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#465545 - 05/30/13 06:54 AM Today's Belize News: May 30, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

Black Orchid Restaurant Showcases New Wine & Entrées
Last month Black Orchid Restaurant, located south of San Pedro Town hosted a special off-menu four course wine flight evening. Each course was carefully selected to pair with a featured wine, and what a perfect complement it was! According to head chef and co-owner Judyann Horton, the restaurant partnered with Karl H. Menzies for the event in order to showcase a variety of new wine selections and ultimately add new labels to their wine list, based on customer feedback. Fewer things are more fun than being a wine “guinea pig” and of course we were happy to cooperate in the grueling task of sampling these nectars of the vine. The evening began with an anti-pasta plate paired with a Premio Chardonnay of Italy. It was the first time I had sampled an anti-pasta plate severed with a white wine, and I was pleasantly surprised how the light and smoky flavors of the sliced turkey, Swiss cheese and creamy mushroom soup perfectly complemented the dry Italian white wine.

SAGA: How to Be a Good Dog Owner and a Great Neighbour
SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board are working together to help dog owners be better neighbours and members of the community. This article will help you to understand what you can do, as a dog owner, to make San Pedro a more beautiful, happier and healthier place for residents and tourists alike. Don’t forget that when you choose to get a dog, your neighbours have no say in that choice. • Neuter or spay your dog. This will prevent them from spreading disease and from adding to the dog overpopulation problem we have in San Pedro. It will also make them healthier and more loyal. • Keep your dog under control and in your yard at all times. No one deserves to be frightened or hurt by your dog. • When in public or on the street keep your dog on a leash. Do not let them roam free while you are at work, a bar or community festival. • Pick up after your dog in public if it poops. Scoop it, bag it, trash it.

NAC Island Committee members Trained in Pre and Post Test Counselling
San Pedro now counts on the newly acquired skills of nine trained pre and post-test counsellors; of the National AIDS Commission’s Island Committee. The nine members became certified after a two-day training, May 18 and 19, held at the El Divino conference room. The training was funded by the USAID Capacity Project and facilitated by Nurse Lourdes Heredia of the Corozal Country Coordinating Mechanism Committee. The training gave participants an in depth overview of HIV AIDS as well as a chance to dissect the various myths about HIV AIDS while becoming equipped with skills necessary to effectively counsel individuals wishing to undergo the Free HIV Test. We were educated of the various attitudes and values that every counsellor must possess. Other areas of training included: Behaviour Change Communication with an emphasis on HIV Transmission; Risk Assessment and Pre Test Evaluation; legal and ethical issues surrounding HIV/AIDS as well as establishing an effective referral network for individuals who become infected with the virus.

Ambergris Today

Meet the Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2013 Contestants
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee is pleased to present the delegates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014 pageant. Five lovely young ladies have taken up the challenge and have commenced with preparation to give a great show for the general public to enjoy. The five beautiful contestants are Jacqueline Riveroll, Miss Sasha Jimenez, Miss Sherylee Dawson, Miss Annaelli Marin, and Miss Mercedes Requena.

Reef Week 2013 Celebrated in San Pedro
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. This year it was celebrated under the theme “Snorkel and dive; keep the reef healthy and alive!” from May 21 – 26, 2013. Hol Chan Marine Reserve planned an entire week of activities which kicked off on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, with the 8th Annual Reef Week Trivia Competition which took place at the Lion’s Den, where students’ knowledge on the reef and environment was put to test. After a few hotly contested questions and deliberation from the judges the winners were announced: Joshua Marin of Ambergris Caye Elementary School took 1st Place followed by Kaiya Cabral of Isla Bonita Elementary School, Ronaldo Ardon of San Pedro RC School and Velveth Molina of Caye Caulker RC School winning second, third and fourth place respectively.

Misc Belizean Sources

Barbara Wilkinson passed away
Barbara Jean Wilkinson, 68 passed away Tuesday May 28, 2013 at her home. She was lived in Belize for the past twenty-six years. Visitation will be held at Abundant Life Church, 206 Edgewood Dr., Denham Springs, next to Walmart on Saturday June 1, 2013 beginning at 10:00 am. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 am. She is survived by her husband Bill Wilkinson of 49 years of marriage, her two sons, Timothy Wilkinson and his wife Vivian, and Richard Wilkinson, seven grandchildren Mathew, Tiffany, Sean, Zack, Josh, Katie and Sara, bothers, Robert "Bob" White, William "Earl", Jim White, Wayne White, and sister Mary Witham. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Lorena White, grandson, Christopher, sister Virginia Agnew, bother John White and daughter-in-law, Kathryn Wilkinson.

Belize Gold Cup Schedule
They will be playing in the USA several games, including in Portland take a peek at the schedule. And send the team a few bucks to help pay the bills!

Belize annual report details financial stability measures
The Central Bank of Belize published its annual report for 2012 yesterday, revealing details of the financial stability unit it established after assuming "explicit responsibility for stability of the financial system as a whole" last year. The unit is tasked with formulating a framework for macro-prudential surveillance "with a view to identifying financial-sector vulnerabilities and recommending strategies for risk mitigation", according to the central bank's annual report for 2012. Moreover, the central bank enacted new loss-provisioning standards to tackle the level of commercial bank non-performing loans (NPLs). Banks are now required to set aside up to 70% of the value of loans that are collateralised by mortgages. The standards have resulted in the cumulative NPL ratio across banks falling from 14.5% to 11%, the report said.

