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#448556 - 10/11/12 01:57 PM Today's Belize News: October 11, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Junior Sailors prepare for Next Weekend’s Big Regatta in Corozal Bay
This past weekend (Oct. 6-7), the San Pedro Junior Sailing Team underwent rigorous final preparation for next Sunday’s Corozal Bay Regatta. They studied and practiced crucial starting-line technique on Saturday and raced on Sunday. Two groups raced 2 one-lap races each. The top finishers then competed in the 2-race final. Stephanie Keating sailing Ambergris Lake [...]

Jim Scott prepares for 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico
When does 2+2=8? When the Rotary Club of Belize matches all funds donated to the Iron Cause for Iron Kids Program. Rotarian Jim Scott has been in serious training for the 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, held on his 50th birthday, November 25, 2012. Together with Rotary Belize, Jim is raising donations for the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. Please help Jim raise the funds to bring urgently needed improvements for the children. Kindly take donations to Scotia Bank, account # 9132885; making non-cash deposits out to the Rotary Club of Belize; Reference: Iron Cause. For more info; www.ironcauseforironkids.com

San Pedro welcomes Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook
Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook is the newest police officer on Ambergris Caye. Pook is the deputy officer in charge of the Coastal Executive Unit of the Belize Police Department which includes the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Pook, who just one year ago was promoted from a Sergeant to Inspector, takes over the vacant post left behind by Sergeant Ernel Dominguez who was transferred to the Punta Gorda Police Station and promoted to the post of an Inspector. Known as a disciplinarian within the department, Inspector Pook was transferred from the Corozal Police Station where he also served as the deputy Officer in Charge. While on duty, Pook will be second in command at the San Pedro Town Police Station working directly under Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienne Robinson. “I am here to work with the San Pedro community and foster a better relationship between the public and police in order to better maintain law and order on the island. I am also working to better enhance the discipline amongst the officer at the San Pedro Police formation,” said Inspector Pook. The Orange Walk born officer has been with the Belize Police Department for over 20 years and has held several positions in various parts of the country. The San Pedro Sun joins the San Pedro Police formation and the two islands in welcoming Inspector Reynaldo Pook to Belize Rural South and wishes him the best as he performs his duties in this area.

Hector Duran's Funeral
Hundreds of islanders turned out to show support to the Duran family and say a final farewell to Hector “Chapin” Duran. Amongst the mourners were members of the Duran family, the staff of Amigos del Mar, other tour companies from the island , tour guides, diver masters, the students, faculty and staff of San Pedro High School, students of San Pedro Roman Catholic School and his many, many friends. Duran met an untimely death on Monday September 8th in an accident on Ambergris Caye and was laid to rest at the San Pedro cemetery following funeral services. Duran, who was a tour guide, had a love for the sea and the island that saw him grow into a productive, much-loved citizen of La Isla Bonita. The San Pedro Sun joins Duran’s family and friends in mourning the loss of a great friend, father, and loved one.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High Baseball Team Off to Panama
It has been several years of preparations and the past two years of intense training to bring the San Pedro High School softball team to be national champs. And for the past six months they have been working in baseball since this championship won them the privilege to represent Belize in Panama City to play against other secondary male teams for the CODICADER Central American Championship. Today Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the team of 17 players along with teacher, coaches and manager take off to Panama for their well deserved trip and adventure in the Central American Games. Win or lose gold, silver or bronze, we know they are all winners already by the mere fact of participating. It is in participating and making friends from abroad and holding up their Belizean flag that they are winners.

Junior Sailors Prepare for Big Regatta in Corozal Bay
On Saturday, October 6, and Sunday, October 7, 2012, the San Pedro Junior Sailing Team underwent rigorous final preparation for this Sunday’s Corozal Bay Regatta. They studied and practiced crucial starting-line technique on Saturday and raced on Sunday. Two groups raced 2 one-lap races each. The top finishers then competed in the 2-race final. Stephanie Keating sailing Ambergris Lake Villas whose scores had tied for first in her two preliminary heats, went on to win the day by taking 1st and 2nd in the final races. The next best combined score gave Kevin Velasquez in Caribbean Villas and Jorge Oliveres in Palo Alto a 2nd place tie. The scores of Jerdon Anderson, sailing Catamaran Bar gave him 4rd place.

Misc Belizean Sources

BEL Seeks Financing For its Series 1 Debentures and General Operations
On December 31, 2012, Belize Electricity Limited's (BEL) Series 1 Debentures will mature. Immediately following the change of ownership of BEL in June 2011, the Company prepared its 2012 – 2016 Business Plan. Below is an excerpt from the Business Plan. "Pursuing suitable financing options will be important in order to meet our short-term financial commitments relating to the maturing debentures in 2012, as well as to meet our medium to long-term operational objectives. The Company will be reviewing loan covenants and requesting revisions to reflect a more reasonable Return on Investment, so as not to burden consumers. Once achieved, BEL will then be positioned to obtain financing for its long-term investments. Considering high liquidity in the market, financing should not be difficult to obtain once the loan covenant issues and the Company's profitability are adequately addressed... As a first option, we will be approaching the Social Security Board to purchase preference shares in the Company... The order of preference [of the funding options under consideration] is in line with risk associated with achieving the lowest rate possible."

