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#443702 - 08/01/12 01:44 PM Today's Belize News: August 1, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Pampering and Holistic Renewel at CG Esthetic
Reiki Master Pam Burton has been offering Reiki treatments at CG Esthetics and I was invited to learn more about Reiki and undergo a treatment. Warm and welcoming, Pam who has been a Reiki practitioner for several years, was eager to tell me about the powers of this Japanese technique of stress relaxation and the health benefits that come with it. Pam explained that she does not actually touch you while conducting the treatment but engages in what is called the “laying on hands,” which is based on the concept of an unseen “life force energy” that flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. According to Pam, if one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Pam went on to explain that Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. She mentioned that some people claim that they feel a warmth to their skin where ever she is “laying her hands” while others become very relaxed and may even fall asleep. Considering that my daily life is fueled by stress and I am constantly “on the go” I was intrigued to learn how this treatment would affect me.

Lions’ & Leos’ Roar: Lions’ Club gets donations
Tuesday and Friday nights BINGO The San Pedro Leos Club would like to invite the community to weekly Tuesday night Bingo. The games start at 7PM every week at the San Pedro Lions Club and all proceeds from the games go towards the Leos Club. The San Pedro Lions Club continues to have their weekly Friday night BBQ and Bingo starting at 7PM. $500 REWARD being offered The San Pedro Lions Club is offering a $500 cash reward for anyone with information that can lead to the successful arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the burglary of the Lions Den that occurred on Tuesday, July 17th. To share any information please call the San Pedro Police at 206-2022 or Mel Spain at 604-9595. All calls or information will remain strictly confidential. San Pedro Lions Club receive Donation One week after the burglary of the San Pedro Lions Den there has still been no arrest. However, after reading about the unfortunate incident, a US national and a frequent visitor and friend to San Pedro has decided to make a donation to the club. Bruce Kahn contacted the President of the San Pedro Lions Club Mel Spain to contribute $2,000BZ to help offset losses as a result of the burglary.

Update on Karol Mello
Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo asked for an adjournment until Thursday, August 2nd but despite strenuous objections by Mello’s attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, Justice Legall granted Perdomo more time to prepare for the case. The case has been adjourned until Thursday August 2nd. Mello remains in Police custody. Mello is wanted in Slovakia on accusation of murder.

Ambergris Today

Belize One of the Best Dressed at Olympics Opening Ceremonies
“The contrasting piping on the blazer sets this jacket off. The tie, the jacket, the pants and the shoes are all a great combination.” During the opening ceremonies Belize's flag bearer was Kenneth Medwood and proudly held the national flag as he lead the contingent in the athletes parade at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012.

Costa Maya Pageant Beauties Enjoy Adventures in Belize
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival commences on Thursday, August 2, 2012, but pageant week starts a seven days ahead the festival with the arrival of the eight delegates who kick start a whirlwind of activates leading up to competition night. This year the delegates arrived on Thursday, July 26, 2012, and were whisked away to San Ignacio, Cayo, where they were hosted by the San Ignacio Resort with a welcome dinner with the proprietors, friends and Rebecca Stirm, Belize’s rising fashion designer who had two of the girls model one of her dresses.

Miss Honduras Costa Maya Celebrates Belizean Birthday
Miss Honduras turned 19 in Belize as she arrived to partake in the Costa Maya Pageant. On Friday, July 27, 2012, Miss Honduras Sthefany Maolyth Piñeda Perez was given a special treat by the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. As the group of ladies were given a tour to the Iguana Project, an initiative by the San Ignacio Resort to help protect Green Iguanas in Belize, Sthefany was covered in baby iguanas who gave her birthday kisses. She and the delegates had fun interacting with the reptiles and took many photos to take memories back home. Miss Honduras even got to release one to the wild as a birthday present by The San Ignacio Hotel.

Misc Belizean Sources

Love News has confirmed that the dismissal of the charges against Brian Sears happened in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday of last week.
The case of American missionary Bryan Sears, 35, accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers in Santaneja village in the Corozal district exploded on the national scene in October of 2011. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and the case has been meandering through the Magistrate’s Court since. Today, word is that the case ended late last week with a whimper when the sex charges were withdrawn and Sears was discharged and allowed to walk free. Love News has confirmed that the dismissal of the charges against Brian Sears happened in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday of last week. We have been unable so far to contact the police prosecutor to find out exactly why the charges were dismissed against Sears.

VIDEO: Discover Scuba Experience, Belize Barrier Reef
Curious to see the Belize Barrier Reef but not scuba certifed? No Problem, here's the solution.

Cayo Welcome Center pictures
The Cayo Welcome Center is close to finishing. The new bar, Bamboo Bar, is almost done too.

BNYCF at Hodes had Chess and Jenga
The Belize Natinoal Youth Chess Foundation didn't just have chess this week at Hode's, they also had Jenga.

Saturday Market Food Court
Pictures from the Saturday Market's food court in Cayo, where you can find rice & beans, tacos, pupusas, and fresh juice too.

Miss Earth Belize Contestants
There are 5 Miss Earth Belize contestants, and 2 of them are from Cayo. Idolly Saldivar, who is from Belmopan, and Katalina Jones, who is from Roaring Creek. The pageant will be on Saturday, August 18th. Good luck, ladies! "Introducing the Miss Earth Belize 2012 delegates. The Miss Earth Belize 2012 Pageant will be held on August 18, 2012 at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City, Belize at 7:30pm."

Cayo Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds
This week's Cayo Classifieds. The Finishing Touch has a new location, and the same great selection. "Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5pm."

Belizean Fried Callaloo
Callalo is a nutritious green leafy vegetable found primarily in the Caribbean. Someone brought Joe some seed and he planted it in our yard in California. From the harvest he reaped in July 2012, he shows us how he and his family cooks this vegetable.

Channel 7

Third and Fourth City Murders in About 72 Hours
Last night in the city there was no letup in the violence, which started on Friday night. Two men were murdered on the southside - both of them shot to death. We start with the story of 23 year old Clive Medwood, a working man at BWSL who was relaxing with his family at home around eleven last night when a bullet came through the window. As Monica Bodden found out - Clive Medwood was killed on his birthday. Here's her story:.. Aunt of Deceased "My nephew works and he is not a trouble man and things like that, I don't why or what they did it for." Monica Bodden reporting Clive Medwood celebrated his twenty third birthday on yesterday - but little did he know, it would have been his last. The shooting happened a little before 11 last night - at his home on number 9 Ebony Street. Medwood was at home with his younger siblings - sitting down in his couch - when the triggerman stood by the kitchen window from outside the house and begun firing shots through the wooden louvers. The fatal shot caught the young man to the left side of the head - and the bullet exited on the other side. His younger sister who was lying in bed at the time of the shooting - heard when the gunshot rang out. She recalled the entire incident to us - right down to the traumatic moment of holding her dying brother in her arms.

