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#466871 - 06/19/13 12:27 PM Today's Belize News: June 19, 2013
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Helping hands- Restoring the beach
On Tuesday the Mayor of San Pedro Town and Vice Chairman of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) – San Pedro Operational Committee Daniel Guerrero was supervising beach restoration work. “We did an assessment of the island immediately after the passage of the storm and we are ready to work to restore the island and bring it back to normal. The storm brought mostly debris and brought land erosion in some areas. What happen is that the sand from the shoreline was brought more on shore. The only place underwater is San Mateo. A few of the private docks were damaged so it is not much. It will take us two to three days to clean up the beach from the debris and we should be up and running like normal,” said Guerrero who was accompanied on site by members of NEMO San Pedro Branch.

The first Lobster catch
Lobster season is finally open, and the fishermen are already flocking to the sea. The Lobster Season is a time when many fishermen in San Pedro wake up from as early as 5AM to go lobster hunting, dedicating most of their day to checking their traps for the anticipated Spiny Lobster. Since it is the opening of the season, the fishermen are catching as many lobsters as they can to provide for the Annual Lobster Festival. Throughout the rest of the season these fishermen will have to meet the high demand of lobster to sell to the various restaurants across town. Fishing for lobster is no easy task, these little critters are fast, but they are no match for the island divers who have been fishing all their lives. With in a few hours the boats are loaded with Spiny Lobsters. After the fishermen return home with their bountiful catch, it is time to clean it. After this has been done, the fishermen are off the sell their catch and collect their well deserved earnings.

Ambergris Today

New Division at San Pedro High School Has First Graduation Class
San Pedro Adult Continuing Education (SPACE ) is the new name given to what once used to be St. Peter’s College. After running into administration problems and closed down by the Ministry of Education, San Pedro Junior College was given the license to operate this adult education institution. Others refer to this new school as San Pedro High School Night Division because it is employing high school teachers and following a curriculum similar to San Pedro High. This past Sunday, June 16, 2013, SPACE held its historic first graduation ceremonies for nine seniors who proudly marched up the aisle at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium in their blue gowns. The emcee Alex Nuñez welcomed Salutatorian Sheila Olivarez to greet the many friends, relatives, spouses and boyfriends to the ceremony. The invited guest speaker, Mr. Clive Welch of Lighthouse Christian Radio, concentrated on impressing unto the graduates the many useful meanings of the word “continuing” and coaxed the graduates into setting high goals and pursuing their dreams.

91 March at San Pedro High Graduation
San Pedro High School which commenced with a twenty five student enrollment and graduated ten in its first class has passed with flying colors its mission statement - that of providing secondary education to a wider community. Founded in 1971 when there was a yearly average of two students going to high school in Belize City, this year SPHS marched 91 seniors up the aisle at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Graduation ceremonies and Commencement Exercises were held this Saturday, June 15, 2013, in a ceremony which has been described as historical with the largest graduation class ever.

NEMO Issues Advisory on Flooding and Evacuations in Belize
Tropical Depression Two slammed into Belize yesterday and surprised everybody with torrential rains, high wind gusts and rough seas that managed to cause heavy beach erosion in parts of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and damage some piers. The storm is moving towards the west-northwest away from the country but still posing a threat with more rain. It is still raining in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, but the San Pedro Town Board has already sent out crews all over the town to commence the cleanup process and get the island back to normal for when the sun comes back shining bright. A group of 50 students of the Church of Christ from North Carolina volunteered to clean up the beaches along with the San Pedro Town Council. The group was here to volunteer their services at Holy Cross Anglican School, but because classes were cancelled due to the bad weather they decided to help out the community by cleaning up!

Keeping One Step Ahead of the Storm
It is hard to believe what a mess we got from "just" a tropical depression! The storm that hit Belize on Monday, June 17, 2013, could not by any words be described as a little one. Just because the storm is not classified a hurricane it does not make it a small tropical squall. I do believe that we do take it for granted that these ‘no named’ storms will just pass us by with rain. There have been other tropical depressions and tropical storms that have caught us off guard in the past. Have we learned from them? Indeed we have. We’ve learned what to expect, how to prepare, where to take shelter, where to secure our boats and which homes will withstand stronger hurricanes. We have learned that we can batten down the hatches and fair through a big storm if, and only if, we are prepared and take the precautionary steps to stay safe.

25 Years Ago: Disciplining Children
We hear of a whole lot of misbehavior, mischief and even delinquent acts that go unpunished or even unnoticed today. Not so many years ago in San Pedro when there were a whole lot of people whose duty it was to discipline the children. Yes, I am talking about lashing, something that cannot be done today for fear of human rights violation. On another occasion I will talk about methods of punishment. Today I want to deal only with the various situations that did require a good lashing or beating or, as our elders would say, some disciplining. Admit it; our parents could not say “You will be locked in your room without coming out for an entire week, because we did not have our own private rooms. Or they could not tell us that we would not be able to see our favorite television program because there again we did not have television.

Misc Belizean Sources

Placencia BTIA Rejects Mass Cruise Tourism in South
The Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association condemns in the strongest terms Government’s willingness to accept mass cruise tourism in southern Belize. We find it inexplicable that Cabinet could reject Norwegian Cruise Line’s proposal for a cruise port at Crawl Caye yet simultaneously encourage the company to find an alternate site, in this case Harvest Caye. Although Harvest Caye does not lie within a marine protected area, the same negative environmental impacts resulting from excessive visitor pressure remain. Likewise, despite the Prime Minister’s statements that traffic at the Belize City cruise port would not be diminished, the inevitable result of a southern alternative would be the eventual migration of ships away from the old capital. Most importantly, however, the development of a large cruise port in the south inexorably commits the area to an economic future based on mass cruise tourism. This type of mass tourism is 180 degrees opposite from the path of low impact overnight tourism that has brought the Placencia Peninsula so much success and promises to provide even greater opportunities in the future.

Full Moon Concert Series
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to be presenting another Full Moon Concert this Saturday, June 22 beginning at 7:30 pm in front of the House of Culture. Please join us for a night of Latin music featuring one of Corozal's finest in musical entertainment, CoroSalsa will surely delight the crowd with their vibrant performance.

