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#462487 - 04/16/13 12:04 PM Today's Belize News: April 16, 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 San Pedro Sun

National AIDS Commission Island Committee holds Caye Caulker Community Health Fair
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee held its first ever Health Fair in Caye Caulker. Named “The Caye Caulker Community Health Fair”; the fair aimed at educating the Caye Caulker populace on the many health risk factors that exists while familiarizing them with the various services available within the country of Belize, at their disposal. The fair was held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court commencing at 10AM and ran through to 3PM on Saturday April 13th. Further to this, the fair offered free firs t base testing such as Body Mass Index testing, Free HIV Testing with Pre and Post-test counselling, HIV Awareness, Breast Check UP, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Information, Down Syndrome Information, Mental Health Services and Blood Sugar Check amongst others. Residents of Caye Caulker took advantage of the fair and all the services and with music provided by Amador Magana of Caye Caulker, the court was soon bustling with residents receiving services.

Belize Fashion Week 2013 brings color and creativity to life!
Fashion Week Cocktail Reception-6From Thursday through Sunday, fashion was the name of the game as Belize Fashion Week 2013 brought color, design and creativity to the forefront. Young Belizean fashion designers had a chance to showcase their talent for designing clothing, jewelry and handmade purses. Gorgeous Belizean models also had the opportunity to walk a runway under the lights for all to see. International designers Marisol Hernriquez and Momo Soho brought their own flair and talent, mixing beautifully with the raw talent that shone over the course of two nights. Fashion Week began with a cocktail reception held on Thursday, April 11th, where models, fashion-lovers and designers mingled in a fun, informal setting at Caprice Bar & Grill. It was an opportunity to meet Fashion Week Cocktail Reception-35with the people who would be showcased over the next two nights at Fido’s Courtyard.

Ambergris Today

National AIDS Commission Held Health Fair in Caye Caulker
The National Aids Commission (NAC) / Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee was established to Coordinate the Efforts locally towards the National One Response!!! We are a limb of the National Aids Commission (which is the only entity in the country sanctioned by the Belize Government to work in the Response to HIV) and as such we follow the guidelines established in the NAC's National Strategic Plan. Our vision is: "By the end of 2012, Belize will have continued to reduce the number of new HIV infections; extended the length and quality of life of people with HIV and their families; significantly reduce discrimination against persons vulnerable to HIV; and effectively coordinated a multi-sectoral response which is human rights based and gender responsive." Our Specific Goals are three fold: * Ending New HIV Infections, * Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Individuals living with HIV * Creating an Enabling Environment.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Belize Top Model of The Week - Lauren
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected based on various criteria by a well known and published photographer in Belize, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography and Lucelli Cal the owner and principal of one of the hottest trending boutiques in Belize, Catwalk Fashions. We will take you on a journey with us as we travel around Belize and perform these photoshoots in these beautiful locations with gorgeous models. The Main photo selected weekly is published on a full color print page in the Belize Times Newspaper in Belize. Make sure to tune in to see who our next weekly Top Model will be. Music by Chris Martin - "Hotta Than Dem"

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize

Video: Extraction of natural resources, 1930
In 1930 clearing YOUR forest for banana plantation and air spraying it with poison to your health and then taking it to Jamaica and unloading at Rotterdam making the British rich on your natural resources.

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize II
Freetown Road and North Circular Road

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize III

JTF-B supports Belizean drug eradication
Joint Task Force-Bravo, together with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, assisted Belize authorities in a successful marijuana eradication operation April 8-11 throughout the Northern Tier of Belize. The operations resulted in the Belizean government destroying 16 fields, 61,000 illicit plants, 330 pounds of compressed marijuana and 22 pounds of marijuana seeds; for an initial estimate of $12.5 million U.S. dollars. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided the aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and the Jacob’s ladder familiarization support to 55 Belize Defense Forces personnel. “Jacob’s ladder, or caving ladder, operations were used in areas where the landing zone could potentially harm the aircraft,” said Army Staff Sgt. Glen Haynie, Bravo Company Standardization instructor. “It allowed us to get troops down and up without landing and still accomplish the mission.” The assets and expertise used to work jointly with the Belizean government allowed previously unseen levels of interdiction.

Race relations issues in Belize should be dealt with now
By Wellington C. Ramos There are some Belizeans who believe that our country does not have a race problem and we do not need to address this issue, but they are living in a fantasy world. When the British landed in Belize, the indigenous people of Belize were the Maya Indians. They fought against the British to try and keep their land but without success. Some of these Maya Indians fled to neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala where they continue to move back and forth within these three countries. The Mayas were living throughout the whole of Central America but the Spanish were able to take over all their territory with the use of brute military force. The British brought slaves to Belize from Africa to cut logwood and mahogany for them from the 1600s to the middle 1800s -- almost two hundred years of slavery. During slavery in Belize, some of these slaves had children for their slave masters and were given their slave master's name, hence the reason why most Creole Belizeans have British names.

VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Belize - GO SLOW
If you're looking for island vibes, beautiful weather, underwater adventure, reggae beats, and good people, travel on over to Caye Caulker, Belize! In this video, I reunite with my best friend Allie and get to know the island of Caye Caulker.

Cuban Medical Scholarships Application
Cuba is offering scholarships for medical students for Belizeans between the ages of 18 and 25. This is an incredible opportunity, so if you like science, go for it! "The Government of the Republic of Cuba, under the Belize/Cuba Government Scholarship Programme, is once again awarding scholarships to the Government of Belize. The scholarship will allow qualifying Belizean students to enter the Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Medicas (ELAM), in the city of Havana, Cuba, to pursue a medical degree... Applications packages can be downloaded and printed from www.moe.gov.bz. Packages are also available at the Ministry of Education in Belmopan and District Education offices countrywide. Completed application packages must be hand-delivered to the office of the Tertiary and Post Secondary Education Services no later than May 17, 2013 and should be addressed to: Director, Tertiary and Post Secondary Education Services, Ministry of Education, West Block, Third Floor, Room 10, Belmopan"

Caribbean Film Showcase at GPC
Tonight at the George Price Centre in Belmopan, the 5th Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is having their cocktail party and film screening. They will show two movies, one being from Cuba and the other from Jamaica. Everyone is invited, and it's free. "For more information, kindly contact Ms.Suzette Jayden, Coodinator, Film and Media Arts Unit, Institute of Creative Arts, National Institute of Culture and History, Facilitator, Belize Film Commission, Director, Belize International Film Festival. Tel: (501) 227-2110 / Cell: (501) 600-8283 ."

UB's Lady Jaguars Win at ATLIB
A big congratulations to the University of Belize's Lady Black Jaguars for winning the ATLIB football championship! They traveled to the Corozal district to play at Escuela Mexico on Sunday, and they brought back the 1st place trophy. "UB Lady Black Jaguars are the new ATLIB Football Champions after defeating Belize Adventist Junior College (BAJC), and Independence Junior College (IJC) on Sunday, April 14, 2013. The first game was against BAJC which ended in a 1-1 tie during regular time which meant the victory was going to be decided at the penalty shots. UB’s able goal keeper Idania Ramirez, stopped three penalties, and UB classified to the championship game. In the final game of the day UB scored the only goal of the game, Rosaria Cal was the striker of that decisive goal."

