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#451828 - 11/24/12 03:42 PM Today's Belize News: November 24, 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

BTB launches Belize Dive Map in San Pedro
On Friday, November 16th the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched the first countrywide dive map, entitled “A Village Community Dive Map,” featuring all of the dive sites within our Belizean waters. In addition, BTB took the opportunity to donate a small vessel to the Belize Fisheries Department that will be used to help manage the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve on northern Ambergris Caye. The event took place on the beach in front of the Holiday Hotel in San Pedro Town. In attendance were several stakeholders in the tourism industry. Director of Destination Planning for the BTB, Kevin Gonzalez, explained that putting the dive map together was a lengthy process that included input from various stakeholders in the industry. “If you look at [the map] you will see that each dive site shown on the map has a description, which is important. It has information as to what you are going to see at the site, the depth of the dive and other vital information that is special about the dive site. The dive map covers the entire country,” explained Gonzalez in an interview with The San Pedro Sun. Gonzalez further stated that the dive map had the input of various tour guide associations, including those in southern Belize and was compiled with the assistance of Gordon Kirkwood who has dived at all of the sites on the map and is an experienced writer. Gonzalez went on to say that all dive shops across the country will get an amount at no cost and if they need additional maps, it will be available for sale at all BTB offices countrywide. The map is printed on durable, waterproof synthetic paper that will hold up against the natural elements while at sea.

San Pedro’s Kevin Velasquez is new National Sailing Champion
Over the weekend of November 17th twenty six junior sailors competed in six races at the Central Park to determine the Belize 2012 National Champion. In the end, Kevin Velasquez emerged the winner. According to Press Officer for the San Pedro Sailing Club, Forrest Jones, the event was, “quite a spectacle, and added flourish to the Garifuna celebrations in Central Park.” In a press release issued by the San Pedro Sailing Club – Jones wrote, “Here’s how a start shapes up. These skippers are “sailing the line” with four minutes to go. The start line is just a few feet to the left of the oncoming boats. The boat in the foreground has reversed course, putting his boat on a “starboard tack,” which means the wind is now on his right hand side. A boat on a starboard tack has right of way; all those oncoming boats have to steer clear of him. Imagine when it happens 30 seconds before the start! The skippers all have stop watches and are timing their planned approaches to the starting line to get there just as the horn starts the race, but you can see the potential for chaos lurking about?” Over the course of all six races, Kevin Velasquez and Antonio Rodrigues Jr., a very talented skipper from the mainland, were locked in the tightest of duels. It came down to the last race to decide the champion, and Kevin won by only one point. The release continued, “This is just after Kevin, in boat 22, and Antonio, in boat 8, crossed the start line. They are barely a second apart. Right behind the number 8 sail you can spy San Pedrano Jorge Oliveres’ boat. And he is on a starboard tack, so Antonio will have to avoid him. Throughout the regatta, Jorge was a constant threat, and he came away only 7 points behind Antonio, to win the third place bronze medal.”

Ambergris Today

Mini Miss Mesoamerica International Visits San Pedro
Our island loves pageantry and beauty queens; we are always the host to beautiful queens who come to visit and enjoy the sea, sun and most importantly the hospitable people of San Pedro. On Thursday, November 22, 2012, Ambergris Today was honored with the presence of a lovely 9-year-old beauty queen, Luismarth Bandres, Mini Miss Mesoamerica International. This beautiful little girl, not only graced us with her presence, but also delighted us with two beautiful song selections as she sang to us in English and Portuguese. Luismarth Bandres is from Aragua, Venezuela and holds five National titles and 17 International titles, including Mini Miss Mesoamerica International 2012 and Mini Miss Turismo Mesoamerica Mayan 2012. Luismarth is visiting to promote the Miss Jade Universe Pageant which is set to take place in January 2013. In the Miss Jade Universe Pageant there will be three categories, Mini Miss Jade, Miss Petite and Mrs. Jade. Participating countries that have confirmed are Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Russia, Colombia, Argentina and Belize.

New High Commissioner for Belize Assumes Duties in United Kingdom
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize, received Her Excellency Ms. Perla Perdomo in a private audience at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. The audience marked the formal recognition of Ms. Perdomo’s assumption of duties as High Commissioner for Belize in the United Kingdom. High Commissioner Perdomo has commenced her representation with a focus on investment, Diaspora outreach, and efforts to seek support for Restore Belize and other social programs.

Oceana Calls Belize Government to improve Performance on Illegal Fishing
Belize is amongst eight countries listed by the European Commission as having a poor track record in dealing with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Oceana calls on the Government of Belize to take swift and decisive action to protect the name and reputation of Belize abroad and to ensure Belize falls in line with its international duties and obligations. Unfortunately, Belize, which allows the use of the Belize flag by vessels in no way belonging or connected to the country, keeps suffering from a serious bruised face for a few dollars. This venture which was privatized and no longer being managed by the government of Belize is in the hands of IMMARBE (International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize) thus removing major decision-making and oversight roles from the Fisheries Department which is the government department previously responsible for such activity. The bulk of the fees collected by IMMARBE goes into private hands and a small portion is paid into the Belizean treasury, thus not even the substantial portion of the economic benefit goes to Belize. The Commission explained that it adopted this decision because after their analysis of each country and their subsequent report “there are strong indications that these countries are not fulfilling their duties as flag, coastal, port or market States – duties that are laid down in international law, such as the provisions of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations”.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Cultural preservation and economic development for Garifuna, not celebrations
By Wellington C. Ramos I was born and raised in Dangriga Town, like my mother Josephine Sampson and father Finley Sylvester Ramos. My maternal grandmother Andelecia Petillo-Sampson was born in Livingston, Guatemala, and my maternal grandfather Simeon Sampson Sr. was born in Dangriga Town, Belize. My paternal grandmother Claudina Lewis-Ramos was born in Dangriga Town and my paternal grandfather Zacharus Ramos was born in Bluefield, Nicaragua. We all have relatives that we can trace to Saint Vincent (“Yuremei” -- our original homeland), Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize. No matter where the Garifuna people live, land problems, lots, housing, education, medical, unemployment, discrimination, racism, loss of language, culture, religion, unequal distribution of their nation’s wealth, political victimization, poverty and other social problems plague their communities. Yet, they do not have Garifuna organizations that are equipped with many transformational leaders that are honest, sincere and dedicated to uplift their people out of the dilemma they face daily. Many of the so-called Garifuna leaders are more concerned about promoting their self-interest over the interest of the majority of the Garifuna people.

