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The San Pedro Sun

Emergency Organization Committee tour San Pedro as Hurricane Ernesto moves north
n the late afternoon of August 7th, the Chairman of the Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in San Pedro, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro Town Council took an official tour around the island to get a first hand overview of the island as it braces for the effects of Hurricane Ernesto. The officials toured the low-lying areas and were accompanied by the national and local media. In speaking to the press, Heredia said that, “we want to ensure that everything is in place and to ensure that islanders have taken the necessary preparations for the effects of Ernesto.” Some residents that live in flood prone areas and whose homes are more vulnerable decided to make use of the hurricane shelters that were open since 2PM. Those locations include the buildings at the San Pedro High School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Shalom Church, Living Word Church and the San Pedrito Evangelical Church.

Police Operation on North Ambergris Caye leaves one civilian injured
An early morning police operation on Northern Ambergris Caye led to one person being injured and two detained. The injured person has been identified as 24 year old Steven Bowen Jr. Sometime between the hours of 8AM and 9AM, August 7th a special maneuver involving members of the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG ) – an arm of the Belize Defense Force, led by San Pedro Police was dispatched to northern Ambergris Caye following several reports. The team’s main goal was to disband a hostile environment in the area after San Pedro police received numerous reports and complaints of a group of about 10 armed individuals terrorizing North Ambergris Caye residents. Reports of assault with the use of a gun, armed robberies, burglaries and the sale of drugs are just a few of the many crimes that had been reported to the authorities. With the objective to follow their mission, to protect and serve the residents of Ambergris Caye, San Pedro police organized this special operation within the stretch of land located nine miles north of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye. Somewhere nine miles north of San Pedro Town, police came across three men, one of whom charged at the law enforcement group with a machete. Fearing for their lives, one of the law enforcement officers fired at the individual. As a result Steven Bowen Jr., boat captain of San Juan area in San Pedro Town was shot once to his left side. Bowen was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II and subsequently airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City with a police escort. Bowen is in stable condition.

Reinas, Rock, Rhythm, Romance: Costa Maya Festival celebrates 20 years!
Three nights and one day; the International Costa Maya Festival 2012 was a full weekend of entertainment. After Thursday’s pageant saw the selection of Natalia Villanueva as Costa Maya’s beauty ambassador, the festival was in full swing on Friday and Saturday night. During the opening ceremonies on Friday, which included the traditional flag dance done by the Nu Generation Dancers, El Salvador’s Tourism Minister addressed the crowd after opening remarks by San Pedro Town mayor Daniel Guerrero. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture also spoke at the event, praising the festival organizers for continuing the hard work of putting on a successful weekend every year. Milo Paz, one of the festival directors spoke to the crowd as well, reminiscing on the 20 years of festivities, including the entertainment, sponsorship and attendance. After the formality of speeches, it was time for the party to get started! With elegant Maya costumes, the Ballet de Camara from Quintana Roo, Mexico began the night’s festivities with their elaborate and thrilling ballet performance. They were followed by the energetic and upbeat Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Depicting various styles of dance, the troupe went through quick costume changes throughout their performance, featuring classic, cultural and modern dances for all ages in attendance. To enthusiastic applause, they took their final bow and cleared the stage for pulse-pounding guitar riffs and drum beats from The Remaining. The rock band hails from Belize City, and came complete with violinist, adding a touch of pulsing rock to the evening’s activities.

Ambergris Today

Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Injured in Shooting Incident
Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest, Silvia Joseph, was injured in a shooting incident that occurring on the island of Caye Caulker on Saturday, August 4, 2012, after an assailant pulled out a handgun at a group and threatened them. According to police reports, at about 5:15am on Saturday, August 4, 2012, they responded to a report of a shooting incident that occurred somewhere by the Caye Caulker split. Police personnel visited the Caye Caulker Health Centre where Lincoln Allen, 29yrs, fisherman of #2 Pinks Alley, Belize City, was seen suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the left palm of the hand and to the left shoulder. Also, Justin Alamina, 23yrs, businessman of #24 Hicaco Avenue, Caye Caulker, was seen suffering with a cut wound to the forehead and Silvia Joseph, 19yrs, waitress of Lousiano Reyes Street, Caye Caulker, was suffering with a cut wound behind the left ear. They were then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a private boat by Police personnel.