Teenager Killed, Family "Mum"
And there was another murder after that one. It happened around 12:30 am - and a teenager was killed. 18 year old Kendis Pike, a mechanic, was walking at the corner of Kraal Road and Ben Bow Street - just a couple yards away from his home, when a gunman pulled up on him and fired two shots. Pike was shot to the left side of his chest and to the left hand. His family declined to speak with us today. Police have made no arrests.

Cops Arraigned For Murder - PG Community Lashes Out
Two police constables were arraigned for murder today in Punta Gorda Town. It is an event that is probably without precedent: two lawmen charged for murder at once. And not only is it unprecedented, it is also a huge embarrassment for the Police Department - because off-duty Constables Frederico Tush and Modesto Cucul were apparently drunk when they beat Michael Valerio to death and injured two others. Daniel Ortiz and our team drove to Punta Gorda Town today to witness their arraignment today and they're just back with the story. Here's his report:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At 2 this afternoon, the 2 Police Constables, 28 year old, Modesto Cucul and 24 year old Frederico Tush, were finally taken to the PG Magistrate's Court, after a 4 1/2 hour wait. It is unclear why it took so long for them to be arraigned, but they now face a murder charge for the brutal beating, which led the death of Michael Valerio. The incident has shocked and enraged the community of PG, which refuses to tolerate any appearance of preferential treatment, especially because the accused are law men.

Karol Mello Hearing Adjourned
Slovakian citizen and Belize Permanent Resident Karol Mello was arrested 20 days ago in San Pedro. He's been detained since then - and his local attorney Godfrey Smith has been trying to get him freed - or at least have his expulsion stalled. The Minister of Immigration signed that expulsion order on July 16th. but Smith got an injunction to block it. Since then, he's applied to the Supreme Court for a Habeas Corpus hearing, basically a hearing to demand that the state bring Mello before the court - and explain why he is imprisoned. That hearing was held today in the Justice Legall's courtroom and Jules Vasquez was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 20 days after he was arrested, Karol Mello appeared in the Supreme Court in shackles and with a full security cordon of the Special Patrol Unit and prison guards today. He still wore a closely cropped Mohawk - and was casually dressed. His wife Susanna Mello also appeared in court today - and along with Mello's attorney Godfrey Smith, she was allowed to have a private visit with Mello in an adjoining, empty courtroom where he was being held. Mello would not be freed today though - which is why he left the court in shackles - because the Government side asked for more time to prepare and Justice Oswell Legall gave them two days - a most vexing outcome for Smith:

Stevedore Falls To His Death
A Stevedore lost his life and another was injured this morning in a serious accident at the Port Of Belize. It happened at 3:21 am as a gang of Stevedores was loading a cargo ship called the MV Kappeln. 40 year old Ian Madrill and Deon "Ras" Pitter were on top of a 40 foot spreader - which is something like this picture we got from the internet. That was being hoisted by a crane into the cargo hold - when it came loose and they plummeted 30 feet into the hold. Madrill sustained a head injury and died while Pitter broke his hand and injured his leg - AND IS IN A STABLE CONDITION. Again, this image is something like the kind of assembly they were on - but is not a photo of the actual thing, we just got this from the internet. CEO of the Port of Belize Tux Vasquez, explained the accident in greater detail. Tux Vasquez, CEO - Port of Belize "Both Mr. Pitters and Mr. Madrill were riding actually the spreader. Its spreader that we have and it have a flat rack - a flat rack is like a flatbed that they use to transport vehicles on and they were putting on these flat racks back onto the ship. To get the flat rack on to the ship they have to hook the spreader on to it. There is 4 corners that carries a clamp and it's manually locked and that was lock and these gentlemen were on the flat rack as it were being carried from the pier to the ship. I understand that as it was being lowered into the ship it hit the side of the ship which happens I am sure sometimes. It hits the side of the ship and the flat rack became loose and the flat rack fell inside the ship. As a result I imagine the spreader started shaking and both men fell, so it was a fall I would imagine about 30 feet that they fell." "My understanding is that Mr. Madrill was in a sitting position. So really when the flat rack got loose it's like the bottom fell out for him so he fell and I understand that Mr. Pitters was holding on to the chain while it was moving. I understand one was in a sitting position and one was actually standing or even sitting or holding on to a chain. I believe what happen was that Mr. Madrill more like out of control while Mr. Pitters was in a better position if you will call managing his fall, so to speak."

91 Year Old Knocked Down/Killed
A 91 year old was knocked down and killed today on the Northern Highway. It happened within city limits at mile two and a half - which is right across from the Buca Shell Gas Station. According to reports from those in the area, Robert Griffith, had gone over to the gas station as he often does to buy a few things. He was walking back over to M and M Engineering where he lives on the compound when he was hit by a Honda Accord. Griffith was flung unto the pavement by the impact and suffered injuries to his forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee. He died shortly after at the KHMH. Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland was driving the private vehicle - which, according to witnesses, had no plates. PC Sutherland has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Alleged Serial Rapist Convicted
Twenty-six years old Leroy Gomes, alleged serial rapist who beat 4 rape cases, was unable to beat his 5th trial today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The victim, a 27 year old mother of 2, testified for the prosecution that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on bicycle and pulled out a brown and black object to his side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond ear rings and her cell phone, and he then forced her to get onto the bar of the bicycle at gunpoint. Gomez then allegedly took her to the veranda of a house, raped her, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. In his defence, Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law, Rita Smith, testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. The jury deliberated for about 1 hour and a half before they found Gomez guilty of rape and robbery. The jury's verdict was unanimous on both counts.

Ret'd US Attorney Complains About Local Lawyer
We always hear complaints about the justice system and the abysmal conviction rate for murder. According to the American Bar Association - which reviewed Belize's justice system, it's about 10%. But if you want a lower conviction rate, try the Bar Association Disciplinary Committee - their conviction rate is very close to zero. And a retired American Attorney is finding that out first hand after he filed a complaint against an attorney months ago and nothing has happened. He told us his story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Richard Gentry decided to retire at Reef Village in Belize in 2007. It looks like Paradise but there have been problems with the development. And to have his say in those problems he needed a land title to his unit - and that's where his problems started: Richard Gentry, claims he was defrauded by attorney "And I said I haven't paid my strata title or my transfer tax or stamp tax and I want to do that because I want to be able to take part of this meeting on the 30th and I don't want anybody to say that I don't own any units, so he said you have to talk to Arthur Saldivar our attorney in order to do that. On January 11th 2010 I went to the Reef Village office and Saldivar was there, I never met him before but I was introduce to him and I told him who I was that I owned unit G202 and I want to pay the stamp tax and whatever fee was involve. So he did some calculating and he told me that I owed $12,900.00 in stamp tax and $1,000 as fees for him and I said how can I pay that and he said that I can give him a cheque. So I wrote out a cheque for $13,900.00 the total of the two sums and I said who do I make it payable to and he said make it to Belize Law Center - that's my firm. I said fine and that's what I did."

