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#463804 - 05/07/13 11:59 AM Today's Belize News: May 7, 2013
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

A glimpse at the amazing underwater world with White Sands Dive Shop
“Did you see the dolphins yesterday?” asked the diver sitting next to me as we leave the dock next to Las Terazzas Resort. “It was amazing, the most incredible dive I’ve ever had,” exclaimed Cesar Cuevas. Equally giddy about the experience was his wife Rachell. Today we are on our way to dive Hol Chan (a Maya word that means small channel) Marine Reserve. The weather is perfect with only a slight breeze, and the water is crystal clear, highlighting the array of blues and turquoise colors that make the Caribbean famous. Belize has long been considered among the best dive destinations on the planet. And in this small Caribbean country, the island of Ambergris Caye offers countless diving experiences just minutes from her shore. San Pedro town offers numerous dive operations with dive masters who ensure a memorable and safe experience. Today we are with White Sands Dive Shop, among the oldest and prestigious dive operations on the island. Owner and operator Elbert Greer has a staff of seven who are dive masters, diving instructors, fishing guides, snorkel guides and boat captains. Four of the guides are with us today as we travel the short distance to Hol Chan, which offers an underwater experience for every class of diver.

Manuel Heredia Jr. donates funds for SPTC Mother’s Day Extravaganza
Plans are ongoing for the annual Mother’s Day celebration hosted by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). As part of the coordination and planning, on Friday May 2nd the SPTC received a donation from the Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia to help finance the event. A check for of $5,000 was handed over to San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Mayor Guerrero expressed his gratitude for the generous gift from Heredia. “The money will be used to help us with our Mother’s Day event,” said Mayor Guerrero. It is an event that, according to Mayor Guerrero, will be a grand one. This year’s entertaining evening is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th at the Central Park. In handing over the contribution, Heredia explained that the donation was a commitment made to the mothers of the island to assure that the event will continue to be held. “I am happy to be able to secure funds that will improve the Mother’s Day celebration,” said Heredia. The money was secured through the Ministry of Tourism. San Pedro mothers are invited to the grand Mother’s Day Extravaganza that will commence at 6PM. The entertainment for the evening will be courtesy of X’Pet, El Cocotazo and Jose Gabriel, all Mexican performers.

Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve burglarized
On the morning of April 25th, an employee of Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve discovered that the toll booth located at the entrance of the site had been broken into. Window brokenIt appears the building had been entered through the door after the latch was broken or through a side window. According to Jan Brown, Director of Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve, no money is ever left at the site, maintenance equipment and some merchandise was missing. The largest item stolen was the newly purchased Echo Gas Leaf Blower. While smaller items such as tools and grounds maintenance equipment were also reported missing. A set of Bushnell Binoculars, a personal item of an employee who had been using them to identify birds on the site was also taken. There were also a few merchandise items missing – t-shirts, beverage coozies and two “Ancient Maya Traders of Ambergris Caye” by Thomas Guderjan books that had just been received to re-sell. As well, the locks on the restrooms were destroyed.

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-breaking crowd of 83,000. St. Vincent is the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna people, who today are found largely in Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. A large Garifuna diaspora also exists in New York and New Jersey, the ambassadorsays.

Ambergris Today

Belize and Australia Team Up to Protect Barrier Reef Biodiversity
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 that will take place between May 7 and 9, 2013. 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.

Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar Holds Grand Opening Party
There is a new watering hole in town! More of a social hangout and a great place to eat; Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill held its inaugural party on Saturday, May 4, 2013, with live music by the 3D Band and DJ Traxx. There were lots of giveaways and complimentary drinks and appetizers throughout the night. Patrons were also happy to enjoy the Floyd Mayweather Jr. face-off fight against Roberto Guerrero. Needless to say the place was packed all weekend long and everybody had a great time.

What is the Book Of Mormon?
Learn about the History and Origin of the Book of Mormon and its testimony of Jesus Christ; friends and family of all ages are invited at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in front of San Pedro Belize Express Water-Taxi. Fridays at 5:00 p.m. Beginning in May 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: My View Carlo and Ernie's Opening Night
Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar celebrated their opening night on May 4th, 2013. Catch Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar on Coconut Drive. A definite must stop when in La Isla Bonita.

Belize's First Movie Launches Caribbean Film Industry
Make-Belize Films, an organization developing the film arts in Belize, is pleased to announce the international online release of 'Curse of the Xtabai'. The 80 minute jungle thriller-comedy is available for rent at xtabai.makebelizefilms.com for $1.99. 'Xtabai' (pronounced "ish-ta-by") has the distinction of being the first major movie fully produced with Belizean talent. The project provided training then employment for 65 Belizeans, who conceived and performed the film without the use of a script. "We want movies from Belize to offer audiences something unique and special", explains producer Matthiew Klinck, "so we're using improvisation to bring a raw energy to the screen."

Belikin at AGRIC
Belikin caught some people enjoying themselves at the Belikin beer tent at Agric.