San Pedro in Storm Watch as Ernesto Approaches
The headquarters of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is hard at work and making necessary preparations for the approaching storm Ernesto. Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to become a category 1 Hurricane late this evening and the entire country, especially San Pedro, is under Hurricane Watch. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Minister Manuel Heredia and Frank Panton of SP NEMO were on the morning show today alerting and advising island resident to be prepared and if necessary to evacuate the island on a voluntary basis. Five locations have been identified as shelters here on the island and include: San Pedro High School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Shalom Church, Living Word Church and the San Pedrito Evangelical Church; all will be officially open at 2p.m. today. Voluntary evacuations will be allowed until 1:30 p.m. when the last vessel is scheduled to leave the island as the harbor will be closed at 3:00 p.m. Residents are reminded that the evacuation is on a voluntary basis hence there is NO FREE EVACUATION provided by the Government of Belize to leave the island but there is free transportation to shelters in Belmopan and Orange Walk! Most businesses have indicated opening for the most part of the morning and establishments are reminded that the sale of liquor is to stop at midday today. The waterfront gas station (Texaco Dock) will operate until 12 noon and the Lagoon Gas Station and Caribeña Fuels on Blake Street will both operate until 5p.m. this evening.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Hurricane Ernesto in San Pedro
San Pedro Prepares San Pedro preps as evacuations are underway. Ambergris Caye, Belize Belize Coast Guard Belize Coast Guard aboard " The 370 Justice" standby on alert in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Coastal Xpress Last Run To Town Final Private Run of the Coastal Xpress From North back South to San Pedro, here's a look a the ride. U.S. Tourist Evacuation From North AmbergrisCaye Safety of our island guests.

Maybelline Seminar at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel hosted the Maybelline Seminar. They had a huge turnout. The product can be obtained at Maria Estella's salan.

UB Fall 2012 Orientation
The University of Belize had their orientations. School will be starting back up soon. Hope everyone had a great Summer. Isn't that the Taiwanese student group presenting at the orientation?

Takari
Many Belizeans come from Indian ancestry. My husband Joe comes from this culture and he shared some of the meals he knows. Takari is and Indian meal made with chicken and curry powder with the one defining ingredient being cabbage. This a slightly hot but sweet dish that goes well with white rice.

Life on the Caye as Hurricane Ernesto approaches!
The day today is a tale of rain! Hurricane Ernesto – as it became a hurricane this morning – outer bands spread far and wide and last night we had thunderstorm that sent chills down the spine of even the toughest islander (unless you were a child and then you were more likely to be asleep through it). Since then, all it has done was rain! The storm is over 150 miles away from us, expected to hit land at about midnight tonight the eye being placed above well above the boarder of Mexico, Belize in Mahuhual. The North East quadrant of all hurricanes and this one is no different, will always be where the strongest winds are located. We are South of these winds and currently we believe will not even be experiencing Tropical Storm winds – thankfully! Ernesto has not moved much from its predicted path over the past four days and, although anything is very much possible with regard to mother nature, we are expecting little to no change (crossed fingers!!). In preparation all boats have been placed in their owners particular safe harbor – Raggamuffin’s sailboats are all tucked into a lagoon on the North side of Caye Caulker along with many of Frenchie’s boats too. This lagoon is surrounded by mangroves that will bend with the ever changing wind direction that the storm will produce and yet their roots are immovable and therefore one of the most original ways of securing a boat. This was all undertaken yesterday afternoon and so for this morning, very little hurricane preparation is required to be done.

Channel 7

Hurricane Ernesto Spares Mexico, Slams Belize
Hurricane Ernesto has spared Belize - the category one storm is expected to make landfall at Mahahual on the Southeastern Coast of Mexico - about 43 miles northeast of Chetumal in the next few hours with winds of 85 miles per hour. Only minimal impacts are expected in northern Belize as the strongest winds are concentrated north of the eye - which will make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The strongest effects are currently being felt in San Pedro where that town is presently reporting a storm surge of two feet presently So we're not at the all clear yet; not nearly. At 6:00 pm, the storm was moving west north west at 18 miles per hour and is currently 65 miles east of Chetumal with hurricane force winds extending 45miles out. According to our calculations it is 80 miles northeast of San Pedro - so they should be experiencing Tropical Storm Force winds. It is 100 miles northeast of Belize. Our news team was in Corozal today - and we'll have the story on what has been happening there a little later on.