Alleged Serial Forgers To Court
Three former employees of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville were charged with a number of counts of forgery and theft when they appeared today in Magistrate Court. 28 year old Thomas Garcia, a self-employed construction worker residing at Vista Del Mar, was charged with 5 counts of forgery and 2 counts of theft. The charges were for incidents which allegedly occurred between October and November last year and the money involved was reported to be $904 dollars. 24 year old Vincio Tuario, a resident of Lord's Bank Road was charged with 4 counts of forgery and 2 counts of theft. The forgeries and thefts occurred between October and November last year the money involved was approximately $1,297 dollars. Twenty-four year old Mario Martinez, a Salvadorian Belizean, was charged with 30 counts of forgery and 15 counts of theft. The thefts and forgeries accured between August and November of last year and they were for money amounting to over $5, 000 dollars and the forgeries were done on tax invoices.

Kids Camp for Diabetes
This week 30 juvenile diabetics will be taking part in a 5 day summer camp in the city. It is the second annual camp that the Belize Diabetes Association is hosting for these youngsters living with type one diabetes. The camp's objective is to educate children living with diabetes on how to avoid the foods and behavior that can worsen their condition. But, more than that, it's about managing the condition in the long term - which is a reality for an increasing number of children. Anthony Castillo, President - Belie Diabetes Association "Today we have over 30 children living with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is one of those chronic conditions which at this time has no cure, so as child once you born or acquire the condition - it's a condition that will remain with you for the rest of your life. It's absolutely important for the child living with this condition to learn of this condition and learn to cope with it. As you may know diabetes is one of those conditions that has so may complications and if you are going to live with this condition for the rest of your life then its best for them to know how to treat themselves." "The camp will inform them and educate them in living with the condition. As a child earlier in your years your mom, dad, parents and relatives will assist you as you test your blood sugar levels and take you insulin. As you may know children living with type 1 diabetes are insulin dependent and at some point they may have to do it themselves. At the camp they will learn how to do their testing. They will learn how to give themselves their injections and all the do and don'ts of living with type 1 diabetes." "Type 1 diabetes at this time is still unknown how the children acquire the condition. Typically the child is born with the condition, the pancreas is not producing insulin or producing very little insulin which your body is unable to use, so in that case the insulin must be injected into the person living with the condition."

Launching The "Jasmine Alert"
In memory of Jasmine Lowe and the message her death taught all of us, today the launching of the Jasmine Alert Program was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, and its aim is to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. One of the founders of the program told 7news that the goal of a Jasmine Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of any abducted child 17 and under. Patrick Menzies, Jamine Alert "The Jasmine Alert is an early warning alert system setup to be able to basically warned Belizeans of a kidnapping or abduction. The Jasmine Alert works this way; let's say a child is kidnap in Belmopan. Somebody see it and calls 911 - the police gets it, they know that a child was pickup, they immediately call the national coordinator who is Inspector Ms. Augustine, she decides if it meets the criteria - so she therefore immediately advises SMART, BTL and the media that there was an abduction and it's a Jasmine Alert and once she does that she actually sends the text type material that will be put out in the text for both SMART and BTL. The media starts to broadcast that across the nation so that everyone can be looking for the vehicle or the individual that performed the heinous crime."

Channel 5

2 cops arraigned for P.G. Murder
A crowd gathered this morning at the Punta Gorda court for the arraignment of two police officers.  But it was until this afternoon that the duo faced the music; they were read charges for the murder of Michael Valerio. Police constables Modesto Cucul and Federico Tush were reportedly intoxicated on Sunday when they inflicted a [...]

Why was there a delay in taking cops to court?
The delay in arraigning Cucul and Tush is not uncommon, says Officer in Charge of the Punta Gorda Police Department, Inspector Ernel Dominguez. Dominguez, who also acted as prosecutor in this case, says that only high risk detainees are handcuffed. He says that residents can be assured that due process will be followed in the [...]

Pike, 18 year old, murdered several feet from his home
In the Old Capital, there have been four murders in the past four nights. B.D.F. Corporal Wayne Madrill and Stephen Flowers were killed over the weekend and on Monday night two more residents fell victim to the uncontrollable street violence. We start with the homicide of Kendis Pike, who like B.D.F. Corporal Madrill, was gunned [...]

Murdered on his birthday in his home by window shooter
There is another family grieving the loss of a loved one. The second person to be killed on Monday night is Clive Medwood who turned twenty three on Sunday. Medwood was in the comfort of his home listening to music when a gunman fired at him through a window. His mother says he was the [...]

Will ICJ stop Guatemalan incursion into Belize?
Tonight’s question is: Will going to the ICJ stop incursions by Guatemalans into Belizean territory? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Stevedore killed in accident at the Port
An unfortunate accident at the Port of Belize at the crack of dawn this morning led to the death of a stevedore. Ian Madril was being lifted on a flat rack when it gave way. Madril and another stevedore, Deon Pitter, were discharging a cargo ship; the men plunged some thirty feet. Madril did not [...]

Alleged Slovakian mafia boss gets another day in Court
In the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall, a habeas corpus application was heard this morning on behalf of Karol Mello, the alleged Slovakian mafia boss who is wanted by the Slovakian authorities. Prior to this application, attorney Godfrey Smith had obtained an order from the Supreme Court to restrain the minister of Foreign Affairs from [...]

Leroy Gomez accused many times, but now guilty of rape
Leroy Gomez gained notoriety back in September, 2008 when he was arrested for a series of rapes and attempted rapes. Gomez was quickly dubbed a serial rapist, but he has since managed to beat all those sexual assault charges; he was convicted once but successfully appealed. He was, however, accused of another rape and robbery [...]

Gas station employees face forgery charges
Former employees of the Shell Gas Station in Ladyville were in court to today to face charges of theft and forgery. The main alleged offender is twenty-four year old Martin Martinez, who was charged with a total of forty-five counts; nineteen counts of Theft and twenty-six counts of Forgery for over ten thousand dollars that [...]

Boy who was crushed under house is slowly improving
Ten year old Brithon Cordova remains in a critical condition at the K.H.M.H., but his condition is slowly improving. His mother, Norma Cordova, says that although he cannot talk he is alert. The boy has been hospitalized since Thursday after his zinc house collapsed on top of him when he and his seven year old [...]

Knocked down on highway; 91 year old passes away
An early morning accident in the city has left a senior citizen dead. Around nine-twenty this morning, Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland was driving his car between miles two and three on the Northern Highway when according to police, Sutherland accidentally knocked down ninety-one year old Robert Griffith. Griffith received injuries to the forehead, shoulder, right [...]

Belizean athlete ready for Olympic trials
The 2012 Summer Olympics continue in London where judo athlete, Eddermys Sanchez fell early in the elimination round, but team Belize is still in the games. This Friday, Kaina Martinez will be competing in the one hundred meter sprint while Kenneth Medwood will race in the four hundred meter hurdles. Martinez is Belize’s top female [...]

US Amber Alert adopted as Jasmine Alert in Belize
The spate of heinous attacks on young children, particularly the murder of Jasmine Lowe, has sparked a national movement to address the issue of the kidnappings and abductions of children. This morning, the system, Jasmine Alert, was launched. It involves the mobilization of stakeholders to get the message of a missing child into the public [...]

