FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

Town Council mandates changes for Carnaval 2013
The dates for Carnaval 2013 have been set and the rules have been changed. From February 8th through February 13th, the San Pedro Carnaval will see a celebration focused on tradition as opposed to the free-for-all painting and debauchery that has evolved to over the years. While some residents are arguing that the changes are for the better, there is also opposition from those who want to keep carnaval the way it has been over the recent years. As the island develops and the population has grown, the celebration of carnaval has been met with mixed emotions. For many, carnaval is a time for friends to gather and join in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation on the island. Over the years however, some revelers have taken it upon themselves to intentionally deface public and private property and in some instances, cause bodily harm to other individuals. The final night of carnaval was often considered a version of “Fat Tuesday”, with a “free-for-all” attitude. Many believe this night has evolved into a more sinister affair, with bullying, physical harm and vandalism and leaving the true meaning of carnival behind.

Blues Dogs perform in benefit function for Holy Cross
Two members of the Blues Dogs band teamed up with island-based musicians for an afternoon of blues on the beach at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. The event was organized in an effort to raise funds for the Holy Cross Anglican Primary School, the only public school in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Kent Obermann and Chris Kay of Blues Dogs’ band were vacationing on Ambergris Caye when they decided to donate their time and talent for a worthy cause. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Obermann explained that after meeting with Rendezvous’ Glen Schwendinger, they had the same idea: a charity performance. “We started talking about life, music and other things and the next thing you know, we are doing this fundraiser. It was two of us from our band, and all the rest are local musicians. Glen put together an unbelievable fundraiser. We have a lot and it is our opportunity to give back. We are on vacation and this is a skill that we have and there is no reason not to use it and have fun while doing something good,” said Obermann.

NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald & Andre Roberts vacation on Ambergris Caye
The warm turquoise waters, serene beaches and friendly people are no doubt a few of the reasons why two National Football League (NFL) players recently vacationed on Ambergris Caye. 25 year old Andre Roberts and 29 year old Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr., both Arizona Cardinals players were on holiday for five days in Belize. Larry-FitzgeraldLarry Fitzgerald is a wide receiver who was picked third (overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has remained with the Cardinals and is currently the fifth all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game for a career (76.0 yards per game). He is behind Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison. A little over a year ago, in August of 2011, Fitzgerald Jr agreed to an eight-year, $120 million contract extension.

Ambergris Today

Jerry Jeff Walker's Camp Belize 2013 Pickin’ Parties
They are loyal followers of Jerry Jeff Walker, who is set to give two concerts during his Belize Camp 2013 taking place from January 20 to February 3, 2013, in San Pedro, Belize. But even before Jerry Jeff Walker sets foot on stage for his main events, his fans have already started the party in San Pedro in what is known as Pickin’ Parties.

Flavors of Belize on Daytime TV!
Tanya McNab, publisher of Flavors of Belize -The Cookbook, was invited to showcase Belize and the cookbook on United States daytime television morning show. Daytime TV is a morning show that is produced by River Bank Studios at the NBC News Center / WFLA Channel 8, Tampa, FL.

Misc Belizean Sources

New website for Holy Cross
At Holy Cross we are excited about this new year and have begun our year with a new website. For those of you who have not already seen it, please take a moment to view the site, which has everything you need to know about volunteering,donating supplies, donating funds and helping out with construction projects. I'd like to thank everyone who helped with the website, including Jacob Musick from the Canterbury Society of the College Of William and Mary and the members of the Holy Cross Education Foundation. Please, enjoy reading this January edition of our news letter, may it remind you why Holy Cross Anglican School holds a special place in the hearts of so many.

Belize Labour Force Survey, September 2012
The September 2012 Labour Force Survey reveals the number of employed and unemployed persons in Belize. The Scout Association of Belize is planning on publishing a history of scouting in Belize. If you have any information that would beneficial to include, please contact Randolph Johnson, who is heading up this project, at the email address above.

Book on Scouting
The Scout Association of Belize is planning on publishing a history of scouting in Belize. If you have any information that would beneficial to include, please contact Randolph Johnson, who is heading up this project, at the email address below.