US Treasury Dep't Accuses 3 B'zeans Of Involvement With Mexican Cartel
But the Hurricane was almost swept out of the headlines by a press release of seismic proportions. It comes out of Washington and was posted this morning at 9:00 am on the website of the US Department of Treasury. It is the first of its kind and makes bald accusations against three Belizeans - alleging that they work with a major Mexican drug cartel. The release is even accompanied by an organizational chart - and Jules Vasquez had a look at that today and fills in with some information from the press release:... The chart posted on the US Treasury Department website and sent out in a US Embassy press release describes it as the John Zabaneh Drug Trafficking Organization - Sinaloa Cartel Operatives in Belize. According to the New York Times, the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for "as much as half of the illegal narcotics imported into the United States from Mexico each year." The chart shows Zabaneh as the boss and Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno as his associates. And then it lists five companies that the Treasury Department claims "are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization."

Storm Seasoned Residents of Corozal Get Ready For Ernesto
Right now Corozal should be experiencing the first hints of Tropical Storm force winds - but the mayor told is just now its overcast, drizzling and there's only a slight breeze. Hurricane Ernesto is headed for Mahahual - northeast of Chetumal, but the closest point to that in Belize is Corozal, so as the storm approaches land, Corozal town and outlying communities continue to vigilantly monitor its progress and weigh what their next move should be - that is, if they need to make any moves as all. 7News went to Corozal to see just how seriously the residents were taking the storm. Here's what we found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting Hurricane Ernesto is currently projected to pass over Southern most areas of Mexico, but the entire district of Corozal is taking no chances. The Residents were busy securing their homes in the event that the storm makes an unexpected shift.

Ernesto Forces Tourists To Cut Vacay Short
For the outlying islands NEMO encouraged a non-mandatory evacuation of San Pedro and Caye Caulker for residents who were concerned about their safety. That didn't amount to too many folks because - storm seasoned as we all are - most people wait for the storm's last shift to make a decision. But we did catch up with a few tourists who cut their Vacations short. Here's what they told us at the water taxi terminal today:.. Tourist #1 "We just ask the lady who was managing the place we were at and we talk. We went to the police station - they had information there and they said that some type of NEMO meeting that was supposed to happen last night. Then this morning was when the whole evacuation happens. Nobody knock on our door, we already knew we were going to leave early. The lady next to us on Caye Caulker - she was nice enough to come by and told us that we should leave because the last ferry is leaving at 1 o' clock. The locals knew what was going on." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "How will this impact your vacation?" Tourist #1 "It will cut short by 2 days."

Gilroy Usher Jr. Responds To Police
Last night on the news we told you about Gilroy Usher Juniour - the owner of First Stop Pawn Shop who was charged for fighting with a police officer. He spent the weekend in police lockdown after allegedly assaulting a court bailiff, and one of the police officers stationed at the Magistrate's Court on Friday. Reports are that Usher made certain comments and pulled up his shirt to show the bailiff his licensed firearm. Police Constable Edgar Poot tried to de-escalate the situation by escorting Usher outside. According to police, Usher started to struggle with PC Poot, and he end up punching the officer in the right side of his face. Usher then reportedly reached for his firearm which fell to the ground. PC Poot, fearing for his life, struggled with Usher and prevented him from retrieving the firearm, until other officers got involved. They secured the firearm, arrested Usher, and charged him with 2 counts of aggravated assault, and 1 count of harm. That's the official story - but today Usher gave us a very different version. Here's what he had to say in defence of his actions:... Jules Vasquez "Is this true?" Gilroy Usher Jr. "Absolutely not Jules."

Hurricane Forces Supreme Court To Abort (Doomed) Hearing
Just like the businesses around the country, the Judiciary cancelled all sessions at midday. This also prematurely ended the murder trial for 41 year-old Alwyn Gabb in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. He was accused of killing 30 year old Nolan Arana on July 1, 2007. The stabbing occurred through Gladden Alley, an alley that is near to 11 Fairweather Street where the home of Arana's co-worker, Michelle Lennon, is located. Two witnesses had testified for the prosecution. Lennon, the chief witness, said that she was at home when she got a call from Arana who asked her for some food. She said when Arana came to the fence by her house, her ex-common law husband, Gabb, accused him of having an affair with her and attacked him and stabbed him multiple times in his body. The trial had been going on for about 3 weeks. Justice Lord discharged the jury of 7 men and 5 women and traversed the case until next session, set to start on September 17, because of the threat of tropical storm Ernesto and the warnings issued by NEMO. Justice Lord said that a new jury will be empanelled when the trial starts.