You’re a Superstar! Celebrity show is Live on 5!
The highly anticipated first season of Be the Next Superstar kicked off with a bang last Tuesday night with lively performances from thirteen of the twenty-six hopefuls that made it through the audition round. The interactive social network has been a plus for the viewers at home, so remember to leave your comments alongside the [...]

LOVE FM

Police News
A stevedore is dead while another was injured. According to a release from the Port of Belize, the incident occurred sometime around three o’clock this morning while a container ship was being unloaded. The incident resulted in the death of Ian Madrill and left Deon P...

Belize and Taiwan Engage in Exchange Program
The 2012 International Youth Ambassadors’ Exchange Program between the Republic of China, Taiwan and Belize came to a close last Friday night. After having arrived in the country two weeks ago, youth ambassadors from Taiwan shared their culture and in returned also received...

Refurbishment of Memorial Park Underway
Work to upgrade the historic Memorial Park in Belize City is set to finish in time for the September celebrations. According to Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Programme, Christy Maestre, there were some changes to the original design of the project CHR...

Another Case of Police Brutality Emerges
Another case of alleged police brutality has been reported in Southern Belize. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU Dangriga Correspondent Love FM “The Cal family from Red Bank Village in the Stann Creek District alleges that Indep...

Punta Gorda Mayor Condemns Police Brutality
Punta Gorda Mayor, Anthony Fuentes has condemned the police brutality incident leading unto the death of a Punta Gorda resident. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “Reacting to Sunday Night Police Brutality incident o...

San Pedro Prepares for La Costa Maya Festival
The Costa Maya Festival was born the Sea and Air Festival, a project to attract Tourists to La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. This year the festival is celebrating its twentieth Anniversary after having been the Sea and Air Festival for four years with the other sixteen years as the Cos...

Environmental Camp Begins in Punta Gorda Town
Over one hundred and thirty children began TIDE’s annual Environmental Camp yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “The annual camp experiences have provided many children w...

Police Constable Knocks Down Elderly Man
An elderly man was knocked down and killed this morning on the Northern Highway. It happened between miles two and three in front of Shell Gas Station at around nine a.m. Police say that Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland, who was at the wheel, reported that he was driv...

A Captain of the Belize Defense Force Detained by Police
A high ranking Belize Defense Force soldier is tonight in police detention accused of criminal activity. Because no formal charges have been laid against him, we cannot release the name of the officer, but we can confirm that he carries the rank of Captain. He was detained ...

Fuel Prices Increase
No announcement was made by government; but overnight the price per gallon of fuel increased across the country. In Belize City, the current price of a gallon of premium gasoline is now selling for twelve dollars and ten cents. Regular gasoline is selling for eleven dollars...

Police News
One man is shot then assaulted at a bar in Orange Walk Town. The shooting happened at the Palapa Bar and Grill at 39 Belize Corozal Road Orange Walk Town. According to official police reports, on Sunday around eight forty-five in the night 42 year old Elvis Hernandez, Nicaraguan of San...

Belize City Murders Investigated
Two Belize City men were gunned down this weekend. Marion Ali has the details. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “The murder rampage that appeared to have subside for a few weeks resurged this past weekend with two more in the old capital. Shortly after nine ...

American Missionary Acquitted on Charges of Sexual Molestation
The case of American missionary Brian Sears accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers in Sarteneja village in the Corozal district exploded on the national scene in October of 2011. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and the case has b...

Toledo Resident Dies Following Alleged Police Brutality
A Toledo resident is dead after he succumbed to injuries allegedly inflicted by two police officers on Sunday night. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG Love FM Correspondent Toledo District “Reports and allegations here indicat...

Three Weekend Murders Reported
The weekend did not go by without incident. There were three murders between Friday night and this morning, two in Belize City and one in the Toledo District. In the first incident on Friday night, Stephen Flowers was shot dead on Mahogany Street. At the regular Polic...

Fire Fighters Undergo Professional Development Training
A two-week professional development training for fire-fighters is underway in Belize City. It has the participation of sub office supervisors from all over the country and according to chief training officer Ervin Smith the end result of the training is not only to sharpen the sk...

CTV3

U.S. National Freed Of All Charges
Thirty five year old American National Brian Sears, who was accused of sexually molesting three teenage brothers in Sarteneja Village, is tonight a free man as his case was dismissed in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Reports to CTV3 News is that the parents of the teenagers, the teenagers themselves along with their attorney appeared in court last week where they proceeded to inform the court that they no longer wanted to proceed with the case. In fact reports are that the family and the victims testified in court that they didn’t provide any such report to police in the first place and so the judge had to dismiss the case. CTV3 understands that today the case would have been submitted to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday October 11th CTV3 News broke the story of a U.S National who was accused of sodomizing three male minors from the village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District. Brian Sears was then consequently arrested and charged with three counts of committing an unnatural crime after the mother of the minors reported to police that Sears forcibly had sexual intercourse with the three boys ages 13, 14, and 16 at the time. All our attempts to contact the family as to why they withdrew the case were futile.

New Board Game Teaches Children About Natural Disaster Preparedness
On Friday June 1st the 2012 Hurricane Season was officially declared open and fortunately Belize hasn’t experienced any storm so far. But as they say prevention is better than cure and with that in mind the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) along with the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union has designed a board game for children where they can learn how to be prepare for natural disasters. The game, called Reisgolandia, forms part of the Awareness Disaster Risk Reduction Program which falls under the umbrella of NEMO. General Manager for Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union, Rafael Dominquez, explains how the game is played. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier School “This game will be based on a number of questions and we can see that it starts from one and it will end up somewhere in the eighty, so there will be questions to this numbers and then from there, it is something like a snake and ladder, but actually it will based on questions that is being draft with all that has to do with disasters, so children will get a better understanding when it comes to disaster, when they hear of disaster they will be able to identify what is a hurricane, what is a tornado, what is an earthquake so they will be well prepared as well when it comes to a risk disaster event or something like this.”

Home Of U.S. National Burglarized
It never made it on the police sitrep but CTV3 News understands that the home of a retired U.S. National, living in the Corozal District, was burglarized in the wee hours of Sunday morning. On Sunday, at around 2:44am, Fugen Ozgur was awoken by the loud barking of her dog followed by a struggle outside the residence. Ozgur reports seeing a dark male individual, wearing a black jacket and black cap, entering her room a few minutes after the barking ceased. The burglar then walked towards one of the glass windows and signaled to someone outside. Fearing for her life, Ozgur lay still on the bed even after the burglar approached her and whispered something in her ear. At that instance Ozgur claims to have smelled the strong stench of liquor coming from the individual. Ozgur somehow managed to call her brother and informed him about the burglary that was in progress, while the intruder ransacked the residence. When police arrived at the house the burglar had already made good his escape with one digital camera. At the scene police found Ozgur’s dog lying on the porch with what appeared to be multiple chop wounds to the head and body. The animal died moments later. Police also observed that the intruder entered the residence by prying open a burglar bar and removing two louvers from a window. A steel cutter and a black cap, believed to belong to the intruder, were also found at the scene. Police have yet to make an arrest.

