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#458344 - 02/19/13 02:50 PM Today's Belize News: February 19, 2013
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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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Dreams: It happened again. The dreams have become a part of my life. This one was particularly heart-wrenching. Usually I am justthislate. I am always running trying to catch something. And my life, especially my work life, gets in the way. An obstacle pops up, my schedule is interrupted, and I cannot get to her in time.

The San Pedro Sun

Ministry of Health installs first historic National Communication System
The Ministry of Health has installed a National Communication System at Baldy Beacon, Mountain Pine Ridge to enable communications during Public Health Emergencies and Disasters. This is the first time that the Ministry is establishing a national communications system to network with the Public Health Providers across the country. The system, installed last week, includes a Digital Repeater, a Digital EOC Head and four VHF Mobile Radio Base Stations which will be distributed amongst the Ministry of Health headquarters in Belmopan and the Regional offices in Dangriga, Orange Walk Town and Belize City.

Belize moves up in FIFA ranking
The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) announced via its website that Belize has gained a total of 32 points and now rank #132 in the entire world. Belize has also gained grounds regionally and now ranks 20th in the region. The improvement in country’s FIFA rankings is a direct result of Belize’s performance in the Central American Cup (UNCAF) in January of 2013. Belize’s ranking leapt from 164 to 132, and for the President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Ruperto Vicente, it serves as motivation. “It means a lot. We were expecting that our ranking would improve based on the performance of the national team in Costa Rica and the fact that we are working hard to improve football in Belize. The improvement in ranking is an indication of hard work that the federation is doing with the national team and football in this country,” said Vicente. He further explained that the improvement in ranking at the UNCAF level directly allowed for FIFA to improve its ranking.

Ambergris Today

Destination Belize Magazine 2013 Showcases: The Best of Both Worlds
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) launched the exciting 2013 edition of the Destination Belize Magazine on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 10:00a.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina - Caracol Room. As the official visitor magazine of the Belize Tourism industry Association and Belize's #1 marketing collateral piece on travel for the past 16 years, the Destination Belize Magazine is an annual publication dedicated to ensuring that traveler's enjoy the most exciting, adventurous, breath-taking, tranquil, exotic and relaxing experience that Belize has to offer. With stunning imagery of the entire country, comprehensive tips, articles and editorials by local and international writers, a break-down of Belize's yearly activities and a complete listing of industry partners and BTIA members, the Destination Belize Magazine is definitely the premier source for travel information about Belize.

U.S. Ambassador’s Fund Awarded to Santa Rita Archaeological Park
On Wednesday, February 13, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Margaret Hawthorne and Public Affairs Officer Eric Heyden traveled to the Santa Rita Archaeological Park near Corozal to meet with Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, to tour the archaeological park and learn more about the site’s ongoing restoration. Each year since 2001, through its U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center has assisted eligible countries in preserving their cultural heritage. The AFCP awarded BZ$100,000 to the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology for the conservation of Santa Rita in recognition of its cultural importance.

Flashbacks: Laid Back San Pedro
You have always heard it said that San Pedro was a laid back quaint fishing village. Well, this is what they were referring to. The photo is not very clear but I think it was the best instamatic camera used back then and sometimes the film was not fresh. The photo was taken from in front of Milo’s Store and Hotel at the northern end of Barrier Reef Drive. As we move away we can see Mrs. Peggy Hancock going for a short walk with her grandchildren probably Mike and Kathy Hancock. It is a fully sand street with small rolling hills build up with wind erosion. Farther down at the light post we can see Hotel San Pedrano and across the street a small pick up truck parked in front of what is now the spanking edifice of Belize Bank. Still farther up the sandy street is a big tree in the middle of town. Well, that was there for ages as the fence of the Lions Den. Not many vehicles- it was laid back. Not many tourists- it was still a hidden secret. Not much hustle and bustle- it was a quaint fishing village. We told you it was a laid back San Pedro!

25 Years Ago: Belize City Scouts' Summer Days in San Pedro
When is the last time you saw a group of Scouts in San Pedro and in uniform engaged in some activity? Years ago in San Pedro we used to enjoy their company for an entire three week period right here in the village. They came here to enjoy the sea and Island life, but we, the children of San Pedro enjoyed them just as much. Where was their headquarters? The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church was a wooden building with a U-shape facing the sea. The left side was the church; the middle the kitchen and dorms; and the right side was called the Scout Room appropriately named because it was their headquarters. It was locked up when they left the San Pedro and we got to use it for about one entire year as our classrooms when Hurricane Hattie destroyed our school in 1961.

Romantic Couple's Massage in Paradise, San Pedro, Belize
There is always time for a little relaxation when vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It may be taking a walk down the beach or looking up at the stars from your room. But taking time to enjoy a soothing massage takes relaxation to another level. Here we see a couple enjoying the very best of Victoria House resort in Ambergris Caye. They are heading to the beach with their robes to enjoy a romantic couple's massage; cant get more relaxing than that!

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Active adventures at The Lodge at Big Falls
With nearly a mile of riverfront, guests at The Lodge at Big Falls can embark on kayaking and tubing adventures right from the grounds of the lodge. There are a plethora of adventurous activities just minutes away including cave-swimming, zip-lining and hiking the lush lowland forests observing incredible flora and fauna while searching for ancient Mayan ruins.

Police Minister Awards Cayo District
Great news for Cayo, with the crime rate down over 40%. "Police Minister Awards Cayo District Zone and San Ignacio Formation For Best Performance in Crime Reduction in January of 2013. On February 13, 2013, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar presented awards to officers commanding the Cayo District Zone and the San Ignacio Formation for their performance during the month of January in reducing crime within their jurisdiction. Crime Statistics for the month of January, 2013, show an overall reduction in crimes committed countrywide, the largest reduction being in the Cayo District Zone where crimes went down by 41.51 percent. Within that zone, the San Ignacio Formation recorded the largest reduction during that month."

Mr. and Ms. Succotz Festival 2013
The Succotz Festival Drum Corp had their Mr. & Ms. Succotz Festival pageant Saturday. Congratulations to all participants! "OFFICIAL PAGEANT RESULTS: MR & MS Succotz Festival: Alex Orellana And Daniellie Guiterrez MR AND MS CONGENIALITY: Farid Guillen And Daniellie Guiterrez MR AND MS DEPORTE: Farid Guillen And Betty Chaman MR AND MS PHOTOGENIC: Farid Guillen And Rianne Gutierrez CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL CONTESTANTS! FINALIST AND WINNERS!"

Galen Wins ATLIB Basketball Championship
Congratulations to the Galen Eagles for winning the 2013 ATLIB Basketball Championship that was held in San Pedro over the weekend.

Red Carpet Affair Fun
Some early pictures from Rotaract's Red Carpet Affair on Saturday. "Joint fundraiser between Rotaract San Ignacio & Rotaract Belmopan. Our sponsors included Meluchi's, The Dollhouse l Emmanuelle's Skincare & Beauty, Hode's Place, Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry, Mr. Greedy's Pizzeria, Nine Belize Ecocultural Tours, Rolson Cocina, DigiCell, Print Belize Limited, Costless Mart Wine House, Recino's Imports Ltd, Benque Resort & Spa. Proceeds will be used by Rotaract San Ignacio for the provision of gift baskets to deserving families & a river clean-up campaign. Rotaract Belmopan will utilize the funds towards their initiative called 'Project Cure' (rehabilitation of a ward at the Western Regional Hospital)."

