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#447660 - 09/29/12 09:03 AM Today's Belize News: September 29, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

Karen Waldrup shines onstage in benefit concert at Wet Willy’s
While the skies threatened a storm, the melodious voice of Karen Waldrup managed to shoo away the rain. The moon even came out and shone down on the crowd that had gathered on Wet Willy’s deck. Singing several of her original songs, as well as covers of popular songs requested by those in attendance, Karen brought the house down indeed. This writer’s favorite song was definitely “Whiskey Straight”, while others enjoyed “Save Paris for me”. There were some raffles held during (whiskey?) breaks, and even one brave 4-year old got up and took over the stage to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. It was an incredible night of good music, great fun, a good chance to catch up with friends over a few cocktails and super delicious $5 burgers, and all while supporting a good cause: the Mama Vilma Family Home.

Taking the guesswork out of pool maintenance
With the increase in demand for in-depth knowledge of pool maintenance, Don and Julie Putman of Island Pool Supply are hosting a freePool Seminar on Saturday, September 29th. Don told The San Pedro Sun that after taking over the business two years ago, they noticed a need for just such a seminar. “There have been many people coming in and asking questions. This seminar is hopefully a great way to answer them.” As always, knowledge is power. “Being able to give pool caretakers the knowledge and know-how can give them a better understanding of the problems that may arise, and ways to treat, and even prevent them.”

Island Life: More of my favorite things…
Life on La Isla Bonita is full of unique and colorful encounters that we often experience each day. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make my day, like spotting a new bloom on the hibiscus plant in my yard or marveling at the coconuts that are collecting on my tree. Other times I can be genuinely moved, like after weeks of watching a pair of osprey tend to their massive nest on my daily commute to work I notice for the first time a gray fluff-ball of a baby bird poking his head out of the nest. It’s not just the flora and fauna that can delight me but the people, places and food as well. There are some folks who I see on the street that I have been waving to for eight years and even though I know not their name I know their smile. And there are favorite swimming holes, restaurants and beachside bars that I gravitate to, each offering something that I have grown to like immensely. We all have favorite places to go, be it the best stretch of beach for a BBQ, to the restaurant that dishes up the best ceviche or the bar that has the best happy hour. So, what is the next best thing to having a favorite? Sharing it with friends! Allow me to share with you just a few of my favorite things…who knows, maybe we have something in common!

Ambergris Today

Belize Declares Turneffe Atoll a Marine Reserve!
The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve was enacted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, by the Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The act will manage and protect the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean announced Craig Hayes, Board Chairman of Turneffe Atoll Trust and owner/operator of Turneffe Flats Resort. “This 325,000 acre Marine Reserve, the largest in Belize, will benefit Turneffe’s commercial fishermen, its tourism sector, the atoll’s environment and all Belizeans,” said Mr. Hayes. “It has been established through the hard work and dedication of several individuals and organizations including the Turneffe Atoll Trust (TAT), the Fisheries Department, Turneffe’s fishermen and several non-governmental agencies.”

"Nexos" American Airlines' In-Flight Magazine Visits Belize
Nexos magazine’s editorial director, Ana Christina Reymundo, was in the country from September 13th – September 17th traversing both inland and offshore areas in the country. American Airlines in-flight magazine, Nexos, focuses primarily on an affluent business and casual Hispanic clientele. The magazine is published six times a year and has an outreach of over 200,000 people. Nexos magazine introduces its readers to fun and interesting information that integrates worldwide data, as well as incorporates different aspect of the Latin American culture. The magazine covers travel, business, technology, art, lifestyle and interviews with famous Latin personalities and has won many awards. American Airlines in-flight magazine, Nexos visits Belize The first stop on the itinerary took her inland to tour the mystic Altun Ha Maya temple and explore the location where the legendary Jade head was found. She was taken to the Caves Branch for a fun filled afternoon of zip lining in the jungle followed by cave tubing through the beautiful cave formations. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was the last stop on her itinerary, where she had the opportunity to enjoy some of Belize’s world class scuba diving, swimming along the barrier reef and viewing of the spectacular underwater wildlife.

Steady Increase in Belize's Tourism Expected by End of Year
The year 2012 began with a record breaking number of overnight tourist arrivals. As we continue in the third quarter, we see a steady increase in the overall arrival of overnight tourists. Airport arrivals have also seen very favorable growth and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. The BTB is delighted to share this phenomenal year in the tourism sector. The following is a detailed report of the first 8 months of this year. The year 2012 began with a record breaking number of overnight tourist arrivals. As we continue in the third quarter, we see a steady increase in the overall arrival of overnight tourists. Airport arrivals have also seen very favorable growth and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. The BTB is delighted to share this phenomenal year in the tourism sector. The following is a detailed report of the first 8 months of this year.

"Discovering Belize" Exhibit Hosted by El Salvador’s Ministry of Culture
On September 7, 2012, the Salvadoran Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of Belize in El Salvador opened the exhibition titled “Discovering Belize” dedicated to our country as it was holding its September Celebrations. The Intercultural House of El Salvador hosted the exhibition, which was done through the network of Houses of Culture, in order to bring together stakeholders in the cultural sector of sister (neighboring) nations. The director of the Network of Cultural Centers, Angel Iraheta, was the representative of the Ministry of Culture who inaugurated the Belizean exhibition. He indicated that, “Belize is our guest of honor to show us the richness of their culture," throughout the month of September in which Salvadorans and other Central American countries celebrate their independence as well.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Black students in Belize score lower in primary school examinations
In examining a document released by the Belize Ministry of Education titled “Improving Access, Quality and Governance of Education In Belize” Education Sector Strategy 2011-2016, it was revealed that the districts of Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo, where most of the blacks live in the country of Belize, scored the lowest on their Primary School Examinations (PSE) compared to the other districts where most Mestizo and Maya Belizeans live. This examination is important for students who are planning to further their education in high schools in Belize. Also, that throughout the entire country of Belize, the people who live in the urban communities scored higher than the students who live in the rural areas. The results are as follows; Belize-Urban: 56.0% Rural: 52.7%, Toledo-Urban: 54.5% Rural: 53.0%, Stann Creek-Urban: 54.1% Rural: 53.0% Orange Walk-Urban: 62.6% Rural: 56.0%, Corozal-Urban: 61.4% Rural: 56.2% and Cayo-60.6% Rural: 53.0%. The National was, Urban: 58.4% Rural: 54.1%. This is a complete reversal from many years ago where the black districts scored better or even with the other districts. The districts of Stann Creek and Toledo, where most Garifuna people live, did the worst and at one time in Belize’s history they were the teachers who went into the villages all over the country of Belize to educate their fellow Belizean brothers and sisters.