Rash Brothers Freed Of Murder Charge
On July 18th the murder trial of Valencio Rash and his brother Sensino Rash, accused of the April 8th 2008 murder of 18 year old Erlin Matura, began at the northern session of the Supreme Court. After two weeks of trial and more than four years behind bars, the Rash brothers walked free today after Attorney Kevin Arthurs representing Valencio Rash and Attorney Leo Bradley Jr. Representing Sensino Rash entered a “no case” submission stating that there was not enough evidence for the trail to continue. Presiding over the case was Judge Dennis Hanomansingh who upheld the submission and directed the jury of 11 men and 1 woman to return with a verdict of not guilty. Representing the DPP’s office was attorney Kaysia Grant. At around 10:30 on April 8th 2008, Stanley Matura, Timothy Sanker and a minor were in front of the San Antonio Government School, located in the Corozal District, when two men wearing rags over their faces and armed with a shotgun, rode up on separate bicycles and started shooting at the trio. Investigations revealed that Matura was the intended target and while some of the pellets grazed his head, the majority missed their mark. The assailants then took off on their bicycles and rode towards Olga Marin Drive. That’s where the night turned deadly. Riding from the opposite direction was eighteen year old Erlin Matura, Stanley’s first cousin. Erlin and one of the assailants collided into each other and as the teenager lay on the ground, the gunman shot him at close range. Erlin received injuries to the chest, arm pit and left arm. He succumbed to his injuries a day after the incident.

Ten Year Old Brithon Cordova On Life Support
On July 26th, 10 year old Brithon Cordova and his nephew 7 year old Jova Griffith were playing with a couple of puppies under their zinc house located on San Martin Street in Orange Walk Town when the building collapsed on them. While Jova Griffith sustained a broken left leg, Brithon Cordova was seriously injured and transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where he is presently on life support after he collapsed last week Thursday around 9:00am. Cordova is currently in the intensive care unit where he is being treated for a swollen brain, a fractured neck, a collapsed right lung, and injuries to his eyes, stomach and face. According to family members his prognosis is grim yet they are hopeful. It is believed that the wooden posts could no longer support the weight of the house therefore it collapsed.

Gas Prices Hit Another Increase
Four months ago, on March 4th to be exact, motorist were delighted to learn that the price of fuel had finally seen a reduction after being on the constant rise since January 1st. But tonight, we say to consumers, “hold on to your pockets because the price of fuel has augmented with premium passing the $12.00 mark”. As of midnight last night a gallon of premium gas went from $11.67 to $12.11 seeing a 44 cents increase. Regular saw a 35 cents increase and now sells for $11.15 instead of $10.80 per gallon. As for the price for a gallon of diesel, it went from $10.07 to $10.25 seeing an 18 cents increase. Kerosene is the only fuel that did not see an increase as the price remains at $8.70 per gallon. Reports are that the hike in prices is due to government’s reintroduction of the General Sales Tax on fuel. Based on our records this is the 6th time this year that fuel prices have seen an increase.

Default Concerns Make Belize Bonds Worst In Emerging Markets
Belize’s notes are the worst performers in emerging markets this month- that’s according to Bloomberg’s bussinessweek.com. The financial website states that Belize’s budget deficit widens and there is growing concern that the government will force holders of $544 million bonds to take losses in a restructuring of the super bond. Belize’s dollar bonds have fallen 2.5 percent this month, the most among 52 emerging-market countries tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index. Yields on Belize’s so- called super bond, due in 2029, climbed 145 basis points or 1.45 percent, to 20.08 percent this month as the country nears its second restructuring in five years. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who campaigned on a promise to restructure the bonds, told lawmakers in June that lowering the debt burden is “unavoidable.” The government faces an Aug. 20th payment of about $25 million and according to Barrow, Belize’s budget deficit will swell to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, from 1.1 percent this year.

Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union Expands Customer Service
Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union has more than 25,000 members with branches in Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Sarteneja and their headquarters in Corozal Town. Keeping in line with their motto “Helping its members for a brighter future”, last month the credit union introduced its new service to customers as they became collecting agents for Belize Water Services Limited, Belize Electricity Limited and both Smart and BTL. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier Credit Union “We don’t have no additional fees charged to members, actually we are based on commission so all members can enjoy coming to pay their bills without any additional fees.” Hipolito Novelo-Reporter “Other than receiving commission from offering these services, why is it that Saint Francis decided to take this one.” Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier Credit Union “Because we saw a need right, we saw a need with our member, over 25,000 members, coming towards our Credit Union giving services of loans, savings, fixed deposits and we are giving services for fertilizer for the cane farmers, so we say why is it that our member has to go to other places to pay their bills once they are at the Credit Union, so we made this agreement with what the third party of Heritage Bank, we link with them so we are now providing them the services coming to a one place and getting all the services that they might need.”

LOVE TV

Accident claims the life of elderly man
An elderly man was knocked down and killed this morning on the Northern Highway. (VO STARTS) It happened between miles two and three in front of Shell Gas Station at around nine a.m. Police say that Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland, who was at the wheel, reported that he was driving a 1989 Gold Honda Accord when he accidentally knocked down the victim, ninety-one year old Robert Griffith. Griffith, who is a resident of the same area, suffered severe injuries to his forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee and died shortly after one this afternoon while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. (VO ENDS) Police have since served Constable Sutherland with a Notice of Intended Prosecution as they continue to investigate.

BDF soldier in police detention
A high ranking Belize Defence Force soldier is tonight in police detention accused of criminal activity. Because not formal charges have been laid against him, we cannot release the name of the officer, but we can confirm that he carries the rank of Captain. He was detained today in Punta Gorda on the strength of a warrant we understand was issued in San Ignacio. Love News understands that the impending charge is that of handling stolen goods. The formal charge is expected to be laid against the BDF captain on Wednesday. He is currently enroute from PG to the San Ignacio police station. Love News will continue to monitor this developing story.

Man faces long prison sentence on rape conviction
Twenty-six year old Leroy Gomez, who was charged with rape and robbery, was found guilty of both charges today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of 6 women and 3 men deliberated for about 1 hour and a half before it arrived at its verdict which was unanimous. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until August 3 in order to give Gomez time to prepare a plea for mitigation, The minimum sentence for rape is 8 years and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. The minimum sentence for robbery on indictment is 10 years and it may extend to life imprisonment. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The complainant, a 27 year old mother of 2, testified that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on a bicycle and put something to her side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond earrings and her cell phone then he took her to the verandah of a house at the back of a yard and raped her. She said Gomez told her not to tell anyone, otherwise he will kill her. Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. Gomez was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Trienia Young represented the prosecution.

Brothers freed of murder charge
After a three week trial, two brothers who were charged for a 2008 murder in the Corozal District were freed of the charge today. Valencio and Finesio Rash were charged with the murder of 18-year-old San Antonio villager Erlin Matura on April 9, 2008. A no case submission was entered by attorneys for the brothers which was upheld by Justice Denis Hanomansingh. Justice Hanomansingh directed the jury of 11 men and one woman to return a verdict of not guilty. Matura was shot and killed as a result of a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Valencio Rash was defended by attorney Leo Bradley while Finesio Rash was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs. Crown Counsel Tashia Grant represented the prosecution.