TRAINING IN INVESTOR FACILITATION FOR CAIPA MEMBERS
DEADLINE: February 21, 2013, 4:30PM (AST) CARIBBEAN EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NOTICE TITLE: TRAINING IN INVESTOR FACILITATION FOR CAIPA MEMBERS (BASED ON THE FINDINGS OF THE GLOBAL INVESTMENT PROMOTION BEST PRACTICES 2012 REPORT) CONSULTANT 1. Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), invites proposals from qualified contractors to provide consultancy services for the development and delivery of a customized training programme for CAIPA members on Investor Facilitation. The programme will be based on the findings of the Global Investment Promotion Best Practices 2012, which is published by the World Bank Group and will be executed in close collaboration with the World Bank Group. Based on the requirements outlined in the below Terms of References (TOR), contractors are invited to submit a technical and financial proposal.

Tell it Like it is
Back to normal today. On the veranda with my cup of coffee just after 4.30 am. Much better because I really do not like sleeping in. Only do so when the body -for whatever reason – tells me that I need to do so. And yesterday – if you read the previous edition – was one of those days. A few editions ago a reader of this blog asked if I could include a map that gives a better idea of exactly where our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize is. Well, I have had a rummage ( yes, I know, not the correct word to describe trawling over the Internet) and have had an attempt at meeting the request. Not the best bit of work is it? I am just saying what you are probably thinking but I think you have to tell it like it is.

VIDEO: Mr. Courtney on the ineptitude of Belize Minister of Foreign affairs
Who in their right mind would tell their enemy where their weak spot is?

US Military to spend time in Belize
Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy and the government and defense forces of Belize, will conduct an event called New Horizons in the spring. The exercise is an annual event conducted to train military civil engineers and medical professionals to deploy and conduct joint operations. Construction equipment and materials for a joint U.S. – Belizean exercise is scheduled to begin arriving into ports in Belize in the spring for New Horizons 2013, a major event that will test U.S. military members’ ability to deploy while building partnerships with host-nation medical and civil engineering experts. The exercise itself, overseen by U.S. Southern Command and planned by Air Forces Southern, is slated to last approximately 90 days with several construction projects to add new classrooms and buildings to existing schools with manpower provided by both U.S. and Belizean military engineers. In addition, combined U.S. and Belizean medical teams will conduct multiple medical events to provide medical services to Belizeans.

Belizestagram! The Best Photos Of The Week
Here’s another weekly mashup (February 11 – 17) of the best Belize Instagram photos. All these photos are personally taken by the individuals in Belize. If you want your photos to be included, remember to tag them using the hashtag #Belize.

Channel 7

A Clash Of Competing Ambitions At UDP Convention
The UDP held its national convention on Sunday in Corozal Town. It was a much hyped event because party Chairman Patrick Faber dared to do what had never been done before in Belize's political history: he challenged the sitting Deputy Prime Minister for his post as party leader. The result of that challenge was a tough and acrimonious campaign - and the ambitions of Vega and Faber collided in a political crescendo on Sunday. When it was done: only one would be deputy and the other would be staring into the political abyss. High stakes, and 7news was there to tell you how it all played out. Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Patrick Faber invested his money in signs - like this larger than life one that stood at the western edge of the Andres Campos Civic Center - serving as a backdrop for the event. Vega's side wasn't as heavy with the signage. His were just regular size billboards - which projected the fact that he had an endorsement from the party leader. Interestingly all the t-shirts we saw were for Vega - Faber didn't invest in a single one for the convention- and those we saw were leftovers from the general election. The stage was on the grounds of the Andres Campos Civic Center. All 31 standard bearers and caretakers were seated as thousands of supporters stood in the cool air of the open field.

Kilo-bwai Killed, And So Was His Killer
Between Friday afternoon at 4:00 and last night at 7:00, ten people were shot in Belize City and two were killed. That's a lot of bloodshed in just 51 hours - and the most serious event happened early on Saturday morning. That's when 39 year old Lincoln Kilo-bwai Allen was killed, not far from his Pink's Alley home. In the 90's he was a legendary name on the streets - and he used to run with George Junie Balls McKenzie. Mckenzie was killed at the entrance to Pink's Alley in 2007, and on Saturday Allen was killed around the lane from the Alley where both men grew up. But the Allen story is complicated because the man who killed him - was also killed on the spot by a second person who was caught in the middle and had a licensed weapon. Monica Bodden has the story of one shot and two dead:..

Three Injured in Wild City Shooting
But the Kilo Bwai Allen incident was the third shooting in less than 12 hours. First, Kenroy Tillett and Alton Roches were shot on Friday afternoon, and then on Friday night at 9:40 three people were shot. It happened at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal. A gunman let off with 8 shots at 48 year old Donald Matura injuring him to the abdomen, left hand, right hand, left leg and his testicles. Two other persons who happened to be walking past the very busy area were also shot. They are 26 year old Carmita Chan was shot to her left buttocks while 32 year old Alchea Harris, was grazed to his left hip. We spoke to both of these victims of a shooting targeting someone else: Alchea Harris - shooting victim "I was walking over the bridge and the gunman just came and stop and started to shoot."

Mayflower Man Shot; So Was His Dog!
A 47 year old man from Mayflower Street was shot inside his home early Sunday morning. The incident happened at around 4:20am. While Mario Ramos was checking on his sick grandbaby - a bullet came flying through his bedroom wall. He felt the burning sensation and that was when he realized he had been shot. He told Monica Bodden what happened. Mario Ramos - Shot inside house "About 4:30 Sunday morning, one of my grandchildren was vomiting. What I did pick up my granddaughter and I put my hand down her throat and decide to take out the vomit. After that I put my grandchild back on the bed, while doing that I heard shots started to rang out. When I heard that I ask my wife to check if anyone of the grandchildren got shot because I got shot already. I told her not to make any noise because we don't know if the said person is still around who was shooting."

The First Female Judge On the Court Of Appeal
One month ago, on January 14th, the Supreme Court opened up with Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram attending as one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, but tonight, she is now a newly appointed Justice of the Court of Appeal. She was sworn in this morning at Belize House in Belmopan by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. In attendance for her elevation were the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justices Denis Hanomansingh, Michelle Arana and Courtney Abel. 51 year-old Justice Hafiz-Bertram has been serving the Supreme Court of Belize since 2007, and her appointment to the Court of Appeal is expected to last until she reaches the age of 65. She joins Justices of Appeal Sosa, Awich, Morrison, and Mendez. She becomes the first woman to serve on the Court of Appeal, and the third Belize Supreme Court judge to get promoted, with tenure to the Court of Appeal.

Belizean Shoplifter Busted In Wal-Mart Chetumal
Wal-Mart in Chetumal - after a payday like we had last week - you can always expect to find scores of Belizeans shopping there. But this weekend, a pair of Belizeans was caught shoplifting at the department store. According to Por Esto newspaper out of Quintana Roo, Elizabeth Linda Chavez and a companion were caught on security camera trying to leave the store with a pair of headphones and a watch. The items cost 598 pesos or about ninety-five Belize dollars. The pair were given the option of either paying three times the value or go face the judge. They paid the triple value of about 280 Belize dollars and were set free.

Alleged Belizean Drug Runners Sent To Mex Jail
And there's no such option for two Belizeans caught with a hundred pounds of crystal meth. We first told you about Hugo Cassanova of Corozal and Ermelindo Vasquez of Orange Walk who were caught in Chetumal in the home of a known drug boss Carlos Cabanas Catzin where 45 kilos of crystal meth were stored in an icebox. Cassanova, Vasquez and Catzin were arrested along with five other men. Well Mexican news outlets are reporting that they have been formally charged in the Sixth District Court. With that they were remanded to the Cereso prison where they now await trial.