Rotaractor of the Month
Congratulations to Marlayna Hecker, who is the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio's Rotaractor of the Month. If you're interested in joing Rotaract, or just finding out more about all the great projects they do around Cayo, they meet at 7:00pm on Wednesdays at Hode's. Keep up the great work, Marlayna! "Why she joined Rotaract... Moving from another country gave me extra motivation to join groups here in Belize. Rotaract's proven history of service and professional development seemed the most attractive of the options out there. So far, I love the energy and overall attitude of the Rotaract San Ignacio club and look forward to working alongside my new friends."

Belize Fashion Week 2013
Cayo was well represented at the Belize Fashion Week in San Pedro. Joris Hendrik and Gabriela Berrera, with her Add!ction line, were there to show off their designs. Jose Luis Zapata was on hand capturing the magic of the catwalk. And is it just a coincidence that the catwalk is in the shape of a 'J' as in Joris? "An excellent Fashion Show at Fido's Courtyard featuring local and intenational models and designers. Feel free to share the photos. Enjoy! :~))"

BELTRAIDE / SBDCBelize workshop at Belize Fashion Week 2013
The Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) main goal in Belize Fashion Week was the strengthening and capacity-building of eight Belizean Designers by providing training in Entrepreneurship, corresponding to Business plan development, Marketing and Sales workshops. These workshops provided the guidelines that cover the core elements that make up the foundation of a business; along with examples for proper development and marketing applications.

Channel 7

Bees Swarm and Kill Child In OW District
Tonight there is terrible news coming out of the Orange Walk District: a four year old boy is dead and his five year old brother, Pedro Thiessen is critical after they were swarmed by killer bees. Their father and his nephew – both adults – were also injured when they tried to save the children. According to preliminary reports, it happened in the Little Belize area this afternoon when the children were playing under a tree at Camp 70. The four year old boy was stung in the face and head and by the time they got him to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, he was already dead. His brother is tonight at the Northern Medical Plaza – still in critical condition. We’ll have more on this story tomorrow.

The Real Rosewood Deal: DPM’s Brother Is @ Top Of Food Chain
Last week when the Rosewood news broke – it had the air of a scandal – a private trucking company carting out thousands of board feet of confiscated rosewood from the forestry compound in Belmopan. Since then, Government has tried to get in front of the story – but mostly they’ve ended up getting run over by it. And that’s because there hasn’t been any coherent and orderly explanation of what’s happening, why and when the decision was taken. But today, back from Istanbul and up to speed on all the latest developments, Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla addressed the media in an 8:30 press conference at the Fisheries building in Belize city. 7news had a front row seat:… This morning, Minister of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla was calm and at ease as she met with the media. She opened with a statement: Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development "The events of the past week have understandably given cause for concern. The decisions and actions were taken with full cognizance that the decision, while not being a popular one, was with the best interest to resolve an impasse in the local Rosewood trade. The rationale for Belize's decision - the Government's decision is based on several mutually supporting activities. To account for the entire volume of Rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with a decision made by CITES on March 14th with respect with the trade in Rosewood. The CITES decision directly limits and affects the exportation of Rosewood in its raw form as logs or flitches, lumber, veneer and plywood sheets. With this in mind, the Ministry of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development undertook to institute an amnesty period on all harvested Rosewood. The purpose of the amnesty is to allow all those persons in possession of Rosewood material to declare it to the Forest Department.

GOB In Talk With Norwegian; Causes Conservation/Cruise Sector Worries
Tonight, waves of concern continue to ripple across the Tourism Sector as the Government of Belize has engaged in talks with the Cruise Tourism giant, Norwegian Cruise Line, about a major Cruise terminal on a small island in Southern Belize. Reliable information to 7News is that NCL has approached GOB with a proposal to build a cruise port to call in Placencia. Part of the plan is to purchase Crawl Caye, which is a few miles away from mainland Placencia, to operate marine tours. Crawl Caye is a privately owned island currently on sale on the internet for 6 million US dollars. One of the major concerns about this development is that Crawl Caye sits inside the South Water Marine Reserve, which is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Environmentalists have contacted our newsroom so provide us with the opinion that all the major development to accommodate this cruise port will have major environmental impacts because of the close proximity to the Barrier Reef, which the website advertisement proudly boasts of as a perk to owning the island.

Cab Driver Killed In ‘Griga
Police have recovered the murder weapon and have a suspect in the weekend’s only murder – which happened in Dangriga Town yesterday. The victim is 23 year old Charles Ariola – a taxi driver. Yesterday afternoon at around 3:45, he was hanging out in a yard when he had a misunderstanding with Herman Grant, who was along with Raheem Williams and Elton Martinez. They left and came back five minutes later and Grant slapped Ariola in the face. Ariola tried to grab him and that’s when Grant pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol and shot him in the chest. Ariola was rushed to the hospital, but died at 4:13 pm. Police recovered the pistol allegedly used by Grant loaded with three live rounds. 24 year old Herman Grant, 18 year old Raheem Williams, and a 17yr. old minor have been detained pending charges.

Boots Bangles Burglars
Tonight, 7 Belize City residents are facing criminal charges in relation to $31,000 dollars in stolen building supplies. The allegations are that between Thursday, April 11, and April 12, 3 houses in the final stage of construction at mile 1 on the Western Highway were burglarized. The thieves made off with doors, windows, window frames, and bathroom items such as the toilets, and basins. Well, quick police investigation led to the recovery of a large portion of the items, and the arrest of 43 year-old Louis Robinson, along with his wife and 15 year-old and 17 year-old daughters. They were charged with 2 counts of handling stolen goods, and they were arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court. After police intercepted the items at Robinson’s home, they were led to 26 year-old Michael Godoy, and 19 year-old Adrian Avaloy, who they arrested and charged jointly with 3 counts burglary. They were also arraigned in court today. They were also charged jointly with Mark Godoy Sr. with handling stolen goods because some of the items were connected back to these three men by police.

Hon. Elrington Says He’ll Walk Out Of OAS Meeting If Offensive Map Displayed
Tonight, the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Alberto Ramdin is in Belize for a quick round of meetings, visits and a press conference. He’s not here to discuss the hardline position on the referendum that Guatemala has taken, that’s the Secretary General’s job. But, we gather, that he is here to talk about Belize’s presence at the 43rd General Assembly on June fourth in Antigua, Guatemala. There’s an issue because Guatemala is now including Belize on many of its official maps as part of its territory, separated only by a dotted line. It will also be on their new passport – and the PUP says that if they were in charge, no one with that passport would be allowed to enter the country. Today Foreign Minister Elrington took a more moderate position – while also laying down a hardline: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Foreign Minister "I think that the way to handle these things is to solve it through diplomatic means or to solve it through legal means with the least discord and the least break in relationship between the two countries." Jules Vasquez "So you will attend the meeting on June 14th - the OAS General Assembly?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "That would be the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be recommending to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that we attend these meetings and if you're not at the table, you won't be able to defend yourself. You have to be at the table to be able to defend yourself."

