Belize. This man is simply saying that with the union about he cannot chance people how he want. So at the end of the day I came to prove that this man is doing union busting and secondly my president, he doesn't care at all. He is on Positive Vibes buffing up his chest. When I told him about this union busting thing - he should have been the first one on the case. Now I am telling him about this union busting thing and he is saying that this is just a proposal. You don't propose anything like this in black and white, this is proof. The proof is in the pudding on this piece of paper here."

Paranga Departs Without Paying Fine
Last week, we told you about the Jamaican cargo vessel, the MV Paranga, which ran aground about 2 miles southeast of English Caye on Monday, July 16. We contacted the Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Allegria, who told us that the initial investigation done by the Department of Environment revealed that the vessel did not hit the reef as was suspected. He did say that they were to go back out last week to do an in depth environmental assessment to see if there was any major damage. Well, we contacted Allegria yesterday and he told us that the recent bad weather from last week prevented them from going out, but they will do that assessment before this week ends. And in relation to the Paranga, we received reports that it was allowed to leave Belizean waters over the weekend, even though the investigation hasn't completed. Allegria also confirmed our information saying that it was allowed to leave because it gave the Belize Port Authority, who is leading the investigation, certain assurances that they will return.

Dialog On LBGT Issues
The public awareness of the issues related to gay men has probably never been so prominent in the national discourse. But, UNIBAM wants to push it further along and it joined with other advocate organizations in a Dialog to increase the visibility of homophobia, discrimination and understanding of gender based violence while also framing a background document for the development of an Anti-Discrimination Legislation. Caleb Orozco told us more: Caleb Orozco "What's happening here is that we are looking at the issue of gender base violence, homophobia and LBGT human rights. Because we recognize that it's little discuss, little understood and so our work around this issue is about understanding and consciousness that it does exist and there is a link between the 3 issues." "Whether its sexual abuse, physical abuse and discrimination - all those persons who experience it belong to a family and that family has a mother and a father. When you look at the issues from a family perspective it's a son or a daughter being impacted. More precisely discrimination in our mind happens differently for males versus females. For males the issue might be direct insults, threats and ridicule. For women in the LBGT community it might be intense sexual harassment and mixed around the idea that if they have sex with a straight man their lesbianism would go away. These issues which not only impact psyche of the individual but it impact psyche of the family because then families are between whether to support a love one or to argue against the individual they claim they love, life and forgetting the love and the dignity of that person is the most important thing of all."

Flip Side Of City Bond: You'll Have To Pay For A Shining City!
We all want to live in a shining city by the sea - but how many of us are willing to pay for it? That's the quandary that faces Belize City residents as Mayor Darrell Bradley is trying to modernize and upgrade a city that's been neglected for decades. Last night we told you all about the municipal bond he wants to float, which if successful, would raise twenty million dollars. And while he wants regular folks to invest in it - he's also depending on those regular city residents to make it more the bond more viable by juicing up the city's' revenue stream. That means paying a monthly tax for garbage collection, paying your property taxes and paying for parking. Bradley outlined some of those revenue generating measures in his press conference yesterday - here's what he said:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The re-assessment in property taxes and the residential garbage fee. We are doing negotiations also with BWS and we are talking about putting this fee onto person's water bill so that that will assist us in terms of the collections."

"Lucky Boy" the Jaguar Making A Comeback
The Black Jaguar formerly known as Bosh, now called Lucky Boy - who was saved from certain death a little over a week ago is reported to be making a recovery at the Belize Zoo. According to the Zoo's facebook page, he's eating well on a special restorative diet, and is friendly with his caregivers, eating directly from their hands. He is described as a surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar.

Channel 5

House of Representatives to convene on Friday
The House of Representatives will be convened this Friday in Belmopan. Notice of the meeting raised speculation because the House met as recent as July eleventh and twelfth for the budget presentation and debate. There is no word on the nature of the sitting but from what we have learnt there are pressing financial regulations [...]

Police Association gets support from the N.T.U.C.B.
The Police Association and the senior command of the Police Department remain at odds and pressure is mounting. But tonight, the association picked up major support from unions across the country. The Ministry of National Security on Monday night, in a televised statement, condemned the actions of the association’s leadership in publicizing its objection to [...]