Man murdered in his living room
Two Belize City youths were killed in the last twenty four hours and the senseless bloodshed continues to plague the old capital. The first victim, identified as twenty three year old Clive Medwood, was shot in the head on Ebony Street. Police say they responded to the scene of the shooting around ten fifty five last night, where they found Medwood inside his living room in a pool of blood. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died early this morning while undergoing treatment. Police say that initial investigations show that around ten forty five last night, Medwood was at home following an errand, when he was mortally wounded as he sat on his couch. Police say that just before the shooting, a short dark complexion man with dreaded hair was seen tip toeing near a window on Medwood’s house. The man then reportedly pushed a handgun through the window and pulled the trigger firing several shots, which found their mark on Medwood’s body. The gunman then made good his escape. Medwood died around seven thirty seven this morning while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. The second overnight murder happened at twelve thirty this morning. The victim is eighteen year old mechanic Kendis Pike. Police say that Pike was walking at the corner of Kraal Road and Ben Bow Street when a lone gunman approached him and fired two shots, causing the fatal injuries. Pike was hit to the left side of the chest and the left hand. His body now lies at the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police investigations into both incidents continue.

TIDE’s summer camp opens in Punta Gorda
Over one hundred and thirty children began TIDE’s annual Environmental Camp yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Stevedore looses his life in Port accident
A mishap at the loading section at the Port of Belize’s pier point in the wee hours of this morning has claimed the life of a stevedore and left another hospitalized. The incident happened around three o’clock this morning while the work gang was offloading a container ship. The deceased, Ian Madrill suffered severe injuries when he and his colleague, Deon Pitter fell some thirty feet to the ground. Love News’ Marion Ali spoke with the Receiver of the Port of Belize this evening, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, who explained what happened and what the Port is doing to assist the families of the men. The Port management has extended condolences to the family of Ian Madrill and wishes Pitter a speedy recovery.

Mayor Anthony Fuentes denounces alleged police misconduct
Punta Gorda Mayor, Anthony Fuentes has condemned the police brutality incident leading unto the death of a Punta Gorda resident. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Jasmine Alert program launched
Since 1998, more than half a dozen little girls have been ruthlessly murdered and their bodies dumped in bushes. None of their murders have been solved, and the last one, that of Jasmine Lowe, has prompted her parents and a closely-knit Cayo community to press for a Jasmine Alert program. Today, almost two months to the day after murder of the thirteen year old, the program was introduced. Patrick Menzies who is one of the organizers of the program, explained how you can help protect Belize’s children after they go missing. Inspector Deanna Augustine explained what her role is as the National Coordinator of Jasmine Alert. Youth Ambassador, Alberto Vellos, said that while this is a commendable effort, more still needs to be done to protect our future leaders. The effort involves the assistance of Fultec Systems, Belize Telemedia and Smart.

Stage set for the 2012 Costa Maya Festival
The Costa Maya Festival was born the Sea and Air Festival, a project to attract Tourists to La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. This year the festival is celebrating its twentieth Anniversary after having been the Sea and Air Festival for four years with the other sixteen years as the Costa Maya Festival which carries the same objective, to attract locals and tourists alike to the island on its slow tourist season so that all businesses in the island can benefit. Milo Paz is one of the Directors of the Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro. And since the festivities take place this weekend, it’s time to start purchasing tickets. Paz tells us just where you can acquire them. Paz extended thanks to all those who volunteered of their time and efforts, especially sponsors and international contributors who are sure to add in making the festival a success.

PlusTV

Freak accident at the Port causes death of Stevedore
The Port of Belize is mourning the death of one of its stevedores. This morning at around 3am, an accident occurred...

Gun terror continues as man slain on his birthday
A BWSL worker was found with bullet wounds on his birthday. On Monday July 30, around 11pm CIB personnel visited #9...

The National Drug Abuse and Control Council on marijuana decriminalization
The debate on current efforts to Decriminalize marijuana in Belize is unfolding as both sides put forward their arg...

PG Officers arraigned for murder, Council condemns suspects
Police Constables Federico Tush and Modesto Cucul have been arrested and charged for the murder of Michael Valerio....

Home shot up while family on property
A Belize City home was fired upon in the middle of the night. On Sunday night, just before 11pm, a gunman fired sho...

Extradition case for Karol Mello on slow-mo
Alleged Eastern European mafia boss, 42 year old Karol Mello has been languishing in the Belize Central Prison wait...

Teen succumbs to gunshot injuries at KHMH
A Belize City youth succumbed to a gunman’s violence. CIB personnel visited the KHMH on July 31 just after midnight...

Pedestrian knocked down by cop, dies
A 91 year old man was knocked down and killed by a police officer this morning. Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland ...

Belize takes center stage at 2012 London Olympics
Belize is being represented at the 2012 London Olympics, but by only three athletes. Yesterday Belize's judo compet...

Rash brothers walk free from 2008 murder charge
Two brothers have been freed of a murder charge that dates back to 2008. This morning in a Corozal courtroom, Valen...

Man listed stable after shooting
And in another shooting incident on Sunday night, Dwayne Sutherland was shot. At around 8 o’clock that night, Suthe...

Suspected suicide in Silk Grass Village
An American national, identified as Robert Trindle, 59 has been found dead. Police do not suspect foul play in Trin...



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 03:52 PM)

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#443703 - 08/01/12 01:44 PM Re: Today's Belize News: August 1, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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Amandala

3 shootings in city; 2 dead, 2 injured, 1 seriously
Stephen Flowers, 24, was shot to death at corner Mahogany Street and Administration Drive... In deadly gun violence over the weekend, Stephen Flowers, 24, of Administration Drive, was shot to death; and Raymond Arnold, 28, is fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while Ryan Mejia, 22, of Jasmine Street, has been treated and released.

Opposition calls for helicopter to help patrol Bze-Guat border
Elrington explains death of Guat lumber bandit, but Belizean border residents concerned over continued armed incursions into Belizean territory... In a statement to Parliament on Friday, July 27, 2012, Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington gave a detailed account of the chain of events that led to the controversial death of Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, and the detention of José Antonio Sosa, 60, and Hugo Monroy Ramos, 33, inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve on Wednesday, July 18.

Toledo students receive Benjamin and Onelia Rash scholarship awards
Five Toledo students received scholarship awards in ceremonies held in Punta Gorda Town on Saturday, in memory of missing siblings from San Marcos, Toledo District, Benjamin and Onelia Rash.

Faber presents motion for US$2 mil loan for education sector reform
Education Minister Patrick Faber presented a motion for a US$2 million concessionary loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) when the House of Representatives met for a special sitting on Friday, July 27, 2012.