Chavez Successor Squeezes Out A Victory in Presidential Elections
Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro is the new president of Venezueala, but only by the slimmest of margins. Maduro won with a mere 50.8% of the vote – the closest poll that country has seen in 45 years. His opponent Henrique Capriles is alleging voter fraud and has demanded a recount, but the Venezuelan Congress is opposing it. While that plays out, preserving the Chavez status quo is important for Belize and other countries in the region that have benefited from Chavissmo initiatives such as Petrocaribe, Housing Grants and Mission Milagro.

Canadian Tour Guides in Belize
Tonight, a small contingent of Canadian Tourism Industry professionals is in Belize to experience what the Belize tourism package has to offer. Canadian tourists are a major marketing target for the BTB because they contribute significantly to the annual numbers for overnight visitors. And so today, when they arrived at the PGIA, 7News spoke to them about the importance of experiencing Belize as opposed to just reading about it in some tourism article. Here’s what they told us. Alyssa Carnegie - Marketing Director, BTB "They are here to actually familiarize themselves with the Belize product and to get to know a little bit more about Belize. And to know what we have to offer so that they can better sell that to Canadian residents and potential visitors from Canada in the future. So it's really important because a lot of people are booking their vacation by travel agents. A lot of people anticipate that it's just to log on and go to a website and book their website. But that's not necessarily true. A lot of people use travel agents because they trust what their travel agents have to tell them. So it's important that these travel agents are familiar and know the product that they are selling as well. You wouldn't be a sales person and not know what you're selling. So it's important for them. The destination has also developed quite extensively. Belize has become very sexy and lots of new developments happening and they want to get to know that. They want to experience it and get to see what it's like firsthand."

Special Envoy Targets Sexual Abuse in New Book
Today, Kim Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation launched a children’s book called “My Body is Precious”. Monica Bodden found out what it’s about at today’s launch. Hundreds of primary School students from across the city were invited to the Bliss today for the launch of a children’s book entitled "My Body Is Precious". The book is a part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. It is the brainchild of Belize’s First Lady and Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Kim Simplis Barrow - Special Envoy for Women and Children "It's a project that started like about three years ago. I had asked Starla to work with me to put together a piece of information that will be child friendly and that they children would be able to read easily and that parents would be able to feel comfortable with reading the story to their children. So we started working and putting all the elements together and then we embarked on bringing UNICEF on board and all the different players, getting an administrator and getting the printing company to work with us. It's been work in progress really. It really stems from protecting our children and my passion is children. I really wanted to ensure that we could provide something that these children could read and understand that their body is precious and no one has the right to touch them in a body way or in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is what this book is all about."

Smart Science Students Shine In Regional Competition
Tonight, the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk is the recipient of much praise and recognition in the Caribbean after they won a regional science and technology competition, held in Barbados. The high school sent representatives to Barbados to participate in the Regional Sagicor Visionaries’ Challenge, and they won with their entry, Coconuts4life. They brought back 5 thousand US dollars in prize money, and so today, 7News got a chance to speak with one of the students who made the presentation. Here’s what he told us about what Coconuts4life means: Angel Navidad - 1st Place, Bishop Martin High School "It was about finding a problem in your community or school and taking it up as a challenge using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to solve it and create more sustainable community." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about your project and how did it perform in terms of the judges expectations?" Angel Navidad "Our project was about an Eco-Park which was called 'Coconuts4life' which would give us Coconut Water to solve the dehydration problem in our school. It would give habitats because there are already forests and savannah where we planned to make it. We would also teach the people sustainable practices so that they can take it home and they can practice sustainable practices and like that you bring sustainability to the park and into the community to create a more sustainable community."

Cricel Castillo Shines In Florida Figure Competition
And while those students excelled in the Caribbean, Cricel Castillo made a name for Belize in Florida this weekend. The 24 year old participated in a figure bodybuilding competition in Boca Raton Florida this weekend and won first place in the Figure category. She’s actually there pursuing a master’s degree but she started to seriously work out while in Belize with her instructor Mr. Jones. And when she went to the US, she continued, honing her petite frame to near muscular perfection. And that’s what she was recognized for when she came out ahead of a group of 50 competitors, in her first major event. It’s quite an accomplishment and via phone from south Florida, she told us what made her stand out. Voice of Cricel Castillo - First place, Figure Competition, Diamond Classic, Florida "I was really scared out of my mind because I was really fighting for this dream so long and so hard but because it was all coming into place, it kind of scared me and I began questioning my body. Was I big enough? Was I ready? Will I make a fool of myself on stage? Will I represent Belize in a wrong way? All of those questions crossing my mind and at that point my coach handed me over these little Bible stories. So I prayed to Him for strength and for faith in myself. To be quite honest i think all of that exuded force throughout the day of the competition and that was actually something I was judged on so well. The judges all told me how confident I was and I had so much poise. They told me they could tell I was a dancer. All of this is for Belize."

Teenager Accused By Family Of Burning Down Their Home Goes To Court
Last week, 7News showed you 19 year-old Alexander Pitts, the young man suspected of burning down his family’s home on Holy Emmanuel Street. Well, tonight, he is on remand after he was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court today. As we reported, the house at lot 45 was set ablaze and the entire house was destroyed. Police and Fire Department officials arrived shortly after, and they detained Pitts. He was eventually arrested and charged with arson, and he was arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until May 15, 2013, his next court date. As we showed you in our story on last week Thursday, the family believes that he was having some sort of mental episode. He reportedly stood on the street and watch the house burn down after he lit it on fire. Neither the home nor the contents were insured.

The Week Of Vansh Gifting Begins
As we told you last week, Xtrahouse owner Jack Charles wanted to do something special for his son Vansh’s birthday – something that would teach the six year old that on his birthday, instead of thinking about receiving gifts, he should be giving. Two years ago, he held a mass, gala birthday party for all children born on the same day as Vansh, that is April 19th. This year, he’s set up a mass giveaway, and he’s doing it along with Channel 7. Here’s how it works: all children all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate. The gift sharing started today and continues until Friday. The giveaway continues tomorrow. Starting at 1:30 pm and going to 5:30 pm, only if you are 12 or under and your birthday is April 19th, you can come to Channel 7 at the corner of Dean and Albert to get your gift.

Town Clock Re-Loaded
The Dr. Frederick Gahney Town Clock on Barrack Road has been there for decades – almost a century, actually. But it had earned the reputation for being one of those clocks that are only right twice a day; you know the kind, a busted clock. WELL, now it’s been renovated and it’s always right because RF and G insurance has sponsored a brand new clock. The mayor told us more at the launching today: Mayor Darrell Bradley "One of the things that RF&G felt that they wanted to give another gift to the residents of Belize City. This is a clock that has always been maintained by RF&G Insurance and they've give it a total face lift in terms of purchasing a brand new clock and giving it a new paint job. They will be continuing to do the maintenance for the clock of the tune of $20,000. It is very important as I said in the presentation, Belizeans always have a problem with time and this is another reminder, a gift from RF&G insurance that time is important and that we should always be on time."

