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#457264 - 02/05/13 03:20 PM Today's Belize News: February 5, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

COLA HOLDS SUCCESSFUL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING IN BELIZE CITY, REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO ‘NO ICJ’ CAMPAIGN
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) re-committed to the development of its membership and the continuous fight against attempted tyranny and misbehavior of leaders and authorities at its annual general meeting held today in Belize City. At the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Hall in Belize City, members heard from their representatives on the executive as to the organization’s activities in the past year and plans for the year to come. COLA bid farewell to Vice-president Karim Mawema, who is relocating to Los Angeles, California, to work. But his departure is not for good, as he remains committed to the cause and has agreed to open COLA’s first international chapter in the California area for California Belizeans. A second chapter is being constructed on the East Coast in Florida, showing COLA’s commitment to the important Belizean-American voice in national development.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Gloomy Days in Paradise
Even the pelicans and seagulls look a little lazy as a few cold fronts have been passing over Belize and bringing some gloomy weather and quite a bit of rain lately. Here is a scene from San Pedro's neighboring island of Caye Caulker. - photo by Dorian Nuńez

Ambergris Caye High School Information Meeting
The Board of Directors for the newly formed Ambergris Caye High School invite you to a Parent/Student information meeting; Monday, 25 February 2013 at 7:00 PM upstairs at Fido's. Ambergris Caye High School is a private, Texas Accredited, Online School. Enrollment for the Fall semester is limited to 15 and spots will fill up fast. ACHS has a longer school year, 208 days, and a longer school day, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. In addition to offering all of the academic courses necessary to receive a diploma from the Texas Tech Independent High School District, students will have ample opportunity to participate in sports (sailing and SCUBA diving) and community service. If you are looking for an alternative high school for your child, come to the meeting and get all of your questions answered. Ambergris Caye High School could be just the solution you are looking for.

VIDEO: Chocolate Boutique Opens in San Pedro
Belize Chocolate Company (BCC), whose brands include Kakaw Belizean chocolate, Wangla bar and Noah Boah's Chocolate Syrup, opened the doors to the first ever chocolate boutique in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Belize Chocolate Company founded in 2007 has been producing fine chocolate in the form of Kakaw using certified organic fair trade beans from the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA).

Misc Belizean Sources

The Chocolate Festival of Belize
The Toledo Cacao Festival was born in 2007 and has been celebrated each year on the same Commonwealth Day weekend towards the end of May. It attracts hundreds of visitors from around Belize as well as overseas. In 2013 the festival falls on the weekend of 24-26 May. This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and establish it as one of Belize’s vibrant and growing tourism destinations. It also celebrates the tremendous contribution to development in the south made by the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association (TCGA) and its hundreds of farmer members. The Toledo Cacao Festival worked well as a name within Belize but many people do not understand the story that links cacao to cocoa and chocolate, which in the end is the real attraction. Likewise Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio are better known internationally than Toledo, Belize. So this year the festival organizers are announcing their ambition to capture international attention by re-branding the event as the Chocolate Festival of Belize.

Belize Launches Educational Video on Belize/Guatemala Referendum
October 6, 2013, is the day when Belizeans will go to the polls to vote in the referendum whether we should go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the old dispute and claim which Guatemala has over Belize. Without a doubt, everyone should try to make his/her vote count. To Vote Yes or No, we all need to be educated on the issue. Here is the first information video that will shed some light on this matter and help you to formulate your questions. Please not only view and listen to it, but study it carefully. LONG LIVE BELIZE!

AJ's for sale
Not So Average Bar In San Pedro For Sale, A local hot spot with a great reputation.... Voted best bar food by reputable blogger. Average Joe's Bar is known for its live entertainment and great food. located just off the beech on one of the busiest streets in San Pedro. We are a busy little bar that all the locals enjoy coming to, we serve the best variety of bar food around.

BCVI at Lions Club for Vision services Feb 6th
BCVI (Belize Council for the Visually Impaired) will be at the San Pedro Lions Den this Wednesday, Feb 6th at 8:30AM - spread the word and let your friends and family know!

BREADFRUIT PIE
1 breadfruit 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped) 1 cup grated “medium” Cheddar 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese 3 tablespoon butter 3 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup onion, finely diced 1 tablespoon powdered mustard 1/4 jabenero pepper diced fine pinch of nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon black pepper We’ve got to pre-boil the breadfruit before we can assemble it in the pie for baking. Cut off the stem part, then rest that flat side down on your counter and cut into wedges. Then peel the skin off with a potato peeler or sharp pairing knife. The final step is to remove the sort of spongy center (almost like the continuation of the stem), so you’re left with a wedge that all breadfruit meat.

COBEC College Fair Wednesday
This year's COBEC College Fair is Wednesday at ITVET in Belize City. This is a great opportunity for Cayo youth interested in studying abroad. Sacred Heart Junior College is organizing a bus to take students there, and it's around half price. "The Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) will be having its annual fair at the ITVET centre in Belize City on Wednesday February 6 from 4:30pm - 7:00pm. COBEC is comprised of U.S. and Belize Universities and Junior Colleges that have special agreements for Belizeans to go and finish their Bachelors or Masters degrees in the U.S. Representatives form the U.S. and Belize Universities will be present to give out necessary information. Financial institutions will also be present to give info on student loans."