GSU Recovers 2 Weapons Stolen From BDF
Tonight, 2 Belize City men are in prison, and 2 weapons believed to have been stolen from the BDF weapons cache are in the hands of law enforcement after an operation by the Gang Suppression Unit. On Saturday, February 16, GSU officers conducted operations in Seine Bight, and the Placencia area in the Stann Creek District. At around 4:15 p.m., the team searched an area near the Seine Bight cemetery, where they found a garbage bag buried. Inside that bag, the officers discovered a disassembled Colt brand M-16 rifle without a magazine, and its serial number filed off. They also discovered a 9 mm pistol, also with its serial number filed off, and an empty magazine.

The Dispute In Arenal Village
On Thursday, we told you about the dispute in Arenal Village where the construction of a football field led to the destruction of a woman's home. Tonight, we've put together a more in-depth story to examine the broad outline and the finer points of this village dispute. Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz reporting The smoldering remains on this patch of earth are the only things which can attest to the fact that there was a house sitting here. That house used to belong to Sarita Lara, and it was destroyed because she was squatting, but she claims that she was living there off and on for over 10 years. The rest of Lara's belongings - spared from the blaze - were unceremoniously dumped in a heap. And in the distance, the excavator works on the hilly sections of the terrain to level it out for a new football field, which is in Belizean territory. No one can deny that it is an important development, but Lara says that the Arenal Village Council destroyed her home to make way for that field.

Man Remanded For Burglary
Tonight, 47 year-old Luis Romero is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly burglarizing the home of the manager of the Traffic Department. According to police, on January 28, he broke into Kevan Jenkins' home and stole several pieces of jewelry, a pair of shoes, and $150 in cash, all to a total value of $1,250. And the reason that police believe it was him is because Scenes of Crime Personnel lifted finger prints from the scene, and ran it through their AFIS system. It was a match for Romero, who is known to police, and as a result, he was charged with burglary. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him on the strength of the prosecution's objections. He will return to court on April 9, 2013.

Abandoned Home Burnt On Vernon Street
Authorities at the Fire Department continue to investigate an early morning fire which destroyed the upper flat of a Belize City house. At around 1:25 a.m., officials were called to the residence at the corner of Lindo's Alley and Vernon Street. The firefighters found the upper flat of this pink house, made mostly of wood completely ablaze. They got in operation, and were able to extinguish the flames very shortly, but it did major structural damage to that section of the structure. The Fire Department continues to investigate the origins of this fire, which is proving a bit difficult because it was abandoned for about 2 years. It also had no electricity running to it, so it is leading investigators to believe it may have been a criminal act.

Car Burnt On Cran
And while that fire claimed that house, there was a fire, which completely destroyed a vehicle on, around 23 hours earlier. The owner of this red Honda Ridgeliner pick-up, seen ablaze here, said that he parked it at around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday on Cran Street. He left it there and when he returned at around 4 hours later, he found it completely destroyed. The authorities believe that someone intentionally lit the $45 thousand-dollar vehicle on fire, and as a result, they are investigating the arson angle.

BZE Firemen Train With US And Regional Counterparts
And speaking of fires, A contingent of Belizean fire-fighters just returned from training with the US military. The training held in Honduras was called CENTAM - or Central American - SMOKE. According to a release from the US Army Southern Command CENTAM SMOKE is a week-long exercise that comprises firefighting training in areas such as structural fires and aircraft fires. It allows U.S. and Central American firefighters a chance for team-building and training.

The First Election For Olympic Committee In Decades
The Belize Olympic And commonwealth Games Association may be the most important sporting body in Belize. That's because at one point or another, every association and Federation from the mighty FFB to the fledgling Fencing Association has to go through the Olympic Association to get funding for travel or training. And perhaps because of that paramountcy and virtual unassailability - the Olympic Association has - for decades - defied every norm of democratic governance. President Ned Pitts was president for 42 years and did not face an open election in decades - in fact, no one can rightly recall when the last election was held! But no one in the sports world complained - or at least not very loudly, so the ailing Pitts got to demit office on Saturday on his terms. 7news was at the Radisson for the historic event of the Olympic Association's first election in a while!: Jules Vasquez reporting After more than 50 years as executive and founding member of the Belize Olympic Association and 42 years as president, Ned Pitts - now in poor health - stepped down at a Special meeting of the National Olympic Committee.

Ghost Town Gang Boss Charged For Gang Insignias
33 year-old Roger Anthony, the reputed boss of the Ghost Town Crips, is free tonight after he pleaded guilty to a minor charge. According to police, officers were on patrol on Vernon Street at around 10 a.m. on February 15. They decided to stop at the Mayflower Street intersection, where they saw Anthony and another man. Both men were searched, and nothing incriminating was found on either of them, but the officers noticed that Anthony's Shirt had graphics which said "30's" and "OG" printed on them. When the officers asked him what they meant, they claim he told them that he belongs to the Ghost Town Crips Gang, and that he was the gang's leader with his alias, MOB. He was arrested and charged with 1 count of professing to belonging to a gang, and 1 count of displaying support for a criminal gang. He was arraigned before Magistrate Adolph Lucas today, where he pleaded guilty and was fined a total of $1,000 which he must pay by June 14, 2013, or he will spend 10 months in prison.

National Communication System For Health
The Ministry of Health has set up its own Communication System to make sure it stays connected during Public Health Emergencies and Disasters. The backbone of the system is this antenna at Baldy Beacon in Mountain Pine Ridge which facilitates communication between the Ministry of Health headquarters in Belmopan and Regional offices in Dangriga, Orange Walk Town and Belize City. The system is designed to work during power outages that occur in natural disasters. Work will commence shortly on the second phase, which will include San Pedro Town and the Western Region. PAHO provided funding of $28,000 dollars.

BGYEA Will Protest
BGYEA and other Associations will be leading a protest next week in Belmopan to coincide with cabinet day. BGYEA's President Nigel Petillo came to our office on Friday to encourage everyone who has an issue with land to come forward and join in the chorus:.. Nigel Petillo, BGYEA "This week the CEO of lands department went to the media saying that they had the rest of documents waiting for us and all we have to do is go to the Lands Department. When I went there today only to find out that no documents are not there." "We are continuing with our demonstration. We are calling out on the general public to come out especially those who know of these frustrating cases where they went to Lands Department. Am I the bad one now b3ecause of speaking about it? Am I the bad one way because I am not afraid to say that it has to stop? It's got to stop!. Will my kids go through this too?"

Channel 5

Double murder during weekend and 12 persons shot
The bloodbath started on Friday afternoon following the acquittal of Nicholi Rhys for the murder of Andre Trapp, the reputed leader of the Southside Gang. By the time the weekend was over, a total of twelve persons were shot; two did not survive. The double murder of Lincoln “Kilo Bwai” Allen an alleged affiliate of [...]

Shooting victim speaks from hospital bed
Late this evening, News Five spoke to Cervantes from his hospital bed at Belize Medical Associates Limited. Cervantes says that the area was so dark that he could not see who their assailant was.   Via Phone: Derek Cervantes, Shooting Victim “I di go home, but then somebody mi ask me fi wah lee plate [...]

The other shooting victims
Derek Cervantes remains hospitalized in a stable condition at Medical Associates Ltd, but nine other persons were injured in separate shooting incidents over the weekend. The urban warfare started late Friday afternoon on Neal Penn Road in south side Belize City.  Alton Roches and Kenroy Tillett were hit to various parts of their bodies. Six [...]