The Passport Party Project
First things first: Judging the Passport to Belize contest was hard. The judges and I wanted everyone who entered to win. We're travelers, so we love the idea of giving the gift of travel to everyone. For us, it is like giving a part of ourselves. If we could put the world in a box and give it to all of the girls, we would. And yet, it wouldn't be a contest if there weren't people who won and people who lost, right? It's one of those disappointing life lessons, but definitely not the end of the world. So April, Shelley, Ana, Expedia and I would like to say a special Thank You to all of the girls that put their hearts into entering The Passport Party Project's Passport to Belize contest. We believe that your shiny new little blue travel booklet is merely the beginning of your journey to global citizenship.

Video: Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve 2013 with Manatee
Marine life was extreme today with a family of manatee passing through the reserve as tropical depression enters the region.

Video: Corals Canyon, The Belize Barrier Reef 2013
Diving outside the reef as Tropical Depression enters. San Pedro Ambergris Caye Belize

Video: Eagle Ray Canyon, Hol Chan Marine Reserve
We pass through Hol Chan Channel to reach outside the reef as tropical depression enters our region, conditions starting to effect visibility dive 6 of 7,

Video: Scuba Diving Toffey Canyon, Ambergris Caye 2013
Lots of marine life, local diving, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye with guest divers Trip, Janine and Don from Colorado. Thanks for choosing Belize as you dive vacation destination,

Video: Diving Cypress Canyon, Ambergris Caye Belize
Swim through was awesome, the Hawksbill Turtle feeding...a great dive with Trip, Janine and Don from Colorado

Video: Diving Tackle Box Canyon, Ambergris Caye
Join Guest Divers; Trip, Janine and Don as we explore Tackle Box Canyon with Belize Pro Dive Center, San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

Xunantunich's New Facilities
Xunantunich has a new visitor's center along with some new bathrooms. They should be open for guests soon.

Stonetree Rehearsal at Soul Project
Stonetree Records, based in Benque, had a rehearsal and photoshoot at the Soul Project. Lots of talent there between the musicians and the photographers. Looks like they had a great time. "lotta Belizean and international artist at the soul project"

Video: Squid Family Caye Caulker Reef

Oooh, Caye Caulker
I've probably posted about Caye Caulker, like, 80 times already, so I won't bother repeating myself; instead, I'll just share some pictures I took while I was enjoying my day off there yesterday.

Channel 7

Hope Creek Gets Flooded Again, This Time Residents Ready
Tropical Depression two dropped about ten inches of rain in the south in 24 hours resulting in raised river levels, closed schools, people in shelters and collapsed culverts on the highway. The news tonight though is that in most areas, the water is receding and life is returning to normal. But “normal” is a relative term for flood ravaged communities. Today, our news team trekked across many of the flood prone areas in the south – and we begin our coverage in Hope Creek where, at the height of the flood, 39 people were put in shelters. Hope Creek, viewers will recall experienced vicious flash floods in 2008 leading to the loss of life. Well, this time, the water didn’t come in a flash, but it did flood and, it seems, they were ready. Our Daniel Ortiz and Codie Norales were thigh deep in the flood waters today – and they have this report.. Daniel Ortiz reporting An uninformed observer maybe mistaken if they look at this area and concluded that it is some natural body of water. It's an actual street in the Hope Creek Village which was overrun by the flood waters from Tropical Depression 2.

Met Office: TD 2 Formed Unexpectedly
But first, we get the overview from the Met Department. They’ve been watching this Tropical Wave since last week – and were caught slightly off guard on the weekend when it formed into a depression 50 miles off the coast of Belize. Today, Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez told us that the weather system has produced heavy, but not record rainfall. Dennis Gonguez - Chief MET Officer "As tropical depression #2 moves away, we're still getting some rainfall around the country. The numbers range from 2 1/2 inches in the north to about 3 1/2 inches in the west and as high as 7 inches in the south. This has led to some flooding in some sections in the southern parts of the country. In the past 24 hours since the system was called a tropical depression we were close to about 10 inches in the south, in the previous 24 hours we had about 3 inches in the south so we're pretty much close to 10 inches in the south to this time. We tend to focus on Tropical storms and hurricanes with their wind damage but however tropical depressions can provide us with copious amount of rainfall resulting in flooding."

The Death Of Delone
And while it rained steadily in Belize City last night – it was still a time to kill at a canal side house. A masked gunman stormed into a home where 31 year old Delone Vernon was playing cards and singled him out for execution. It’s a terrifying and cold blooded act – particularly considering that the house he was in is the base of the home turf for the “Back A Town” gang. Today, Monica Bodden visited the neighborhood. Monica Bodden reporting It was through this front door that the gunman stormed into the house of Dorla Williams –ran up this narrow flight of steps – and opened fire on 31 year old Delone Vernon. It happened just before 9 last night-during the heavy showers. Vernon – was upstairs playing cards with 6 others at the time of his death. Many heard as many as 4 gunshots rang out - one of those shot caught Vernon to the chest and penetrated through his heart – killing him almost on the spot. His sister-in-law 32 year old Sherna Miller was also shot – in her left arm and right leg. She is hospitalized in a stable condition.

Hon. Mark King Cleared Of Charges
In February UDP Minister of State Mark King was at the center of an event just short of a political scandal: he’d lost his temper at the Princess Casino in Corozal and thrown an ugly tantrum resulting in him being ejected from the Casino – and then later having a confrontation with police. It resulted in charges of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and threatening words. Well today was trial day in Corozal Magistrate’s Court and he was acquitted – tonight he is free and clear of any charges. Here’s what happened in court: First off, the police officer whom he had allegedly committed an aggravated assault on? That’s constable Nelson Ramos, and he withdrew his testimony – meaning he didn’t want to press charges. And then the three other witnesses including a PC Swazo could not identify Mark King from the witness stand. That’s the basic standard of identification that has to be met and without it, Magistrate Clive Lino declared that there was insufficient evidence to continue with the case and acquitted King of all charges. King told us he was busy today and will comment tomorrow.

Man Convicted Of Incest In Orange Walk
A jury in Orange Walk convicted a man of incest today. 47 year old Isabel Mendez was convicted of 10 counts of incest by a jury of 9 in the Supreme Court sitting in Orange Walk Town. He was tried before Justice Herbert Lord for having sexual intercourse with his daughter, then 12 years old from 2006 until it was reported in 2009. Crown Counsel Sabita Maharaj was the prosecutor while Mendez was unrepresented. He will be sentenced on June 27th. In other court news involving a sex offender, last week Friday, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of alleged serial rapist Leroy Gomez. He had been convicted of rape and robbery in July of 2012 and was sentenced by Justice Adolph Lucas to 15 years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. After hearing arguments from the DPP and Gomez’s attorney Hubert Elrington, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction, so Gomez remains in jail serving his sentence. Up to the time of his conviction in 2012, Gomez had beaten 4 other rape charges.