EMPRENDE Entrepreneur Funding
Do you have a great business idea, but don't know where to start? Or do you already have a new business (less than 3 years old) and want to see it expand? If you do, then you should apply for this funding. Please share this with others who have a talent that they can develop into a successful business. "Entrepreneurs, welcome to the application form for the EMPRENDE training program, leaded by BELTRAID and CENPROMYPE. For the application and selection process, you must understand the following points: Potential Entrepreneurs: People and teams with business ideas and motivation to undertake full time, but have not yet advanced to the stage of marketing their product or solution."

Rewarding Mom Sweepstakes
Mother's Day is fast approaching, and not only are many local restaurants having specials and live music, but Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry is giving you a chance to get your mother a free makeover. You'll also get a photoshoot with Ramon Quiroz and hair done by Cory Flores. Good luck! "Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry would like to give away a makeover this Mother's Day! One lucky mom will be randomly selected this Thursday, May 9, 2013. Winner will receive a makeover by Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry along with hair done by Professional Hairdresser Cory Flores AND a mini photo session with Ramon Quiroz Photography! All you have to do is be sure to 'like' the page, then nominate a mom by commenting under this photo and that's it! *Anyone can be nominated, as long as the candidate is a mom. For more details on eligibility please refer to flyer. Have a nice day everyone! :)"

Running W Heats Up AGRIC
Running W got some great pictures while they were grilling and making some delicious BBQ at Agric. "Wow! What a weekend at the Agriculture Show grounds! If you weren’t feeling the heat of Running W’s grills, you surely missed out on the BEST grilling around!"

Caricom Song Competition
Don't forget about the Caricom song competition. Songs must be submitted by May 30th. The song should celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of the Caribbean. The winner will take home $10,000. Good luck.

VIDEO: Keyanni - Belize Top Model of The Week - Behind the Scenes Video
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected based on various criteria by a well known and published photographer in Belize, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography and Lucelli Cal the owner and principal of one of the hottest trending boutiques in Belize, Catwalk Fashions. We will take you on a journey with us as we travel around Belize and perform these photoshoots in these beautiful locations with gorgeous models. The Main photo selected weekly is published on a full color print page in the Belize Times Newspaper in Belize. Make sure to tune in to see who our next weekly Top Model will be. Model: Keyanni Makeup Artist: Lucelli Cal Hair: Soraida Sharma Clothing: Catwalk Fashions Boutique Location: Chaps Bar and Grill - Pickwick Pool Published: 5/5/2013 Belize Times Newspaper Music by Kesha - "Blow"

Channel 7

Another Murder At The Former “Palm Island”
Tonight, the family members of 32 year-old John Paul Fernandez, continue to ask questions about what led to his apparent murder on the compound of The Office Restaurant and Bar – formerly known as Palm Island Bar – on the Phillip Goldson Highway. On Saturday morning at around 3:41 a.m., Fernandez was found dead with a gunshot wound to the right side of the head, and no eyewitnesses to say what led to it. All police are able to confirm tonight is that he was socializing with a man and shortly after a single gunshot was heard. Fernandez was later found dead in a pool of blood. His family is devastated by his sudden loss and today, they spoke with 7News to share what little information they have about the last time he was seen alive. Christopher Fernandez - Brother of Deceased "The information that I got was that my brother was helping a guy that was selling BBQ, not far from here, and the guy said he dropped my brother home. He said that he brought my brother at the lane but he didn't see if my brother reached at home. We got information and everyone knows who did it but we are leaving the information up to the court and to God so that they make the decision what is right. We're waiting on the police to get some information but the only reason is because I want to know how they killed my brother and what really happened to my brother. We want to know who did it and the reason why? Because my brother is a loving person, everyone knows my brother around here and know that he is loving.

City Shooting – 10 Shots Fired, No Injury
And while that murder happened early on Saturday morning, by Saturday night there was a wild shooting in the city. It happened at around 7:25 on Saturday night on Caesar Ridge Road. Residents say as many ten shots were fired by a passing gunman. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and police say the targeted person escaped. The police scenes of crime team responded and we saw them put down nine bullet markers. No one has been arrested or detained for the shooting.

Cayo Stabbing Results In Murder
John Fernandez’s murder was the weekend’s second homicide. The first happened in an area behind the Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio at around 6:30 p.m on Friday. 18 year-old Shaheem Slusher had just left his work site. He went for a swim, and he was socializing with several men. He got into an argument with another man who pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the neck and left shoulder. He tried to escape, but he fell and bled out beside the river. Last night, 7News travelled to San Ignacio, we got a chance to speak with his uncle, who is a police officer stationed in Belmopan. He told us about how they are dealing with his sudden loss. Denroy Barrow - Uncle of Deceased "It was around 7:00 Friday evening - I was at home when I was informed by a collegue that one of my nephews was injured by the river side. I made checks and I met the police officers at the scene doing their work. I don't have the full details but I was made to understand that my nephew was on his way from work because he works in Santa Elena. I believe that sometime while he was in the San Ignacio area he stopped by the river to wash off the cement from his work. As I understand it there were some other individuals in the area where he and someone got into a misunderstanding and a struggle insued whereby he received two stab wounds - one to the right side of the neck and the left side of his shoulder.