Cayo to Billy Barquedier Time Lapse Video
Time lapse video of 1 second intervals

Massage School in Cayo
The Vision Exhange will be doing another massage school this Summer, starting on June 17th. This is the basic massage class, and you'll learn anatomy, body mechanics, and have practical, hands-on sessions too. You'll also learn how to take care of yourself, and not wear yourself out by learning yoga and some basic meditation techniques. For more information contact Jude at 652-8595 or email thevisionexchange@gmail.com.

'Learning at the Core' at BNE
You're got to hand it to Belize Natural Energy. They've got over 200 employees, most all of whom are Belizeans, and they help them get a formal eduction. This video explains that successful educational program. Great way to give back to the employees, which, when you think about it, are what really makes a company. "When Belize Natural Energy (BNE) struck oil in June, 2005 it became the first company to discover oil in commercial quantities in Belize. Since the oil industry was effectively non-existent in the country, all requisite infrastructure and expertise had to be imported; by January 2006, the company made the first ever shipment of locally produced crude oil. There have been many firsts at BNE, a company that has operated with the guidance of its mission to positively impact the Belizean people. BNE's Training and Development Programme is one such manifestation of its commitment to the country and its people."

Meluchi's Miami Glow Party
Meluchi's had their Miami Glow Party Saturday night, and Danny Chung was there to capture the crowd at its best. The Champion Squad from Florida were there mixing the night away. DJ Jago and Evolution Sounds opened. Looks like Meluchi's had another wild night with loads of fun and lots of dancing. Download the Champion Squad mix from that night here:

Pandy Show 21st Anniversary
The Pandy Show celebrated it's 21st anniversary Monday night at the Cayo Welcome Center. It was a fun time, with entertainment, prizes, and even some ice cream. Thanks, Pandy! Here's to another 21 years.

Local artists KP and DC were there too:

Sharks – friend or foe?
Sunlight feeds the plankton. Plankton feed sardines. It’s a classic notion of nature of which we’re all aware: the big fish eats the small fish; and as it happens, sharks sit atop the complex food chain. Thanks to the 1975 Spielberg film, Jaws, we fully understand that sharks are mean, predatory and fatal to innocent fish and mammals, especially humans. But what doesn’t always come into popular consciousness is this: scientists have found sharks to be efficient eaters, choosing prey that is sick, old, or slower among its population. Scientists recognize this as an overall benefit as it helps eliminate the spread of disease among fish populations and in essence maintains a healthy gene pool. By eating certain prey, sharks also help protect smaller fish down the food chain from being completely wiped out by their predators. In another case, sharks help protect certain habitats. When certain marine animals overstay their welcome in ocean grass beds, they damage the local habitat by preventing other animals from accessing vital nutrition from the grass. When sharks are present, however, those overstaying animals flee. It’s a complex interwoven, underwater ecosystem that we as community members, business owners, local fishermen, tourists and adventure seekers should strive to appreciate and respect. Despite its predatory role, sharks provide balance to ocean life. Without sharks, the ecosystem would collapse.

BBS Newsletter Vol 5 Issue 1 (April 2013)
The Belize Bureau of Standards presents its latest issue of the Consumer Watch Newsletter

Channel 7

Is Audrey Leaving OCEANA Because of Homosexuality/Bestiality Comment?
Audrey Matura-Shepherd – since May of 2009, she’s become known as the face of OCEANA in Belize. As the Vice President of OCEANA in Belize and not one to shy from the cameras or any sensitive issue, she’s made the Environmental group a household name in Belize. But, tonight, there are unconfirmed but credible reports that Matura-Shepherd will be announcing her resignation - as early as tomorrow. What’s the cause of the sudden and unexpected move? Well, it could be a facebook fight over gay rights. The first clue came in her weekly column in the Amandala on Friday, which was titled “"Cowered into Silence." In it Matura-Shepherd describes an attempt by what she describes as a segment of the homosexual lobby to silence her. That’s after, in a previous edition of the newspaper, she speculated that the UNIBAM claim could have a domino effect and see other groups, for instance those that practice bestiality, push for their rights. It’s an extreme comparison and it caught the eye of UNIBAM Attorney and social media doyen Lisa Shoman who queried on Facebook if Matura-Shepherd's views are those of Oceana's principals in Washington.

Opp. Leader Fonseca Doesn’t Expect Guats To Hold Referendum in 2014
Next week the OAS holds its 43rd General Assembly in Guatemala and both the Belize Government and the Opposition are expected to send representatives. That show of bi-partisanship is to demonstrate Belize’s continued commitment to the OAS and the process of peace-making with Guatemala. Today, the Leader of the Opposition told the media that even though he doesn’t have much hope for a simultaneous Belize-Guatemala referendum in 2014, Belize has to faithfully go through the motions. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Opposition Leader "We do not support the holding of any uni-lateral referendum in Belize. We are prepared to allow the process to work - we have participated fully in the last few meetings that have been held with the OAS and Guatemala. The PUP has been represented so we are at the table and we're prepared to support a process to moving forward but we're not going to support any uni-lateral referendum in Belize whether its 2013 or 2014. We certainly do not support the changing of our national laws to accommodate Guatemala. We're prepared to listen to them, I certainly do not believe it is just my view that they are serious about holding a referendum in 2014 if they are unable to do it in 2013, I think it will be more difficult to do it in 2014. I don't view these latest development as apeasement, I think it's a part of the process, it's a part of the discussion going forward and I think Belize has to maintain that position. I think we've always maintained that position of high ground regardless of the party in government. We have to maintain the comprimi, we think that's in the interest of Belize - we need to ensure that we maintain the relationship with OAS so that they put some structure in place to monitor what is happening at the border. We believe that is in the best interest of Belize."