N.T.U.C.B. says legislation changes are needed to allow officers to defend their rights
The N.T.U.C.B. contends that a threat by the Ministry of National Security to disband the Police Association is tantamount to union busting. According to Reneau, the specific piece of legislation that applies to the association needs to be revised to allow officers the right to defend and protect their rights.   Dylan Reneau, President, N.T.U.C.B. [...]

Police Association President and Vice President interdicted
In an update to the Police Association issue, we can confirm that Corporal Eldon Arzu, the president, has been charged for being disrespectful to a superior officer while Vice President, Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo was charged for disobeying a lawful command. Both officers were given letters of interdiction, effective today and will now go to disciplinary [...]

Chris Lowe pleads guilty to wounding Bert Vasquez
Twenty-eight year old Bert Vasquez was bludgeoned to the head last Thursday by Christopher Lowe, the father of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe from Santa Elena. Jasmine is the young girl who Vasquez is accused of murdering; her body was found near a farm on the Cristo Rey Road on June eleventh. Vasquez was attacked [...]

Should disciplinary actions be taken against the police?
Decriminalizing the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana; that proposal by the Ministry of National Security is being hotly debated in all quarters. We got our viewers involved in the discussion with the question: Do you support decriminalizing marijuana? Over one thousand, five hundred votes were recorded on our e-poll, sixty-five percent saying [...]

Guatemalans caught illegally panning for gold in Chiquibul
It has come to light that Guatemalan nationals have advanced deep inside the Chiquibul National Park, panning for gold. Boiton Minerals is the company that has a license to conduct mining of gold in the area of Ceibo Chico, which is located at the extreme southern flank of the forest. In that area, Friends for [...]

Public officers allowances under review by Ministry
In a memo dated July sixteen, the Ministry of the Public Service advises that a review of allowances is being undertaken and that in September all allowances will be suspended pending the outcome of the review. The government says that the allowances cost over a million dollars per month and that in some instances they [...]

Belama paralegal charged for forging land documents
In the courts, a paralegal of Belama Phase Two is facing criminal charges for allegedly deceiving her estranged husband out of a parcel of land. Forty-three year old Anne Marie Morrison is accused of forging a transfer deed on January twenty-first, 2009 and a transfer of lease on June twenty-fifth that same year. In doing [...]

2nd drug conviction lands Dean Paulino in prison; he is also fined $20,000
While Anne Marie Morrison is out on bail, thirty-two year old Dean Paulino was fined and confined after his second drug related conviction. The charges relate to a bust on July twenty-seventh, 2011 when GSU personnel searched Paulino’s house in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. When the officers arrived, they caught Paulino throwing a bag [...]

NICH parking Lot is no longer free for public use
The City Council has imposed a new fee on drivers. Parking at the NICH Parking Lot in downtown Belize City will now cost two dollars an hour. The property, which was previously available for free public parking, is for the City Council and the new fees are a way to generate revenue to cover costs [...]

UNIBAM discusses sexual orientation; is it a choice?
The President of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orosco, is taking the government to court, challenging Section Fifty-Three of the criminal code on the grounds that it criminalizes homosexuality. This morning the organization held a meeting at the Radisson to dialogue with various human rights agencies. It discussed a myriad of issues including sexual [...]

Be the next Superstar premieres live at the Bliss
The wait is almost over… the curtains are about to draw for our brand new show: Be the Next Superstar. And it is coming live from the Bliss. The kinks have been ironed out, the hosts are ready, the talent is about to take the stage and the judges promise not to hold back on [...]


The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action has issued a statement condemning statements made by the Organization of American States regarding an incident in the Colombia Forest Reserve in which a Guatemalan farmer was killed. Luis Alberto Ramirez and two other Guatem...

Three days from now, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will get underway in London, England. Over ten thousand athletes from over two hundred National Olympic Committees will be competing in the Games which run from July twenty seventh to August twelfth. Three athletes will be ...

A child remains hospitalized as a result of a traffic accident yesterday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Police report here confirmed that five year old Kevin Scott Wagner was reportedly knocked down just about no...

Sport is an alternative way to teach people about God. At least that is what a U.S based group says it is doing in the Cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “A team of ten international softball coaches and traine...

Under the Belize Municipal Project rehabilitation work began yesterday on the Dangriga Market, with more on this story here is Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “On Monday July 23rd demolition works and repairs got underway on the existing Dangriga municipal mar...

We now join Correspondent Elaine Berry with Court news in San Ignacio Town. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Sixty year old Christopher Lowe, naturalized Belizean farmer of a Hyah Street address of Santa Elena, was formally arraigned in the Magistrate Court this morning...