KHMH bailout soon?
Watch for a KHMH bailout soon - I have been reliably informed that the hospital is more than $4M in the red - this after being taken over in 2008 with a surplus of $1M - i.e. overspending 1M per year for the last 5 years

Marinas Galore?!
If you can believe the press releases and promoters, Belize soon will be literally awash in new marinas: 250-slip marina opening this month at Sanctuary Belize 263-slip marina for "superyachts" at The Placencia, opening by mid-2013 according to developer news releases 60-slip marina planned at Dreamscapes, opening date unstated Mayan Islands on a caye on the back side of Ambergris originally claimed it would open a 400-slip "mega-yacht" marina, but those plans are in limbo ... or is it gumbo-limbo? Punta Alegre (of which Orchid Bay is part) in Corozal District says it plans a marina -- size or future opening date not stated a proposed marina at Cerros Sands on the Cerros peninsula an addition to the marina at Sittee River. I'm not sure where all the boats are going to come from to fill those marinas, but what do I know? And, again if you can believe the developers and friends, sales are going great at these developments

Chaa Creek’s 2012 Living Link to the Maya
With the approach of the 2012 Winter Solstice, an event earmarked in the Maya Long Count calendar thousands of years ago, the Lodge at Chaa Creek is preparing a series of activities to ensure that their December 21 2012 celebrations act as a “living link” between ancient and contemporary Maya culture, Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming said today. “It’s an exciting time here at Chaa Creek as we’re preparing for the week long 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations centred on December 21. It’s our most ambitious project yet, and we want to make sure we get it right, from the educational lectures and workshops through to the grand procession to the ancient Maya temple of Tunichilen on the night of the winter solstice. “With the hand carved stone commemorative stela almost finished, as well as the plans for the Maya cultural village where workshops on Maya arts, crafts and traditional skills such as carving, thatching and cooking will be held, we’re turning our attention to the menu for the elaborate Maya feast, traditional music and other details.

Ignite the Peace Today
Sacred Heart Junior College, The University of Belize, and Galen University are all joining forces for the Ignite the Peace Initiative this morning and early afternoon. Everyone is invited to raise their voices and attend the Eternal Flame of Peace events. There will be a peace march in Belmopan starting at 8:00am. From 9 through 11:30, there will be a peace torch run from Belmopan to Cayo. From 11:00 to noon, Sacred Heart Junior College will have a peace rally.

The Purple Movement
The Purple Movement has a FB page you can like. Everyone can show their solidarity with the family and friends of Suzenne Purple Martinez. Come out to the peacefull demonstration tomorrow in Columbus Park. Cayo will be shut down tomorrow, and the Ignite the Peace Initiative will be happening from 8:00am until 1:00pm, with an all day peace rally.

Peaceful Demonstration Video
Patrick Jones has been in Cayo covering the ongoing peaceful demonstration at Columbus Park. He has interviewed many of the protestors, and Hector Silva and Elvin Penner. Tomorrow is the Ignite the Peace Initiative. Here's another video from the demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOED3SNsRoE

And finally we have our well needed rain!
For tourists the forecast for the next few days is not ideal, although you can always find something fun to do on the island whatever the weather. For us this rain is well overdue and the earth and the plants are rejoicing in its arrival, plus we are very much enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures the weather brings!! We were expecting this – the law of averages would have to dictate that rain was on its way as August and September were so unusually dry. Not that we were complaining, it is great for business for the island and us locals appreciate good weather too! But the rainy season is the rainy season and it looks like October will go out as being one of the wettest months of the season – thankfully we are closed at Raggamuffin!!! The downside of the rain must be the pot holes in the roads and the flooded and very slippery streets. First and foremost let me say that I would not change a thing – the streets are this way because it is the small price we pay to keep them beautifully sandy, if we pave/ tarmac these streets Caye Caulker would instantly lose its charm – don’t you agree? I have faith that Tiger and his Village Council crew will be around shortly, after this big rain, to fill and smooth down the roads – it is a never ending job but for the most part of the year the roads have been excellent and for that we are grateful. So, let us enjoy our rain – time to bring out the rain coats and rubber boots and layer up (although it truthfully is still warm) and perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to enjoy a good glass of red wine??

Walk out on Attorney General
It was painful tonight to watch the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena disappointingly walk out of the public meeting with the Honorable the Attorney General after two hours of listening to him and getting no answers they were hoping for. Residents of San Ignacio got enough of hearing, as they said, "nothing" from the Attorney General and walked out on him as he spoke at the public meeting on Wednesday night.

Channel 7

SSB Says 15M in BEL is "A Golden Opportunity"
Last night we told you about the 15 million dollars investment that the Social Security Board plans to make in BEL. On Monday, by a majority vote, the board approved an investment of 5 million dollars in BEL debentures at 7% and 10 million dollars in preference shares at 5%. The investment has the appearance of unseemly haste in a power company that is facing prohibitive power purchase costs. In other words, the 9investment seems like a bailout, for a cash strapped company. And while that's what critics or outsiders may conclude, today the Chairmen of The Social Security Board of Directors and its investment committee held a press conference to say that it is a sound investment - more than that, it is a golden opportunity! Here's how they explained it: Doug Singh - Chairman, Social Security Board of Director "BEL is offering 5 million shares of preferred shares. It's a class of hears that has a guaranteed return of 5%, and it is for a life of 3 years, after which time, BEL will re-purchase those debentures. So, to a great extent, it is a debt instrument. BEL is offering as security for those preferred shares, real estate that it currently holds. It is not unusual for BEL to use its assets as security; in fact, it has used the very assets that it is currently pledging as security for some of the instruments that it's offering, it has used such in the past."