Add!ction at Xunantunich
Gaby and the crew went to do a photoshoot at Xunantunich. JCariddi Photography caught the action. A day on the Mayan Ruins... Design: Gaby Barrera Photoshoot done by: Jonathan D Cariddi ( JCariddi Photography) Makeup: Xavi Gutierrez Location: Xunantunich Models: Punky Rivas, Jezelle Bennett and @xavi Gutierrez

3rd Annual Cayo Art Festival
The Cayo Art Festival is today on Burns avenue starting at 2:00pm. There will be plenty of live music, and performances by A Cold Day in May, Johnny and the Playmates, and Ascenthium. There will also be food and games, and of course, art. It's a great way to celebrate the SISE HoC's second anniversary. Thanks go out to NICH, the SISE Town Council, and Midas Resort for making it happen. You are all invited to see . . . Live Performances by: A Cold Day in May Johnny and the Playmates Ascenthium Authentic Belizean Artwork Folkloric Ballet Face Painting Games Food more. . .

Caracol, Caves Branch, and the Winter Solstice
Caracol and Caves Branch get reviewed in this travel article from the Star. The Mayan calendar and the upcoming Winter Solstice are also featured. Dr. Jaime Awe is quoted as well. "Solstices and equinoxes have always been extremely important to the Mayan people, but this year especially holds special significance. calendar is ending. It is the end of the Long Count — a 5,125-year period, which began on Aug. 11, 3114 B.C. and will end on a winter solstice. Perhaps not so much an end, modern reasoning has claimed, but the beginning of a new era for humanity. As Belizean archaeologist, Dr. Awe said, 'It’s very much the way most people would look at the end of one year and the beginning of another, but over a very, very long period of time. It is a time for reflection, and for considering future direction.'"

Sorrel Stout Sampling Around Belize
Over the next week, you can sample Sorrel Stout around Belize. Tonight, at Piache's, Belikin will have a tent set up so you can try some of their Sorrel Stout. This is the only sorrel flavored stout in the world, and it's their best stout yet. Tomorrow they'll be in Belmopan, where you can get it at Brother's in the morning, and La Cabana at night. Next weekend, you'll be able to try it at Camp 6 and the Princess Casino. Enjoy!

9 Year old searched in stroller
A concerned mother residing in Caye Caulker village is expressing concern that her 9 month old baby boy was searched by a police officer without the permission of his parents/guardian. The incident unfolded around 6:30 pm today, Friday, No vember 23. The mother says that the baby boy who was asleep in a stroller, was out with his father when they were stopped by a trio officers. The common law husband was searched and according to the mother, without the permission of the father the child was with, the officer, a Corporal, proceeded to search the 9 month old baby. The irate mother wants this unsettling incident to be addressed by the police high command. I have encouraged her to make a report to the Professional Standards Bureau.

Channel 7

Fatal Accident May Have Been Caused By Drunk Driver
A fatal accident on the Spanish Lookout Road last night killed one man and injured four others. Tonight police are saying a drunk driver may have been the cause. Daniel Ortiz found out how a group of BNE workers in a small car could not escape from a fast approaching pick-up truck with a driver who appeared to be drunk: Daniel Ortiz reporting The extensive damage on these vehicles indicates the severity of the impact which claimed the life of 39 year-old Elvis Castellanos, a BNE employee of Spanish Lookout. He was in the passenger side of the green Volks Wagon, which was being driven by 36 year-old Giovanni Valdez, his co-worker. Also in the vehicle with them were 41 year-old Julio Castellanos, 25 year-old Viriato Matus, and 29 year-old Francisco Concha. They had just left the BNE compound and while travelling on the Iguana Creek Road, when they slammed into the grey pickup. Indications are that Valdez did all he could to avoid the accident.

Belizean Tour Guide Killed In Guatemala
A Belizean tour guide has been killed in Guatemala - he was brutally beaten to death. The family of 17 year-old Juan Ramon Mis, a Belizean tour guide who moved from San Ignacio Town to Flores Peten in Guatemala, is preparing to bury him tonight. Yesterday, Mis, who had been living in Guatemala for almost a year, was walking from his new home to his workplace in Flores, Peten. It is a route he takes every day from his house to the office, which is run by his father, so no one believed that he was in any danger. But yesterday, a group of men ambushed him, robbed him down to his underwear, and beat him to death. 7News caught up with his family in San Ignacio, and they told us that for the kindhearted individual he was, his violent death is so obscene, that they still can't believe it. Here's what they told us about the very little they actually know: Elisa Mis - Mother of Deceased "He was working with another guide that runs an agency. Just last week Friday I went with him and I spoke to him and he gave me a hug and a smile that I didn't expect, I am shock about this. He was robbed and beaten to death. When the ambulance reach there to the place where they found him he was bleeding and he was alive still but he didn't make it to the hospital. He got drowned in his blood."

Fam Says Hemsley Murder; Pol Say Justifiable Homicide
Last week, we told you about 29 year-old Wellington Hemsley Jr. who was shot to death by a security guard between miles 30 and 31 on the Western Highway. We've showed you the version of the Security guard, who said that he and his associate shot both Wellington Hemsley and his 53 year-old uncle Gilroy Welcome Sr. because they were trying to burglarize a property which they were guarding. The security guards told police that they fired warnings and they only opened fire on the men when they attacked and tried to take away their weapons. Well, the Hemsley family isn't accepting this version of events, and they say Wellington Hemsley was shot on the road by the trigger happy guards, who then tried to cover up the murder by taking his body unto the compound. They're also saying that no burglary occurred. We spoke to Hemsley's mother today, and here's what she said that her brother, Gilroy Welcome Sr. told her: Voice of: Doris Hemsley - Mother of Deceased "I understand that my son - they shoot him on the roadside and then they took him into the property. The two security guards back him; one held him by two hands and the other held him on his two feet and carry him and put him inside the property that they were watching."

Robber Who Was Shot Arraigned In Court
On Wednesday's newscast7News told you about the robber who got shot at the Dit's Restaurant on King Street. That man is 22 year-old Aspinal Welch, a construction worker of 64 King Street, and tonight, he is at prison on remand. As we reported, at about 2:45 p.m. o Wednesday, Aspinal allegedly charged into the restaurant with a gun and tried to rob one of the patrons. The target put up a fight which caused Welch to fire 2 shots from his .38 revolver. The patron responded by pulling out his own licensed 9 millimeter pistol, and shot Welch in both legs. Police found him with a .38 revolver with five expended shells. Today, he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, and keeping an unlicensed firearm. He couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until January 4, 2013.