Victim of crocodile attack continues his recovery
Thirty year old Devin Swasey continues to recuperate following a vicious attack late last week by a crocodile in the Crooked Tree Lagoon. Swasey and two other men were diving for fish in the Black Burn area of the Lagoon when a large crocodile grabbed him and pulled him underwater. He was quickly rescued and rushed to the KHMH for treatment. Swasey was in an induced coma as doctors worked to stabilize his condition. A family member told Love News via text message over the weekend that Devin Swasey was responding to touches and voices and appeared to be waking up. Love News will continue to monitor this story and the progress of Devin Swasey’s recovery.

Commissioner of Police and Police Association lock horns
Love News today received reports that the Police commissioner had revoked the powers and privileges of the Police Association. We were later told that members of the association are to meet with the police high command and that after the meetings both sides would be in a better position to report to the media. We were able to contact the President of the Police Association, Eldon Arzu for an update. When asked what might resolve this situation, this is how Arzu reaponded. In an official release the Ministry of National Security had this to say. Delroy Kutkelvin from the Public Relations Unit in the Ministry had this to say.

City teen charged for death of his friend
Eighteen year old Paul Martinez, who the police alleged, fatally stabbed Raheem Smith, was charged with murder when he appeared today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court. Police reports are that on Thursday, July 19, Martinez and Smith had a misunderstanding over a bicycle which led to an altercation. Smith was stabbed during the altercation which occurred at a house on George Street. Martinez was also charged with robbery in connection with another incident. That incident occurred around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 at BTL Park, located on Regent Street. The complainant, Samuel Taylor, reported to the police that while he was at the park he was held up at gunpoint and assorted jewellery and several other items were stolen. The other items included four fifty dollar notes in Belize currency, an I-phone and a Samsung cellular phone. All the items amounted to four thousand one hundred dollars in value. No plea was taken for the charge of murder because the offence is indictable. Martinez pleaded not guilty to robbery. He is to return to court on August 30 for both charges.

Police holds weekly press conference
The Police Department held its usual Monday morning press conference today at its Raccoon Street Conference Room at which it shared the latest on incidents that happened over the weekend. There were no murders or major shootings to report. In fact, the most serious incident was a stabbing in the Cayo District that has left a young man critically wounded. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, briefed reporters of the incident. There was also an aggravated burglary that occurred on the Old Northern Highway on Sunday. But the Old Northern Highway was not the only location where this type of assault occurred. La Isla Bonita, San Pedro, also had its share of trouble over the weekend, in which a policeman, Constable Elvin Nah, was assaulted. Also, in the line of police investigations, since the murder of 25 year old Susana Lopez of Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek, over a week ago, an American national from Independence Village has claimed that he has come under heavy threats by villagers of the area over allegations that the murder was committed by a Caucasian man. However, the police investigations hover over another Caucasian in the area. The man whose life and property have come under threat claims that he was out of the country when the crime was committed. The police also spoke on this issue at today’s conference. And lastly, following last Friday afternoon’s robbery at Senor Coconut Restaurant on Eve Street, police say that they have detained an individual. And while the police are fighting crime of all levels on the streets, on some occasions officers can also become brutal in keeping the peace. On Sunday night, an officer allegedly brutalized a citizen in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. It is an act that Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Raphael Martinez, says is not taken lightly. There was also another incident in San Pedro in which a business establishment was broken into. According to thirty year old Martha Polanco, the Supervisor of Tomza Gas, between five last Thursday evening and Last Friday morning someone broke into Tomza Gas office on Blake Street in San Pedro and stole a laptop computer, a black HP brand printer, and other accessories worth a total of over four thousand dollars. Police are looking for one Rafael Martinez for questioning. Meanwhile, in connection with the incident near the border with Guatemala where a Guatemalan farer was killed last week, Martinez says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to issue a press release shortly.

Summer camp ends in Punta Gorda
The Peoples National Party in Punta Gorda closed its annual summer camp at the weekend. Paul Mahung Reports.

