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#447036 - 09/20/12 08:40 AM Today's Belize News: September 20, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Tourist Police Unit now have PADI Certified Officers
Three officers attached to the San Pedro Tourism Police Unit have now joined the ranks of PADI Open Water Certified divers. The officers took the course over the period of September 4th through 8th which was offered by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA). Four officers started the course, however only three completed. Taking the course were Police Constable Kendis Humes, Police Constable Richard Nunez, Special Constable Germain Crawford and Special Constable Kenny Ferguson. SC Ferguson did not complete the Open Water Course but is however allowed to dive within the reef. Sharmane Young, Woman Corporal 834 NCO IC (Corporal in charge of the Tourism Police Units) for San Pedro Caye Caulker spoke of what this means for her unit; “Well, I must say that the industry that we’re in requires that we are out there on the sea. As such, we have tourism police officers out there on a regular basis. It is not uncommon that we have incidents that require our officers to be informed and trained. This course will assist these officers in terms of preparation. It will give them an idea of what is to be expected, what not to expect and also what to do as to offer assistance when it becomes necessary.”

Logan Gray of ACES wins SPTC’s 2012 Spelling Bee Competition
As part of the long month of activities for the September Celebrations, the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Spelling Bee Competition for the various schools in San Pedro. The competition was an excellent opportunity for the kids to showcase their spelling abilities and win much needed cash prizes and school supplies for the new school year. Eight students from four primary schools went up against each other for a chance to win first ($150), second ($100) and third ($50) places in this year’s Spelling Bee. Representing Island Academy were Jackson Leslie and Kylee Kumul. Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES ) was represented by Bianca Narvaez and Logan Grey. Alexia Gutierrez and Kylie Alamilla proudly represented San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC ) while New Horizon S.D.A. was represented by German Alamilla and Jadzia Cab.

Velma Melendez wins Reef Radio’s 2012 Karaoke Competition
Almost immediately following the King of Kings Karaoke Competition, a new competition began. Reef Radio/Jaguar’s 8th annual Karaoke Competition saw five weeks of eliminations, with a grand finale on Thursday September 13th, with 22 astounding performances by the 11 finalists. Previous winners from past Reef Radio competitions were not allowed to compete. 30 aspiring singers signed up to compete for the chance to take home the grand prize of $2,000.00. Leading up to the finals, each week two individuals were elevated to the finals; one by the judges and one by the crowd. However, in the first week of competitions, there was a tie between two contestants which led to 11 individuals qualifying for the finals. Competing in the finals were LeRoi Hyde, Jaime Bautista, Wilber Rivero, Javier Castillo, Gina Cadle, Velma Melendez, Jessica Lopez, Jackeline Retaña, Luis Albeño, Israel Zetina and Eric Figueroa.

SPHS’ Joel Ruiz brings back gold medal from CODICADER games
A student of San Pedro High School (SPHS) is back on the island after participating with the male basketball team of Sadie Vernon High school at the CODICADER* games held in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. 16 year old Joel Ruiz, a senior student at SPHS was chosen to join the Belize contingency to the CODICADER, which is the highest tournament for students in the Central American region. It is a major accomplishment for Ruiz, who managed to be one of the key team members whose excellent performance contributed to Belize capturing the gold medal. Belize played their four games from the 4th to the 7th of September, winning all four games. Belize played against Honduras first, winning by a score of 95 to 81. The second game was with Costa Rica and Belize also won by a narrow score of 65 to 63. Belize faced the host country Guatemala in the third game and won by 18 points earning, them a spot in the finals. The final game was a rematch between Belize and Costa Rica, who had lost only one game during the qualifying matches to Belize. Having a good knowledge of their rivals, Belize went to the court with full force, scoring 92 points to Costa Rica’s 58, capturing the gold medal. A very happy, triumphant Joel Ruiz spoke to The San Pedro Sun. “It was my first time at a CODICADER game and for me it was very exciting and I am very happy that I was asked to be a part of the Belize Team. I was the only person chosen from the SPHS, which placed second in the national tournament earlier this year,” said Ruiz. “I want to thank teacher Paul Kelly and my parents who supported me to have this experience. I also want to thank Sadie Vernon for allowing me to be a part of their team,” he ended.

Central American & Mexican communities celebrated in SP
The Central American and Mexican communities in San Pedro celebrated their independence day with two separately organized activities. The first was the official activity organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the other was organized by the San Pedro People’s United Party (PUP) Executive Committee. The official activity, which is a part of the island’s September Celebration Calendar of activities, was held on Saturday September 15th at the San Pedro Central Park. Earlier this month the SPTC had invited the Central American and Mexican communities to showcase their unique cuisine as part of their county’s culture. The celebration coincided with the 191st anniversary of the Independence Day of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua having obtained political freedom from Spain on September 15th 1821. In the case of Mexico, it celebrated its 202nd year of independence having obtained it on 16th of September 1810. At the event, each country showcased the best of food, from the “pasteles de papas con salsa”, “chocolate caliente” and “pupusas” from El Salvador, the “arroz con pollo” and “ceviche de pescado” from Costa Rica to the “carne asado con frijol negro volteado con tortilla” of Guatemala. The Mexicans had their traditional “Tacos al Pastor” and “Tacos de res”. The flavors were many, and all were satisfying.

Ambergris Today

Nuñez Brothers Donate Drums to Isla Bonita Marching Band
Councilor Gaby Nuñez was kind enough to present the school with two drums on Monday, September 17, 2012. Two of councilor Nuñez’s sons were avid drum players and members of marching bands but have decided to concentrate more on their studies and had their father donate their drums to the students of Isla Bonita Marching Band. The students were very thankful for the kind donation and wasted no time in continuing their practice session with their new drums.

BTB Welcomes New Director of Quality Assurance
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Director of Quality Assurance, Armeid Thompson. “We are honoured to welcome such an outstanding individual, Armeid Thompson, to our executive management team here at the Belize Tourism Board. We believe that her world-class experience will greatly contribute to the quality that the Belize Tourism Board aims to achieve,” stated the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel-Frampton. Armeid began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011, where she served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She graduated top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, United States. She has enjoyed travelling to many places such as Papaua New Guinea, Australia, the Eastern Caribbean, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Is Belize the next Hollywood? New Movie to Start Filming in San Pedro
Who doesn't want to make it big in Hollywood? Or be a famous rock star or famous actor/actress? It would be something great! Well our little country has quite the potential when it comes to movie making and in the future possibly be the next Hollywood. Producer Matthiew Klinck of Make Belize Films has seen this potential and has put it to great use. This year he premiered his first ever Belizean film "Kurse a dih Xtabai" that was filmed entirely in our rich Creole language, filmed in our beautiful country and had the participation of over 65 Belizean actors/actresses and film crew, making this film 100% Belizean. Ambergris Today met with producer Matthiew Klinck who was elated to share with us some exciting news about the movie and more. “First of all I am extremely happy to say that we have had an amazing run for 'Kurse a dih Xtabai; it's been screened throughout the country and it is now time to take it internationally,” stated Matthiew. “The movie will be launched on the Make Belize Films website and will be available for purchasing for just $2.00US. This way the movie will be available to international viewers, movie critiques and bloggers.”

Belize Has Been Recommend–ed, More Magazine Exposure
Excitement continues to surround Belize! The country has been featured in the August “On location” issue of Recommend magazine. The magazine has been in existence for over 43 years and is one of the leaders in the travel trade marketplace. It aims to educate and inform travel agents about the latest happenings in various locations, which assists in selling the locations. The monthly issues highlight the different aspects of tourism. Recommend also has a very active website where interested viewers can read the current and past issues of the magazine as well as view the latest information on various destinations and events.

Police Officers Receive Open Water Dive Training
Three special constables and one Police Officer, who are attached to the Tourism Unit in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, have completed a course in Open Water Diving thanks to the efforts of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA). They were presented with their certificates of completion by President of the SPTGA, Mr. Billy Leslie on Friday, September 14, 2012.

The Majestic Blue and Yellow Macaw
These birds can reach 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) long and weigh 900 to 1500 grams (1.9 to 3.3 lbs), making it one of the larger members of its family. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts, and a green forehead. Beaks are black, and very strong for crushing nuts. They are especially very impressive when you see them in flight and in groups.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Diving the Canyons, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Featuring Open Water Diver Certification dives and the Lionfish Divas. With the most awesome dive team Island Divers Belize!