Mother Explains How Her Baby Died In A Bucket, Cops Not Completely Convinced
On Friday night we told you about a baby that apparently drowned in a bucket. One-year-old Kyle Leslie’s mother told police that she came back into the house to find her baby submerged in a bucket. Today, she told us her story. Jules Vasquez reporting Tanya Leslie - Mother of 1 year old, Drowned in Bucket "Well, it's an experience that I will never forget." Today, 19 year old Tanya Leslie has nothing but regrets. On Friday afternoon, at around 1:00 she had been sleeping with her two sons, Damion, two and Kyle,1 at her home on Mahogany Street when she stepped out briefly. Tanya Leslie "I got a phone call and they told me to come outside for the money and when I was out there I realized that only one of my sons was by the door. I went back into the kitchen I saw my son in the bucket and I pulled him out. I squeezed his stomach and I saw that water came out of his mouth like he was choking water and he was still alive.

Toddler Falls Into Pond In Boom, Drowns
And while that was Friday in the city, another small child drowned on Saturday in the Burrell Boom Area – and in this case police believe it was accidental. Five year old David Alexander Cruz was unaccompanied when he fell into a pond near his house and drowned. But while he was not being supervised near a body of water, as we found out there is a reason why that was the case: Mom was fending off a bush-fire. Jules Vasquez reporting On Saturday afternoon at about 3:00, a bush fire was encircling the Cruz family home off the Burrell Boom Road. The mother of three, 25 year old Raquel Carcamo was trying to fight the fire and keep it away from the house, when she called in her children who were eating coconuts about 200 feet away, near this putrid looking pond 200 feet from the home. But five year old David Alexander Cruz stayed back. Jose Tobar - Uncle of Deceased "The problem was that the baby David gave him the life jacket that he had and then they went. His sisters and my little brother didn't conscious that he stayed at the back so when they were looking for him they realize they couldn't find him. His sister Giselle went to the pond and she saw a hand in the water that's when they called her mother and told them that her brother was in the pond."

Crazy Arnold Gets a Crazy Jail Sentence
29 year-old Michael “Crazy” Arnold is at prison tonight serving a 12 year prison sentence after he was convicted of rape in 2011. Well, he’s getting 15 years added on to his prison time because he pleaded guilty to a second rape charge today. His female victim, who was 29 year-old at the time, told police that at around 10 p.m. on September 18, 2010, Arnold, who she knew for a month, entered her apartment and put a gun to her head. He ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She said that she refused and that’s when he pulled her on to a bed, grabbed a machete and put it to her neck threatening to chop her to death if she didn’t cooperate. With that machete to her throat, Arnold raped her. That case was called up today before Justice Adolph Lucas, and Arnold took the opportunity to change his plea to guilty. He begged the court to consider handing him a sentence which would run concurrently with his current 12 year sentence, 2 years of which he has already served.

Accused Killer Is 18, Not 17
A month ago, we told you about the execution-style killing of 36 year-old Frank Neal. Two days later, police charged a young man for his murder, who claimed that he was 17 years-old. Well tonight, he is in prison and he will be treated as an adult because police have confirmed that Paul Smith, a resident of Cemetery Road, is 18 years-old. As we reported, at around 6 p.m. on March 8, Neal was riding on Glenn Street, and he had gone to buy Johnny Cakes. That's when a gunman rode up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. He fell in the drain, and died on the spot. Paul Smith was taken before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith who remanded him to prison until July 4, 2013, his next court date.

UNIBAM’s Pre Trial Press Conference
May seventh to the tenth in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is reserved for what’s known as the UNIBAM Case, Caleb Orozco. The Attorney General of Belize which is the gay rights group challenge to section 53 of Belize’s criminal code. That section of the law says, “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” UNIBAM says that denies gay men their constitutional right to privacy. That’s the broad outline of a case which has triggered Belize’s first culture war: between those Christians who say that homosexuality is an abomination and the gay rights group which says consenting adults should be free to do as they wish in their private lives. The case has drawn a constellation of local and international legal luminaries, and today, aware that the court of public opinion is as important as the court of law, Orozco’s group held a pre-trial press conference at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus. Westmin James and Caleb Orozco took questions on the nature of the case, and whether the impetus for it came from international agencies pushing a gay rights lobby. Caleb Orozco - Executive President, UNIBAM "For far too long the state has ignored it's LGB's citizens fundamental right and freedom in other lower level lots. It may have immediately removed to individual citizens' prejudices immediately but it's certainly a heck of a debate and a journey to get there."

Thousands Take PSE Part II
Tonight, thousands of Standard 6 students from around the country are breathing a sigh of relief because they finished the PSE today, sitting Paper two, the Math and Social Studies subjects. It’s the most important test of their young academic careers, and today 7News got a chance to speak with a few of them to get a feel for how challenging they found the test to be. Adalmi Cambranez - Wesley Upper School "We were taking Social Studies and Mathematics today." Daniel Ortiz "In your optinion, how was it now that you've gone through it?" Adalmi Cambranez "Only one of two were hard - not that hard but it was good. I think I passed it with a high score." Daniel Ortiz "How long did it take you to prepare for it?" Adalmi Cambranez "It took me long enough because I was doing very well in my opinion so I studied very hard." Kevin Vega - Grace Primary School "The Mathematics was kind of challenging but I know I did well. The Social Studies was faily easy I think."

