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#463600 - 05/03/13 12:14 PM Today's Belize News: May 3, 2013
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Ambergris Caye to celebrate 8th annual Reef week
The reef plays a pivotal role not only in Belize’s ecosystem, but as the bread and butter for thousands of Belizeans. Some of Belize’s prime tourism destinations are located along the reef, thus it is the main economic drive for many coastal communities like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. For that reason, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has come up with a week of activities to highlight the crucial role the Belize Barrier Reef plays as part of country’s natural and cultural heritage. The activities will be held as part of Reef week which will be celebrated from May 20th to the 26th on Ambergris Caye. The purpose of the week’s activity is to bring awareness about the values of the reef to the country and specifically to the island. In her address for Reef Week as part of Reef Week delivered in March, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development highlighted the value of the reef to Belize. “Everybody would agree that the Belize Barrier Reef is important economically, socially and culturally.

El Pescador, Belize, honored as 2013 Orvis International Destination of the Year
El Pescador Lodge has been honored with the 2013 Orvis International Destination of the Year. The award was presented on April 20th to Alissa Folta, Chief Executive Officer of El Pescador Lodge. The lodge was awarded for being a world-class flats fishing destination and a lodge that consistently meets guest expectations for service and overall quality of guest’s experiences. The award was given during the Orvis Rendezvous ceremony in Missoula, Montana USA and presented by David Parkins, Executive Vice Chairman of Orvis. Speaking at the event Parkins said that they had expanded their awards to include a special resort. “El Pescador was a real pioneer in salt water fly fishing. It was the first fishing lodge on Belize’s famous Ambergris Caye. Over the years it has continued to evolve and has become a regional leader in conservation, guide training and customer service. El Pescador has probably welcome more Orvis travel groups than any other lodge. And it is their commitment to excellence that keeps us coming back. We are proud to recognized El Pescador Lodge,” said Perkins

US University Celebrates Garifuna Culture
The New Jersey Folk Festival paid tribute today to the remarkable resilience of the Garifuna people, a community that has survived wars, exile and deprivation – and which today is flourishing. “I believe this is due in great part to their absolute refusal to surrender against incredible odds,” said Camillo Gonsalves, permanent representative to the United Nations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who spoke earlier this afternoon at the 39th annual gathering of the festival. The festival is part of Rutgers Day, the annual open house showcasing the best the university has to offer, which this year drew a record-breakingcrowd of 83,000. St. Vincent is the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna people, who todayare found largely in Belize,Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. A largeGarifuna diaspora also exists in New York and New Jersey, the ambassador says.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel Heredia
He was one of Belize’s firs marine conservationists and lived his life protecting the ocean in which he grew up on. Caye Caulker island resident Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia passed away a couple weeks ago, but not after being honored for his hard work, dedication and love for his country.

US Air Force Assists in School Construction in Belize
Air Force civil engineers and Army combat heavy engineers lay mortar on structural blocks April 19, 2013, at the construction site of Louisiana Primary School at Orange Walk in Belize. Civil engineers from the U.S. and Belize are constructing various structures throughout Belize as part of an exercise called New Horizons. Building these facilities will support further education for the children of the country and provide valuable training for the U.S. and Belizean service members. New Horizons is an annual training exercise for U.S. military civil engineers and medical professionals that prepare participants to deploy, conduct joint operations with partner nations, and redeploy back to the United States. New Horizons 2013 is scheduled to take place in the Central American country of Belize from early-April to late-June.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Story of Resistance in Belize Exhibit Opening
It is with great pleasure that the Corozal House of Culture presents 'A Story of Resistance in Belize' Exhibit. The exhibit chronicles crucial moments in Belize's history, including the Maya resistance, slavery, the labour movement, women, nationalism, Guatemala's territorial claim and more. This historical exhibit opens Friday May 3, 2013. Please join us in witnessing historical developments that shaped our country into what it is today.

VIDEO: Hail Storm in Corozal
It hailed in Corozal on Thursday May 2nd, 2013

Australian help for Caribbean coral reefs and climate change
Australia will use its expertise in guiding the Caribbean to adapt to climate change and manage its coral reefs. Coral reefs provide benefits to the Caribbean valued at over four billion annually. The reefs of the Caribbean are of great importance in providing shoreline protection, habitat for healthy fisheries and an essential attraction for the tourism sector, according to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have agreed to a two-year programme that will also be used to address some of the key challenges identified in “Climate Change and the Caribbean: A regional framework for achieving development resilient to Climate Change (2009-2015) developed by the CCCCC.

New Horizons team builds structures faster
New Horizons’ construction teams continue construction on classrooms located throughout Belize using a fast, stay-in-place concrete wall forming system. The teams are building four structures to be used as classrooms located in Ladyville, Crooked Tree and two in Orange Walk Town. The forming system is currently being used to construct three of them. Training is one of the primary objectives of the New Horizons exercise, and the teams are using this opportunity to learn how to construct buildings with a different method than what they have used previously. Prior to coming to Belize, the 823rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers Squadron built a small section of wall with the concrete wall forming system as part of a troop training project for the Army 10th Special Forces Group prior to deploying. The project provided an opportunity to compare the concrete wall forming system to building with the traditional concrete masonry unit block.

Second phase of project launched to improve access to finance for entrepreneurs in Belize
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is launching a second phase of its project with Belize’s Atlantic Bank to increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are critical to job creation and economic growth. With continued support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), IFC is helping Atlantic Bank improve its capacity to serve small and mid-sized business owners and provide them with access to approximately US$35 million in financing by April 2014. Atlantic Bank has 15 locations nationwide and is the third largest bank in Belize in terms of assets and loans disbursed. “In partnership with IFC, we have solidified our foundation to continue growing our SME business,” said Sandra Bedran, general manager of Atlantic Bank. “In this second phase, we will work with IFC to develop a more client-focused, performance-guided approach, so that we can better serve the needs of our small and medium entrepreneurs and fill the financing gap that often constrains their businesses.”

MOTHER'S DAY EXTRAVAGANZA 2013 Central Park San Pedro, 6pm

Bumbastic Pre-Agric Dances
The Bumsquad was in Belmopan last night, getting ready for AGRIC today. They'll be at Wing Stop and Barrio Fino Sports Bar. Danny Chung will be there snapping photos.

Cayo Book Fair Pictures
The San Ignacio Public Library posted a ton of pictures from the BBIA Book Fair, which was held at the Cayo Welcome Center, and on Burns avenue. They got some great pictures of the acrobatics that took place on Burns. "The SIPL was at the BBIA's book fair 2013"

San Antonio Village Website
San Antonio Village has a website! It has quite a bit of information on it, and even a business listings page. Giving us ideas for the next version of the bestofcayo.com site. Well done, Clara! "San Antonio Village, your introduction to the Adventure Capital of Belize and the Heart of Cayo, central to numerous travelers’ destinations and home to the diversity of the jungle, Maya Mountains and the Pine Ridge Forest. San Antonio is located in the lush 'broadleaf forest' ecosystem, popularly called the jungle. Just five miles drive will take you to the entrance of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a totally different ecosystem called 'upland savannah'."