VIDEO: PADI Underwater Photography, Advanced Course
Featuring White Sands Pro Divers Academy, PADI Instructor Ian Oliva,Ambergris Caye, Belize

Crystal Cave with Carlos the Caveman
This travel review has loads of great pictures from the Crystal - aka Mountain Cow - Cave. They relate that going with Carlos the Caveman was 'one of the highlights of our entire trip.' Mountain Cow Cave is really getting some good publicity lately, as it should, with all of its amazing formations. "We went into some small places that made my heart race, wondering if I was going to fit and get through! There were times where we would slide down on our bums on the muddy, slippery rocks and be very close to a 20 foot drop down to the bottom (and surefire broken limbs or worse). We went into several small side crevices to see human remains that were still undiscovered by archeologists (unearthed during a particular rainy season). Carlos was a great guide and truly loves caving. He was very good at pointing out the best route to take and to lend a helping hand when needed. Then, we went to Wonderland. Most people don’t get to go here. There are only a few guides who know the way and are supposed to go there (not that there are any rules 500 feet underground). In addition to that, it is a tough climb up and down to get there. But oh, so worth it."

The New Belize Logo Story
After 26 years, Belize finally has a new logo. How did Olson come up with it? The unique process is described, and they made a video about the process too. "Olson turned to Belize itself for inspiration--the circular forms found across the nation inspired the new typeface, while a local artist contributed his own take to the national bird, the toucan. In all, the identity brings a contemporary, yet classic vibe to represent tourism in Belize and harkens back to classic travel posters of the '60s (which, as design pieces tend to stand the test of time better than the stuff of recent years). The graphic forms are balanced out with textural brushstrokes, a nod to the handcraftsmanship of the country's artisans."

Autumn/Winter 2013 Runway Models
Rebecca Stirm has an album of the models, including two Miss Belizes, Destinee Arnold and Chantae Guy, along with many others that you know and have seen many times before, that will be in the Autumn/Winter 2013 Fashion Show. It's just 3 nights away. "Meet the runway models for our autumn/winter 2013 Collection Runway Release - January 26th at the Princess Hotel [Kings Room]"

Chaa Creek Wins on TA and Oyster
Chaa Creek not only won a Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice awards, but made the Oyster.com list for 15 Unique Hotel Stays. On TA, they won in the Best Small Hotels category, and they remain on the Best Family Hotels category from last year. Read what Oyster.com has to say about them. Congratulations, Chaa Creek! "Chaa Creek, one of Belize's first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm to become a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as an infinity pool with jungle views and a full-service spa. The riverside setting on a private rainforest reserve is phenomenal, and myriad tours and outdoor activities are offered through the hotel. To top it off, room rates are fair for what you get -- and there are even budget accommodations available at Macal River Camp (pictured), located on the property."

Belmopan Bus Terminal Infomercial [VIDEO]
Have you been by the Belmopan City Bus Terminal as of late? If you have, you may have noticed a few or lot of changes. But don't worry, here is a guide on how to use the Bus Terminal and parking areas.

Vacancy Notice
PROJECT NAME: Integrated Entrepreneurship Development in Central America and Dominican Republic FUNDING AGENCY: CENPROMYPE through Republic of China (Taiwan) POSITION: Local Project Coordinator Statement of Capability: The objective of the project is to Promote and strengthen entrepreneurship in Central America and the Dominican Republic with the purpose of establishing new Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME); and developing and strengthening businesses in the MSME sector. The project has four components: 1. Awareness and support for national strategies for entrepreneurship and design of the regional strategy

Channel 7

Belize's National Football Team Advances to Semis! Gold Cup On Horizon!
Tonight, there's still elation all across the land over the Belize National Football Team's historic win yesterday over Nicaragua in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana being played in San Jose, Costa Rica. That's because Belize's second place in Group A was secured last night when Guatemala drew against Costa Rica, 1- 1. That result means that the Belize team - with four points - now moves unto the Tournament Semifinals and also qualifies for the Gold Cup which is a much larger tournament. So now Belize takes on Honduras on Friday at 5:30. For this small country, this is considered a giant leap forward and we'll have much more on what's next when we talk to the President of the FFB, who's just returned from Costa Rica. -That is coming up in our second segment...

ICJ Campaign Launched; Opponents Gain Prominence
But before we talk regional football, we've got to talk regional politics - and Belize and Guatemala are right in the middle of it. That's because today the ICJ education campaign was launched formally in Belize. And it's also the day that Guatemala's leading daily the Prensa Libre chose to publish this odious map, which shows - in yellow - the portion of Belize that Guatemala is claiming. More on that later, but first to the ICJ campaign. Last week, we told you that the Government of Belize would begin its campaign to educate the Belizean public on taking the matter of the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. It's the lead-up to simultaneous referendums in Belize and Guatemala on October 6, 2013. At today's launch the Prime Minister announced how he will vote in that referendum, while the Leader of the Opposition, who shared the stage with him was non - committal.