Bowen & Bowen Production Lags, Can’t Keep Up With Demand
For weeks, we’ve been hearing complaints about shortages with Bowen and Bowen products, from soft-drinks in the plastic bottles, to soft drinks in the glass bottles, and now an acute shortage of Crystal water products. Today, Bowen and Bowen Senior Executive Hilly Martinez confirmed that as regards water products, the company is behind in production and just cannot keep up with market’s demand during the hot months of April and May. He says this has led to the rationing of five gallon bottles and the shortage of the pouch bags for 25 cents. As for the glass bottled soft drinks, he says they had a major breakdown with a machine called the crowner, which puts the aluminum stopper on the bottles. He says they had to order the replacement part form Germany which also caused delays.

Belize’s Buffest Off to Britain
In October of last year, 7News showed you the 2012 Body Building Champion, Rigo Vellos. Well, he’s moving on from Belize, and he’s competing in a much larger competition. Vellos is making a few last-minute preparations to leave for Colchester, London for the 2013 Hercules Olympia Body-Building competition which will be held this Saturday. This competition is a big deal it attracts some of the world’s top-form bodybuilders, and Vellos will become the first Belizean to participate. Since the October 2012 Bodybuilding championships, Vellos has won 1st place in the Corozal Bodybuilding Competition in Senior Category, which was held this weekend. He also won 1st Place in the Habet and Habet Mr. Physique Competition which was held in Placencia over the Easter weekend. All through this time, he has been fundraising to travel to London, and he thanks his sponsors.

Ride ‘Em, Cowboy!
The Rodeo, it has become a mainstay at the National Agriculture and Trade Show, and every year, fans flock to the event because of the excitement it brings. Brave cowboys from across the country participated in yesterday’s rodeo, and 7News was there for every thrilling moment of it. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz reporting Yesterday, the 2013 Rodeo was filled to capacity; every seat in the four corners of the facility's bleachers was occupied. It has a history going back some 47 years, so it's expected that the sport has avid fans and supporters. The Rodeo is all about good clean fun and entertainment, but according to one of the oldest professionals, there is a youth outreach aspect to it. Robert Lightburn - Rodeo Official Timekeeper "I would like to see this go on. The objective of this is to get the kids involved in something positive. Rodeo is something that you have to practice and live." And the youth participation was evident when one of the youngest contestants confidently rode her horse through the course designed for the Barrel Racing.

Barbering As a Business Solution
Right now, Belize’s unemployment rate is IN THE teens, and every day, young Belizeans try in vain to seek out different employers for jobs. At the YWCA, young women and youth have traditionally been the target groups for intervention but 16 weeks ago, the organization collaborated with the US Embassy to create a unique capacity building training. Today, 7News attended it’s first barber expo, and 7News found out about that capacity training. Daniel Ortiz reporting The male population in Belize currently doesn’t have enough barbers; most of them have to line up every 2 weeks to get a trim. The YWCA, in collaboration with the US Embassy, decided to turn that demand into an avenue of outreach to young men in the communities, who need a trade and are willing to accept help. Sonia Linarez - General Secretary, YWCA "Today is a big day for the YWCA because we are having a barber expo. This is the first time the Y has embarked on such an initiative."

British Court Says former BHC Yapp Was Unfairly Done In By Courtenay Complaint
Since 2008, we’ve been reporting on the case of John Yapp, the former British High Commissioner to Belize who was abruptly relieved of his post and sent home after a complaint emerged that he’d behaved inappropriately – specifically that he’d touched a woman’s behind at a cocktail party. For years, rumours circulated as to who that woman may have been – but now, a judgment in British Court has been handed down – and it says the woman was Denise Courtenay and the man who complained about it was her husband, Eamon Courtenay. The 42 page judgment arises out of a lawsuit Yapp filed against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, saying that he had been unjustly dismissed from his Belize posting. The judgment discloses the details of confidential conversations Courtenay had with Foreign Office Staff. The Courtenay Allegations, as they are called, were put into an e-mail which says, quote, “at private events the claimant had acted inappropriately with women, including touching Mrs Denise Courtenay’s bottom, and so people were no longer prepared to invite him to events. The mail also lists six other allegations in which Courtenay is alleged to have said he had declined to attend events at the High Commission during the visit of (a British) Minister, and that quote, “Mr Courtenay commented that the sooner the claimant left Belize the better.”


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#463805 - 05/07/13 11:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 7, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Pen knife murder at Cayo bar
There were two murders over the weekend; the first murder occurred in the west. Eighteen year old Shaheem Slusher, a construction worker from Gales Point Manatee, moved to San Ignacio seven years ago, but something went awfully wrong on Friday evening. At about six-thirty, his body was found behind the Pit Pan Bar in San [...]

Name changed, but man murdered at Palm Island
Nine hours later, there was another murder…this time in the Old Capital. It’s also the second murder to be recorded at Palm Island. In the predawn hours of Saturday morning, two friends were socializing at the Belize City club, when one was fatally shot. One suspect, who was being questioned, was subsequently released and police [...]