George Price - The Father of Our Nation
A brief biography of George Price. A fitting article to end National Service Dayo with. Don Hector Silva tonight remembered him happily, and said that before he passed he came up with an idea for a peaceful revolution to bring justice back to the system. He'd called it a 'second revolution,' the first being the gaining of independence 31 years ago. The comments at the end of the article are great, and you can leave condolences or other comments if you'd like. "George Price entered into politics in 1944. With three days of preparation, he lost his first election. In 1947 however, he was elected to the Belize City Council and from 1958 to 1962 he was the Mayor of that Capital. In protest against the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar in 1949, a few citizens, George Price included, formed the People’s Committee. Here was the start of the Peaceful, Constructive, Belizean Revolution. It was the forerunner of the Peoples United Party, officially established on September 29, 1950. 6 Years later, George Price was elected Party Leader."

SHJC Clean Up of the Western Highway
Sacred Heart Junior College did a clean up today for National Service Day. They picked up trash along the Western Highway. Thanks, SHJC! They also had Hector Silva speak about Belize and its independence. It was a great session, and a lot was learned. Here's to the future! "As part of our pre-Independence celebrations at SHJC, we organized 3 events for Sept. 19. First the highway cleanup project along the Western Highway, our first ever 'Wear it Blue, Red and/or White' Day & lastly, a talk on 'Belize's Struggle to Independence' done by Mr. Hector Silva."

National Service Day in Belmopan
Clean up and beautification campaign in Belmopan. No more littering! "Photos from around Belmopan of students cleaning up, painting and honoring Rt. Hon. George Price on National Service Day"

Benque Tribute to George Price
The Benque House of Culture will be having a tribute to the late George Price tonight in Centennial Park. There will be a poetry recital, and the winners of the poetry competition will be announced. Later tonight, they will show the documentary, 'Man of Purpose and Vision.' After that, they'll have live marimba music. Happy National Service Day! "In honor of our Father of our Nation, Belize comes the Tribute to Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, credits to much of his rich knowledge came from reading, often described as an avid reader of all kinds of books including philosophy, literature, poetry, and religion. The 19th of September will be observed as National Service Day, and through this we present the winners of the GP poetry competition, and recital, a short film documentary of the life of our Hero, including live marimba music, by " Vos de la Selva" courtesy of our Marimba players under the leadership of Mr. Ernesto Aldana 'Don Beto'."

Reflections of George Price by Richard Holder
Richard at RH Photography has created some amazing banners that really capture the messages and purpose of George Price. He definitely has the September Celebrations spirit. Feel free to share and distribute, and credit who did it. Thank you for sharing, RH! Don't forget to check out the George Price Man of Purpose and Vision exhibit at the SISE HoC. Happy National Service Day!

National Service Day Clean Up in Benque
For National Service Day in Benque, they had a clean up campaign at Centennial Park. Thanks to the Benque House of Culture for documenting it. If only we could stop the littering in the first place, we could focus our community efforts on more pressing matters, like obtaining, painting, and installing trash cans. Unfortunately, this encourages the despicable action of littering. No more littering! "Our Leaders of tomorrow, rendering their community service at the Centennial Park, Del Carmen Pre- School with family, friends and Administrative staff"

Creations of Thank You - Tribute George Price
What a great video made to honor George Price! It was made by Positive Belize Music and Belmopan Youths. There's a touching story on how they all come together to make the video too. Happy National Service Day! "As youths who have been working to impact change in our country we decided that we have to take it up yet another step—we saw the opportunity to challenge the young people of Belize in seeking real solutions for the issues affecting us as a nation. In this one night, a mere 7 hours of reflecting on such a National Hero, we saw that we already have the solutions locked up in the speeches of our hero... but it's now time to take action... So now to all my proud Belizeans, be the change for he gave us a reason and leave your country a better place than you found it!"

Channel 7

Did Belize Default On Superbond?
The Superbond payment was due a month ago - and 30 days after it's due - if no payment is made - the country is considered to be in default. Our indications were yesterday that an extension of the default period would be worked out with bondholders in exchange for a partial payment of the 46 million dollars that was due a month ago. But, up to newstime - no announcement had been made - so tonight we take the position to be that Belize has defaulted on its Superbond debt. It was foretold - but still, it is not an entirely desirable state of affairs. And it doesn't seem to be quite what the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow expected when he returned from Houston with his ailing wife today. The media caught PM Barrow at the airport and here's what he told us about the deadline:.. Jules Vasquez "Sir, its 5:15pm eastern time and I haven't seen any press release. Has Belize defaulted?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "You haven't seen any press release? I don't think we have. I have a conference call with our advisors this morning from Houston, which was at 9am Belize time and we certainly - it appeared making some progress with the bond holders. If things change dramatically between then and now I would not have had an opportunity to be briefed. I am pretty confident that we are in decent shape as far as the negotiations are concern."

Another Northern Murder
And turning away from the sovereign debt issue - to violent crime in Corozal - which continues to escalate - there is news tonight of another murder in that northern district. This one happened in Libertad and the victim is taxi-man, Anwar Hernandez. Police believe it is a retaliation for some illicit type activity - although the victim had no criminal record. Daniel Ortiz went looking for answers today:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Last night at around 7:00, the quiet of Libertad Village in the Corozal district was shattered with the execution style killing of 28 year-old Anwar Hernandez, a resident of Corozal Town. All indications from the police are that Hernandez, who is a taxi driver, picked up one or more of his assailants, who posed as customers, from his usual taxi location in town.

Chinese Grocer Jacked In Corozal
And at around the same time of the murder of Anwar Hernandez, a business place in Corozal town was robbed by 3 men. According to police, at around 7:15 p.m., 3 armed men, who were wearing masks, and long sleeved clothing, robbed Huan Huan Store, which is located on 5th Avenue in Corozal Town. The men didn't hurt any of the employees, but they managed to get away with $500 from the cash drawer. Police have no leads in that incident as yet.

Bus Collision On Northern
This evening just before 5, there was an accident on the northern highway between mile 12 and 13. Thankfully, there were no injuries or fatalities.?? It involved the two buses seen here. Initial reports to our newsroom are that both buses were northbound, following a Tillett's bus. The Tillett bus was reportedly trying to overtake another vehicle, but because there was oncoming traffic, the driver had to swerve back into his lane.?? This forced the driver to suddenly hit the brakes to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him.?? That abrupt deceleration caused a chain effect and the driver of the yellow bus at the back couldn't respond fast enough.?? The bus at the back slammed into the bus in front, and although both buses received damage, no one was hurt.?? When we left, police officers were documenting statements and processing the scene.

Will Ashcroft Alliance Block BTL AGM?
BTL's Annual General Meeting is scheduled for next week Friday - but if the Ashcroft Alliance has its way - the phone company won't be issuing any dividends - which is like having a birthday party without any cake! 7News has learned that the Ashcroft Alliance - in the person of the BTL Employees Trust - has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad to stop the payment of this year's ten million dollar dividend - most of it to the majority shareholder, the Government of Belize. The Alliance argues that with the default on the Superbond - Government is broke and basically can't be trusted with the receipts from the dividend payment. The hearing has been granted by videoconference for next week Wednesday - two days before the AGM. Today the Prime Minister said he'll have to wait and see what the court says: Jules Vasquez "The Ashcroft Alliance has applied to the CCJ and has gotten a video conference hearing for next week to block the issuance od dividend from BTL which the AGM is next Friday. Are you aware of this and will it stops the procession of the AGM and the business of the AGM which is to issue a dividend?"

Rt. Hon. Price Remembered On Nat'l Service Day
National Hero George Price passed away one year ago today - and in honour of his legacy - today was National Service Day. All across the country, school children, civic organizations, business houses and regular folk - did what Price would have done: they loaned a hand to worthwhile community causes - from picking up garbage to fixing up parks to delivering care packages to planting flowers. It is the distillation of Price's truest essence - or as he put it, quote: I believe that happiness consists in serving others and not oneself." And that's what so many did today - almost all without publicity, fanfare or self - promotion, which is also the way Price would have done it. One event we did capture was the laying of wreaths at Price's grave-site in the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Party Leader Francis Fonseca was there and he discussed Price's legacy one year after his passing:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca "Apart from the symbolism of it which is important for us, to say to the nation that we want to keep the spirit and legacy and memory of George Price alive. For us it's deeply personal, for me, having work and known George Price for so many years - it's very important for us to come and pay tribute to him on the anniversary of his death. It's important, George Price - as the young people here reminded me this morning - he did so much for this country, he did so much for Belize and so we have to as a country and have been demonstrated over the past year George Price has risen above party politics in Belize. Everybody now embraces him as a National Hero, as the Father of our Nation and that's very good to see and we have to do our part as the PUP to keep that alive; to keep the history and story about George Price alive."

