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PUC Explains Decision On BEL's Submission on Tariffs
The Public Utilities Commission, PUC, today held a press conference to explain the details of its decision made on the Belize Electricity Limited’s submission on tariffs. Here’s the PUC Chairman, John Avery, with a summary of the minute difference between what was ini...
Belize's Annual Agriculture and Trade Show Happens At The Weekend
The National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013 will be officially opened tonight at the Show grounds in the City of Belmopan. Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eugene Waight, says that this year, there is a wider emphasis on Agriculture. He told us mor...
Belizean Man On The Run In Virginia, USA
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are asking US citizens primarily in Farmville Town in Virginia State, USA, to be on the lookout for a Belizean who is on the run in that community. The Southside Messenger Newspaper of Virginia has published a picture of Joel Fuentes...
Escaped Prisoner Shot and Recaptured
A prisoner who escaped from the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning was reportedly shot upon his recapture. Police say that at around 9 this morning, remanded prisoner, John Bermudez, was at the court for a robbery charge when he escaped from out of the defenda...
European Union and University of Belize Boast Graduates of Primary Education Project
The European Union and University of Belize’s Banana Belt Primary Education Project was officially closed off during a ceremony this morning at the Independence High School Auditorium in the Stann Creek District. The project was funded by the European Union at one point two...
One Brother Acquitted; The Other Fined For Drug Trafficking
Twenty-two year old Leo Wilson, one of two brothers charged with drug trafficking for 89 grams of cannabis, was fined $10,000. today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he was found guilty of the charge. He was ordered to pay by August 31. If he defaults on payment he will ser...
Judge Says 10K For Crack Cocaine
Twenty-two year old Egbert Jones, a laborer of Picstock Hutment , was fined $10,000. today by Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser after he was found guilty of drug trafficking for4.2 grams of crack cocaine. Jones was given until August 31 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve...
Judge Fines Man For Aggravated Assault of An Indecent Nature
Thirty-eight year old John Baptist, who was convicted of 2 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, was fined $5,000. for the first count and $6,000. for the second count today by Justice Troadio John Gonzalez. He was ordered to pay $1,000. by the end of May a...
PUC Explains Decision On BEL’s Submission on Tariffs
The Public Utilities Commission, PUC, today held a press conference to explain the details of its decision made on the Belize Electricity Limited’s submission on tariffs. Here’s the PUC Chairman, John Avery, with a summary of the minute difference between what was initially submitted and later approved and how they arrived at their figures.
“In BEL’s submission they proposed a mean electricity rate for the upcoming annual tariff period of 47.93 cents as opposed to the 48.86 cents per kilowatt hour that the Commission had approved on January 11 of this year. You may recall we conducted an exercise in December in which we reviewed the Final Decision for the 2012 ARP and as a consequence we have seen significant increases in the cost of power supply from Mexico and significant reduction in the amount of electricity supply from BELCOGEN and from the hydro sources in Belize. We were forced to increase the rates effective January 1st in order to help to cover a shortfall of about $45 M in additional electricity costs that BEL incurred due to the factors I just told you being higher purchases from CFE and less production from Belcogen and BECOL. Now, in this ARP, we are again reviewing that very period that we did in the amendment decision and so the $44 million that we made in corrections that resulted in the increase in January, after we have actual figures up to December, that amount of corrections when coupled with other corrections for 2011 – 2012 annual tariff period, it increase the corrections from 44.8 million from that amendment in January to 45.2 million roughly, now in this ARP.”
European Union and University of Belize Boast Graduates of Primary Education Project
The European Union and University of Belize’s Banana Belt Primary Education Project was officially closed off during a ceremony this morning at the Independence High School Auditorium in the Stann Creek District. The project was funded by the European Union at one point two million dollars and was implemented by UB in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Love News spoke with one of the teachers who graduated from the program, Joel Coleman who told us the program was a wonderful one.
“I am happy that we have finally come to the end. I have seen that because of this program we will definitely have changes in our classrooms in the Stann Creek District. It never comes late; it comes in time because there was a need for us to improve the quality of teaching in this area. So I am happy that we are given the opportunity and I am happy that we went through all the struggles and hardships of completing this project and we will come to this end and I think it’s fruitful and on the other hand when we look at the training of teachers, quality teachers mean quality classrooms mean better quality students; so the students, am sure that after this training , teachers and school will work at a quality level where students will be performing at the level which is desired in this nation; quality students and good result.”