The Chiquibul Under Pressure From Poachers
If you watch the news with any regularity, you’ll know all about The Friends for Conservation and Development – the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park. Well, they recently concluded a five month study examining the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest, mainly a 384 kilometer swath in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. They wanted to find out how many game species were in the area and how plentiful they were, and – most importantly - to gauge the impact that illegal hunting was having on those species. They came across 1,022 animals of 24 different species, including squirrels, quash, collared peccary, crested guans, and keel billed toucans. They found that game species were being targeted throughout the Chiquibul forest, in areas both near to and far from the border.

Belize’s Jaguars Defeat Guatamala’s “Jaguares” In Melchor
About an hour before the start of the news, the Belize National Football Team, THE JAGUARS, defeated Guatemala's Heredia Jaguares de Peten, the current second place holder in that country's Professional League. The match was played in Melchor Del Menchos and it started at 3 p.m. This provided the new head coach, American Ian Mork, an opportunity to field the team he intends to play in at Gold Cup in the US. A more cohesive Belizean Team squared off against the Guatemalan Professional team and managed to score two goals against them. The first goal came from defensive middle Trevor "Burger" Lennon in the first half. That strong showing allowed Mork to field an almost entirely different set of 11 for the second half. The Belize team controlled the majority of the possessions which led to the second gold to be scored by forward David Trapp.

Crawl Caye, The Gathering Storm
In April we told you about meetings to discuss the interest Norwegian Cruise Lines has in building a Cruise Port on Crawl Caye in Southern Belize. At the time, the Ministerial Chair of a Cabinet Investment Committee Godwin Hulse told us talks were very preliminary and while a Memorandum of Understanding existed it was not on the table. That was a six weeks ago, but in the past few days, the buzz and the blowback over the project has ramped up exponentially, fuelled by reports that Cabinet will decide on the Memorandum of Understanding as early as next week! That sense of urgency has unleashed an aggressive anti-port information campaign, and a letter writing initiative, all designed to torpedo the project.

Sugar Cane: It Was A Very Good Year
The 2012/2013 Cane Season closed on Saturday May 25th, and BSI is reporting that it was a very good year. In 180 days, which is considered a short season, BSI milled just a over a million tonnes of cane producing 118,339 tons of sugar, 34,507 tons of molasses. That points to a high rate of efficiency high rate of 312 tons of cane per hour – an all time high which produced 8 thousand tons more of sugar with more or less the same amount of cane delivered as last year. All this is expected to result in an enhanced final payment to cane farmer – but that figure won’t be decided until November. And in this industry where there has long been discord between the factory and the FARMERS, both sides are complimenting each other. The Factory says the quality of the cane has increased sharply and the FARMERS are saying that the factory worked right through without breakdowns.

Benefiber Recall
Do you use a nutritional supplement called Benefiber? Well, if you do, the Ministry of Health today announced a voluntary recall of the powder. As the word “voluntary” suggests there’s no urgent health risk but the recall is triggered by complaints by consumers about a lack of odour, lack of flavour, bad dissolution and the presence of particles. A release says “the US-based manufacturing facility of this product has extended the recall to Belize simply as a cautionary action.” Belizean consumers who want to get rid of their products are asked to either destroy or return the unused portion to the local store where they bought it. The recall only covers specific product batches and you can find those at the Ministry of Health website.

Actyl, Still Hiring Opens Office In Belize City
For months we’ve been reporting periodically on ACTYL – the Canadian employment agency that’s recruiting Belizeans to work at fast food chains in Canada. Well, they claim to like the Belize labour pool so much that they’ve opening up an office in the city. The office opened today on Freetown Road and it is the firm’s first international recruiting office in Central America. So far only 9 Belizeans have migrated to Canada to work, but 200 have been accepted into the programme, but are awaiting visa approval, which – inclusive of medical tests - can cost a thousand dollars. Today, the local representative told us that of the 9 who’ve gone across, two have written back. Indira Williams - Branch Manager, ACTYL Belize Recruiting and Immigration Office "Well we received two letters - one from Stacey Ramos and one from Feliz Cucul. The response that we got from them is very positive. The work is that you need to do it fast rather than here in Belize we don't need to move fast but here you need to move fast because there's a lot of customers and a lot of people go to McDonald's and the Subway."

Fired Tropic Air Security Guard’s Emphatic Denial Of Fuel Theft
Last night we told you about the 10 security guards fried form Tropic Air in Belize City. Well it turns out that the number was 9 guards, all 9 who previously handled the company’s security. Those jobs will now be contracted out to a private security firm. This transition comes after the company discovered that 1800 gallons or 30 drums of aviation fuel went missing in April. Well, one terminated guard came to our studio today to say he’s not made about being fired, he’s angry that the circumstances suggest that those guards had anything to do with the missing fuel. As he explained it to us, that’s impossible because the guards don’t handle fuel. Kevin Todd - Former Tropic Air Security "But while looking at the news last night I finally realized realized what my termination was for and it was for theft of gas." Jules Vasquez "But at the same time no one told you that you were terminated for theft and no one is saying that you were terminated for theft. You happened to be terminated at a time when they were investigating the theft."