Restoring A Park
One effort that caught our attention was the work at the Victoria Alvarez Park. That's the park on North Front Street that Marsha Argalles adopted after her son 9 year old Joshua Abraham was killed a year ago. She tried to organize the effort the re-fit the park earlier this year - but the effort fizzled when she ran out of building supplies. But today the effort got a mass infusion of energy, man and woman power and resources. Volunteers from Restore Belize, NICH, Atlantic Bank and the National Youth Cadet Corps descended on the park in a whirlwind of productivity. Marsha Argalles told us that she was overwhelmed and inspired:.. Jules Vasquez "How is it going out here today?" Marsha Argalles "Excellent Jules, my heart is filled with joy. I cried already, it's overwhelming. So many people that came out; Belize City Council, Restore Belize, Atlantic Bank, Women's Department, Cadets - they work and work, it's amazing."

Three On Three Will Travel
Last night we told you about the plight of the National basketball selection that's gotten a seed to attend the Three on Three World Basketball Championships in Seville Spain. The Belize Basketball Federation could not put together all the resources to make the trip possible and the Minister of State with responsibility for sports made it clear that the Federation should not be looking to them for a bailout. But, nonetheless, something did work out. President of the Federation Paul Thompson told us this evening that a private donor did come through with ten thousand dollars for visas, an official's ticket and travel accommodations. But, time is very limited since the passports have to be sent to Guatemala City for processing - and so they're crossing their fingers and hoping those passports can come back in time for the team to travel early next week. We'll keep you posted on their progress.

Can They Stop "The Hustle" At Immigration?
Jay-Z once rapped, "can't knock the hustle," but when it comes to Belize's Immigration Department - it seems you can't stop the hustle. No matter who's the minister or what safeguards are put in place - someone's always hustling at Immigration - whether its passports in the 80's, Permanent residence in the 90's, passports again in "the oughts", and now Hezbollah two day specials in 2012…there's always something up at Immigration. And, insiders will tell you that how it's set up, because there are times when high officials also need a system with loopholes to exploit for their political ends, or just regular "ends." But, regardless, the effort to clamp down continues. Today the Prime Minister told us that Immigration Minister Hulse and his Minister of State Penner held a meeting yesterday to get tighten up and batten down:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "What I will say is that I spoke to Minister Hulse yesterday from Houston. He was in a full scale meeting with the key people in the ministry; the head of the department, the Minister of State and in fact they were agreed a number of new procedures so that that ministry and that Minister of State can get on top of the situation once and for all. I have every confidence that Godwin Hulse will come up with the sorts of structures that will pretty much shut the door on any irregularities that have occurred." Reports are that police are now investigating new reports of another person who also got a passport with a false birth certificate two weeks ago.

Former Accused Murderer Remanded For Armed Robbery
24 year-old Neil Grey is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly robbing 88 Kitchen at gunpoint. The owner reported to police that on Monday, a man came into the establishment, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The owner apparently wasn't obeying fast enough because the assailant then hit him with the gun wounded him and another man who was in the establishment at the time. Fearing for his life, the owner handed over $700 from the cash register, and the assailant escaped with the money. Police investigated the report and they arrested and charged Grey with one count of robbery and 2 counts of wounding. He was taken and arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, and he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and as a result, Magistrate Ford remanded him until October 30, his next court date. Grey recently walked off a 2009 murder when the prosecution's main witness refused to testify.

Kim's Cancer, An Update
Kim Simplis Barrow returned from Houston today where she has been for the past month receiving treatment for breast cancer. And while there is rarely reason to celebrate with cancer, today the Prime Minister had good news: his wife's heart function is just about back to normal. Here's his explanation of her overall condition:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "She completed the radiation this morning. That was the last session. She has also made contact with a medical oncologist who will now be in charge of the monitoring process from here on out." "We have to go back in 3 months' time for a repeat visit with that oncologist. She also saw the re-constructive surgeon this morning, he will see her again when she goes back to visit with the medical oncologist and at that time he will fix an actual date for the reconstructive surgery." "In terms of the heart, we saw Dr. Duran on Friday and he did another heart test and in fact the output is now up to 50.5 I think it is. Remember when we were there the last time it was 40. It's gone up to 50.5. Dr. Duran feels that she will make a full recovery where the heart function is concern. In fact he says that once you are above 50% you are in the normal range - it's between 50 and 60; you don't go beyond 60, so she is pretty much good to go where that is concern."

Rosita Baltazar Has Breast Cancer
Another well-known person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is well known Dancer Rosita Baltazar. She is the Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer and Choreographer with the Belize Dance Company - but she recently had to leave the Festival du Sud this past summer because of failing health. The Dance Company will have a benefit performance for her on Saturday, Sept 22nd at the Bliss Centre. Tickets are be $15 & $10 dollars, and apart from being a good cause, it's also an opportunity to see the Show that the Company toured with in Europe called "BELIZE - Diverse Cultures and Rhythms"

DeMarco Here For Belize's Independence
And on the 20th night in Orange Walk - there will be a full bill of Jamaican artists to bring in Belize's independence in that northern town. Don't frown - this has been going on since Byron Lee days - and now it's De-Marco and Black Chiney's turn. They stopped by our studio today to tell us about the concert event and generate some hype:.. Shawn Urbina, SKU Promotions "Tomorrow it's all about the big show Belize birthday bash 2012 featuring DeMarco, Black Chiney, Popeye Caution, our guest performer." DeMarco, artist "Orange Walk, tomorrow night will be mad, so make sure everybody come out and support the thing because there is going to be a lot of high energy and the performance is going to be sick."

Supa G Says It's Still Summertime
And while they are touring in Belize - perennial local favorite Supa G is home from touring abroad. He's releasing his new album - which is the 14th of his career - and the tenth solo recording. He told us about it today:.. Supa G, Artist "Actually it's something that just comes up. I was in New York at one of my friend's house and my friend ask me if I won't release any new album and I told him that I don't think so. While we were there, songs start to come out and when you see we came up with an album - just like that, very simple." "I decide to release it at this time. We only took like 1 week to put this album together. There are 9 brand new tracks and 4 old tunes. That is one of the reasons why we are selling it for only $10. There are a lot of hype songs Suga G style and I also have one song that wasn't written by myself that is from Speedwagon - I did it in reggae. Its different styles of music on it; I have a paranda track on it also."

Remembering the Great Man
One year ago tonight - Belizeans all across the land were mourning the loss of national hero George Price. The 92 year old had been hospitalized for a few days in a grave condition after accidentally falling at his home. He died in the morning and the news rippled across the country in a wave a of grief and loss. There was sadness yes, but also joy at a life lived in service of a greater cause; as it is probably best said, Because of Him, Belize. One week after Mr Price died and there were unprecedented outpourings of love and respect, a state funeral was held for him in Belmopan. Tonight, to remember the Great Man, we briefly look back at that event: Jules Vasquez Reporting From the morgue, to the Bliss, past the Price family home on Pickstock Street, into the church where Price went to mass every day for almost his whole life for a final march through the city streets - seen here from above, once more across the swing bridge, the crowds lined up by the thousands at the Bliss center, the Price Center in Belmopan.

Channel 5

International media says G.O.B. default; P.M. says no default
At five p.m. today, a grace period ended for payment of the Superbond after government missed payment in August. Government’s failure to pay triggered a technical default. The forty-six million dollar payment is only one hurdle facing the government as the bond fell zero point forty-eight cent to thirty-four point fifty-six cents after trading above [...]

Opposition Leader supports renegotiation of Superbond
The Opposition, Peoples United Party (P.U.P.) has expressed its interest and concern about the bond. Though the P.U.P. has not been a part of the negotiation, it supports the government’s desire to ease the burden on the Belizean People.   Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition “It is a critically important matter and it continues [...]