"Gaps" In Maids Story of Home Invasion At Central Bank Governor's Home
Today, more details are known about the robbery and home invasion at the home of the Governor of the Central Bank, Glenford Ysaguirre. As we told you last night, only the maid was at his Coney Drive home when an intruder got in and stole a number of items. Today, police have disclosed that the Honduran House Cleaner, Maria Portillo, told police that she was working when a dark skinned man came to the window saying that he had a delivery to make and needed a signature. She says she opened the door, and the man forced himself inside, grabbed her from behind and placed a knife to her throat. He then took her to a room on the second floor and tied her up. He then helped himself to various high value electronic items including two computers, an Ipad, a cell phone and two ipods.

Arguments Conclude In Epic Ashcroft Alliance vs. GOB Appeal Case
Tonight, the matter of the BEL/BTL acquisitions has been fully argued at the Court of Appeal, which finished just before news time. It is one of the biggest cases of national importance, because the former owners of the companies are not only pressing for the Appeal Court to strike out the nationalizations and the 8th amendment, but should the court rule in their favor, they want the acquisitions to be reversed completely. So, the weighty case is now in the hands of the Court of Appeal, to determine whether or not the Government of Belize acted lawfully when they acquired the companies for a public purpose. For the past 2 days of the trial, we've been only able to get comments from the GOB's side, but tonight, Eamon Courtenay, attorney for BCB and FORTIS spoke to us about a few of their arguments. Here's what he had to say about their submissions to the court: Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for BCB/Fortis "I think that the case, as you know, is a very important case because, essentially what the Government has been arguing, is that with the 8th amendment to the constitution, they're able now to pass any constitutional amendment, and the Court doesn't have jurisdiction to determine whether or not that amendment to the constitution is valid. We, of course, strongly object to that, and we submitted to the Court that in a democracy, where the rule of law is paramount, everyone has to have the right of access to the court, and be able to challenge any type of legislation, including a constitutional amendment. What is, of course, of particular interest in this case is that the constitutional amendment sought directly to appeal, in a way, the judgment of the Court of Appeal, because - as you know - Telemedia won the appeal, and they passed the 8th amendment wiping away the judgment.

Man Who Jacked Blue Marlin's Pleads Guilty
24-year-old Russell James, a resident of Belize City, is spending his second night of a 5 year prison sentence after he was convicted of attempted robbery in Magistrate's Court yesterday. Viewers may remember Douglas Young, the owner of the Blue Marlin Restaurant, who spoke to us in April explaining that his establishment was targeted by 2 armed masked men. According to him, these men rushed in, but his son was alert to what was happening. Young said that his son wrestled with one of the men, while he pulled his licensed weapon. This caused the men to try to flee on bicycle, but Young jumped in his vehicle and knocked one of the assailants down before he could get away. Police detained that man, who was identified as Russell James, and after he recovered from the injuries he sustained from that accident, they charged him with attempted robbery.

Teacher Accused Of Sex With 14 Year Old Student In Sewing Room
There is disturbing news tonight of a school teacher having sexual intercourse with a student. The 14 year old female minor who is a resident of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District - went with her father to the police station yesterday. She reported that on the 29th of July and the first of October she had sex in the HIGH school's sewing room with a male teacher. The teacher is from the same village, and police detained him this afternoon. The ministry of education sent a team to the school to investigate today. An initial assessment shows that the teacher in question resigned last week when the school found that he had broken a school rule by being seen with the 14 year old at a late hour. At that time, the allegation of unlawful carnal knowledge had not surfaced.

Jireh Used Clothing Store Targeted By Robbers
Jireh Used Clothing Store on Euphrates Avenue was targeted by armed robbers yesterday. The proprietor of the clothing store - Myra Rash- told police that 3 men entered her establishment, one armed with a handgun and demanded money. Rash handed over three hundred dollars from the cash register and forty dollars from her purse. One of her employees was also robbed of a gold chain and a cell phone. The men then rode away on bicycles.

COLA Opposes Referendum on ICJ
The activist group COLA is striking up again. IT today held a press conference boldly called a State of the Nation Address. You can't fault them for ambition, but we wondered what about follow through? President Giovanni Brackett said he'll do just that when it comes to the referendum to go to the International Court of Justice: Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "We at COLA are outraged at the OAS that with the rampant illegal actions Guatemalans who continue to rape our forests, illegally settling our territory, illegally hunt our wild life, illegally fish and pollute our waters. The OAS has yet to condemn these actions. Well, COLA will make it very clear that we will campaign, starting now, to a complete no to ICJ. We don't just talk, and the OAS is one of the examples of that, and we will have actions, yes, as it relates to implementing, and advocating for better policies within our country. In terms of specifics as to what those actions will be, those will be discussed further at our executive level, and with our brother membership, about this International Court of Justice, that there will be volatile actions, to stop this issue of Belize to be taken to the ICJ."

Crime is Down?
Major Crime is down. Now you might shake your head when we say that, and we did too when we saw the totals on the statistics sent to us today from the Police Department Joint Intelligence Joint Coordinating Center. The figures show that major crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, and carnal knowledge went down between January to September of 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011. There were 2093 major crimes reported in 2011 and 2070 reported for the same period in 2012. But, taken in aggregate, the figures can be deceiving - because when we broke them down, we found that the number of more serious crimes went up. There were two more murders, two more rapes, 55 more robberies and two more burglaries, but that is offset by 81 fewer cases of theft and 2 fewer cases of carnal knowledge.