Bridge Closes For CITCO Surgery
Over the last 24 hours, city residents have seen an increase in traffic on the north side of the city. That is because construction has begun from the approach of the Belcan Bridge near the round-a-bout all the way to the top of the bridge. It’s a major inconvenience to close of one of the congested city’s 3 bridges, but just a continuation of the City Council’s infrastructure development project which the Council’s Public Relations officer told us will be done in two phases. Kenny Morgan – Public Relations Officer, Belize City Council "Well it's just a continuation of the City Council's infrastructure development project and we're moving on with the works of upgrading the streets in Belize. In keeping with our policy - you know we already have the Overpass, lights all installed and ready to be energized so we've decided to move along with that section of the works. So now we're doing the approach to the Belcan bridge to the round about and all the way to the top of the bridge and on both sides but we decided to do it in two phases so as not to have a total interruption of the flow of traffic.

Riding For A Reason
The first leg of the 10th annual Social Security Board’s Ride Across Belize kicked off early this morning. At 6am the riders began their journey from Corozal to Belize City - and just after midday they rode across the finish line in front of the SSB Belize City office in front of a crowd of spectators. It is a ride for charity and the proceeds this year will be donated to the Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation and the Belize Red Cross Social Assistance Program. We found out about the reason behind the ride: Richard Flowers - Chief Executive Officer, SSB "Today is the 10th Anniversary of the Ride Accross Belize program, basically it's an SSB initiative. Our goal is to try to raise funds and fight different causes, a worthy cause that can benefit from the funds and this year we have two - The Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation and the Red Cross Assistance program.

Belize’s New National Coach Speaks
As we told you earlier on in the news, this afternoon, the Belize National Football Team defeated Guatemala's Heredia Jaguares de Peten, a team that’s currently second in that country's Professional League. Belize’s side dominated them easily – even in the hostile territory of Melchor De Menchos. New head coach, American Ian Mork explained to us that he used the game as an opportunity to field the team he intends to play in at Gold Cup in the US in July:.. Ian Mork - Headcoach, Belize National Team "Well when I first joined the National Team as their Head Coach was in 2008 to coach in the world cup qualifying games in Mexico. I've just now come back in April on a part-time basis at first and now I'll be here all the way through the Gold Cup so I just got here last week but I had already been here two times previously. They've asked me to come in here for the Gold Cup, I actually asked for a long term contract but that's hard for them to commit to right now so I'm willing to help as much as I can and pass on what I've learned throughout the years. I know this group very well, some of the guys that I've coached when they were U-17 and a lot of this group is U-21. We beat El Salvador 2-0 in Dangriga in those Central American games so I'm very familiar with the players and I'd like to spend even more time with them.

The “Pikni” Of the Pickstock Pageant
Carnival is in September, but the fundraising has already started for the Pickstock Carnival Band. That group is having its 8th annual Miss Popularity Pickstock Pageant where 6 contestants will be vying for the neighborhood’s prestigious title. The girls will be bringing the carnival spirit to the stage this Saturday night – showcasing costumes, energy and some brand new dance moves. Today 7news caught up with a few of the contestants and here’s a peek. Gareth Gill - Pickstock Carnival Band Leader "On Saturday we're having the Miss Popularity Pickstock 2013 at the Parish Hall and it starts at 7:30pm sharp, tickets for children is $5 and $7 for adults. We do Miss Popularity Pickstock every year, this is our 8th annual Miss Popularity Pickstock and we're just doing it in order to generate funds for our Carnival Day. We are gearing up to go out there for Carnival day - this year I didn't want to come out and people wanted Pickstock so that is why we decided to sit down as members and let us bring back our Carnival group back in Pickstock and that's the reason why I'm doing this Miss Popularity Pickstock 2013. "

In police news, there’s an odd story coming out of Southern Belize tonight. Reliable reports tell us that PC 1350 E. AUGUSTINE stationed at the Intermediate Southern Formation had an unusual traffic mishap on Saturday night. Around 8:30, he and common law wife were driving to Mango Creek, but at San Roman, he crashed into a cow that was on the road and killed it. The vehicle was extensively damaged and his wife received injury. She was treated at the Independence Polyclinic and the cow was left for dead. We don’t expect a charge of “cow-slaughter” by negligence.

Channel 5

Infant mortality investigation: weakness in communication with K.H.M.H. management
A press conference is scheduled for this Thursday in Belize City; Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be providing an update on an investigation into a nosocomial outbreak inside the neonatal [...]

B.T.I.A. joins Placencia residents against mega cruise port development
There is another issue that is moving to the front burner. Crawl Caye which is located in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage [...]

…And serious socio-economic implications for Belize City and Placencia
By all accounts the memorandum of understanding includes the ability for the company to open casinos and become an authorized foreign exchange dealer.  The Sustainable Tourism Project, which was financed [...]

OCEANA Belize VP resigns because of squabble with UNIBAM advocate?
News Five has been unable to confirm reports that the very vocal Vice President of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, is stepping down from that position. But tonight there is speculation [...]

Sand Hill resident murdered in Burrell Boom
The body of a Sand Hill resident was fished out of the river in Burrell Boom on Tuesday morning. It had multiple stab wounds; in fact, as many as twenty. [...]

Will there be justice after destruction of Noh Mul?
At news time tonight, News Five has been unable to confirm if any charges have in fact been levied against anyone in connection with the destruction of the Noh Mul [...]

Woman who destroyed building’s security cam pleads guilty
Honduran national, Paula Franco must pay the court five hundred dollars for damaging a three hundred dollar surveillance camera or go to jail. The court has also ordered Franco to [...]