AGRIC Fairgrounds Map
AGRIC starts this afternoon with the opening ceremony at 3:00pm. They've released a map of the new layout for the Belmopan fairgrounds. Stay cool, and have a great AGRIC!

Rice and Beans 1/2 Recipe
In this video, I troubleshoot the making of Belizean Rice and Beans and I make only 1/2 the recipe for those who have a small family. After viewing this video, you will know what to do when things doesn't go right and the rice won't soak and some of the grains remain uncooked.

Channel 7

Gonguez Alleged Killer Charged
On Tuesday, 7News told you about the 21 year-old Rajiv Gonguez, the Belama resident who was murdered on Monday evening in front of Brown Sugar, home to the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. Well tonight, 19 year-old Travis Tyler Navarro, the man who police believe was the shooter, is at prison after he was taken to court today. As we reported, just before 6 p.m., Gonguez drove up in a silver pathfinder and parked in front of the market place. He went inside to pick up a neighbor Jayme Marin, and when he exited, a gunman on foot, who is believed to have been lying in wait, ambushed him and opened fire. 2 of the bullets struck him in the face and chest, and the gunman ran off. Gonguez was immediately rushed to the KHMH, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Woods/Kolbe Seek Injunction Against Blease/Correlation
Exactly a month ago, 7News told you about the situation brewing between the Kolbe Foundation Belize Central Prison and an organization calling itself the Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation. Well, today, members of the Correlation were summoned before the court to answer to a lawsuit filed by the Prison. It’s in relation to a public challenge that the organization launched against the prison’s private owners claiming that too many employees were being fired without due process. The Correlation produced a documentary making several claims against the prison, and they published it on Facebook. Prison officials contacted the lead members, Herman Blease and Abdul Nunez, requesting them to pull the documentary off the social media because according to them, it was erroneous and –and more importantly – defamatory. They even had their attorneys write to the Correlation leaders, but they refused to do so. And so, for weeks, the prison has been considering its legal options. Today, the suit finally became real when the Prison’s CEO Earl Jones, and Kolbe Foundation’s CEO John Woods appeared before Justice Courtney Abel. They brought a claim against Herman Blease, Adul Nunez, Carla Kasimiro, and Carla Budhna claiming the court should restrain them from continuing their campaign against the prison.

Mayor Confirms Candidacy For Cari Shores, Despite PM’s Opposition
Last week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley confirmed that he was “actively considering” a candidacy in Caribbean Shores. But on Monday, the Party Leader Dean Barrow said if Bradley decided to challenge UDP first time Area Representative and Minister of State Santino Castillo in a standard bearer convention, it would be quote, “unfortunate.” Well, it seems that’s just what it will be. Yesterday we caught up with the mayor while he was spearheading a labor day community work programme – and he told us he hears the Prime Minister alright, but he’s not backing down. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I didn't see the comments but I had indicated to you when we discussed this the last time when you had asked about it that it was something that I was seriously considering. Really and truly my focus is being an effective Mayor; the city has a lot of challenges. We are making strides in serious areas but there is a lot more that we need to do in terms of public consultations, I think there's a lot more infrastructure that we need to do. My priority right now is City Hall and being an effective Mayor and leading the City's team and trying to bring the city forward and out of a state, in which I would characterize it as, decline. Today's project 'Labor for Belize' is and indication that we're moving in the right direction and my activities right now will be directed solely at City Hall. Any upcoming elections for General Election is at least four years away and there will be ample time at the appropriate time to consider those things. It is a thing that I am considering and it is something that I am speaking to people but I haven't made any decisions about it."

Hailing In The North
There was a brief hailstorm this afternoon in the Northern Corozal District. At around 2:30, hail poured down over the villages of Libertad, Ranchito, Santa Rita and Corozal Town. Forecaster at the Met Office Frank Tench says it’s the product of very intense thunderstorm in the upper atmosphere. He said it’s typical of the months of April and May when very hot daytime temperatures create the right atmospheric conditions for the freak weather event. Tench says that during these thunderstorms, water vapor condenses into ice pellets, some of which stay frozen enough to fall out of the clouds as hail.

Terminated BWSL Employees Sue Former Employer
In February, we told you about five workers that BWSL terminated – including the Union Vice President and General Secretary. Well, on April 30th., the eve of Labour Day, they filed suit against their former employer for unlawful termination. According to a release, the claim seeks loss of salary and benefits and compensation for a breach of the collective bargaining agreement. The crux of the case is what we had reported: in their letters of termination, the workers were told that their posts had become redundant – but an internal memo said that they had been fired for breaching confidentiality. The workers further allege that since their terminations, BWS has hired persons to fill their posts. The terminated persons, now claimants in the lawsuit are are Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michale Novelo and Journett McKoy. They had worked at BWSEL for between 2 and a half and 24 years. Two other persons who are not in the suit were also terminated. They are being represented in this case by Antoinette Moore.

PUP, NCFC, Special Envoy On Infanticide
The PUP, the NCFC and the Special Envoy for Women and Children have issued statements on Saturday’s unspeakable crime: the murder of three small children by their mother. In its statement, the PUP says quote, “this unprecedented incident brings into sharp focus the extreme challenges that many women and families face in Belize today.” It adds that, quote, “the Belizean public should withhold a rush to judgment against the accused…and await the relevant facts.” The statement from the National Committee on Families and Children says quote, “the death of three children demands that we pause and reflect on how to strengthen the support to families to ensure that there is awareness of the warning signs and where to access services to prevent future occurrences.” And the statement Special Envoy Kim Barrow says quote, “This heartbreaking story is a reminder that we must take issues relating to mental health seriously.” It adds, “It is important that we all educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of (clinical depression) as there are services that are available to help treat and manage depression and prevent it from escalating with such devastating results.” End quote.

AGUSM Bites Back, Says Smear Campaign Funded By Detractors
For the past two weeks, The American global University of Science and Medicine has been taking a pounding in the press – and the man driving the issue if Phillip Fawda Henry. He’s made all kinds of claims against the school, saying basically that it’s a sham operation. Well, today, after a press release and a phone interview, AGUSM came out swinging. The Medical school held a two hour media breakfast where there was a lively and illuminating exchange. Here’s a small portion of that:… Dr. Malik Soudah - President - AGUSM "All I want from you guys - the media is to give us a fair shot to defend ourselves and present our case and our side of the story." Jules Vasquez reporting And so, this morning Dr. Malik Suda and his assistant Dean, Belizean doctor Dr. Eduardo Giovanni Solarzano as well as the president of the student government, Sarah Thompson - held a media breakfast to make the point emphatically that the school with campuses in San Pedro and Ladyville is legitimate.