Escaped Prisoner Shot and Recaptured
A prisoner who escaped from the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning was reportedly shot upon his recapture. Police say that at around 9 this morning, remanded prisoner, John Bermudez, was at the court for a robbery charge when he escaped from out of the defendant’s bench and ran out of the court room. Bermudez was later re-captured but was shot in the process and was admitted for observation and treatment at the PG community hospital.
Belizean Man On The Run In Virginia, USA
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are asking US citizens primarily in Farmville Town in Virginia State, USA, to be on the lookout for a Belizean who is on the run in that community.
The Southside Messenger Newspaper of Virginia has published a picture of Joel Fuentes as a 36 year old as a man with a previous criminal conviction. The paper’s Thursday’s online edition states that Fuentes and David Vasquez-Sanchez of Mexico escaped from the detention center in Farmville this past Monday. The two scaled a fence in the centre’s recreation yard and then crawled under a gate on the west side of the facility to flee.
Vasquez-Sanchez was captured, but US authorities have warned US citizens in the area to refrain from attempting to apprehend Fuentes but instead to alert them if they spot anyone matching his description. The Farmville Detention Facility houses detainees for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
Belize’s Annual Agriculture and Trade Show Happens At The Weekend
The National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013 will be officially opened tonight at the Show grounds in the City of Belmopan. Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eugene Waight, says that this year, there is a wider emphasis on Agriculture. He told us more about what to expect of this weekend of NATS 2013.
“We will have the Mennonite community there from Spanish lookout which we know in a big community in terms of agriculture production, in terms of grains, poultry, the whole dairy industry has a big concentration there and beside that we are bringing other subsectors within the industry. We will have the citrus industry, banana industry even the cacao growers and the chocolate companies will be out there this year. Beside we have a whole group of probably in excess of 20 different cooperatives that will be there, showcasing the different product that they have invested and developed in terms of value adding. So I think in terms of agriculture, besides the ministry, has its own demonstration unit which will be an eye catcher this year; the Central Farm booth is always an eye catcher and if it was last year, this year it will be even better. Aside from that we have other department like the Fisheries department, we have the department of environment, Forestry, the ministry itself has its own extension staff and this is one of the areas that many people go on Sunday to buy vegetables and fruits because you normally get fruits you probably wouldn’t see in your regular supermarket or store in your district.
Former employees of Belize Central Prison take grievances to Court
Last month news broke of the stand-off between former employees of the Belize Central Prison and the prison’s managers, Kolbe Foundation. Those former employees had publicly charged the organization with firing too many employees without due process, among other charges made in a documentary released on Facebook. After prison...
BWS Former Employees Take Labour Dispute To Court
There is another labour dispute before the courts, involving five former employees of Belize Water Services (BWS) let go in February, supposedly because their posts had become redundant. But the employees, identified as Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy, have filed suit as of...
Forest department will enforce Rosewood restrictions
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has found itself in the spot light of late since its sudden announcement of a rosewood amnesty. That amnesty period closed last week Friday and some four days later, hundreds of rosewood flitches were still spotted on compounds in the South....
Guilty Child Molester only gets fined
Last week Tuesday, April 23, 38-year-old John Baptist Sr., a Belize City resident who was accused of having sex with a 6-year-old child back in 2003, and also accused of sexually molesting her on three other occasions was found guilty of 2 of the four counts. Today during mitigation...
Storm causes structual damage in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank
Yesterday afternoon’s powerful storm spawned a hail shower in the Corozal area but also left significant damage in Belize City and the Ladyville/Lord’s Bank community. PLUS News spoke to a homeowner in Belize City who suffered as a result. Anthony Jones – Storm Victim: A rain was starting, and...
Weather Forecaster explains cause of severe storm
At the weather bureau, forecaster Frank Tench Jr. was tracking the storm which spawned sustained winds of 57 miles per hour, average for a tropical storm, with maximum winds approaching 75 miles per hour, the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, both measured at the International Airport. He tells...