‘Nose’ charged with discharging his firearm in public
There was a shooting in the Neal’s Pen Road area between Haynes Street and Neal’s Pen Road that left no one injured and it gave the community a scare. Darren [...]

Belize National Football team wins game against Melchor team
The Belize National Football Selection headed to Melchor De Mencos on Tuesday for its first friendly game…And tonight, the road to success in Gold Cup 2013 looks promising for Team [...]

Guatemala also gets trafficking of Indian immigrants
Belize has a steady stream of illegal immigrants who are being trafficked all the way to the United States. Those who are poor and unable to afford to get illegitimate [...]

Guatemala newspaper alleges Belize immigration disrespects their passport
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to meet in Antigua, Guatemala next week in the margins of the O.A.S. General Assembly. And tonight, there is [...]

The 10th Annual Ride Across Belize
Ride Across Belize covered close to eighty miles today. The peloton of riders took off from Corozal Town and by midday, they rode into Belize City. Among the mix were [...]

Chief Met Officer says more active 2013 Hurricane Season
The rains have started and the hurricane season is just about to begin. The Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez says that this year’s hurricane season will be more active than [...]

#465546 - 05/30/13 06:54 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 30, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


New Look For Belize Bureau of Standards Newsletter
For the past four years the Belize Bureau of Standards has been releasing a quarterly news letter entitled, “Consumer Watch.” The first issue for this year has been released and according to the Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, Jose Trejo, the newsletter is produced so that...

Belize Telemedia Sets Up The Country's First Mono-Palm
Something at the Agriculture Show grounds in Belmopan is drawing the curiosity of the community. Their eyes are being drawn to a palm tree…or maybe not, well it looks like a palm tree but we found out that in reality it is called a monopole and it is a telecommunication tower placed ...

Taxi Driver Assaulted and Robbed In His Home
A terrifying aggravated burglary has left one man injured and caused him to temporary relocate from his home. The man, a 37-year-old taxi driver of Young Gial Road in Teakettle Village in the Cayo District reported to police that on Monday about 9:30pm while he was at home, two male persons broke...

Store Cashes Cheque From A Non Existent Bank Account
A store manager is out some cash after he took a Belize Bank Cheque for which the bank account does not exist. According to Police reports, the manager of Reimer’s Feed Mill located at 4 ½ miles Phillip Goldson Highway attended to one man identified as Mario Velasquez on Friday May 1...

Truck Taken On Joyride and Crashed As Owner Went Fishing
A Belize City man left his $45,000 2006 Toyota Tacoma truck in the care of one of his friends and now he regrets it. That’s because the man reported to police on that May 26th he and his family left the city en-route for an overnight fishing trip at Turneffe Island. The man left the vehicle...

National Gender Policy 2013 For Belize Causes Concerns In Several Sectors
The Revised National Gender Policy 2013 was launched recently by the Women’s Commission of Belize and it has received varying degree of feedback. That’s because on page 31 bullet 5 of the policy under the title “Government Will:” it states that GOB will quote, “amend...

Wednesday, May 29 ---- Belize Foreign Minister To Meet With Guatemalan Counterpart To Talk Referendum
A Belize delegation is scheduled to attend the 43rd annual Organization of American States General Assembly in Guatemala from June 4th to the 6th. While in Guatemala, it is possible that Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington will meet with his Guatemalan counterpart Fernando Carrera...

Belize City Man Arraigned Following His Recapture and Recovery of Stolen Jewelry and Controlled Drug
Fifty-four year old Anthony Mortis, who escaped from the cell block at the magistrate court on May 23, was charged with escape from lawful custody when he was brought to court today. Mortis indicated that he wanted to plead guilty to the charge and get the matter over and done with but Magistrate...

Teenager Missing From Protective Custody
Marion Ali, Reporting GENEVIEVE ZELAYA “I was already upset because of how they dealt with the situation from the get go. My child is a key witness in a case that is ongoing up to now; her life is at stake because threats were made on her.” MARION ALI “Is that th...

Ministry of Health Announces Supplement Recall By US Company
A supplement in the market has been voluntarily recalled by its manufacturing company in the United States. The Ministry of Health issued a press release informing of the recall of the nutritional supplement, Benefiber Powders. According to the release, the recall is for specific batc...

Teenager Pleads Guilty of Stealing From Employer
Nineteen year old Calbert Robert, charged with burglary in a case in which $4,100.00 was stolen from his work place, pled guilty to the charge when he was arraigned today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Robert also pled guilty to damage to property for cutting a screen sieve at the back do...


Late Evening Traffic Accident Leaves On Person Injured
A traffic accident occurred late this evening at about 6:30 at the Orange Walk By-pass located along the Philip Goldson Highway. A red tow head truck travelling in the direction to Orange Walk Town didn’t meet its destination as a Green F150 pickup which was towing a Ford explorer got in its way and the tow head inevitably collided into the explorer and dragged it some feet away. Reportedly the F150 pickup was trying to make a turn heading to Corozal Town but took a shortcut as what many drivers usually do, when it met this unfortunate incident. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured and within minutes police were on the scene and so were several witnesses. Witness “Pues como cuarto para la seis ya acababa mi turno y yo estaba que cierren el puesto cuando de repente nos fijamos que ese green pickup venia jalando ese Rav y en ves que el agarre ese lado para salir el agarro este short cut que siempre agarran aquí cuando ese truck vino asomándose como por acá y dijo de poner el jet brakes él ya lo tenía enfrente se lo llevo y nosotros solo miramos el big smoke y el bang pero lo bueno que él no llevaba ningún pasajero a nadie solo aquí el driver se le hizo pap aquí enfrente per si quedo destrozado ese camión.”