COLA Pres Says Referendum Resistance Won't Stop
And if today's launch was any indicator, they can expect to face opposition from COLA at a few of those events. Today, COLA President Geovanni Brackett was kicked out of the ceremony, supposedly for being disruptive. It involved his supporters and him sitting in their chairs and showing their flags to the cameras. 7News caught up with him downstairs, and we asked him if the officers explained why he was being kicked out. Here's how he described it: Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "What happened, if you noticed, one of the officers came to me and asked me to kindly step out. Well, I said that I did nothing wrong, you understand. I don't have anything illegal on me, so I just went outside. When I went outside, the officer asked me, 'Mr. Brackett, I am hoping that you don't the activity and the presentations that are going on.' I said, 'Sir, I know you saw me raising up a flag, with a 'no ICJ' symbol on it. What we did is that the cameras are rolling around, and everyone knows that COLA opposes going to the ICJ. If these cameras show us just sitting there nicely, it appears that we are supporting. So, we kindly didn't say anything, but just silently holding up the flag for a few seconds that you all - you all just need about 10-12 seconds of B-Roll footage - I'm a camera man - and then you're done with the business.' He said to me that they don't want us to raise that flag again.

Flag Monument Victim Of Early Morning Mischief (by COLA?)
And while COLA activists were unceremoniously yanked from today's event - truth is, they had already put in their work with some early morning civil disobedience. 7news was at the flag monument before dawn where we came upon a most unexpected site. Jules Vasquez has the story: Jules Vasquez Reporting This morning before dawn 12 flags saying no ICJ were raised at the flag monument. This is how they looked at 6:00 am - a sort of lo-tech, guerilla style vandalism to protest today's launch of the ICJ public awareness campaign. And while it may have been low-intensity, it was high on symbolism - these defiant flags hoisted instead of the national flag to greet the waking city. COLA President Geovannie Brackett was there to disclaim credit:

Guatemala + Int'l community Looking At Bze Referendum Law
And while COLA is leading the charge against the referendum in Belize, they got some heavy fuel from the Prensa Libre paper in Guatemala today - which published an image of the full Guatemalan claim to Belize. Now it's a matter of fact - and one that has never changed, but most Belizeans, on seeing it, would recoil in disgust: they're claiming half the country! But going beyond emotion, Guatemala is looking very closely at Belize's referendum process, and they've zeroed in on Belize's referendum law. According to referendum act, a successful referendum must have 60% voter participation for the result to be binding, which means that if the threshold is not met, then the referendum is null and void. And that's what the Prensa Libre article was about: that with the 60% restriction, it puts Guatemala at a disadvantage. The article questions whether or not Belize has acted in good faith with that amendment, which came months before the signing of the Special Agreement between the two countries.

FFB Hyped For Centro Semi's, Looking Ahead to GOLD Cup
As we told you at the top of our newscast, Belize's National "A" Team qualified for the first time in its history of participating in the UNCAF's Copa Centroamericana. The team remains in Costa Rica tonight - as it preps for Friday night's semi-final match against Honduras. But, while they keep their eyes on this prize, they're also looking to the horizon: the prestigious Gold Cup, which will be played in July in the US at some of the finest football stadiums in the U.S and against 11 other countries including Canada, Cuba, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States. Indeed, it is a time of excitement in football circles, and after less than one year as President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente is on top of the world. He returned to Belize today after watching history being made yesterday. He explained that the international community, which was skeptical of Belize, is now stunned by the team's performance thus far: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "I am very excited about the performance from our national team in Costa Rica. Certainly, the other Central American countries were not expecting Belize to perform so well, and they did not believe us when we said to them that we're here to surprise them. So, certainly, our national team has perform well, and we're excited about it."

Police Review Surveillance Video For Majdi's Murder
Police have been reviewing the security camera footage of 50 year old Majdi Agha's murder yesterday morning in the Butonwood Bay area. As we reported, a neighbor's security cameras captured the entire execution. Those who have seen the video tell us that it shows a man of Hispanic, or possibly Arabic or East Indian descent waiting for Agha in his yard on Keating Crescent. As he pulled up to open the gate, the shooter emerged from the yard and shot him. Agha survived and tried to run, but the shooter walked behind him and fired more shots. His wife and newborn child were in the car witnessing all this. She jumped out in panicked desperation and started to scream while the shooter finished him off. The gunman then ran behind the yard into an empty lot to escape. Contrary to reports we received on the scene police do not believe he was wearing a mask. Still, the gunman's face is not made out clearly on the video.