Dr. Malik Soudah explains medical school admission policies
Tonight, we bring you part two of our coverage on the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) press conference. Yesterday, Dr. Malik Soudah, the school’s chief administrator and President of American Academic Services, addressed multiple topics on the history and practices of AGUSM. One of his sore spots...
Escaped prisoner gets shot and taken to hospital
A manhunt for an escaped prisoner ended with him getting shot. John Bermudez, was in court on a robbery charge at the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court, yesterday morning, when he fled from the defendant bench and dashed out of the courtroom. Authorities were later able to track him down,...
Two men detained for ammunition offence
Two Belize City men were detained after they were caught near Belmopan with unlicensed ammo. Last night, Police were on patrol in Roaring Creek, when they set chase on a vehicle with three men inside. When they reached the George Price Highway, the car stopped in front of a...
Organisations call for emphasis on social and mental health issues
The drowning death of the Teul infants allegedly committed by their mother, who has since been diagnosed with chronic clinical depression, has garnered much public awareness to mental health illnesses. Prompting organizations such as the Special Envoy for Women and Children as well as the PUP and the NCFC...
World Press Freedom Day recognized
World Press Freedom Day – which highlights the need for action to upholding the right of journalists to carry out their work, is being recognized today. The theme for this year is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.” Over the past decade, more than 600...
Silas Sabal releases new Christian Music CD
Silas Sabal, Gospel singer, song writer and producer has released his latest album titled “His Love Has Taken me Over.” PlusTV caught up with him down south where he was on a promotional tour. Silas Sabal – Christian Recording Artist: This is my new project and this is a...
BLOOD SISTERS, BAD BLOOD!!
Michael Figueroa charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, and Figueroa’s common-law wife, Stephanie Welch, was charged with threatening words directed against her own sister on Tuesday.
The days are super hot right now, and so are tempers in Hattieville: two blood sisters have differences of opinion and their children and husbands are being sucked into the dispute.
Two days ago, Stephanie Welch, 32, was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court with assaulting Kimberly Ramclam, 37, the principal of the Hattieville Adventist Primary School, and threatening to burn down the home of her (Stephanie’s) sister, Elorine Fuller, and have men shoot it up.
Just moments after Welch was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, her nephew, Glen Requeña, 22, Elorine’s son, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm after Welch told police that Requeña pointed a gun at her after telling her that “…one ah unu wanh dead now.”
TRAVIS NAVARRO, 19, CHARGED WITH MURDER
Police say he fatally shot Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, 21, when he stepped out of Brown Sugar.
Travis Tyler Navarro, 19, a resident of #12 Gaol Lane, was charged with a single count of murder for the death of Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, 21, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this afternoon.
Gonguez was murdered on Monday evening as he stepped out of the San Pedro Water Taxi, located inside the Brown Sugar compound on North Front Street.
Reports are that at 5:50 Monday evening, when Gonguez stepped out of the establishment, a dark-complexioned young man wearing a white T-shirt, ¾ jeans pants and a peaked cap, came from out of hiding in the yard of St. Mary’s Church, located across the street at the corner of Gabourel Lane and North Front Street.
AUTOPSY SAYS FELICIA CHEN’S THREE CHILDREN DIED OF “IMMERSION SYNDROME” AT BELIZEAN BEACH
Dr. Mario Estradabran, police coroner, performed the autopsy.
An autopsy conducted on the three children, Trinaya Felicia Teul, 1, Thomas Teul, 3, and Triana Teul, 4, who were found dead in the sea in the Belizean Beach area after supposedly being drowned by their mother, Felicia Chen, reportedly determined the cause of death to be “Immersion Syndrome.”
Survivalworld.com describes “Immersion Syndrome” as being caused by “prolonged exposure to wet conditions at temperatures from 50 degrees F to 32 degrees F (10 degrees C to 0” C).”
The autopsy was conducted on the bodies of the three babies on Monday, April 29, by police coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran at the morgue of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
The children died about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, when, according to police, their mother, Felicia Chen, 22, took them into the sea in the Belizean Beach area and drowned them. The babies were recovered from the sea and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival about 1:30 p.m. that Saturday.