BTIA to PM: No Bull with Noh Mul!
Last week, the Prime Minister said at a press conference that he too had gotten impatient with the slow moving investigation into the destruction of the main temple at the Noh Mul site. Well, today the Orange Walk Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter, sent an open letter to the PM saying that it is dissatisfied that one month later no one has been charged. The BTIA asks him to intercede to, quote, induce the relevant authorities to promptly conclude their investigation and press charges as the law provides.

Flood stories From Sarawee and Sitee
As we showed you at the top of the Newscast, Hope Creek experienced flooding which affected the low-lying areas of the village, and forced 39 residents to evacuate to the hurricane shelter. Well, Sarawee and Sittee River had their own share of flooding from Tropical Depression 2, and while on survey of the affected areas, we stopped in at both villages. Here’s what one villager told us about how the rise in water surprised him, even though it was a weak storm: Steven Emmanuel Sr. - Resident, Sarawee Village "It started from about 10:00 and I went to my bed and took a little nap and when I woke up about 3 it went down about 3 - 4 inches and then this morning it came up back a little higher because it was 3 inch to enter my house and this morning when I noticed, it almost entered the house. This is the first time i see that it takes so long to go down." Daniel Ortiz "Was there anyone from Sarawee who had to evacuate from low lying areas which had dangerous experiences with flooding?" Steven Emmanuel Sr. "Yes they have a few people that live in the North west side and over there at the east side but not to evacuate out of the village, just to get to higher land in the same village." Daniel Ortiz "What you're looking at, is your yard and it looks like a pool."

NEMO In Griga Was In Front Of the Flood
A major part of the Stann Creek District’s excellent response was that the NEMO Hub in Dangriga was very active and vigilant, watching every move of Tropical Depression 2. Today, we spoke to the Mayor of Dangriga Town, who is also the chairman of the Stann Creek Emergency Committee, and he gave us a full report on their activities since yesterday. Here’s what he told us: Mayor Gilbert Swazo - Chairman, Stann Creek Emergency Committee "Earlier this morning about 3:00 we recieved word that there were people on the Mullins river who needed to be evacuated. Again we immediately coordinated through NEMO, through Coast Guard who then subsequently deployed a vessel and we also placed an alert - one shelter, Parish Hall within Dangriga with the view to house and shelter those evacuees from Mullins River. There were 49, however, I must report that right now while the coast guard has arrived at the destination at Mullins River, we have no confirmation that the people have now been extracted but the shelter remains open and the shelter management team prepared to support those evacuees from Mullins River. Amongst the other reports that we received is that the Mullins river bridge is compromised and the coastal road is under water as a result of the bridge being compromised and the fact that the road is severely under water. That road has now been declared again in concurrence with NEMO - it is now closed for vehicular traffic. There is also a culvert on the Southern Highway which is compromised and again the Ministry of Works are on scene doing rehabilitation works with a view then that we could open the road for continuous traffic. Those areas are critical arteries to provide supplies to our people, to the villagers in those communities that are not impacted.

Fun In A Time Of Flooding
We’ve shown you the residents of the Stann Creek Valley who were affected, and who had the scare of the floods from Tropical Depression 2. Well, there were some young men from Sarawee Village who weren’t too worried about the storm. As a matter of fact, they had a good time in the floods waters of their yard. We asked them why they were taking light of a situation which the adults thought was no joke. Here’s what they told us: Rudolph Emmanuel - Resident, Sarawee Village "We're just playing football. In the water you can jump and not get hurt, just playing rough in the water." Daniel Ortiz "You usually play like this when you have flooding in this area?" Rudolph Emmanuel - "Yes we go around in canoe." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about when you guys decide that instead of waiting until the rain passes, we will be out there playing in the water."

Channel 5

TD2 floods the south
Tropical Depression number two which made landfall on Belize on Monday afternoon has resulted in significant rainfall all across the country. But today all eyes were on the flood prone [...]

Floods chip away at newly cemented streets
Though the projected path was over Monkey River, the sheer width of the cloud cover reached the former capital, Belize City. The City is also experiencing flooding in the aftermath [...]

NEMO advises on location of Tropical Depression
Life for residents of southern Belize, who sought refuge at various shelters during the overnight passage of Tropical Depression Two, resumes normalcy, as the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) reports [...]

Meteorology Dept. says more rains for coming days
NEMO keeps close contact with the Meteorology Department that is stationed at the Philip Goldson International Airport. An hour after the NEMO advisory, the MET Office indicated that at three [...]

A King freed! Police officer drops charges against Minister Mark
And much further north, the remnants of a political storm had expectedly fizzled. There was no need for a forecaster to predict that Minister of State Mark King would be [...]

Do you have confidence in the health system because the Minister of Health won the village council elections?
And tonight’s question is: Do you have confidence in the health system because the Minister of Health won the village council elections? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses [...]

Murdered in his home on Sibun Street
A young man who had turned his life around was shot and killed on Monday night. Until he was murdered, Delone Vernon was an employee of Youth for the Future. [...]

Did wife have a role in murder of Belizean American?
A Belizean also lost his life to violence in the United States. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the murder of a Belizean American inside his home on Sunday. [...]

Armenia man sodomized and left for dead
An elderly man was reportedly beaten and sodomized in Armenia Village on the tenth of June, while socializing at a local bar.  The man, in his sixties, was said to [...]

Man acquitted for murder after 5 years on remand
A man who has spent the last five years on remand for a 2008 murder will not go back to the Belize Central prison tonight. Twenty-eight year old Anthony Sabido, [...]

5 years for firearm
A Belize City man was convicted in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court after he was found with a nine millimeter pistol loaded with nine rounds of ammunition. This afternoon, in the [...]

10 counts of incest for Isabel Mendez
The Orange Walk Town Supreme Court is also in session.  Today, Isabel Mendez was convicted by a nine member jury of ten counts of incest. Mendez was tried before Justice Herbert [...]

Water on floor in maternity ward of K.H.M.H.
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is the nation’s only referral hospital, and is currently being bombarded with very negative publicity following the deaths of newborns in the neonatal intensive care [...]

The threats to Chiquibul featured at symposium
From hospitals inundated with water to forests under siege…The Chiquibul National Park is Belize’s largest national park; about four hundred and fourteen square miles, which is approximately the size of [...]

Sights and sounds of TD2
There are five more months to go before the end of Hurricane Season. And though we have barely begun the first month in the season, Tropical Depression Two won’t be [...]