Katarina Ishim's Homecoming
For the past two nights, we've been telling you about Katarina Ishim - the 12 year old girl from San Pablo village who had a massive tumor removed from her face in the US. Today she surprised everyone when she made touchdown at the Phillip Goldson International Airport - tumor Free. 7news was there to capture the moment. Juan Ishim, Grandfather "I am very excited and I am very happy. I can't describe how happy I am to be at home with my granddaughter Katarina. She is very well now." Monica Bodden "I understand that you guys actually had even getting Katarina abroad. Tell us what was the procedures done while being there?" Juan Ishim, Grandfather "They have been struggling for 2 years and 3 months for Katarina's tumor. Although it is very but since up to today she is okay - the tumor was removed although I am 10 months away from home - it is very hard and very challenging." Dr. Rick Glover, Pediatrician "It's been great, Katarina have been a lot of fun to deal with and have lived with us. The surgeries and chemotherapy was very hard on Katarina and the length away from home was tough for both of them. They talked a lot about coming home. They wanted to be home but we just had to persevere through this. From a medical standpoint, looks like she is totally free from cancer. She got some disabilities to work with but you are around her for about 10 minutes you realize she is not very disable at all. She's been reading and doing her school work in Tennessee and trying to keep up so she could get back into school in January and go right on like a normal child from San Pablo. She is ready to go on with life."

A Battle For Control Of The Cycling Association, Or Is It the Cycling Federation?
Tomorrow, the Belize Cycling Association will elect a new executive - but it's shaping up to be a major war between the incumbent and a well-connected challenger. Emil Moreno is the current president who is finishing up a four-year term and wants another. Dion Leslie - who is also the Deputy Mayor - is the challenger. It may sound like an interesting battle - but it is riddled with controversy. That's because both men and their camps differ fundamentally on whether the Cycling Association is an association or a federation. It's a consequential difference because Associations are elected by general membership, while Federations are elected by delegates. Over the last two days we spoke to the rival candidates to get their very differing views on how the election should proceed. First, we spoke to challenger Dion Leslie whose slate includes persons who served - at one time or the other - on his opponent's executive:... Deon Leslie, Candidate for President of Cycling Association "I am running for president along with a very competent slate which include Orson Butler who will be the vice president, Perry Gibson who will be treasurer, Leticia Westby will go for secretary and along the executive, we have people like Roque Matus, Andre Ordonez, Daniel Cano, Morecio Heredia and Marlon Smith who all make up the 9 members of the executive."

BML's Lawyer On Municipal Bond: Let The Buyer Beware
Yesterday we told you all about the launch of the prospectus for the Municipal Development Bond. But one thing our story didn't cover was what the accountants might call a "contingency" - and it's a mighty big one! It has to do with a pending 2.4 million dollar judgment against the City Council. The judgment is in favour of Belize Maintenance Limited, or BML - which is currently contracted to clean the city - and was granted by the court in 2009, but has still not been paid. The prospectus does disclose the judgment as exceeding two million dollars but says that it is under renegotiation. From there, the prospectus suggests that if the re-negotiation is successful, the judgment would be written off. Here's how the mayor explained it yesterday:.. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "One of our views would be that we just ride out the contract. How it worded in the prospectus and in the summary that we circulated is that it's an alternative but what we want to emphasize is that we have to make up those figures. We can even make up those figures by the re-negotiation or we can make up those figures by riding out the contract. There is no decision that has been taken yet and there is no decision that's contain in the prospectus." Jules Vasquez "However, it's a significant contingency going forward because if there is an issue of a 2 million dollars judgment pending as well."

Bel-Am Claims Police Harassment
Cyril Garcia is a Belizean American who's currently visiting the country he calls home. But last night the California resident got a sharp reminder that home is not only where the heart is, sometimes it can be where the "hurt" is. He was leaving a graduation last night and made a mistake that many do, he drove "up-stop" on Mapp Street. That street was recently changed to only allow traffic in one direction. It was a mistake by a man not completely familiar with the in's and out's of Belize City. But he came upon a police patrol that changed his perception of law and order in Belize. He told Monica Bodden more today - as she accompanied him to the police department to make a complaint:.. Cyril Garcia, Claims Police Harrasment "Upon heading home I made an illegal turn accidentally, Belize has poor signage by the way. I was not even deep into the road just yet - the one way street and I saw this truck coming up to me, I didn't know it was the police and they appeared as though they were trying to put me to a halt. I stop, I later realize that it was the police, so before I could even put my head out and ask what happen, what's the problem, why are you guys stopping me - about 3 of them came out with guns and started demanding of me to come out of the truck in a very unwelcoming tone.

Robberies In Mango Creek Un-Reported By Police
And while he was available to us today, usually it's on Monday's that press officer Martinez delivers his press briefing. But the truth is, he only gives us some of the news. Every week, members of the media riddle him in vain with questions about crime news we've heard about from the public, but which police do not release publicly. There's a disturbing number of these coming from Southern Belize. First, in Placencia, there's the beating death 63 year old Roy Wade. Weeks ago, he was beaten to death reportedly by some young men from well-connected families in the village - and the crime has gone unsolved and un-reported. Today's Reporter newspaper says that it has also gone largely un-investigated. And then in Mango Creek alone, we know of at least three armed hold-ups in the past week that have not been reported. The first reportedly occurred a week ago at "MY PLACE", where burglars stole a laptop, the bar-owner's licensed shotgun and an undisclosed amount of cash. And then reports are that on Saturday, another Mango Creek bar, "EL BUEN AMIGO", was held up and all the waitresses were robbed. And the night before last, at 7:00 pm "WENDY SHOP", a Chinese grocery in Mango Creek was reportedly held up by a gang of 5 men. According to civilian reports, two of the men had masks and assault rifles and another one had a nine millimeter pistol. They held up the proprietor and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Again, these are based on reliable, but unofficial reports since the police press office has not been forthcoming with information. The police say they process and respond to complaints in two weeks.

Taking Sides Within The UDP
As we told you last week - there's a major internal battle shaping up in the UDP for its national convention on February 17th., 2013. Chairman Patrick Faber wants to challenge Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega for the party's first Deputy. That also means challenging a sitting Deputy Prime Minister - which, to our knowledge, has never been done before. And so, the stakes are high and both camps have hit the campaign trail. It's not the kind of thing that gets much publicity outside the party - but we did get out hands on this picture, which says a lot. It was taken last week at the Caribbean Shores Constituency Office where Vega is seen with his candidate for Chairman Alberto August and supporters John Saldivar and Rene Montero. We are told he has the support of the entire Cayo Caucus, which represents six seats and dozens of delegates. Faber is campaigning with Corozal's Roosevelt Blades for Chairman. Blades is currently the Deputy Chairman. All candidates have until a month before the convention to formally submit their names. Interestingly, it's thought to be an all or nothing gamble for Faber because if he loses his bid for Deputy, he will also lose the powerful party chairmanship. All this internal jostling has no direct effect on Cabinet assignments.

Tylenol Knock-off Is Safe Says Health Ministry
This product, TLEMOL is clearly a Tylenol knockoff, but that doesn't necessarily make it dangerous or completely bogus. That is the finding of the Chief Pharmacist after public concerns were raised when the shady looking product appeared on the shelves in April. The Ministry of Health sent the product for testing at the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory in Kingston, Jamaica. They concluded that the product meets United States Pharmaceutical requirements for Acetaminophen tablets. Acetaminophen is also the active ingredient in Tylenol. So, a public notice has been sent out to say that "TLEMOL" is safe, marketed in the USA and was legally imported into Belize by a company, called Generic Club Ltd.