Student government body president says no to increased fees at University of Belize
The Ministry of Education’s budget cut for scholarships by half a million dollars has resulted in a cut in special assistance given to students attending the University of Belize. This means that all new students will, as of January 2013, have to pay 150-dollars more in registration fees than what students were paying before. It has drawn many to weigh in on the new reality, one of which is the UB student government and members of the newly-formed group called “Nation Builders”. President of the UB student government and member of the Nation Builders, Hope Ahmad, told Love News today that the cut in subsidy will inevitably be the equivalent to UB newcomers paying double per credit hour. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has said explained that the Government is simply at the point where it is costing too much to continue with the amount in subsidy to UB. He did emphasize on public television that the government’s intention is not to stop paying for the students who are already enrolled in the UB system, but for new students who will enroll as of January of next year.

Crane pulls down electricity poles causes blackout
The second Western Highway accident today happened hours before near mile thirty two. A truck that was carrying a crane was exiting the Cheers compound when the heavy equipment shifted slid off the truck. The sudden movement of the crane made the boom of the machine causing it to make contact with electrical wires at the side of the road. Two of the poles buckled under the impact and the result was a loss of power to surrounding areas for most of the day. No one was hurt in this incident.

Vehicles collide in Hattieville village
Two vehicles collided on the Western Highway this morning in Hattieville village. According to reports, the crash involved a west-bound pickup truck, driven by Burrel Boom resident Jarvis Castellanos and an SUV heading in the opposite direction and being driven by Belmopan businesswoman Blanca Flowers. At the scene of the incident, the Belmopan businesswoman declined an interview, but told Love News that she saw the pickup truck veering into her land and tried unsuccessfully to avoid a collision. Her vehicle slammed into the driver side front portion of the pickup truck. The drive of the pickup truck, who was transporting tractor parts to Belmopan, appears to have sustained a broken leg and injuries to his hands. Both drivers were traveling along in their respective vehicles. While Flowers claims that she swerved to avoid a collision, at the scene it showed that the impact happened on the shoulder of the road off the pavement and in the opposite lane, which would be contrary to what the Belmopan businesswoman claims. Castellanos was taken away via ambulance for medical treatment in Belize City. Police were on the scene this morning and both drivers are expected to make official statements on the crash and their investigations continue.

Mayor Bradley explains bond issue
Mayor Darrel Bradley has spoken of the municipal bond in his campaign leading up to the elections and also since he has gotten into office. The twenty million dollar bond is specifically earmarked for infrastructural development – something that the old capital has needed for over a decade now. But the advantage of this bond, according to advisors to City Hall is what it can offer the common man on the street. While it will work to give Belize City a much-needed facelift, it can also earn money for its residents. Mayor Darrel Bradley assured that bond-holders will not be at risk of losing their money. Ervin Perez is the Managing Director of Legacy Fund, which is the financial advisor to the Belize City Council. At a press conference at City Hall, Perez explained what the recommendations are that Legacy has made to City Hall on how to issue the bonds. The bond is part of a twenty-million-dollar loan that City Hall will acquire and the onus to repay will ultimately lies the residents of the old capital. The structural integrity of the streets should be of paramount quality, and City Hall does sign a contract with the companies doing the work to ensure that residents are getting value for money. Perez said that while there are risks, the bond will offer more to Belizeans than any other saving institution. City Hall will bring the bond issue to the fore three weeks from now for investors to buy shares in. The council has a list of thirty streets that it says it is doing works on.


Christian Workers Union rejects Port's counter proposal
Raymond Rivers says that Christian Workers Union rejects Port of Belize counter proposal. If you can recall on June...

Minister Saldivar on Police Association
Last week, the Police Association made news when it put out a release publicly condemning the Senior Command's rush...

Why the municipal bond
The Belize City Council has launched an ambitious plan to improve city streets. They have already invested over $1 ...

Million dollar project breaks ground in Dangriga
The $1.4 million dollar project, which will renovate and expand the municipal market in Dangriga, is getting underw...

UB Student Gov. President says no to fee increase
Nation builders a collected group of young students and activist organized for the development of better youth poli...

Miss World Belize 2012 profile
Last night we reported that Miss World Belize has reached an unprecedented milestone in the 2012 Miss World competi...

Sports camp for kids in the south
The Stann Creek District Sports Council is hosting it annual sport camp at the Carl Ramos Stadium from July 23 – 28...

Man in ICU after stabbing, won't name assailant
Police visited the Shawville area on July 22, around 3:15am, where they saw Gilroy Nicolas, a resident of Shawville...

Cop targeted by gunmen
Police Constable ELVIN NAH presently attached to the ADU, reported that on July 15, around 6:30pm he was on officia...