Channel 7

Union Executive Joint Council Agree To Government's Performance-Based Pay Raise Plan
In our last newscast on Friday night, we showed you the Union Leaders and government making "headway" in negotiations. After a six and a half hour meeting, they agreed on a salary adjustment proposal and the union leaders took that to their executives on Saturday. That joint council meeting was held in Belmopan on Saturday - and what a release calls "the overwhelming majority" of the union executives from the BNTU, the PSU and the APSSM voted in favour of the proposal. Today the PSU President Mervin Blades gave us the rundown on what's in the proposal and what's next: Mervyn Blades, President PSU "Majority of our executive endorses the proposal and so they have us the green light to carry that proposal now to membership. The first meeting being Wednesday in Belize City - as you know as part of the union we have to carry it to membership before we agree with anything because we don't want membership to say that we didn't consult them, so we have to take it although executive represent membership, we still carry it down to grassroots so that they know, they understand the entire thing and then if they give us the green light and say yes, then let us sign and get it going then we can do that. But before that we have to take it to them."

First City Killing In Two Weeks Happened In Front Of A School
January was a deadly month, but, very luckily in Belize City things had cooled down somewhat after the mass murder on Dean Street. But, the calm ended this morning when the city witnessed its first murder in two weeks. And it was another one of those broad daylight killings. Worse, this one happened a block away from St. Martin's De Porres Primary School - at 8:00 am, right when kids were going to school. This morning, Gary Bowen's common law wife and sister had to be escorted off the scene in distress As the 33 year old lay on the ground, dead between the sidewalk and a parked car - the wails of his family still audible. The Bullet markers where the fatal shots hit him.

Man In Coma, Family Says Police To Blame
Tonight, a well-known tour guide Bert Nicholas, known on Caye Caulker as "Ras Creek", is in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at KHMH. That is after he had to undergo emergency surgery on his brain for injuries he reportedly suffered after getting into a physical confrontation with a police officer attached to the Island's Tourism Police Unit. 7News has been in contact with multiple sources on the Island, including Nicholas' wife, Ann Sanson, who told us that on around 3 weeks ago, he was out on his boat with a number of tourists exceeding the limit of passengers he was allowed to carry. Officers from the Tourism Police Unit stopped the boat, and told him to desist because he was breaking the Tour guide regulations. The information is sketchy at this point, but reports are that Nicholas and that officer got into a physical confrontation in which one of the tourism police officers allegedly inflicted injuries to his head.

Fergala's Family Rejects Police Story
And while he is in a coma, the family of a Canadian man who died from injuries he sustained in custody of Belize police is rejecting the official story. Jeffrey Fergala's family is quoted in a news outlet called Metro in Calgary, Canada as saying that the police story is quote, "unequivocally false." As we have reported, that story is that he fell in the cell due to drunken-ness and sustained a head injury which led to his death three days later. Fergala was a skilled martial artist and was in Belize to help with the construction of a house in Calla Creek.

Family Gets Off Weed Charge After One Member Pleads Guilty
Tonight, an entire family of 6 is back at home after they dodged a drug trafficking charge after one of the members pleaded guilty to weed the found on the family's property. According to police, they conducted a search on a residence located at number 52 C Dean Street on Police say that on Saturday, February 2, at about 5:30 a.m. Present at the time were Mark Anthony Betson, his mother, 54 year-old Patricia Wayne, 22 year-old Ludrick Wagner, 29 year-old Giovanni Barrella, 29 year-old Natasha Gilbert, 70 year-old Gilbert Lightburn, and 33 year-old Clifford Betson. According to the officers, they found a black plastic bag in the yard which contained 62 grams - or 2.19 ounces - of cannabis. As a result, all 7 of the occupants were jointly charged with drug trafficking. They were all brought to court today where they were arraigned before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, where Betson wasted no time and claimed the weed with a guilty plea.

Harnessing The Potential Of Schoolchildren
On Friday's Newscast, we told you about the country-wide tour of motivational speakers, Bert Oliva and Robin Korth, scheduled for this week. The purpose of the tour is to provide youths with a positive outlook on trying to achieve their goals by overcoming fears they may have. Today was the first day of their tour, and we stopped in at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts for at their Seminar this morning. Here's what a few of the participants told us about their experience with the exercises they were encouraged to take part in. Robin Korth "Don't think that you are small. Never think that your life is done or that it's this little, know that you are beautiful and remarkable and amazing and that anything you dream you can do. We always talked about being something, like what you are going to be, we already are, we are amazing creatures on this planet and we just need to know it and put one foot in front of the other and before we know it we have a whole pathway of of stuff that we have accomplished. The other thing that I would like to say is the word "try" - take that out of your vocabulary - it's either do it or you don't right."

COLA Reloads For ICJ Campaign
COLA has been much in the news and on the talk show circuit recently. And on Saturday they held their annual General; Meeting at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Hall in Belize City. There was no challenge to president Geovannie Bracket, but he did get a new Vice President, Gilroy Usher. He said with the ICJ vote coming, COLA will re-double its efforts:.. Gilroy Usher, elected Vice President - COLA "We plan to continue to build COLA's image and continue to try to work our hardest to ensure that COLA is ready as the leading advocacy group in this country."

Will Walk The Border
And the man who would be in charge of the Punta Gorda Branch is Wil Maheia. He's an activist on many fronts but primarily as an arch nationalist. He's earned raves for his trips to Jalacte to plant the Belizean Flag - and now he has another border project in mind. He wants to mark the Belizean border and it starts with machetes:.. Wil Maheia - PNP "One of the things that we will be starting in 3 weeks' time - we have secured 100 machetes. We will begin to clear the border lines ourselves, just like when we started to place the flag it was one of us; two of us. Rufus when you went down there maybe it was 6-10 of us, now its bus loads. We will start to clear that borderline by had with machetes - one machete at a time and we will start from Gracias Adios, up the Sarstoon River and we will begin chopping and we will chop and chop until we get up to the Chiquibul and Caracol. I don't know how long it's going to take but in a couple of weeks we will start chopping along the borderline."