Troubling School Rivalry Leads To Allegations Against Precinct Police
Tonight, the officers from Police Precinct system have its first complaint of police brutality coming from a member of the public. It concerns a worrying situation which is developing between the neighboring schools of Wesley Upper School, and Queen Square Anglican School, which are right across from each other on Dolphin Street. Students from both schools have been ambushing each other and fighting. The situation escalated to the point in which a student was stabbed last week. Police were called in to intervene, but according to Rosalie Williams, the parent of 2 of the boys suspected to be involved, they took it too far and brutalized 8 school children. She spoke to the media this morning, and explained the situation. Rosalie Williams – Concerned Parent "I have two sons age 13 and age 14 years old - Isaac Williams and Isic Williams that are going to school at Queen's Square. On Tuesday when I came home from work they told me that they were taken from school that day to a police precinct by Police officers and teachers. I asked them the reason and what was it that they did. They told me they didn't know. What happened was that the principal called the Police that deals with the kids from that school to go to the school because of a complaint she received from a parent and a student from Wesley school. She believes that the older kids from standard five and standard six may have known about the incident so she asked the police to speak with them.

PUC Proposes Adjustment To Social Rate
One month ago, BEL asked the PUC to reduce the average electricity rate by about one cent per kilowatt-hour. Well, the PUC has considered that application, and proposed a reduction of even less than that, about one quarter of one cent(!) per kilowatt hour. It’s miniscule, but it can translate into savings for those getting the social rate. Government stripped away part of their subsidy in January. So, the PUC proposes to reduce the Minimum Charge for that group from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and cut their rate from $0.29 cents per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is only the initial decision, and comments form the public are accepted until May 13th, 2013.

Opposition Leader’s Mother Passes
We note the passing of Molly Fonseca, the mother of the leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. The 79 year old had been ailing for some time and reportedly died at home. She was the mother of two, and will be remembered in this newsroom as a staunch PUP and a stalwart of the Fort George Division where she was a long standing member of the Committee.

Expert: ICJ Might Give Guate More Than Expected
All the hype and hysteria about the ICJ has subsided because the Guatemalans have unilaterally nixed plans to have simultaneous national referendums on the issue. So, the whole issue of whether we will or we won’t go to the ICJ is at best, in limbo, and, at worst, on a permanent backburner. And so while the issue of having the ICJ settle our territorial dispute is at rest, what about Belize and Guatemala’s territorial waters? Those have never been formally defined – because adding a maritime dispute to the land dispute, would only make the centuries old issue even more intractable. But what would the ICJ says about who should get what in those waters? That’s what visiting Australian professor Robert Gullett spoke about today at a lecture organized by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism. He’s the Dean of Law at the University of Wollongong, and an expert on the Law of The Sea. His presentation at the Radisson this afternoon was called, “Defining lines in the sea: Reflections on the evolving jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice in maritime boundary delimitation.”

Mayor Labored On Labour Day
Yesterday, most of us took the day off for labour day. But, not the city council. For the second year in a row, the council organized a major work programme and enlisted support from local groups to spend their morning in the sweltering sunhot to beautify the city. They were all over the place and we found them by the swing bridge – where the Mayor explained why he loves labouring on labour day. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "The idea is that we're going to come out on Labor Day. Last year we did it and it's an annual event that we call 'Labor for Belize'. Today is a holiday and we would recognize and thank our laborers accross the country for developing the nation. What the City Council decided to do is on our holiday we are going to come out and be joined by a group of students and members of the business community, out here at the Swing Bridge we have Diamond International. We are going to labor for our society and we are going to labor for our city. The City Council staff was out by the flag monument and we cleaned a length of the monument from 6:00 - 9:00 this morning. I'm going around touring some of the other prokects throughout the city. We are very pleased that this year it was a success again. We had tremendous support from the business community, schools, the youth cadet corp. We had a group from the Nigerian community - 15 persons and they are doing some painting along the Princess Margaret drive on the medians, bars and the cross walks in front the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and they indicated to us that they live in this community and they wanted to show their support for the Belize City community."

PROFILE: Gilroy Clother Jr.
Tonight’s profile is about Gilroy Clother Jr. He’s got no great claim to fame, but the high school student’s story is compelling. He grew up tough in the swamps of Freedom Street, ended up in the states, got kicked out of school, lost a brother to kidney failure and then used that inspiration to rebuild himself. Here’s his story

Channel 5

Is rosewood still being cut?
Tonight, there is video footage purportedly showing that contrary to the official government line the movement of rosewood in southern Belize is a thriving industry. The amnesty period was closed on April twenty-sixth and in his press conference earlier this week Prime Minister Dean Barrow asked those who were opposed to that amnesty to move [...]

Gaol Lane resident charged with murder
Three days of intensive investigation into the senseless murder of Belama resident, twenty-one year old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, police have made an arrest. This afternoon, nineteen year old Travis Tyler Navarro, of Gaol Lane in Belize City, was arraigned for Gonguez’s murder before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. On Monday evening, just before six, gunshots [...]

American Global University defends its name
Last month at a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management, serious claims were levied at the American Global University School of Medicine, an offshore medical university that has moved to a building on the International Airport Road. In a nutshell, the allegations were that the AGUSM was bogus and a scam. Well today, [...]

Hailstorm in Corozal villages
There was a very booming thunderstorm experienced in some parts of the country on Wednesday night. But a weather event that happened today topped that and had people buzzing about it this afternoon. A rare weather occurrence passed over the Corozal District after three o’clock this afternoon. The villages of Santa Rita, Ranchito and Calcutta [...]

President Obama and PM Barrow heading to Costa Rica
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is heading to Costa Rica to join Central American presidents for a regional meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. It is Obama’s second stop in the region; earlier today he arrived in Mexico City for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto. Top on that agenda was border security and trade matters, [...]

Bridge over troubled water? Dangriga resident claims land
There is a battle brewing in the culture capital, and it’s all about land – parcel nine ninety-one, to be more specific, located right at the foot of the main bridge in Dangriga. It’s about two hundred and forty feet long and a little over twenty feet wide, and the dispute is over who has [...]

Minister receives treatment in U.S.; Opposition Leader’s mom passes
There is word to News Five that the Minister of Housing, Michael Finnegan is in Houston Texas, where he is receiving medical attention. Finnegan is consulting with a neurosurgeon on a condition that has been causing him acute pain in the past year. From what we gather, he is likely to have surgery to repair [...]

Former BWS employees take court action
Belize Water Services Limited is tonight facing litigation, following a claim of wrongful termination by a group of five former employees that was fired in early February.  Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy were relieved of their respective duties at the company after being informed that their posts had been [...]