Driven to a hit, murder in Libertad
A Corozal taxi driver was killed, execution style, early on Tuesday night. It is believed that the two men, who chartered Anwar Hernandez to take them to Libertad, carried out the heinous crime. Witnesses say they heard multiple gunshots and Hernandez pleading for help but were too scared to go to his aid. His eight [...]

Before, during and after Hezbollah, Belizean visas abused?
Three days, August twenty-ninth to September first, is all it took for an alleged associate of the terrorist organization Hezbollah to obtain a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport. Raffic Labboun’s brief encounter with Belize is only one example of individuals who either get fraudulent passports or visas to Belize. While Labboun [...]

Lord Michael Ashcroft appointed to Privy Council at large
Lord Michael Ashcroft has been out of the news in Belize for a while but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. The news out of London is that earlier this month, Lord Ashcroft was appointed to the Privy Council in the UK. For many years the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was Belize’s [...]

Economic Indicators looks at youth reflections on Superbond
We reported on Tuesday that the major findings of a poll measuring public opinions on debt, spending and taxes show that overall there is a high level of dissatisfaction in the handling of the debt issue; that spending should be cut; taxes should not be increased; and that government should pay off the Superbond and [...]

A move to block issuance of Telemedia dividends
The B.T.L. Employees Trust has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice to stop the payment of dividends to shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting or that alternatively government put the money in escrow pending cases before the courts that seek to return the telephone company to its former owners. The A.G.M. is planned [...]

SCA students travel across country to give service
The Father of the Nation, George Price passed away one year ago on September nineteenth. His passing evoked huge respect and emotions of patriotism and nationalism for the man who led the country to independence and who dominated the political landscape of Belize for decades. To honor his memory, across the country, activities were held [...]

SJC’s tribute to George Price
At SJCJC, Global Minds paid a tribute to the late father of the nation through a display of pictures and screening of an interview. The student club hopes that the youngsters take away something from the tribute.   Tiffany Hope, Events Coordinator, Global Minds “We are doing a tribute for the life of George Price, [...]

Playground restored in the name of murdered youth, Joshua Abraham
Over at North Front Street, children, Restore Belize and City Councilors were among those who turned up to restore a playground in the name of Joshua Abraham. Joshua is the young boy who was murdered last Independence Day. While she grieves the death of her young son, Marcia Argalles, is happy that the children in [...]

P.U.P. looks up George Price on Service Day
Before the schools set out on their initiatives, early this morning National Service Day started with a mass in Belmopan City as a tribute to George Price. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said that after the mass some of the participants travelled to Belize City and placed wreaths at Price’s tomb inside Lord Ridge [...]

Kim Simplis Barrow continues cancer treatment
When we caught up with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the airport, he also spoke on the health of his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who has been in Houston in the past days getting treatment for breast cancer and for a heart condition.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “She completed the radiation this morning; that [...]

Spectacular Superstar Performances!
It’s now down to seven performers in each group to determine who will be The Next Superstar. Group B was in the spotlight at the Bliss on Tuesday night, bringing a mix of song, dance and drama to the stage. With the grand prize on the horizon, the performers stepped up their acts to impress [...]


Belize Governor General Receives Credentials From Seven Ambassadors
Seven ambassadors presented their credentials to Governor-General His Excellency Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors from Colombia, France, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey all brought greetings from their respective Heads of State. For his part G...

National Geographic Features Belize In Upcoming Issue
Belize will be featured in the October issue of National Geographic Magazine. The magazine is concentrating on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which highlights Belize’s own Barrier Reef. This news was shared with us by Healthy Reefs Initiative and this morning Love New...

Belize Remembers George Price on National Service Day
Today marks the first year anniversary of the passing of Belize’s first Prime Minister Right Honorable George Cadle Price. Mr. Price died at the age of 92. In September 2000 Mr. Price became the first person to receive Belize’s highest honor, the Order of Nation...

Taxi Man Murdered in Corozal
Corozal is again uneasy after another murder has disrupted that community. Just before 7:30 last night Corozal police were called out to the entrance of Libertad where they found a Maroon Mitsubishi Gallant with its head engine and headlights on. Inside the vehicle, police saw the moti...

Belizeans Await Update on Super Bond Renegotiation
There has been no announcement of an official consensus with Belize’s external creditors on the bond exchange offer announced earlier this year. Today is the expiration of a thirty day grace period after Belize failed to make a forty five million dollar interest payment.&nb...

New Director of Quality Assurance for the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board has announced that its new Director of Quality Assurance is Armead Thompson. Before taking of her new post Thompson served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011. According to a ...


Taxi Driver Murdered In Corozal, He Became Victim Number Nine
There was another murder in Corozal last night and police say that this one is also drug related. The victim is 28 year old taxi driver of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town, Anwar Hernandez. The incident happened at the entrance of Libertad Village next to the Libertad Health Centre at around 7:00pm. Our News team travelled to Corozal this morning and here is what they found out. Blood stains on the grass mark the spot where 28 year old taxi driver Anwar Hernandez took his last breath before he bled to death. Hernandez, a resident of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town was shot several times while driving his maroon Mitsubishi Galant car with Corozal licence plate D-00293 at the entrance of Libertad Village. Reports are that Hernandez apparently received a total of 12 gunshots wounds. But who would want him dead and why? So far Corozal Police has not established the motive behind the killing but they do believe that Hernandez’s murder was a retaliatory action linked to illicit activities. In short: a drug related hit.

Burglary At Chinese Store Caught On Tape
There was an armed burglary in Corozal Town last night and it occurred around the same time when Corozal Police was called out for the murder of 28 year old Anwar Hernandez. The victims were the proprietors of Huan Huan Chinese Grocery Store located on 5th Avenue. Inside the store is a surveillance camera which recorded the entire burglary. The video shows two armed assailants storming into the store wearing long sleeve shirts and black masks. As you can observe, one of the burglars hit the proprietor on the back of the head with the gun and proceeded to empty the cash drawer while the other assailant stood guard. According to the owners of the establishment a total of $500 was stolen and the assailants made good their escape in a getaway vehicle that was parked outside the store. So far Corozal Police have no suspects detained. From our count the entire robbery took about 20 seconds.

MJC Students, Masters Of The Road
Yesterday Muffles Junior College held their annual Masters of the Road sports competition. The event kicked off with dozens of male and female athletes starting off the marathon from the foot of the San Estevan Bridge heading to their school ground for part two of the competition. Once they reached MJC the female competitors mounted their bicycles and road back to the San Estevan Bridge while the male competitors had their work cut out for them as they rode to the Village of San Estevan and raced back to the bridge. Without a doubt the competition is tiring but for students of MJC its all about having fun and becoming actively involved in sports. Arturo Acosta- Sports Director MJC “We had 142 students signing up and we have the majority being females this year so that was quite a surprise. The name of the race is Masters of the Road and we are thinking that there could only be one master so there is only one male and one female first prize and the way we get that prize is that we ask the students to contribute towards some money chars that we have and every year is different and depending on how generous the population is but it averages about 200 dollars male, female each. We just want to give a little thank you to all the students that participated and we want to encourage everybody to do some sport.”

National Service Day Celebrated In Honour Of Mr. Price
Today marks one year that Belize lost a great man, a man who fought for the country’s Independence, a man who believed and lived by the philosophy of the Peoples United Party. Honorable George Cadle Price died on September 19th 2012 at the age of 92, in a medically induced coma at Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital after surgery to remove a blood clot. In order to commemorate the life, work, dedication and service of the late Rt. Hon. George Price, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development declared September 19th as “National Service Day”, a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. Here in the north schools and political leaders joined hands and honored the day by carrying out a variety of community service initiatives. To think of George Cadle Price is to think of Belize. In September 2000, he became the first person to receive Belize's highest honor, the Order of National Hero for the prominent role he played in leading his country to independence. He received similar honors in other Caribbean and Central American countries and in 1982; he was made a member of the Imperial Privy Council.