What 3 On 3 Means
Last night we told you who were the winners of the national three on three basketball tournament - but tonight we'll look at the competition itself. It brought together district winners from all over the country to see who would emerge as number one for the country. The competition was hard-fought and that's all because two big time international tournaments were on the line. Here's more in this report:.. Paul Thompson - President, Belize Basketball Federation "The winners as we said for the men get to go to New York for the world tour - 4 players get to go to New York and then for the U-18 we select a national team to go to Spain for September." Jules Vasquez reporting Stakes were high and it showed on the court where play was physical and fierce - as the winners form each district battled it out on the Jamborees Parking lot on an especially hot Saturday: David Craig, Marketing and Sales, Sprite "This is street ball and street ball is played on the street on any hard top anywhere in the country. We want to bring that back again where people get outside and get in the breeze and play, not necessary at night or in a gym."

Dara Rode And Won
On Friday we told you about Dara Robinson's Ride for Hunger. It went off without a hitch on Saturday where it was very well attended with a swarm of bicycles making the ride. Dara reports tonight that he raised thirteen hundred dollars in cash - and Santiago Castillo representatives gave 500 dollars' worth food items and the public gave many food packages. He says overall it was a success.

Speaking Of Storms at Mahahual In August
Tonight Mahahual and surrounding communities - including Corozal - are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Ernesto. The Category one storm is packing winds of 85 miles per hour and will make landfall later tonight - in the next few hours. Luckily for Belize, the strongest winds are concentrated to the north of the storm - which is good for Corozal and San Pedro - those communities presently lie to the southeast of it. And thinking of storm skirting past northern Belize in august - one has to think of Hurricane Dean in 2007. That was a monster: a category five storm that - again - landed at Mahahual and flattened it, even crumpling steel girders. With winds of 175 miles per hour you'd expect that - and Corozal was at the tail end of it. Jules Vasquez and cameraman Alex Ellis spent an intense night there when Dean was making landfall - and for some context on this storm - we go back to that 2007 report:.. 1 year ago tonight, category 5 storm Hurricane Dean made landfall just north of Chetumal. It was a vicious storm, and hurricane force winds ripped through Orange Walk and Corozal. Our team was in the center of the fury and looking back at that night, here’s what it was like.

Channel 5

Hurricane Ernesto heads north of Belize
When we signed off the news on Monday, Tropical Storm Ernesto was heading in our path. But tonight, there’s a sigh of relief since Hurricane Ernesto is moving away and heading further up north into Mexico. That’s the latest from the Belize Met Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). This afternoon, the phase [...]

US Treasury names John Zabaneh a drug kingpin
A prominent figure from the south, his nephew and an associate in Corozal are being sought by the United States government. John Angel Zabaneh, Dion Christopher Zabaneh, and Daniel Gonzalo Moreno have all been identified as Sinaloa Cartel Operatives in Belize. The Sinaloa Cartel is considered by the United States Intelligence Community to be the [...]

NEMO prepared, PM offers help in case of hurricane
While that issue would have been the first story on the newscast on any other day, the country is watching Hurricane Ernesto. News Five Jose Sanchez also spoke to the PM about the possibility of a disaster and if the administration is prepared to help those who may affected. Like most citizens across the country, [...]

Corozal residents buckle up for Ernesto
In Corozal Town, where the rains are expected to be the heaviest from Ernesto, residents were taking it in good stride.  This afternoon we spoke with Willard Levy, Coordinator of the DEMO, Corozal. Willard told us that weather conditions were fairly okay; there was minimal rain. Shelters were opened in the district around two this [...]

San Pedro residents evacuate inland while others move to shelters
Close to a thousand residents and tourists evacuated the island of Ambergris Caye today, a majority of whom left San Pedro Town by noon to seek shelter on mainland Belize.  Water taxis ferried passengers from San Pedro and Caye Caulker to Belize City as Tropical Storm Ernesto, later upgraded to a category one hurricane, made [...]

Bandits busted; 1 shot in north Ambergris Caye
While residents in San Pedro were bracing for Hurricane Ernesto, there was an armed faceoff between police and three residents. Twenty-four year old Steven Bowen Jr., one of three men confronted by a team of law enforcement officers in San Pedro today, remains under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is [...]