Special Envoy for Children provides therapy for surviving Teul sibling
Twenty-two year old Felicia Chen remains under observation for her mental health. On Tuesday, she was charged with three counts of murder for the deliberately drowning three of her children at Belizean Beach last Saturday. In the aftermath of a diagnosis confirming that Chen is suffering from Chronic Clinical Depression, the Special Envoy for Women [...]

Surviving daughter of Felicia Chen will receive psychotherapy
Assurances have also been made by the Department of Human Services that the surviving daughter of Felicia Chen will receive psychotherapy from an assigned counselor while the department makes an assessment regarding her future.  Acting Director at the department is Lliani Arthurs.   Lliani Arthurs, Acting Director, Department of Human Services “We have been with [...]

Painter raises funds to help with funeral arrangements
The tragedy that has fallen on the Chen and Teul families has sprung hope from the public. Offers to assist with financial costs for the funeral of the children are emerging from the public. Funerals are costly and a member of the public, who shares the nation’s collective pain, decided to place her passion for [...]

Alleged indecent assault of 4 minors down south
There is a serious complaint made by four female students of Sittee River Village in the Stann Creek District. The girls, ages six through to eleven years claim that on April second, while at the yard of their neighbor, a person known to them as “Chicken Man” asked them to show him the house of [...]

Domestic squabble ends with elephant foot over the head
Thirty-six year old Sherla Adolphus, a domestic of Crooked Tree Village, and her former common law husband, forty-two year old Dean Dawson of Sandhill Village, appeared in magistrate’s court today where they were charged individually for their role in a domestic dispute.  Dawson was arraigned on four counts, including aggravated assault and harm upon his [...]

How to combat erosion in Dangriga?
For the past few months much attention has been paid to the coastline of Dangriga Town, where erosion has become a serious concern. Today Mayor Gilbert Swaso told us that after analysis and consultation, the Council has come up with a practical plan which is being finalized and which will be put in place very [...]

Step out for a cause during the Annual Cancer Month
Across the country there are hundreds of Belizeans living with various forms of cancer.  The month of May has been designated as Cancer Month during which activities have been organized by the Belize Cancer Society to raise awareness about the terminal illness.  The highlight of the month is the annual Cancer Walk which sees growing [...]

Hype night during Corozal Bay Resort Concert
A concert will be held this weekend at the Corozal Bay Resort in that northern most district. In celebration of the one year anniversary of Father and Son Productions, the event will feature a host of local and international artists including Sharon “Bad Gial” Martinez, Andidre and international recording Jamaican artist Darrio among others. Today, [...]

Healthy Living relieves some stress
Given the high rates of unemployment and poverty, there is no doubt that many parents are under a lot of stress to provide for their families. Some can cope through help from family, friends or church, but others are left alone to battle. Although not widely publicized, there are governmental and non governmental agencies that [...]

LOVE FM

Belize To Be Showcased On World Fishing Network
WFN: World Fishing Network, the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America has decided to film in Belize for their “Escape and Explore” five hour marathon of fishing adventures from exotic destinations around the globe. A new...

Closing Ceremonies For EU Funded Project Planned For Friday
Ceremonies to mark the close of a one point two million project funded by the European Union and implemented by the University of Belize in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will take place tomorrow at the Independence High School Auditorium. The project si...

Robbery of Chinese Store In Northern Belize
A Taiwanese Chinese store in Orange Walk was robbed this afternoon at gunpoint. Love News understands that around 2:15 pm a man walked into Ring Store on Liberty Avenue and held up the store owner with a black gun then stole a top up phone machine and escaped. No one was...

Ministry of Health Benefits From Canadian Project
The Ministry of Health is a sub-grantee on a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada to the Grantee Ministry of Health, Guyana. The project is entitled “Improving prevention and treatment systems based on primary health care for alcohol use problems in two Caribbean count...

Hail Storm Reported In Northern Belize
It is not a regular occurrence but this afternoon, some parts of Corozal Town experienced a hailstorm. Residents heard what sounded like loud bangs against their rooftops and windows and when they came outside to see what it was, they witnessed marble sized hailstones. The pi...

Belize Observes Cancer Month In May
The month of May is recognized as cancer month and the Belize Cancer Society as the primary organization that seeks to broaden the public’s knowledge about cancer is hosting an entire month long of activities. According to Public Relations Officer of the Belize Cancer Society, Da...

YWCA Holds Barber Competition to Conclude Barber Course
Back in September of last year, the Young Women’s Association, YWCA, with the support of CARSI began a training course for young males with the initiative of enhancing their barbering skills. The group of twelve participants met every two weeks since the start of the training and...

Thursday, May 2 --------- President Of American Global University Travels To Belize To Clear Up Allegations
Since reports started to circulate about a month ago about the American Global University, there has not been much said about the medical institution aside from what came from interested party, Philip “Fawda” Henry when he protested in front of the facility and when he held...

Esperanza Villager Detained For Robbery of US National
San Ignacio Police have detained a man pending a charge of robbery. This follows a report made by a US national. He reported to police that on Thursday April 25 he was approached by a man who asked if he was interested in buying some land valued at four thousand dollars.&nb...

Mayors' Association Has New Executive
The Belize Mayors’ Association elected its new Executive for the year 2013-2014 at a meeting held on April 26th at “El Rancho” in Belmopan. Mayor John August of San Ignacio Santa Elena is the new president. Mayor Hilberto Campos of Corozal Town is the vice presi...

Security Guard Remanded On Aggravated Assault
Twenty-nine year old Michael Figueroa, a security guard of Old Hattieville, who allegedly pointed a firearm at two women, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Figueroa pled not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith explai...

Crack Possession Lands Man Six Months Behind Bars
Fifty year old Israel Bahadur, a laborer of Taylor’s Alley, was sentenced to six months today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to possession of point two grams of crack cocaine. Chief Magistrate Smith gave Bahadur the custodial sentence instead of a...

Employees Of Utility Company Seek Legal Recourse On Their Termination
Early in February the Belize Waters Services Limited was under scrutiny after a number of long time employees had been fired because, in the company’s view, their posts had become redundant. But back then it was alleged that the workers had been laid off because they did not adhe...


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#463601 - 05/03/13 12:14 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 3, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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CTV3

It Rained Hail In Corozal
In case you haven’t felt the heat lately then let me tell you that today Belize experienced a record breaking temperature of 100 degrees meaning that today was extremely hot as the temperature soured. But according to forecaster Francisca Wellington, the scorching heat, which has nothing to do with climate change, should be nothing new to Belizeans. Forecaster Francisca Wellington “This is the dry season and this is the normal temperature that occurs during the dry season, we had up to hundred and four, just last month in Central Farm an just yesterday I believe it was hundred and two or hundred and three that was recorded at Central Farm, so we are seeing that there is areas of low pressure over us what we call heat lows meaning that the winds will not be blowing very strongly it is light and we have this heating so because of that we are expecting the temperatures to go very high especially for the inland areas.”