LOVE FM

Dangriga Mayor Reports on Flooding
NEMO Stann Creek is in full effect monitoring the flood situation in that area. Correspondent Harry Arzu met with representatives and has more on the conditions in the following report. HARRY ARZU “NEMO Stann Creek held a meeting today to address the flooding situation here in...

Young Student Awarded On Behalf of ComPol
The Commissioner of Police Do the Right Thing Award for Toledo was presented yesterday to a student of Punta Gorda. Here is Correspondent Paul Mahung with the details. PAUL MAHUNG “On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, the award was presented to recipient Mellissa Rodriguez...

Northern Belize Reports Normalcy Following Passage of TD2
In Orange Walk the District Emergency Management Organization is also monitoring the weather conditions. Dalila Ical Reports. DALILA ICAL “Classes were canceled as the rain poured this morning in Orange Walk Town; DEMO Orange Walk continued to monitor the situation in the dist...

Emergency Management Issues Fourth Release on Tropical Depression 2
This afternoon the National Emergency Management Organization issued their fourth advisory on Tropical Depression Number Two. NEMO informs that at two pm, the depression was located near latitude 18.3 North, Longitude 91.9 West. It is moving towards the West-Northwest at approximately...

Four Maskall Villagers Charged With Drug Trafficking
Four persons from Maskall Village have been charged with drug trafficking. Around 5:20 am on Friday June 14th, police conducted a search at a house in the village. Present at the time of the search were forty year old Winston Devans, forty year old Sharlet Migueal, twenty one year old...

Casey Scholarship Fund Assists Residents of Gallon Jug
Hundreds of standard six students across the country are completing their eight years of basic education around this time of the year. While some will move to secondary school, others will not enjoy of that privilege. In many cases it’s not because they were not accept...

Reports of Flooding In Hospital In Western Belize
The RSV News Center has received reports of a flood at the San Ignacio Hospital. Although the hospital is well situated on a hill, we understand that the flood is being caused by a leak in the building. Reliable sources tell us that the leak has been a problem in the building for a wh...

Woman Convicted of Incest With 12-Year-Old
Isabel Mendez was today convicted by a nine member jury in the Supreme Court sitting in Orange Walk Town of 10 counts of incest. Mendez was tried before Honorable Justice Herbert Lord for having sexual intercourse with the victim who was twelve years old at the time over a period which spann...

Young Man Murdered In Girlfriends Home While Socializing
One man was shot to death and a woman was injured last night. It happened at about 8:50pm on Sibun Street and this time the victim was thirty one year old Delone Vernon, an employee of Youth for the Future who was murdered and thirty two year old Sherna Miller who is currently in a stable conditi...

BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Wants Charges Levied For Destruction of Maya Temple
The Orange Walk Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, has issued an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in connection to the destruction of a temple at Noh Mul in the Orange Walk District. Chairperson of the association, Osmani Salas says they are calling on the Pr...

No Evidence of Charges Against Minister of State
Love News understands that Lake Independence Representative Mark King appeared before the Magistrates court in Corozal this morning. After hearing the evidence from four prosecution witnesses, the Magistrate declared that there was no evidence to prove any of all the three minor charges.&nb...

Belize City Laborer Remanded on Firearm and Ammunition Offences
Twenty-one year old Stephon Anderson, a laborer of number 7 Ebony Street charged with firearm and ammunition offences became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today after he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court and pled not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded hi...

Accused For A 2008 Murder Acquitted
Twenty-eight year old Lincoln Sabido, charged with the murder of Norman Reyes, was acquitted of the charge today in court. After the prosecution closed its case, Sabido’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, submitted that he does not have a case to answer to. Justice Gonzalez uphel...

CTV3

Tropical Depression Number 2 Floods Parts Of The South
Tropical Depression number 2 drenched the country last night especially the South as the system headed further west and crossed over Belize. As a result of the heavy rains classes were cancelled countrywide. The system unleashed torrential rainfall in the South causing major flooding in several areas. The Mullins River is rising and the temporary crossing is under 12 feet of water as the Coastal Highway remains closed. In Sarawee, the water is residing and most of the people who sought refuge at the Community Center have returned to their homes. In Hope Creek, the water is also receding rapidly and the highway is no longer under water. Most of the people who were in the shelter have returned to their homes. Near Sittee River, the Hopkins Road is closed and is under 2 feet of water. In Dangriga Town, where flooding was also experienced, the water is receding. In Belize City flooding was recorded in some areas but there was no major damage. The same goes for Orange Walk and Corozal. Nemo’s 4th release indicated that at 2:00pm Tropical Depression Two was located near Latitude 18.3 North, Longitude 91.9 West. The depression is moving towards the West-Northwest at approx. 10 mph over the Southern Bay of Campeche and away from Belize, with maximum sustained winds at 30 mph with higher gusts. Flooding is likely to continue in the low-lying communities. This afternoon we spoke to Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez who told us that the system is presently moving away from Belize. Dennis Gonguez- Chief Meteorologist “The depression continues to produce some rainfall around the country and rainfall beakers varied from as low as three inches in the north to as high as seven inches in the south, we did receive significant amount of rainfall out of the system.”

Stanley Tillett Accused Of ICB Robbery Goes To Court
Stanley Tillett, accused of the broad daylight armed robbery of the Insurance Corporation of Belize Orange Walk Branch on Saturday morning, appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates today. It is important to note that since the court room was being used for the Supreme Court session, cases at the Magistrate level were heard inside the police’s conference room. Stanley was charged by police for robbery, unlicensed firearm and ammunition and harm. But before the charges could be read to him by Magistrate Hetti Mae Stuart, Stanley began complaining of pain and claimed police brutality. As a result, Magistrate Stuart stated that she would not listen to the case until Stanley is provided medical attention. The accused was then escorted out of the court room and transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. As he walked down the stairs Stanley accused police of brutality. At around 3:15 this afternoon Stanley was escorted back to the court room where all three charges were read out to him. He was remanded to prison until his next court date. On Saturday June 15th, at around 9:00am, Stanley is believed to have entered ICB located on Belize Corozal Road Orange Walk Town, pulled out a .22 pistol and pointed it at Customer Service Officer Ruth Martinez, who was alone in the office at the time.