International Coastal Cleanup Today
Oceana Belize has organized for Belize to be part of the International Coastal Cleanup. In Cayo, Belmopan will be participating in the event. Meet at Maya Mopan at 7:00am to participate. "Belize will be participating in the 2012 International Coastal Clean Up. Oceana, in collaboration with the Scout Association of Belize and Ocean Conservancy will be conducting a nationwide waterway and coastal clean-up on Saturday, 29th September 2012, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Help to clean up rivers, coastline and other waterways in your area! In 2011, nearly 600,000 volunteers across the globe collected over 9 Million pounds of trash! Let’s make an even greater impact this year!"

OAS Culture of Peace
The Organization of American States had their Culture of Peace in the Adjacency Zone. Here are some great pictures from the event via the Benque House of Culture.

Tribute to Father of the Nation in Benque
The Benque House of Culture had a tribute to George Price, along with a poetry recital, and showing of the GP documentary. Congratulations to all the kids that entered and read their poetry.

Belmopan New Courts Store is now Open
Courts, one of Belize's top home appliances store, is now located in this new building around the Constitution drive in Belmopan. I absolutely love the colours of the new store, although it looks like the typical A & R store. I am ready to visit the store and see what new they have.

Channel 5

Senators discuss ASR concession
In the House of Representatives on Wednesday, both the leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca and the Fort George Area representative, Said Musa, trashed Minister Godwin Hulse for yielding to a package of tax exemptions that the government is providing to Belize Sugar Industries as part of a sale to American Sugar Refinery. Hulse, who [...]

Where is the Auditor General’s report?
The 2010-2011 government audit was discussed in the Senate. According to Senator Mark Lizarraga, the government accounts are in a mess and that’s a major cause of concern. Lizarraga said the report is damning because the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, did not provide an expert opinion and that due to substantive omissions, the accounts did [...]

Oil spill did not pose serious threat
On Thursday, an oil spill stretched on eight miles of the George Price Highway from Jaguar Paw to La Democracia. The Department of the Environment today provided further details, confirming that a vehicle transporting diesel was responsible for the spill. The highway remains covered with the fuel, and according to DOE, while the spill is [...]

Dividends not declared at Telemedia AGM
Speculation on whether or not dividends will be declared at the tonight’s annual general meeting of Belize Telemedia Limited is over. News Five has confirmed the Telemedia board will comply with a decision from the Caribbean Court of Justice, ordering that dividends cannot be paid before December fourteenth. The AGM will, however, proceed at the [...]

Pollsters believed Telemedia would have abided by injunction
Belize Telemedia Limited is having its Annual General Meeting tonight, but earlier this week a CCJ ruling put a wrench in the plans as the company was ordered not to declare or issue any dividends to shareholders. We asked viewers on Thursday night: Do you think the G.O.B. will comply with the CCJ order not [...]

Breaking News: Murder in Santa Elena
This news just in to our newsroom, the body of a man identified as Eddy Antonio Sanchez was discovered this evening at Liberty Farm in Santa Cruz, Santa Elena. According to a preliminary report Sanchez was chopped about five to six times on the head, throat, chin and on both ankles. Sanchez is believed to [...]

Youth stabs his brother in the chest because of tennis
In Ladyville, a tennis shoe led to a near fatal stabbing between two siblings. Nineteen year old Esau Bainton is fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was allegedly stabbed by his younger brother, who is a minor. Shortly after seven this morning, things got out of hand at the [...]

House in the way of motorist; so he drove into it
There was a freak accident on Freetown Road at one o’clock this morning when an SUV barreled into a wooden house. Official information has not been released by police and the press officer has not accepted our calls or responded to messages. But residents say the GMC Envoy was speeding on Freetown Road, into a [...]

Guatemalan convicted for keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition
In the court today, Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez was convicted by Magistrate Linsbert Willis for keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Moran is a Guatemalan national who caused a ruckus at the western border back in May when he was found in possession of a firearm, but there was hesitation by the Commissioner of Police [...]

Illegal aliens caught
The Immigration Department has three persons in their custody and is looking for two more after they were tipped off that illegal immigrants were being housed at a Baptist Church in the city. Immigration officers acted quickly after receiving the information, but only Salvadoran national, twenty-seven year old Rene Mauricio Dimas Juarez was found at [...]

He threw rum then a cement block at his victim
A bar fight that got out of hand has resulted in charges against Supal Street resident, thirty-six year old Kareem Flowers. He was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court today and charged with Wounding upon Honduran national, Jairo Sanchez. Reports are that on Sunday both men were at Riverside Bar when Flowers threw a [...]

Orange Walk school wins a Nutrition Quiz
Seven high schools from all over the country competed in the finals of the annual National Nutrition Quiz. The students were tested on a wide range of questions on nutrition and health and at the end of the fourth round, months of preparation paid off for the team from Bishop Martin High. Victory was sweet, [...]

Travel Trade Show in Honduras for European Market
The B.T.I.A., B.T.B. and other tourism stakeholders will be off to the annual Central American Travel Market and Channel Five will be there to bring it to you live from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The show, which will be in a business meeting style, will attract international travel agents and wholesalers from across the world. [...]

3X3 Basketballers doing well in Spain
The president of the Belize Basketball Federation, Paul Thompson, spoke to News Five last Tuesday when they were short on funds to send the Under Eighteen three by three basketball team to the World Championships being held this week. Well, the team made it to Spain and the games got underway on Thursday. By this [...]

Bloodsport in Quintana Roo; House of Shotokan exchange blows
A contingent from the House of Shotokan is back in the Jewel after a successful overnight trip across the border. The fighters took part in a Bloodsport competition that attracted mixed martial arts competitors from numerous Mexican states. Tired and bruised, their winning streak prevailed during the one day event as some team members upstaged [...]

Harmony Day at Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, (BGYEA) gained fame for being an underdog organization with dreams of regular Belizeans owning land. The movement had convinced the government to follow through on the organization’s plan to develop a community called Harmonyville at mile forty one on the George Price Highway. The paperwork and plans are still [...]


Scout Association and Ocean Conservancy Team Up to Collect Data on Garbage
The Scout Association of Belize is tomorrow embarking on its National Coastal and River ways cleanup. The cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Ricardo Alcoser is the National Coordinator for the cleanup. RICARDO ALCOSER Nationa...

Ladyville Primary School Gets Burglarized
A primary school in Ladyville Village is reeling from the effects of a burglary in their classrooms over Wednesday night. This is the fourth time since June that the school has been targeted and Principal, Carol Young, told Love News that the nuisance has adversely affected the p...