Bloodiest weekend in February
The violence continued on Sunday; six other persons were hospitalized after they were injured in separate shootings in the south side of Belize City. Just before dawn on Sunday at around four-twenty a.m. Mario Ramos was inside his room at his residence on Mayflower Street when four shots rang out. Ramos later realized that he [...]

Justice Minnet Hafiz Bertram sworn in as New Justice of Appeal
Turning to the courts, a new Justice to the Court of Appeal has been named in time for the March twelfth sitting of the Court of Appeal. Judge Minnet Hafiz-Bertram took the oath this morning before Governor General, Sir Colville Young, at Belize House in Belmopan. The new justice was joined by Chief Justice, Kenneth [...]

U.D.P. convention winners, Gapi Vega and Alberto August
A red tidal wave swept through Corozal Town where the national convention of the United Democratic Party took place on Sunday. The headliner was the fight for the post of deputy party leader; Patrick Faber took the unprecedented decision to challenge the incumbent, Gaspar Vega who is also the sitting deputy prime minister. The Prime [...]

U.D.P. central executive and national party council support yes vote for referendum
The convention also served as an occasion for the U.D.P. to conclude party affairs. In addition to changing the age of which a person can join the party from fifteen to thirteen, an important decision was taken regarding the Belize/Guatemala Referendum, although to a quieter audience. Former U.D.P. Chairman Doug Singh announced that the party [...]

Foreign Ministry responds to Attorney’s border comments
Last Friday and again on Sunday at the U.D.P. convention, News Five asked the Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington to respond to a letter penned by former attorney general and foreign  Minister Eamon Courtenay who had taken issue with certain comments by Elrington to News Five. Courtenay was critical that Elrington had exposed publicly that [...]

Sickout fizzles; teachers and students healthy for UB classes
Teachers at the University of Belize, the country’s largest and only national tertiary level institution, staged a sick-out across its campuses today.  The organized absence from work succeeds a demonstration held at UB’s main campus in Belmopan last Thursday, during which members of the Faculty and Staff Association expressed concerns over the findings of a [...]

APAMO supports UB Board in waiting for complete audit
The release from the Board of Trustees further stated that the unsupported statements and criticisms directed towards them may have been an attempt to deter the board from acting in the best interest of the university.   Selwyn King “We have always said and I’ve indicated that universities throughout the world have always provided the [...]

Busted for admitting to being gang member
  A resident of Crooked Tree told the court this morning that he is leader of the Ghost Town Crip gang.  Roger Anthony aka MOB, was picked up by police over the weekend in the area known as “Ghost Town” aka “Bailar” and today he was arraigned on two criminal charges for Professing to Belonging [...]

Stealing hundred dollars puts you in jail
  A man with previous convictions is behind bars tonight for allegedly burglarizing the house of Kevon Jenkins, a traffic officer of Belize City in January. Forty seven year old Luis Romero appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith on charge of Burglary. The incident occurred on January twenty eighth at Jenkins’ house on Lumber [...]

Somebody torched his pickup truck
Police are looking for a resident of San Victor Village, Corozal for the crime of Arson. Fulgencio Mendez, owner of a pickup truck, reported to police that early Sunday morning, while socializing in the village, he was approached by a group of men, which included Benito Cawich. An altercation began between the men when Cawich [...]

Building catches fire on Vernon Street
An overnight inferno in Belize City gutted an abandoned property at the corners of Vernon Street and Lindo’s Alley.  Sometime after one o’clock this morning officials from the National Fire Service were called to the scene of a raging fire where they found the two-storey structure engulfed in flames.  While the cause of the fire [...]

Rotary and the Gift of Live
Rotary’s Gift of Life Clinics got underway this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and will continue for the rest of the week. The cardiologist, Jeffrey Delaney is once again heading the team of doctors who will be attending to children with heart conditions. News Five Isani Cayetano reports.   Isani Cayetano, Reporting Dozens [...]

GSU unearths weapons
  The Gang Suppression Unit made a major discovery over the past weekend. On Saturday, GSU officers were conducting an operation in the Seine Bight and Placencia area where they discovered weapons believed to have been stolen from the B.D.F. At the Seine Bight cemetery the GSU discovered a garbage bag buried under the sand [...]

James Adderley’s moments in sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 2 of the PLB Season saw the Placencia Assasins roll into the Norman Broaster Stadium yesterday to take on the Belize Defence Force. After last week’s 3-1 loss to Police United, the guys from the peninsula were certainly looking to avoid an 0 [...]

LOVE FM

United Democratic Party Holds Convention For Deputy Party Leader and Chairman
The United Democratic Party held its national convention on Sunday. We have more in this report. AVA DIAZ “The Andres Campus Civic Centre compound in Corozal Town was the venue for the United Democratic Party’s National Convention. It was a sea of red as...

Police News
Earlier on Sunday, sometime after four in the morning, 47 year old Mario Ramos, a mason of Mayflower Street was hit to the right hip and right thigh as he sat on his bed. Ramos told police that he heard four shots and then realized that he was shot. He is in a stable condit...

Sunday Evening Shooting Leaves Trio Injured
Meanwhile, on Sunday evening at around twenty minutes to seven, Randy Harris, a 19 year old resident of Neal Pen Road was shot to the right hand, while 24 year old Deon Gibson, a construction worker was shot to the left hand and 39 year old Orlando Velasquez of Rivero Street suffered g...

Friday Night Shooting Leaves Three Injured
There was a sequence of shootings that took place over the weekend, one of which happened about twenty minutes to ten on Friday night and left three persons injured. 48 year old Wallace Matura was standing at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal, and housewife, 26 year old Carmit...

Mural Inaugurated In Orange Walk Town
The Orange Walk Town Council has inaugurated a new mural. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. "This past Saturday, the Orange Walk Town Council inaugurated a new mural on Queen Victoria Avenue which was built directly onto the fence of the town hall. The mural which is r...

Man Acquitted for Burglary
Edward Williams, a.k.a. “Willie Boy”, charged with burglary, was acquitted of the charge today by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Chief Magistrate Smithy dismissed the charge after she upheld a no case submission that was made by Williams’ attorney, Brian Neal. Nea...

Belize City Man Remanded After Allegedly Stealing From City Council Manager
Forty-six year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. “Show”, who allegedly stole assorted jewelry and money amounting to $1,250.00 from the house of Belize City Council Traffic Manager Kevan Jenkins, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. Romero pled not guilty to the...

Duo Charged After Claiming to Be Members of Criminal Gang
Two men, Roger Anthony and Eugene Tillett, were charged with displaying support of a criminal gang and professing to be a member of a criminal gang when they appeared today in the Magistrate Court. Anthony pled guilty to the charges. Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. fined him $500.00 for ea...


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#458345 - 02/19/13 02:51 PM Re: Today's Belize News: February 19, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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CTV3

Two Belizeans In Chetumal Suffer The Consequences After They Try To Steal
A Belizean couple escaped from being placed behind bars in Chetumal Quintana Roo after they were caught stealing at Wal-Mart located in the Plaza Bahia. Thanks to the surveillance cameras, the securities on duty were able to observe when 42 year old Linda Elizabeth Chavez and a male individual attempted to leave the store with unpaid items. As a result Mexican police were called in and when the couple was searched they were found in the possession of one pair of headphones and one female wrist watch, valued at a total of 598 pesos. The stores management informed the couple that unless triple the amount of the value of each item was paid, they would be free to go without any charges levied against them. Preferring their freedom the Belizean couple paid a total of one thousand seven hundred and ninety four pesos and were allowed to walk out of Wal-Mart, of course without the items they attempted to steal.