Minister Of Gangs Mark King Acquitted Of All Charges
This morning Minister of State with Responsibility for Gangs, Mark King, walked out of the Corozal Magistrates Court bouncing with joy after he was acquitted of Aggravated Assault against P.C Nelson Ramos attached to the Corozal Police Station, as well as Threatening Words and Disorderly Conduct. Accompanying King this morning was Chairman of the United Democratic Party Alberto August and other high officials of the UDP. The three charges were levied against King back in February of this year after he became involved in a brawl with casino security and Corozal police while socializing at the Princess Casino located just outside the Corozal Commercial Free Zone in the early hours of February 5th 2013. Today in court, the prosecution, represented by Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu, called four witnesses to the stand- two security officers from the Princess Hotel and Casino who were on shift at the time of the incident, P.C Suazo and P.C Nelson Ramos who was on duty at the Corozal Free Zone police booth on the day of the incident. Of note is that this morning in court P.C Ramos withdrew his testimony.

Another Armed Robbery In Orange Walk
There has been a recent spike of robberies occurring here in Orange Walk Town. This past weekend alone, saw the robberies of three business establishments, one which proved to be very brutal. But while the manner in which the crime is conducted may differ, there is no doubt that Orange Walkeños now fear for their lives. Home or anywhere else around town, is safe no more since robbers have been targeting local businesses who are trying to make ends meet. Yesterday, another robbery at gun point left the owners of Chabelo’s Fruits and Vegetables located on Bakers Street in shock after they were robbed of the day’s sale. The horrendous incident happened very quickly but luckily, no one was hurt. Isabel Paz Valenzuela, proprietor of Chabelo’s Fruits and Vegetables Store, told us what happened. Isabel Paz Valenzuela, Fruit Vendor “Era cosa como las ocho a punto de cerrar la tienda, se presentaron un vehículo beige, tipo Toyota corola y bajaron tres personas armadas después bajo el ultimo que eran cuatro y nos amenazaron para que entreguemos el dinero que tenemos y nosotros hicimos lo que nos pidieron y me quitaron mi celular y el dinero que se llevaron ellos y eso fue todo y gracias a Dios no nos hicieron daño.”

UB Fires Patrick Menzies
Patrick Menzies is a well known activist who for some time now has been very vocal regarding national issues such as the death of the thirteen babies at the KHMH and also the most important one; the discrepancies in the overcharging of students along with credit transfers at the University of Belize. But today he is on the news fighting his own war after his services were terminated at U.B. Yesterday afternoon when Menzies showed up to teach his Management Information Systems class he received the shocking news that he was already replaced. Menzies’ termination comes at the heels of a research conducted by his students which shows that the University of Belize is overcharging students for some courses. As a result he strongly believes that he was fired for speaking out. Patrick Menzies- Former UB Lecturer I showed up for the class and there was another gentleman trying to find the key for the same classroom. So we came downstairs and when we met together in the secretary’s office, He asked for U4 and I said, ‘But I’m in U4.’ I asked ‘What class are you doing?’ He said MIS; I said ‘Well that’s my class.’ He said ‘Well I don’t know what’s going on; I have been here for two weeks.’ So what happens is the secretary calls and says ‘No, Mr. Menzies it’s not your class, we have given it to this other guy. I said ‘Really?’ So I go look for Dr. Urbina and he wasn’t there, so I go to the Provost’s Office, but they were already waiting for me; they expected this. So I get there and who is there? The Provost is there and then she makes all these statements and I will say now live on the media, the reality is 1. She said that I misrepresented her by saying about giving a hardcopy to the President. God as my witness and let God be the judge, she said it, so that’s a lie.

BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Writes To P.M On Destruction Of Noh Mul
When are those responsible for the destruction of Noh Mul going to charged? That is what BTIA Orange Walk Chapter is asking tonight. Despite the fact that statements have been recorded and video footage of the destruction has been obtained, charges are yet to be levied against the owner of De Mar’s Stone Company, Denny Grijalva, who has practically accepted blame for the destruction of the site, or any other person for that matter. And BTIA Orange Walk Chapter is concerned about the situation. So much so, that today the organization wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Belize asking for his intervention into the matter. In the release, BTIA Orange Walk expresses their dissatisfaction that one month has passed and no one has been charged for, quote unquote “Committing that atrocity.” The organization is discouraged at the prolonged process that the official investigation has been taking. Based on this fact, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter pleads to the Prime Minister that he interceded so as to induce the relevant authorities to promptly conclude their investigation and press charges as the law provides.

Three Wanted Men Still On The Run
Police issued a wanted poster for their arrest on June 7th and up to news time 37 year old Robert Hill and 23 year Austin Sutherland, both residents of Corozal Town wanted for robbery and burglary respectively, are still on the run. Hill is wanted in connection to the armed robbery of Chan Li Game Room which occurred on June 5th 2013. By the time police arrived at the scene Hill had already disappeared into the night on bicycle. The 23 year old from San Antonio Village in the Corozal District is believed to be armed and dangerous. Also on the run is Austin Sutherland, a resident of G Street South Corozal Town who is wanted in connection to the burglary of the breeze Hotel situated on 1st Avenue Corozal Town. Police suspect that that on June 1st 2013 Sutherland entered the hotel and stole more some $75.00 in cash and more than $600.00 worth in items. Sutherland is also considered armed and dangerous. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hill and Sutherland are asked to contact the nearest police station. Today marks 22 days that Orange Walk resident Nimrod Tillett absconded from police while waiting to receiving treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital on May 21st 2013.

Tropical Depression Two Brings Heavy Rains To The North
At the wake of the passage of tropical depression number 2 the entire country has experienced the remnants of the system. Down south the heavy rains caused flooding and serious damage to some highways. Here in Orange Walk, the damage, if any, was minimal yet similar to the rest of the country, classes were called off. While Orange Walk did not experience major flooding DEMO continues to monitor the situation. Zuleima Celiz, Coordinator DEMO O/W “Here in Orange Walk we haven’t had any complains or any calls concerning river levels going up or any flooding or anything so pretty much everything is normal here in Orange Walk but the villages have been calling them but there is no report of anything or any damages.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “So at this point in time the north can breathe a sigh of relief in regards to don’t worrying about any more floods or anything in that respect.” Zuleima Celiz, Coordinator DEMO O/W “Well, we are awaiting to see if the southern part has been affected and to see if the water will come through this side but so far everything is normal and we haven’t anything in regards to TD2.” People living in the low lying areas should remain on the alert since the heavy rains are expected to continue for a few days.