PM Says He Does Not Support Faber For Deputy
For weeks we've been reporting on the contest in the UDP to see who will be the party's Deputy Leader. Chairman Patrick Faber has done the "not-done-thing" and challenged the sitting Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega for the Deputy's post. It's created major friction within the senior ranks of the UDP - and - at the official level - the Prime Minister has steered clear of choosing a favourite. But today, he changed course. He appeared on WAVE Radio's Fus Thing Da Mawnin - and - in what seemed to be what we'd refer to colloquially as a "hand-set-play", he responded directly to a caller who asked him what he thinks of the race for Deputy. Here's a voice recording of what the PM said: Voice of Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Party Leader, UDP "All sorts of reasons, including for reasons of ethnic and geographic balance, I do not support the Minister of Education in his challenge to the Deputy Party Leader." And if that sounded a little unclear, the PM repeated it to the press at the end of the ICJ launch. Here's what he told us:

More Comment On Teachers' Dispute
Honourable Finnegan also held forth on a number of news-making issues - one of them being the Government's ongoing dispute with teachers. We'll have that shortly, but first to yesterday's flare-up with the teachers. As we reported, the president of BNTU's Belmopan Branch publicly accused Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar of Union Busting. That's after the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU received an invitation from the Ministry of Education for select Belmopan schools to attend a meeting with Saldivar at the George Price Center today. We today asked the Prime Minister what he thinks of it - and he refused point-blank saying that he is not intimately aware of the details. Here's how the conversation quickly turned when one reporter pressed the issue: Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News "Was it appropriate for the Minister of National Security to have the Minister of Education to instruct teachers to close their doors, and send students home today for a meeting in the capital?"

Woman Gets Five Years For Ammo
We take a break now from all the politics for some court news - about a woman who's serving time for possession of unlicensed ammunition. 25 year-old Natalie Coleman is serving a 5 year sentence after she was convicted of firearm offences in the Magistrates Court today. In December of 2011, police visited her home and found four 12-gauge shotgun cartridges. She was charged jointly with her boyfriend, 22 year-old Randy Dominguez, for keeping unlicensed ammunition, but Dominguez's attorney was able to get the charge withdrawn when they showed the court that he was not present at the time of the search. So, Coleman alone stood trial for the ammunition, and the police officers who made the bust came and testified to it before Magistrate Cayetano.

A Fair For Scholarships
The Embassy of Taiwan held its 2013 scholarship briefing this morning at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel. Over 20 Belizean scholarship seekers took the opportunity to sit in this morning and learn about the Scholarship program. Ambassador David Wu explained the idea behind the scholarship fair: Currently there are about 100 Belizean students pursuing degrees in Taiwan in fields such as journalism, public health, nursing, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology.

BCM Wants to Build Its Own Citrus Plant?
There's some interesting information coming out of the citrus belt tonight. Belize Citrus Mutual - the growers group that claims to represent a majority of the industry's fruit production says it's considering building its own Citrus Processing facility. Normally, that's not the kind of thing one would take seriously, but Citrus Mutual does have what you might call, a lot of juice. And they've written a letter to the A letter to the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture to ask how it should proceed. The background to the letter is that the sole processing facility at CPBL is functioning but beset by constant disputes between the majority and minority shareholders. So now, Citrus Mutual wants its own, independent of all that fighting. So is this proposal what would be called a dead raise - a proposal meant solely to exert leverage on a situation? We won't even dare to hazard a guess - meaning we'll definitely take a wait and see approach on this one!

Finnegan Says He Never Paid Gangs
Two weeks ago, in the aftermath of the Dean Street Massacre, the area representative for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan interceded quickly to get leader of the George Street gang into an emergency meeting with the Prime Minister in Belmopan. This was widely and roundly criticized - and then it was followed by a rumor that Finnegan had sponsored an all-expense paid retreat for the gang leaders in their Gales Point Manatee hide-away. That was never more than a rumor but it gained traction - and even the Chamber of Commerce bit on it. So today, since we had him in a game mood, we asked Finnegan, did he pay the GSG to take a vacation? Hon. Michael Finnegan "Of course, I got involved because I was afraid of the repercussions, so I got involved, and I heard the Chamber of Commerce sent out a release saying that we were in negotiations these gang members. That is not true. We were no negotiation with the gang members in that meeting with the Minister of National Security, the Prime Minister, and myself. That is not true, but let me go one step further.