OW's Supremacy in Taco Technology, Technique & Taste
Anybody who's going anywhere in the north knows that - if you're passing through Orange Walk - you just have to stop for tacos! There's no argument that Orange Walk makes them the best - and this Sunday townspeople are celebrating their supremacy in taco technology with a festival. There will be tacos made from shell, flour and corn tortillas… beef tacos, pork chicken - all kinds of tacos. Sounds like a treat and that's exactly what the organizers told 7news today. Dylan Jones, Organizer "The tacos festival in Orange Walk will be held this Sunday 25th and Universal Radio along with the House of Culture in Orange Walk Town has come together to do the second annual tacos fest. It promises to be a day for lots of tacos, lots of water activities by the river. We will have the pibil tacos out there, the chicken tacos, the beef tacos, quite a lot of activities like I mention - river sports; swimming race, greasy pole, tacos eating competition, the best tasting tacos for the year 2012/2013. It promises to be a good day for Orange Walk."

A March With A Message
Today the Women's Department opened its 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence with its annual March through the city streets. It started off with an opening ceremony and then it was on to the pavement - to bring awareness to those issues women are faced with on a day to day basis. 7news was out at the Basketball Court behind the Complex building on Mahogany Street - where it all started. Cynthia Williams, Human Development Coordinator "This is really an opportunity for us to open all the activities for 16 days of activism which we have every year from November 25 - December 10. This year we decided to do it early because November 25 which is the international day for the elimination for violence against women is on a Sunday and so the march and opening ceremonies usually is on a Friday. We wanted to make sure that we have this event and make sure that the public is aware. We usually choose communities where we know may not be open to options to accessing a lot of the services and so several of our partner agencies, schools are here and they are participating coming up with chants, coming up with creative ways of how to really bring the theme of 16 days which is "Unite to End Violence Against Women and Girls across the Communities.""

Channel 5

5 friends in car crash; one passes away
A Belize Natural Energy employee was killed on Thursday night just after seven o’clock as he left the B.N.E. compound in Spanish Lookout. Elvis Castellanos, a father of three, died instantly when an oncoming Chevy pickup truck crashed into the passenger side of the Volkswagen car he was travelling in. Four other passengers in the [...]

Belizean tour guide murdered in Guatemala
There are reports that a Belizean was killed across the border in Guatemala sometime on Thursday night. The local police department has not been able to provide information on the alleged murder, but there are conflicting reports. According to one, Luis Mis was severely beaten by a group of men who threw him off the [...]

Catarina Ishim, the girl who survived large cancerous tumor
But there is some good news tonight involving Catarina Ishim who you met months ago on this station. The young girl from San Pablo, Toledo caught the attention of the nation because a massive tumor kept recurring, even after surgeries in Belize. A News Five reporter at the time was instrumental in securing treatment for [...]

The economic Indicators via the IDB
Tonight in Economic Indicators, we focus on the Inter-American Development Bank. This week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the US Treasury blocked the Inter-American Development Bank from disbursing a loan request to Belize. The Bank plays a crucial role in opening up economies to foreign direct investment and in strengthening property rights to allow [...]

Mexican President visits bridge to Belize
Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, visited the Belize/Mexico border this afternoon as he winds down his five year presidency. Calderon demits office on December first and today he inspected the facilities at the international bridge where he was met by Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, Minister Pablo Marin and a host of other high level government [...]

Habet Employee in Dangriga robbed of over $26,000
A supervisor of Habet Hardware Store in Dangriga was robbed late yesterday evening of over twenty-six thousand three hundred and thirty-two dollars. Terrence Peters was about to drop off the day’s sales at the Belize Bank’s night deposit when two robbers pounced on him. Peters was hit to the back of his head and the [...]

BWS and CitCo still ironing out the kinks of garbage bill
The Municipal Bond Prospectus 2012 was launched on Thursday by Mayor Darrell Bradley to much fanfare from the Belize City Council, officials from the Central Bank, as well as members of the business community. But while City Hall is inviting the public to invest in the twenty million dollar loan, it has also announced it [...]

Did the Deacon touch 18 year old inappropriately
He wasn’t preaching to the choir, but a fifty-one year old Deacon traded in his pulpit for the witness stand. Michael Davis practices at the Crooked Tree Adventist Church but the Deacon allegedly committed a sin that could land him in prison. An eighteen year old woman is alleging that on November thirteenth, she was [...]

“Robbery” charged with Attempted Murder
Twenty-two year old Aspinal Welch has been charged for the robbery attempt on a customer at Dits restaurant on Wednesday. Welch, who is known as “Robbery,” was arrested after he was shot by the customer in both legs. After receiving treatment, he was arraigned today for Attempted Murder and Keeping a firearm without a gun [...]

16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence starts now
The annual Sixteen Days of Activism to end gender based violence was launched this afternoon with a parade through the city streets. Schools as well as NGOs turned out with signs bearing messages against domestic violence. Before the march, a short ceremony was held in which a one point four million dollar United Nations Trust [...]

Cycling Association election, but which rule will govern?
The Belize Cycling Association will be holding an election for officers on Saturday in Santa Elena Town. Incumbent president Emil Moreno is being challenged by Belize City Deputy Mayor Deon Leslie, who told News Five earlier today that executives within the current association are trying to implement a proposed constitution that was never ratified by [...]

Victims of fire receive supplies
Since being left homeless, in the wake of an overnight fire on Sunday, four families, including fifteen minors, have been seeking assistance from the general public in piecing their lives together. The kindness of a number of residents and businesses, following the ordeal, cannot be understated, as donations of cash and provisions keep pouring in. [...]

LOVE FM

Centaur Cable Introduces Cheaper Internet Rates for Belize
Earlier this year on September 27, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Joy Grant unveiled the ministry’s strategic plan. In essence, the information presented was that Belize is behind other countries in the region when it comes to Science and T...

Belize Tourism Board Prepares for Taste of Belize
The tourism showcase known as Taste of Belize is back after a one year break. The Belize Tourism Board this week announced that the signature culinary event will take place in San Ignacio on the weekend of December first and second. Andrea Polanco is the Media and Public Re...

Belizean Killed In Guatemala
A resident of San Ignacio was reportedly killed in the early hours of Thursday morning in Flores, Peten, Guatemala. Sketchy details to our newsroom are that the body of Juan Ramon Mis was discovered sometime around two o’clock yesterday morning. Authorities have confi...

Belize Cuellos Distillery Wins Prizes in Grenada
The Caribbean rum and beer festival was held earlier this month in Grenada and the winners in its alcohol beverage tasting competition were announced. Belize’s Cuello Distillery walked off with prizes in two categories. In the flavored rum category Cuello’s Caribbean ...