Brother Stabbed Over Tennis Shoe
CIB police have detained a fifteen year old youth pending charges after he allegedly stabbed his older brother at around seven-fifteen this morning over a pair of tennis shoes. The incident happened in the Bainton’s family yard on Perez Road in Ladyville


Fire On Lovers Lane Consumes More $18,000 Worth In Items
Minutes after 3:00 this afternoon a warehouse located on #22 Lovers Lane here in Orange Walk Town, went up in flames. The 22 by 30 building belongs to Gabino Novelo and was used as a storeroom. Today as both the building an its contents were consumed by flames, Novelo’s son, Antonio Novelo, told us that their loss is up to $20,000. Antonio Novelo, Son “I was in front of the building while the fire was taking place and Mr. Fuentes from the police force told me about the fire so when I ran behind I notice that I could not do anything throw water or anything like that so we called the fire station who responded immediately, good job fire station, now my first step was to go on and switch off the lights so all the power from the house would be gone then the people came to try to throw some water but by then the fire department came and they out the fire. We had a lot of items like a 200 horse power unit, we had a generator, we had a big stand fan, we had a couple a/c units, we had a couple big ice coolers, a couple big speakers we use for the business and those were about some of the items that were burnt, and because all the house was engulf and everything was lost, we had a least $1600 of lumber, pine lumber, mahogany lumber, so all of that was burnt.”

The Fight For Cane Farmers Continues Outside The House Of Representatives
Yesterday the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Bill, was passed at a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives despite major opposition. The bill seeks to award American Sugar Refinery, the company that will buyout BSI, major tax exemptions including partial yearly tax exemptions of 80% from January 1st 2013 to December 31st 2013, sixty percent reduction in 2014, forty percent in 2015 and twenty percent in 2016. The bill also withholds BSI and Belcogen from paying tax on dividends for a period of five years with effect from September 1st 2012. At the same time it exempts BSI and Belcogen from paying any customs and excise duties for a period of ten years, that’s from 2012 to 2022. And to make the agreement even sweeter than it already is, the companies are being granted a 50% reduction on stamp duties and it gives BSI the unrestricted right to export raw sugar and molasses for a period of ten years with effect from September 1st 2012. The amended bill has raised many eyebrows and has created a turbulent scenario between Government and cane farmers who are said to be the ones most affected, hence why members of the opposition are steadfast against the bill. But despite their strong opposition the fact remains that the bill went through its three readings yesterday and will now go the senate for approval. So basically, it’s a done deal and while Government has practically paved the road ahead for ASR, cane farmers on the other hand are in for a bumpy ride. But all is not lost because according to Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai, the fight continues outside the House of Representatives.

Two Rented Vehicles Stolen In Orange Walk
Two vehicles were stolen from separate auto rental companies over the September celebrations here in Orange Walk. All indications are that the vehicles were stolen by the same person. The first incident was recorded on the eve of Belize’s Independence and the victim was Evencio Cal. Cal reported to police that on the 20th of September, around 9:45am, 27 year old Hector Rivas of #14 Woodpecker Street Trial Farm Village, visited his Auto Rental Shop and rented a $12,000 blue Ford Explorer with license plate number OW-C-03897. Rivas, who used his driver’s license to identify himself, was to return the vehicle at 9:45pm on the same 20th of September. Today marks 7 days that Rives rented the vehicle and it’s yet to be returned. On the 22nd of September Rivas rented another vehicle, this time from Steve Perriot. According to Perriot, Rivas rented a black Dakota Pickup with license plate number OW-C-003389 valued at $5,000 from him. Again, Rivas used his driver’s license as a form of identification. The vehicle was to be returned on the same day of its rental. Police are now looking for Rivas for questioning.

Another Slovakian Criminal Lives In Belize?
There are reports coming from the Slovak Republic which indicate that in addition to Karol Mello, an alleged mafia boss wanted in Slovakia for a series of crimes he reportedly orchestrated, including the slaughter of a mother and son, another Slovak with a criminal past has sought refuge in Belize. According to the Slovak Spectator, Viliam Misenka, who is accused by Slovak police of five murders and the theft of more than $5 million Euros, currently lives in San Pedro and is allegedly Mello’s neighbor. The report quotes an anonymous source from Belize indicating that Misenka is conducting business related to real estate and is a partner in an internet café located in San Pedro Town. The Slovak police and the local authorities are reportedly aware of his presence in Belize. Reports are that Misenka and Mello are joint suspects in two cases, the murders of Peter Congrády and of Jozef Gudab. According to the Slovak Spectator, Mello and Misenka met in Kosovo in July 2011, before they relocated to Belize. Reports suggest that the X Lounge Bar in San Pedro reportedly owned by Mello has been offered for sale on the coldwellbankerbelize.com website for $249,000. The ad allegedly states that sellers are moving and need to sell. From what we have been able to gather there are a number of Slovakians living in San Pedro all in the same Apartment building as Mello. While we were unable to verify if one of the individuals goes by the name of Viliam Mišenka, we were able to confirm that one of the men, who is into real estate, owns and internet café and lives next to Mello. Viewers might recall that on July 11th Mello was detained by Belizean authorities while living in San Pedro with his wife and son. Immediately after Mello’s arrest, Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse, ordered that Mello be extradited to Slovakia. Mello’s attorneys; however, placed an injunction preventing Mello’s expulsion. After the case was heard Mello was released from prison only to be re-arrested on charges stemming from alleged immigration offences. While those charges were later dismissed, Mello’s permanent residency remained canceled. His lawyers were later able to win his case and the Slovakian national was awarded permanent residence for a second time.

It's Time To Get Registered
Last year the Vital Statistic Unit embarked on a mission to have 100% of the Belizean population registered by 2015. The project, which is funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has been completed in the Toledo, Stann Creek and Corozal Districts. Yesterday 10 teams arrived in Orange Walk to continue with their mission also intended to increase national awareness on birth registration as a fundamental right. One of the teams was in the village of San Pablo today and as we stopped by at the village’s health centre we found out more about the program. In 2011, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and the Vital Statistic Unit of Belize joined efforts to launch an important project with one specific goal: to have the entire 300,000 plus Belizean population registered by 2015. Yesterday ten teams arrived here in the Orange Walk District to carry out their goal. The teams were spread across the district with the San Pablo Health Clinic and Orange Walk Town Hall being the focal point. But registration is not the only service that is being provided as explained by Assistant Registrar Lovina Daniels.

10 Cents Per Mile Says Castro
On September 25th Cabinet gave its support to the adjustment of bus fares to ten cents per mile across the board, strictly stating that all transportation providers must comply with the new fares. Today Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works Honorable Edmund Castro was in Orange Walk and we took the opportunity to speak with him about the new changes in the bus industry. “Basically what we are doing is that the Bus Association is trying to work and they are trying to comply, we will not have full compliance until we ticket some of them so what we also doing with the S.I. moving the penalty from $100 for standees to either $200 or $250 for standees so if any bus operators out there continue to break the law although we are trying to work with them and continue to break the law then at some point they would get caught. We also have a hot line number that we have that the commuter will be able to text us or call us and report any infraction that they see happening on a bus, the drinking and the driving, driving with a loud music and also with the bus passengers hanging out the bus that is a no, no, we are trying to work with them and them claims is that they are complying and are trying to comply. What we want to see is a complete reengineer of this entire public transportation system as it relates to the buses and I know if we work together, the commuter work with us because the commuters are not by themselves, the commuters are partly responsible for the overcrowding of the bus because the bus operator have a period or a slot that they can put in any amount of buses that they need to move those people safely to their destination so the commuter also need to play their part not to have allowed the bus owners to crowd them and crammed them on a bus and still charge them because cramming on a bus they are still paying the same price like the one that have a seat so you are inconvenient and the person sitting down next to you and the only one benefitting is the conductor and the driver.”