More charges levied against murder suspect
Raheem Smith was fatally stabbed in an altercation on George Street, over a punctured bicycle. That stabbing happen...


Guats stealing Belize gold in Chiquibul!
“...dozens and dozens of people from many Guatemalan communities, including Monte Los Olivos, Nueva Armenia, Poptun and even from the Department of Izabal,” coming to pan for Belize gold, says FCD exec director, Rafael Manzanero

Deadly road accident claims 3 lives
Three other persons injured... Three persons, the eldest in their families, are dead, and three others suffered various injuries after they were involved in a road accident that occurred around 3:00 a.m. on Friday, July 20, around Mile 11 ¼ on the Northern Highway near El Cas Super Store.

Decriminalization gets private sector (Chamber) support – but only for 5 grams of weed
Judiciary moving towards special drug court... Presently, the possession of less than 60 grams of marijuana is a criminal offence punishable by a $50,000 fine and/or up to 3 years imprisonment. The new proposal, though, suggests that for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, those convicted would be subject to fines and mandatory drug education, but no imprisonment.

CitCo wants to raise $20 mil in bonds for concrete streets
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley this morning hosted a press conference along with Ervin Perez, Managing Director of Legacy Fund Limited, CitCo’s financial advisor, to announce their intent to raise $20 million via a municipal bond to fix at least 50% of the City’s streets over the next few years.

Amazing story – Crooked Tree fisherman survives multiple croc bites and coma after being dragged under water!
At last report, fisherman Devin Swasey, 30, of Crooked Tree, Belize District, is being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, recovering from multiple bites of a crocodile lurking at the bottom of the Crooked Tree Lagoon.

Guatemala ramps up “saber-rattling” against Belize
Belize is “constantly under siege...” says Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez... COLA slams OAS for calling Belize’s defense of its territory “reprehensible”.. Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, has been quoted in an official OAS press release as saying, in response to the death of Guatemalan farmer, Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, on Wednesday that “The death of a person is always reprehensible and I hope that the circumstances in which this occurred are cleared up promptly.”

Dangriga youth footballers visit Brown Bombers at MCC
a chat with Stephen Lourie, the man behind Umadagu... The Belize City Champions Cup had taken the weekend off last week due to the referees attending a training seminar from Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 15; but that did not stop “di bola” from rolling on the Barracks, as there were 4 youth football games played at the MCC Grounds on Sunday afternoon, July 15.

Tough call for Premier League, 3 clubs apply for 2 spots
Our sources inside the Premier League of Belize (PLB) tell us that the League’s Executive has been authorized by the General Assembly at their last meeting on Saturday, July 21, to decide on which 2 teams will be allowed, from the 3 that applied, to participate in the upcoming tournament, scheduled to begin on the weekend of August 11-12.

Cricket championship, Excellence takes Game 1 over Western Eagles in Rancho Dolores
The 2012 Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition best-of-3 championship series began with Game 1 on Saturday, July 21, in the Belize River Valley village of Rancho Dolores, where visiting Excellence of Double Head Cabbage emerged victorious, 136-119, over home standing Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores. Top scorer for Excellence was Kenny Broaster with 56 runs, and he also took 5 wickets, to be the unquestioned Man of the Match. I. Broaster also scored 37 runs for Excellence. For Western Eagles, Glenn Pook batted 35 runs, and Shane Young had 19. N. Pook and J. Benjamin each took 4 wickets for Western Eagles.

Paul Steven Martinez, 18, charged with murder
He is accused of stabbing to death Raheem Smith, also 18... Paul Steven Martinez, 18, a resident of #6321 Berry Street, was today brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to answer to the charge of murder for Raheem Smith, also 18, which occurred last Thursday, July 19.

KHMH docs perform first open heart surgeries in Belize
Earlier this week, a team of physicians from Belize’s leading public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and from Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) in the United States, collaborated to perform the first-of-its-kind two open heart surgeries at the hospital’s new cardiovascular diagnostic and interventional facility.

Editorial: Sunny City
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Hon. Santi Castillo, referenced it in his budget presentation 10 days ago. Several callers on the KREM WUB morning show queried about it last week, and until a few days ago no other section of the media, except KREMANDALA, had picked up the story. The “it” we refer to is the mega project called Sunny City, to be located on 5,000 acres at Mile 12 3/4 on the Northern Highway.