BDF band member murdered on Cemetery
Corporal Wayne Madrill, 42, was a good man, say his family and BDF comrades... Veteran Belize Defence Force band member and musician, Corporal Wayne Madrill, 42, of Pen Road, was walking on Cemetery Road with another man around 3:00 a.m. Sunday, July 29, when a gunman approached and opened fire on them, hitting Madrill several times and injuring him in the face and head. The man with whom he had been walking escaped unhurt.

Police charge cops for beating PG man to death
While we were unable to reach the Police Department this evening for official confirmation, a source close to the investigation has confirmed that two police constables, both attached to the Punta Gorda Police Station, and who were detained throughout the day, were charged just before six this evening with the murder of Punta Gorda resident Michael Valerio, 47, and harm to two other residents of the town after a deadly incident on Sunday evening.

U19 National Cricket Selection in Suriname for ICC Americas U19 Division 2 Championship
Leaving Belize on Friday, July 27, were 14 players who had been selected to the U19 National Cricket Team to travel to Suriname for participation in the ICC Americas U19 Division 2 Championship. The tournament runs from July 31 to August 4, and our team is expected to return to Belize on August 6.

Rancho shocks Double Head, game 3 on Saturday in ‘Landing
Saturday in the village of Double Head Cabbage was supposed to see the crowning of the 2012 Harrison Parks National Cricket champion; but someone forgot to tell the folks in the neighboring village of Rancho Dolores, whose Western Eagles squad came determined to do the unthinkable. At least, according to last week’s Crooked Tree pundit, who was supremely confident that only Brilliant of Crooked Tree could beat Excellence at home in Double Head Cabbage. Well, there is always a first time.

Two 1-nil games in Champions Cup semifinal
As anticipated, both match-ups yesterday at the MCC Grounds in the Belize City Champions Cup knockout semifinals were very close contests, ending in similar 1-0 scores.

Charges dropped against officers Leonardo Yama and Jose Ortiz
Gabriel Casey, the complainant, dropped case as he was compensated for his injuries... Leonardo Yama and Jose Ortiz, police officers, today had their charges struck out after the complainant, Gabriel Casey, an employee of Belize City’s Magistrate’s Court, withdrew the charge of wounding after an “out of court” settlement was reached.

Editorial: The family
For a couple weeks now, the Opposition PUP has been making a splash about what they call a “nepotistic land grab” at the Ministry of Natural Resources. They had reportedly obtained documentation that shows that some UDP Ministers and their families, and cronies, had gotten huge swaths of public land at rock bottom prices.

From The Publisher
“It was after the second defeat of the Republic that he retreated from Venezuela and went off to Jamaica. He somehow miraculously survived a plot to assassinate him. And it was there that he wrote his famous Letter from Jamaica, and there, too, in 1816, that he came in contact with President (Alexandre) Pétion of Haiti. Pétion began to exert an influence on Bolívar with regard to the freeing of the slaves; he helped him with arms, and Bolívar made a vow that was now absolutely consonant with his revolutionary thinking: he promised to abolish slavery. His expedition left Haiti and disembarked on Venezuelan soil, and there, on 6 July 1816, he delivered the ‘Ocumare Manifesto.’ One of its first paragraphs states: ‘That unfortunate portion of our brothers who have groaned under the hardships of slavery is now free. Nature, justice and policy call for the emancipation of the slaves; from this time forward, in Venezuela there shall be one single class of men, and all shall be citizens.’

Blogs

Back to pioneer days
After living in Belize for almost 7 years, I can totally imagine what it was like in the wild west some times. We were recently sent back to the pioneer days after our washing machine broke down. I remember when we first moved here and lived in the downtown San Pedro core, in a 1 bedroom apt which did not have laundry. There were 2 laundry services in town at the time, but I do care to use the dryer for my clothes so I often ended up hand washing my stuff. Raul came to look at it Sunday and said a switch was broken and it would be later in the week that we might get a fix – ugh. I was totally not in the mood to do bucket laundry tonight, but I am attending a National AIDS Commission Induction Ceremony and Luncheon at El Divino on Thursday. Since I do not want show up looking like a tomboy as a representative for the Belize Red Cross. I decided that advance prep would be better under the circumstances, not only am I dealing with being washer-less, it has been so hot lately that one wear is all I have been giving my clothes. For fun I decided to look up a couple of posts from our pioneer days. I picked 2 from when we were still relatively new here – just over a year. My plastic bucket collection that I won at a Dia De San Pedro back in 2007 and the time Dianne and Tracy Quicksilver Messenger Service saved the day and our water supply. I had 3 buckets of laundry on the go and we were about to be cut off due to a missed placed bill due to the hullabaloo between Hurricane Dean and Hurricane Felix.

Captain Morgan's Casino Packed with Costa Maya Beauty Queens: San Pedro Scoop Predicts the Winners
Last night, the 2012 Costa Maya International Pageant Queens hit Captain Morgan's Casino and Resort for dinner, charity for our local humane society (SAGA), lots of photos and a bit of gambling. Here are (from the left) Miss Mexico, Miss Nicaragua, the reigning Miss SAGA San Pedro, Ari Trejo (as voted by me), Miss Belize and Miss Guatemala. Go Ari! Let's back up one second for some background. Since is inception in 1991, Costa Maya has been the biggest international festival in all of Belize. Now, it draws people from all over the country and Central America with a Thursday night beauty pageant (the real deal) and live music and entertainment all weekend long. It's a huge party weekend in San Pedro. All the bars are full, many of the hotels, every golf cart is rented...the beach is one big festival. For ALL of the information, check out their website...they really improved it this year. Here is the sign featuring the two international artists that will be performing. A little Caribbean reggae and a bit of Latino flair. Ok, back to me, me, me. Captain Morgan's has a free boat service up to the Casino each night leaving from the Fido's dock. We took an early boat. And hung out by the pool for a few minutes. Quite pleasant really... We paid $20bzd at the door (all donated to SAGA) and received a $10USD coupon for gambling. Perfect. That's about all the penny slots I can take. I was drawn to this strange machine. Wonder why they chose Rembrandt to feature? Bizarre.

Belize’s Newest Environmentalists Graduate
The future of Belize’s natural resources isin good hands after this week’s graduation of 24 “Eco Kids” from an innovative summer camp aimed at educating and empowering tomorrow’s conservationists, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s co-founder and general manager, Lucy Fleming said today. The 24 students all graduated from Chaa Creek’s Eco Kids Summer Camp, an annual eight day event aimed at instilling a sense of “wonder, understanding and responsibility” of Belize’s world famous natural resources in today’s youth, according to Ms Fleming, who designs and facilitates the programs for the camp. Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the camp program uses a mix of adventure, social interaction, fun and hands-on education to engage young people with their natural surroundings while teaching the importance of conservation and natural resource stewardship. Ms Fleming said the idea for the camp came from her personal experiences while she and her husband Mick watched their own children grow up in the 365 acre private rainforest reserve they call home.