Fatal Traffic Accident on The George Price Highway
A fatal traffic accident was reported last night in the Cayo District; correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ Belmopan Correspondent Love FM “Love News understands that sometime after seven o’clock last night November 22nd , 5 BNE workers were trav...

LOVE TV

CXC National Awards Ceremony recognizes outstanding Belizean students
The eighteenth national awards ceremony for outstanding performance in the May/June 2012 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, CAPE and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination, CSEC was held this morning in Belize City. Close to three hundred secondary school and Junior College students were recognized for their outstanding performance in various subjects covered by the Caribbean Examinations Council. In the CAPE segment of the examination, Dorien Villafranco bested all of the candidates from Belize who sat the exams, earning six grade One’s in Caribbean and Communication studies, Physics Units one and two nd pure mathematics units one and two. As a result of his outstanding performance, today Villafranco who returned from St. Louis University for the national awards ceremony was presented with the Belize Scholarship as well as plaques and certificates. After receiving the awards, Villafranco told Love News he is proud to have accomplished all he did and said that his hard work paid off. Villafranco told Love News that he is scheduled to return to the United States this weekend to continue his studies. Meanwhile, Juana Teresa Meza from the Stann Creek Ecumenical College was the top performed in the high school segment of the exams known as CSEC. She earned thirteen Grade one’s in various subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, English A and B) and Information Technology. Meza also earned two Grade three’s in Caribbean History and Economics. Meza told Love News that remaining focused on her goal propelled her to the top and promises other young people that they too have the potential to achieve the same goals. During his remarks at the National Awards Ceremony Minister of Education Patrick Faber congratulations all of the awardees and encouraged them to keep being positive role models for other young people.

Robbery, burglary and shooting make the crime blotter
An armed robbery was reported in Belize City on Wednesday morning at the Sea Shore supermarket at mile two and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. According to police, around eight fifteen yesterday morning, two men who wore stockings over their faces and armed with a firearm and a knife walked into the supermarket and held up the owner and customers who were inside. Police say that the man with the knife went to the counter and managed to open the cash register and took out six hundred dollars. The same man carrying the knife, also held up the proprietor’s wife and took away five hundred dollars. Both robbers then left the supermarket and got into a green car which they arrived in and made good their escape. Police say that a check of the supermarket’s surveillance video showed the green-colored Saturn car carried license plates BZ-C 3-3-0-8-4. Police say the car was later found on Logwood Street and towed to the Queen Street police station compound where it was processed. Authorities have also detained a thirty eight year old Belize City man pending the outcome of their investigations. Two people were injured in a shooting incident in Belize City last night. Twenty two year old Devain Flores was injured in his right knee and left calf, and nineteen year old Leticia Cardinez was grazed to the right side of her buttocks. According to police Flores and Cardinez were part of a group of friends who were on the sidewalk on Neal Pen Road around seven o’clock last night when a man opened fire on them. Police say the unidentified man was dressed in black and had a warm cap on his head and that he opened fire on the group from a distance of about twenty five feet. Authorities say they have recovered a total of fourteen 9-millimeter expended shells from the scene of the crime. Police investigations continue. Over eighty thousand dollars worth of electronic and other items were stolen from a Belize City house in a burglary which happened sometime last week. A resident of Cross Lane in Belize City reported to police that the burglary happened sometime between November eleventh and November eighteenth. Among the items stole are two flat screen television sets, jewelry and a a Toyota Rav-4 SUC which was parked in the yard. Police estimate the value of the stolen items at eighty one thousand dollars. Investigations continue.

PG welcome sign gets spruced up
Welcome sign repainted at the entrance to P.G. A project to restore the original painting of the dollar coin shaped welcome sign to Punta Gorda has been completed. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

SUV crashes off the George Price Highway
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Wednesday evening totally wrecked a vehicle but left its occupants unhurt. [VO starts) The incident happened at around mile 33 just before six o’clock yesterday evening and involved a burgundy rented SUV. Reports are that the woman who was driving, was heading from the direction of Belize City towards Belmopan when she lost control and ran off the left hand side of the road into some bushes. In the process, the vehicle spun out of control and slammed into a lamp post. The woman was obviously shaken up but got out unaided.

Placencia police investigate stabbing incident
Residents of Placencia village have raised concerns about crime on the peninsula. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to the south earlier this week to bring you the following report.

New mental health care centre opens in Belize City
The Mental Health Day Care and Resource Centre project was inaugurated yesterday in Belize City. [VO STARTS ] The new facility will provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation for the homeless and people living with mental health problems. The Resource Centre project is located at the corner of Tibruce and Vernon Streets and will facilitate social support and training for income generation for the homeless and people living with mental health problems in Belize City. The facility will not be a residential centre. The centre will have capacity to benefit 150 clients on a regular basis and will be governed by rules and regulations. The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Mental Health Association, through a grant of $564,000 from the Caribbean Development Bank under its Basic Needs Trust Fund 6th Program. BNTF is jointly financed by the Caribbean Development Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency and nine beneficiary governments, including Belize. The project included the construction of a Ferro-concrete building 3,911 sq ft in area. A reinforced concrete roof, wind resistant aluminum windows with security bars and solid timber doors were installed. The floor was tiled and a chain-link fence to enclose the premises for protection was provided. Also included was a male and female bathroom for clients and a staff bathroom, conference room, administrator’s office, kitchen, a common meeting area and a security booth. Furniture for the building was provided by the Belize Natural Energy Trust Limited. The centre will be operated by the Mental Health Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

Government declares Turneff Atoll a Marine Reserve
While Senator Alamilla is not aware of the issues of concern for residents of Crooke Tree, today, she announced the establishment of a new marine reserve. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Terrence Rhaburn were present at Old Belize this morning for the presentation.

Minister Lisel Alamilla responds to concerns of Crooked Tree residents
On Friday of last week, residents of Crooked Tree village were up in arms over what they considered prohibitive laws which they claim are stifling their way of life. A group of angry men and women staged an impromptu protest in front of the Belize Audubon Society office at the entrance to the village. Last Friday’s demonstration was prompted by the actions of enforcement authorities to confiscate a pile of logs belonging to a village resident. The villagers were already feeling disrespected when requests for meetings with the relevant authorities were ignored. They took to the airwaves to vent their frustrations and today, when Love News spoke with Minister of the Environment Lisel Alamilla this morning, she said she is not aware of any request by villagers for a discussion with her Ministry. Minister Alamilla said the Ministry is in the midst of revisiting legislation as it relates to the designation of certain areas as protected areas.

Ministry of Health clears Tlemol for public consumption
The Ministry of Health today announced that the findings of an investigation of a particular pharmaceutical product proved it is safe for public consumption. Earlier this year concerns were raised about the sale of TLEMOL in Belize and a sample of the project was sent to Jamaica for testing. The official release says that the results of the tests were received this week and they concluded that the pharmaceutical product markets as TLEMOL has met the United States Pharmaceutical requirements for Acetaminophen tablets. Tylenol The release says, quote: “the Ministry of health assures the public that the active ingredient in this product TLEMOL is acetaminophen five hundred milligrams, which is the same ingredient in the similar product, TYLEOL,” end of quote. The Ministry release ends by saying that the TLEMOL product is legally imported in Belize by the company Generic Club Limited.