Mental Health Day Observed
Today was observed as World Mental Health Day and in Belize it was highlighted with awareness campaigns at all public health clinics throughout the country. This year's theme focuses on depression - which affects more people than any other mental disorder. And although depression is a treatable disease, it is said that six out of every ten people who have depression in Latin America and the Caribbean do not seek or do not receive the treatment they need. Opening ceremonies for World Mental Health Day in Belize City was held at the BTL Park - where clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Claudina Cayetano - spoke about the importance of awareness about this disorder that affects more that 350 million people around the world.

Hot Meals, Special Delivery By Post Office
Every year the Belize Postal Service observes World Post Day on October 9, along with every other postal service around the world. This year there is a week of observances, and today, they decided to give back to the community by handing out food to the needy. We caught up to them at the Battlefield Park, where they spoke to us on the significance of the old reliable postal service in the age of the electronic everything... James Gabourel - Deputy Post Master General "Today the Post Office is out here distributing food to the homeless, and this is all in connection with World Post day. World Post Day is celebrated annually on October 9, however, in connection with that day, the Post Office would have a complete week's activities." Daniel Ortiz "So is this something that you guys do every year?"

Who's Got The Buffest Body in Belize
The 2012 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships was held at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts on Friday night. The event is held every 2 years, and this year, the competition was as fierce as it was in 2010. But the highlight of the show was when Rigo Vellos won the overall competition, in which the members of the lower weight classes challenged him for the title of the best athlete of the championships. Today, 7News was able to contact Vellos via phone, and we asked him about the experience. Here's what he had to say: Rigo Vellos - Winner, 2012 Body Building Championships (Via Telephone) " I know that the guys prepared themselves just like I did. The last time there was a Mr. Belize, that was in 2010, and I prepared myself for 2 years. And I know that they did also, and I know that they worked hard; that's why they were on that stage. The competition - there was competition for me. There wasn't a single second that night that I felt too comfortable saying in my mind that I have won this competition. I went there - from day one, I had in mind that I had to be competitive until the last second. Until I heard that they called my name winning, that was when I got more relaxed and more comfortable. The guys did go to compete; they were ready for competition, and they did give me competition. Bodybuilding does require a lot of discipline, a lot of time spent at the gym. See as though I have won the Mr. Belize, I try my best to keep it in my head that I carry a name not just like the one I carry every day. I keep in mind that actually now, people look up to me."

Ms. Hispanidad y Mestizaje
We've told you many times about the annual Ms Garifuna pageant…well now the Hispanic culture has crowned their own ethnic queen. The Ms. Hispanidad y Mestizaje Pageant was held over the weekend in Corozal. And the winner is Florllarima Wiltshire, 2nd Place went to Tiffany Rosado and 3rd Place: Karen Glori. And everyone was a winner because there were only three contestants. According the organizers from a group called COLCHA, quote, aim "COLCHA believes that by promoting and developing the appreciation of one's cultural heritage, we can revive the sense of pride, values and identity of our people."

Channel 5

S.S.B. injects $15 Million in B.E.L.
The Social Security Investment Committee, last Friday, approved a substantial investment to Belize Electricity Limited. The investment of fifteen million dollars got the nod to rescue the government owned utility company which experienced a two million dollar loss in the first quarter of this year. When the government took over the company from Fortis, it [...]

S.S.B. Chairman says B.E.L. is a safe investment
According to S.S.B. executives, B.E.L. is need of operating capital and the S.S.B. has excess liquidity in reserves.   Jose Sanchez “How fast would we see those funds being transferred for the debentures?”   Doug Singh, Chainman, S.S.B. “There is a legal process that Social Security has to undertake. Once the investment committee has made [...]

Remembering 2 slain Cayo females
There are parallels to be drawn between the murders of Jasmine Lowe and Suzenne Martinez. Both young women, residents of the Cayo district, were attacked, murdered and their bodies discarded. And like in the case of Jasmine, the suspect in the murder of Suzenne was found with her personal belongings. News Five’s Isani Cayetano takes [...]

PM on separation of powers amidst Cayo citizens’ demands
This coming Thursday, businesses in Cayo will be closing down in protest of recent murders and other violence in the district. The B.N.T.U. Cayo branch late this afternoon said it will be cancelling classes in solidarity with organizers of the shutdown. Twenty-two primary and high schools will be getting time of to participate in Thursday’s [...]

Arguments conclude for Telemedia and B.E.L. Appeals Court case
Arguments concluded today in the court of appeal in the nationalization of B.T.L. and B.E.L. British Barrister Nigel Pleming representing the British Caribbean Bank’s arguments focused on why the 2011 nationalization act was invalid since it seeks to revive the 2009 nationalization act which was declared null and void by the court. On the government [...]

Embassy warning for U.S. Citizens
Due to increased violent crime in the country, the United States Embassy of Belize has issued a security warning to its citizens who are either on holiday or living in Belize. The note specifically addresses an increase in sexual assaults and robberies. It says quote “The crime threat in Belize is high. Random and organized [...]