Police prepare for patrolling country during storm
Back to Hurricane Ernesto. Around the country, businesses closed, from the north at the Free Zone to as far as Punta Gorda.  In Belize City, some businesses did not open today while others started pulling down their shutters at midday; the downtown area was like a ghost town this afternoon. But essential services such as [...]

Old landmark, Swing Bridge, turns for mooring boats
One of the local charms of Belize City that has not been seen in operation since the last hurricane season is the Belize City Swing Bridge. The old bridge has seen its better days gone by. The bridge which has always been swung by manpower received help from a back hoe today. According to Mayor [...]

Shelters open for residents seeking safety in Belize City
While the category one hurricane has shifted up north, as a precaution, residents in the City were provided with shelter to weather the heavy rains. On the north side Pallotti High, All Saints Primary, Trinity Methodist and the UB Education Campus in West Landivar were opened. On the Southside, Saint John’s Vianney, Grace Primary, Salvation [...]

Business end of hurricane preparedness
Earlier in the day, hardware stores across the country saw an influx of customers who were seeking supplies to fortify their homes against the winds and rains that would come from Hurricane Ernesto. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to vendors and customers about the type of supplies that would protect their homes and even keep [...]

3 by 3, Corozal residents take basketball to New York
In other news, basketball is a sport particularly enjoyed by many youths and adults. The Belize National Team has seen successes over the years at tournaments such as COCABA in Cancun, Mexico. But fielding an entire team is a costly and time consuming venture. But a version of the sport, called three by three, is [...]

LOVE FM

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #9
NEMO Public Advisory # 9 HURRICANE ERNESTO TIME: 3:00 P.M. LOCATION: 18.8N 86.2W HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES FROM THE CENTER TROPICAL FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARDS UP TO 140 MILES FROM THE CENTER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 80 MPH PR...

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #8
National Emergency Management Organization “Preserving Life and Property” DATE: Tuesday, 07th, August 2012 TIME: 11:00 A.M. PRESS RELEASE # 8 Shelters that will be open in the Corozal District are as follows: Sarteneja RC School...

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #7
NEMO Public Advisory # 7 TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO TIME: 6:00 P.M. LOCATION: 17.8N 84.4W and EAST SOUTH EAST of BELIZE 250 MILES TROPICAL FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARDS UP TO 125 MILES FROM THE CENTER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 65 MPH PRESENT MOVEMENT: WEST NORTH WEST AT 13 MPH Hurric...

Officials Keep Close Watch on Tropical Storm Ernesto
Officials are keeping a close eye on the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto. Reporter Patrick Jones has the story. PATRICK JONES Senior News Reporter Love FM “The flag flying atop the staff at the Raccoon Street Police Station today signals the im...

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #6
NEMO Public Advisory # 6 TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO TIME: 6:00 P.M. LOCATION: 16.5N 82.1W and EAST SOUTH EAST of BELIZE 415 MILES TROPICAL FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARDS UP TO 125 MILES FROM THE CENTER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 65 MPH PRESENT MOVEMENT: West North West at 12...

PlusTV

Hurricane Ernesto to make land fall tonight
As of 6pm this evening hurricane Ernesto location was at Location: 18.7°N 87.1°W and Moving: West at 18 mph with it...

Huracán Ernesto toca tarlla
A partir de 18:00 de esta tarde el huracán Ernesto se encontraba en la ubicación Ubicación: 18.7 ° N 87.1 ° W y en ...

Man killed out at sea
Shooting on the island of Caye Caulker almost cost a man his life. Around 5:15am on Saturday (August 4) Police resp...

Belizean businessmen blacklisted in the US
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced that US persons are p...

Hombre de negocios de Belice, la lista en Estados Unidos
El Departamento de Estados Unidos de la Oficina del Tesoro de Control de Activos Extranjeros (OFAC) ha anunciado ho...

Police seeking suspects following early morning shooting
Charles Fortune, reported that on Monday August 6 he was driving his vehicle on Currasow Street just before 1pm whe...

Belize to participate in President Danilo Medina’s inauguration ceremony
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has announced that the Special Envoy of President...