Warrant Secured For The Arrest Of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict the XVI stunned the world on February 10th when he announced that he would step down on February 28th. Now, eight days after the announcement was made, more shocking news is coming out of the Vatican as reports are that Pope Benedict is seeking Immunity from Prosecution for mishandling child sex abuse allegations. The story starts to unravel on the heels of a statement issued by the International Tribunal into Crimes Against Church and States (ITCCS) that detailed the legal situation that surrounds the Pope and the Vatican. The international press is reporting that an unnamed European country and the ITCCS have started a campaign to hold the Pope accountable for the Vatican’s alleged cover up of child sex crimes. In their statement the ITCCS is quoted as saying that on the basis of evidence provided by their affiliated Common Law Court of Justice, an agreement was made with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict 16th, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy. Of note is that the name of the European Nation is excluded. The intention of both the ITCCS and the European nation is to take a lien against the property and wealth of the Catholic Church, beginning on Easter Sunday March 31st, by when a new pope should have been elected. The “Easter Reclamation Campaign,” as how both parties are calling the move, involves citizens seizing the assets of the Church under international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

G8 Meth Bust, lncluding Two Belizeans, Will Go To Trail In Chetumal
News coming out of Chetumal Quintana Roo tonight is that Orange Walk resident Ermelindo Vasquez and Hugo Cassanova of Corozal Town, along with the alleged Mexican drug lord of the Pelones in Chetumal Carlos Cabañas Catzin aka “El Monstruo”, Nestor Alberto Catzin Cabañas, Luis Juárez López, Alejandro Lugo Courtenay, Fabiola Lopez Juarez and Patricia Rosa Morales Olán will face trial for the charge of drug possession for the purpose of sale. Upon expiration of the constitutional term extension that requested to resolve the legal status of the accused and after analyzing in detail the case file, the Judge of the Sixth District Court found sufficient evidence to prosecute the eight alleged drug smugglers. As a result, at midnight on Friday, the Sixth District Court issued a warrant for the arrest of the eight individuals who will now remain in prison until the end of their trial which has no date for commencement as yet.

16 Year Old Allegedly Shot By Custom Officer
Officers of the Customs Department are on the news again tonight, this time for their alleged involvement in the shooting of a 16 year old minor who is recuperating from a gunshot wound at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. The 16 year old, who hails from the Village of San Narciso, reported to police that at around 4:30 on Friday he was selling oranges at the Corozal Free Zone when he decided to head home. Little did he know that his usual routine would be interrupted by gunshots. Chan reports that upon reaching the road that leads to the new bridge he saw a Hispanic male person carrying two boxes of cigarettes. The 16 year old report’s seeing Custom Officers shouting at the individual shortly after. This was followed by several gunshots. Fearing for his life the 16 year old dashed into some nearby bushes seeking refugee without realizing that he had already been hit on the left instep and the left side of the back. With the assistance of a taxi driver the 16 year old was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital. He was later transferred to the KHM where he is admitted under stable condition. Police are investigating the matter.

22 Year Old Caught With Drugs, Charged!
A 22 year old resident from Corozal Town has been detained by police for possession of controlled drugs. Yesterday 22 year old Jeron Williams and a group of individuals were hanging by the seaside in Corozal when they were approached by police. As cops walked towards the group, Williams made his way behind a boat and dropped a transparent object to the ground. Aware of the act police searched the area and discovered a transparent plastic bag containing 12.9 grams of suspected cannabis. The 22 year old of San Andres Road Corozal Town appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this morning where he was formally charged for possession of controlled drugs.

Pickup Truck Goes Up In Flames
A red Mazda single cab pickup truck went up in flames in the wee hours of Sunday morning. But this was no accident. According to the owner of the pickup truck, Fulgencio Mendez, at around 7:30 on Saturday night he was hanging out with some friends in the Village of San Victor in Corozal when he was approached by Benito Cawich who was accompanied by a group of men from the same village. An altercation ensued shortly after which led to Cawich allegedly setting the pickup truck ablaze by throwing gasoline inside the cab hours after. Police are now looking for Cawich pending investigations.

Caught With 16 Gauge Shot Gun, Charged!
On Sunday February 17th, Corozal Police were on Mobile Patrol in the Finca Solana Area when they intercepted a Grey Toyota Camry Car bearing License Plate CZL C- 14456 with one male occupant inside. A search was conducted in the vehicle and on the back seat police found a16 gauge shotgun containing one 16 gauge cartridge.

LOVE TV

Lobster season closes
The Fisheries Department today announced that the Lobster season has been closed. The closure effective today continues through to the middle of June. Ramon Carcamo is a fisheries officer employed by the government of Belize. Carcamo says that in order to protect the lobster fishery, there is a strict enforcement of the regulations, which is Chapter 210 of the Fisheries Act. Carcamo says fishermen who still have traps in the waters of Belize will be assisted to get them removed so that they are not found in contravention of the fisheries regulations. For more information on the closure of the Lobster season, you can call the Fisheries department during normal working hours.

Police release comparative crime statistics
The Police Department today released a set of comparative statistics for the month of January of last year and this past January. The statistics deals with the major crimes and gives a break down as follows: this past January was three times as deadly as 2012 when the murder statistic is compared. Last year four persons were killed in January, while last month recorded a total of twelve homicides according to the police figures. We note that our records show that there were thirteen murders last month. Last year saw two more rape cases reported than this year January; robbery and burglary also say decreases this year when compared to last year. There was a reduction in theft as well, where last year there were eighty eight cases reported, while only sixty two cases were reported last month. Carnal knowledge saw the number of reported cases more than double this January compared to 2012. This year, fourteen cases of carnal knowledge were reported in January, whereas only five were reported in 2012. On the arrest side, police say their statistics show more arrests this year January compared to 2012. Six murder arrests were recorded last month, whereas only two such arrests were made in 2012. Twenty persons were arrested for robbery, thirty eight for burglary and twenty one for theft in the month of January this year. In 2012 there were only sixty nine arrests made. When it comes to the issue of firearms and ammunition: ten weapons were seized by police last month, along with one hundred and thirty three rounds of ammunition. Comparatively speaking, the police seized one more firearm this year than they did in 2012, but one hundred and seventy seven fewer rounds of ammunition. On the issue of arrests for firearms and drugs arrests, police say that there were sixteen forearms arrests last month, an increase over January 2012. There were fewer arrests for drugs related crime this January when compared to 2012. The comparative statistics bulletin released today was prepared by the Joint Intelligence Coordinating Centre.

Twenty two year old man freed of murder charge
The high-profile case alluded to in the lead-in to the previous story involves twenty two year old Nicoli Rhys. He was charged with the June, 2010 murder of south side Belize City gang leader Andre Trapp and was the first person to be tried for murder without a jury. That trial ended with an acquittal after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin determined that the evidence presented by the prosecution was weak and that there were no eye witnesses. The Chief Justice also determined that the evidence of the police constable Arnold, who testified that he saw the accused running from the scene, was not credible. The prosecution, represented by the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl -Lyn Vidal, had sought to get an oral confession by Rhys admitted as evidence but Chief Justice Benjamin did not accept it because it was given while the police officers had their guns pointed at Rhys. Rhys was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson.

Shooting incident leaves two people injured
A late afternoon shooting incident in Belize City today has left two men hospitalized. We can’t say for sure; but this afternoon’s shooting has all the characteristics of exacting street justice after a high profile case ended with an acquittal in the Supreme Court just hours before. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports. Indications to Love News are that Tillett is listed in critical condition at the KHMH.