COLA’s “State of the Nation” Address
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, under the presidency of Giovanni Brackett, held press conference this morning to discuss a range of current social and political issues affecting the country. While the head table presented a number of concerns, including crime and violence, as well as land ownership and internet penetration, it failed to [...]

2 Belizeans and 1 Mexican walk in a bar; 3 walk out with cocaine charges
Two Belizeans and a Mexican national were busted with cocaine on Sunday after police searched their vehicle at a bar in Corozal. The cops were tipped off about the drugs at around six o’clock p.m. and headed to C&B’s bar in Baezas Layout, Corozal Town. They searched a 2005 Ford Eco Sport SUV in the [...]

1 man’s shove strong enough for 3 assault charges on cops
A part time boxer and construction worker, twenty-nine year old Harrison Smith is in trouble with the courts after he allegedly assaulted not one, but three police officers over the weekend. Reports are that on Sunday, Police Constables Steve Ferguson, Jefferson Dawson and Luis Cobarruvias approached Smith at the Commercial Center and he pushed Ferguson [...]

“Horse” free of marijuana possession
A police foul up has resulted in a drug trafficking case against the well known street figure, Jermaine “Horse” Garnett being thrown out. On May twenty-second, 2011, Garnett was accused of trafficking a half pound of weed after police claimed they saw him throw two plastic bags of cannabis out of his Kia Sportage vehicle. [...]

Canada donates forensic ballistic system to Belize
A forensic ballistic system donated by the Canadian government will be inaugurated this Friday. Coinciding with that event will be a visit by Canada’s minister of state of Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy. Between today and Sunday, Ablonczy will be in Guatemala and Belize to strengthen relationships with both countries and to reinforce the Canadian commitment [...]

Depression: A Global Crisis
World Mental Health Day was first celebrated internationally twenty years ago and locally, this year activities were held throughout the country in observance of the day. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability and by 2030 it is expected to be the largest contributor [...]

Belize plays baseball at CODICADER Games in Panama
For the first time, Belize is competing in baseball at the CODICADER Games in Panama. Softball National Champs, San Pedro High School, along with several skilled athletes from across the country make up the team of sixteen players that will compete from the twelfth to the fifteenth of October. The team will play against other [...]

LOVE FM

Police News
An armed hold up was reported at a used-clothing store in Belize City on Tuesday. The proprietor of Jireh Used Clothing Myra Patricia Rash told police that she was accosted by three men, one of whom carried a handgun. Rash says that the men demanded money. Fearing for...

Belize Represented In Taiwan for Its Independence
Today 10th October marks the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. The Republic of China was formed on the Chinese mainland after the Qing Empire was overthrown in 1912 by Chinese revolutionaries. In 1949 the Republic of China government under the le...

Police Raid Uncovers Passports Unaccounted For; Three Haitians Arrested
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passpo...

Home Invasion At Central Bank's Governor Residence
Police in Belize City are investigating an aggravated burglary that occurred on Tuesday afternoon. It happened at the home of Central Bank of Belize governor Glenford Ysaguirre, who was not at home at the time of the incident. According to police reports, Ysaguirre&rsqu...

Prime Minister Comments on Social Security Investment in Debentures
The Belize Social Security Board has begun the process of investing in debentures offered by the Belize Electricity Limited. The prospectus for offer of debentures by the government-owned electricity company has not yet been made public; but Love News understands that SSB’s Inves...

LOVE TV

San Pedro man dies in tank explosion
A man from San Pedro town was killed in an explosion on Monday afternoon. The victim has been identified as thirty nine year old Hector Duran. Duran who worked at the Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro town was killed around four forty five yesterday afternoon, when a dive tank he was refilling exploded. According to police reports, the impact of the explosion caused a large cut wound to Duran’s abdominal area, the right side of his chest and a large cut wound to the palm of his right hand. Duran’s body has since been transported to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for a post mortem examination. In a letter sent out by his employer today, the management of Amigos del Mar Limited said that the company is facilitating the relevant authorities to carry out the necessary investigation into the very unfortunate tragedy. The statement said, quote: The incident is very unfortunate and has affected his co-workers and the management of the dive shop since he has been an extended family to this establishment. We continue to offer all the necessary support to the family and staff during their time of bereavement,” end of quote.

Central Bank Governor’s home robbed
The home of the Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre was robbed on Tuesday afternoon. The Governor was not at home at the time of the incident. Reports are the the maid was accosted and tied up and the house ransacked. Police have not released by official information on the incident.

Charges brought against Haitian nationals
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. [VO STARTS] They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passports. Oriental was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. Oriental pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in court today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser fined him $1,000.00 and ordered him to pay forthwith. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. Celeson and Florent were brought to court but they will not be arraigned on the charges until tomorrow because the court books have to adjusted so that the can be made out separately. The incident occurred on Monday, October 8. The police raided a house on Tibruce Street and found the three Haitians there. The police also found 10 passports with the names of Haitians nationals on them who Celeson and Florent could not give account of. Both Celeson and Florent have permanent resident status in Belize. Oriental arrived in Belize on September 27, 2012 via Phillip Goldson International Airport. He was given a visitor’s permit to stay in Belize until February 26, 2013. but he did not have his passport with the permit in it when the police found him at the house.