From The Publisher
Back then Belize had a “censor board” which watched private showings of all movies before the public was allowed to see the films in movie theaters. In my time, the censor board was comprised of old Belizean ladies chosen by the all-powerful leadership of the ruling PUP. Usually it would be a question of their deciding whether a movie could be seen by the general public, or whether it would be classified as “For Adults Only.”

Orange Walk’s dusty streets will kill us!
In Orange Walk, one of the busiest street/roads is the San Antonio/Blue Creek/Lamanai Road. We are proud that the road is being upgraded, but here in town, from its beginning at the junction with Queen Victoria Avenue to its ending at Albert Burns Farm (formerly Dr. George Rancho), only about two little pieces of pavement remain.


A Walk in Bacalar Chico/Northern Ambergris Caye Continues...
Yesterday, I wrote about a walk I took "on the road less travelled" at the very beginning of Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve park at the northern end of Ambergris Caye. The walk was about an hour, we saw only one person at his home, no golf carts, no moving boats, a dock or two, some truly beautiful beaches, the reef barely a few hundred feet away and some of the most amazing ocean you will see anywhere on earth. GORGEOUS. Here are some more pictures... We had just passed Tranquility Bay and then a few hundred feet north, Turtleman's House. (It looks super scenic at anytime of day...especially when the sun is rising over it.) Many of the houses are wooden and many look uninhabited. Never thought of using a boat as a coconut tree planter... Did I mention how smitten I am with the beaches and the view? Let's keep walking... Uh oh...a mysterious bag filled with something white on the beach. Leave it and run. I mean, first stage a photo and then, RUN! Most of the houses are closed up. And separated by long stretches of empty beach. And then this place...does anyone know what it is? Sort of looks like the Alamo, has a bar area in the downstairs...could be an older resort...but definitely closed. As you get farther up, there are more and more turtle signs.

A Day of Maya History
Yesterday 24 eco kids had the opportunity to immerse themselves in Maya History at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. The Eco kids along with the camp counselors hiked to the Maya Temple site of Tunichilen where they received an introductory history of the Maya by Joe Awe, Chaa Creek’s Senior Guide and Mayanist. Joe Awe spoke about the significance of the 13th Baktun in the Maya Long Count and told the kids to not worry about the end of the world because the Maya never said that the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. The Eco Kids learned that the Maya Temple Site of Caracol is the tallest building in Belize and that the Maya Civilization build impressive temples, created beautiful art from stone and jade and made astonishing discoveries in mathematics and astronomy. Mr. Awe also told the kids that the ancient Maya remembered important events by building stone monuments called stelae which were carved in stone.

After another fantastic breakfast, our eco-campers were getting ready for what was expected to be a lot of serious hiking involved. The centerpiece for today’s activities focused on the ancient Mayas, with a trip to the biggest Maya temple remaining on the Chaa Creek property, as well as a presentation in the conference center from renowned cultural anthropologist Joe Awe. We had barely left the main road on the hiking trail when the skies began to pour rain down upon us!! It was not long before many of the campers were telling me that this was the longest they had ever been outside in the rain in their lives. And let’s face it, this is why we come to camp in the first place – to experience new things and bring back stories to tell our friends and families. Well, the kids certainly got that on their hike up to our Mayan site today. In fact, the rain gave Joe a perfect seg-way into discussing one of the reasons why the Maya civilization collapsed –drought, caused by over clearing of the trees. While our modern eco-campers may have been praying for the skies to clear and the sun to come out, at that very spot, over a thousand years ago, there may have been a group of Maya people praying to Chaac (their Rain god) for exactly the kind of weather we experienced. Joe did a fantastic job describing the Maya people who would have once inhabited the area and created an image of what life might have been like for them. Many of the campers were surprised to find out that some of their fellow eco kids are, in fact, descendants of these unique people. One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind was the end of the Maya calendar, which occurs on December 21, 2012. “Is the world actually going to come to an end?!” Joe was able to reassure everyone that unlike the Western calendar we use today, the ancient Maya calendar is cyclical in nature so it is not actually ending this year, but just completing the circle. Instead of worry about the end of the world, we should, in fact, be getting ready to celebrate the rebirth of the cycle.