Belice para participar en la ceremonia de investidura del presidente Danilo Medina
El Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de la República de China (Taiwán) ha anunciado hoy que el Enviado Especial del ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker photos during Hurricane Ernesto
Here are a few snapshots taken today, Tuesday, August 7, as Caye Caulker awaits the crossing of Hurricane Ernesto over northern Belize:

Photo of the week: Frenchie’s Diving Services also certifies kids as young as 10
Eleven year old Blayd Vernon ready for his first dive aboard Frenchie’s Diving Services dive boat Frenchie’s Diving Services is a re-knowned Dive Shop on Caye Caulker operating for many years. They do PADI certifications to children as young as 10 years of age, as pictured above. Feel free to stop in at Frenchie’s and accompany the knowledgeable crew while you enjoy a fun snorkel or dive.

Amandala

Boiton Minerals wants to mine for gold in Chiquibul
The Department of the Environment is preparing for the first ever hearing to discuss a recently submitted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Boiton Minerals Limited Gold Mining Project. The company reports that between 1999 and 2008, it produced 2,300 ounces of gold—valued today at between BZ$3 million and BZ$7.5 million—and three-fourth of it was produced within the last two years.

Shooting and pistol-whipping in Caye Caulker
Lincoln Allen, 29, a fisherman of #2 Pinks Alley, Belize City, was shot in the palm of his left hand and in his left shoulder; while Justin Alamina, 23 , a businessman of 24 Hicaco Avenue, Caye Caulker, suffered a cut to his forehead. Silvia Joseph, 19, a waitress of Lousiano Reyes Street, Caye Caulker, suffered a cut behind her left ear.

Who killed Ricardo Blanco, 35?
His body was found nude under some grass... Police in Orange Walk have detained six persons for questioning in connection with the death of Ricardo Elmer Blanco, 35, of Otro Benque Road, a father of four who will be laid to rest early Tuesday morning.

Guilty of laundering $1,557,789.00
Melonie and Michael Coye, Atlee Matute, Deitrick Kingston and Money Exchange International Limited, found guilty... Guilty was the verdict returned by the nine-member jury this afternoon in the trial against Michael Coye, 65; his daughter, Melonie Coye, 36; two of their previous employees Atlee Matute, 26, and Deitrick Kingston, 28; and their company, Money Exchange International Limited(MEIL), the company that operated MoneyGram.

James Swan, Jr., 30, executed in Corozal
According to police at their weekly press conference in Belize City today, they went to Deng’s Supermarket on Seventh Avenue near the center of town around 7:25 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, August 5, and found 38-year-old Ajay Bajay, an Indian national — who was hit by the same onslaught of bullets that took Swan’s life — suffering from gunshot wounds to the left hand and right foot. He was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital and treated, and his injuries were classified as wounding.

Ernesto threatens Belize!
“We are looking at a high probability of a hurricane...” – NEMO Coordinator Noreen Fairweather... NEMO to meet at 6:30 a.m. – Ernesto should be visible on Belize Doppler radar around 7:00 a.m....

Bmp Citco Over-35 5-A-Side reg. season ends, playoff starts Thursday
Two high-scoring games were played on Thursday night, August 2, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium to complete the regular season of the Belmopan City Council Over-35 5-A-Side Football Tournament. In game 1, Camalote United prevailed, 6-5, over Armenia, with goals from Rupert Castillo (3 min), Denmark Casey (24, 28 & 29 min), and Estevan Tejeda (9 & 30 min). Armenia got goals from Bernancio Garcia (11 min), Mario Serna (12 & 26 min), Abel Garcia (13 min), and Elmer Medrano (33 min). Game 2 ended in a 5-4 score, with Salvapan Taxistas victorious over Medina Lion King. Shaking the net for Taxistas were Alex Fino (5 & 19 min), Antonio Delgado (7 min), and Armando Paguada (15 & 21 min); while Lion King goals were by Juan Alas (26 & 30 min), Jose Amaya (29 min), and Landy Cal (34 min).

BDF bomb West Lake in Champions Cup Final Game 1
The difference between professional and amateur was evident yesterday at the MCC, where the Belize Defence Force team under head coach Palmiro Salas came prepared to do battle in prime time, while the collection of talented players on West Lake appeared somewhat disorganized and understaffed. BDF’s Harrison Tasher shook the West Lake net in the very first minute, and it didn’t get any better the rest of the way. It was 4-nil at half time, and we thought it ended 6-1, but some fans are saying 7, so we might have missed a BDF score. We’ll await the official game stats and give a report in our next issue.