Meet the 2012 Eco Kids
Camp is officially over. The eco campers got to perform one last time for the great turn out of families and friends who made it to Chaa Creek to attend the closing ceremonies. The kids have now gone back home (at least we think there aren’t any left hiding in the jungle) with many amazing memories, great new friends, positive attitudes, and a better appreciation for what it means to be an “eco kid.” I won’t forget this incredible opportunity anytime soon, and I know all the campers feel the same way I do! To finish things off, here is a look at the 24 unique and special kids who have made the 2012 Chaa Creek Eco Camp such a memorable event.

International Sources

Lord Ashcroft will have to publicly counter accusations that he made loans to corrupt Caribbean politician
The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft will have to publicly counter accusations that he made loans to a corrupt Caribbean politician after a High Court judge today decided that he should have to reply to the allegations. The Hon Mr Justice Eady’s decision is the latest development in a “long and tortuous” legal battle between the Tory’s former deputy chairman and the former owners of The Independent. Lord Ashcroft is seeking damages in a libel action against Independent News and Media (INM), the paper’s former editor Roger Alton and reporter Stephen Foley, claiming he was libelled in two articles in November 2009. Today Mr Justice Eady decided that, as well as defending its claim on the grounds of responsible journalism in a matter of public interest, INM could also use the defences of fair comment and justification: that the story was truthful.

A piece of Chesapeake Bay history comes home
It began on Ewell, Smith Island, Maryland, in 1916 when Noah T. Evans was asked to build a boat to carry the mail, freight and passengers from Crisfield to Smith Island. He built the Island Belle which ran back and forth for 74 years. In 1920, during the oyster boom he built a 66-foot buy boat and named it the Winnie Estelle after his two daughters. In 1922 he built the Dora Estelle another buy boat and named it after his wife and youngest daughter. These buy boats were some of the original workhorses of the bay moving seafood and produce to ports in the US. The Winnie Estelle was written about in a book by Larry Chowning where he described her as one of the finest restorations of any of the Chesapeake Bay Buy boats ever built. The Winnie Estelle has over a 90-year history as she was passed from oneowner to another and in the 1970s made her way to Belize where it was used to transport lumber and eventually used for tours off the island. The Winnie Estelle has kept its original design and is in perfect condition. Only about 20 percent of the original material it was built out of remainssince she was salvaged in 1986 from a sure death where she was adrift ona reef off of Belize. Capt. Roberto Smith and two other men undertook a 5-year project to restore her utilizing Honduras heart pine, Belizean cabbage bark and other hardwoods of great strength and durability. The original keel is still sound and intact.

Belizean court postpones decision on Mello’s extradition
A court in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, has postponed judgement on the extradition of Slovak fugitive Karol Mello. The judge accepted a request by Mello’s lawyer, Godfrey Smith, to allow him to read the whole file in detail, the SITA newswire wrote. Media outlets in Belize reported that Mello, charged with organising at least two murders, entered the court wearing handcuffs. The proceeding was also attended also by his wife Zuzana. The next hearing will take place on Thursday, August 2. Belizean police arrested Mello on the Caribbean island of San Pedro on July 11 in an operation coordinated with Interpol. Though the local authorities reportedly issued a permit to expel Mello from Belize on July 16, his lawyers secured a court ruling on July 17 which halted extradition pending a judicial hearing. While Mello and his lawyer argued that Mello entered Belize legally, local media later reported that he had lied about his past and the outstanding charges against him in Slovakia.

How to Choose Where to Retire Overseas
You aren't going to live a luxury lifestyle in Belize, no matter how much money you have. There's no fine dining, great shopping, or haute-couture to be found anywhere in Belize, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, or Honduras either. It doesn’t exist. Luxe living has as much to do with opportunity as it does with income. Three places where you could enjoy the good things in life on a budget of, say, $3,000 per month or less are Paris, Kuala Lumpur, and Medellin. Assuming that you can free up enough cash to buy an apartment in Paris, living in Paris is as luxe as it gets, and can be far more affordable than you might ever imagine. A couple could have a hard time spending $3,000 per month in this city, assuming no rent. Many of the finest offerings in Paris come gratis or nearly so, and transportation is next to free. Telephone, cable, and Internet are a bargain. And, outside the tourist zones, everyday things such as haircuts and groceries can be very affordable.

Happy Birthday Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
News today of conditions in the marine environment seems mostly something to be dreaded; a litany of decline and morbidity. Whether it be the seemingly intractable force of ocean warming; ocean basin catastrophes like the BP oil spill; the bloody farce called “scientific” whaling by the Japanese; or simply the eerie appearance of lion fish in the Atlantic Basin, the marine conservationist — the enlightened observer, for that matter — can surely be forgiven for having adopted a protective shield of cynicism regarding the future of our planet and our ability to effectively address the challenges of conservation. So, by way of relief from the weight of these troubles, it was a pleasure to hear of a birthday on July 2nd, happening in Belize, site of the greatest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. It was a birthday marking the authorization of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 25 years ago. Joining in the commemoration were Belizeans and ex-patriot friends of Belize from around the world. Among those friends, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Leaving the Reefs of Carrie Bow
As the days tick away, so do our last hopes of finding social shrimp. We came to Carrie Bow to collect two types of eusocial shrimp, each living in colonies with a single queen and dozens to hundreds of nonbreeding workers. Although Emmett Duffy has collected dozens of such colonies here over the past two decades, we need new specimens for advanced genetic and reproductive studies. Now it seems we will have to scrap those plans. At this point, we can safely say that eusocial shrimp are gone from Carrie Bow. Over the past few days, we’ve sampled nearly 20 reefs, each unique and surprisingly beautiful it its own way. Some are covered by mats of corals and sea fans. Others are dotted with mounds of coral. Fish are abundant on some, but not on others. We see squids, sharks, rays, turtles and eels. We sample reefs to the east, and reefs to the west. We head far south, and stay north near the station. We try deeper ones and shallower ones. Some have more live coral, some are more degraded. Yet one thing is consistent: no eusocial shrimp. Today we make one final attempt to sample along the outer fore reef before the bottom drops off and descends toward the continental shelf. Snorkeling down to the bottom is much harder here, not only because it’s deeper, but also because the current is stronger and the waves at the surface are bigger. Because swimming against the current is ineffective and we need to cover a large area, we pull Emmett on a tow line behind the boat as he searches for the corals that used to harbor the sponges containing eusocial shrimp. The corals we need are also all but gone, replaced by other species. The remaining rubble is old and overgrown with different sponges from the ones we need. After a few unsuccessful hours, we conclude that even out here, the shrimp are nowhere to be found.

French Wildlife Photographer Captures Belize’s Beauty
Marie-France Grenouillet has some great shots from her recent visit to Belize. She has some good things to say about Belize, and birding at Black Rock Lodge too. Check out her photo album. "My impression of Belize – so small and so “generous”… I must say that for those who love birds, the underwater world, local authentic villages and, of course, Maya sites, don’t hesitate to visit this small country... Another superb place is Black Rock Lodge Trails and Grounds. It is the perfect place to see Keel-Billed Toucans, Emerald Toucanets, the beloved “Collared Aracari” and many other birds. The scenery is marvelous; it is near a ravine in which the river is running, surrounded by greenery."


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