Channel 5

Rosewood sold to brother of Minister Gaspar Vega
Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla took the hot seat this morning to explain the recent rosewood scandal. It includes a decision by Cabinet to declare an amnesty for those in possession of the precious hardwood, and to approve the sale and export of rosewood with government splitting the profits from sales. We’ll have that explanation in [...]

50/50 profit split, but Lisel Alamilla says it was cabinet decision
And from the rosewood which was under government lock and key, to all those countless board feet which were in hiding because of the moratorium and are now coming to light under amnesty. With the decision becoming public while Minister Alamilla was out of the country, many speculated that it was a case of ‘while [...]

Minister says Maya communities are part of rosewood extraction
The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde’s Association have issued a joint statement saying that they are deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by the actions of government. Spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc, told News five that it was an insult and a slap in the face of the Maya people. Well [...]

Belize to attend O.A.S. meeting in Guatemala, but may protest
The second highest ranking man in the Organization of American States is visiting. Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin is in Belize regarding relations among Belize, Guatemala and the O.A.S.  Ramdin will oversee the upcoming General Assembly that will be held in Antigua, Guatemala from the fourth to the sixth of June. That holds significance for [...]

Calls for O.A.S. and CARICOM must to defuse political tension
The Caribbean is also weighing in on the territorial dispute. An article in the Trinidad Express calls on CARICOM and the Organization of American States to step into the fray to defuse political tension between Belize and Guatemala—political tension which has resulted, according to the author, from Guatemala’s surprisingly hostile act to circulate a new [...]

Cab driver shot and killed in Dangriga
The most recent homicide takes us south to Dangriga where a taxi driver was shot on Sunday afternoon. Twenty-three year old Charles Ariola was blasted on the chest with a nine millimeter pistol; he died minutes later at the Southern Regional Hospital. Two men and a minor with whom Ariola was engaged in an argument [...]

4 year old dies following attack by killer bees
Two young boys were stung by killer bees today in Little Belize up north. The siblings, four year old Pedro and five year old Enrique Thiessen, were playing under a tree when they were attacked by the bees. They were rushed to the Northern Regional hospital, but the four year old, who was stung to [...]

Norwegian Cruise Line going to the south?
Is there a cruise ship port of call in the works for southern Belize? Talks of a massive tourism development project, to be spearheaded by Norwegian Cruise Line, has been bubbling below the surface for the past few weeks, despite strong objection from environmentalists, as well as residents of Placencia and surrounding communities.  Crawl Caye, [...]

Territorial Volunteers will get in trouble; Guats protest
In early April, the Belize Territorial Volunteers traveled to Dolores in Toledo to continue their “Clear the Border” project in which they intend to demarcate the border between Belize and Guatemala. During this second excursion, they alleged that a Guatemalan company called African Palm Plantation had its property on this side of the border. The [...]

If Guatemalan passports include Belize, entry into the country will be allowed
At the top of the newscast, you heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs say that the Belize delegation would walk out of the June O.A.S. General assembly if Guatemala produces images offensive to the territorial integrity of Belize. But Guatemala also intends on producing ten million passports that will annex Belize to its landmass. Would [...]

Diplomats called home to chart plan for Guatemala issue
Despite all the offensive actions taken by Guatemala showing that it is keeping the unfounded claim alive, Minister Elrington says his ministry must wait for an official response from the O.A.S. regarding Guatemala’s position regarding the October sixth referendum. Guatemala’s President, Otto Perez Molina, had requested via the O.A.S. that Belize amends the Referendum Act [...]

Alexander Pitts charged for burning down family home
A teenager is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly setting on fire his family’s house in the Gungulung area last Thursday.  Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts was charged this morning with Arson in the court of Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Everything was lost in the blaze and according to police, the [...]

7 persons on bail for 3 house burglaries
Seven persons are currently on bail for charges related to the burglary of three government-constructed houses on the George Price Highway. Two men, twenty-six year old Michael Godoy and nineteen year old Adrian Avaloy were jointly charged with three counts of Burglary. It is alleged that sometime on the eighth or ninth of April, 2013, [...]

Baptist High School wins regional Sagicor Science Competition
After competing nationally, representatives from the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk Town travelled to Barbados to compete on the regional stage. It was no small feat as they took on equally bright science minds from other CARICOM countries with their project called Coconuts for Life.  The competition   targets the innovation of high school [...]

“My Body is Precious,” a children’s book on sexual abuse
My Body is Precious…that’s the name of a new publication that tackles sexual abuse against children. The brightly illustrated book makes for easy reading and was launched this morning as a special project by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow.  The book explains in clear and simple terms, the difference between [...]

Agents say Belize is top destination for Canadians
Canada is one of the prime markets for Belize as a tourist destination. Today a contingent of some twenty persons from the Canadian travel industry arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. The travel agents, tour operators and travel press are participating in a seven-day familiarization trip organized by the Belize Tourism Board which will [...]

Chocolate forever, well loved conservationist passes away
A man who dedicated a great portion of his life to conservation has passed away. His efforts brought him critical and international acclaim by environmental groups. He was simply known as “Chocolate” to everyone he met. But eighty-three year old Leonel Heredia had been ill for two weeks and died from the effects of an [...]

Sports Monday highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 12 of the PLB Football Season saw league leading and defending champions, Belmopan Bandits play host Saturday night to FC Belize who came into the Isidoro Beaton Stadium looking for the full three points in an effort to keep their playoff hopes alive. [...]

LOVE FM

Bus Owner Seeks Compensation From Owner of Cow Following Collision
Last week Friday night a traffic mishap involving a bus and a cow occurred on Mile 10 which left the conductor of the buss with injuries and the bus owner frustrated. Bert Ramos, Owner of Ramos Bus Service says that a herd of cattle suddenly appeared crossing the road. Ramos says that ...

Orange Walk High School Wins Regional Science And Technology Competition In Barbados
On Friday, April 12, Belize was represented in the Regional Sagicor Visionaries’ Challenge in Barbados. Belize was represented by Bishop Martin High School of Orange Walk. The school’s idea was to showcase the coconut palm as a versatile element and that idea has gained Bis...

Minister Explains Decision For Amnesty Period On Rosewood
Last week the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla and her Department received a lot of flak from quite a few sectors of the community over Cabinet’s recent decision to return the flitches of rosewood that have been illegally harvested and allow for their exportation. The d...

Centennial Celebrations In Belize Continue With The Pallotine Sisters
Major activities in connection with the Pallotine Sisters Centennial Celebrations in Belize continued Saturday in Belize City. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG "The event was marked by a centennial style Youth Jamboree and Liturgy held at Birds' Isl...

Three Persons Charged For Burglary On Government Houses
Three persons were charged in connection with the burglary of three houses that are being constructed by the Government when they appeared in court. They are Mark Godoy Sr. , his son , 26 year old Michael Godoy and 19 year old Adrian Avaloy. Michael and Adrian were charged with t...