BHOC Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago the Banquitas House of Culture opened its doors to the Belizean public with the objective of promoting our history and culture. During those ten years of existence the institution can boast of a compact historical exhibit which focuses strictly on our northern culture consisting of pictures, stelae replicas, maps, and diagrams. In addition, the institution has through the years successfully initiated and carried through many activities promoting our culture. Today, September 19th the institution celebrated its 10th anniversary and a special exhibition was prepared for the public. “As you can see we have the corn exhibit, whereby this year is the year of the Mayas so we thought it is very important to depict something that represents the us and corn was a very important and symbolic in the life of the Maya civilization, so we sis an exhibit on corn, the process of corn, and also to mention that we have in our community one of the oldest tortilla factory in existence since 1969, so that is the Tortilleria Maya and we have a little history of their existence and up to right now they are still giving that service to our community and their product is corn so we have a display also whereby she is showing the process of corn, how it was done in the old days so those are some of the booths that we have of display and also we have the marimba music part of our culture and we think it is something very important.”


BDF band was playing by the National Youth Orchestra
There was music coming from the building occupied by the National Youth Orchestra located on Newton Barracks this morning. The men behind the melodious music were members of the BDF Band who were polishing their sounds with international assistance. Staff Sergeant Kevin Campbell from the BDF explains. Wade Furniss, CWO II Chief Warrant Officer two, of the Louisiana National Guard, Wade Furniss told us more about how they are training the men. Both the BDF and the Louisiana National Guard will perform for the Independence Day Celebrations.

Medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda
A Laguna villager in Toledo is making every effort to locate his much needed medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has his story.

The National AIDS Commission is educating the young HIV and AIDS victim
Today youths whose lives revolve around educating others on the negative factors that accompany stigma and discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS gathered to listen to new views on the issue. It is a topic high on the agenda for the National AIDS Commission over the next two years and it is taking an all-encompassing approach in every district across Belize. Jimmy Leslie is heading his group from Benque Viejo. He says it all boils down to having respect for other’s rights. But the job of imparting information that will sway the mindset of some is easier to conceptualize than to make happen, as Toledo’s Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission, Joan Palma shared. The National AIDS Commission has as its focus between now and 2014 to change people’s attitude towards others.

Murder in the Port Loyola area in Belize City
Two brothers were shot on Monday evening, one of them fatally. The incident happened on Jane Usher Boulevard in the Port Loyola area just as the brothers were going to a nearby Chinese shop. Their stepmother told reporters this morning that they heard roughly eight gunshots just a few minutes after the youths left home. When they got the news, twenty-two year old Andrew Usher was shot in the chest and lay dying and his younger brother, nineteen year old Jordan Usher was shot in the right leg. According to the stepmother, they had just relocated to the area two weeks ago. She said that the family had just returned from an outing. Usher’s stepmother said that the youths didn’t have a problem with anyone.

Bus fare increases for the ride from Belize City and Belmopan
Twenty four hours ago the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Transportation Edmund Castro announced that there is no authorized increase in bus fares. But tonight, the news is that commuters will be paying more for a ride between Belize City and Belmopan. That is because the Belizean Bus Association, at a meeting today agreed that starting on Saturday a new fee structure goes into effect across the country. At their mi-morning meeting, the Association resolved that in order to remain competitive, bus operators need lower fuel rates, duty free & Tax Exemption of Parts and Equipment and a one hundred and twenty day notification for the termination or replacement of a Road Service Permit. Those were the minor issues; but for commuters the major thing coming out of this morning’s meeting is that they will be asked to pay more for public transportation. Now technically it’s a price increase; but the bus operators are calling it a price realignment. According to advisor and spokesperson for the Belizean Bus Association Patrick Menzies, the realignment is a reflection of the hard economic times in which the public transportation industry is operating. Edmund Castro, Ministry of states, Transportation In an interview on Monday, Minister Castro said that the bus operators cannot realistically expect commuters to pay a new fare without first improving their service. The operators’ response is that they can improve the service; but there are conditions attached. The Belizean Bus Association says it also wants representation on the Transport Board and equity in the price for road service permits. Today’s meeting of the Belizean Bus Association was held at the Belize Institute of Management training room in Belize City.


Eyewitness speaks to PlusTv on Norval Belisle Murder>
Here’s an update on the Norval Belisle case. The young man who was accused of inflicting the fatal stab wound has b...

George Price's National Service day a huge success>
In remembrance of his service to the country of Belize today September 19th is observed as National Service Day. Th...

Tribute to the life of Rt. Hon. George C. Price>
Exactly one year ago today, the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price passed away in Belize City at the age of 92. Mr. Price ...

Outbreak of Whooping Cough in Cayo's Springfield Community>
Information reaching Plus news is that cases of Pertussis or Whooping Cough, as it’s commonly known, were recently ...

Bertie Chimilio FFB financial investigations to begin>
FFB president Ruperto Vicente has ordered that an investigation be launched into the financial dealings of the FFB....

Guatemala's previous President Portillo to be extradited to the US>
Newspapers and media are reporting that Guatemala's Constitutional Court recently decided that ex-president Alfonso...

Woman says Bank is unfairly putting her life on Pause>
Tonight we give you lesson 101 on bank loans and bedroom relationships. Belmopan resident Aretha Gordon has come fa...

Taximan murdered in Libertad, Corozal>
Tonight we have another murder to report on in the Corozal District. Shortly after 7pm last night Corozal Police re...

Corozal Chinese store robbed>
Around the same time of this murder Corozal Police was called out to 5th Street where a Chinese Business Owner had ...

Man gets four years for burglarizing home of magistrate's daughter>
Racoon St. resident incarcerated for breaking into a woman’s home. 51 year-old Eric Barrow, a Belize resident, is s...

Belmopan Celebrations peaks on 20th and 21st September
As the month of September comes to and end so do the events of activities that have been slated to commemorate Beli...

Seven masked men invade Belize City home
Shortly before 3 p.m. yesterday evening, a Belize City Woman, Evelyn Conorqui, of a Logwood Street address became t...

GSU Shoots Fifteen year old minor as he escapes with weapon
A fifteen year old minor of Belize City is facing charges of kept firearm without a gun license, six counts of aggr...

From China to Ecuador… Belize's Chantae Shanice Guy making waves
From China to Ecuador ….Belize's beauty queen Chantae Shanice Guy is making waves at another pageant being held in ...

Man enters home and threatens Belmopan resident with pistol
A resident of Belmopan reported an incident of aggravated assault that took place at his home last night right here...

The Guardian

$20M Municipal Development Bond on Track
“There is never a brick wall! A lot of the things that we are doing is because of our will and determination." That was Mayor Darrell Bradley's response to reports which have come up stating that the Municipal Development Bond has hit a brick wall. That was the assumption surmised after Legacy, one of the Council's financial advisors had announced last week that it was no longer serving in that capacity for the Council. In speaking to The Guardian, Mayor Bradley explained that the Municipal Bond is well on track and that the Council actually counts on financial advice from many advisors. Among those advising the Council is the Central Bank of Belize as well as a World Bank consultant, who is assisting the Council with the Municipal Development Project as a technical advisor to the Council. As for Legacy, the Mayor pointed out that the Council is the client and the advisors work for the Council and it is not obligated to proceed along the way in which the advisors attempt to take the Council. While Bradley says that Legacy provided tremendous assistance to the council, it felt that the two had reached a certain point where it was necessary to disengage.

Edited by Marty (09/20/12 08:41 AM)

#447037 - 09/20/12 08:41 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 20, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Bus Owners want 10 Cents a Mile
The Belize Bus Owners Association held a meeting on Tuesday, September 18th, during which they say they will be asking commuters to pay 10 cents for every mile that a passenger is transported. That means that a trip from Belize City to Belmopan for example would cost a passenger $5.00 on regular runs and $6 for express when in the past, bus owners have been charging $4.00. The change in price is not something out of the ordinary as a 1992 Statutory Instrument allows them for that rate to be charged. And while the bus owners can quickly point out that there will be an increase in the fares that they will be charging for runs such as the one mentioned, there is no talk as to what will happen in the shorter runs. The Guardian spoke to a few commuters who use the bus services for just these runs and they pointed out that if in fact the bus owners charge 10 cents per mile, it is only reasonable to believe that the price for trips to Western Paradise and Ladyville for example would go down. In these cases, The Guardian understands that the figure will be rounded off to the nearest dollar so an 8 mile run which would be equivalent to 80 cents would be rounded off to a dollar. Trips to Hattieville, which is 16 miles would be rounded off to 2 dollars. The Belize Bus Owners Association says the new fares will be implemented by September 22nd. Speaking to The Guardian Minister of Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro, explained that there is nothing wrong or illegal in the request by the bus owners however, he pointed out that the prices which are currently being charged is because the bus owners have been subsidizing the extra that is not charged by overloading buses. Still, he says, it is not an illegal move. He also explained that for the time being, there is anywhere between 70 and 80 percent compliance to the Ministry of Transport's conditions for road service permits. Among the conditions which most bus operators have complied with is the numbering of busses as well as seats inside the bus. They have also been complying with placing of the contact information at the front of the buses.