Jose Mojica Dies Of Traumatic Shock
In the wee hours of Sunday morning a traffic accident claimed the life of 19 year old Josue Mojica, Belizean farmer of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. Tonight, while police hunt for Andres Cruz, the driver of the gold Chevy pickup truck that knocked down Mojica as he was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village, a post mortem examination has reveled that he died as a result of traumatic shock caused by multiple injuries. As previously reported, at around four Sunday morning, Mojica was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village when a gold Chevy pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction, collided right into him. Mojica sustained injuries to the right foot, right leg and abdomen area. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Kim Simplis Barrow Calls On Belizeans To End Stigma Associated With Mental Illness
As mentioned earlier in the newscast, Saturday’s triple murder of 4 year old Triana Teul, 3 year old Thomas Teul and 1 year old Trinaya Teul, has stirred mix emotions among the people of Belize. The topic has even been debated in the social mediums and today, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, called on Belizeans to end the stigma associated with mental illnesses that deters many persons suffering from depression from seeking help. In a release issued this afternoon, Simplis Barrow states that Felicia Chen’s story is a reminder that we must take issues relating to mental health seriously. Twenty two year old Felicia Chen suffers from clinical depression, a common mental health disorder that many do not recognize as a real health condition.

BTIA OW Chapter Holds Logo Competition
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter was one of the 15 proud recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Grant awarded by La Inmaculada Credit Union under the institutions SSEDDAT Two Program. BTIA Orange Walk Chapter received more than $16,000 in funding which will be used to put out a quarterly tourism publication over a period of nine months for both the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. In order to name and find a logo for the publication, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter has lunched its “Name a Logo” competition which is opened to the public. Jasmine Zetina, BTIA O/W Chapter “The competition is a name and logo competition that we launched for the high school and sixth form students of the northern districts and the reason if that we will be starting a quarterly publication the first on coming out in June but initially it was launched for the high schools and sixth form but we decided to go ahead and expand the persons who will be able to participate so we went ahead and invited all Belizeans and so far we been having a very good response to it.”

US Army Surgeons Assisting Those In Need
In our newscast aired on Friday April 26th, we brought you the story of a group of fourteen plastic surgeons attached to the US Army who are presently in Orange Walk offering free plastic surgeries to as much as fifty children. Surgeries offered include the removal of cleft lip and pallets, injuries to the nose, lumps and body mumps among others. Today Lieutenant Coronel Karia Laython gave us an update on the consultations as well as the ongoing surgeries. Lieutenant Coronel Karia Laython- Plastic Surgeon Staff “They keep for checking in with us again and we actually seen 45 patience in consultations and we have 22 patience scheduled for surgery and we have 11 surgeries that already have taken place and we are welcoming everyone to come check in with us for any consultations, for any problems specially for soft tissue or any questions patience may have because we still have slots available for surgery so if anybody wants to come and see if we have services available for them we will be happy to evaluate them and all the cost for evaluations and surgeries are free of charge to the people.” Even though the team has tended to patients from as far as Belize City, spaces are still available for those in need of surgery.

PUP Calls On GOB To Address Abuse of Women And Children
Belizeans are just recovering from the horrific incident that occurred last weekend in which 22 year old Felicia Chen, a resident of mile 8 on the George Price Highway, took away the life of three of her four children- four year old Triana ElicaTeul, 3 year old Thomas EdilbertoTeul and 1 year old Trinaya Felicia Teul. Chen has been charged with three counts of murder and is currently hospitalized at a mental health facility after doctors declared that she is suffering from Chronic Disorder. Chen will be under observation for 14 days after which it will be determined whether she will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison or placed at a mental health facility for treatment. Chen is said to have led a life of abuse both on the hands of her children’s father and her family yet it is left to be determined what drove this mother over the edge to commit such a heinous act, before attempting to take her own life.

John August New President Of Belize Mayors Association
The Belize Mayors Association held a meeting on April 26th at “El Rancho” in Belmopan City with the purpose of electing a new executive for the period 2013-2014. At the end of the meeting a new executive was formed comprising of Mayor John August Jr. of San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town as President, Mayor Hilberto Campos of Corozal Town as Vice president, Mayor Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town as Secretary, and lastly, Mayor Simeon Lopez of Belmopan City as treasurer. All Executive members committed to focus and place all efforts in furthering the goals and objectives of the association and to foment Local Governments, as a whole, in the country.

Extreme Heat Has Serious Effects
High temperatures such as 100 degrees can cause negative effects to the human body. Heat exhaustion is a relatively common reaction to severe heat and can include symptoms such as dizziness, headache and fainting. It can usually be treated with rest, a cool environment and hydration including refueling of electrolytes, which are necessary for muscle and other body functions. Heat stroke is more severe and requires medical attention—it is often accompanied by dry skin, a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, confusion and sometimes unconsciousness. That’s what some of us are practically facing with the recent increase in temperatures. There are certain measures that can be taken; however, to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Elmer Cornejo - Reporting Today the Met Service of Belize reported a scorching one hundred degrees Fahrenheit in heat inland. In average, this has been the trend in temperature for the last few months and even though most Belizeans have become accustomed to the extensive heat, the reality is it does have its effects and for some it can even mean death.

PlusTV

Travis Navarro charged with murderer of Dennis Gonguez
After three days of intensive investigation into the senseless murder of 21-year-old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, police are today able to charge a well-known Belize City youth for murder. He has been identified as 19-year-old Travis Tyler Navarro. This evening, at around 2:30 p.m., Navarro was swiftly taken into Court...

Government says Rosewood Flitches were Stamped
On Tuesday, we ran a story showing rosewood being stockpiled in the South. This, some four days after the amnesty period was closed. As we told you on Tuesday, our news crew was stoned and mooned by angry workers at the rosewood site after our camera crew took shots...

Kenny Morgan explains Citco’s action on Cemeteries
PLUS News today caught up with public relations officer for the Belize City Council, Kenny Morgan, concerning a story we first reported on Tuesday regarding the undertakers of Belize City being kept out of the public cemetery despite the reaching of an agreement at the Supreme Court between both...

AGUSM sets the record straight
The American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) and sister school Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) have been under public scrutiny for several weeks following allegations that AGUSM in particular is little more than a “ghost house” and a diploma mill. But today, the President of American...

Hail in Corozal, Heatwave Elsewhere
What’s up with the weather? The heat has been blazing on the country in the recent weeks, with little or no rainfall relief. This evening we spoke to Forecaster at the Belize Met. Service Frank Tench, who told us why we’ve been experiencing these extreme weather conditions. Frank Tench...

Stakeholders will have to compromise in Armenia Land disputes
Last week we told you about land issues which the Village of Armenia has been facing. Cruz Cal, a local of Armenia, is the Chairman of the Lands Committee which is supported by seven other members. The committee recently identified 2000 acres of land which they have been distributing,...