Indian Church School Gets Solar
In Indian Church Village - their concern is not so much about the far flung reaches of the border as it is with electricity. The remote village behind Shipyard in the Orange Walk District has no electricity - which makes schooling difficult for the young villagers. There are 46 of them in the Indian Church Government School - and now, with funding from the BNE Trust, they have solar panels that provide electricity. The project was formally launched today and the principal explained why it is important. Eukemio Magara, Indian Church Gov't School "This project here is very a generous and valuable gift. When I say that, it's because this area like in Indian Church where electricity is remote, so we welcome that because the children are the ones who benefit the most. This solar system will give us that opportunity to move on with their education as a whole and that means that the children will be better educated in a way and their motivation is very high when it comes to this system."

Child Perishes In Blaze
Tonight a family in San Narciso, Corozal is devastated by tragedy after their three year old burnt to death under her crib. The fire happened at four this morning when 40 year old Ramona Cabrera awoke to find her mattress on fire - caused by a kerosene lamp that had fallen over. She got badly burnt trying to put out the fire and that's when she dashed out of the house, leaving three year old Danely Shaniri Guadalupe Cabrera inside. The child perished and Monica Bodden travelled to Coirozal to find out more about what happened: Today the body of 3 year old Danely Cabrera lay at the Corozal hospital morgue -after she was burnt alive inside her home in the village of San Narciso. It happened sometime between the hours of 2am and 3 this morning..

Another Newstime Murder
And before we go tonight, there was a murder in Belize City about half an hour ago - the second in less than 12 hours. This one happened on Banak street around the corner from the scene of this morning's murder. Police are processing the scene and have put down four bullet markers. The shooting happened on the street near the Meighan house - which has been the target of very many shootings over the past year.

Channel 5

Man shot in City
Breaking News: A few minutes ago, gun shots were fired on Banak Street. One person was shot and injured. Our news team has headed to the area and we will have a full report as soon as possible.

Early morning murder on Partridge Street
The first murder for the month of February took place this morning in the height of the rush hour. Hundreds of school children were heading to school around eight o’clock; others were going to work, when shots rang out on Partridge Street leaving residents traumatized. A Mahogany Street resident, Gary Bowen who turned thirty-three just [...]

Foreigners sexually assaulted during home invasion
There are limited details at this time and the Police are not saying much, but News Five has confirmed that there was a home invasion over the weekend in the village of Boston on the old Northern Highway. In the incident, two female foreigners were sexually abused. When our news team visited the site this [...]

N.T.U.C.B. to get salaries adjusted in 2014
At a meeting that lasted for at least five hours on Saturday, the joint councils of the unions discussed in detail a package from the government in respect of salary adjustments. The eight point proposal applies to teachers, public officers and pensioners and is to take effect next year and early indications are that temperatures [...]

Did absence of union member affect negotiations?
Since his withdrawal from last Friday’s meeting with the Prime Minister, the president of Association of Public Servants Senior Managers, Jose Castellanos, has not been heard from. The outspoken economist removed himself on the eve of the meeting after he was pilloried by the government’s mouthpiece, WAVE Radio. His absences from work due to union [...]

Toddler perishes in house fire
A fire in the village of San Narciso ended tragically for the Cabrera family. The inferno erupted around four o’clock this morning and aside from gutting the entire wooden structure, there was loss of innocent life.  A three year old could not be rescued when the fire ravaged through the house; her charred body was [...]

Flat tire gets contrabandistas busted
While our news team was returning from an assignment in San Narciso, they captured a scene that had the appearance of an accident. A pick-up truck with a blown rear right tire was being towed. But the people towing the vehicle were from the Customs Department. Apparently, they caught someone traveling from the San Victor [...]

Busted burying crack cocaine
Before noon on Sunday, Corozal police were in Calcutta village to carry out an anti-drug operation. When police arrived at the house of thirty-two year old Donovan Tillett, they found him with a shovel in hand and acting suspiciously. Donovan quickly placed the shovel down and police found nothing incriminating on him. They then turned [...]

Absent witness and loophole ends murder case
  There is justice for twenty-one year old Timroy Neal. After spending six years behind bars, Neal was acquitted of the murder of Elriquez Orellano which occurred on December twenty-first, 2006. Neal was only fifteen years old when he was charged for the gruesome murder of sixteen year old Orellano. In the Belmopan Supreme Court [...]

Rose’s Grill faces off the menu problems
Rose’s Grill and Bar has become an institution on the island of Caye Caulker and an internationally renowned favourite of locals and tourists seeking some authentic Belizean grilled flavor. But the grilling, which earned the thirteen year old establishment its fame, is also currently the source of its problems. The Caye Caulker Village Council says [...]

B.D.F. day; a family success
The Belize Defense Force celebrated the changing of the guard as Commander Dario Tapia handed over the reins of power to Brigadier General David Jones. In Friday’s newscast, we showed you the ceremony, pageantry and protocol inherent in such significant events. But what would a B.D.F. bash be without a display of its military might, [...]

COLA reboots with reelection
COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, held its AGM this weekend at the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Center. The primary purpose of the meeting was the election of a new Executive Committee, and that was handled speedily with the re-election of President Giovanni Brackett and his team. Brackett also took the opportunity to update [...]