25 honoured at Tribute to Belizean Patriots
On Thursday, September 13th, 25 distinguished men and women were honoured at the 2012 Tribute to Belizean Patriots at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The National Honours and Awards Act was passed on August 16th, 1991. It says that each year honours and awards may be conferred to individuals, living or dead, who may have rendered outstanding and meritorious service to Belize. This year, 20 individuals received Meritorious Service Awards; four received Orders of Distinction and Justice Manuel Sosa was honoured with the Order of Belize. The Tribute to Belizean Patriots is an event that is specially highlighted on Prime Minister Barrow’s September Celebrations calendar. He said that is because “this is when we fully honour selected Belizean citizens for patriotic services to Belize and Belizeans.” Unfortunately, Prime Minister Barrow could not attend the ceremony because he had to leave the country to assist his wife as she completes her cancer treatment. The Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, handed out the awards himself. The Order of Belize was bestowed upon Justice Manuel Sosa for his contribution to the Belize Judicial system. Justice Sosa is a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was named Most Outstanding Student at the Norman Manley Law School from 1974-76 and practiced in Belize from 1976 to 1998 when he was appointed as a Justice of the Belize Supreme Court. In 2011, Justice Sosa was named President of the Belize Court of Appeals. The National Honours and Awards Advisory Committee refers to Justice Sosa as “an example of the power of education”.

Another Day, Another Street
Mayor Darrell Bradley and Freddy Flores cut ribbon to officially open Puma Street Mayor Darrell Bradley and Freddy Flores cut ribbon to officially open Puma Street On Friday, September 14th, Mayor Darrell Bradley, along with councilors of the Belize City Council joined Puma Energy's country manager, Freddy Flores as the ribbon was officially cut marking the opening of Puma Street located adjacent to Puma Energy Ramon's Service Station located at Mile 2 1/2 on the Northern Highway. Speaking with The Guardian, Mayor Bradley pointed out that the street was originally the property of Puma Energy but it was turned over to Belize City and officially made into a street. Along with turning over the street to the council, Puma Energy also contributed a portion of the financing to completely pave the street with concrete. The street works cost $41,000 and was constructed by M&M Engineering.

Snapshot of Bus Woes
On Tuesday, September 18th The Guardian called, Minister with responsibility of Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro for his comment on the current bus situation. Before he could give us the interview, he noted that as he was speaking to The Guardian he was on the Western Highway where he found a Shaw Bus on the side of the road where it had suffered a blowout to the front driver's side tire. The incident happened at around Mile 32 on the highway. Hon. Castro said that inspections of the bus proved that it did not have a spanner or a jack; in fact, the driver had to borrow these tools from an oil tanker with license plate number A-00221 which was heading to Belmopan. Even after the spare tire was put on, it proved that it was too worn for it to be classed as being safe to travel. A backup was then called for from Mahogany Heights and when that one arrived, the license was expired in August and that bus too was not allowed to continue the trip. Passengers had to be inconvenienced that much longer and a third bus had to be called in from Belmopan to take commuters to their final destination. Hon. Castro explained that this is the kind of sub-standard service that the commuters have to contend with on a daily basis and it is simply unacceptable to have Belizeans treated in this manner. Now, the bus Association, and in particular the president who happens to be the owner of Shaw's Bus line has been one of the most vocal persons however, he himself has been unable to sort out his own internal problems and now pretends to try to solve those of an entire industry.

UB Student killed in Belmopan
University of Belize student, 21-year-old Norval Gilbert Belisle met his untimely death on Saturday at around 12:45a.m. in Belmopan after he attempted to part a fight that had broken out outside of La Cabana Bar. Reports by police indicate that Belisle was in the company of three of his friends, identified as Drachir Reid, Kirk Morgan and Herbert Francis on a street behind the nightclub when they got involved in a fistfight with four other young men who were in the area. During the fistfight, one of the young men got hold of a pint bottle and broke it. Reports are that Belisle was attempting to part the fight when the young man with the bottle stabbed him in the neck. Belisle was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for medical attention and died at around midday on Saturday. Police are continuing their investigations into this matter and are yet to make an arrest and charge anyone for the murder. For family members, however, it is an extremely difficult situation to deal with as Belisle was not a known troublemaker, in fact he was known for exactly what he reportedly try to do on the night of his death.

Belize Bank edged Smart in Firms Competition Basketball
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition continued over the weekend with six games on the schedule. On Friday, September 14th, in game one, Airport defeated BEL by the score of 77-47. The top scorers for Airport were Paul Swasey with 33 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Kelvin Gillett with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals; and Vince Lamb with 10 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BEL were Lloyd Leslie with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Jason Bennett with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. In game two, Belize Bank edged Smart by the score of 59-56. The top scorers for Belize Bank were Dominique Guzman with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals; and Troy Gabb with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. For Smart, the top scorers were Sean Duncan with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal; and Kurt Budd with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.

The Council of One
You know, I live in Orange Walk and pass by the centre of town every day after I pick up my daughter. Never did I notice that the market extension was once again on the PUP’s chopping block until after The Guardian exposed it two weeks ago. I mean, after the public outcry here in OW against this act of waste and spite by the present PUP Town Council, one would have believed that the Mayor would have reconsidered his earlier decision and replaced the few sections of the roofing which he had removed before being caught. But the man waited until the complaints quieted away and then pursued his mischievous little exploit, no pun intended, to rip down the entire $50,000 structure simply because it was erected by a UDP Council. This shows to what level they will go to destroy anything that the UDP does, not at their personal expense, but at taxpayers. The market extension shed was not causing any harm; in fact, since the PUP Council had prohibited vendors from using the stalls, commuters and students alike were using the booths as shelter either from sudden precipitation or from the hot sun. But no, said the Mayor, the shed stands as a living testament of the UDP’s industry and commitment to growth, so go it must, any which way, day or night. In truth, this practice is nothing new to the PUP here in Orange Walk, only I had assumed that they had matured by now. Many projects that the UDP undertook in previous terms were always abandoned to ruin by subsequent PUP Councils or Governments. Perhaps, that’s why our country is so underdeveloped; one group builds and the other lays it to waste.

15-year-old shoots at Cop
A 15-year-old boy was shot by police in Belize City on Monday night. Corporal of Police Daniel Flowers reported to police that he was making his way into his home in Belize City at around 10 on Monday night when he was approached by the 15-year-old who opened fire on him. The corporal was not injured in the incident and the teenager managed to briefly make his escape, however a team from the Gang Suppression Unit was nearby and confronted the teenager in the area of Partridge and Ebony Street. The GSU reports that the teen pointed the gun in their direction and they fired on him hitting him twice to the left knee and thigh. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released only to be charged with 6 counts of aggravated assault on the GSU officers and additional count for his attempt on Corporal Flower's life.

Man stabbed to Death in Belize City
Shortly after 8 on the morning of Monday, September 17th, police visited an upstairs house at the corner of 12th and St. Thomas Streets, where they found the body of 27-year-old Honduran National, Wilmer Alexis Esquivel. He was found lying face up on his bed with blood coming from his mouth. He was also seen with a stab wound to the upper side of his back. Investigations have determined that Esquivel was socializing with a man identified as Jose Humberto Gabarrete on the night of Sunday, September 16th and on Monday, September 17th. Neighbors indicate that it was a common practice for Esquivel to have friends over at his house where they would socialize. Police are investigating the killing and have yet to charge anyone.

Karol Mello keeps His Permanent Residency
The case initiated by Slovakian national, Karol Mello, to keep his Belizean permanent resident status was to have begun on Monday, September 17th. Mello had initiated legal action after the Minister of Immigration had revoked his permanent resident status on July 16th. When the matter came to court however, counsel for the Government of Belize, informed Justice Oswell Legall that the Minister has withdrawn the revocation causing the Slovakian national to keep his Belizean permanent resident status. Mello was picked up by police in San Pedro on July 11th pending extradition to his home country of Slovakia; he resisted it and in a court order on August 10th, the Supreme Court deemed that there were no grounds on which he should be put out of the country. He was nonetheless levied further charges including perjury and uttering a passport which he was not entitled to utter upon. Those charges were also later withdrawn. The 42-year-old Karol Mello is wanted in his home country for charges related to a double murder in 2004.