Hon. Finnegan Calls Hon. Fonseca A "Congenital Liar"
And while we are on the subject - what about those meetings that the leader of the opposition had on Dean and George Street with the community after the mass murder? Those meeting were held in the Mesopotamia division, Finnegan's turf. And that's probably why Finnegan went-off today when we asked him to discuss how Francis Fonseca seemed to be edging in on him: Hon. Michael Finnegan "Mr. Vasquez, when the Opposition Leader first gave you that interview, he said that he met with 30 people in a yard on Dean Street. When he had an interview last week on Open Your Eyes, that 30 was moved up to 40 people. So - I want you to put this on, the numbers too - let me tell you something, Mr. Vasquez, the Leader of the Opposition - we are not in parliament now, we are out here - is a congenital liar because no yard on Dean Street can hold 30 people, absolutely no yard in my division on Dean Street can hold that amount of people. Then, he went on to say that there are 4 and 5 houses in 1 yard. That is a lie; no yard in the Mesopotamia Division can ever hold 4 or 5 house. And he said on West Street, that's a lie."

Man Injured In Coast Guard Accident Explains
Over the weekend there was a boat accident on the sea that involved a Belize Coastguard Boston Whaler vessel and a semi submerged barge. The accident happened around 5:20 on Saturday morning between St George's Caye and Drowned Caye. The Coastguard vessel was transporting a Film Crew to St George's Caye when it crashed into the semi submerged barge. Roughly about 22 passengers were onboard, 3 of who were coast guard officers. Several persons were injured including the film's lead actor and co-producer Corin Nemec. Nemec received a broken leg and was transported to the Medical Associate's Hospital in Belize were he had to receive emergency surgery. He is tonight recovering and spoke with 7news from his hospital bed. He told us his crew has been filming out at St George's Caye for a few days and that the Belize Coastguard was a part of the movie storyline. But on that day he says they were going too fast and the boat driver didn't see the wreck that lay ahead:

Channel 5

Belize/Guatemala referendum process begins now
The official launch of an education campaign for the October referendum process took place today. To give the event an air of bi-partisanship, both the leader of the opposition and the prime minister addressed the launch. The opposition remained on neutral grounds supporting the process, but stopped short of supporting a Yes vote. The Prime [...]

Caribbean flags removed for ‘No to ICJ’ flags
The flag monument inside the roundabout by the Save U Plaza is a welcoming landmark at the Philip Goldson Highway entrance to Belize City. The colorful flags of the Caribbean normally fly at the monument.  But about three a.m., someone took down the flags and replaced them with white flags that had a very clear [...]

Guatemala media alleges unfair referendum legislation
On the day the campaign was launched in Belize, the popular Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre lashed out on the Government of Belize. The article claims that the government intentionally changed the legislation to increase the voter participation to sixty percent to make the referendum valid. Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez, was asked about the [...]

B.N.T.U. and P.S.U. says union busting; P.M. says not so
The head of the Belmopan Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union, Corland Galvez and her membership are up in arms over a letter from the Ministry of Education authorizing the closure of schools at noon today. The letter asked parents pick up their children because teachers would be attending a meeting with Minister of [...]

Finnegan says B.N.T.U. has a right to demonstrate
We also asked Minister Finnegan to weigh in on the issue and he says he supports a national demonstration which is well within their democratic rights.   Michael Finnegan, Mesopotamia Area Representative “If the teachers feel aggrieve, the teachers have a right to demonstrate. This is how our democracy work in our country and I [...]

P.M. supports Gappy for Deputy Party Leader
The campaign for U.D.P. Party Leader is heating up and it was all on the airwaves this morning. Party Chairman, Patrick Faber, is challenging sitting Deputy Party Leader, Gaspar Vega. Faber has released a campaign ad and has been making his media rounds, both on the impending B.N.T.U. demonstration and his bid for deputy leader [...]

Faber not fazed by P.M.’s support for Vega
At the same time, Minister Faber was on Love FM and stunned by the pronouncement he maintained that the Prime Minister has confidence in him.   Patrick Faber, Party Chairman, U.D.P. “My boss, the Prime Minister, has indicated publicly that he believes that I; he supports me to be the next leader of the party. [...]

Finnegan says Faber suited to steer U.D.P.
While the Prime Minister supports Vega other heavy weights in the U.D.P. are coming out in support of Faber. Former Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel, Dean Lindo and others are safely in Faber’s corner. Today Mesopotamia area representative Michael Finnegan, never one to mince words, placed on record his unwavering support for Faber. Finnegan held a [...]

George Street is better than what P.U.P. say
In the aftermath of the George Street massacre two weeks ago, opposition leader, Francis Fonseca, during a press conference, urged community leaders, political, social and religious, to visit residents of the crime-ridden neighborhood.  The objective, as he put it, was to ensure the people that the state is on their side and that the heinous [...]

G.O.B. didn’t pay George Street Bosses
When asked if he organized and financed the immediate departure of the George Street bosses to Gales Point following the tragedy, Finnegan told reporters that the assertion is baseless.  As the Mesopotamia area representative, Finnegan says he was instrumental in bringing the relevant government ministers as well as the gang leaders to the negotiation table.  [...]