Excellence take game 3 to become Harrison Parks National Cricket Champions 2012
Game 3 of the best-of-3 games series between Excellence of Double Head Cabbage and Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores ended before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at the field in Bermudian Landing where hundreds of cricket fans came out to witness the final game of the championship.

Arson on Racoon?
The Wills family of Racoon Street is now homeless after their two-flat wooden house was destroyed by fire; all their household furnishings and equipment were destroyed.

Editorial: The need to steal
Late last year, the two major mass parties in Jamaica, the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP), signed off on a plethora of campaign financing recommendations from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ). The two main parties had even voluntarily complied with certain aspects of the recommendations prior to the general elections held in late December last year.

From The Publisher
The first thing is that many Belizeans, and especially younger ones, do not know the drama which surrounded Grandmaster’s father, a waterfront worker known as “Chicken” Young, back there in the middle 1970s. Chicken got himself thrown off the waterfront and banned by the union power structure (Desmond Vaughan and Mike Rosado), because he listened to the progressive (I won’t say “revolutionary” or “radical”) young UWI graduates, David Gibson and the late David Price, who believed that they could “clean up” the waterfront. (Apart from Gibson, all the previously mentioned antagonists are now deceased.) (Again, as I’m thinking about it now, I have to assume that Gibson and Price had some kind of contact with Assad Shoman and Said Musa, who had been appointed Senators by the PUP government returned to office in October of 1974.) Chicken became Price’s and Gibson’s disciple, and he paid the price for his folly.

Blogs

Hurricane Evacuation numbers
The Evacuation numbers for Hurricane Ernesto are in - 632 have left Ambergris Caye by water taxi, 365 by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air 170. All going according to plan. Tropical storm Ernesto is officially cat 1 and tracking west north west. According to Frank, a hurricane hunter said winds increasing and speed of storm has increased. Further indications show Ernesto is turning to west. As of right now we will get hit between 5:00am -8:00am tomorrow morning, that could happen sooner though. With 65-75 mph winds. Landfall still expected by tomorrow morning. 6pm to 6am we will get the brunt of the storm and conditions will subside by Wed night and sea conditions will improve. Waves are estimated 5-6 ft outside the reef 12 ft further at open seas up to 21 ft. No one should be out there. We are also experiencing beach erosion. Water will be shut off in San Mateo by 9pm tonight until 9am tomorrow. Next NEMO meeting is at 6:00am Wednesday.

Preparation for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto in Belize: Lots of Announcements, Boards Going Up, Liquor Sales Ban and Curfew in Place
I took a walk into town this morning to see how people are preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto. The town is are definitely breathing a tiny bit more easily...the direct hit that was projected yesterday morning has shifted. The eye of the storm is now set to hit near Mahahual, Mexico. That is still not far from us! It is definitely not a time to be sitting back and relaxing. In fact, many are boarding up now and almost all of the boats on the front side of the island have moved (either south or to the back side of the island.) The sky and sea actually look beautiful. NEMO, our emergency boards here in San Pedro and Belize, have met this morning already. Here are the announcements from the meeting. (Typing it as a giant run-on sentence.) There is no free water taxi service (that is only for Category 2+ storms)...there IS a free bus service from Belize City to Belmopan (inland)...polyclinic and pharmacies close at noon...all bars/liquor sales are to be closed at noon today...10pm curfew for tonight. The Mexican port at Chetumal is currently closed. It is not mandatory to go to work today. Keep in contact with your employer about the situation. At 2pm, the evacuation shelters on the island will open: Shalom Living Word Church and San Pedro High School. The double red flags are flying for the Hurricane Warning. I've only seen them a few times since I've lived in San Pedro. After 2 red flags, we wait for the "all clear". The next meeting's results will be aired on Reef TV and Reef Radio at 1pm Belize Time. REEF TV is currently being broadcast on the internet for all of you abroad who would like to tune in. Check it out here: http://www.mymorningmatters.com/. The weather forecast for San Pedro: Significant increase in wind at 8pm here in San Pedro and intermittent rain throughout the day. Other announcements: Super Buys and Caye Supplies will close at noon today. The banks are closed currently or closing this morning. Curious to see how this giant sign next to BC's Bar weathers some solid winds.