Fisherman killed on Jane Usher Boulevard
Two brothers were shot at and one died after they had visited their father on Jane Usher Boulevard. Andrew Usher, Jr., along with his brother, Jordan Usher, had gone to visit their father Andrew Usher Sr. They stayed at their father's house for about fifteen minutes after which they left on a motor scooter. As they were leaving, they were met by a dark complexioned man dressed in full black. As the man intercepted them, he pulled out a chrome handgun and opened fired on them causing them to fall off the scooter. During the shooting, Jordan, who had received a gunshot to the right leg, managed to run for cover and hid in some nearby bushes however, his brother was not as lucky and the gunman stood over Andrew and shot him as many as 8 times. He received three gunshots to the chest, two to the right armpit, one to the left hand, one to the upper rib cage and one to the right arm. Andrew died shortly thereafter as a result of the injuries. His brother Jordan, was treated for the gunshot to the leg. Police continue their investigation in this latest homicide.

Chamber’s President wins Best Booth at Expo 2012
Kay Menzies, President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, won big at the 2012 EXPO Belize Market Place. Karl H. Menzies won the title of best booth with their Heineken tent in the alcoholic beverage section of the Expo; however, that was not the highlight of the President’s weekend. Since the EXPO was moved from the St. John’s College Gymnasium to the ITVET compound, Menzies has been attacked viciously by critics inside and out of the Chamber. She has been accused of abusing her presidency to make the EXPO the Heineken Show and one business executive even said that the EXPO would “die because of her”. The 2012 Expo Belize Market Place proved that was far from the case. 18,000 people poured into the ITVET compound to search for the best deals at EXPO 2012. That is over 3,000 more than very generous estimation of 15,000 during the rainy weekend last year. There were also 152 official booths, 12 more than last year. The Belize Chamber of Commerce described the Expo as “a superb marriage between the arts/entertainment and displays from the commerce, manufacturing, and services sector.” In addition to the many business houses that displayed their products, NGOs such as the Youth Business Trust Belize, YWCA, Belize Camping Experience, Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities, Ya’axche Conservation Trust and Belize Red Cross also promoted their causes at the EXPO. The entertainment was the best it has been in years as the Belize Music Agency and NICH collaborated to form a star- studded Institute of Creative Arts Creative Village. It was non-stop entertainment as musicians, dancer and fashion stars put on a show for spectators in the alcoholic beverage section. Second place for best booth went to the Belize Camping Experience and third place went to the Belize Insurance Centre Ltd. The Exhibitors were evaluated by three independent judges on the following criteria: creativity (15) points, efficiency (10) points, professionalism (15) points, and innovativeness (10).

Special Sitting of the House of Representatives
It is notified that there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 26th September 2012 at 10 a.m. in the National Assembly Chamber in Belmopan.

Minister of Health Attends 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin is in Washington D.C. attending the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO.) The conference is a gathering of Ministers of Health of the Americas from the 17th to 21st of September at the PAHO Headquarters to analyze health policies in the region. The Conference serves as a forum for the exchange of information related to the prevention of disease; the preservation, promotion and restoration of mental and physical health; and the promotion of health. Objectives of this meeting include analyzing the present state of the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, child health, health related management and communication in the region. During the meeting, the Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the PAHO Award for Administration will be conferred. The 2012 Edition of Health in the Americas, a publication report describing the progress and challenges by the member countries of the Americas will be presented and member states will decide on the admission of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten as Associate Members of PAHO. Additionally, one of the main highlights of the meeting will be the election of the new Director of the PAHO. The director-elect will be taking over from Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentine, who has been serving as Director

PATRIOTISM: Speech delivered at UB Patriotic Day
Three decades plus one year of Independence will be celebrated by Belizeans on the 21st. Today, I am celebrating eight decades of life on this planet. I thank God and ask for another hundred years. Perhaps, my age gives me the privilege to discuss this morning, one aspect of our celebration:

Visa Waivers For three Countries In South America
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that visitors from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile will no longer need visas to visit our beautiful country. The Statutory Instrument waiving visa requirements for visitors from these countries to Belize was signed in August 2012. The Ministry of Tourism and the BTB view this as a major accomplishment as both have been working tirelessly to change the previous legislation

Mirage Lady Rebels Belize City Softball Champions
Rogers Stadium, Belize City, September 14, 2012 The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition came to an end at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball in Belize, in a dramatic finish between the National Softball Champions of Belize and the defending Belize City champions Telemedia, and the National Sub-Champions and budding Belize City champions Mirage Lady Rebels. Friday night’s game was the fourth game in the best of five series, with Mirage Lady Rebels enjoying a 2-1 lead over its nemesis Telemedia, who was in a must-win situation. Mirage Lady Rebels, batting in the bottom of the 1st inning, wasted no time in going to work against Telemedia’s starter and loser Mary Flowers. Mirage Lady Rebels’ centre fielder, Marsha Cassasola opened the inning with a single to left field; she then advanced to second base on a Mary Flowers’ wild pitch. Cassasola further advanced to third base on a sharply hit ball to centre field by the third baseman, Lisa Jones. Cassasola scored the 1st run of the game when she scored on an infield hit by catcher Ashanti Anderson.

Telemedia to defend Charles Solis Memorial Trophy
The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th, 2012, commencing at 9:00 am sharp at the Rogers Stadium. This year’s Charles Solis tournament will utilise a new format and will feature the champions and sub-champions from the affiliated associations of the federation. The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will be declared opened by Linda Reyes, ISF Hall of Fame Member, Honorary Life Member of the Belize Softball Federation and a former National Team player under Manager, Charles Solis. The championship medals and awards will be presented by Lorne Solis, son of Charles Arthur Solis. The Telemedia Softball Team is the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions.

NTUCB asks for what is Reasonable
On Monday, September 17th, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) issued a press release in which it agreed with the government's position that the Superbond should be renegotiated to better terms. The NTUCB's position is now among the countless other organizations which have agreed with the government's position that we simply cannot pay under the onerous terms that the bond is structured under.

International Sources

Belize Independence Day
Press Statement Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Washington, DC September 19, 2012 On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Belize as you celebrate 31 years of independence this September 21. Whether you are gathering with family, friends or loved ones, all Belizeans can rejoice in your nation’s great diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and languages and your proud heritage as a vibrant democracy situated at the crossroads of Latin America and the Caribbean. The ties between our two countries pre-date Belizean independence -- the 50th anniversary this year of the Peace Corps’ presence in Belize offers us the opportunity to renew our longstanding commitment to community development, education, and youth empowerment. Together, we are working to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build more opportunities for all people. As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States is a partner and friend. We will continue to stand with you in the years ahead to build a brighter future for the Belizean people.

Belize Defaulted Debt Grace Period Ends on $544 Million of Bonds
A 30-day grace period for Belize to make a payment on $544 million of defaulted bonds ends today with the Central American country’s government and creditors still trying to reach an accord. “While the grace period ends, we do not believe this will interrupt negotiations,” Mark Espat, the government’s chief negotiator in the debt talks, said in an e-mail message. “The government’s view is that a fair and timely resolution is only possible through transparent and good faith negotiations.” Belize, which has a population of 333,000 people, missed a $23 million interest payment Aug. 20 after Prime Minister Dean Barrow won re-election this year on promises to restructure borrowings. The government is holding talks with a creditor group that holds more than $300 million of debt. Belize’s bonds due in 2029 fell 0.48 cent to 34.56 cents, according to Bloomberg data, after trading just above 35 cents since the middle of August. Bank of Nova Scotia and Citigroup Inc. say the government’s three proposals to restructure debt presented Aug. 8 give the securities a net present value of about 20 cents, the least among 16 sovereign debt restructurings since 1998. AJ Mediratta, a partner at Greylock Capital Management in New York who is leading the investors group, declined to comment on the committee’s negotiations with the government.