Three arrested in Corozal drug bust
Three persons including a Mexican national have been arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. The men, fifty one year old Alfonso Iglesias Junior of Corozal town, fifty one year old Jose Nunez of San Pedro town, and fifty two year old Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed of Chetumal, were busted last night during a police operation in Corozal. According to the police, acting upon information received, they visited C & B’s Bar on Baeza’s Layout in Corozal town where a search of an SUV was conducted. That search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing six small transparent bags of suspected cocaine. After the vehicle and the three occupants were transported to the Corozal Police Station, investigators carried out a further search which led to the discovery of another black plastic bag under the passenger seat containing twelve small transparent plastic bags containing suspected cocaine. Betancourt, Iglesias and Nunez were jointly charged with two counts of the offence of Drug Trafficking.

Hopkins man charged for drug trafficking
Police in the Stann Creek district have arrested and charged a resident of Hopkins village for the crime of drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. He is Ashton Victor Nunez Vicente. Police say that around eight thirty on Friday morning, they visited Vicente’s residence where they saw him throwing several pieces of white looking substance through a window of his house. Police say that as they entered the building, Vicente handed over a small black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis to them. He was then taken to the area outside of the building where he was seen disposing of the white looking substance which revealed to be suspected crack cocaine. Vicente and the suspected drugs were escorted to the Hopkins Police Station where the drugs were weighed and amounted to 2.2 grams of crack cocaine and 5.5grams of cannabis. Vicente was arrested and charged for the offences of Drug Trafficking and Possession of Controlled drugs.

Guatemalan shot dead in the Chiquibul identified
On Monday, police press officer Rafael Martinez gave some basic details about the death of a Guatemalan man inside the Chiquibul National Reserve on Thursday of last week. While the details were basic and did not include the man’s name, the Guatemalan press has been providing more details and putting their own spin on the sequence of events that unfolded in the jungles of western Belize. Sifting through the Guatemalan rhetoric, we gather that the man shot dead by the BDF soldier is twenty five year old Francisco Quim. According to Belizean officials, Quim was shot under the chin and the right upper part of his back. The official Belize account of the incident is that on October 4th., BDF soldiers and Forestry Officers were conducting a spot check when they encountered Quim inside Belizean territory. Quim is reported to have been carrying a wooden box and a machete. When he was ordered to stop, Quim discarded the wooden box and advanced on the soldier in a threatening manner with his machete. The BDF solider fired four ‘warning shots’ which did nothing to stop the advancing Guatemalan and it was at that point that a final, fatal shot was fired, stopping Quim dead in his tracks. The Guatemalan spin doctors are claiming that Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros is on record as saying that the Government of Belize said it regrets the death of Quim and that Belize has offered to compensate the victim’s family. Furthermore, according to the media reports, Caballaros told reporters that Belize has undertaken to carry out an investigation of the incident, and assign criminal penalties against the soldiers involved in the incident. It’s an incredible claim as reported by the Guatemalan media; but as we said, the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tight-lipped about the incident.

Turmoil at Orange Walk high school settles
On Monday Love News reported on a walk-out of teachers and students of Orange Walk Technical High School in that northern municipality. The matter, however heated and ominous it appeared then, seems to have quailed quite a bit over the past twenty-four hours. And it happened when the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, visited the school and intervened. Today Minister Faber told Love News that he discovered upon listening to the two sides that there were people acting more on emotions than allowing a process to take place. Today, however, he said, things were pretty much back to normal. Minister Faber says while having to travel to Orange Walk to try and quell what could have ended up in a far worse situation took much out of his schedule, he prefers to get involved in order to try and prevent a scenario that would have ended up with time lost at school.

Government and Unions reach partial agreement on benefits package
After four years of ironing out the rough edges, this afternoon, a partial bargaining agreement was reached between the Government of Belize and the unions that represent the teachers and public officers over allowances. Lead Minister at the Head Table, Patrick Faber, explained what the benefits include. These increases in allowances also include for police officers who are public officers. But while many public officers will be happy for the increases, a few will not be. This is because along with the increases came a process to streamline the performance appraisal system. In overhauling the system it was discovered that some public officers were collecting allowance that they did not legitimately deserved, and some of these allowances extended for five years in some cases. Minister Gibson explained that aspect. Meanwhile, President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades, said that he was hopeful that the rest of the issues still being worked on will be finalized shortly. Those have to do with salary increases. On the Government negotiating team are Ministers Patrick Faber, Charles Gibson and Godwin Hulse and on the Unions’ side are the President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades, President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, and the representative of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, Dr. Michael Pitts.

Toledo residents repair broken street
Repairs to a bad section of Front Street in Punta Gorda town are currently being undertaken by a team of volunteers. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

ICT Road Show starts in Belize City
A forum known as an ICT Roadshow opened today in Belize City. Over the course of the next four days, people from four Districts in Belize will gather to discuss using the latest technological advances in communication. Love News spoke with Dr. Colin Young, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology about the scope of what’s being shared. The four districts that will take part this week in the discussions are Stann Creek, Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize Districts.

Belize observes Postal Day
Today the world is observing World Postal Day and it coincides with World Wellness Day. In Belize, the Postal Service has teamed up with various government departments to hold an open day and a week of activities, which started on Sunday. Belizeans in all six districts can receive free blood pressure, HIV and glucose tests. We spoke with Deputy Post Master General, James Gabourel, who explained what the collaborative effort will include over the next few days. Gabourel says that throughout the week the activities will be a joint effort on the part of a number of relevant government agencies to coincide with World Postal and World Wellness Day today.