Teenager Remanded To Prison Following Alleged Arson and Claim of Hearing Voices
Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts, an unemployed of Holy Emmanuel Street, who allegedly burned down a plywood house belonging to his mother, was charged with arson when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from him because the offence is ind...

Renovated Town Clock Unveiled In Belize City; Mayor Makes Presentation On Behalf of Secretary of State for Illinois
Renovation work on the Dr. Frederick Gahne Town Clock located on Barrack Road in Belize City was unveiled this morning. The work of restoring the clock was done by RF&G Insurance as explained by Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley DARREL BRADLEY "RF&G for th...

Dangriga Police Investigate Taxi Man Murder
A taxi driver was murdered in Dangriga Town yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU "Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they ...

Special Book Launch Just For Children
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund this morning launched “My body is precious” a book for little ones discussing the topic of child sexual abuse. The book dep...


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#462488 - 04/16/13 12:04 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 16, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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CTV3

Father Is Accused Of Abusing His 12 Year Old Daughter
When we report on cases of carnal knowledge or rape committed against female minors, it puts one to think what goes through the mind of the perpetrator. But when we hear that the victims aggressor is her own father we are lack for words. There is such a case being investigated in Orange Walk Town tonight. CTV3 News understands that over the weekend a 12 year old Belizean student visited the station in the company of her mother and reported that in the month of December 2012, her father took her to an abandoned house and had sexual intercourse with her. But that was not the first time the child was abused. She told police that at the age of four her father also had sexual intercourse with her. Indeed it is a disturbing report and one that police are investigating. The father of the 12 year old has not been detained by police since he is nowhere to be found.

OAS To Hold Meeting With Both Belize And Guatemala To Determine Faith Of Referendum
Tonight the October 6th Referendum continues in limbo an all indications are that the next fifteen days will be crucial ones as the future of the referendum will be decided. On Wednesday April 10th, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, traveled to Washington where he met with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and requested the postponement of the October 6th simultaneous referendum since Belize refuses to amend its referendum laws to a simple majority. After that meeting with Carrera, which Belize did not form part of; the OAS has decided to hold what is considered to be virtually the last meeting with both parties to decide the faith of the referendum during the last two weeks of April. The reunion must take place during the two week time frame since the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to the referendum to resolve the dispute at the International Court of Justice is expected to convene in May. Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina has stated on the record that his country will not take part in the referendum process if Belize does not change its referendum laws in order to level the playing field.

Corozal's Rainbow Beach Extended To Accommodate More Visitors
For several days now there has been a good amount of speculation regarding the destruction of the building that formerly housed the Lands Department In Corozal located near the Rainbow Beach Area. Word was that the building was demolished since the parcel of land, which belongs to Government, was awarded to a certain U.D.P Minister from the Corozal District. But apparently there is no substance to those rumors as Mayor of Corozal Town Hilberto Campos says, the building was demolished in order to extend the Rainbow Beach Area in order to accommodate more visitors.

Four Year Old Dies After He Is Attacked By A Swarm Of Killer Bees
Tonight the family of a four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in the Corozal District is mourning his death after the child was attacked by a swarm of killer bees. CTV3 News understands that the four year old and his brother were playing behind the family’s residence located at Camp 70 in Little Belize when they were attacked by Africanized bees. Both boys were stung on the face and head but the four year old never made it to the hospital as he died while on the way.

Rosewood to be Sold To GIV, Company Owned by DPM's Brother
Last week the Government of Belize, particularly the Ministry of Forestry, came under fire after it was announced that Government was awarding a 19 days amnesty period for the sale and export of Rosewood to exporters who illegally harvest the precious wood during the moratorium that was set in place 13 months ago. The fact that the 19 days amnesty was implemented while Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla was out of the country, certainly raised eyebrows and left more questions than answers, answers, which received a response this morning during a press conference held by Minister Alamilla in Belize City. The press conference was scheduled for an unusual time, at 8:00am. It began at around 8:30 and lasted half an hour during which time; in a prepared speech, Minister Alamilla explained her government’s decision to carry out the 19 days amnesty program. According to Alamilla, the decision comes at the heels of the 16th Session of the Conference of Parties on the convention on International Trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Honorable Lisel Alamilla- Minister of Forestry “The events of the past week have understandably given cause of concern and the decisions and actions were taken with full cognizance that the decision while not being a popular one was with the best interest to resolve an in past in the local rosewood trade, since the rose wood moratorium was enacted we have had modest success in regulating the trade and export of rosewood. However addmitively so, we have been unable to get a firm grasp on the illegal harvesting of rosewood which has decreased considerably from the time the moratorium was put in place thus far we have in excess of three containers with over 25000 board feet of rose wood material in our possession and accounted for an possible a larger volume still in private storage or on the ground already cut.

BMHS Named Champions Of The Regional Sagicor Challenge
They were named the overall champions of the Belize Catholic Secondary High School National Science Fair on March 8th, and then they were the only High School from the Orange Walk District to enter the National Sagicor Visionaries Challenge and were named the National Champions On March 20th with their Coconut for Life Project. The win earned the Science group a spot in the regional competition that took place in Barbados from the 12th to the 13th of April. Tonight we are proud to report that Bishop Martin High School is making headlines both locally and internationally as they were named the regional champions of the Sagicor Challenge. Today Belize’s representatives, Science Teacher Shakira Gonzales and group member Angel Navidad travelled back to the country. Their flight arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport at 10:00am where they were welcomed as true heroes. Of course, in light that Bishop Martin High School is from Orange Walk Town and us as the local media have always highlighted their achievements we travelled all the way to the airport to greet the duo. Elmer Cornejo reports. Elmer Cornejo- Reporting It was a grand homecoming for the winners of the Regional Sagicor Visionaries Challenge that was held in Barbados at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from the 12th to the 13th of April. As Science teacher Shakira Gonzales and group member Angel Navidad arrived on the 10:00am fight of American Airlines from Miami they were greeted as true heroes. And the welcome was well deserved since the high school placed Belize on the International map with their Coconut For Life Project.

Family Left Homeless, Their House Goes Up In Flames
On Wednesday April 10th an early morning fire left the Barkley family homeless as their residence located on Woodpecker Street in the Village of Trail Farm, in Orange Walk Town, was swallowed by flames. The family of eight, was sleeping when the fire started in one of the bedrooms occupied by 29 year old Karina Barkley, her daughter 3 year old Natasha Regalado and her common-law-husband Douglas Leslie who sustained third degree burns to the to the hand, face and other parts of the body. While the Fire Department was unable to determine the exact cause of the fire the family believes that fish coil which was lit in the room started the blaze. And tonight another family is homeless this time they hail from the Village of Progresso in the District of Corozal. At around 6:00am on the 13th of April, 23 year old Wilfredo Silverto Lino, Belizean Laborer of Progresso Village and his wife left their residence to go visit Lino’s in-laws who live in the same village. Half an hour later Lino received a call from his neighbor informing him that his pimento house with zinc roofing was on fire. By the time Lino arrived at his residence it was already totally destroyed by the fire. The house had no electricity but a kerosene lamp was left lit inside. The house and its contents are valued at $6,000.00bcy. The Corozal Fire Department is presently investigating the matter.