James Adderley groundbreaking highlights on Sports Monday
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Orange Walk 1st division football competition completed its semi-final round yesterday at the Louisiana Football Field as the two teams to advance to the championship series emerged. In the nightcap, Progresso FC and Guinea Grass United clashed for the last time this season. [...]

LOVE FM

Toddler Dies In House Fire
A three year old girl lost her life during a fire early this morning in the Corozal District. Police reports are that just after four o’clock this morning they received reports of a house fire in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District. On arrival they saw a woode...

Police Launches Community Initiative
The police department today launched a community initiative in Belize City, designed to assist primary school children in staying in classes. The Healthy for Life Feeding Program is an initiative of the Community Policing Unit and targets one hundred and fifty selected needy stud...

New Addition to The Bar Association In Belize
A new attorney has been called to the Bar in Belize. Oscar William Selgado was admitted to the Belize Bar on Friday of last week, before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. A petition for admission was made on behalf of Selgado by Senior Counsel Said Musa, and supported by atto...

Motivational Speakers Tour The Country Under Restore Belize
A team of motivational speakers has begun a tour of the country to dialogue with young people. Bert Oliva and Robin Korth today embarked on the week-long Motivational Missionaries Tour and are expected to make contact with over six thousand Belizeans by the time the program ends. ...

Virgin of Peace Comes To Belize
About six years ago, the Virgin of Fatima visited Belize in her mission to promote peace. Once again the Virgin of peace will visit Belize and will be arriving tomorrow. Maria Chebat, one of the coordinators of the visit told us who the Virgin of Fatima is: "Virgin...

Belize Cricket Team Heads To World Cup Qualifying Tournament
Belize’s National Cricket Team is today traveling to Nassau, Bahamas to take part in a world cup qualifying tournament. The games start on Tuesday and continue through to Saturday. Fourteen players, representing all of the cricket teams in Belize have been chosen to p...

Vegetable Vendor Fined 10K For Cannabis
Twenty-eight year old Mark Betson, a vegetable vendor of Dean Street who has one leg, was fined $10,000.00 in court today after he pled guilty to drug trafficking for 62 grams of cannabis. Magistrate Adolph Lucas, who imposed the fine, gave Betson until December 31, 2013, to...

World Cancer Day Observed Today
World Cancer Day is being observed today under the theme” Cancer: Do you know? Get the Facts!”, which according to Clinical Director for the Belize Cancer Society, Ivorine Bulwer, among other things, focuses on prevention. It is no surprise then that the Belize Ca...

Belize Zoo Donates To The Cancer Centre
The Belize Zoo has made a contribution of two thousand, five hundred dollars to the Belize Cancer Centre. According to a statement, the money was raised though a special effort where gate receipts from a number of days at the Belize Zoo along with a ‘meet and greet’ i...


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#457265 - 02/05/13 03:20 PM Re: Today's Belize News: February 5, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

CTV3

Bishop's Walk For Peace Passes Through Orange Walk
The Bishop’s Walk for Peace commenced on Friday from the Rio Hondo River at the Corozal Border and arrived in Orange Walk Town on Saturday morning. The peace walk was organized by the Saint Martin Diaspora Church in Belize City in hopes to inspire others to join in the fight against violence and crime. Hipolito Novelo was present at this leg of the walk and here is that report. Students from various Catholic Denominations gathered in front of the Orange Walk Town Council to be part of the first ever Bishop’s Walk for Peace. The peace walk comes in response to the bloody year that 2012 was. There were a total of 145 murders in Belize out of which 90 were committed in the Belize District alone. Those statistics prompter Tanya Usher, one of the organizers of the walk, to undertake a country wide initiative that will take them all the way down south.

Romario Cawich: Customs Shot Me!
Contraband is practiced in almost every part of Belizean society. While some get away with their goods at the border entries, some take other alternative forms of crossing there goods, such as by the rivers especially in the north. This evening just after 4pm, customs officers accompanied by police men ensued a chase after a pickup that was thought to have unaccustomed goods. According to reports, the chase began in San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District. The pursuit ended on this feeder road that leads to San Victor Village in Corozal District. However, it was almost fatal. Lisa Cawich told us what happened. Lisa Cawich, Complainant “I was coming into the village and I saw the accident and I stop by and saw that it was my uncle. But he is a guy that will only stop at the junction to pick up people and take them to the village. By the time he was going back to the village the customs overtook him and stop in front of him because they thought he was taking contraband. So he stopped behind them and they knocked him. All his face was burst up. I just saw blood. I just stop and asked what happened because he was walking asking for help and the customs did not pay him. He came and drop here where the blood him. I saw him asking for help. This is the taxi that took him to the hospital.”

Duo Charged For Drug Trafficking
Tonight, three persons are facing charges of drug trafficking after one man thought he would be smart enough to trick the police. On Sunday, February 3rd, Corozal police conducted a search at a residence in the village of Calcutta, Corozal. When police arrived at the residence they saw a male person acting suspiciously and at the time of their arrival, had a shovel in his hand. Police then approached him and conducted a search for drugs and illegal firearms. Officers found nothing on him, but the search was not over yet. An area freshly dug, was seen by officers who proceeded to uncover it. And bingo, a transparent container was found containing 4 parcels wrapped in Aluminium foil which contained suspected cocaine. Police continued searching and dug up a second area close by. This time a glass container was found. It contained 4 transparent plastic bags with 3 parcels wrapped in Aluminium foil which when opened had a substance suspected to be crack cocaine. Police escorted the male person into his residence where a female and another male were. Nothing was found after the search in the house and all three persons were escorted to the Corozal Police Station along with the findings. As a result, only two of the three were charged. Sixty-seven year old Gilbert Tillett along with thirty-two year old Donovan Tillett, both of Calcutta Village, were charged for Drug Trafficking.