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#466872 - 06/19/13 12:28 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 19, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE TV

Mayor Swazo Gives Report on Flooding in Southern Belize
NEMO Stann Creek is in full effect monitoring the flood situation in that area. Correspondent Harry Arzu met with representatives and has more on the conditions in the following report. HARRY ARZU “NEMO Stann Creek held a meeting today to address the flooding situation here in Dangriga and surrounding communities such as Sarawee Village which is about 4 miles from Dangriga, as well as Hope Creek Village. The floodings are as a result of the heavy torrential rains produce by Tropical Depression #2. Mayor Gilbert Swazo is the Chairman of NEMO Stann Creek, he tells us what transpired from the meeting and gives us his observation on the grounds.” MAYOR GILBERT SWAZO “The Stann Creek District Emergency Management team met earlier today to get a current update of the current situation as a consequence of the impact of tropical depression number 2. We also met to confirm the state of readiness of the respective operational subcommittee. The EOC is currently activated and is poised to respond to any serious but credible risks to any of the communities, villages and Dangriga that is within the Stan Creek District. It must be noted that at the present time, two shelters are open; one in Sarawee and the other in Hope Creek. Those two shelters have combined, a total of 59 people in those shelters including the shelter managers. There is one shelter in Dangriga, the Parish Hall which is now being prepared for evacuees from Mullins River; the coast guard is now in Mullins River preparing to evacuate 49 people from Mullins River to Dangriga and as I have indicated earlier, where they will be sheltered in the parish hall.

Police In Southern Belize Awards Young Woman
The Commissioner of Police Do the Right Thing Award for Toledo was presented yesterday to a student of Punta Gorda. Here is Correspondent Paul Mahung with the details. PAUL MAHUNG “On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, the award was presented to recipient Mellissa Rodriguez by Officer in Command of Toledo Police Formation, Superintendent of Police, Simeon Alvarez.” SIMEON ALVAREZ “Mellissa Rodriguez, student of the Toledo Community College, Punta Gorda Town congratulation on behalf of the Commissioner of Police. You have been selected as the recipient of the Punta Gorda Formation, ‘Do The Right Thing’ in the program award for the month of April 2013. It is my sincere desire that you will continue your education to the highest level and develop life skills that will develop positively toward a better future for yourself and the community in which you live. Being exposed as a young person to people of different character and lifestyle allows you to appreciate yourself and your community more and aspire for your dreams. Remember to always do the right thing not because you can but because you want to make a difference.” PAUL MAHUNG “Felicia Rodriguez was grateful for the award.”

How Is Northern Belize Following TD2?
In Orange Walk the District Emergency Management Organization is also monitoring the weather conditions. Dalila Ical Reports. DALILA ICAL “Classes were canceled as the rain poured this morning in Orange Walk Town; DEMO Orange Walk continued to monitor the situation in the district. Suleima Celiz, District Coordinator tells us more about the situation.” SULEIMA CELIZ “Orange Walk is normal; I have been calling the different villages and checking the low lying areas and talking to people in the villages. The river levels remain normal; classes have been canceled early this morning by the Ministry of Education and Orange Walk is normal so far. I am waiting for advisory from the headquarters as to the situation with classes. The rains have been off and on here in Orange Walk, nothing to be concerned of here in Orange Walk. Just stay tuned to your radio especially the persons living by the river side and Trial Farm and so forth.” DALILA ICAL “In case of emergencies or queries, the number to call at the Orange Walk office is 302 3228 or Mrs. Celiz at 605-5046. The situation in Corozal is also being monitored. We spoke with District Coordinator, Willard Levy.” WILLARD LEVY “Presently we don’t have any reports from any villages or town; we don’t have any flood threats; we had rains during the course of the night and part of this morning but so far the rains have ceased and we haven’t received any reports from any of the villages, so we do not have any threats at the moment; currently the schools are closed so that’s the position with Corozal.”

Fourth Advisory on TD2 Issued By Emergency Management
This afternoon the National Emergency Management Organization issued their fourth advisory on Tropical Depression Number Two. NEMO informs that at two pm, the depression was located near latitude 18.3 North, Longitude 91.9 West. It is moving towards the West-Northwest at approximately ten miles per hour over the Southern Bay of Campeche and away from Belize with maximum sustained winds at thirty miles per hour with higher gusts. NEMO also advises that flooding is likely to continue in the low-lying communities. One of the most affected areas at this time is the Stann Creek District. A team from Love News headed south today to look at the situation and we’ll have the story for you later on in the newscast. Meanwhile in Belize City, the Coordinator for the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, Phillip Willoughby informed us on the situation in Belize City. PHILLIP WILLOUGHBY “Let’s establish that we are below sea level; what the engineers and the staff from the Works Department are doing is looking at the entire City doing their initial survey to see where the bottle necks are, the problem areas are and those bottle necks will be looked at and be dealt with to alleviate and facilitate free and smooth flow of water in these hot areas or blocked up areas.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Have you visited the flooding areas?”

Reports of Flooding In Western Hospital
The RSV News Center has received reports of a flood at the San Ignacio Hospital. Although the hospital is well situated on a hill, we understand that the flood is being caused by a leak in the building. Reliable sources tell us that the leak has been a problem in the building for a while now. We understand that an entire hallway inside the hospital becomes flooded every time it rains and that although the situation has been reported to the relevant authorities, nothing has been done to fix the problem. We were even informed that a whole section of the ceiling has caved in. Our correspondent in that area today visited the hospital and she was informed that no such thing is happening and says she observed only a small leak, and that whatever problem there was has been addressed. Our sources say however, that the leak is huge and the flooding evident. Unconfirmed reports are that the representatives from the Ministry of Health were at the hospital this afternoon inspecting the problem. Love News spoke with the Deputy Regional Health Manager, Myra Pulido who told us that the reports were untrue and she was not certain who was making the reports since no one is allowed to call the media. Sources however maintain that only yesterday the entire corridor was flooded.

Boyfriend Murdered; Girlfriend Injured In Southside Belize City
One man was shot to death and a woman was injured last night. It happened at about 8:50pm on Sibun Street and this time the victim was thirty one year old Delone Vernon, an employee of Youth for the Future who was murdered and thirty two year old Sherna Miller who is currently in a stable condition at the KHMH recuperating from gunshots wounds to her hand and leg. It is believe that Vernon was shot to the chest by a gunman who barged into the house were Vernon was at the time and release a barrage of bullets. Reporter Hipolito Novelo found out the motive on this latest city killing. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING The murder occurred here on Sibun Street inside Miller’s residence. The shooter made his way through the front door, scurried up the stairs, took out a firearm and released a barrage of bullets towards the direction of seven persons. FAMILY MEMBER “Last night about a few minutes before nine o’clock, I was already in my bed, I drank my medication and about a half hour after I was in bed, I heard the dogs barking but I didn’t’ pay it any mind, a few minutes later we heard BANG BANG BANG.” The bullets found their mark on 31 year old Delone Vernon, an employee of the Department of Youth Services and 32 year old Sherna Miller.