P.M Off To Washington
After a heated debate at the House of Representatives yesterday, today the Prime Minister of Belize departed to Washington D.C. The Prime Minister will be heading a Belizean delegation which will be holding discussions with High-Ranking Executive Officials at the Inter-American Development Bank and at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Barrow is expected to return to the country on Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012.


Sabotage at Nohok Che’en Archaeological Reserve
The Nohok Che’en Archaeological site is back in the news again. And this time it is because of an act of sabotage that could have crippled the nation’s tourism industry. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Jaguar Paw today to bring you the following report.

Oil slick on the George Price Highway
The George Price Highway between La Democracia village and the Jaguar Paw cut-off was made all the more treacherous aside from rains that fell throughout the morning when an oil tanker carrying petroleum fuel experienced a dysfunction and started to leak the contents onto the highway. Thankfully there were no accidents resulting from the combination of the mixture of the oil and water on the road, and to prevent that from happening, the National Emergency Management Organization and the Department of Transport personnel were out to ensure that motorists slow down between the roughly seven-mile-stretch where oil had spilled onto the highway. The fuel, visible in puddles of water that were left after the downpour, was partially washed away by a good Samaritan near the Jaguar Paw entrance with the highway and the remainder along the stretch dissipated with the constant flow of traffic.

Agro-processing training opens in Central Farm
A two-day conference on agro-processing started today in Central Farm, Cayo District. Close to two-dozen participants from cooperative groups in the west are taking part in the forum which is being held at the conference room of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s conference room. Food Safety, General Management Practice and Bake Training techniques are the main topics which are being shared with the participants during the two-day sessions. Facilitators include BAHA’s Technical Food Safety Director Miguel Figueroa; Food Specialist with the ROC Technical Mission Dr. Carson Huan; and Food Processing Coordinator with the Ministry of Agriculture Charles Bacab. This week’s agro processing training is being jointly coordinated by the Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cooperatives department. Groups taking part in the training include the Women In Business from Cayo West; Osh Mul Kah Agro Processors Youth Cooperative from San Antonio; Women in Agro Processing Association from San Ignacio and the Osh Mul Kah Bakery Women’s Group from San Antonio village.

Government presents strategic energy plan
The Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities this morning launched their Strategic Plan at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Philip S.W. Goldson Highway. Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega gave the opening remarks followed by Minister Joy Grant who spoke on the subject of global competitiveness. Senator Grant spoke with Love News about Belize’s options for cheaper forms of locally produced energy. The Keynote Address was presented by Professor of Electrical Engineering, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Member of the Prime Minister’s Council of Science Advisors in Barbados, Dr. Cardinal Warde.

New executive for Council of Churches
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Belize Council of Churches. At its bi-annual general meeting held last week, the group chose Reverent Roosevelt Papouloute as its new president replacing Canon LeRoy Flowers. The vice president is now Bishop Philip Wright. Secretary is Karen Taylor while Reverent Christopher Chauncy is the treasurer. Ordinary members are Bishop Dorrick Wright, Major Joliker Leandre and Pastor Ernest Betson. According to a release from the Belize Council of Churches, the general assembly also adopted a new constitution. The release ends by saying that the new executive reaffirmed its commitment to the Prophetic role of the church and will seek to meaningfully engage government and civil society in advancing the welfare of the Belizean society to and for the glory of God.

Prime Minister goes to Washington for meetings
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today travels to Washington, D.C. According to an official statement from his office, Mr. Barrow is leading a delegation to scheduled meetings with high-ranking executives of the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Prime Minister is due back in the country on Thursday of next week and during his absence of official duties, deputy prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Exhibit featuring George Price opens in Belmopan
A photo exhibition entitled George Price, reflection of a hero opened last night at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The man behind the lens of the photographs was Richard Holder. The exhibit is cosponsored by Belize Natural Energy and representative Daniel Gutierrez said it is important to keep the legacy of Mr. Price alive. The exhibition will run for the next few months.

Art expo planned for Belmopan
The Cultural Regional Institution of Belize, CRIB, is organizing an event of diverse cultural activities that will take place tomorrow at the Belmopan Central Market. The Director of CRIB, Manuel Lizarraga and the President of CRIB Luis Perraza, visited Love Studios to tell us about the event and to call on the public to come out and be a part of it. Once again the time for the event is from 7:00 am. to 3:00 pm. For more information you can call 651-7873 or 621-2703 or send an email to crib@live.com. According to Perraza the mayor of Belmopan is looking into the possibilities of turning the diverse cultural art activity into a monthly event.

Celebrations exhibit opens at the Museum of Belize
The Museum of Belize will be displaying a new Exhibit Entitled “Belize-Revisiting the 10th and 21st”. This afternoon Love News visited the Museum for a sneak peak at the exhibit. Shari Williams is the Communications officer for the National Institute for Culture and History. The exhibit will remain open for a couple of months and Schools are reminded to book visits in advance. Once again the doors will be open for the general public to view the exhibit on Tuesday October 2nd.

Wellness Day observed in Toledo
Toledo Wellness Day: Activities in connection with Caribbean Wellness Week continue in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.


Video highlights of UB candle vigil for student Narval Belisle
There was a memorial service and vigil for the late Norval Belisle Jr. The service was held by the University of Be

Belize celebrates Senior Citizens Week
Belize is a young nation but we do have many elderly persons within our population. This week is being celebrated a

CCJ says BTL can't distribute Dividends at AGM
The Caribbean Court of Justice presided over by the President, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, ordered the G

Controvertial platform at reserve vandalised
FECTAB President Tom Greenwood and executive members and tour operators Yhony Rosado and David Almendarez today cat

Rotary donates computers for new school project
Belizean primary school students are being treated to a visual form of learning. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio thr

P.M. Barrow to visit IMF
The Prime Minister of Belize left the country today. He is heading a Belizean delegation to meetings scheduled with

Belmopan's C.R.I.B. to host exciting Cultural events
The organization is a group of persons who through the promotion of cultural events and exposure to the different c

Con man targets car rentals
A couple of car rental businesses have been targeted by an alleged con man. Evencio Cal, of Orange Walk Town told p

Laptop stolen from parked car in Belize City
Thieves cleaned out parked vehicles in Belize City. Alexander Evans reported that between 7:45pm and 10:30pm on Tue

Guatemalans rapeing Belizean forests to the tune of Millions of Dollars
Forest Footage At that presentation today, we were info

Will Mehia speaks to PlusTV about Illegal Guatemalan logging
The Chiquibul National Park system covers thousands of acres; the Guatemalans have been reaping the benefit of Beli

Belmopan seniors celebrate Senior Citizens Week
This week is being observed as Senior Citizens’ Week. A series of activities has been planned starting with a churc