5 year old drowns in Burrell Boom Pond
Even as the nation struggles to deal with the killing by drowning of three small children one week ago, another family is grieving the loss of their only son to drowning. This latest tragedy occurred in the village of Burrell Boom on Saturday afternoon; it has left a young mother inconsolable after her son, five [...]

Toddler drowns in bucket in Belize City
Another child purportedly drowned and Belize City police are tonight investigating the death of a toddler. The initial reports are that one year old Kyle Adain Leslie drowned inside a bucket of water on Friday afternoon at his Mahogany Street house. Sometime around two-twenty p.m., a team of officers visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala headed to O.A.S.
The October referendum has been called off; first by Guatemala on the basis that they wanted Belize to amend the Referendum Act to change the sixty percent voter turnout to a simple majority and also because they were not prepared to spend millions of dollars on a process which likely would not have yielded a [...]

Former British High Commissioner vindicated of allegations of inappropriate behavior
Former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp has been vindicated after a judge ruled that he was let down by the British Foreign Office in 2008. Yapp was yanked from service in Belize after allegations that he had touched the rear of a senior politician’s wife at a social function, and also that he [...]

UNIBAM and U-RAP pretrial conference
The landmark case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize goes to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and both sides, and the churches as interested parties, are gearing up for what will be a very significant trial challenging section fifty-three of the criminal code which states that persons who engage in carnal knowledge [...]

Is UNIBAM being used for foreign gay agenda?
Although the trial will be run along clear-cut legal lines, this is far from a clear-cut, unemotional issue and feelings on both sides are running deep. Today, the media asked the hard questions, including a query about an existing perception that there is a foreign agenda at work, and Caleb Orozco is just a pawn [...]

UNIBAM’s Caleb says gay case is human rights issue
And from taking offense to giving offense, Orozco reiterated that there is no foreign government at work in this case, and it is a human rights agenda that is dictating his struggle. Orozco also revealed that discrimination is one of the key issues at play in this case.   Caleb Orozco, Claimant “The US Government [...]

Michael “Crazy” Arnold locked up until 2023 for rape
Repeat offender Michael “Crazy” Arnold was charged for raping a twenty-nine year old woman back in September 2010.  At the time, Arnold pleaded not guilty. But today, he went back to court and changed his plea to guilty so as not to waste the court’s time. Arnold called no witnesses, but asked the court for [...]

Frutos’ attempted murder with machete
Thirty-four year old Edgar Elmer Frutos, an employee of the Angelus Press Limited, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, where he was read a string of charges stemming from an incident on April twenty-seventh.  The technician is accused of hacking Osmond Romero with a machete, following a misunderstanding.  In an affidavit, Frutos said [...]

Smith; claims to be a minor, but charged for murder
Eighteen year old Paul Smith was charged today for the March murder of Frank Neal. Smith originally claimed that he was seventeen, but he was brought back to court today from the Wagner’s Facility and arraigned as an adult before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Neal was gunned down by a lone gunman while purchasing [...]

Day two of PSE; students say math hard, social studies easy
Day two of the PSE took place today at different locations countrywide. Close to eight thousand primary school students sat the exams. While a number of students were comfortable with social science, math is still a challenge for the majority. News Five’s Jose Sanchez, spoke to students from various primary schools.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting [...]

CARSI and YWCA teach youths to be paid barbers
The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) is the United States Government’s top program for investing and promoting peace in Central America. CARSI has pledged six million U.S. dollars to go towards initiatives that combat urban crime and narco-trafficking while investing in programs that prevent youths from straying into illicit activities. Several weeks ago CARSI [...]

Ball kicking, hoop shooting Sports Monday highlight
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   The 2013 PLB playoffs got off to a roaring start over the weekend so we took in game 1 of the home and away series between Police United and the Belize Defense Force inside the FFB Stadium at the Capital City Saturday night.   [...]

LOVE FM

Gay Rights Sits High On This Week's Legal Agenda In Belize
High on the legal agenda for this week is the much-touted case of Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, which is seeking to challenge Section 53 of the Laws of Belize that pertains to sexual conduct. Today, one of Orozco’s legal representatives, West...

Security Detained For Murder of Belize City Laborer
32 year old John Fernandez, a laborer of 17 Flamboyant Street went socializing last Friday night with friends when his life was cut short. Fernandez’ uncle, David Morales, informed Love News that earlier on Friday night he learned that someone had dropped off Fernandez near...

Final Segment of Primary School Exams Held Today
The second portion of the Primary School Examinations is being sat today all over the country. Love News spoke with Principal Education Officer for National Exams, Yvonne Davis, who gave us the details on the scope of today’s exam. YVONNE DAVIS "Today they are ...

Agric Show Held Over The Weekend
Over the weekend thousands of Belizeans flocked to Belmopan for the 2013 National Agriculture and Trade Show. Since its establishment back in 1970, “Agric” as most Belizeans refer it as, has become, undoubtedly, one of the most visited events of the year. The theme ch...

Mother Turns To Media To Locate Missing Son
Tonight, worries over thirteen years old Scott Thompson is growing as it has been over a week since anybody has heard of him or knows his whereabouts. According to the Thompson mother, Elvira Thompson, it’s not the first time that the thirteen year old has gone missing...