Dissecting The Cane Quality System
On Saturday the 2012/2013 crop season came to an end with excellent reviews since the factory was able to mill one million seventy eight tons of cane producing 118,339 tons of sugar and 34,507 tons of molasses at a very high rate of 312 tons cane per hour and a TCTS of 9.11. If we take a look at the 9.11 TCTS, this is indication that the cane delivered to the factory was of high quality. But while praises were at hand for both the Belize Sugar Industry Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association this year, the reality is that we are living in a competitive world. Fully aware of this factor, yesterday representatives of the BSCFA and the Sugar Cane Production Committee gathered at the BSI Staff Club to evaluate the Cane Quality System that was utilized during the crop season in order to identify its weaknesses. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Estamos evaluando lo que fue el sistema de calidad en esta zafra estamos viendo a ver que fueron las debilidades que fueron los puntos altos para que a si de aquí podamos tomar información para el próximo año que viene en que es los que necesitamos añadir o que es lo que necesitamos poner una mejor vigilancia en lo que refiere el sistema de calidad. Bueno uno de las debilidades que tenemos es transportación, asegún la mayoría de los que han estado hablando es la transportación de los oficiales en el campo el otro es la medida que hay ahorita para rechazar cana que está en 81 y entonces eso tiene un efecto negativo cuando la caña eta en óptima calidad en los meses de Marzo hasta Abril cuando la caña esta alto en sacarosa entonces hay can hasta de ocho días que no les llueve y esas canas siempre tiene arriba de 81% y esas canas se aceptan y entonces afecta y necesitamos rectificar para que así tenga una relación basado por mes o por semana como está entrando la caña para que así pues descontinúe de traer cana más de tres días de cosecha.”

Louisiana Female Football Team Wins National Competition
Tonight the Louisiana Government School Female Basketball Team is in the spotlight after they were crowned winners of the National Female Football Competition. With the win Orange Walk became the fourth district to ever win the National Female Competition following the Stann Creek District and Cayo District. All the other competitions have been won by the Belize District. Today when we spoke to the coach of the team teacher Alginold Bennet, he told that his team has long awaited this opportunity to shine. Alginold Bennet, Coach Louisiana Government School Female Basketball team “Well, it being eight years that we have been shooting for it and we have had five second places at the national level and we always believe that we could have done it, I adjusted the way we worked out last year, fitness was a part of the problem but I made sure that it would not be the problem this year and we have taken our training to another level so in other words our basketball team was on a different level from the other schools.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “We also know that this was first team actually of the north to win for the national competition, what is your view of that?” Alginold Bennet, Coach Louisiana Government School Female Basketball team “Well, I am still enjoying that experience, I have achieved something that I’ve been trying to do for quite some time, I know the girls have passed it because we had many great players from Louisiana Government School who have been trying to do just that. These girls will have something to cherish for the rest of their lives because when they are grandparent they would be able to tell their grandchildren of what they accomplished and sometimes you use to tell children that I was an athlete and they look at you as doubting but they have their medals they have their photographs, they have done something that Orange Walk can be proud of because when we are playing at the national level we are representing Orange Walk.”

Belize Workers Union Signs MOU With U.K Union
The Belize Workers Union has been in operation since 1981 with its inception being anchored on the Sugar Industry in Northern Belize. For quite some years, the BWU has been advocating for the welfare of its members, ensuring that they receive their duly benefits from the employer, in this case the Belize Sugar Industry Limited. That in itself has been a long journey and more so today that BSI has seen a change in ownership with American Sugar Refineries, ASR purchasing the majority of shares of the company. Over the years BWU has seen a drastic reduction in its membership and with that in mind; a memorandum of Understandings was signed between General Municipal Boilmakers of the UK and the Belize Workers Union in the spirit of international solidarity and recognizing the common interest of the two unions in the sugar industry. Ramiro R. Gongora, President of BWU “We had an correspondence with the IU, which is the International Union of Food, it international coordinator is in Toronto Canada, where his office is, he told me that he would like to see an ASR union network that would represent workers in all of ASR factories or in their countries so that is where we really started this dialogue in April of 2013.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “How will this new MOU positively affect BWU?” Ramiro R. Gongora, President of BWU “it would affect it in a way that they, the GMB is made up of 620,000 members so as you cans see BWU just has 150 so in that respect they would mandate in relation to ASR in England stating that something has happened to Orange Walk branch and something has to be resolved in realtion to the help that they can give BWU in that respect.”

Tropical Storm Barbara Hits The East Pacific
In two days, the Atlantic will see the official beginning of the Hurricane Season 2013 and this year, meteorologists are already predicting a highly active season. 21 named storms have been predicted for this year namely Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy of which nine are expected to become hurricanes with 4 being major storms between categories 3 to 5. A hurricane is considered a major storm when it has sustained winds of more than 110 mph to 156 mph. Although two more days are left before the hurricane season kicks off in the Atlantic, in the East Pacific, the hurricane season started on May the 15th, and yesterday saw the birth of one tropical storm named, Barbara. The storm is expected to make landfall sometime this afternoon as it was moving north-northeast towards land at about 10 mph (17 kph), toward a sparsely populated stretch of coast.