FELICIA CHEN, 22, SUFFERING FROM “CHRONIC CLINICAL DEPRESSION”
Chen has to be housed at a mental facility for her own safety.
Felicia Chen, 22, a mother of four, is accused of drowning her three youngest children at the Belizean Beach, then attempting to drown herself.
Chen was arraigned yesterday, Monday, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on three counts of murder, but before an adjournment could be set, it had to be determined whether it would be safe for her to be housed at the Hattieville Prison or at a mental facility, the name of which was not mentioned.
An evaluation was then ordered to determine what her state of mind is, and if she would be a threat to herself if housed at the prison. It must be understood, though, that the court was not trying to determine what her state of mind was at the time of the triple drowning, but whether she needs to be in a place where she can receive treatment if needed.
PRIMARY SCHOOL NAIL-BITER THRILLERS ON THE ISLAND; HOLY REDEEMER GIRLS AND EPHESUS SDA BOYS ARE BELIZE CITY 2013 BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
Attending students and a few accompanying parents were treated to two fantastic basketball thrillers this afternoon at Bird’s Isle, where the Sports Council supervised tournament featured the female and male Finals of the Belize City primary schools basketball tournament. Sixteen (16) male and seven (7) female teams participated in the tournament, which just tipped off a couple weeks ago on Monday, April 15.
The male semifinals were held on Tuesday of this week, and we got to see a bunch of talented youngsters in tough competition, whetting our appetite for the Finals. Ephesus SDA prevailed, 31-26, over a game St. John Vianney squad in the first male semifinal, with Antaun Palacio and Delbert Sabal netting 13 points apiece for the winners, while James Pugh Ephesus SDA was Delbert Sabal, who led them to victory with 10 points, including some clutch free throws. Deon Edwards had 8 points for St. Martin’s. scored 8 pts for the losers. In the other semifinal, it was St. Martin De Porres dominating the smaller sized Wesley Upper boys, 28-14, with Glen Arzu leading St. Martin’s with 10 pts, while Jahmar Harris had 14 pts for Wesley.
PREMIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES PLAYOFF CHANGE; POLICE TO HOST BDF AT FFB STADIUM
The Premier League of Belize is pleased to announce that a change has been made to its Tournament Fixtures for the Play-off Round. See the following below:
Upcoming Playoff Round 1 schedule:
Saturday, May 4
7:30 p.m. – #3 Police United FC vs Belize Defense Force FC – FFB Stadium
Sunday, May 5
4:00 p.m. – #4 FC Belize vs #1 Belmopan Bandits FC – MCC Grounds
The playoff Round is a two-game knockout (#1 Seed vs #4 Seed and #2 Seed vs #3 Seed). The lower seeded team will host the first game.
Please note that Police United FC will be hosting the Belize Defense Force FC at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan.
THE NATIONAL BANK Editorial
At his press conference on Monday morning, Belize’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, announced the establishment of Belize’s first national bank. It is sensational news for us Belizean nationalists, because it is probably the only way forward where Belize’s domestic economic development is concerned. This is a bold step by our embattled Prime Minister.
Before we proceed, let us say that the only thing we wanted to hear about at that press conference was rosewood, because we are very, very angry about what is happening with rosewood. This is a situation where Belize’s elected politicians are defying and violating the expressed wishes of the Belizean people. Belize’s elected PUDP politicians did this before, repeatedly, with the selling of Belizean passports. And now, they are doing it again. Shame on the Government of Belize. Lord Acton, may he rest in peace, was right.
To the best of our knowledge, this national bank idea was first proposed by the late, brilliant Dr. Leroy Taegar. Since Taegar died a couple years ago, Bill Lindo had taken over the national bank baton. None of these two were given any credit for the idea, however, when Mr. Barrow made his announcement earlier this week. So that, if the national bank concept works, and it almost assuredly will, it is Mr. Barrow who will get the credit for the idea.
Belize’s national agriculture show began more than forty years ago when the seat of government was moved from Belize City to Belmopan. At the time Belizeans were still quite idealistic in our nationalism, and the feeling was that agriculture and agro-industries would be the mainstay of the Belizean economy. Back then, it was not foreseen that things like oil, tourism, real estate, and offshore banking would have the impact that they now have on the Belizean economy.