CGA announces increased price for oranges
There is sweet news for citrus farmers tonight. According to the Citrus Growers Association a new first payment advance for oranges was today announced at nineteen cents more than the initial first payment advance. A statement from the CGA issued this afternoon says that the new first payment advance to growers is ninety seven cents per pound solid, which amounts to five dollars and seventy four cents per box of oranges. Previous, the offer was seventy eight cents per pound solid or four dollars and sixty cents per box. According to the CGA statement, since the factory just started receiving Oranges on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, all payments for Orange delivered will based on the new Estimated Final Price. The new price for oranges, according to the CGA, is due to recent increases in world market prices. They conform to the Price Formula Agreement with the factory. CGA says that the Committee of Management requested and received a new first Fruit Price Submission for Orange. This revised first Fruit Price Submission has been provisionally accepted pending review. The new Estimated Final Price for Orange is one dollar and forty nine cents per pound solid or eight dollars and eighty four cents per box based on a per box yield of five point nine pound solids. This is up from the first Estimated Final Price of one dollar and twenty cents per pound solid or seven dollars and eight cents per box. In related news, the CGA is encouraging growers to participate in ongoing spraying activities that form part of the Area-wide Integrated Management System to control the Asian Citrus Psyllid. CGA is also calling on growers to ensure that they get their fruits tested for maturity ratio before delivery to the factory.

PlusTV

Car Crash Victim Described As A Loving Father
Tonight we report on another sad case of the evils of drunk driving and lives lost. Reports to our news room are th...

Police Constable charged with theft
Interdicted police constable, 25-year-old Brandon Hertular has been on interdiction since March 5, 2012. Today, he ...

Two in court for aggravated assault of an indecent nature
Two men were before the court to answer to charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. The two accused are...

Bond interest will be tax free
Yesterday we glossed over the financial benefits of buying into the municipal bond but tonight we offer a comment b...

Teenager charged with arson walks free
Glenn Murrillo was charged with arson and damage to property for allegedly trying burn down the Youth Cadet Corps a...

Cruise passenger caught with marijuana
Tis the season for cruisin’ in Belize; but one cruiser got too comfortable in Belize and broke the law. 19 year-old...

Corozol Police receive communications equipment
The Corozal Police Formation are the happy recipients of communications equipment. Yesterday (Nov 22) Mr. Henry Men...

Belmopan to get its own new Police Station
Belmopan will be getting a new Police Station separate and apart from the Central Headquarters. Minister Saldivar g...

Documentary on Human Trafficking to be shown in Belize City
A Documentary on Human Trafficking will be showcased during an international meeting on Monday. The Government of B...

Sugar Cane Factory reopens next week
After consultations were held between all stakeholders, the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) has set Tuesday, No...

San Ignacio's Welcome Centre hosts special events
The San Ignacio Welcome Center has been under renovation for the last few months. It has been transformed from a pl...

Under 15 national Football team beat Dominican Republic
Belize's Under 15 national Football team is presently in the Dominican Republic and won a game today. The team play...

Man who attempted armed robbery of Dits Restaurant is charged
The man who was shot in the legs as he attempted an armed robbery of Dits Restaurant has been arrested and charged....

Search is on for missing teen
Police are seeking viewers help in locating a missing teen. On Monday Mathew Gomez of Dangriga Town reported that h...

BEL Night Deposit Stolen
Two men intercept a deposit before it’s placed in the night deposit box at the bank. Yesterday evening a Supervisor...

Security Guard arrested for illegal firearm
A Security Guard has been arrested for firearm offences. On Wednesday Police conducted an anti drug operation at th...

House meets next week
A House Meeting has been scheduled for next week Friday November 30, 2012…. starting at 10am in the National Assemb...

NTUC holds 46th AGM
NTUCB PIC The National Trade Union Congress of Belize will be holding its 46th Annual General Meeting. The AGM will...

The Reporter

Belize City Council launches Municipal Bond prospectus
The Belize City Council launched the prospectus for BZ$20 million worth of bonds, which the Council will be issuing to help finance its street and drainage infrastructure program at City Hall on Thursday morning, November 22. Mayor Darrell Bradley explained that the thrust of the street improvement program is economic growth, as the enhanced infrastructure should stimulate business development and spawn further investment by the private sector. Another economic benefit will be the creation of jobs, not just in the actual construction phase, but in the businesses which will spring up a result of the enhanced services and environment. The bonds will be issued in blocks, each worth $200. Anyone who wants to invest in the bonds can pick up an application form from Central Bank, which is now accepting applications. As Registrar for the bonds, the Central Bank will issue a Registered Certificate Bond to each bondholder, and deposit the proceeds of the sale of bonds into the Infrastructure Fund for the Council to use. The bonds will be offered next Monday, November 26, and prospective buyers will have 28 days, up to December 24, to apply to purchase the bonds. Subscription may be closed before this day, if the bond offering is fully subscribed. The application period could also be extended until the offering is fully subscribed. Bondholders will receive interest payments twice a year, which the Central Bank will pay from a Sinking Fund. The Belize City Municipal Bond Act, passed by the House of Representatives in June, provides for the creation of both the infrastructure fund and the sinking fund, both of which will be managed by the Central Bank of Belize. It also requires that the Council’s monthly subvention from Ministry of Finance and the Cruise Ship head-tax to be paid directly into the Sinking Fund. These will amount to approximately $250,000.00 per month.

No IDB guarantee but negotiations will go on
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)’s decision to not provide a partial guarantee and a policy based loan to aid in the “Super Bond” restructuring talks, should not hamper the overall process, Debt Review Team Leader Mark Espat said Wednesday. Espat said the partial guarantee was not formally offered to bondholders; therefore, it should not have a negative impact on the ongoing negotiations. The partial guarantee was only one way to add value to “any new debt payment terms between Belize and bondholders,” He explained. He pointed out that there are other mechanisms for support from the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), including “accelerating current projects, additional investment loans and technical assistance programs—all of which continue to be discussed, not only with the IDB, but also with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and other IFI partners.” Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow broke the news on Wednesday, when he said that IDB’s President Luis Alberto Moreno’s “crass act of cowardice” to not adamantly push forward the request had a lot to do with the resistance from the United States Treasury Department. “Ultimately it was that the U.S. Treasury indicated clearly to Moreno and directly that it would not support the IDB agreeing to the guarantee,” PM Barrow said.