Belize Tourism Association Wants PM To Ensure Charges Are Levied For Destruction of Noh Mul
The Orange Walk Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, has issued an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in connection to the destruction of a temple at Noh Mul in the Orange Walk District. Chairperson of the association, Osmani Salas says they are calling on the Prime Minister to bring those culpable to experience punishment to the whole extent of the law. OSMANI SALAS “We had expressed our anger and disappointment a month ago and we are still very upset and disappointed that a month later no one has been charged and the investigation seems to still be ongoing. So, we felt it important as a membership organization and as an organization that represents tourism interest in northern Belize specifically, Orange Walk to express our frustration and to ask the Government represented by our Prime Minister to intercede to see how this matter can be concluded and whoever needs to be charged get charged and penalized to the full extent of the law. We feel that if nothing happens with this situation then there will be no deterrent at all for similar incidents to occur not only in Orange Walk but other parts of the country. It is a firm reminder on our part to the authorities to please get to the bottom of this, conclude investigations as completely as possible and press charges as the law provides.” Salas says he does not believe that the destruction of what was deemed to be the highest temple at the sight will soon be forgotten. OSMANI SALAS “I don’t’ think it has been forgotten; our letter serves as a strong reminder to the authorities and I have certainly spoken off the record with people in the-know from some of the relevant authorities and I know that a lot of information has been compiled and has been presented to the police department for them to do what they have to do.

Area Representative Has No Charges To Answer To
Love News understands that Lake Independence Representative Mark King appeared before the Magistrates court in Corozal this morning. After hearing the evidence from four prosecution witnesses, the Magistrate declared that there was no evidence to prove any of all the three minor charges. This is in connection to an incident that occurred in February of this year at the Princess Hotel and Casino in the Corozal Free zone. The police press release at the time reported that a uniformed police officer standing outside the casino saw the security guard from the casino escorting a man out. The guards then escorted another man out because he was behaving disorderly. The police learned that the first man was twenty two year old Diego Witz a businessman of Punta Gorda and the other man, who was later alleged by witnesses to be King, attempted to hit one of the security guards. The policeman intervened and Witz reportedly punched him in the face. He was then subdued and later escorted to the police station. At the time the police did not report that King was the next man implicated in the incident.

Ebony Street Resident Remanded to Central Prison
Twenty-one year old Stephon Anderson, a laborer of number 7 Ebony Street charged with firearm and ammunition offences, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today after he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court and pled not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him into custody until August 6. The incident occurred around 7 a.m. on June 16. The police reported that they were on mobile patrol on Lakeview Street when they saw Anderson riding a bicycle and coming towards them. They said that when Anderson saw them he turned his bicycle around and headed for Sibun Street. The police said they pursued Anderson and when they were a few feet behind him they saw him reach into his right pocket and take out an object which he threw into an open lot. The police reported that when they retrieved the object it was a Smith and Wesson brand 9 millimetre pistol with 8 rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Anderson was apprehended and taken to the open lot where the firearm was found. He was shown the firearm and he was unable to produce a license for it so he was taken into custody and charged.

Accused Murderer Set Free
Twenty-eight year old Lincoln Sabido, charged with the murder of Norman Reyes, was acquitted of the charge today in court. After the prosecution closed its case, Sabido’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, submitted that he does not have a case to answer to. Justice Gonzalez upheld the “no case” submission and he directed the jury of 5 men and 7 women to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Sylvestre submitted that the prosecution did not have any evidence against his client because the witness, Dennis Nembhard now deceased, whose statement was admitted as evidence, could not have seen what he said he saw because his view was impeded by a building. Based on what was seen when the court visited the scene of the murder, the submission was upheld. Nembhard in his statement said that he heard an explosion and when he went to the corner of Moya Street and Nutmeg Street he saw Reyes on Nutmeg Street coming towards him. He said Reyes collapsed and then he went to his yard. Nembhard said that he then saw Sabido coming from the same direction with what appeared to be a firearm in his hand. The incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. on January 15, 2008. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, called 4 witnesses.

Meeting With Venezuelan Ambassador Aims At Solidarity
On Saturday the Venezuelan Embassy hosted a meeting with several representatives of Belize’s sector including leaders of the opposition party, Mayors from across the country and other social leaders. Love News was present at the function and we spoke to Venezuela Ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano. YOEL DEL VALLE PEREZ MARCANO “The meeting today forms part of the Bolivarian Republic and solidarity. We invited the social movement in Belize to support in solidarity the Bolivian revolution. We have gotten a lot of people here from different organizations and cultures of Belize. They have expressed that the country of Belize stands in full solidarity with the country of Venezuela. And this support the 14 years of revolution of President Hugo Chavez Frias and at the same time represents the unity of Central America and the Caribbean I nits fight for solidarity and against the pressure of the government of the United States of America. We like to have a committee formed in every country for the solidarity of Venezuela. Each community responsible will then meet with the community in Venezuela to file reports. In the event that they try to attack the revolution then the committee will be responsible to react. We want democracy and peace; we don’t want any other interference in our county. So we call on all the people of the Caribbean and Central America to support the solidarity in Venezuela.” Guest speaker was Ambassador for Foreign Trade and Head of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adalbert Tucker who said Belize should take advantage of the relationship with Venezuela. ADALBERT TUCKER “It is a meeting called by the embassy to share the solidarity of the Belizean people with the Bolivarian Revolution and to give encouragement to Venezuela to continue the good work that it is doing for democracy, for progress, for development of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Trouble Brews At University of Belize
While the country slowly floods because of a passing tropical depression, the University of Belize also slowly floods with controversy and in the center of it is UB Lecturer, Patrick Menzies, or in this case, former lecturer, since he says he headed to UB’s Central Campus in Belmopan to teach one of his summer classes, and to his surprise there was someone else to substitute him. PATRICK MENZIES “I was scheduled to teach to a class at 2 o’clock. I have all the e-mails to show that I was to teach a class on June 1, they moved it to the 17th of June to the 19th of July. I accepted it and I postponed my trip to the US which I do every year to see my kids. What happened is that I came to teach my class and there is another man walking around trying to find the key to the class; so, I asked him what is he doing; we both went down to the office to get the same key. I asked him what class are you teaching, he said MIS, I said that’s my class. So, finally after that the Secretary called, they basically said that it wasn’t my class that this guy was teaching; I waited in Belize to teach this particular class I was asked to teach the class.” We contacted UB to find out what was happening and Head of the Office of Public Information, Selwyn King says Menzies is an adjunct teacher, but is not officially on the adjunct list. SELWYN KING “Adjunct professors/lecturers – once there is an opening, a vacuum that we need extra to teach courses, we hire from my understanding; Mr. Menzies name is not on the official list of adjunct. Within the last couple of weeks the new Information Communication Technology Director has come on board and as head of that department he has been tasked as an adjunct for an IT class.”