Jamaican national guilty of fraud crime
Thirty-seven year old Jamaican national Lawrence Walcott, charged with 2 counts of using a document he is not entitled to use, was fined one thousand dollars for each count yesterday after he pled guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who imposed the fines, ordered Walcott to pay forthwith, in default, 8 months imprisonment. On February 14, Walcott went to the Immigration Department and tried to get a Belizean passport by using a birth certificate and a social security card in the name of Jamal Walton. Immigration officers investigated and found out that the birth certificate and the social security card did not belong to Walcott.

PG coast awash in debris
The accumulation of debris on a part of the shoreline in Punta Gorda town has raised concerns about the need for early removal. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Churches invite the public for community prayer service
Residents of Belize City are invited to be part of a community prayer service on Sunday. President of the Council of Churches, Reverend Roosevelt Papaloute told Love News this is the first of a series of community outreach initiatives. The service begins at five o’clock on Sunday evening on Dean Street between Euphrates Avenue and Tigris Street.

Announcing the launch of Destination Belize magazine
The magazine, Destination Belize, has been a staple tourist’s companion for the past 15 years for travelers who come for the sand, sea and fun that our jewel offers. But what’s new about the 16th edition is that its publishing was done by a Belizean company. IdeaLab Studios put together the 146-page piece, which highlights some of the countless breathtaking sites, appetizing dishes and assortment of entertainment, balanced off by a collection of features and informative pieces of literature. Today, the owner of IdeaLab Studios, Damien Solano, explained that his company’s role marks a new focus for the publication. Destination Belize is a private sector initiative and is the main collateral tourist document that markets and promotes Belize as a tourist destination.

New vehicles for government ministry
The Ministries of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development today received three new vehicles. Correspondent Fem Cruz was at the special handing over ceremony and filed this report.

New president for the Veterinary Association of Belize
Dr. Henry Canton is the president of the Veterinary Association of Belize. The new executive for the association was held during its 22nd Annual General Meeting. Dr. Victor Gongora is the Vice president, Secretary, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand; Treasurer, Dr Jane Crawford and members Dr. Floyd Bennett and Dr. Martha Hernandez-Mena. Outgoing president, Dr. Michael Tewes urged the membership to continue to support the new executive and fellow colleagues in order to advance the profession and so be of benefit to the community of Belize. The Veterinary Association of Belize is an organization made up of graduate veterinarians and its objectives are to strengthen the cooperation and communication within the veterinary community and the general public, facilitate information sharing, networking and continuing education, and be the catalysts to improve animal health, public health and animal welfare in Belize.

US olympian in Belize to talk with local athletes
Over this weekend, former US Olympian, Cory Hicks, will be meeting with Belizean student athletes whose interests and ambitions are to one day bring back a medal from that fiercely competitive world-class sporting event. His particular focus will be on track and field talents and today, he and the Minister of Sports, Herman Longsworth, met with the media to lay down the start of what will be a good opportunity for young Belizean runners. Minister Longsworth invites everyone, especially the business community to be a part of the effort and support the young athletes in realizing their dreams through sponsorship.

Public appeal successful; woman getting new house
A Belize City woman who was appealing for help to get a new house is finally having her dream answered. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Love FM anniversary celebration continues
The celebration of the twentieth anniversary of Love FM continues this weekend with the signature event called Another Night to Remember. The event will be held at the Belize Biltmore Hotel beginning at nine o’clock on Saturday night. On Thursday an open day was held at the station’s headquarters on Slaughterhouse Road where the general public got the opportunity to meet and greet the staff and tour the facilities at the RSV Media Centre. Love News spoke with some of the staff of Love FM about their involvement in the work of informing, entertaining and education the nation. Love FM was established on February fourteenth, 1993.

PlusTV

Twelve shot in Belize City this weekend, two fatalities.
It was a violent weekend in Belize City. There were twelve shootings reported, reulting in two deaths. The murders happened on Saturday morning at about 1:30 am. In Munoz Alley, in Belize City, 39yr old Lincoln Allen, was to the back of the head and to the mouth. 23yr...

Belize City Police investigate Sunday shooting incidents
Belize City Police are investigating shooting incidents which took place yesterday. At 4:20 yesterday morning, 47yr old Mario Ramos was shot to the right hip and right thigh. Ramos was reportedly sitting on his bed in his home when he heard four gunshots and realized he had been hit....

Gaspar Vega retains position as Deputy Leader of the UDP
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) held its much anticipated national convention on Sunday in Corozal Town. The big news going into the convention was the race for first deputy leader between incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk and party chairman and Education Minister Patrick Faber...

Hon Gaspar Vega said he had nothing against his younger colleague
Speaking after Sundays UDP Convention, Hon Gaspar Vega said he had nothing against his younger colleague and insisted they could work together. Here is his assessment of the campaign. 1 Vega also dismissed suggestions that he had lost support in the North, or that the Prime Minister’s endorsement or...

Minister Patrick Faber believes “interference” cost him
Minister Patrick Faber believes “interference” cost him. The losing candidate appeared resigned when reporters caught up with him after the convention. According to Faber he has lost no standing as a result of his bold gamble. 1 Faber boldly stated that he will aim even higher next time. 2...

UB Staff on “Sickout”
Belize’s National University; the University of Belize is highly trafficked by students and teachers with much ongoing activity. However when Plus news visited its central campus here in the City of Belmopan, empty classrooms, parking lots, and students wandering around or just walking around aimlessly was the scene. As...

UB Board of Trustees says draft audit requires management input
For the past week, we have been hearing concerns from the University Of Belize Faculty and Staff Association regarding the recent UB payroll audit. The association has voiced its unease with the payroll audit report, which they claim contains financial and managerial irregularities involving the Board of Trustees. And...

APAMO supports UB Board of Trustees
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations has come out in support of the Board of Trustees. In a press release from APAMO late this evening, the organization, who has a representative on the university’s Board of Trustees, says it stands behind the Chair and the board. APAMO says...

Three injured in a Friday night shooting
Three persons were injured in a Friday night shooting; 48yr old Wallace Donald Matura was shot to the abdomen, left hand, right hand, left leg and his testicles. 26yr old Carmita Chan, was shot to her left buttocks and 32yr old Alchea Harris suffered from a gunshot graze to...

Two shot attempting to flee onslaught of bullets
The Brother of Shelton “Pinky” Tillet was shot on Friday as well. At 3:40pm on Friday Feb 15th, 34yr old Kenroy Tillett and 32yr old Alton Roches, were doing repairs on pickup parked on Neal Penn Road. A dark complexion male person rode up on a bicycle and fired...

16 year old minor of San Narciso Village was shot
There is also a shooting incident to report from the Corozal District. In this Saturday afternoon incident, a 16 year old was the victim. The 16 year old minor of San Narciso Village, was shot to his left instep and the left side of the back. The minor reported...

Police report shows startling increase in murder for last month
The crime statistics for January 2013 are in. The stats, provided by the Police Department, shows a startling increase in murder for last month with 12 recorded cases, when compared to January 2012 which saw 4 murders. Of the 12 murders for last month, 11 occurred in the Belize...

PM says he will lead the UDP to victory at next General Election
At Sunday’s UDP convention, the party spent the morning showing off its relative youth and diversity with four young speakers, Juan de Dios Moguel Jr. of Orange Walk; Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City; Councilor Shary Medina of San Ignacio/Santa Elena; and former Councillor Earth Lopez of Dangriga. In...

BAHA is calling for horse owners to vaccinate their horses
BAHA is calling for horse owners to vaccinate their horses against a debilitating and sometimes fatal virus circulating in the country. The release issued by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority strongly recommends persons who have horses, especially in the northern and western regions of the country, to vaccinate their...