McAfee offers $25,000 for the arrest of Faull’s killer
The computer anti-virus pioneer, John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning as “a person of interest” in connection with the death of American Gregory Faull, has offered a $25,000 reward for the arrest of the true culprit. McAfee announced the reward via an Internet blog on Monday, November 19. He wrote, “I also needed to do my own investigation, since the police only seemed to be investigating my whereabouts. “My safety is contingent on the truth being discovered. I today announced on NBC Television that I am offering a $25,000 reward for the capture of the person or persons responsible for Mr. Faull’s murder.” McAfee has literally been thumbing his nose at police ever since he eluded them on Sunday, November 10, after Faull’s housekeeper found him lying dead in a pool of blood, with a shot to the back of his head. He has been able to continue his running commentaries with international media through cell phones. So far, no one from the Belize media has spoken to him since he has been on the lam. McAfee has also been weaving a pattern of spurious claims about Belizean authorities and life in Belize, which has prompted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to describe him as “bonkers.” In one of his colourful depictions, he states that enough people have died in Belize Police custody to fill a small U.S. town telephone directory. Two days before Faull’s body was discovered, four of McAfee’s dogs were reportedly poisoned.


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#451829 - 11/24/12 03:43 PM Re: Today's Belize News: November 24, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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There’s real money in music if you treat it like a business, BSCAP says
Members of the Belize music industry have an untapped revenue stream, but in order for it to work for them local artists must think of themselves as a businesses, Heather Cunningham, the chief executive officer of the Belizean Society of Composers Authors Publishers (BSCAP) said Tuesday. Cunningham explained that BSCAP is a Collective Management Organization (CMO) that collects license fees on behalf of music publishers, songwriters and composers. They collect the fees and distribute them as royalties to their members, whose music had been used or exploited in one way or the other. BSCAP, she explained, looks for where the music has either already been “exploited;” is currently being used in establishments such as restaurants, hotels and radio stations; was featured in a film, for which the filmmaker would need a specific license; or if it has been or is being used online on sites such as YouTube, CDBaby, and more. “We get any money that are potentially sitting unclaimed and distribute it to the artist,” Cunningham said. BSCAP’s Chairman Jason Guerrero said that local artist Super G is a recent example of how CMO works, as the musician recently received royalty payments from the Mexican Television Station Univision that used his music in its popular TV show called Sabado Gigante. Like with Super G, Guerrero said that other local artists may benefit in like manner and more; however, it requires their full cooperation with BSCAP. “Musicians need to think of themselves as a business; and like with any business, they have to put in the work to structure themselves and document all their songs, written work and performances,” Cunningham said.

Princess Oil gives up Blue Hole PSAs
Princess Oil has given up all those oil exploration blocks near the Blue Hole, Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef, which it held under its production sharing agreement with the Government of Belize, the company announced in a press release on Monday, November 19. The Department of Geology had accepted the company’s proposal to relinquish the exploration blocks on Monday, November 12. “The Blue Hole area is one of Belize’s priceless natural treasures and we stand ready to assist in any way to protect and preserve the country’s natural reef system,” said Princess Oil’s Chief Executive Officer Hamdi Karagozoglu. He added that the company had done no exploration work in this eco-sensitive area, and therefore had no knowledge if it had any potential to produce hydrocarbons. The release goes on to say that the company “will continue to adopt only those techniques and methods that are environmentally safe while exploring for and producing hydrocarbon in Belize and elsewhere.”

Jamaica to abolish slavery-era flogging law
Jamaica is preparing to abolish a slavery-era law allowing flogging and whipping as means of punishing prisoners, the Justice Ministry said Thursday. The ministry said the punishment hasn’t been ordered by a court since 2004 but the statutes remain in the island’s penal code. It was administered with strokes from a tamarind-tree switch or a cat o’nine tails, a whip made of nine, knotted cords. Justice Minister Mark Golding says the “degrading” punishment is an anachronism which violates Jamaica’s international obligations and is preventing Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s government from ratifying the U.N. convention against torture. The Cabinet has already approved repealing the flogging law and amendments to other laws in the former British colony, where plantation slavery was particularly brutal. The announcement was welcomed by human rights activists who view the flogging law as a barbaric throwback in a nation populated mostly by the descendants of slaves. But there are no shortage of crime-weary Jamaicans who feel that authorities should not drop the old statutes but instead enforce them, arguing that thieves who steal livestock or violent criminals who harm innocent people should receive a whipping to teach them a lesson. The last to suffer the punishment in Jamaica was Errol Pryce, who was sentenced to four years in prison and six lashes in 1994 for stabbing his mother-in-law. Pryce was flogged the day before being released from prison in 1997 and later complained to the U.N. Human Rights Committee, which ruled in 2004 that the form of corporal punishment was cruel, inhuman and degrading and violated his rights. Jamaican courts then stopped ordering whipping or flogging.

UN report warns of widening climate gap
A U.N. report on rising greenhouse gas emissions reminds world governments that their efforts to fight climate change are far from enough to meet their stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). The report by the U.N. Environment Program, released just days ahead of a major climate conference, said the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is up about 20 percent since 2000. Scientists say those emissions are contributing to climate change and that failure to contain them could have dangerous consequences, including rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species. Emission levels, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, need to come down by 14 percent by 2020 for the world to reach a pathway that could keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels, UNEP said. That’s the stated goal of U.N. climate negotiations, which resume next week in Doha, Qatar. But it won’t happen if countries don’t come up with more ambitious plans to cut emissions than what’s currently on the table. The U.N. agency said if no swift action is taken, emissions are likely to hit 58 gigatons in 2020 — 14 gigatons too much to have a chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees. The projected gap is now bigger than it was last year and in 2010. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said that bridging the gap remains doable and that there are many “inspiring” actions at the national level on renewable energy, energy efficiency, protecting forests, and vehicle emissions standards.

UK Minister Swire visits Belize Says ICJ Belize’s best bet to end claim
Six weeks into his role as the British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister Hugo Swire prioritized a Latin American tour, winding up in Belize on November 15th. His visit gave Belize the opportunity to renew ties with England and garner support on important issues. While here the Minister met with BATSUB (British Army Training Support Unit Belize), the BDF (Belize Defence Force), and RESTORE Belize officials and later paid courtesy calls on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow. At a reception held at the Radisson Fort George to welcome Minister Swire, the Reporter got a chance to talk to him and ask him about several issues of interest. Among them, the Belize-Guatemala sovereignty claim, the drug trade and crime topped the list. Minister Swire said the way forward for Belize was to resolve the sovereignty dispute with the help of the referendum and the ICJ (International Court of Justice). With both countries committed to the ICJ’s ruling, the minister envisioned an end to the claim. He said his country was intent on seeing the claim issue resolved, so that Belize could concentrate on other pressing issues such as crime and the drug trade. He reiterated Britain’s support for Belize and declared that Britain cared about the outcome, and he referred to Prince Harry’s memorable visit to Belize as a evidence of that.