BTIA Against Major Development At Crawl Caye
The major tourism development project spearheaded by Norwegian Cruise Line has been in discussion for quite sometime and to date it is the cause of controversy. Strong objections have come on behalf of environmentalist and residents of Placencia for the development which reportedly will also see the construction of a world class resort and casino. That however, is only the tip of the iceberg; the real deal is that the location, identified is Crawl Caye, a small coral-rimmed mangrove island located within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2011 a report surfaced on behalf of BTB indicating that such endeavor to introduce mass cruise tourism should not be undertaken in the area. Consequently, public and private consultations were held with tourism stakeholders on the Peninsula and even executives of the Norwegian Cruise Line accompanied by their attorney Emil Arguelles met with B.T.B officials to discuss and finalize the development master plan. That however, was not quite swallowed by stakeholders in the tourism, including environmentalist, since the environmental impact of the project would be enormous on the protected area; including the transformation of the island from a rich marine ecosystem into a sandy beach. Of equal concern is that a green light from B.T.B. would mean that the organization is contradicting its position on cruise tourism in the south.

Benefiber Powders Recalled From Shelves
If you are a regular user of the nutritional Benefiber Powders then you should that the Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. is recalling all lots of the of nutritional supplement Benefiber powders in the United States and that the U.S based manufacturing facility of the product has extended the recall to Belize simply as a cautionary action. The recall is for specific batches and is related to a relatively high number of complaints by consumers. These include a lack of odor, lack of flavor, bad dissolution and the presence of particles among others. It is important to note that the company has emphasized to the Ministry of Health here in Belize that there has been no evidence of any adverse effects or complaints relating to the use of this product. Belizean consumers, who wish to take action on this voluntary recall warning, are asked to either destroy or return the unused portion of the product to the local store from which it was bought. Some of the Benefiber Powders recalled are Benefiber Powder Canister 80GM, 155GM, 245GM, 350GM and 477GM.

Riding Across Belize For A Worthy Cause
The “Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation” is a volunteer driven organization that offers services to persons with terminal illnesses such as cancer. The organization offers assistance to one hundred and twenty two persons by making their daily living more comfortable with services such as day to day attention as well as providing adult diapers and milk for persons suffering from terminal diseases. On the other hand the Red Cross Soup Kitchen has been catering for seventy five to one hundred and twenty five persons in need providing them with a meal every Wednesday. In addition, RCSK also provides groceries, clothing, and even offers education on preventable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension to persons in need. Both organizations have a key role to play in our society when it comes to assisting the less fortunate. But often at times BHPCF and RCSK find themselves cash strapped. In efforts of assisting charitable organizations in Belize, the Social Security Board initiated a programme that revolutionized into a fund raiser to keep organizations such as the Red Cross Soup Kitchen and the Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation in operation. The 10th annual “Ride across Belize” as it is prestigiously known, kicked off today in Corozal Town at around 6:00am and by 8:00am this years participants rode into Orange Walk Town.


EUROPEAN UNION *Europe’s top human rights court ruled that equality laws and safety concerns trumped religious freedom in three cases where British Christians were sacked or sanctioned for expressing their beliefs at work. (January 2013). *European Parliament published the brochure, which recommended not to use the words ‘Missus’ and...

Click to download and read THE NEW GENDER POLICY

Opposition Leader comments on Gender Policy 2013
The backlash against the 2013 revised national gender policy of the National Women’s Commission has been swift from the Christian community, angered by apparently amended definitions of gender to appease the LGBT community and whispers of a plan to legalize prostitution. The Commission and Cabinet, which approved the policy...

Police release identity of body recovered in Burrell Boom
On Tuesday we told you that a dead man was found in the Burrell Boom area behind Henderson Bank. He has since been identified as 37 year old Ellis Dawson of Sandhill, who was to have celebrated his 38th birthday this week. The post mortem showed that he had...

Teakettle resident hit and tied during home invasion
Some of you may remember a time when you could leave your doors unlocked when you go to sleep or even if you went away for the entire weekend. Today, unfortunately, we can’t do that anymore and it is becoming increasingly clear that added security measures ought to be...

Opposition Leader says Government have allowed politics to over-ride national interest
When we caught up with Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca earlier today, we asked him about his views on the recent destruction of the Noh Mul mound in Orange Walk. The PUP leader slammed Government for allowing politics to get in the way of the national interest....

PUP Leader says Guatemala cannot be trusted on Referendum
If the referendum on taking the Guatemalan dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherlands is not dead, then it is clearly on life support following recent news that Belize and Guatemala want to proceed together in 2014 and not 2013 as originally agreed. Leader...

Joyride ends with crash in Belize City
A Belize City man has been charged after he reportedly took his friend’s car for a joyride and ended up crashing it. The owner of the vehicle told Police that on Sunday, he and his family left the city to go on an overnight fishing trip. He left his...

Ministry of Health announced recall of Benefiber Powders
The Ministry of Health today announced the voluntary recall of the nutritional supplement Benefiber Powders. The recall is for specific batches and is related to a relatively high number of complaints by consumers; these include a lack of odor, lack of flavor, bad dissolution and the presence of particles...