Coastal Zone Forum in Belize City
Experts from around the Caribbean and Central America which include Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Canada, the United States and Belize are convening at the Princess Hotel and Casino where a three day regional conference to discuss climate change is being hosted by the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, World Wildlife Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and Nature Conservancy. The Conference is entitled Integrating Climate Change Adaptation Planning into Coastal Zone Management Using Ecosystem Services and Managing Director of the Natural Capital Project at Standford University says who says her group works closely with CZMAI to provide scientific information, told us about what the meeting aims to do. Ruckelshaus says everyone is hoping to hold similar workshops on a regular basis in the area of climate change since people are becoming more and more aware of climate change and how nature can help people adapt. Among today’s presenters were CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Dr. Wendel Parham, Director General of Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ronald Jackson and CZMAI’s very own CEO Vincent Gillett.

Toledo UDP prepares for next elections
General elections are a ways off yet; but one political party has already started the preparations. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Raise Your Flag competition hands out prizes
Less than a month after the conclusion of the annual Raise Your Flag competition today, the big prizes were officially handed over. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Cayo agitation getting results
Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena who say they are fed up with crime and violence in their municipalities demonstrated on Monday in Cayo. Hundreds of residents gathered inside the Columbus Park carrying placards and banners expressing their frustration and calling on government to do something to address their concerns. Juliana Guerra was one of the more vocal of the demonstrators on Monday. A group of San Ignacio and Santa Elena residents met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office on Monday afternoon to present a list of demands from the people. According reports received, the meeting was cordial and the Prime Minister gave an undertaking to take the list of ten demands to cabinet today and give a formal response to the people of Cayo by Wednesday morning. But one positive outcome of the people’s agitation over the weekend and on Monday is the decision to send Attorney General Wilfred Elrington to San Ignacio to address the people’s concerns. A public meeting will take place tomorrow night at the ITVETT compound on Buena Vista Street, where Elrington will hear firsthand about the people’s concerns regarding bail for sex offenders, capital punishment and other issues relating to crime fighting. Under the Banner of Solidarity Movement for Peace, tomorrow’s public meeting is scheduled tos tart at seven o’clock. The people’s agitation action to address the growing crime problem in the twin towns continues on Thursday with a voluntary shutdown of businesses in Santa Elena and San Igncaio. The voluntary shutdown is scheduled to begin at seven o’clock on Thursday morning and continuing until seven o’clock on Thursday night.

Jalacte resident wants justice for home invasion
A home invasion last month in the rural Toledo village of Jalacte has slipped from the headlines; but the family continues to suffer the effects of the traumatic incident. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the family recently and files this report.

PlusTV

Text Messages to Rise and Shine Morning Show
We have posted the unread text messages to PlusTV's Rise and Shine Show which discussed the isue of Crime in light ...

Denys Barrow explained his interpretation of the Ashcroft Alliance position in Appeal Court
The October sitting of the Appeal Court began Monday morning (Oct 8) with 2 weighty matters to hear; those are the ...

Harvest for Kids has a successful reaping
Our journalist Jesse Mendoza invested his Saturday at the Banana Bank corn field to share in a unique harvesting ex...

Plus TV's Louis Wade interviews Minister Penner
Director of Plus TV, Louis Wade, discusses the crime concerns in San Ignacio and Santa Elena with Area Representati...

Mother appeals for clues to Suzenne's death
Suzenne Martinez’ mom called into Rise and Shine this morning. The family is understandably very upset by the slow ...

Parking problems as Belmopan bus terminal is upgraded.
On Monday we celebrated the commencement of road works on Nim Li Punit St. Another major operation is the Belmopan ...

Governor of Central Bank is victim of home invasion
Governor of Central Bank home is one of the latest targets of home invasion. Maria Mirtala Portillo Ramirez, Hondur...

Farm buildings destroyed by fire in Stan Creek District
Businessman of Dangriga Town, Emilio Zabaneh, has suffered major fire damage to his farm. Zabaneh reported that Fri...

Clothing store manager robbed at gunpoint.
Clothing store manager robbed at gunpoint. Myra Patricia Rash, owner of Jireh Used Clothing reported to police that...

14 year old accuses teacher of carnal knowledge
A 14yr. old resident of Valley of Peace Village visited the police station along with her. She reported that on Jul...

NICH plans weekend Indigenous Music Festival
The National Institute of Culture and History and its partners can now breathe easier as a site has been identified...

Blogs

Belizean Style Trick or Treating
As Cowboy Doug, Leisa and I drove past Caye supplies and we saw their display of Christmas tress in the window it made me think I better bust a move on the Halloween party announcement. They had some errands to run in town and I was stopping off at the Travelers store on Middle street to pick up some of their One Barrel, Travelers Gold and a 3 bottle party pack for a costume prize – thanks Luis. It was the first time I had been in their store, worth stopping by they have a large selection of rum and other assorted products. This will be my first ever Halloween pool party and I can’t wait, I even ordered a Kenneth Cole bikini on eBay [and a few other surprising items] for my costume. Between the pool bar and grill, the annual Saturday night Holiday Hotel Party and hanging out on front street, Halloween is going to be super fun this year. Here are the details on the Trick or Treat Pool party: Come do some Belizean style trick or treating for One Barrel Rum and Travelers Gold. Anyone that comes in costume will receive a free rum drink, kids will get a soda. Party will be on Sunday Oct 28th 12:00pm – 8:00pm