Woman to soon find out fate for burning house
  A jury of nine stepped into the deliberating room this afternoon to determine the fate of twenty four year old Keisha Banner, a resident of Belize City accused of burning down her boyfriend’s house located on Vernon Street on January thirtieth 2011. Banner’s trial began last Wednesday, in the Supreme Court before Justice Troadio [...]

What’s next for Belize’s Football selection?
It was a proud moment when the National Selection “A” team Belize scored the winning goal against Nicaragua at the Estadio National de Costa Rica inching closer to the July Gold Cup. It was not until the final minutes of play that Belizeans savored the victory when Super striker, Deon McCauley secured the glorious goal.  [...]

Taiwan offers scholarships for Belizeans
More than twenty scholarships will be made available by the government of Taiwan to Belizean students for the upcoming academic year. The areas of study for either a bachelor or masters degree are varied and recipients will also have the opportunity to study mandarin. At a briefing this morning, the Taiwanese head of Mission, walked [...]

LOVE FM

MCC Grounds to Be Upgraded for Sporting Events Only
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today announced that effective immediately, the MCC Grounds will not be used for anything other than sports. According to a press release dated January fifteenth but emailed to the media this morning, the decision to reserve the stadium...

UDP Ministers Campaign To Be Deputy Party Leader
The Convention to choose a new deputy leader of the ruling United Democratic Party got pretty interesting today, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow publically declared that he is not supporting the Collet Area representative in his bid to unseat Gaspar Vega from the position.&n...

Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano
The president of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente returned to the country this morning after witnessing the national team advance to the semi finals of the Copa Centroamericano. The historic victory for the Belize National Football team came yesterday evening as ...

Teachers' Union In Orange Walk Plans Demonstration
The BNTU in Orange Walk are planning to take action in the nation’s Capital next week. Dalila Ical reports: “Members of the Belize National Teacher’s Union Orange Walk Branch are preparing for what appears to be an imminent demonstration in Belmopan Tuesday ...

Woman Found Guilty of Arson
Twenty-three year old Keisha Banner, charged with arson for burning down the house of her common-law husband, Deshon Rowland, was found guilty of the charge today. The jury of eight women and one man deliberated for about two hours and a half before it arrived at its verdict, which was...

Pregnant Mother Sentenced On Ammunition Charges
Twenty-five year old Natalie Coleman, who is seven months pregnant and has a son nine years old, was sentenced to five years today after she was found guilty of kept ammunition without a gun license. The incident occurred on December 20, 2011 in Biscayne Village. The police, members of...

LOVE TV

Businessman murdered in Buttonwood Bay neighborhood
A shooting incident in Belize City this morning has left one man dead. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Demonstration against crime planned for Friday
In 2012 Belize saw its share of stand ups against crime in the form of peaceful demonstrations. People vented their frustrations, the sadness and dissatisfaction with the way the crime situation in Belize was headed and by the end of the year, there was a record number of murders documented. And 2013 hasn’t started so peacefully since the country was rocked by the recent quadruple massacre which took place in Belize City, as a result, Activist Phillip “Fada” Henry is calling on residents from the North to the South of the country to come out in yet another demonstration against crime. About a week ago, Henry had called on the media to presence a protest on Albert Street, however when Love News arrived at the scene there were less than five people wielding signs in protest. He explained to us what exactly happened on that day. But the question lies on what a demonstration will do to effect change in the crime situation in the country. Love News addressed to Henry that there have been demonstrations over and over again against these acts, yet there has not been much change to talk about, however he told us, that this demonstration must bring transformation.

New officer takes command of police in Toledo
A new officer has taken command of the police formation in the Toledo district. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Water shortage forces cancellation of classes in Stann Creek
Close to seven hundred primary school students in the Stann Creek district were out of classes for the last couple of days. The problem was a shortage of water in the villages of San Roman and Santa Rosa because of a broken water pump. Love News understands that for sanitary and health reasons, the children were kept away from classes on Monday and today. Late this evening, we were informed that the problem with the busted water pump was remedied and the good news is that tonight, there is running water again in the affected villages. That means, that classes should resume as per normal on Wednesday.

Postal clerk accused of damage to property
Twenty-eight year old postal clerk Warren Anthony, a resident of Lemonal Village, was charged with damage to property and harm when he appeared in court. Anthony pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $1,500.00 and his case was adjourned until March 25. The incident occurred on Saturday, January 19 in Lemonal Village. Anthony’s ex-common-law wife reported to the police that Anthony went to her residence and punched her in her mouth and threw down her cellular phone and broke it. The woman said her cell phone has a value of two hundred dollars.