Son acquitted of murdering his father; will manslaughter stick?
A son was acquitted of the murder of his father but jurors were not certain of his fate on the alternative charge o

NICH says Controvercial Cave Platform was vandalized
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (NICH.), in a release sent out to

San Pedro man acquitted of carnal knowledge against 11 year old
32 year-old Edwin Flores was acquitted of 5 counts unlawful carnal knowledge yesterday. Flores was accused by an el

Man gets 7 years for stealing forty five dollars
43 year-old Henry "Tyson" Lauriano was sentenced to 7 years in prison after being convicted of robbery and harm. Hi

Dangriga Town Councillor's home burglarized
Burglaries are becoming prevalent in Dangriga and one of the latest victims is a Dangriga town councillor, Howard M

Artist's house catches fire
There was a fire in Belize City today. It happened sometime after 11 o’clock this morning at number 161 Curl Thomps


Police won, the sports desk apologizes
Well, well, well, what a turn of events in the Week 5 stats for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2012-2013 Opening Tournament. In our Wednesday issue, we had reported that Police United lost this past [...]

Premier League has new office and new Secretary
The Premier League of Belize officially announces that its new Office of Administration is now located at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) complex on the Hummingbird Highway in Belmopan. The League thanks the Football Federation [...]

Fourth Belizean crowned Champion in annual BGA Belize Open
This past weekend, the sixth Belize Open was played on the beautiful course of Grand Coral in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Rodrigo Barrera, a Belizean national, was crowned champion, thus becoming the first Belizean to win on [...]

Editorial: Sugar and spice; sugar rolls the dice …
The United Democratic Party (UDP) won general elections in 2008 and 2012 by focusing on the terrible debt servicing which Belize was having to deal with because of the two terms of People’s United Party (PUP) excess between 1998 and 2008. The PUP said that what they had done was “grow the economy,” and they extolled the virtues of foreign direct investment (FDI), which was the reason why they had been so chummy with Lord Michael Ashcroft and why they had given him so many tax breaks, they argued. As the UDP continued to lament the burden of the so-called superbond, the Francis Fonseca PUP argued that the Belizean debt could readily be serviced if only the UDP would “grow the economy” at a rate of 4 percent, say. And, with Lord Ashcroft waging an anti-UDP administration campaign at home, regionally, and all over the world, the PUP chimed in with the claim that the UDP was anti-business, and that they were driving away all the much-desired, indispensable even, FDI.

From The Publisher
I have a younger brother, Michael, who was killed in Accra, Ghana, in September of 1976. He had completed the first year of a two-year course in land management in Kumasi, which is about two hundred miles from Accra. Indications are that he was bored, having nothing to do in Kumasi during the summer holidays, so he was in the capital city with friends when he was murdered. My younger brother was an adventurous guy. He was an outstanding football player and track-and-field athlete, the most successful athlete amongst my parents’ children. He was an active member of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) while employed at the Lands and Survey Department. Arrested and charged because of UBAD activities on the night of May 29, 1972, he was interdicted from his government job. Along with Norman Fairweather and Edwardo Burns, he was defended in the Supreme Court by attorney Dean Lindo, and all three were acquitted in October of 1972, whereupon he resumed employment at Lands. UBAD had become divided in early 1973, and was formally dissolved in November of 1974. Michael’s Kumasi scholarship offer had been on the table for some time. Several Belizeans had already done the course, and I encouraged him to take up the offer, which he finally did in September of 1975.

Likes Amandala editorials
It would be an understatement to say that the behavior of politicians in Belize is scandalous. Embezzlement, all manner of misuse of funds, perfidy, corruption on every level and across party lines—the list is long and tawdry—and criminal. It gives me hope for Belize as I read your increasingly hard-hitting editorials, which illustrate to me that patience for wrong-doing is wearing thin and that the incapacity of political parties to govern—despite all their benefits—is no longer something the Belizean people have to accept. When I’m asked, “What can I do about it?” my reply goes right to the heart of what you’re doing as the editor of a major newspaper. By the very act of speaking with candor, with honesty and courage, whether among our friends or from the pages in a newspaper, we contribute to the universal consciousness from which all change comes. I like what Abraham Lincoln once said : “When I do a good thing, it makes me feel good. When I do a bad thing, it makes me feel bad. That’s my religion.”

Re: “The Peninsula rises: “Noh tek wi wata!”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Amandala newspaper for giving the concerns of the people of Placencia Peninsula a national voice. I would like, however, to address and clarify to the people of Placencia a statement that was paraphrased by Mr. Humes on the statement made by former Minister Melvin Hulse, in an article in the September 23, 2012 issue of the Amandala – The Peninsula rises: “Noh tek wi wata!” – on page 22 (continued from page 21) and paragraph 5 of that page. The statement says, “He contended that Charles Leslie, as an ex-officio member of the Placencia Water Board, which is independently appointed by Government, and as chairman of the village, never missed a meeting in respect to this issue and therefore ‘must have been aware’ of what was going on and for him to suggest otherwise is ‘being disingenuous.’” I would like to state that indeed I attended every meeting held concerning the proposed Placencia Peninsula Sewage System. The very first meeting I attended was held at the Robert’s Grove Conference Room on July 27, 2010.

Nick Pollard, Jr., comments on PUP 1956 issues
Allow me to comment on the excerpt taken from Larry Vernon’s paper on political parties in Belize. I believe the full paper was published about two years ago in Amandala. I wish to say that there was one sentence and I quote, “that Nicholas Pollard conducted a campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.” I wish to say that the statement is completely out of context. The statement would lead readers to believe that Pollard went berserk and publicly slandered leaders of the People’s United Party. Vernon failed to inform his readers that a bitter feud exploded in July of 1956 when Goldson, Richardson and Herman Jex took a missing monies case to the GWU Executive at Liberty Hall, where they all conspired to expel Pollard. Following Pollard’s expulsion, Pollard, with Price’s support, countered with a vicious attack on all three who had been elected in the 1954 adult suffrage elections. My reason for exposing this distorted information is because Vernon is listed in Godfrey Smith’s list of acknowledgements in his book on George Price. After reading Godfrey’s chapter on the “Struggle for Leadership,” I found it somewhat obnoxious that he chose to use the words “nasty campaign” twice and “slander” in only one paragraph on page 132 to describe Pollard’s attack on his adversaries. Godfrey uses the “Richardson/Goldson Declaration” of September 27th, 1956 to elaborate on the “Struggle for Leadership”; the Declaration was to have been read that night at the Riverside Hall by the PUP Party Chairman, Lloyd Coffin, when they were stopped by the Pollard/Price faction and ousted from the building.

Ideas and Opinions – Drugs from a different viewpoint
I know that you will not make the mistake of thinking that this article will be about prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are for treatment, healing and, other specific purposes. They are not the subjects of newspaper [...]