Pandy Show celebrated its 21st Anniversary
The Pandy Show celebrated its 21st Anniversary on Monday. For years, The Pandy Show has been bringing entertainment, education and laughter into your living room, making it the longest running local educational television program in the country. And in typical Pandy fashion, he threw an extravagant party at the...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

2nd Inspiration Telethon for “The Inspiration Center” on June 1st 2013
This Saturday, June 1st, Caye Caulker will be participating in the second annual telethon for The Inspiration Center. The Inspiration Center is already underway and it is located at 1.5 mile on the George Price Highway. Last year’s telethon raised US$500,000 towards the construction and to equip The Inspiration Center. This year’s telethon will be primarily used for the purchase of specialized equipment to provide physical and occupational therapy, medical care, recreational activities and other services catered to the need of children with disabilities. The center will also serve as a community center with after-school classes for disadvantage children from the surrounding communities. The telethon will run from 8am to 6pm and will be simulcast on local TV and radio as well as streamed on the internet. Belizeans both at home and abroad will have various means through which they can donate to this important cause including by cash, depositing to the center’s bank account, through texting, billing pledges to their BTL accounts, credit card or even buying Inspiration Center T-shirts and hats. On June 1st, both SMART and BTL customers will be able to access the telethon’s hotline 0-800-INSPIRE (467-7473), while international audiences can dial 011-501-227-WISH (9474).

Femi’s Homemade Pepper Sauce
Get youself a bottle of homemade habanero pepper sauce today. Euphemi ‘Femi’ Blanco makes a delicious pepper sauce from fresh habaneros perfect to enhance the taste of any meal. “Be careful, just try a little first” she says, cause its super hot. Here we have Femi Blending up some fresh Habaneros


The Reporter

The Belize Times


“Feeling Good” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Picked up the tile sample that Jesus Cervantes of The Tile & Stone Center had sent to us via Tropic Air on Tuesday evening and with just one look at it Rose and I knew that we had the replacement for the unavailable Real Stone Gris that had been our first choice. So, with the decision made, I fired off an email to Jesus yesterday morning to ascertain if he had sufficient stock of the tile to meet our requirements. Within minutes I had a response advising that he has 13,000 square feet in stock. We only need just over a tenth of this so what could have been a problem for us has been resolved. And, very quickly. Then spent a bit of time exchanging emails with FC Exchange to make sure that payment to Captain Shark’s ( the balance for the golf cart we are buying) was being processed. It was, so ‘all systems go’! At around 11.30 I got an email from Enrique at Captain Shark’s advising that the final payment had been received (FC Exchange is exceptionally quick at processing transactions) and that our golf cart is ready for collection today. We just needed to pop down to the store to choose our wheel rims. So off Rose and I went.

A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms
A heart-stopping new documentary, A RIVER OF WASTE exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as “mini Chernobyls.” In the U.S. and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments. The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.

How Not to Go Phishing
What is phishing? Phishing is the act of trying to secure information from someone by impersonating someone else in an electronic communication, such as email. It is common for attackers to send out emails with links or attachments that attempt to secure information from you or even take control of your computer. Why should I care about phishing? By email, attackers use phishing to get access to your sensitive and confidential information. It is common practice for the attackers to impersonate a trusted person or company in an attempt to collect enough information to steal your identity or confidential information from your employer. These emails can also include attachments that can contain malware that can affect your computer when clicked on. Attackers are very sophisticated these days and can easily set up bogus websites that steal your information without you even realizing it or you realize it too late. For example, an attacker can send you a link to a very real looking but “fake” website, prompting you for information (ie. name, address, telephone, bank account information, credit card information, social security number) that they can use for personal gain.

Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging
Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money-drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure. The cost in human terms is even greater-these drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year. And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine. Before these drugs were introduced in the market, people who had these conditions would not have been given any drugs at all. So it is the branding of a disease and it is the branding of a drug for a treatment of a disease that did not exist before the industry made the disease. This video provides the facts about psychotropic drugs and the huge profits they create for the pharmaceutical industry. These drugs are not safe and have not been on the market long enough to provide sufficient long term studies regarding their effects. These drugs do cause addiction, however most “doctors” would call this dependence because you do not have to take an increasing dose over time. They are completely fine with you being addicted to the same amount of any given drug on a daily basis. Over half of the people that commit suicide in the United States are prescribed to psychotropic drugs. (Ex: Paxil (Paroxetine), Zoloft (Sertraline), Prozac, Wellbutrin (Bupropion), Effexor, Seroquil, Ultram (Tramadol), etc.)

Cara Blanca 2013 short film
Film of the season: See Marty O'Farrell's (Living Reef Belize) 7 minute video of the 2013 underwater explorations of Cara Blanca Pool 1. Thanks Marty for all your fab work!! A short film showing the challenges of diving and exploring one of the 23 sacred Mayan pools found in the deep jungles of western Belize.

International Sources

10 reasons to retire in Belize
From cheap real estate to low taxes — not to mention the gorgeous beaches and surf — the English-speaking country of Belize is ideal for Americans ready to retire. Five years ago, Macarena Rose decided to relocate from Florida to Belize. “I said enough to the uncertainty and the worries of life in the United States and opted for a new life, in a new country,” she says. “The American Dream of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in retirement may be harder and harder to realize in the United States, but it is alive and well in this beautiful little English-speaking country. And your retirement income, whatever it is, can stretch much, much further here.” Here are 10 reasons Belize is such an appealing retirement spot: 1. The economy of Belize is stable. This country has one of the lowest inflation rates in the world. 2. English is the official language. Belize is the only country in Latin America where this is true. 3. Belize is close by. You can get to it in two hours or less from Houston and many points on the east coast. You can easily visit your family and friends (and grandkids) often and vice versa. Living in Belize, you'll be surprised how many visitors you'll have from back home.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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