The Moroton Community Committee Installs 6 Beautiful Chairs at the San Ignacio Macal River Park
The Macal River Park is situated behind the Chaa Creek Business Office in San Ignacio Town and is a relaxing and serene park to read a book, have an interesting conversation or a nice picnic with friends. This weekend the Moroton Community Outreach Committee headed by Mick Fleming, Co-founder of Chaa Creek installed 6 comfortable and cozy chairs that were built at the Chaa Creek Wood Workshop. According to Mr. Fleming, the objective of the Moroton Community Committee is to rebuild a sense of community within the Moroton area of San Ignacio.

Hurricane Ernesto Update
There is now a 10:00pm tonite until 10:00am in the morning curfew in place while the storm passes through Belize. Only officials and workers that are on duty will be allowed out at this time. No alcohol sales from noon until. The San Pedro water taxis and Tropic Air discontinued services today at noon. However, international flights into Belize have not been cancelled as of yet. Evacuation is still on a voluntary basis.

International Sources

​Treasury Targets Belize-Based Operatives of Chapo Guzman
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is declaring that NO American can do business with five companies under the control of John Zabaneh and two of his associates, Dion Zabaneh (his nephew) and Daniel Moreno. These companies include: Mayan King Ltd.; Mid-South Investments Ltd.; Crown Paradise Enterprises Ltd.; Belize Chemicals Ltd.; and D’s Supermarket Company Ltd. WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization. Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and companies, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. “John Zabaneh’s drug trafficking activities and his organization’s ties to Colombian sources of supply and Mexican buyers make him a critical figure in the narcotics trade,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating Zabaneh, OFAC is disrupting those activities and continuing its efforts, alongside those of our law enforcement partners, to expose operatives of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel, including their businesses.”

Ernesto becomes hurricane, aims at Yucatan
Ernesto becomes hurricane, aims at Yucatan
Tropical storm Ernesto strengthened into a hurricane on Tuesday and was expected to make landfall on the east coast of Yucatan on Tuesday night. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT, the centre of Hurricane Ernesto was located about 140 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico, moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph. This general motion was expected to continue through Tuesday night, followed by a turn toward the west on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the centre will cross the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday night. The centre of Ernesto is forecast to move across the Yucatan peninsula late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, and emerge over the Bay of Campeche by Wednesday afternoon or evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Ernesto is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Some additional strengthening is possible before Ernesto reaches the Yucatan peninsula and weakening is expected as Ernesto moves over land. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

Record number of regional ICT ministers attend Miami conference
Fourteen ICT government ministers, three government representatives and Perry Christie, prime minister of Bahamas joined close to 600 delegates at CANTO’s 28th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition held in Miami, Florida from 22 to 27 July 2012. The popular annual conference and trade exhibition, also known as CANTO 2012, is the Caribbean’s premier telecommunications event for industry professionals, academics and regional governments. This year, the theme was “Accelerating broadband in the Caribbean - Transforming the way we live.” CANTO 2012 was held on the heels of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Connect the Americas Summit in Panama, which took place from the 17 - 19 July. Connect the Americas is part of ITU's Connect the World Series, an ambitious initiative aimed at connecting the unconnected by the year 2015. Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary general of the ITU paid an impromptu visit to CANTO 2012, fresh from the summit on 22 July to speak with all the ICT ministers and the CANTO board regarding the outcome of the summit. He congratulated the ministers on the level of preparation displayed by the Caribbean team and provided insightful feedback regarding how to chart the way forward for the implementations of their respective projects.

Swimming in Big Rock Falls, Belize
After visiting the Mayan ruins of Caracol on our day’s tour we stopped at the Rio Frio Cave, and then we were supposed to head to the Rio Hon Pools (a small and popular swimming hole close by). However our very knowledgeable tour guide told us it would be busy, and that there was a waterfall nearby that would be much more fun. Easy choice right? So we drove into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve (yes that right, Belize isn’t all jungles it has a pine forest too!) and pulled over near the Privassion River. The dirt trail was well-worn and easy to follow. After a 20 minute hike down the hill that got a little steep in a few places we arrived at Big Rock Falls, an amazing 150 foot high waterfall.. and there were only 2 other people in the entire area, score! After a few near butt-busting falls on the very slippery wet rocks we made our way over to the deep pools fed by the waterfall. After a sweaty tour of Mayan ruins and jungle caves the water felt amazing and we had absolute blast swimming around and exploring the area.



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