Our farmers and ranchers have lost their headline status at Agri to all the buy-and-sell businesses, such as telecommunications, which have taken advantage of the unique sales opportunities which Agri offers during its two spectacular weekend days. Exactly when agriculture became secondary to trade and business at Agri, we can’t say. But, we are not here to examine or denounce that change in Agri. What has been, has been.
We come to celebrate Agri today, for the sociological phenomenon that it is. It is the one annual event where Belizeans of all classes and ethnicities and colors and opinions, come together and mingle for an entire weekend. These Belizeans come from every single part of Belize, and it is Agri that offers the best opportunity for a bird’s eye view of the diversity which is Belize.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“If you or I wish to change something fundamental in Belize’s status quo, then we would have to seek political power. In order to achieve that political power, we would have to become as corrupt as the UDP and the PUP are. That is the dilemma of so-called activists in Belize.”
- pg. 13, FROM THE PUBLISHER, Amandala No. 2700, Sunday, April 28, 2013
You will seldom hear any of the ideas proposed or discussed in this column and our newspaper’s editorials come up for analysis and discussion on any of Belize’s mainstream media. I am referring to the electronic media – radio and television. From time to time, The Reporter, our newspaper competitors in the field of print media, will publish material challenging our theses. This amounts to fair comment, which is acceptable and, in fact, welcome.
Our various political opponents over our 44 years in public life, and sometimes these opponents have been UDP and sometimes they have been PUP, have mostly resorted to ad hominem attacks, which is to say, they attack me personally, which allows them to avoid a discussion of the ideas which Amandala presents.
All the radio stations, except for KREM, are 20 years or younger. In television, and I stand to be corrected, Channel 7 is about 30 years old, but for many years they did not feature domestic news and editorials. Channel 5 is a little more than 20 years old, I think.
PRIME MINISTER CALLS JUSTICE LEGALL RULING ON PETROLEUM CONTRACTS “EGREGIOUSLY WRONG”
Legall ruling against 6th Constitutional Amendment “of no practical effect,” he also said.
“…the minister can say to the landowner—whether you like it or not—I am making an order that the concession-holder go onto your land”
The Government of Belize does plan on appealing the April 16, 2013 decision of Justice Oswell Legall in which he declared six offshore petroleum concessions to be “unlawful, null and void,” as well as the April 19 decision of the judge in which he ruled certain portions of the Sixth Constitutional Amendment to be “unconstitutional, null and void.”
“I don’t think there is much practical consequence to any of those two judgments,” Prime Minister Dean Barrow commented at his press conference on Monday.
Barrow confirmed that Government’s legal counsels have already prepared documents for the appeal.
“I’ve seen our grounds of appeal and I believe that the lawyers described that as an aberrant ruling on the part of the judge, and I completely and unreservedly endorse that,” Barrow told the media.
$60 MILLION FOR BIL
Chamber and NTUCB to get seats on BIL.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced Monday that he will increase the number of directors on the board of Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) from 7 to 9, to accommodate the inclusion of representatives from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Barrow made the announcement in light of allegations made by the Opposition People’s United Party that BIL is a “hustle vehicle” for the ruling United Democratic Party.
In his response to Barrow’s budget speech, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had said in March that, “We should all take note of BIL. I want to sound the alarm bells now. I expect this to be a UDP-hustle vehicle that will seek to avoid the rules and regulations of Government. Why is this private company necessary to carry out the work of Government? Will this company be competing with the private sector? Who will it be purchasing materials and supplies from? Who will manage this company?”
CCJ HEARS BELIZE BANK APPEAL FOR BZ$43 MIL LCIA ARBITRATION AWARD AGAINST GOB
“This is an unusual case where a Prime Minister, by his signature, has purported to create a special tax regime:” Michael Young, SC, tells the CCJ.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), seated in Trinidad and Tobago, today heard the appeal lodged by BCB Holdings Ltd. and The Belize Bank Ltd. against the Attorney General of Belize, in relation to the BZ$43 million arbitration award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) back in 2009.
The judgement will be delivered at a later date.