Venezuelans Elect New President
Yesterday Venezuelans headed out to the polls for the second time in less than a year to elect a new president following the death of former President Hugo Chavez who passed away on March 5th after losing the battle against cancer. Shortly before midnight the president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council announced acting President Nicolas Maduro as the winner of Venezuela's election to fulfill the remainder of deceased leader Hugo Chavez's presidential term. The 50-year-old former bus driver and union leader whom Chavez named as his preferred heir before dying from cancer, edged out opposition challenger Henrique Capriles with 50.7 percent of the votes in yesterday’s election. Maduro won by a close margin as figures show that he earned seven million five hundred and five thousand three hundred and thirty eight votes while Capriles obtained seven million two hundred and seventy one thousand four hundred and three votes. That’s 235,000 fewer ballots. While Capriles, refused to recognize the result and said his team had a list of more than 3,000 irregularities ranging from gunshots to the illegal reopening of polling centers, the National Electoral Council has announced that these results are irreversible as almost 80% of eligible voters participated in the election.

LOVE TV

Bus Owner Seeks Compensation From Owner of Cow Following Collision
Last week Friday night a traffic mishap involving a bus and a cow occurred on Mile 10 which left the conductor of the buss with injuries and the bus owner frustrated. Bert Ramos, Owner of Ramos Bus Service says that a herd of cattle suddenly appeared crossing the road. Ramos says that the driver of the bus could not avoid hitting the cows. Here is what Ramos told us today about the incident. BERT RAMOS “Friday night, coming from Belize City, approximately the bus leaves Belize City 7:30, I would say about 8pm approaching the airport area, a cow just came out of the bushes and ran across the road. At the same time, the driver for the bus Mr. Castillo was preventing from knocking the cow by holding on to his brakes but he could not prevent it and so if you noticed, he knocked the cow with this side of the bus and it caused all these damage here; broke up the hood of the bus, dented the bumper and caused the light to break out. It’s the cow that was hit caused all these damages. The conductor was by the door standing up and due to the collision, the conductor got hit on the back of his head on the rail that you hold on to when getting into the bus.” Ramos is looking for compensation for the damages to his buss and says that the buss cannot operate if the damages are not fixed. This, Ramos says, is causing him to lose money.

Minister Explains Decision For Amnesty Period On Rosewood
Last week the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla and her Department received a lot of flak from quite a few sectors of the community over Cabinet’s recent decision to return the flitches of rosewood that have been illegally harvested and allow for their exportation. The decision was announced while the Minister was away and organizations such as the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, and the Maya Leaders Alliance have fired off their criticisms over the decision, which allows for an amnesty period, temporarily lifting a moratorium implemented 13 months ago. And just back in the country, Minister Alamilla faced the media today to answer the questions that have been raised in her absence. The rosewood saga, she said in a prepared speech, is a microcosm of an issue that is being addressed collectively worldwide and the decision, while not necessarily being a popular one, was taken to resolve an impasse in the local rosewood trade and that it had been a while in the making. Since the rosewood moratorium was enacted, Minister Alamilla said that the Forestry Department has had modest success in regulating the trade and exportation of the product. However, the department has been unable to have control over illegal harvesting of the product. Hence, the reason for the decision. LISEL ALAMILLA “The rationale for Belize’s decision, the government’s decision is based on several mutually supporting activities to account for the entire volume of rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with decision made by CITES on March 14 with respect to the trade in rosewood.

Centennial Celebrations In Belize Continue With The Pallotine Sisters
Major activities in connection with the Pallotine Sisters Centennial Celebrations in Belize continued Saturday in Belize City. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The event was marked by a centennial style Youth Jamboree and Liturgy held at Birds’ Isle with welcome remarks by Christine Smith of the Coordinating Committee while committee member, Lincoln Gillett introduced the dynamic and vibrant Guest Speaker, founder of Eternal Light Community in Trinidad and Tobago, Deborah de Rocia. Her inspirational and touching presentations focused on vital topics, call, gifted and sent directed to the youths of Belize.” DEBORAH de ROCIA “Young people: God is counting on you; God is depending upon you; he has given you by vitality; he has given you the fullness of life; he wants you to know that from your mother’s womb he called you, he consecrated you that you could be his very own. He wants to remind you that you are precious, that you are honored, that he loves you and that you must bring hope to your younger brothers and sisters. You must call them that they too must know that they are called; they are loved by God, He wants to befriend them and that God gifted them; God has gifted all of you. Use your gift, use your talent to build a new society for God is raising up a Kaleb and a Joshua generation that will bring the message of Christ, the message of salvation to all young people. May god bless you.”

Three Persons Charged For Burglary On Government Houses
Three persons were charged in connection with the burglary of three houses that are being constructed by the Government when they appeared in court. They are Mark Godoy Sr. , his son , 26 year old Michael Godoy and 19 year old Adrian Avaloy. Michael and Adrian were charged with three counts of burglary. All three were charged with handling stolen goods. They pled not guilty to the charges and they were each offered a bail of $4,000.00. Their case was adjourned until June 6. The burglary occurred between April 11 and April 12. The police reported that several persons burglarized three houses that are being constructed in the Linda Vista area and they stole six exterior wooden doors, nine interior wooden doors, 6 exterior door locks, nine interior door locks, one toilet bowl and one wash basin. The police reported that the following day April 12, they went to Godoy’s house and they recovered all of the stolen items.

Teenager Remanded To Prison Following Alleged Arson and Claim of Hearing Voices
Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts, an unemployed of Holy Emmanuel Street, who allegedly burned down a plywood house belonging to his mother, was charged with arson when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from him because the offence is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail for Pitts own safety because Pitts ,who appears to be mentally challenged, said that he was hearing voices and some creatures who did not have human faces were after him. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Pitts into custody until May 15. Pitts has a laceration around his neck and according to reports he tried to hang himself. The incident occurred on April 11. Police reports are that Pitts completely destroyed the house which had a value of $8,000. And its contents, valued at $3,000.

Renovated Town Clock Unveiled In Belize City; Mayor Makes Presentation On Behalf of Secretary of State for Illinois
Renovation work on the Dr. Frederick Gahne Town Clock located on Barrack Road in Belize City was unveiled this morning. The work of restoring the clock was done by RF&G Insurance as explained by Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley DARREL BRADLEY “RF&G for the last ten years has been maintaining the clock at their cost and what they did is that they had approached the City Council about two months ago and have indicated they wanted to make a substantial contribution in terms of the renovations of the clock. So, they purchased brand new clocks which require far less mechanization; it doesn’t require being wounded up and when electricity goes out, it will automatically reset itself. We expect that this clock will last a long time. They refurbished the clock, in terms of painting, planting around the clock and it was at a total cost of twenty thousand Belize dollars and they have pledged with us that they will continue to maintain it so that future residents of Belize City can benefit from this. We just wanted to express our thanks this morning at this opening ceremony for the gift of the town clock. Of course the town clock has a long history in Belize. It was constructed by residents who pooled their resources together in the 19(teens) at the death of Dr. Fredrick Gahne who was from Scotland and he came to Belize to give his gift of medical services to residents of Belize. He also served in the Town Board for Belize City and the Belize District Council so he was a local government leader also in Belize. The clock honours his memories and RF&G really stepped up to the plate today to ensure that this clock is preserved for future generations of Belizeans.” This morning’s ceremony on Barrack Road also featured the donation of mats to the Belizean Tumbling Association.