Suspected Con Man Detained After Robbery Plot
An American national, presently staying in San Ignacio, says that he walked right into a con man’s robbery plot. He claims that last week Thursday, he met this man, who asked him if he was interested in purchasing lands and if so he would take him to see properties...

64 year old charged for allegedly touching four minors inappropriately
A 64 year old man has been charged for allegedly touching four minors inappropriately. Juan Antonio was arrested after four girls, ages 11, 9, 8 and 6, accompanied by their parents, reported to Police that on April 2nd, around 4pm, while at their neighbors’ yard, a man they know...

Turneffe Atoll declared Marine Reserve
The plans were set in train from decades ago and signed on to in December by Minister of Fisheries Lisel Alamilla, and on Wednesday there was the formal declaration of the Turneffe Atoll as a marine reserve. Minister Alamilla spoke to PLUS News about the importance of the declaration....

Caribbean Bishops encourage opponents to Constitutional Change
The Government of Belize is heading to the court next week on the Constitutional Challenge filed by UNIBAM and Caleb Orosco. And while the pro-gay rights lawsuit brought against the Government in the Supreme Court may be the first of its kind, it certainly isn’t the only effort of...

Many spend the Holiday beautifying Belize City
The Belize City Council and its partners came out to conduct the second annual Labour for Belize initiative on Labour Day. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley there were numerous projects conducted. We caught up with him at the venerable Swing Bridge. Darrell Bradley – Belize City Mayor: We’ve been...

Senior steppers back from Merida
The Belmopan Senior Steppers boogied their way to Merida, Mexico, for three days full of dance and cultural presentations. The group of energetic seniors, ranging from 58-91 years old, performed primarily for members of Mexican senior organizations. They returned last week and we caught up with dance instructor Karen...

The Guardian

Promise Delivered : VoIP Unleashed!!!
Belizeans are finally truly free of the PUP-Ashcroft secret Accommodation Agreement now that Prime Minister Barrow has declared an end to the ban on Voice over Internet Protocol services (VoIP). The agreement featured special conditions such as a Government guarantee of 15% return on investment, no business tax and custom duties, and the ban of VoIP, among others. The change of Government and subsequent nationalization of the company ended most of the special arrangements between Government and the Belize Telemedia Limited. However, the ban on VoIP lived on. VoIP is a program that takes analog audio signals, like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turn them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. The program allows the user to bypass the phone company and its fees when making calls. There are three ways in which VoIP is used. One is with an analog telephone adaptor (ATA). The ATA allows you to connect a standard phone to your computer or your Internet connection for use with VoIP. The ATA is an analog-to-digital converter. It takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data for transmission over the Internet. The second way is by using a specialized phone called an IP Phone. The IP Phone is similar to regular phones but it comes with an Ethernet connector instead of a phone connector. It can be connected to any router and used to make calls. The third and easiest way to use VoIP is from computer to computer. The most common form is video chatting. There are several sites that allow video chatting for free or at very cheap monthly rates.

A National Bank for National Development
The Prime Minister announced during his quarterly press conference that the National Bank is well on its way to being formed. Already, a Board of Directors has been appointed to form part of the Bank. This will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant with Marion Palacio being the Vice Chair and members being Dylan Reneau, John Mencias, and Hector Sabido. Jose Karim Marin has been given the nod to be the General Manager. According to the Prime minister, the bank’s board is comprised of well-rounded individuals with financial capabilities as well as knowledge in the area where the bank will be receiving its financing. Initially, 20 million dollars will be the start up capital which will be made available for mortgage loans for public officers and teachers primarily, however, the PM noted that finances will also be made available for middle and low income persons. The finances will be derived from the Petro-Caribe Initiative, which currently sees the Government purchasing fuel from Venezuela but only a portion of the actual value is paid for the fuel, the difference is a deferred payment which is converted into a loan that pays 1% interest.

Referendum stalled
Prime Minister Hon.Dean Barrow officially announced on Monday, April 29th that the Referendum that was scheduled for October 6th to decide on whether or not the country would take it’s territorial claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been called off. The Prime Minister explained that there were bilateral meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and CEO in the Ministry, Alexis Rosado with Guatemala’s foreign minister Fernando Carrera. During those meetings, a particular nagging issue was discussed. That issue being where it was announced in the Guatemalan media that a new passport would be issued to take into consideration the Guatemalan claim over Belize. The Guatemalans gave their assurances that the reports are not true and that the new passports to be issued will be identical to the existing one.

What If?
What if a certain country or state still had Jim Crow-type laws on their books but they were not currently being enforced and had not been used for many years? Would they still be offensive to the community of persons targeted by them? What if several members of this community had achieved prominent positions in the wider community in governance, commerce and services? Would this mean that the Jim Crow laws are any less offensive? Does the existence of offensive Jim Crow laws encourage stigma and discrimination including petty harassment and even violence especially against less socially successful members of the community? Does the existence of Jim Crow laws encourage religiously and/or politically motivated “leaders” to preach or speechify against members of the targeted community with impunity? Should religiously and/or politically motivated “leaders” have the right to access technical and financial assistance from all available sources, local and foreign, to support their call to retain Jim Crow Laws? Would the presence of support from foreign individuals and organisations make the call to retain the laws “bogus” or inspired by outside forces? (Many non-American Neo-Nazi groups supported Jim Crow Laws in the USA.) Does the existence of Jim Crow laws, even if they are not enforced, imply a threat that they could be used in the future and thus help to remind the targeted population that they are at risk and therefore should remain as invisible as possible?

First Ever San Estevan UDP Village Council Slate
UDP Party Chairman, Alberto August endorses candidates It was a celebratory atmosphere in San Estevan village on Friday, April 26th as the United Democratic Party officially endorsed the village council slate, which will be contesting the upcoming village council elections in that community.

Four Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize.

Tourism Industry continues to Flourish
Tourism industry stakeholders are pleasantly surprised at the number of overnight tourist arrivals for the first three months of 2013. In 2012, Belize saw record numbers in overnight tourist arrivals with a 10.2% increase over the previous year. During this same time, there was a 2.7 percent increase in tourist arrivals globally, which means that Belize outperformed the rest of the world. Experts projected a more modest performance in 2013 as they are expecting a growth in overnight arrivals of 4.5%. However, statistics released by the Belize Tourism Board shows that there was a 13% increase in overnight tourist arrivals for the first three months of this year.

Investor Confidence at all Time High
Upon being elected to govern in 2008, Prime Minister Barrow and his United Democratic Party administration knew that they needed to build back foreign investors’ confidence in Belize in order to move the economy forward. The previous administration had destroyed Belize’s credibility with foreign investors because of shady arrangements such as dual exclusive contracts. After five years of transparent governance by the United Democratic Party’s administration, foreign investors are now flocking to the jewel.