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

#443242 - 07/25/12 08:48 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 25, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

International Sources

John McAfee: Anti-virus king turned relational yoga inventor talks latest endeavor (or prank?)
WW: Do you think you will spend the rest of your life in Belize? JM: I believe I will. I think most of my energy is going into the observational yoga and the observational weight training. WW: Tell me about your days in Belize. JM: I don't have an average day; every day varies. I live in different places around the country. If I am in Orange Walk, it is an overgrown rainforest and a totally different environment from San Pedro, which is on the ocean. I try not to become a habit unto myself, so I vary my location, I vary my activity. WW: What do you think about the idea of yoga and intellectual property? JM: I don't believe in intellectual property. Number one, when I started my anti-virus software, I put on the package: "Please steal this software." What is intellectual property? It came from combining all the ideas that are in your head; it came from other people. I don't think we own any ideas. But I don't insist on my opinion. Here in Belize, for example, there is no intellectual-property law because the government doesn't believe in it. If, in fact, Belize changes that, that's fine with me. I can live under any system. WW: You knew Greg Gumucio when you were living in Colorado. What was your relationship like?

Joel’s journey from the Big Issue to top legal firm
A RUNNER from Southgate who used to be homeless said he was “very proud” to have carried the Olympic flame in east London this weekend. Joel Hodgson, 25, who was born in Belize, took part in the Olympic torch relay in Newham on Saturday morning. “It was a surreal experience,” Joel told the Advertiser. “But I was very proud. It was great to do it in Newham because I could see the Olympic Stadium. “There were lots of people who came to see me – my family and friends. It was great to have them there, but I was very nervous beforehand. “I just hoped I wouldn’t drop the torch or fall over.” Joel is also a sprinter and can run 100 metres in under 11 seconds. He hopes to compete for the Belize team in the next Commonwealth Games. On Monday, the Belize Olympic team invited Joel to the athletes’ centre in the Olympic Village, where they were welcomed by singers and dancers. And tomorrow he will join his native country’s Olympians for dinner with Prince Harry at a London restaurant.

USA Wins 2012 America's Cup in Belize
For the first time ever Belize hosted two prestigious world-rated darts tournaments, the 19th Annual Caribbean Cup and the 6th World Darts Federation Americas Cup. The tournaments took place this month in Belize City from July 20 – 30, 2012. Team USA held on to a 7-5 victory over Team Canada. The teams fought valiantly, each holding their own at 5-5 but the US team dug deep and pulled ahead, breaking Canada to advance for Men's Doubles Gold. Canada claimed Silver. Canada took the Men's Singles Gold and Silver with Troy Hanlon's victory over fellow countryman Chris Steiger in a 4-0 contest. USA claimed Gold and Silver in the Ladies Singes when Marilyn Popp defeated Brenda Roush in a 3-0 match. Dawson Murchell claimed Gold for Canada in the Youth Singles by defeating countrywoman Robin Barnes in the finals 4-1. This was Dawson's first Internation Singles Title. Maryland local, Joe Huffman was part of team USA. "It has been a great honor to play for the US Team. We had a blast and I will never forget the experience!"

NYT Excerpt: Offshore Banking In Belize
This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson opens a hard-to-trace offshore company in Belize, which turns out to be a piece of cake: "Setting up the company was a lot cheaper than I expected. A&P charged $900 for a basic Belizean incorporation and another $85 for a corporate seal to emboss legal documents. For $650 more, A&P offered to open a bank account to stash my fledgling operation's money in Singapore — a country, the Web site also noted, that 'cannot gather information on foreigners' bank accounts, bank-deposit interest and investment gains under domestic tax law.' And for another $690, it offered to assign a 'nominee' who would be listed as the official manager and owner of my business but would report to me under a secret power-of-attorney contract. Then an A&P associate asked me to fill out the incorporation information online, just so she wouldn't type in anything incorrectly. The whole thing took about 10 minutes."

"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces
Archaeological "gold mine" illuminates connection between king and sun god. Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar. Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya. Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization—which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatán region (Maya map)—was a loose aggregation of city-states. (Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.) "This has been a growing awareness to us since the 1990s, when it became clear that a few kingdoms were more important than others," said Brown University archaeologist Stephen Houston, who announced the discovery of the new temple Thursday. El Zotz, in what's now Guatemala, was one of the smaller kingdoms, but one apparently bent on making a big impression. By 2010 archaeologists working on a hilltop near the ancient city center had discovered 45-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) Diablo Pyramid. Atop it they found a royal palace and a tomb, believed to hold the city's first ruler, who lived around A.D. 350 to 400.


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