Dangriga Police Investigate Taxi Man Murder
A taxi driver was murdered in Dangriga Town yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they observed 23-year-old, Charles Ariola, taxi driver suffering from a single gunshot wound to his left chest. Police told Love News that Ariola was receiving medical treatment for his wound but died shortly after their arrival. Preliminary investigations revealed that Ariola was sitting with some friends in a yard on George Price Drive, where the Human Development Office was once located when three male persons approached him. According to police report one of the male persons and Ariola got into an altercation; the visitors left the scene and promised to return; on their arrival back to where Ariola was, the individual who had the conflict with Ariola confronted him once again and hit him with a handgun to his face. As a result, Ariola tried to defend himself but he was stopped by a single gunshot to the left side of his chest. He was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he underwent treatment for his injury but died shortly afterwards. Police now has three persons in custody including a minor; the alleged shooter is said to be from Belize City and is no stranger to Police nor the Hattieville Prison. Officials from this municipality and residents condemned this senseless killing. Police also confirmed that they found the murder weapon in the Rivas Estate Area where the alleged shooter was living. Police continue their investigation as they put the pieces of this puzzle together.

Special Book Launch Just For Children
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund this morning launched “My body is precious” a book for little ones discussing the topic of child sexual abuse. The book depicts three children discussing their knowledge of good and bad touch, and the person who blew the life into these characters is Starla Bradley Acosta, the Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development. She told Love News that her inspiration came in part by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow who approached her about writing a book on the topic. STARLA BRADLEY ACOSTA “She approached me through the CEO at the time, even before I was working at the ministry to partner on this project and I immediately said yes because talking about the issue of sexual abuse, it has to start in the home; it’s the parents’ responsibility to have that discussion. We are not taking that away from the parent but we are hoping to help the parents by giving them this book as tool to become comfortable with the information and to talk to their children about sexual abuse and to transmit some of the family values that they want their children to have. It’s a primary prevention tool, it’s prevention education; this by itself can’t stop sexual abuse if a perpetrator is more powerful but it’s the first line of defense, if you will, in the sense that is gives children that voice, it teaches them that their bodies are precious , that it should be respected and each part should be called by name and that other people should respect it too.

PlusTV

Minister of Forestry explains Rosewood amnesty
All of last week, PLUS News has been tracking developments in the rosewood trade which has seen would-be exporters carting off their goods from the Forestry compound in Belmopan and the Ministry suddenly advising of an amnesty in the trade that runs to April 26. All of this while...

Taxi-driver gunned down in Dangriga
A young taxi-driver was murdered in Dangriga, on Sunday. Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they observed 23-year-old, Charles Ariola, taxi driver suffering from a single...

Six detained following stabbing of Police Officer
Six persons, five of them minors, have been detained in connection to a stabbing of a police officer. The off-duty police officer, Constable Joseph Perez, was socializing with a relative at a bar in Cotton Tree village on Friday night. That is when he was stabbed to the left...

BDF soldier in critical condition after traffic accident
A BDF soldier is in critical condition after he was knocked down by a pickup truck. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, 20 year old Rodrick Che, a BDF soldier of Big Falls Village in the Toledo District, was walking on the Big Falls Bridge, while heading toward...

OAS calls meeting between Belize and Guatemala
Prensa Libre: Guatemala says that the next 15 Days of Public consultation are crucial to the referendum process between Belize and Guatemala. The Paper reports that the Organization of American States (OAS) has called a meeting between the authorities of Belize and Guatemala which will potentially be the last...

Protest delays cycling election in the West
Last week we told you about a protest filed by representatives of the cycling community in the West. That protest has now delayed the national election that was set for Wednesday, April 17. We’ll have more on that later in this story, but first to the University of the...

Orange Walk Police investigate sexual abuse allegation
Orange Walk Police are investigating a very disturbing sexual abuse allegation. A father is being accused of having sexual intercourse with his now 12 year old daughter on two separate occasions – last year December and another time when she was 4 years old. The father is presently being...

Van crashes after being chased by gunman
Sometime on Saturday there was a traffic accident at the corner of Freetown Road and St. Thomas Street. Information to PLUS News is that the driver of a van was apparently being chased from the corner of Evergreen and Mahogany Street by an unidentified gunman with shots being fired....

New booths in Belize City Precinct One will enhance response time
On Friday you heard from Officer Commanding Precinct One in Belize City, Superintendent Alden Dawson. Supt. Dawson praised the community initiative that has flowed from his many interactions since February 27 when he took office but admits there is more to be done. One of those plans is expansion...

Frederick Gahne Town Clock is renovated
This morning the Belize City Council stopped to pay tribute to a respected man in Belize City history and acknowledge a corporate partner. The Frederick Gahne Town Clock on Barrack Road near the intersection with Victoria Street and Freetown Road was built shortly after the Scottish doctor’s death in...

Belmopan preschool receives playground equipment
This morning, Linda Escalante, Branch Manager for Tropigas Belmopan held an official ceremony at the St. Michael’s Pre-School in Las Flores, Belmopan; where she handed over a swing set for the 32 preschoolers who attend there. Escalante spoke with Plus TV and told us how the initiative came about....

Belizean national sentenced to life in prison in the US
A Belizean national has been sentenced to life in prison in the US penitentiary, after he pleaded guilty to the murder of his estranged girlfriend’s daughter. 41 year old Juan Enrique Torres, in an attempt to avoid being charged with capital murder and going to trial, plead guilty last...

Farmer makes gruesome discovery after cows went missing
A man says he made a gruesome discovery after his cows went missing. A Belizean carpenter of Santa Familia Village told Police that between April 4th and April 11th, three cattle were stolen from his pasture, two of whom were pregnant. While searching for them at a race track...

Local tumblers recieve donation of equipment
Tumbling gymnastics is enjoying a renaissance with the visit of a professional group led by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to Belize last month. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, our local boys made quite the impression on him, leading to a donation made this morning in Belize City....

Belize Medical College bring benefits for Belize
This week, PLUS News takes an extensive look at the issue of international medical colleges in Belize. We begin with Central American Health Sciences University-Belize Medical College (CAHSU-BMC), established in 1996 and which is based on the Burrell Boom-Hattieville Road at the old Datapro compound. It’s executive director Dr....

Venezuela has a new president
Venezuela has a new President. Nicholas Maduro, who the late Hugo Chavez named as his preferred heir, beat out opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, by a razor margin on Sunday, to become Venezuela’s new “el commandante.” The Central Electoral Commission is reporting that Maduro won with a less than two...