Belize eyes partial bond payment, shrugs at default talk
Belize is considering making a partial payment on its "superbond" as a sign of good faith in talks with creditors aimed at restructuring $550 million in debt, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Wednesday. The tiny Central American country missed a $23.5 million interest payment on the sovereign bond in August and, according to analysts, was set to default on $550 million of debt as of Wednesday when a 30-day grace period ended. "We have been talking about the possibility of a partial payment," Barrow told reporters, noting that he had been briefed on the status of talks with bondholders early on Wednesday. Barrow downplayed the impact of what he referred to as a "technical default" and said he was optimistic about reaching a compromise. "I've said that the deadline and the triggering of a technical default doesn't have any serious practical consequences. In any event, there would be extensions that are automatically built into the process," he said. "But we are prepared to demonstrate some good faith if in turn we get from the bondholders what we consider to be reciprocity." Representatives of a bondholder committee were not available to comment.

Belize’s grace period ends on its debt default
Belize officially defaulted on its international debt obligations yesterday (September 19) when it failed to make the US$23.5 million interest payment that it had outstanding on its sovereign bonds. After the interest rate on its so-called “superbonds” rose to 8.5 percent from 6 percent, Belize said it could not afford to service its debt a fandiled to make the payment to creditors when it was due on August 20. However, Belize had a 30-day grace period to make a payment on theUS$544 million worth of bonds before it became officially registered as a default. Despite now officially in default, the Caribbean country and its creditors are still trying to reach an accord and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has offered the possibility that creditors might still receive something. "We have been talking about the possibility of a partial payment," Barrow told reporters, noting that he had been briefed on the status of talks with bondholders early on Wednesday. Barrow downplayed the impact of what he referred to as a "technical default" and said he was optimistic about reaching a compromise.

Belize close to extension, part payment on debt
The Central American nation of Belize may be close to a negotiated extension and partial payment on a $23 million bond payment it would default on this week if nothing is done. Belize missed a deadline for the payment on August 20, but has been under a one-month grace period. A source on the government negotiating team that has been talking with creditors said Wednesday there has been progress on extending the grace period, in exchange for a partial payment. The source was not authorized to be quoted by name and did not say how much the payment would involve. The country's total debt is $544 million. Parliament said Monday it will hold a special session one week from Wednesday. Belize has heavy debts from infrastructure projects and recent nationalizations.

I-Team: How We Started An Offshore Shell Company
It is no secret that America’s ultra-rich stash much of their wealth in offshore accounts. The idea is to avoid taxes by keeping assets hidden in shell companies that just happen to be incorporated in zero-tax nations like the Cayman Islands or Belize. The mere mention of the term “shell company” or “offshore tax haven” may evoke thoughts of complicated international finance. But as it turns out, you don’t need a squadron of bankers or international lawyers to set up one of these secretive shell corporations. Delving into the little-known world of offshore finance, the I-Team set up its own tax haven shell company -- and it only took a phone call plus a few emails. The transaction required no lawyer, no complicated paperwork and no expensive trips to a tiny Caribbean island. Indeed, the salespeople offering set up our offshore corporation were stunningly frank about how the shell company could be used to avoid U.S. taxes - and how our names could be kept out of official paperwork in order to remain hidden from anyone who might inquire. The I-Team called about a dozen so-called “corporate services” firms in Antigua, Belize, and the Island of Nevis. Three of the firms allowed the I-Team to record their sales pitch. “I’m trying to set up a company that my name is completely unattached to. Do you guys do that?” asked I-Team reporter Chris Glorioso.

Belize’s Birthday Proof That Multiculturalism Works
elize’s 31st birthday is not only a celebration of this tiny Caribbean nation’s independence, but a festival of multiculturalism and living proof that racial, religious and cultural harmony does work, the owners of the Lodge at Chaa Creek said today. In the run up to the nationwide celebrations about to take place in Belize under the theme of "Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize”, Mick and Lucy Fleming said they wished to highlight one of Belize’s most fundamental but sometimes overlooked qualities. “When people think of Belize, it’s usually the pristine rainforests, Maya temples, sparkling Caribbean islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef that come to mind, but one of the country’s most magnificent attributes and proudest accomplishments is the racial and cultural harmony we see every day throughout Belize,” Ms Fleming said. Ms Fleming said that as Chaa Creek was also celebrating its 31st birthday as Belize’s first rainforest eco resort, she and her husband wanted to congratulate their very multicultural staff of 135 people. “I think we all take it for granted just how large and varied the Chaa Creek family has become over the last three decades, and in this way we truly represent Belize as a whole.

Luxury Travel Misses The Point
Oh, I love the idea of this article...there are so many adventures in Belize that don't require luxury, even if you have the money, think about adventure and the "real Belize' over luxury... "...If you are unable to detach yourself from your wealth, your comfort and your entitlement for even a few days, then please just stay at home..."

Top 6 places to visit in Belize
From exotic animals to mysterious Mayan ruins; don't miss these six stops on a trip to this underestimated Central American country 1. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Crooked Tree is a village rich in Creole culture and a reserve with abundant bird life This is possibly one of the richest birding areas in Belize and Central America. It is recognised as a wetland of international importance and has the highest number of indigenous and migratory birds. The huge Jabiru stork (the world's largest flying bird) is Crooked Tree's most famous resident. Plan to stay the night and be there at dawn when the birds are most active. Explore the inland waters of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and experience the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renowned... From northern jacanas, white ibis, and wood storks to the infamous Jabiru stork! Head for the jungle during May – the best time of year for birdwatching – when the lagoon's water level drops and the animals must stray further for their food. 2. Lamanai Magnificent Maya ruins surrounded by dense jungle; accessible by boat The ancient Mayan city of Lamanai is on the New River Lagoon. Lamanai, which roughly translates to ‘Submerged Crocodile’, was one of the most important trading and ceremonial centres in the Caribbean lowlands. Occupied for over 3,000 years, from 1500 BC until 1600 AD, the ruins are unique as they illuminate a period of history that encompasses the early formative years of Mayan civilisation through to initial European contact and colonisation. With structures ranging from pre-classic temples to the Spanish colonial-era, jungle trails, refreshing swimming holes, and an excellent on-site museum, Lamanai is one of the most charming of all the Mayan sites in Belize. Travel upriver and explore these ancient Maya ruins surrounded by jungle and accessible by boat. As you cruise the waterways, enjoy tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities, including iguana, parrots, toucan, aracari, and Morelet’s crocodile. 3. Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole Made famous by Jacques Cousteau Lighthouse Reef is one of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean and home to the famous and unique Blue Hole. In 1972, Captain Jacques Cousteau and the intrepid crew of the Calypso explored and filmed this incredible atoll, showing its amazing underwater diversity to the world for the first time. The Blue Hole is a mesmerising cenote – a water-filled limestone sinkhole – around 100m in diameter and at least 33m deep. It makes for a cool place to swim on the hottest days of the year. 4. Glover's Reef The diving here is about as good as it gets in the whole of the Atlantic. Protected as a Marine Reserve and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover's Reef has the greatest diversity of reef types of all the atolls in the Caribbean. Divers can spot whale sharks, manta rays, black tip and hammerhead sharks, or corals of every colour and a range of fascinating marine fauna and flora. Plus you can kip on Southwest Caye with Marine Basecamps, ideally located for snorkelling, sea kayaking, kayak sailing, diving and fishing. Sleep in comfortable, oceanfront tent cabanas and wake up to the cool sea breeze. 5. Five Blue Lakes National Park Centred around an intensely blue lake, still unexplored but thought to be 200 feet deep Five Blue Lakes is a 10-acre natural wonder of earth and water, surrounded by over 4,000 acres of limestone hills and tropical forests. The varying water depth and ambient light filtering through the trees cause the water to take on remarkably different shades of blue, giving the lake its name. Five Blues is one of the newest parks in Belize so there are fewer visitors and you get a real feeling of unexplored terrain. A total of 217 species of birds have been identified in the park and all five of Belize’s wildcats (jaguar, ocelot, mountain lion, margay and jaguarundi) are known to make their homes within its boundaries. Inside the tangle of broadleaf trees, howler monkeys, tapir, gibnut, peccary and armadillo roam in a kaleidoscope of liana, bromeliads and orchids. 6. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center Native Belizean animals, conservation programs and forest cabanas The Belize Zoo is situated on 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. It is home to one of the world's only Jaguar Rehabilitation Programs. The Tropical Education Center is adjacent to the zoo and has nature trails with raised boardwalks, wildlife observation platforms, birdwatching tours and caving and kayaking trips on the Sibun River.


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