IACHR Expresses Concerns Over Human Rights Situation With The Maya Communitites
An article on online news page, CanaNews.net reports that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, has expressed concerns regarding the human rights situation of the Maya indigenous communities in Toledo. The article says the IACHR has received information that p...

Fire At Airport Bar Reported
It has not been reported in the police news report but the San Pedro Sun has reported that a fire at Jet’s Bar at the Philip Goldson International Airport has totally destroyed the bar. The newspaper reported that the incident happened at around eight on the night of Sa...

Fifteen Years For Rape Following Guilty Plea
Thirty-six year old Michael Arnold, a.k.a. “Crazy”, was sentenced to 15 years today by Justice Adolph Lucas after he pled guilty to rape. Justice Lucas stipulated that the sentence is to run consecutively to a sentence of 12 years that Arnold is serving for a rape convictio...

Teenager Found Murdered In Cayo District
An eighteen year old man was murdered in the Cayo Districton Friday Evening. According to reports, the victim Raheem Slusher, a resident of Gales Point Manatee Village was involved in an argument with thirty one year old Brian Burke at Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio Town. The a...

YWCA Holds Barber Competition Following Training Sessions
The YWCA Building was buzzing with the sound of hair clippers this afternoon as the Young Women’s Christian Association held its first ever Barber Expo and Competition. The competition saw that participation of 8 competitors who have been part of a barbering course that has taken...

Baby Drowns In Bucket While Mother Was Asleep
A one year old toddler reportedly died while in the care of his young mother last Friday afternoon and the 19 year says that he drowned while she was asleep. Tanya Leslie told Love News that she returned home on Mahogany Street after lunch hour on Friday and met two of her young ...

Action Plan Launched For Central Belize Corridor
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable and the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute will initiate Management Action Planning for the Central Belize Corridor though a launch event from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the B...

Four of Six Fishermen Plead Guilty For Drug Trafficking
A case involving six fishermen, charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug, concluded today with four of them pleading guilty. They are Juan Munoz, Joselito Bautista, Jose Nunez, Jose Peraza, Javier Perez and Jose Rodriguez. All six were charged with drug traffic...

New Horizon's Plastic Surgeons Operates On Toddler
A 4 year old Belizean boy, Isai Carrillo, underwent surgery on May 2nd to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his right hand. The surgery was done at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town. With help from New Horizons’ plastic surgeons; his hand tha...

CTV3

Firearm And Ammunition Removed Off The Streets
A man from the Orange Walk District is in serious trouble with the law after he was busted with a firearm and several live rounds. The incident happened at around 3:00 yesterday afternoon when police searched a Yamaha ATV driven at the time by 24 year old Vildo Westby, a Belizean laborer of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District. The search led police to one air pistol and one .22 live round found in the cartridge. But police were not satisfied and decided to search Westby. This time the search yielded (15) .22 live rounds of ammunition. Westby was immediately detained and escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where he is detained pending charges.

Junior Farmer Of The Year Hails From Corozal
Over the weekend thousands of Belizeans flocked to Belmopan for the annual National Agriculture and Trade Show which was officially declared opened on Friday. Undoubtedly, there were many attractions at the show grounds and let’s not leave out the great deals. But perhaps one of the highlights of the event was the naming of the senior, female and junior farmers of the year. Tonight, the spotlight shines on the junior farmer of the year who we are proud to note is from the Corozal District. This morning Reporter Victor Castillo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled further north and visited the 15 acre farm land of 19 year old Nelson Enrique Burgos, 2013’s Junior Farmer of the Year. Victor Castillo- Reporting Meet this year’s Junior Farmer of the year, 19 year old Nelson Enrique Burgos from Fresh Water Creek in the Corozal District. At the age of 14 Burgos became interested in farming and since then has dedicated most of his time and efforts in expanding his family’s business. Every day, with the assistance of his grandfather, he cultivates this 15 acre plot of land, planting an assortment of vegetables and fruit trees. But Burgos does not only toil the soil, he also grows a number of chickens which similar to his fruits and vegetables are sold for local consumption.

Two Toddlers Drown In Belize City
On Friday four year old Triana Teul, three year old Thomas Teul and one year old 1 year old Trinaya Teul were laid to rest. The three siblings were killed by their mother, 22 year old Felicia Chen, on April 27th as she took them to the Belizean Beach and drowned them. Tonight there is more sad news to report as two toddlers drowned in separate incidences. The first incident occurred on Friday May 3rd. According to 19 year old Tanaya Leslie, she arrived home at around 12:30 on Friday afternoon where she found her two sons asleep. Tired herself the mother says she fell asleep too and when she woke up she found her one year old baby boy, Kyle Leslie, face down in a bucket of water. The mother says she immediately pulled the toddler out of the water but it was too late, by the time the child arrived at the hospital he was already dead. No charges have been levied upon Leslie. The second incident was recorded on Saturday May 4th. Ladyville Police visited the Fresh Pond area in the Village of Burrell Boom in Belize City where they found the body of five year old David Alexander Cruz. Investigations revealed that sometime between 3:00pm and 4:00pm on the 4th, the child went into the pond located 100 yard away from his house and drowned. The child was retrieved from the water by his mother 25 year old Elvis Raquel Carcamos, a Salvadoran national. The body of David Alexander Cruz was transported to the K.H.M.H where it was pronounced dead at 7:00pm.