High Speed Chase On The Phillip Goldson Highway?
Tonight, there are unconfirmed reports of a high speed chase occurring on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Reports to our newsroom indicate that in the early hours of this morning, residents waiting for bus on the Northern Highway witnessed two vehicles zip by them, one appearing to be eluding the other. What we can confirm to you is that a champagne colored GEO prism bearing license plate CZL-C-19332 was seen off the side of the road with extensive damage to its rear. The vehicle was abandoned just in front of JAL’s Travel Agency in Corozal Town. Checks with the registration department show that the vehicle is registered to Albino Garcia, but up to news time, there has not been an official report filed to the police department. We will continue to follow this story and bring to you any new developments

Multiple Person Injured In Traffic Accident
Seven persons in a double cab pickup truck were rammed head on minutes before 2am of Sunday, February 3rd. Corozal Police visited the Pueblo Nuevo Road in the Corozal district sometime around 1:55 in the wee hours of the morning where on arrival a Maroon in color ford Pickup truck with extra cab bearing license plate Czl-C-17308 driven at the time by 21 year old Ivanir Patt was seen on the left hand side of the road. Also a white F250 Ford Pickup truck bearing license plate Czl-C-02707 was seen on the right hand side of the road facing a southwest direction with extensive damages to the front portion, when travelling from the ferry towards Corozal Town. Reports are thdat Ivanir Patt accompanied by Eber Santoya, Abisai Tun, Felix Copo, Julia Pinelo, Edwany Ramos, and Andres Ramos, were on their way to Corozal Town in the maroon pickup truck. They had already passed the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry when they were hit head on by the F250 Ford Pickup driven at the time by 35 year old Alvaro Babb, a fisherman of Chunox Village in the Corozal District. According to sources, Babb was seen swerving along the road before colliding into the Maroon Pickup truck. The collision caused the maroon truck to immediately come to a stop at the left hand side of the road when traveling on a northern direction. All seven passengers of the maroon pickup truck were transported to the Corozal Community Hospital via ambulance shortly after.

3 Year Old Dies In Early Morning House Fire
Early this morning, residents of the quiet and calm village of San Narciso were woken up with the frantic cries of fire. One of the small residences was on fire and it appeared that a three year old girl was still inside of the home. As neighbors began to assist, it eventually proved futile as the entire structure went up in a matter of minutes. Our news team of Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson visited the scene and filed the following report. This was once a home for a family of two but today this is everything that was left of the 22 by 26ft zinc structure that went up in blaze at about 4 o’clock this morning in the village of San Narciso. Sleeping in the house at the time were 40 year old Ramona Cabrera and her 3 year old daughter Danely Cabrera. The house did not have electricity and the family of two went to sleep sometime around 7 o’clock last night with a candle lit at the bed side. Nine hours later, Cabrera and her daughter were awoken by the fire. Benita Magańa is a neighbor who was one of the first to witness the blaze.

COLA Goes International
Over the weekend Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, held their annual general meeting in Belize City to reaffirming their commitment to the “NO to ICJ” Campaign. The meeting took place at the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Hall where members heard from their representatives on the executive as to the organization’s activities in the past year and plans for the year to come. As well it was announced that COLA is going international with a chapter being openned in California for Belizeans living their. The California chapter will be headed by COLA’s former Vice-president Karim Mawema. COLA’s Toledo Leader, Will Maheia mentioned in the meeting that he has plans to personally go out to the Southern Border and clearing it, citing that GOB has neglected it. The main executives were all elected unanimously, with no challenges from the floor. They are: Geovannie Brackett as President, Gilroy Usher Jr. as Vice-President, Alton Humes as the Secretary, Edward Young as Treasurer, and trustees being Ismay Williams, Micah Goodin and Frank Castillo.

LOVE TV

Man gunned down on Partridge Street
A man was gunned down in Belize City this morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

New attorney called to the Bar in Belize
A new attorney has been called to the Bar in Belize. Oscar William Selgado was admitted to the Belize Bar on Friday of last week, before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. A petition for admission was made on behalf of Selgado by Senior Counsel Said Musa, and supported by attorneys at law Phillip Palacio and Ashanti Arthurs Martin. According to a brief statement, Selgado is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England, and a retired Captain of the Belize Defence Force. He Obtained an LLB with Honors from the University of Guyana in 2010 and a Certificate in Legal education from the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica on September seventh of last year. Selgado is the first student from the Toledo Community College to become an Attorney-at-law and also the first from TCC to graduate from the Norman Manley Law School. He was born into a family of 15 children to parents Gilbert and Leonissa Selgado. Attorney –at-Law Oscar William Selgado says he is thankful to the Government and people of Belize who sponsored his legal education under the Professional & Technical Scholarship Programme, through the Ministry of education.

Child dies in Corozal fire
A three year old girl lost her life during a fire early this morning in the Corozal District today. Police reports are that just after four o’clock this morning they received reports of a house fire in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District. On arrival they saw a wooden house with zinc roof totally destroyed by fire. Inside the house fire service personnel found the body of three year old Danely Shaniri Guadalupe Cabrera. 50-year-old Ramona Cabrera was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital suffering from first degree burns to her face and back and second degree burns to her arms. Reports are Cabrera was sleeping with the child when she was awakened by fire on her mattress. Cabrera said she ran out of the house to look for help, leaving the child behind. The house does not electricity and the fire is suspected to have started from a lit candle in one of the rooms.