Candlelight vigil for Kaylee Burgess on Saturday in Ladyville
Three weeks after the body of baby Kaylee Burgess, 2, was found dumped in a bucket at the home of her grandmother in the Japan area of Ladyville, despite strong evidence that she had been murdered, [...]

Liberty Hall to host “grassroots university”
Best known as the Belize headquarters of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the historic Liberty Hall on Barrack Road continued to be a place of social interaction and political organization even after the decline [...]

Will BTL defy CCJ?
Court says telecom company must wait to issue dividends; Board Chair, Net Vasquez, says company will “deal with agenda” for meeting The chairman of the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Nestor ‘Net’ Vasquez, says shareholders and the country must wait until tomorrow night, Friday, September 28, when the company meets for its Annual General Meeting at the Princess Hotel and Casino, to find out what it will do in consequence of an order issued by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Wednesday to the Government of Belize “to exercise its powers as controlling shareholders of [BTL] to adjourn the issue of the declarations of dividends” of Telemedia to a date no earlier than December 14, 2012. In a media release issued today, Thursday, the Court said it made the order “so as to preserve the status quo in relation to pending litigation before the courts of Belize which arose from legislation enacted by Belize to acquire certain property belonging to the Applicants,” which are Dean Boyce of the BTL Employees’ Trust and the British Caribbean Bank, collectively termed “the Ashcroft Alliance” (for British billionaire businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft) and represented by Senior Counsels Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith.

“Sweet and bitter” sugar bill passes House
Cañeros say concessions good for American ASR, but only “making the rich richer and the poor and enterprising cane farmers poorer!” “We were facing Armageddon” said Barrow. The House of Representatives today passed a bill which the ruling United Democratic Party argues is necessary to rescue the sugar industry from sure demise, while guaranteeing long-term prosperity for the farmers; however, the bill has been a hard sell to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, which wrote Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday objecting to concessions which they claim would give American Sugar Refining (ASR) an unfair advantage over the country’s over 6,000 cane farmers. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said in Parliament today, while introducing the bill, that the concessions are in support of a US$100 million investment in the Belize sugar industry by ASR—which he described as a company with the largest global footprint on that market and the biggest refiner in the world—as a part of a rescue operation of the financially beleaguered Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). Barrow made the case that the passage of the bill today—taken through all its stages in a single sitting of the House—is urgent, because BSI only has until the end of September to settle US$60 million in debt, the bulk of it with the foreign bank, ING, which last year gave the BSI a one-year extension to settle its bill or face foreclosure.

Belize loses $23 mil to illegal logging: FCD
A newly released economic and ecological valuation assessment of illegal logging inside the Chiquibul Forest, released this morning, reveals that Belize has lost an estimated BZ$23 million as a result of those activities. The details were provided at a forum held at the Belmopan Convention Hotel by Friends for Conservation and Development – an NGO which was formed in 1989. Boris Arevalo, FCD researcher and general manager of Las Cuevas Forest Station, revealed that the “zone of influence” affected by illegal logging has expanded from 18,167 hectares in 2010 to 26,642 ha in 2011 — an increase of 46.6%. It increased a further 28.3% by mid-2012, now putting the area under pressure by illegal logging at 34,189 ha at mid-2012. This represents nearly 20% of the Chiquibul, which spans 176,000 ha. FCD notes that illegal logging by Guatemalans has eclipsed the Caracol Archaeological Reserve — which has furthermore suffered from looting of over 90% of its Mayan sites on account of illegal logging forays into Belize. There has also been wildlife poaching associated with these activities. Arevalo said that the reach of illegal loggers has gone beyond the Chiquibul National Park and is now expanding into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. FCD reports illegal logging 11.5 km (over 7 miles) into Belize, measuring from its western border with Guatemala.

City Council victimizes “Tambran”
DJ Tambran is evicted from Commercial Center after settling with City Council; Council says he can get licence “anywhere else but not at Commercial Center” After appearing in court this morning, businessman Lennox “DJ Tambran” Young visited Amandala this afternoon to confirm that he had reached a settlement agreement with the Belize City Council and received the money owed to him for damages sustained to his equipment a few years ago, less the rent fee for the stall that CitCo demanded from him. But he has also been told that he had to leave his booth effective tomorrow, Wednesday, confirming his suspicions that someone wants the space he had. Young spoke out after it became apparent to him that the Council wanted him out of Booth #7 at the Commercial Center, the home of his “Music Depot” business for which he has a 15-year lease. The roof of the space has been leaking for some time now, leading to damage to important records and equipment for his business, and a few weeks ago he lost permanent power due to a fault in the market space’s electrical layout. After receiving temporary power from the Council, it was cut, and he had gone almost a month since then without power, supposedly because he owes the Council rent.

GOB hires Barrow & Co in move to fight offshore drilling referendum
The Government is expected to file its defense this week in the case of Oceana, Audrey Marie Bradley and Tom Greenwood against the Governor-General and the Chief Elections Officer. The claimants are challenging Government’s decision to not convene a national offshore drilling referendum after Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected roughly 8,000 signatures on petition — amounting to 40% of the signatures. The Government subsequently took the position that the required 10% of voters needed to mandate the poll had not signed on. It could be months before this court case gets to hearing, but inside her Chambers this morning, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana held a case management session with attorneys from both sides, setting an agenda for the filing of affidavits and other important documents. Government, which was previously represented by counsel from the Attorney General’s Ministry, has now retained private counsel to defend its case. Naima Barrow, niece of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and counsel from the Barrow & Co law firm, is holding brief for the Government, while ex-Attorney General Godfrey Smith, SC, continues to be retained by the claimants.

GOB hires Barrow & Co in move to fight offshore drilling referendum
The Government is expected to file its defense this week in the case of Oceana, Audrey Marie Bradley and Tom Greenwood against the Governor-General and the Chief Elections Officer. The claimants are challenging Government’s decision to not convene a national offshore drilling referendum after Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected roughly 8,000 signatures on petition — amounting to 40% of the signatures. The Government subsequently took the position that the required 10% of voters needed to mandate the poll had not signed on. It could be months before this court case gets to hearing, but inside her Chambers this morning, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana held a case management session with attorneys from both sides, setting an agenda for the filing of affidavits and other important documents. Government, which was previously represented by counsel from the Attorney General’s Ministry, has now retained private counsel to defend its case. Naima Barrow, niece of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and counsel from the Barrow & Co law firm, is holding brief for the Government, while ex-Attorney General Godfrey Smith, SC, continues to be retained by the claimants.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 09:49 AM)

#447661 - 09/29/12 09:04 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 29, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Reporter

Ministry of Immigration tightens loose ends
The Immigration Department is in the process of making a series of changes to enhance the sanctity of the process that one must go through to acquire a Belizean passport or other form of documentation. The crackdown comes on the heels of the recent incident at the Department’s Belize City office, where Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allaboun, an alleged Hezbollah terrorist, managed to get a Belizean passport bearing another person’s name, in less than 48 hours! Allaboun managed to obtain his passport, according to the Immigration Supervisor who approved his application, by merely showing him what looked like a Belizean Social Security identification card. As it turned out, that card was a forged document.