15 Year Old Minor Gone Missing
Tonight the mother of a 15 year old girl from Orange Walk Town is asking for the publics assistance in locating her daughter whose been missing for two days. Seleni Norelia Blanco left home on Saturday May 4th at around 7:30am en-route to her job at the Ready Call Centre and has not been seen since. According to Blanco’s mother, Rosa Truches, she received a text from her daughter on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon at around four informing her that she was ok and should not worry. But Truches, who visited our studios today, told us she is worried sick about her daughter and all that she wants is for her to return home. Blanco is described as being of Hispanic Decent, has long black straight hair, brown skin and dark brown eyes. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Seleni Norelia Blanco is asked to contact the nearest Police Station or contact the family at 665-3866 or 605-8276.

Students Sit Second Part Of PSE
On March 18th, 2013, a total of 7,556 standard six students countrywide sat the first part of the Primary School Examination which represented a 6% increase over last year 2012. 1,804 students of the total amount were from the north; 858 students were from the Corozal District and 946 students were from the Orange Walk District. Today, students sat the second part of the Primary School Examination consisting of Math paper one and two and Social Studies. So how did it go? That’s what we found out. Irvin Aragon – Reporter Today, hundreds of standard six students countrywide headed to the various examination rooms to sit the second part of the Primary School Examination. This year 1,804 students who took the exams were from the north. Over the years, the Ministry of Education has seen an increase in the number of students who sit the exam and this year was no different except for the fact that 142 students who took the first phase of the exam did not sit the second part. The numbers here in the north however, were not affected. The exams consisted of Math paper 1 and 2, paper 1 consisting of 50 multiple choices and paper 2 consisting of 10 problem solving questions. The Social Studies paper consisted of 50 multiple choices.

Ministry Of Education Celebrates Education Week
Yesterday marked the beginning of Education Week celebrated this year under the theme: “Working together: Stakeholders partnering to enhance education”. Activities will run for two weeks this year culminating with Teachers Day on Friday May 17th. The main objective for the celebration is to highlight achievements in the Education system, according to District Education Officer Carla Alvarez. Carla Alvarez- District Education Officer “The purpose of these two weeks of celebration is to sensitize the public as to some of the education services that are offered and what the Ministry of Education does on its various capacities and so the celebration started with an ecumenical service in the various districts and this two week period is teachers’ day.” Irvin Aragon - Reporter “Could you tell us some of the activities happening here in the north?” Carla Alvarez- District Education Officer “There is a calendar that marks the various activities happening throughout the country and then we also have some specific activities here I Orange Walk but coincidentally today is PSE day two and so it is an interesting way to start the spirit of celebration, tomorrow we have a, what you call a Creole culture type of program telling a story and this will be conducted by Ms. Mirna Manzanares at Banquitas House of Culture. Monday, May 13th we will have a financial literacy fair at ITVET this one of the highlights of the two weeks celebration and we are inviting schools from across the country to participate”

PlusTV

Two small boys drown over the weekend
Two little boys lost their lives in separate drowning incidents over the weekend. One took place in Belize City and the other in the Ladyville area. We begin in Belize City where according to police, nineteen year old Tanya Leslie of Mahogany Street discovered her baby son’s head inside...

Homosexual Court Case Starts Tomorrow
Lawyers for Caleb Orosco, litigant in tomorrow’s constitutional court challenge to the sodomy law, flew in today. Orosco hosted a press conference flanked by media representative Nyasha Laing and attorney representing the UWI Law Faculty Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), Westmin James. Orozco fielded questions central to the case, including...

Teenages dies after knife attack
A teenager lost his life on Friday night, after someone he had a misunderstanding with, attacked him with a knife. The incident happened at Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio Town around 6:00pm. 18 year old Raheem Slusher, a resident of Gales Point Manatee Village, and Brian Burke, a...

Head to head collision on Cayo bridge
There was an accident on the low lying wooden bridge joining Santa Elena and San Ignacio. It happened this afternoon. The bridge is a one lane structure and usually vehicles wait until the bridge is clear before embarking. But somehow, a J and J bus and a green Toyota...

Law Expert confident on Belize dealings with ICJ
There is no longer a referendum scheduled for October 6th to decide whether Belize goes to the ICJ. Even so, the discussion on the Belize Guatemala issue continues. Last week professor from the University of Wollongong School of Law in Australia, Warwick Gullett, stopped in Belize as part of...

Julius Espat and Conrad Lewis discuss Public Accounts Committee on Rise & Shine
Conrad Lewis, Former Clerk of the National Assembly and Hon. Julius Espat Area Representative for Cayo South and Chairman of the Public Account Committee were guests on this morning’s Rise and Shine. The two spoke about The Public Accounts Committee which has the duty of examining, considering and reporting...

Family Friendly National Agriculture and Trade Show
The National Agriculture and Trade Show was held over the weekend. Thousands flocked to the nation’s capital for the annual event that featured the country’s finest crops and animals and of course – what would agric be without some good food, entertainment, and promotional deals. There were quite some...