Man pleads guilty, Magistrate imposes a fine
Twenty-eight year old Mark Betson, a vegetable vendor of Dean Street who has one leg, was fined $10,000.00 in court today after he pled guilty to drug trafficking for 62 grams of cannabis. Magistrate Adolph Lucas, who imposed the fine, gave Betson until December 31, 2013, to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve three years. Seven other persons were charged jointly with Betson but only six of them appeared in court. The charge was withdrawn from the others after Mark Betson’s guilty plea was accepted. The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. on February 2. The police, members of the GSU, executed a search at the residence and the search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag under a black plastic dish that was on top of a wooden table supported by crates of pint bottles.

Firearm reported stolen and Corozal men charged with drug trafficking
A firearm has been reported stolen in Belize City. A supervisor for a security company says the pistol with a magazine containing ten live rounds of ammunition, was stolen from the glove compartment of his vehicle which was parked in the compound at a hotel on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Sunday morning. The supervisors says that he had gone to check on his security personnel and when he returned, found a person he was giving a ride to inside the pickup truck. When he made checks, the supervisor found the weapon missing. The police department has issued an advisory to holders of firearms that their weapons should be properly secured at all times. The police advisory asks holders of firearms not to leave them where others can have ease of access, and to preferably be kept on their person or a secure place. Three persons are in police detention in Corozal pending drug trafficking charges after police officers dug up suspected cocaine from a yard in Calcutta village. Police say that on Sunday morning, when they arrived at the house, they saw a man, with a shovel in his hands acting suspiciously. When he saw the police, the man reportedly dropped the shovel. Police say they informed him of their intention to search him for drugs and illegal firearm, which the officers proceeded to do. Nothing incriminating was found; but officers observed a freshly dug area. They proceeded to search the area, and while digging in the yard, police unearthed a transparent container which had four parcels wrapped in aluminum foil, suspected to be cocaine. Another search made in the area where police again dug up a transparent plastic bag containing a glass container which contained 4 transparent plastic bags with three parcels wrapped in Aluminum foil, also believed to be crack cocaine. The man was then informed of the offence committed and the reason for his arrest, cautioned and escorted inside his residence where a further search was carried out. This afternoon, police updated the release sent out regarding this incident and reported that sixty seven year old Gilbert Tillett and thirty two year old Donovan Tillett were arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.

Amandala

FORMER ST. LUKE PRINCIPAL LAID TO REST
Mrs. Huldah Neal nee Hill, a long-time teacher and former principal of St. Luke Methodist, was laid to rest this afternoon after funeral services at Wesley Methodist Church on Albert Street. She started teaching at a very early age in Dangriga, before moving to Belize City, and gaining employment at Wesley Middle School. She was later transferred to St. Luke Methodist Primary School in 1979, before being promoted to vice-principal at Wesley Upper School in 1982. Her tenure there lasted 14 years. Huldah was constantly seeking to upgrade herself, twice doing studies at the then Teacher’s College, and later doing a leadership course in administration at the University of the West Indies. In 1996, she fulfilled her life’s mission, becoming principal at St. Luke Primary. But her administration there would only last six years, as in 2002 she had to retire early due to illness, ending a 36-year career as a teacher. In her remembrance it is said that Huldah could not take being at home exiled from teaching, illness and all, and so she continued tutoring children up until 2012, when she just couldn’t anymore. It is said “she loved being a teacher, principal, mentor and member of the Belize Choral Society.”

SKELETON IN GRAVE IS MISSING SUPREME COURT WITNESS
Main witness in Felix brothers’ murder trial murdered. The worst fears of the family of Rommel Palacio, Jr., 34, of the Jane Usher Boulevard area, who was a Supreme Court witness in the murder trial of Emory and Maurice Felix and who has been missing for nearly two months, since December 6, has been confirmed. Palacio, Jr., was believed to have been kidnapped and killed, and this was confirmed on Friday, February 1, after a decomposed body was found in an area between Miles 11 and 12 on the George Price Highway. The skeletal remains were found in a shallow 2-foot grave that was flooded, among some bushes around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday by three men who were fishing in the area. The men immediately contacted the police. When police examined the corpse, they found that the legs of the skeleton were missing. Police called Palacio’s family, who travelled to the area and identified him. His sister, Dannette, said that he was identified by a tattoo and by his wristwatch. She said that Palacio had a gold crown on each of his front teeth, but his two front teeth were missing and his skull had three dents in it.

$10,000 FOR 62 GRAMS (0.14 POUND) OF WEED
8 family and friends charged; one pleaded guilty, telling the court that he needed it for his amputated foot. Today, Patricia Marie Wagner, 54, an auxiliary nurse of #57 Dean Street; her common-law husband, Gilbert Lightburn, 70, a resident of #20 Cemetery Road; her two sons, Clifford Betson, 33, a technician, and Mark Anthony Betson, 28, a market vendor; Ludrick Wagner, 22; Giovannie Barrella, 29, an employee of the Ministry of Health; Natasha Gillett, 29; and Stafford Young, 23, all of the same Dean Street address, were taken to court and drug trafficking charges of 62 grams of weed were read to them. Sixty grams is the limit for a charge of possession. Anything over that is listed as drug trafficking. According to police, at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, police went to #57 Dean Street and conducted a search of the house and premises. When police searched the yard, on a table supported by some soft drink crates, they found a black plastic bag with suspected cannabis inside it.