UB have ambitious plans for Calabash Caye Field Station
The press were hosted by the University’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) on a field trip to the Calabash Caye Field Station in the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, located 33 miles east of Belize City. It is UB’s oldest property, started in 1995 under the University College of Belize. It...

Coral Reef Early Warning System installed at Calabash Caye
Another mechanism for getting the latest atmospheric data to researchers was installed at Calabash Caye. It is the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS), a project of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts of the University...

Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram is New Justice of Appeal
Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram was sworn in as New Justice of Appeal. Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. Justice Hafiz-Bertram who is originally from Guyana, has served as a Supreme Court Judge in...

The Reporter

Rosewood plunder continues undeterred, despite Moratorium
Almost a year ago, Minister of Forestry, Lisell Alamilla, signed a Moratorium banning all harvesting of Rosewood from Belizean jungles, and, following a sizable find in January, she burned several flitches of the precious wood. Alamilla has earned a few choice nicknames since the controversial burning, but she has stood her ground where the wanton harvesting of the precious wood is concerned. Yet it appears that the symbolic destruction was nothing more than just that because in an interview with reporters, she admitted: “We continue to find Rosewood. There are regular reports. We’re confiscating 20, 30 flitches at a time, so the amount of Rosewood that we have on our hands is increasing almost on a weekly basis and we definitely have to put something to Cabinet for them to consider, so that decisions won’t lie with just my Ministry.” The Forest Department still has two container loads of illegally harvested wood on its compound awaiting the completion of investigations. Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer, said that in one of the containers, confiscated in January from the Port compound, were found Zericote “in round or log form. That is against the law, essentially. Zericote is a protected species; It can only be exported as a value -added product. So in that particular instance we seized the wood in the container. The exporter is a known exporter to us. He goes by the name of Anita Lou based originally out of Roaring Creek and now operating out of Orange Walk.”

New ‘superbond’ saves millions, Barrow says
The terms for the re-negotiated US$544 million “superbond” were presented to the House of Representatives Tuesday, where Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced principal savings of more than BZ$100 million. Barrow said, “There is a 10 percent principal haircut off the top, so immediately approximately BZ$108 million dollars is to be written off the current super bond indebtedness.” He explained the modifications to the bond’s 8.5 percent coupon (interest) rate has resulted in even more cash-flow savings. The initial coupon rate is for 5 percent for the first four and half years. This will step up to 6.788 percent for the remaining life of the new bonds. Barrow said the estimated debt “service reductions” resulting from the new terms negotiated by GOB are … BZ$22 million in 2012; BZ$66 million in 2013; BZ$236 million during the 5-year period 2013-2017 and BZ$494 million during the 10-year-period 2013-2022.”

Belmopan UB lecturers plan “sick out” for Monday
Teachers at the University of Belize Belmopan campus demonstrated on Thursday against their administration and are threatening to hold a “sick-out” for Monday. Between 30 and 40 of the teachers at the campus held an hour-long demonstration on the UB compound, based on the findings of a recent audit which they claim is shrouded in financial and managerial irregularities. The demonstrators contend that their concerns intensified when they asked for an investigation into the audit and found out that the UB Board of Trustees would conduct that investigation. They say that they have written to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education requesting an independent commission to deal with the audit and that the investigation be taken out of the hands of the Board. But that request has gone without a response so far. Lecturers base their request on what they claim is a conflict of interest since the Board is also the appeal body for UB. The turnout, according to Allison Crawford, a Science Teacher at UB, in Belmopan, represents the majority of teachers and staff members. She blames the absence of others on alleged intimidation.

Mexican Navy nabs two Belizean businessmen in major drug bust
Two Belizean businessmen were arrested in Mexico for their alleged role in transporting $1 million worth of Crystal Meth into Chetumal last week. Mexican media reported that Milin Vasquez, of Orange Walk, and Hugo Cassanova of Corozal, were among the eight persons arrested during last Thursday evening’s Mexican Navy raid on the home of reputed Mexican drug dealer, Carlos Cabañas Catzin, known as “the monster.” According to reports in the Mexican newspaper Dario de Quintano Roo, both Casanova and Vasquez – who are considered to be major players in the drug underworld – are the ones who transported the drugs into Mexico. The arrested men and women were placed on a military aircraft and flown to Mexico City, where they were handed over to the office of Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime. The Diario de Quintano Roo reported that a judge in the Sixth District will determine the legal status of the eight persons.

Butane prices down
The controlled price of 100 lbs of butane went down to $117.00, the Belize Bureau of Standards announced on Wednesday. That is one dollar down from the last price of $118 announced last November 12. That $118 price is for butane imported from Mexico. Retailers have been selling the local butane gas for as little as $112 per 100 lbs. This is because the Bureau of Standards is in the process of establishing a quality standard for all butane sold in Belize, to be at least 60 percent butane and 40 percent propane. These regulations, however, are still very much in the planning stage, and have not yet been passed into law. In fact the draft legislation has not yet been presented to the House of Representatives. In the meantime, the regulated price for a 100-pound cylinder of butane outside Belize City will be $117 in Corozal, $118 in Orange Walk, $119 in Belmopan and San Ignacio, $121 in Dangriga, and $122 in Punta Gorda Town. It’s the first price cut since the price fell to $97 for 100 lbs last July, then slowly crept back up to $109 by August..

Sulph charged with rape
Former President of the University of Belize’s Student Government, Moses Sulph, 36, was today arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on a charge of rape. The community activist is accused of having forcible sexual relations with a domestic worker at the home of one of his friends on Professor Street in Belmopan on Tuesday. The Reporter has been reliably informed that Sulph visited the house on Tuesday and that on that same day the friend left Sulph alone at the house to attend classes at UB in Belmopan. Police are alleging that it was during the time he was alone at the house with the domestic that Sulph attacked her. Magistrate Aretha Ford offered Sulph, who is a naturalized Belizean, bail of $5,000 plus two sureties of the same amount, which he promptly met, and ordered him to return to court on May 10th. She informed him that because the matter is an indictable one, she was unable to take a plea.

CARSI invests in Belize’s security
The mobility of the Belize Police Department has increased with ten new motorcycles donated by the Central American Regional Security Initiative. The Honda XR-250 motorcycles, valued at BZ$82,000.00, were handed over at the Queen Street Police Station last Friday. Sources inside the police department say that while internal discussions on the distribution of the cycles have been made, none have been officially assigned to a specific branch. Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez has confirmed that some will be deployed into several district police formations. CARSI is a program out of the USA’s State Department to combat the negative effects caused by the drug trade in Central America. Official US State Department statistics state that since the program’s inception in 2008, the US has spent over US$496 million throughout Central America, upgrading law enforcement and investing in community programs for the regions’ at risk youth. In Belize between 2011 and this February, CARSI has spent over BZ$22 million on equipment to the Belize’s security forces. CARSI has also funded a number of community programs, including the Youth Success and Drop-in Center located on the second floor of the Commercial Center, and the YWCA snack-shop, which opened last December.

Rasta gets 3 month suspended sentence for “ lashing” 2 school girls gets 3-month suspended sentence for it
Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer gave a Port Loyola man a three-month suspended prison sentence, after he pleaded guilty to disciplining two primary school girls. In handing down the sentence, Frazer explained to Benjamin Chaplin, 49, a plumber of 2 Fabers Road, that if he gets into any more trouble with the law during the next 12 months, he will automatically begin to serve the three-months prison sentence. On Saturday, February 9, sometime around 10:15 a.m., Chaplin took it upon himself to “lash” two primary school girls, who threw stones at him while he was at work on a building on Cemetery Lane. Police reported that Chaplin followed the girls to their school, jumped the school fence and entered the classroom, where he reportedly took off his belt and began to discipline the girls. He was unable to leave the school after the lashing however, because some people from the neighbourhood detained him until the police arrived and arrested him.