Belize City youths trained in Barbering
The YWCA and Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) of the U.S. Government have teamed up in an initiative to provide training to Belize City youths interested in barbering. Shearing off hair and providing intricate designs for those who are into that is becoming something of a science, but...

Ambassador of the State of Qatar presents credentials
Today, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young was presented with credentials from the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Belize, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamid Al-Thani. In his presentation, the Sheikh conveyed greetings and best wishes for progress and prosperity to the Governor General and ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy Biology Students Research Sharks
Marine Biology students from Ocean Academy High School spent a Sunday afternoon learning first-hand how scientists conduct field research. Dr. Rachel Graham leads the Belize Shark Project. She taught students how to use a GPS and depth sounder, collect data, bait a long-line and set-up an underwater camera. The group didn’t catch any sharks to tag, but did swim with 21 Southern Sting Rays and 4 Nurse Sharks.

Ocean Academy Holds Science Fair
Naked eggs? Color-changing milk? Clouds in bottles? These are scientific wonders, and many more experiments were on display at the Annual Ocean Academy Science Fair. Students led hands on experiments and answered questions from primary schoolers, preschoolers, visitors, tourists and the community.

Jasmine Skeen is Miss Tourism Belize 2013
Jasmine Monique Skeen, a proud product of Caye Caulker, was crowned Miss Tourism Belize 2013. She will represent Belize at the Miss Tourism International Pageant to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December. Hearty congratulations, Jasmine!

Cary Canto for Councilor

Blogs

Tips for an Affordable, Extraordinary Summer Holiday
With a bit of comparison shopping, a summer holiday in an exotic Caribbean rainforest setting may cost less than taking a vacation at home, according to a vacation planning expert at Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Bryony Fleming Bradley, who is also Chaa Creek’s assistant GM, said that the popular eco resort’s all-inclusive Belize vacation packages can result in big savings by removing any hidden costs from a holiday. “What always blows out vacation budgets is the many surprises and hidden costs people seem to encounter when travelling, whether overseas or in their own country,” she said. “As much as you plan, things always seem to arise that end up costing more than expected.” “By booking an all-inclusive Belize vacation package, you know exactly what everything is going to cost from the moment you land in Belize until you depart, so that you get the most out of your summer vacation with the least amount of expense and stress,” she added. Ms Fleming Bradley said that another advantage of all-inclusive vacation deals is the very low cost overall.

Poster: Belize Social Media Consulting Contest
This is a poster we did for Belize Social Media Consulting for a contest they are promoting on Facebook and Twitter. This is what they had to say, on Twitter, about the final product: @BZSocialMedia : "@ibelmopan wow! wow! wow! #speechless absolutely love it! More than I expected! Thanks so much!"

“Out of Touch” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Started my day yesterday just before 4 am (got to bed early the previous night) with a mug of coffee on the veranda reviewing a Heads of Agreement for a friend in the UK. It was the early May bank holiday in the UK and he wanted my comments for his return to work on Tuesday. Think I may have mentioned before that I do not miss working (well not too much) and took to being retired a lot easier than I had thought I would but I do enjoy the opportunity to review the occasional contract for the business (national newspapers) that I spent my working life in. It’s good not to get out of touch! When I had finished the review and typed up my comments on the draft and sent them to my friend I turned my attention to my In Box where I was really pleased to find an email from my nephew Bradley which was accompanied by a load of photos that he had taken of his son Cody and his cousins. He does this from time to time so we are not out of touch with how they are growing up. No real reason for including these photos in today’s edition other than I like them.

Letter to Minister of Tourism
We received this in an email and wanted to share it with you. Dear Laura, The FCCA Platinum Conference is soon to be opened. We are in a uniquely bad position as native Belizeans in this sector of the tourism industry, as there is NO ONE with Platinum Standing, except for the BTB. We consider ourselves as tax payers to be partially responsible for BTB’s ability to be a platinum member of FCCA. Thus, we ask the BTB if it would be possible for the organization to request from the FCCA for a seat or seats as NON PARTICIPATING OBSERVERS at the conference. It appears there IS precedent for that at Platinum FCCA conferences in the past. Moreover, it would be a blackeye on the face of Belize if the only representation of a tour operation is an foreign operator.

Deputy Prime Minister Vega Family Land Grab
We recently got hold of some of the land documents showing where the minister has either given or sold at dirt cheap, land to his family. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources has literally said that because him and his family are not “NORMAL” Belizeans that these actions are ok and the Prime Minister actually backs him up.

International Sources

You Can’t Have Human Rights Without Gay Rights
The Supreme Court of Belize is arguing about whether or not LGBT people can legally be LGBT. The question is at the root of all equality. Ten years ago, when I became a lawyer, I believed that the single most important civil rights issue of our day was racial equality. Over the past two years, a tooth-and-nail fight for gay rights in Belize has broadened my outlook. It has made me understand the need for a truly humanistic approach to ensuring minority rights on a global scale. While racial relations are still the nemesis of social progress in many countries, the fight for gender equality and gender expression has become the new civil rights struggle—and for good reason. When deeply ingrained stereotypes and cultural mores exclude gay persons from society in regions like the Caribbean, law itself becomes as essential to eradicating discrimination as it was for America’s Birmingham boycotters 50 years ago.


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