7-YEAR-OLD SHOT 6 TIMES ON BANAK
Eddie Nelson Sorieno, 17, of Banak Street, was shot down at about 8:00 tonight by one of three men who rode up to him and opened fire as he was walking in front of the Meighan’s residence, just a short distance from his house, located behind the Meighans. Sorieno was going to buy food for his little brother and sister’s children when the attack occurred. He was shot in his head, chest and body six times, and died almost immediately. The killers then rode up Banak Street and disappeared into the area. He is the second person to be shot to death today, within a 12-hour period. Police believe that the shooting was retaliation for the shooting murder of Gary Bowen that occurred this morning after 8 on Partridge Street. Police say that they believe that a killer from the Mayflower Street area shot Bowen, and persons from the PIV area went into the Banak Street area for revenge. Anyone at that time was the target, they say.

The Reporter

Rocks, Hard Places, Devils and the Deep Blue Sea…
At a public gathering where he endorsed UDP Chairman Patrick Faber in his run at becoming First Deputy Leader of the Party, former Prime Minister and former leader of the UDP Manuel Esquivel stated that Prime Minister Dean Barrow is currently facing more trials and is under more pressure than any other leader of the country before him. Indeed there is much happening at this time, created, fostered and exacerbated by internal and external factors, and undoubtedly one of the most critical of those pressing issues is the re-structuring and renegotiation of the much discussed Super-bond.

Study: Folic acid cancer risk fears played down
Worries that taking extra folic acid might increase the risk of cancer have been played down by a major study. Following Canadian research linking the vitamin with a small rise in cancer, the study in the Lancet journal looked at data from 50,000 people. It found no significant differences in those taking folic acid.

Is your shower giving you bad skin?
Stepping into the shower to rinse off the sweat, grime, and dirt of the day sounds like the perfect way to end the night. But do you really know what is in that water? Depending on where you live, it might be chlorine. Though it’s not really harmful in small amounts, you might be exposed to it every day and not even realize it.

Wesley girls win through to high schools football playoffs
The undefeated girls of Wesley College won through to the playoffs of the Belize District High Schools Football Competition as the top ranked seed, after their fourth victory vanquishing the hitherto undefeated girls of Ladyville Technical High School 3-0 at the M.C.C. Grounds, made soggy by the weekend’s rains on Monday evening, January 28.

Wesley College boys enter football playoffs
The boys of Wesley College won through to the playoffs of the Belize District High Schools Football Competition, as the second-ranked seed with 11 pts from three wins and two draws, when the boys of Sadie Vernon Technical High School forfeited their scheduled game at the M.C.C. Grounds on Monday evening, January 28.

Will unions strike?
Government of Belize says it cannot afford to accede to the unions’ requested ‘salary adjustment,’ but unions say the GOB can, and has threatened the possibility of further industrial action.

Union president resigns from negotiating team was numbers guru Castellonos victim of union busting?
Jose Castellanos, the newly elected president of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (A.P.S.S.M.) and the unions’ numbers guru, has resigned from the negotiating team on Thursday.

Accident claims the life of Prison Officer
A collision between a bus and an SUV resulted in the death of Prison Officer, Juvencio Serrano Jr., last weekend. The fatal accident occurred on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at about 7:00 a.m., when a red SUV Forerunner vehicle, driven by Serrano, collided into a Tillett’s Bus which was travelling from Belize City to Chetumal.

Belize featured in Hemispheres Magazine
Belize was recently featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, Hemispheres. Belize was chosen for the “Three Perfect Days” article, and appeared on the cover of the magazine. To capture the full authentic Belizean experience, the twelve page spread features a myriad of adventures and gives readers a peek at just what sets Belize apart; the people, culture, food, and landscapes are just a snapshot of what makes Belize the ideal tourist destination. Joe Keohane and Al Argueta take readers on a journey into the heart of Central America, Belize.

Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial
A former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala’s civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday.

Crime takes toll on Caribbean economies
Crime and violence have had a dramatic impact on women, youth and the economic well-being of families in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to several studies commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

GOB officially launches ICJ educational campaign
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially launched its public education campaign on whether or not the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute should be decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The campaign, which was launched at the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday, is geared towards informing the Belizean public of what are both countries’ claims, the merits of their arguments, the risks of going to court, and the importance of voting in the referendum. The Ministry, through it’s Referendum Commission, will be making all information surrounding the issue available to the public through traditional media such as television and news papers, as well as via social media, including Facebook and the Referendum Commissions’ website.

Blogs

A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal Markets (Part 1)
There are several areas in which vendors ply their colorful wares in on the street or in booths in the charming city of San Cristobal, Chipas, Mexico. Today's post features photos from the "merchandise" markets (mostly textiles) from our December trip. The fruit and vegetable markets will be featured in Part 2. I very much enjoyed strolling around these colorful markets and bought a few items at excellent prices. Even Barry seemed to enjoy himself, and he usually hates shopping. Bargaining is expected, though if the first price offered was very low, I usually just went ahead and paid it. These people surely don't live easy lives, and I feel guilty if the price is too low. These markets are just another reason to love Mexico! Some vendors simply set up along the streetside... while others have simple stands to display their wares. I bought a small zippered change purse here, and just look at this lady's smile. Priceless!