The Tuesday Morning Fruit Boats & Becoming a Dolla Taco Connoisseur
Fruits and vegetables in Belize tend to be expensive. Particularly if they are imported from outside the country. And selection can seems a bit limited at times...especially to someone who has just moved here and is used to the huge choice at American (or Canadian) supermarkets. Dreaming of a bit of fall acorn squash? You might be paying $8-10bzd a pound and you are only finding it at a specialty shop (the Green House) on the island. Brussel sprouts your thing around Thanksgiving time? $12-14bzd for about a half pound. Maybe a pumpkin to carve with the kids? Get your credit card out...THIS is going to cost you. Maybe just best to carve a watermelon or pineapple. How cool is that? I wrote a post about fruits and vegetables in Belize and what you can expect to find a few months ago. You can read it here. For the cheapest prices in San Pedro, you are going to have to go to the source. Each Tuesday morning for years, the boats come over from the mainland to sell fruits and vegetables.

Lighthouse Reef – A Popular Dive Spot in Belize
The most easterly of Belize’s three atolls, Lighthouse Reef lies 50 miles southeast of Belize City. The 30-mile-long, 8-mile-wide lagoon is the location of the Blue Hole, a dive spot that was made famous by Jacques Cousteau and is a favorite destination for dive boats from Belize City, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker.

International Sources

Keep Your Guard Up: Secondary Hurricane Season Begins
Even though the peak of hurricane season has passed, there is sometimes a second pulse of tropical storms and hurricanes during October. While it may seem the door has shut in the Atlantic Basin for this season, there are still some reasons to keep up the guard. There have been 15 named tropical systems this year in the Atlantic and there has recently been one of the longest-lived tropical systems on record, Nadine. AccuWeather.com meteorologists do not expect a big new crop of tropical storms and hurricanes for the remainder of the season, but they are monitoring a couple of areas in the Atlantic during week two of October.

Belize company at NYC's Harvard Club
Belize based Dreamscapes International Properties will be a featured company at NYC's Harvard Club on October 11th. "the owner and developer of 563 contiguous acres in the Stann Creek District of Belize, Central America (1.4 miles from the Ocean), which have been subdivided into 1,043 acre and 1/3 acre lots." Cliff Goodrich, CEO of Dreamscapes International Properties, who will be attending the conference with other of its board members and advisors, stated, "We look forward to the exposure the UE Conference gives to Dreamscapes. As we continue the Dreamscapes plan and expand farther into the Caribbean Basin, we will be looking to the financial community as a source for expansion capital, the exposure the Conference provides will be invaluable going forward. Our Belize project is well underway with more than 300 sales to date. The Dreamscapes' plan is being executed as I speak and Dreamscapes continues to expand its horizons within the Caribbean basin."

New World Oil and Gas raises US$14m for Blue Creek project in Belize
New World Oil and Gas has raised £8.6m to finance the drilling of a third well at the company's Blue Creek project in the Petén Basin in north-west Belize. The company issued 95,555,556 new ordinary shares at a price of nine pence per share. The well will target prospect A, which RPS Energy has given P50 volumetrics of 124 million barrels of oil, on a 100% working interest basis. Proceeds will also be used to fund the planned 3D seismic programme on the company's Danica Jutland project in Denmark, and for general working capital purposes. New World Oil and Gas chairman and chief executive, William Kelleher, said the company has received support from both new and existing shareholders, resulting in the placing being oversubscribed. "We are now fully funded to complete our on-going, three well drilling programme in Belize and, in the process, acquire a 100% working interest in Blue Creek, which has current estimated gross P50 volumetrics of 329 million barrels of oil and a net present value ('NPV10') of $8.1bn," said Kelleher.


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#448557 - 10/11/12 01:58 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 11, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Lord Ashcroft unveils a sparkling ambition
The Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has unveiled plans to become one of the largest producers of English sparkling wine. He wants to buy up 150 acres of prime English vineyards in West Sussex with the aim of producing 400,000 bottles a year. Shellproof, an Aim-listed cash shell registered in Belize, is merging with a new company, Shellproof plc, which will be registered in the UK. Lord Ashcroft owns 76 per cent of the company, which is currently run by three members of his Belize Bank Holdings. Shellproof has already bought its first vineyard for just under the recent asking price of £385,000, and has another £4m-plus of cash to spend on further vineyards and constructing its own winery. The Halnaker vineyard comprises 13 acres, with 10 acres already planted with mature vines. The company has also agreed to take grapes from a further 27 acres of tenanted vineyards and wants to add another 110 acres of vines. Shellproof said that about 1.4 million bottles of English sparkling wine were sold in the UK last year, so 400,000 bottles would place it among the largest producers.

Shyne Calls Obama 'Corny,' Supports Mitt Romney Instead
'Obama is playing games, he frontin',' Belize-born MC explains to MTV News of why he would vote for Romney. Shyne won't be allowed to vote during this year's presidential elections, but if he was the exiled rapper wouldn't be backing Barack Obama. "I'd vote for Romney," Shyne told MTV News during a phone interview on Monday before rapping Kanye West's now infamous line from "To the World." "Even though Mitt Romney don't pay no tax, Mitt Romney don't pay no tax." The Belize-born Shyne has been working tirelessly to get back into the United States since he was deported once he was released from prison in 2009 after a nearly nine year prison bid following a conviction for the infamous 1999 Club New York shooting.


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