600 enrolled in the Police Department’s Youth Cadet Corps
More than 600 youth countrywide are enrolled in the Police Department’s Youth Cadet Corps which has been established since 1994. The program according to the Department places emphasis on instilling sound discipline, respect for authority, leadership and team building skills among young people between the ages of 8 and...

Former coach of the Belize National Football Team on Plus TV
We’d like to encourage you to stay tuned to tonight’s edition of SportsZone, where host Raynard Garbutt will have an exclusive sit down interview with former coach of the Belize National Football Team, Leroy Sherrier Lewis. You may remember that Lewis was the architect of Belize’s best performance at...

Blogs

7 Cool Facts about the Praying Mantis
Mantidae (also known as praying mantis) is the common name for an insect of the order Mantodea which are mostly tropical or subtropical. The insect is named after the distinctive way they hold their front legs up and together as in a prayer and in Greek the word “mantis” means prophet or fortune teller. According to David Juarez, a Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide, Praying mantis can be found in all parts of the world with mild winters and sufficient vegetation. In this blog post, David highlights 7 cool facts about the praying mantis. 1.) The praying mantis is a large insect that can be found in gardens and is a predatory species that is always on the prowl eating any insect that moves. 2.) The praying mantis has a triangle head with huge compound eyes and chewing mouth parts that swivels freely atop a long, narrow pro thorax ( first section of the thorax),which also carries the highly modified, grasping forelegs with their array of hooks and spines. 3.) Mantis are cryptically colored to be like the plant on which they lie in wait, and projections of the cuticles of the body and legs often enhance their likeness to bark, twigs, leaves or flowers.

“I Like It, I Love It” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up way, way too early yesterday morning at 2.45 am. The consequence of going to bed too early the previous night at just after 10 pm. This after I had dozed off in the chair. I like to get up early but this is ridiculous. Message to self – stop going to sleep early at night! Caught up with the UK and world news with The Times on-line and then set about taking care of administrative stuff. First off being an email to Atlantic International Bank Link requesting a bank draft for the sum of US$ 1,950 payable to the Belize Tourism Board so that I could make the final payment for acceptance in to the “”QRP”. With acceptance for “QRP” I can now order a golf cart (I still have to get a Belize driver’s license and permission to import the vehicle but these should be mere formalities – hope that these are not “famous last words”) so next off was an email to Captain Sharks to place an order for the model/type of golf cart that Rose and I are going for. A Club Car XRT 850 (gas) with the ‘flip,flop’ seat.

International Sources

The Mayans the Mass and Me
Sorry not to have been blogging for some time, but after a week’s vacation in Belize I need a few days to catch up. While in Belize we had the chance to visit some Mayan ruins. I climbed to the top of the main pyramid in Caracol and sitting up there on a beautiful day in April, the jungle birds crying and the jungle trees and neatly trimmed lawned–I imagined the priests offering their sacrifices of grain and human lives to their sky gods. It was a different scene then. The forests all cut down, the barbaric rites continued in fear and desperation as famine and starvation loomed. The critics of Catholicism–both Protestant and atheist–might say, “Geesh, it’s not really any different than what you do is it Father?” They’d argue, “Don’t you also get dressed up and ascend to the heights of the holy place where you offer a sacrifice of bread and blood? Don’t you say this is the Body of Christ? Aren’t you making the same pagan sacrifices of body and blood and grain to the sky god hoping that he will bring you prosperity and peace?” The Protestant will turn away in horror at the idea that Catholicism is simply brutal paganism warmed up and the atheistic materialist will turn away in ridicule and disgust that we still believe such superstitious ideas and practice such crude religious magic.

Guatemala Adding Fuel To Belize Dispute
As a Belizean American citizen, I hereby congratulate The Gleaner for its editorial on what Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations should do to Guatemala for failing to comply with the binding agreement it signed with Belize to take their dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution. Guatemala is not going to go to the ICJ because it is convinced that most Belizeans will vote no to go to the ICJ with this dispute, and the Guatemalan government does not want this matter to be resolved once and for all through the courts. Successive Guatemalan governments have been using this issue for decades to divert their people's attention from more serious internal problems their country is experiencing and to obtain power during the elections.

Moody’s Upgrades Belize Credit Rating, Warns of “Debt Overhang”
New York-based Moody’s has upgraded the credit rating on Belize’s government bonds, the firm announced Monday. The rating has been lifted to Caa2 from Ca, with a “stable” outlook. The move comes after Belize restructured its $547 million “Superbond,” which is due in 2029. That included what became Belize’s second default in the last seven years. But while Moody’s said the restructuring would provide “temporary liquidity relief,” it is “insufficient in addressing Belize’s debt overhang.” Looking forward, a number of structural factors will keep the government’s rating in the Caa space for the next two to four years, the firm said, pointing to Belize’s track record of two defaults in seven years, something that “signals a weak institutional willingness and ability to service external debt.”

Moody's Lifts Belize Rating Two Notches After Restructuring
Moody's Investors Service lifted Belize's bond rating two notches after the country restructured its sole foreign currency bond, saying its liquidity has improved. Moody's lifted Belize's rating to Caa2, eight steps into junk territory and still considered a very high credit risk. The outlook is stable. The upgrade reflects an improvement in the government's liquidity position after it restructured its external commercial debt, Moody's said. But the firm said that the debt overhang wasn't cured by the default and continues to impair Belize's credit solvency. Belize last month restructured its $47 million "Superbond" due 2029. Moody's said that the restructuring should provide temporary liquidity, but is "insufficient in addressing Belize's debt overhang." The Central American country became the first sovereign default since Greece in September, after bondholders refused a request by the country's central bank to accept a 45% cut to what they were owed, or delay payments for 15 years.

Expats in Belize Who Say Freedom Appeals as Much as Low Taxes
In the States, Americans may be griping about taxes this time of year, but American expats in Belize are taking them in stride. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income, but American expats in the Caribbean nation of Belize report that the move has allowed them to reduce their tax burden, lower their cost of living, slash their stress levels, and increase their sense of freedom. With white-sand beaches and the second-largest coral reef in the world, Belize’s coast and islands look quintessentially Caribbean. However, the former British colony, where English is the first language, comes with a far lower cost of living than that found in its more high-profile Caribbean neighbors. And the potential savings for would-be expats goes further. In order to attract retirees from other countries, Belize has adopted a “qualified permanent residence law,” which allows foreign retirees to live in the country while paying zero tax on their foreign-earned income.

CXC hosting stakeholder events in Jamaica
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will host three one-day stakeholder events in Jamaica during the week of 23 April. The Council is hosting a seminar for guidance counsellors from Belize, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday 24 April; a seminar for journalists from the four islands on Thursday 25 April; and a students’ forum for students from Jamaica on Friday 26 April. The events form part of CXC’s stakeholder relationship management programme over the next three years. The goal of the seminar for journalists is to provide journalists around the region with information pertaining to CXC, its products and services, to enable them to better report on stories related to CXC and its examinations, from a position of knowledge and an adequate understanding of the CXC system. The goal of the seminar for the guidance counsellors is to provide them with accurate and up-to-date information relating to CXC and its products and services which will empower guidance counsellors to offer better advice to students about the choices they make in school.


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