2012: The Panama Canal to Two Lobsterfests in Belize to Paddling with Whale Sharks off Isla Holbox, Mexico...Good Times, Part Two
Perhaps you have forgotten there would even BE a part two of this post. There may be a good reason for that...Part One: From Guanaja to A State Fair to Medellin was written over a month ago. December 29th to be exact. How time flies... Panty Ripper...the unofficial official drink of Belize. I'll be back to daily blogging before you know it. But in the mean time...here are the highlights from my pretty great 2012 living in San Pedro, Belize. In no way Beyoncé at the Superbowl great..but pretty cool just the same. I started June by flying into Costa Rica and continuing on to Panama with my friends who are still in the process of driving from Washington DC to Argentina. Sadly, they are getting pretty close to the end now... I am in love with Panama City. Especially the Old Town/Casco Viejo, the Panama canal and the bagels.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
For readers who live here or visit, DJ’s (owner of the burger restaurant in Boca del Rio) is opening DJ’s Seaside Bar and Restaurant. You can find it on the lower level of what was formerly Oscar’s gym ( just south of the bridge). Always trying to be the optimist I took some solace from the fact that we were not ready for the pour of the First Floor for our build in Ambergris Caye today because it probably wouldn’t have gone ahead anyway. Why? Well because at around 5.30 am the heavens opened and the rain came down heavily. It only lasted for around forty-five minutes but the damage was done. Not at all conducive conditions for wheelbarrow work on an already waterlogged site. I spent a bit of time this morning chasing up on the trip we want to make to look at fixtures and fittings (door knobs, light fixtures, showers, taps, etc) and was really pleased on finding out that United Airlines has allowed us to change the tickets we have for Belize through to London (Heathrow) for two return tickets from Belize (via Houston) to Dallas with the return leg from Houston to Belize being Business Class. And for only US$42.50 each plus some reward miles that we had left over. So from starting the day in a somewhat ‘down’ mood things picked up extremely well. Just goes to show that you should always look on the bright side!

The Five Stages of Drunkenness
Stage #1 — Smart This is when you suddenly become an expert on every subject. You know all and greatly wish to express this knowledge to anyone who will listen. At this stage you are also always right. And of course the person you are talking with is very wrong. You will talk for hours trying to convince someone that you are right. This makes for an interesting argument when both parties are “smart”. Two people talking, in fact, arguing about a subject neither one really knows anything about, but are convinced that they are they complete authority on the subject makes for great entertainment for those get the opportunity to listen in. Stage #2 — Handsome/Pretty

International Sources

When Couples Disagree About Where to Retire
James and Sue were torn. As James prepared to conclude a successful career in the computer industry, the couple faced the big "Where to Retire?" question. James and Sue love the beach and the sea and thought the Caribbean could be their dream retirement location. On the other hand, the couple appreciates the quiet, simple life, and liked the idea of retiring "off-the-grid" in a rural setting. Realizing that the only way to make a decision between these two different lifestyles would be to try them on for size, James and Sue took off for scouting trips in Panama and Mexico, where they looked at both coastal and farm choices. But nothing felt right. Then they planned a trip to Belize. Instantly, they both knew they'd found the country where they wanted to launch this phase of their lives. The fact that English is the primary language in Belize was a real plus. In addition, as James and Sue put it, "We just felt immediately at home." The good and the bad news was that Belize offers both of the two lifestyle options they had been trying to decide between--Caribbean beach and, in the Cayo region, many good choices for a back-to-basics, self-sufficient lifestyle in the country. Again, they were torn.

New World Oil & Gas: City analysts say sell-off is 'overdone'
City analysts believe investors have overreacted to New World Oil & Gas’s (LON:NEW) well result in Belize, and the 45% drop in the share price is ‘overdone’. It was revealed this morning that the Blue Creek 2A ST well had been plugged and abandoned because insufficient quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were found. The company stressed, however, that the well confirmed that an active hydrocarbon system exists, and live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations. It also says extensive residual oil was present, along with high saturations of formation water. On AIM, New World shares fell heavily, losing as much as half their value in early deals. But, speaking with Proactive Investors, Seymour Pierce analyst Sam Wahab said the share price fall was too much. “Given how bad 2012 was for a lot of exploration stocks, investors can get be spooked by 'dry' wells.” “I think there is a reasonable retail element in the stock at the moment, and at this level, I think we’ll see speculative buying in this stock up into the next well result, especially now that it is so undervalued.” Wahab also explains that the institutions that bought into New World did so primarily to gain exposure to the Danish assets and for them Belize represents additional upside. “It is still there to play for, and at the moment trading at less than 5p a share, it is excellent value where it sits at the moment, especially as the company has got a fully funded programme in place. “The next drilling location is likely to take [this result] into account. The company has got an extensive amount of data that they can read across from. So I wouldn’t say that Belize is a write-off [for New World].”

A PLACE TO CALL HOME: New Albany business gives enough to build home in Belize
A family in Belize will have a roof over their heads thanks to a donation from a business nearly 1,500 miles away. Northern Continental Logistics, a New Albany-based company, gave $6,250 to Hand in Hand Ministries to build its 200th house with the added bonus of some plumbing and electricity. Charles Harrett, president of the company, said giving to the community is a value they embrace. “We try to develop a culture of service and giving with all of our employees,” Harrett said. “I know at Christmastime, it’s been customary to give gifts to your clients, but what we’ve done is donated to specific charities in the name of our clients.” He said after hearing about the Louisville-based charity from other colleagues in industry, he thought it would be a good fit for a donation. Marla Cautilli, CEO of Hand in Hand Ministries, said the home will be a simple structure, 16 feet by 16 feet. Normally, she said the volunteers she recruits just build the structure without either amenity for $4,000, with volunteers often footing the bill.


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