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital responds to Security overtime 2012
In response to a news report of April 26th, 2013 on Channel 5 regarding an allegation of unpaid overtime being made by some former KHMH security employees, the KHMH Administration advises that all legitimate outstanding claims by these former employees were settled at the time of their redundancy in March of this year.

Labour Department holds Open Day Countrywide
The Labour Department within the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management held an Open Day on Tuesday at all its ten branches countrywide. Genee Neal, Public relations officer for the Ministry of Labor says that the Open Day was a fun-filled and informative one and is in reference to Labor Day which will be observed on May 1st.

Maranco’s Oil Find still not quantified
On Monday, April 29th, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced that Maranco, which struck oil in the Gallon Jug area in north western Belize, has still not been able to quantify the amount of oil that is in the find. PM Barrow stated that there have been problems that have prevented the oil company from completing the exercise. There are two main problems that have the encountered so far the first being that salt water is seeping into the oil well and the company is looking to plug the seepage using concrete. The second problem Maranco faces is a chemical reaction that has taken place inside the well after acid was injected into it to clean it of drilling mud. That acid has caused a tar-like substance to form in the well preventing any work from proceeding.

Taiwanese Navy visits Belize
The 2013 Midshipmen Cruising and Training Squadron of the Republic of China-Taiwan’s Navy was in Belize from Sunday, April 28th, to Tuesday, April 30th. Officers of the squadron put on a show for local government officials and students at the MCC Grounds on Monday, April 29th.

Hon. Gaspar Vega inaugurates New Multipurpose Centre for San Jose Village
The Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Area Representative for Orange Walk North, Hon. Gaspar Vega, officially inaugurated a new multipurpose centre in the village of San Jose, Orange Walk on Saturday, April 27th.

Dennis Rajiv Gonguez murdered
Police are investigating the murder of 21-year-old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez which occurred on Monday, April 29th. According to police, Gonguez was walking in the San Pedro Water Taxi compound with Jayme Marin at about 5:50 p.m. ,when they were approached by a slim built, dark complexion male dressed in a ¾ blue jeans pants, white shirt and peak cap. The individual took out a firearm and fired several shots at Gonguez. He was struck multiple times, at least once to the head, and died at the scene. Police retrieved two Aquila brand 9 mm expended shells, a Luger brand 9mm expended shell and two slugs from the scene. The Belize Police Department is searching for a Belize City man who is a person of interest in the murder investigation.

Rupert Avila charged for Fake Cheques
On Friday, April 26th, 31-year-old Belizean to the Bone employee, Rupert Avila, was charged for being in possession of a fake cheque. Allegations are that on Tuesday, April 23rd, he was found in possession of a Nova Scotia Bank cheque #077 in the sum of $5,810. Avila allegedly attempted to pay a cashier at Benny’s Bargain Center with this cheque. The cashier called police to the establishment and they arrested Avila since they did not believe he was unaware that the document was false. The origin of the cheque is said to be from Unity Presbyterian School. Avila appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday where he was charged with one count of possession of a false document and one count of claiming upon a forged document. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and was granted bail in the sum of $1500, $500 in cash plus one surety of $1,000. He is due back in court on June 20st. The police press office advises all business establishments to be on the lookout for forged Scotia Bank cheques.

Brian Castillo charged for Keeping an Unmuzzled Ferocious Dog at Large
Police arrested and charged Lord’s Bank engineer, 50-year-old Brian Castillo for keeping an unmuzzled ferocious dog after his neighbour reported that Castillo's pit-bulls went into his yard, attacked and killed their dogs. At 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 21st, a 48-year-old woman of the Lord’s bank area visited the Ladyville Police Station and reported that she was at home half an hour earlier when her neighbor’s three dogs went into her yard and killed her 4-year-old pit-bull dog. She also told police that it was not the first time her neighbor’s dog got out of his yard. When police visited the scene, they saw one dead pit-bull dog with multiple injuries over its body. On Friday, April 26th, Castillo appeared in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, Castillo pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is due back in court on June 4th.

Leeann Samuels caught Smuggling Weed into Police Station
On Friday, April 26th, a 22-year-old beautician was fined $400 for 3 grams of weed she was caught with inside a plate of food she was taking for her boyfriend, who was detained at the Queen Street Police Station. Leeanne Samuels of #21 West Canal, Belize City appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. Police say that on Thursday, April 25th, Samuels visited the station at about 12:20 p.m., where an officer present at the precinct conducted a routine check inside a black plastic bag she had in her possession. Inside the bag was a foam plate container with food. Inside the food, they found a fonto leaf and the weed inside a transparent plastic bag. Samuels was there to take food for her boyfriend, 21-year-old Kenrick Longsworth, who was detained at the Queen Street Police Station. In court, she pleaded guilty to the offense. Magistrate Dale Cayetano imposed a non-custodial sentence by fining her $400 plus $5.00 cost of court which she was ordered to pay by August 31st, 2013 or serve 9 months in prison.

8 Years for Attempted Murder
On Friday, April 26th, Justice Troadio Gonzalez sentenced 28-year-old Leroy Ramsey to 8 years in prison after a jury of 9 found him guilty on two counts of attempted murder. Ramsey was accused of the February 19th, 2008 attempted murder of Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill who were both shot at whilst on raccoon Street in Belize City. On that night, Broaster, Madrill and Robert Wagner were together on the street side, when according to Wagner’s testimony, he saw Ramsey approach them and opened fire. According to Wagner, he saw when Ramsey pulled out a gun and fired shots in the direction of Broaster and Madrill. He explained that he saw when Broaster was shot at twice and Madrill three times. Broaster received gunshots to the left chest while Madrill escaped unhurt. During the trial Madrill did not testify while Broaster, had to be treated as a hostile witness when he began to give evidence contrary to his 2008 statement to police. On the stand, Broaster told the court that he never saw who shot him and only knew he was shot because he heard the shots. In cross examination, prosecutor Sheneiza Smith got Broaster to admit that he told police he saw Ramsey shot him that night.

John Speer accused of Burglary
56-year-old John Speer, tenant of North Front Street Guest House, appeared in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of burglary. Allegations are that sometime between Wednesday, April 24th, and Thursday, April 25th, he entered the room of 70-year-old John Chan, who was also staying at the guest house, and stole $800 in cash. Chan made a report to police which led to the detention of Speer and another male suspect. However, the other individual was released and Speer was charged with burglary. In court, Speer was unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to the offense. There was no objection to bail but Speer was remanded to the Belize Central Prison because he was unable to meet a bail of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His next court date is set for June 11th.