Grain growers meet, Biotech presented
On the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 7, the first public meeting of the newly-formed Belize Grain Growers Association was held in Spanish Lookout. The group was formed to promote the introduction of genetically-modified (GM) corn into Belize. GM seed is prohibited by BAHA from being introduced into Belize because of the growing list of problems with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and the attractive though unqualified claims made about GM crops.

The fight against crime continues
The City of Belmopan has been supplied with more resources in its fight against crime. The Government of Belize purchased two new vehicles, an Izuzu D-Max pickup truck and a Mahindra Truck, which are to be commissioned to the Belmopan formation of the Belize Police Department. Minister Hon. John Saldivar handed over the keys to the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson at the Police Headquarters in Belmopan City on November 21, 2012.

Henkis, 45, guilty of sodomizing 9-year-old boy
Lee Henkis, a 45-year-old man of Dean Street, Belize City, showed no remorse or emotion on Wednesday, November 21, after a jury of four men and five women found him guilty of buggering a nine year old boy. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has given Henkis until Wednesday, November 28, to prepare a mitigation plea, prior to sentencing. Justice Gonzales advised Henkis that the maximum penalty for this kind of unnatural crime is ten years. This is the second time that Henkis has been convicted of buggery. The offence for which Henkis was charged occurred on July 4, 2010. The victim, who was nine-years-old at the time, testified in private.

Four fatty foods that are good for cholesterol
Not all fat is bad for you. These four types of fatty foods actually help lower your bad cholesterol levels and may even raise good cholesterol levels. Olive oil Numerous studies have shown that olive oil not only lowers LDL but also raises HDL. One study found that people who ate about 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day had lower LDL levels in just one week. Use it in garlic bread, salad dressings, in place of margarine, and in place of other oils when sautéing. Nuts Enjoy nuts. They are packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, including omega-3s. Walnuts and almonds seem to be especially good at lowering LDL. Eat a shotglass-size serving a day and watch your numbers drop. But nuts contain a lot of calories, so make sure you eat them instead of—not in addition to—other snacks.

Keeping healthy during the chilly months
The feeling of Christmas feeling is here as the weather suddenly cools throughout the country of Belize. But sometimes this drastic and sudden change of temperature can cause many of us to suffer from the nagging cold, flu and other respiratory disorders. What can we do from a health and lifestyle perspective when the “chilly wind” begins to blows upon our ‘little Belize’? 1. Start with exercise: A brisk walk outdoors every morning for about 30 to 45 minutes can “warm up the system” and increase circulation as well. In addition, exercise also elevates our BDF – Body Defense Force (White Blood Cells) – whose job is to help increase resistance to germ invasion.

St John’s College boys lead Belize City basketball
The undefeated boys of St John’s College are dominating their group with two victories in the Belize City high schools basketball competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Saturday, November 17. Sydney “Bucket” Bradley scored two 3-pointers as he led the St John’s boys with 20 pts in their 58-44 victory over the boys of Excelsior High School on Saturday afternoon. The St John’s boys led 14-11 in the first quarter and with Rondre Lewis adding nine points, and Kyle Middleton and Rasheed Flowers tossing in five points each; they continued to lead 34-25 at intermission. Kurtlan Young had four points, and Dudley Erskine and Jovar Lopez chipped in two points each to lead 48-30 by the end of the third quarter. Javis Tench had led the Excelsior boys with 17 pts, while Enfield Martinez added 10, Darnea Garcia had seven and Javan Claire and Melrick Perez tossed in four each, Malcolm Nunez chipped in one basket.

St Catherine’s Academy girls lead in Basketball
The defending national high schools basketball champions, the girls of St Catherine’s Academy are dominating the Belize City high schools basketball competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association, which continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Saturday, November 17. It was double your pleasure, double your score for the St Catherine’s girls, as Indie Dixon led them in a 34-17 romp over the girls of Pallotti High School on Saturday. Dixon shot a game high of 14 pts., leading 15-13 at intermission. Sharoni Chen scored a 3-pointer as she and Gloria Serano led the Pallotti girls with six points each, but the SCA girls’ defense effectively shut down Pallotti in the second half. SCA’s team captain Chelsi Noralez and Gilda Estrada each added six points, while Halle Spencer tossed in four, Briana Jex chipped in three and Tyra Moriera scored a free throw.

Blogs

Thanksgiving turkey and music for our favorite island cause
This year Thanksgiving "went to the dogs" as Fido's, an ever-popular San Pedro restaurant, bar, and live music venue, teamed up with Saga Humane Society for a fundraiser featuring singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire. Fido's and Kelly are both such Ambergris Caye traditions that I am embarrassed to admit we've never experienced either, so we were looking forward to a good time for a good cause, and we were amply rewarded with a unique and fun Thanksgiving evening. I'd been asked to take photos for the Saga website, so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone by doing our own blog of the event as well. We left home on our bikes a bit early so we could eat dinner before the Saga event really got cranking at 6pm. Barry got our steeds safely locked to one of the huge anchors right outside Fido's on the ocean front. Fortunately, his pinched nerve and upper back issue has finally healed up, or most of the way, and he can ride his bike again. We're both very happy about that! Yay, Barry is back on the scene! We got a table right by the sea and started with a special drink of the evening -- vodka with watermelon juice. Yum! Here's the menu for the special Thanksgiving dinner. The Cochinita Pibil was tempting, but we both ordered the traditional turkey dinner, which was $40 BZ ($20 US) and also included dessert (and a rum punch, as it turned out) -- neither of which were mentioned on the menu. So it was quite a good deal.

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Really Goes to the Dogs With Kelly McGuire
This guest post is by Cindy, one of the owners of Changes In Latitudes Bed & Breakfast in San Pedro. Thanks Cindy! When we arrived at Fido's on Thanksgiving afternoon around 5:40, there were very few people there, but most of the tables were reserved. I even plead my case that we were “guest blogging” for the Scoop, but it didn’t pull any weight. (You might need to work on that...) We were starving, so we immediately ordered our turkey dinners. Part of the reason to arrive early was so they did not run out of turkey!! Dinner was good, and the turkey was served with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry jelly and instead of sweet potatoes, candied plantains! I think there were tongue marks on my plate! The key lime pie... The Kelly McGuire Fan Club rolled in around 6:00, and Kelly arrived shortly thereafter. They were all decked out, including flashing rings which they all wore. I remembered these ladies from a trip to see Kelly at Isla Mujeres a few years ago.

Belize Statistics From 2000 to 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Today's infographic talks a little about the population of Belize for the past decade or so (2000-2011). It also shows information for the CBR (Crude Birth Rate) and CDR (Crude Death Rate). The CBR refers to the number of births per 1000 people per year. The CDR is the total number of deaths per year per 1000 people. From 2000 to 2010, there has been a small gradual decrease in both the CDR and CBR of Belize, as indicated by the infographic below.


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