Belize’s legal position Part 1 The autonomous life of our borders with Guatemala
In early January, the Government of Belize—through its Referendum Committee that is led by Ambassadors James Murphy and Stuart Leslie—launched its educational campaign on why the Belize-Guatemala dispute should be taken to the International Court of Justice as a final attempt to settle, once and for all, The Republic of Guatemala’s specious claim that half of Belize belongs to them. The educational campaign is set to lead us up to the simultaneous referenda, which is scheduled for October 6th, 2013. So, once again it’s up to the Belizean citizens to weigh the facts and decide how they will vote. While this newspaper has no intention of attempting to persuade or dissuade anyone’s decision, we do believe it is imperative that all Belizeans know what our legal arguments are. This article then is the first part to a series of such didactic features to explore Belize’s legal position. Overview of Three Pillar Arguments In November 2001, the Belize government contracted the services of four mavens in international law to give their legal opinion of Belize’s legal chances. In the document entitled “Legal Opinion on Guatemala’s Territorial Claim to Belize,” those four had this to say: “We have been asked to consider whether Guatemala can validly question the sovereignty of Belize over the whole or any part of its territory.

What’s the dirt on hand santizers?
Americans spend $175 million on hand sanitizers that claim to kill 99.9 percent of germs, but all too often, we’re not getting the protection we’re paying for. Studies show that sanitizers aren’t very effective against some of the germs we fear most, including colds, flu and the nasty stomach bug norovirus. However, there’s also research showing that alcohol-based sanitizers can reduce overall rates of GI infections, cut the number of days kids stay home sick from school, and lower illnesses among college students living in dorms. New studies also raise concern about potential health risks from a widely used hand gel ingredient—and there’s also evidence that many of us use these disinfectants incorrectly. To sift through the confusion, I talked to several infection-control experts. Hand gels don’t cut through grime. “Dirt, especially proteins or fatty materials, reduces the effectiveness of hand sanitizers, so alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not suggested if hands are visibly soiled,” says Dr. Daniel Uslan, hospital epidemiologist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Wash instead with soap and water.

If Mom liked you best, everyone loses
Parents may not admit it, but picking favorites among their children is a fairly common practice. Now, new research reveals that this pattern – known as differential parenting – is not only detrimental to the child who receives the negative feedback, but also the entire family. Additionally, this new study shows that the more drastic the parenting styles between children, the worse the outcome of the mental health of all the children. “This was really surprising,” said Jenny Jenkins, professor in the department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study. “We expected differential parenting to operate stronger within the parent-child dynamic. However, differential parenting had a stronger effect on the entire family.” “Differential parenting”- giving mostly positive feedback to one child while mostly negative feedback to another – has long been linked to negative effects for the targeted child.

Wesley College girls win football championship
The girls of Wesley College triumphed over the girls of St. Catherine’s Academy 3-0 to win the Belize District High Schools Football Championship at the M.C.C.Grounds on Monday evening, February, after the St Catherine’s girls had held them to a scoreless draw in the first game of the finals last Friday evening, February 8. Shanice Neal and Elisha Bernardez spearheaded the Wesley offensive, but the SCA defense anchored by Diedra Gill and Samarie Samos, with the help of Darian Avilez and Jannel Meighan held off their attacks to the end of regulation time. SCA’s speedy striker Jada Parchue almost secured the win for the convent girls with a late shot on goal that the Wesley goalkeeper, Latesha Hughes only managed to deflect. The game went into overtime in which Erica Milligan converted a penalty for the first winning goal, and Shanice Neal added a second goal in the second overtime period. Elisha Bernardez made doubly sure with a third goal. The St. Catherine’s girls had eliminated the girls of Anglican Cathedral College 2-0 in a penalty shootout after regulation time ended with SCA winning 1-0 over ACC.

Ladyville Tech girls, SJC & ACC boys win high school softball
The girls of the Ladyville Technical High School and Nazarene High School and the boys of Anglican Cathedral College and St. John’s College are leading the Belize City high schools softball competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at the Rogers’ Stadium and the Lord’s Bank field on Saturday, February 9. It was a duel of two high-powered pitchers both of whom have led national teams in Central American competition as the Nazarene High girls walloped the Ladyville Tech girls 7-2 at the Rogers’ Stadium last Friday evening. Ashley Lucas struck out eight batters and scored two runs for Nazarene High while Amber Wade struck out six batters and scored Ladyville Tech’s only two runs. Lucas also led the Nazarene High girls to their first victory, completely shutting out the girls of Pallotti High School 28-0, as her teammates scored 16 runs in the first inning and 12 more in the second. Amber Wade led the Ladyville Tech girls in a 16-1 romp over the girls of Maud Williams High School in Lord’s Bank on Saturday. Catcher M. Audinett scored Maud Williams’ only run, while pitcher Ashley Bailey shutout the Ladyville girls in the first inning, but the Ladyville girls scored 10 runs in the second and six more in the third. Wade also led the Ladyville girls to their first win 5-0 over the girls of St. Catherine’s Academy who were forced to forfeit when one of their players had to leave, with Ladyville already leading 8-0 in the first inning.

Jamaica in second crisis debt-swap plan
Jamaica has announced plans for its second debt swap in three years in the face of a “serious economic crisis”. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is taking measures to reduce its debt, which currently stands at 140% of gross domestic product (GDP), one of the highest ratios in the world. “If this debt is not reduced, Jamaica faces a dismal future,” she said. The move is aimed at satisfying conditions demanded in a deal with the International Monetary Fund. About 55% of government spending goes towards paying the nation’s debt, while 25% goes on wages. That leaves just 20% for everything else – including education, security and health. In a televised address, Ms Simpson Miller, who belongs to the People’s National Party (PNP), said a national debt exchange would be launched. The administration will offer a swap of higher-interest debt for lower-cost debt and will require “significant sacrifices” from financial institutions and domestic bond holders. The move follows an earlier debt restructuring in 2010 under the previous Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government.

Blogs

Surprised??? You bet she was.
A great way to score brownie points with your longtime wife is to plan a surprise wedding vow renewal on the beach in Belize. Bill did just that for Mary and pulled off an amazing job with the help of many people, especially Jan, Gail and Becky. It was a perfect day for a beach wedding, Caribbean Villas did a lovely job on decorating and Eiden did a great ceremony as always. Mary was very surprised by it all – especially that friends and family back home were able to keep the secret so well. Thanks for inviting us to be a part of your special surprise Bill. Tacoboy and I hope you and Mary have many more wonderful years together

7 Unbelievable Waterfalls from Around Belize
Waterfalls in Belize are among the consummate hang out places for spending an impeccable Belize vacation. The pristine beauty and the tranquil atmosphere in the area of waterfalls are a special treat to the eyes. Below are 7 unbelievable waterfalls from around Belize:

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See orca give birth to 300+ lb. baby
Kasatka gives birth to her baby orca during one hour of labor at SeaWorld San Diego.

Belize Invites You To A Wild Animal Escape
Escape to the private and remote paradise, Belize! Located in the heart of Central America, and is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Breathtaking Belize consists of a land area of 8,867 square miles and is known for having the longest living Barrier Reef in the world that stretches out along the Eastern Coast of Belize. One of Belize’s main must-see attractions is The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the native Jaguar. This spectacular sanctuary consists of forests, fauna and watersheds approximately 400 square kilometers located at the eastern slopes of the Maya mountains. Established in 1990, there is over 128,000 acres of lush jungle ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains.


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