FFB Certifies Coaches
The Football Federation of Belize made history this weekend for the first time since its inception by certifying 18 “C” level coaches from the Southern Football Zone which comprises the Stann Creek and Toledo districts. The 48-hour certification course, which began on the April 12th, 2013 saw the participation of 19 participants over a three weekend period which ended on the April 28th, 2013. Participants certified as “C” Level coaches are: Jerome Lester Serrano Dennis Serrano Peter Parchue Margaret Cullerton Angelique Mejia Crispin Ariola Maxwel Makin Wayne Casimiro Myric Caliz Leon Gentle Simon Palacio Alex Cruz John King Abel Pop Jose Garcia Glenford Hines Hector Hernandez Andy Leslie This certification course is the first of its kind held in Belize and was facilitated by Technical Director Renan Couoh and assisted by the FFB’s Technical Committee which includes Philip Marin, Emilio Montero and Marvin Ottley. The Certification Course continues later in May (exact date to be released) for 21 participants in the Central Zone which comprises the entire Belize District. Those interested are encouraged to contact the FFB Secretariat at 822-3410, Instructor Marvin Ottley or Executive Member Marlon Kuylen.

Managers of World’s Two Largest Barrier Reefs Team up to Protect Biodiversity
Australia and Belize might seem worlds apart, but when it comes to coral reefs there is much in common. A key challenge faced by both countries is how to encourage economic development in ways that don’t reduce marine biodiversity. This is the focus of a three-day workshop in Belize City May 7th - 9th. Coral reef managers, scientists and policymakers will come together to review best-practice approaches to biodiversity offsetting, which can help developers and regulators design projects that deliver social and economic benefits while ensuring no overall loss of biodiversity. “Biodiversity offsets are emerging as an important strategy internationally, but most of the work to date has focussed on land-based biodiversity”, explains Minister Lisel Alamilla, Minister with responsibility for the environment.“This workshop will not only help chart a more sustainable path for Belize, but will also make a valuable contribution to international best practice. “ “We are currently tackling similar issues in Australia”, says Dr. Paul Marshall from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. “It is a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and collaborate on a issue of such importance to the future of coral reefs and coastal communities.”

Blogs

New Hotspot Grand Opening May 4th
Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill is pretty much guaranteed to be a hot spot not only due to location and close proximity to the San Pedro Airport, but because it is Carlo and Ernie who are behind it. It will be a perfect spot for meeting arrivals, last good byes and raising your Belikin beer or rum as friends pass by on planes. If you are in town this weekend, be sure and stop by their grand opening is this Saturday May 4th and guaranteed to be a fun time. Everything kicks off at 4pm with live music from 3D band & DJ Traxx. You will also be able to enjoy enjoy free shots, snacks, giveaways and watch the Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs Robert “The Ghost Gurerro” fight.

Photo of the day: Aerial shot of the Macal River!!
The Macal River extends approximately 1492 square kilometers and flows from its headwaters in the Maya Mountains to the turquoise Caribbean Sea. On a canoe trip, you can enjoy the spectacular view of various species of birds and plants and even see villagers washing in the riverbanks.

“Umbrella” in Ambergris Caye
It was a holiday for most people on Wedneday but once Rose got up we got down to selecting the tiles we want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. After a couple of hours (but it seemed much longer) we had made nearly all of the decisions. Only a few areas to go now! We then turned our attention to the light fittings which were a lot easier and quicker to decide upon. Once this was done Rose created a spreadsheet detailing the light fitting by type and by area of the house and this is now ready to send to Daniel Camal,the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Needing a breath of fresh air we then took a drive to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to act as a catalyst for producing an ‘agenda’for the meeting we had scheduled with Daniel Camal for Thursday at 10 am. It’s a lot easier to walk around the house when nobody else is there. That done we went home and produced a twenty-one point ‘agenda’ which I sent to Daniel yesterday morning. I must have been a real shit when I was younger because as they say, “there’s no rest for the wicked”!

The Best Of Central America
With summer around the bend I can’t help but reminisce on the time when I went backpacking in Central America. Before having that experience, I couldn’t have imagined how amazing and life changing the trip was going to be. The people and cultures are as diverse as the landscape, and the food – oh the food – is magnificent (farm-to-table). I did my travels smoothly thanks to the help of Lonely Planet’s Central America on a Shoestring travel guide and with approximately $1000 to $1200 USD. The guide book has an excellent coverage on the history and current conditions of each Central American nation and was incredibly helpful with wonderful tips on where are the best places to eat, stay and explore. It basically was great to experience the best of Central America in two months! Here are the top 10 spots that you shouldn’t miss when you travel in Central America.

International Sources

Strange bedfellows: American Christian zealots are fighting back against gay rights—abroad
A third front is the Caribbean and Central America. Caleb Orozco of UNIBAM, a gay-rights group in Belize, is arguing in court that its criminalisation of homosexual sex violates the constitution. According to Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, an American civil-rights watchdog, a coalition of churches resisting the move is supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), another American outfit. (The ADF, like Mr Engle, could not be reached for comment.) Belize’s most prominent anti-gay cleric is American; his church is affiliated to a ministry in Arizona, whose leader has urged believers to raise the dead in morgues. Mr Orozco has been threatened and attacked with a bottle.

Belize gay rights activist in court battle to end homophobic colonial-era laws
Caleb Orozco, of gay rights group UniBAM, is taking the fight against 'anti-buggery' criminal laws to Belize's supreme court. Caleb Orozco has been denounced as the antichrist, received death threats and had a beer bottle smashed into his face. Next Tuesday, the gay rights campaigner will face a very different kind of challenge, when he comes up against the attorney general of Belize and the leaders of the country's churches. The courtroom battle over the Caribbean state's colonial-era "anti-buggery" laws is a significant milestone in a global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality. For four days, Orozco, supported by the former UK attorney general Lord Goldsmith and Godfrey Smith, Belize's former attorney general, will dispute the legality of a 19th-century law drafted in Britain. Defending section 53 of Belize's criminal code, which outlaws "carnal intercourse" between consenting same-sex adults, will be Belize's current attorney general, Wilfred Elrington, backed by the country's Catholic, Anglican and evangelical churches.

A Journey to the World of European Tech
I’m visiting here and am amazed by and immersed in how Europe has become a different technological world. None of this will be new to world travelers. But if you’re an American who hasn’t been to Europe recently, you might enjoy these notes: * On the flight over, Finnair offers in-flight Wi-Fi. How? Slowly and expensively — via satellite. Using this service, you pay by the megabyte (as on cellphones), not by time (as in hotels). I decided to try it out: $5 for 10 megabytes. What did I get for my five bucks? About three e-mails and seven lines of instant messaging. What the heck? How could a little text eat up 10 megabytes? I suspected that something was sucking down the megs behind the scenes. After scratching my head at 39,000 feet, it finally occurred to me to turn off the iCloud feature of my laptop, which keeps my calendar, address book and other data constantly synchronized with the Web. Genius! That was it.


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