Income Tax Department recognizes the work of its staff
The well known creole saying: NOH WAIT TIL THE MAN DED FUH TELL AM IH GOOD was aptly applied over the weekend when the Income Tax Department took time out to recognize some of their own for years of dedicated service. Our senior national correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.

Awareness campaign on ICJ referendum to be launched on Wednesday
The public launch of the education campaign on the ICJ referendum is set to take place tomorrow in Belize City. According to a government statement, the public awareness campaign will be launched during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel. Guest speaker at the launch will be Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party Francis Fonseca is also scheduled to speak at tomorrow’s public awareness campaign launch in preparation for the October sixth referendum. The simultaneous referendum will take place in Belize and Guatemala where citizens of both countries will decide whether or not to take Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. Tomorrow’s launch of the ICJ referendum public awareness campaign will be broadcast live on Love FM beginning at ten o’clock in the morning.

Unions accuse government of union-busting
The unions are accusing government of union-busting. This follows an announcement that the Ministry of Education has given the okay for half day classes on Wednesday to facilitate a meeting with teachers in Belmopan. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Centre, area representative fro Belmopan, John Saldivar wants to meet with teachers in the Cayo district, purportedly to talk about the collective bargaining agreement currently under negotiation. The announced time for the meeting is one o’clock on Wednesday afternoon at the George Price Centre in Belmopan. The Unions have called on teachers to boycott the meeting, and denounced the move by the government side as nothing short of union-busting.

Belize gets historic football victory in Costa Rica
There is enough bad news to depress an entire nation; but we’ll defer those stories for a while and open up our newscast with news coming out of San Jose, Costa Rica. The National Stadium in the Costa Rican capital was the venue for a history-making football match featuring Belize and Nicaragua. For Belize, it was a chance to do what had never been done before, advance to the next round of competition in the Copa Centroamericana. Belize needed to win the game to be assured of a berth to the next round and from the opening whistle, the team came out hard. Star goal keeper Woodrow West was at the top of his game, making a number of saves. And then came the big moment of the first half of the game for Belize. The equalizing goal for Nicaragua was scored in the seventy fourth minute. But in the ninety first minute of the ballgame, Deon McCauley gave team Belize the decisive edge. The win by Team Belize assures the nation of its first advance beyond the first round in international football competition.

PlusTV

Public awareness campaign for the Belize / Guatemala Referenda launched
The date for the simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala is set for October 6th of this year. The question b...

Ambassador Fred Martinez says Guatemalans are being misinformed
One looming cloud over the October referendum is a provision in Belize’s referendum act which was amended shortly a...

Anti-ICJ activists ejected from Referendum event
Anti-ICJ activists were tossed from the referendum event this morning by armed police. As we said, there is also op...

Marsha Reid in Court for stabbing death of BDF soldier
Marsha Reed, accused of stabbing a BDF soldier to death late last year, was in court today for preliminary hearings...

"No ICJ" flags raised in Belize City
The Belize Flag monument in Belize City was decorated with NO ICJ flags. Reports are that as early as 2:45am today ...

PM does not support Minister Patrick Faber in his bid to be Deputy Leader of the UDP
Minister Patrick Faber is campaigning against Hon Gaspar Vega to be the deputy leader in the United Democratic part...

Police Officers train in Riot Control
Earlier we showed you the Belizean Flag monument with no ICJ flags swaying in the wind. While COLA was allegedly fl...

MCC Stadium is for sporting events only
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports issued a press Release Regarding the Use of the MCC Football Stadium. L...

National Football Team needs more financial support to improve and represent Belize
Perhaps that decision has something to do with the recent football wins for Belize. Belizeans are still celebrating...

Keisha Banner on trial for arson
nother woman was in court today because of an argument with her boyfriend that turned dangerous. Keisha Banner has ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Community Disaster Response Team Training
The training commences this Friday January 25th , 2013 at the Caye Caulker Community Center starting at 7:00 PM .All are invited to attend . Friday’s topic will include the introduction and the first 3 units: Why establish a community disaster response team; CDRT’s and disasters; CDRT’s and Disaster Preparedness and Community Assessment after a disaster. At this meeting the dates and time for other training sessions will be determined. The Belize Red Cross is looking for community members to be trained as Community Disaster Response Teams to volunteer with NEMO and other organization during Emergencies. If you believe you are a team player and want to make a difference in your community, please join us by signing up for the training that will commence as early as this Saturday or Sunday. Following the training; if you attend all sessions, you will receive a certificate and your names will be included in the Community Emergency Plan that will be sent for approval to NEMO. This is a non –political training and is geared to help you to help your community in Disasters and other related hazards. The training will cover all the Units below and will require a team leader for each of the task listed below, so invite your friends and neighbor. Food and Refreshments will be provided at all training sessions. The training is as follows:

Blogs

A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting the Palenque Maya Ruins (Part 3)
In addition to Maya temples and other structures, there were plenty of other interesting sights at the Palenque Archaeological Site in Chiapas, Mexico. We saw one of our favorite tropical birds, the Blue-Crowned Mot Mot. These birds must like hanging out at the ruins as the first one we saw was in Cahal Pech in San Ignacio. I love the way they just sit still on a branch for so long, allowing us to take multiple shots. Wish more birds would behave that way! And this tree, on a closer look, revealed a fascinating fruit (reputed as a possible cancer cure), soursop. Soursop (graviola) Here's a pretty tree -- no idea what it is, though. Anyone? It was interesting to me that vendors were allowed inside the park; we hadn't seen that at any parks in Belize. We bought a refrigerator magnet with a hand-painted image of a Resplendent Quetzal. Big spenders, I tell ya! I didn't know exactly what this was until I did a little research. Turns out that the Palenque site included an extensive system of aqueducts and channels used for water management by the Maya. In addition to engineered waterways, there was a lovely river running through the site. The stairs to access the river, which was much lower than the rest of the site, were extensive, but worth all the sore quads. The jungle in this area was impossibly beautiful!

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again
Got up slightly later than usual this morning at 5.25 am and virtually immediately heard the sound I dread. No, not Rose telling me what to do but the sound of rain. Very heavy rain. It was raining incessantly- I couldn’t see it because the sun (?) didn’t come up- until around 7.30 am when it started to abate. It was still ‘there’though waiting to return and as it got lighter it was a very grey, cold day. Not looking good for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today. Things got worse when at around 8.30 am the heavens opened up again and the rain came down,did it come down. Difficult to see where the water ends and the sky begins. Giving the morning up as a ‘bad job’ I elected to try to cheer myself up by going for breakfast at Estel’s so I put on my rainwear and headed on down there. Seems like nearly everybody ( a bit of exaggeration here) had the same idea as me because the place was packed. So packed I had to sit inside. Thought this was a bummer until I saw people sitting outside getting hit by rain spray.

International Sources

Starting Over On A Caribbean Island
One Step At A Time... In February 1999, Ann Kuffner and her husband Mike stepped out of a tiny turbo-prop plane onto the tarmac in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, for the first time. Ann and Mike had come to this Caribbean island off the coast of mainland Belize with a group of intrepid adventurers exploring opportunities in a country none of them had ever visited before. As Ann explains, "We had no idea what momentous life changes would occur as a result of that tour." Ann and Mike, living in California at the time, had been day-dreaming about a life in the Caribbean as Ann puts it, "forever." Belize, with its Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, seemed an ideal choice for where to realize their Caribbean fantasies. "We did have it in our minds, though," Ann adds, "that, if we liked Belize as much as we thought we might based on our research, we might buy a place of our own in the country. An investment near the Caribbean Sea seemed like a no-brainer in 1999."

Belize Defaulted Bonds Gain as Restructuring Nears
Belize defaulted bond prices climbed as the government and creditors near agreement on a restructuring. The price on Belize’s 8.5 percent dollar bonds maturing in 2029 gained 2.7 percent to 55.99 cents on the dollar at 3:47 p.m. New York time. The bonds have climbed from a low of 30.5 cents on Aug. 15 after the government missed a $23 million coupon payment. The restructuring may value the defaulted debt at as much as 70 cents on the dollar, more than double what the government initially put forward in a proposal last year, Carl Ross, a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said in a report today. “The end result is likely to be significantly more generous to bondholders than the initial offer,” Ross wrote, adding that his analysis was based on “incomplete information.”

Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Kicks off Copa Centroamericana Semifinals
Saturday’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Copa Centroamericana Semifinals game (en vivo live score below) was confirmed to news after last night’s results. Both Belize and Honduras advanced to the semifinals after slow starts in this Copa. But with lackluster scoring results, neither team appears a dominant favorite for Saturday’s match. Prior to this weekend’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 game (start time 2:30 PM PST), Belize struggled this Copa. In Group A, Belize went two games, scoreless. First against Costa Rica on January 18, Belize failed to deliver a single goal, being defeated at Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Then two days later, Belize returned to the stadium, and failed to score again. Against Guatemala, the team delivered a 0-0 draw.