Illegal logging costing Belize US$14 million
Illegal logging by Guatemalan poachers in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve have cost Belize an estimated US $14 million or more, according to an Economic and Ecological Valuation Assessment done by the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), which co-manages the reserve and the Chiquibul National Park. FCD’s Boris Arrevalo and Derric Chan prepared the assessment. Arrevalo said “the problem is getting bigger and bigger every day” as he presented his report to representatives of the Forest Department, the Police Department, the Belize Defence Force, Customs and Immigration Departments, other government agencies and non-governmental conservation organization and the media at the Belmopan Convention Hotel on Wednesday, September 26.

Who Sabotaged Chukka Belize’s Tours?
The Ministry of Tourism, through the National Institute of History and Culture (N.I.C.H.), and the Belize Police Department are conducting an investigation to determine who sabotaged Chukka Belize’s rappelling tour at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve some six miles off the George Price Highway at mile 38. On Monday, September 24, tour guides checking on the site found that several of their rappel ropes and the rappel platform had been damaged and the stairs that lead to its Crystal Cave was partially destroyed by fire. The only thing that prevented the fire from destroying the whole set of stairs was a downpour that came on Sunday. Chukka personnel discovered burnt firewood on the stairs, which was what the vandals used to start the blaze.

Ladyville Police continue to question relative of Kaelee Burgess
Ladyville Police have yet to charge anyone for 2-year-old Kaelee Burgess’ murder; even though they detained two of her relatives on Tuesday, September 25. Kaelee’s aunt is in custody for the third time, but this time Kaelee’s granduncle, Gabriel Mejia, Sr. is also in custody. Both persons, police say, have been detained for questioning as they continue their investigation into child’s death, which occurred two days before her second birthday. She was found dead in a bucket of water at her home on Mirage Road in Ladyville on Wednesday, September 5. Both Kaelee’s father, Kevin Burgess, and mother, Dedra Pratt, have told the media that they suspect that their relatives know something about what led to their daughter’s death.

Yasser Safa a wanted man
Yasser Safa, brother of suspected terrorist abettor Samir Safa, is wanted in both Mexico and Belize. Safa is wanted in Mexico in connection with an immigration investigation, and he is wanted in Belize to be questioned for his involvement with the alleged terrorist operative Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, who is said to be a member of the radical Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah. Safa is being sought to confirm the legality of his presence in Mexico. When Samir was arrested earlier in September, Mexican authorities discovered that he had two sets of documentation: one purporting that he was in Mexico as a tourist, the other that he was there as an immigrant.

FIU joins the Hezbollah investigation
The Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) of the Belize Police Department has joined the investigation of how suspected Hezbollah terrorist, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, acquired Belizean documentation.

Rape violations spike over Independence Day holidays
The number of rape incidents were reported across the country during the recent Independence Day celebrations. Police reported after September 21, that they had detained three men in their investigation of a reported rape in Teakettle Village. A woman in her late teens told Police she had a few drinks at the Raindrops Inn in the village, and left to walk to a friend’s house shortly after 12:00 a.m. September 15.

Jamie Hope, 18, remanded for attempted murder
Magistrate Dale Lino remanded Jamie Hope, 18, a receptionist and resident of San Pedro, into custody after she pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, September 24. Joana Arellano, 33, a manager at Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, told police she was with her 14-year-old daughter at the San Pedro Express Terminal in the Tourism Village of Belize City on September 17, when she was suddenly hit on her forehead with a beerbottle. Arellano said when she regained her balance, she her assailant- a slim woman of light browncomplexion.

Whooping Cough in Cayo
Six people – five children and an adult from Springfield Village, Cayo District, have developed symptoms of what health workers suspect is the highly contagious whooping cough of pertussis. The discovery on September 3, caused the Ministry of Health to spring into action immediately. Multi-disciplinary surveillance teams conducted field visits to identify suspected cases, trace contacts and collect specimens. The six patients are now fully recovered and in good health. The ministry is awaiting laboratory confirmation from specimens of body fluids, which were collected and sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Center in Trinidad. The teams also provided on-site treatment to villagers and instructed them on how to identify whooping cough from its onset, and what preventive measures they can take. Pertussis is caused by bacteria, which triggers episodes of violent and uncontrollable coughing for about six weeks. Often the coughing makes it hard for the victim to breathe. The illness so named because its victims make a deep, “whooping” sound as they try to take a breath. The disease most commonly affects infants and young children. It is sometimes fatal, especially for infants less than a year old.

Jim Scott excels in Cozumel 70.3 triathlon
This year’s Masters’ Triathlon Champion, Jim Scott, has also been doing well in international competition, placing fifth out of a field of 70 triathletes in his age group of 50-54 yin the 70.3 half-triathlon in Cozumel on Sunday, September 23. Some 2,000 athletes competed in the triathlon. Jim completed his swim in 37.01 seconds; rode the 53.5 miles on his bike in two hours 31 minutes, the second fastest time in his group, and completed the 13.5 mile run in two hours 16 minutes 35 seconds for a total cumulative time of 5 hours 32 minutes and 14 seconds, placing him 333rd overall. The winner of his group, Gustavo Poblette had done the swim in 29 minutes 27 seconds, completed the ride in two hours 28 minutes and 59 seconds and ran for one hour 42 minutes 17 seconds for a total cumulative time of four hours 45 minutes and 11 seconds, placing 43rd overall.

Belmopan Baptist High School fires Principal Willacey
Belmopan Baptist High School Principal, Pastor Norman Willacey, who was suspended from his post after reports surfaced of his inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student, will have to seek a new line of work. The school management has recommended his immediate dismissal and his teacher’s license be revoked. The school’s board of management announced its decision in a press release on Monday, September 24, after the Board found the allegations to be true when it met and held a hearing to consider the findings of its investigation on August 29. The Teaching Service Commission has approved the Board’s recommendation. The Commission said it would convey its decision about revoking Willacey’s teaching license at a later date.

A Fashion Tribute to our Belizean History
In this Fashion Tribute to Belizean History designer Rebecca Stirm, history student Cherisse Halsall, and photographer Monica Gallardo partner to reveal the stories of four outstanding Belizean women through fashion. As the smoke of the magnificent fireworks dissipated at midnight on the Eve of Independence many felt a swell of patriotic pride. We all celebrate and express our “Belizean Pride” in different ways. We parade. We decorate, and we dance. How did we decide to celebrate? Well, it all began when I had the privilege of viewing Stirm’s mini collection in her studio earlier this month. I found myself reflecting on the understated elegance and graceful detailing of the pieces. They evoked within me thoughts of old colonial Belize with its wooden mansion’s and red bricked cathedrals. Through conversations between myself, Stirm, and photographer Monica Gallardo, we were able to come up with a plan for photographing the mini-collection as a “Fashion Tribute to Our History.”