Michael Young, SC, appeared today for the Government of Belize, while Eamon Courtenay, SC, and Ashanti Arthurs-Martin, appeared for the appellants. Both sides had foreign attorneys as a part of their legal team.
The dispute dates back to October 2008 and it originates out of a settlement deed which set out tax concessions that the then administration of Said Musa made with the parties, in getting them to abandon litigation by the Michael Ashcroft group against the Government over shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited).
PUC’S INITIAL DECISION CALLS FOR LOWER LIGHT BILLS, BUT FOR SOCIAL RATE CUSTOMERS ONLY
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today issued its initial decision in response to the rate application submitted by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) last month as a part of the 2013 Annual Review Proceeding (ARP).
The PUC said that whereas BEL had recommended a Mean Electricity Rate (MER) of $0.4793 per kilowatt-hour, along with specific adjustments to specific regulated values, and specific tariffs for various consumption bands for various customer classes, the PUC, after its review, has approved a rate of $0.4865 per kilowatt-hour.
The current MER was fixed at $0.4886 per kilowatt-hour in January, when electricity rates went up by 17%.
Today’s PUC decision would mean a negligible 0.4% rate reduction, but for one category of consumers.
“Due to the small reduction in the MER, the only current tariffs adjusted were those for the Social customer class. The minimum charge was reduced from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and the electricity rate/tariff was reduced from $0.29 per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 per kilowatt-hour,” said the PUC.
Beachfront Condo and Lagoon side apartment for rent
For those of you who are considering taking the plunge and moving to Belize or already live here and in the market for new diggs, this post is for you. Both beachfront condo and lagoon side apartment are available now with a minimum 6month lease. To view either apartment please call Angela at 626-9527
La Hacienda Apartments are located about a mile and a half south of town. Hacienda is a 1bed/2bth super spacious 2nd floor corner unit. dock, pool quiet and safe. It is 800sq ft , fully furnished, air conditioning, ceiling fans, wireless connection, cable. Potential for second bedroom as well as for sale lease option to buy. $600 usd, electric runs about $200 bzd if air conditioning is used a lot and water $50 bzd.
Virtual Tour of Belize by Travel Informed
Please click the link below (or cut and paste
to it to your browser) to access one of the most outstanding virtual tours of Belize
produced by Travel Informed. Included are 10 destinations: Cayo, Stann Creek,
Punta Gorda, Placencia and some atolls. Kindly read the browsing tips first
when you open the link. Click arrow on the left hand side to drop the destination
bar and do enjoy!
Former diplomat wins right to 'substantial' compensation after Foreign Office withdrew him from service over 'scurrilous' sex accusation from politician's wife
A former top diplomat has won the right to substantial compensation from the government after a judge ruled the Foreign Office let him down when he was wrongly accused of touching the rear of a senior politician's wife.
John Yapp - our man in Belize until his sudden suspension in June 2008 - said he was left 'shell-shocked' when his superiors confronted him with the bizarre allegation levelled by an opposition politician from the central American state.
He was suspended from his post as High Commissioner with immediate effect, London's High Court heard, and never re-engaged at ambassadorial level. The 61-year-old was summoned before an FCO mandarin while on leave from Belize in June 2008, said Mr Justice Cranston, and hit with accusations that he had a 'bullying' management style and had 'displayed inappropriate behaviour towards women at social functions'. That allegation was described as 'unfounded and scurrilous' by Mr Yapp's QC, Jane McNeill, and it was ultimately rejected after a full investigation by the FCO's own disciplinary panel.
Teaching crosses cultural boundaries
When first-grade teacher Jean Kirshner stepped into a classroom in Belize in 2007, she knew her life would never be the same. She could not foresee then how many other lives also would change because of that visit.
Kirshner said she simply saw a need from which she could not turn away.
“I was stunned because there were no books or school supplies,” said the Mammoth Heights Elementary School teacher. “It was heartbreaking. I knew I couldn’t get back on that plane and leave it.”
That visit was the impetus for the Belize Education Program, now a twice-yearly international visit by school staff from Belize and the Douglas County School District. Each fall, DCSD teachers and principals spend their fall break sharing educational practices in Belize, and every spring, staff from Belize visit Douglas County schools.