Hand in Hand Ministries in need of a helping hand
Hand in Hand Ministries, a non-government charitable organization that engages in helping primarily less fortunate children who are sick, is appealing for the public’s support to transition through a challenging phase. The building where for a number of years , it has operated a Resource Centre for impoverished children from the south side of Belize City who are infected with HIV/AIDS, has been deemed unsafe for use.

Police sergeant loses legs in motor cycle accident
Sergeant Mark August, #97 attached to the Punta Gorda Police, lost both his legs when he crashed his motorcycle into a utility pole near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. on Sunday, September 23 rd.

Prime Minister on Independence Day speaks of nation-building, sovereignty, investment, determination and steady progress.
In his inspirational Independence Day message, speaking from the steps of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, Prime Minister paid eloquent tribute to the late George Cadle Price, the Father of Belize Independence. But he also paid tribute to other less well known Belizean heroes, and made the claim that “we have marked a number of milestones that are testament to our continued progress as a nation. “We have shown that we grow and mature and shape and stamp our destiny; that we construct a wonderful, ever expanding democracy, a vital, vibrant society of both integrity and elasticity. Thus, the Belize brand is daily more distinguished and makes its mark increasingly on our region and the world.

GOB to Bus owners: we hear you; “something” needs to be done
The Belizean Bus Association (BBA) has renewed hope that it may soon obtain the subsidies they’ve been asking of government, BBA Advisor Patrick Menzies said on Thursday, September 20. Menzies reported that the BBA executive met with Hon. Edmund Castro, the Minister of State with direct responsibility for transport, on Wednesday evening, September 19. He described the almost 3-hour meeting as being “very positive.” “We want to thank the ministry because they are planning on working with us [on] the things we were requesting,” he said.

Puma versus Unopetrol
Over the coming weeks, motorists and citizens alike will notice countrywide facelifts taking place at all the service stations that many of us grew up knowing as Texaco and Esso. Those household names, which competed over the decades in the distribution of petroleum products are now being replaced by the names Unopetrol and Puma, respectively.

Fitch upgrades Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited’s ratings
Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating action on the notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited (BSI; the issuer): –$85.7 million notes upgraded to ‘A+’ from ‘A’; Outlook Stable. The rating action follows the timely payment of the notes by Steadfast Insurance Company (Steadfast; Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.) on Sept. 20, 2012, as well as the recent upgrade of Steadfast’s Insurer Financial Strength rating to ‘AA-’, Outlook Stable in August 2012.

Belize makes partial bond coupon payment
Belize has made a partial payment on its $547m defaulted bond, earning it a temporary reprieve from mollified creditors who could otherwise have sought legal redress. The small Latin American country was due to make a $23m payment on the bond on August 20 but failed to do so, arguing that its finances were too tight. A 30-day grace period to “cure” the missed payment ran out late on Wednesday. After the grace period ran out only 25 per cent of bondholders could have voted to accelerate the repayment of the entire bond, which due to mature in 2029. In return for Belize making a partial payment, the creditors’ committee – chaired by AJ Mediratta, a partner of U.S. hedge fund Greylock – agreed not to seek “legal remedies” for a further 60 days to allow restructuring talks to continue. “We consider it a material and good faith step in the right direction,” Mr Mediratta said in a statement. “The committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period.” The committee represents a majority of the bondholders, so it will be difficult for a grouping of other creditors to still seek to declare a default and “accelerate” the payment. The tentative agreement represents a rare moment of amicability in a testy restructuring.


She would have knocked our sox off
Our date night at last night’s Benefit concert for Mama Vilma’s Family Home by Karen Waldrup was outstanding. She would have knocked our sox off, if we were wearing any. Our fall weather is just right – still warm enough to wear shorts and a tank top, cool enough to wear jeans and definitely not what I would classify as sock weather. Enough about San Pedro weather and back to the good stuff. We arrived at 6:30 so we would not miss the meet and greet, there were a lot of people there already and Karen was making her rounds and chatting with everyone, she had only been there a short time and already knew half the bar by name. Karen Waldrup is a warm and genuine person, it showed in her singing and her interaction with the audience. She did a great job of encouraging people to fill the tip jar for Mama Vilma’s by playing special requests and sang a mix of great songs all night, she even kicked it old school country with some Conway Twitty. Her voice was strong, smooth and edgy. Carbunkle Trumpet was totally on the mark when he said San Pedro was in for a treat. He had no idea how much, we were also in for a foodie treat with Wet Willy’s baked mack n cheese, real french fries and $5 burgers on sourdough bread. Of course we had to eat all that because we knew Wet Willy’s Cantina was donating 10% of the bar gross to Mama Vilma’s :) I told Leisa last night Wet Willy’s has my vote for best mac n cheese ever, I will qualify that and say in my 45 years of being a junk foodie, I have eaten my fare share. The fries are officially on my craving list, I saw them from across the room and it was love at first sight. Now that I think about it’ they claim best french fries on the island. I did not get to try a $5 burger, since it is a weekly special I know I will be doing that soon.

Karen Waldrup Puts On An Amazing Show to Raise Money In San Pedro
Karen Waldrup is an up and coming country star from Tennessee, a fantastic song writer, contestant on Bravo TV's "Platinum Star" and all around sweet heart. She originally emailed me a few months ago asking for places that she might be able to play if she came to Belize for vacation (a friend from Tennessee gave her my name). She contacted a few venues in town and after listening to just a few of her songs, Wet Willy's Cantina jumped at the chance. Dianne, one of the owners of WWs and Karen Karen and Wet Willy's decided to donate her performance to Mama Vilma House Foundation here in San Pedro, a group that has been working for 2 years to raise money to building a safe house for children and women in need. Pretty cool. Robbie Guerrero and Miss Suzanna, part of the Mama Vilma House Everyone that met Karen loved her. Young and super enthusiastic about music and, after just one day, about Belize, she's just...well...super cute.

Thank you Hon. Lisel Alamilla. You are proof that it pays to invest in women! I have confidence that you will work hard to help women in Belize get better opportunities in health and education, and by doing so, this will make for a better and stronger community. You have made an impact that will benefit the world. The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve was enacted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, by the Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The act will manage and protect the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean, announced Craig Hayes, Board Chairman of Turneffe Atoll Trust and owner/operator of Turneffe Flats Resort.

International Sources

3x3 - Five boys teams off to perfect start, Swiss and Belizeans turn heads
Belize turned quite a few heads as they beat Poland and China and came close to handing the Canadians their first loss in Group A. The rain prevented the action from taking place on the outdoor courts at the José Caballero Sports Centre on Day 1 of the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships, presented by Nike. However, the quality and excitement of the games played inside the Amaya Valdemoro Pavilion weren't at all affected by the weather. The Boys' Tournament saw a good number of games go down to the wire and there were some impressive buzzer-beaters to be had. Early in the day, hosts Spain edged out Brazil 13-12 on Dario Brizuela's stepback jumper.


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