PlusTV

Tropical Depression Two crosses country
It will be another few days before Belize is dry as a result of the rain from Tropical Depression #2, which is still crossing the country. Schools in the entire northern half of the country including Belize City have been closed per order of the Ministry of Education as...

Mass flooding has forced evacuations in the South
In the South, mass flooding has forced evacuations in a number of areas. Our Dangriga Harry Arzu visited Chairperson in the National Emergency Management Organization, Mayor Gilbert Swaso and filed this report. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: Flood-waterscontinue to affect residents here in this municipality and other surrounding communities...

Delone Vernon murdered in Belize City
A social night out playing cards for residents of the Sibun Street area on Monday night turned deadly. 31 year old Delone Vernon, an office assistant with Youth for the Future, was assaulted while with a female friend identified as 32 year old Sherna Miller at her home. Both...

Police identify body found on Monday morning in Western Paradise
Police have identified the body found on Monday morning in the Western Paradise area as 24 year old Elias Santos of the Stann Creek District. Santos’ body was found in a house under construction in the Western Pines division. The body had a large cut wound to the fore...

Anthony Sabido acquitted of murder
28 year old Anthony Sabido spent five years on remand for a murder case but tonight he is a free man. Sabido was today acquitted of the January 15, 2008 murder of 31-year-old Norman Reyes, also known as “Mimi”. The 31 year old victim was fatally shot once to...

Selwyn King explains Patrick Menzies status with UB
They shot the whistle-blower. That’s Patrick Menzies’ claim for why he is no longer serving as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Belize. According to Menzies, who we spoke with yesterday, when he showed up to teach his Management Information Systems class, he found out that another lecturer...

BTIA Toledo and Placencia Chapters reject large-scale cruse tourism
Earlier this month, it was announced that Cabinet rejected a proposal made by the Norwegian Cruise Line for the development of a cruise terminal at Crawl Caye. When the offer was tabled to GOB, there was a string of negative response coming from various sectors including the Belize Tourism...

Randy Wagner Jones sentenced to 5 years for firearm offenses
25 year-old Randy Wagner Jones was sentenced to 5 years in prison after he was convicted of firearm and ammunition offenses. Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found Jones guilty on the charge of keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition. This follows an incident which occurred in...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Roots in the Sea Website
Roots In The Sea has now published their website and is asking for donations in order for them to cover the expenses for the trip to Belize. The goal of $3,000 will fund a return trip to Belize for a crew of two. Funds will cover transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Check out their website for more information on the contributions http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/roots-in-the-sea They have also been selected in the Short Documentary category for the Belize International Film Festival which starts on July 11th to July 15th 2013.

Roots In The Sea
A long form documentary examining the history and culture of a small fishing village in Belize. The story is told by long time residents of Caye Caulker.

Amandala

TD 2 – WILD WIND AND WATER!
Bringing heavy rains and 35-mile-per hour winds, Tropical Depression Two, which formed from a tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Nicaragua/Honduras border earlier today, trekked ashore Belize near Monkey River, Stann Creek, mid-afternoon today, rendering portions of southern Belize impassable. Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advised that, “Persons living in flood-prone areas across the country are advised to be on the alert for possible flooding in your areas as the system moves across Belize. Motorists are also advised to exercise extreme caution when driving on the highways and secondary roads.” Concerned about the latest developments, the Ministry of Education called off classes for certain portions of Belize, deemed to be under threat of flooding, to ensure that students would be able to get home safely. “The primary concern with this system is heavy rainfall which could cause significant flooding over portions of Central America and eastern Mexico,” said forecasters at the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. They add that the center will move over Belize and northern Guatemala tonight and early Tuesday, and over eastern Mexico later on Tuesday. The depression could emerge into the southern Bay of Campeche by early Wednesday, and become the second named storm of this very active hurricane season.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER MURDERED ON HIS WORKSITE
Police say that Elias Santos, 24, a tile layer of Orange Walk, was chopped to death at his worksite in the Western Pines area off Mile 8 ½ on the George Price Highway. Santos’ body was found in one of the houses under construction at about 9:00 this morning by co-workers who went to work. According to police, Santos had been chopped in his head and body, and he was declared dead on the scene. He was taken to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where a post mortem was conducted to certify the cause of his death. Police believe that Santos was laying tiles in the house when the killer or killers attacked him. So far, no one has been detained, and the motive for the murder is unknown.

MAN, 64, FOUND BEATEN AND SODOMIZED IN ARMENIA
A 64-year-old man of Armenia Village is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Ward after he was robbed, badly beaten and sodomized. He was found nude in an unconscious state at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, in bushes beside the road in Armenia Village. His clothes were found torn up a short distance away from him. Witnesses told police that the man became intoxicated after socializing at a bar in the village on Tuesday night. He left the bar to go home, but fell asleep beside the road. People in the area who saw him said that about 2:00 a.m. he awoke and again began to walk home, but he did not arrive at his house. A man told police that he was travelling on the Hummingbird Highway, through Armenia, towards Cave Branch, when he saw a naked man lying on the roadside. When he stopped, another driver who was travelling in his vehicle in the opposite direction towards Belmopan from Dangriga stopped also, and they called police, who came to the scene. The elderly man was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was stabilized before being rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

THE US AND EUROPEAN UNION SEEK “LANDMARK TRADE DEAL”
The deal could add £85 billion to the rest of world’s economies; protestors, however, rallied against “ruthless capitalism.” Two of Belize’s most important trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the United States, today announced the launch of major trade negotiations at the start of the 2013 G8 Summit being held at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland from Monday, June 17, to Tuesday, June 18, even as protestors rallied against what they decry as ruthless capitalism. According to official reports from the UK Government, the G8 2013 Summit began with an announcement to launch negotiations on what it describes as “a landmark trade deal” between the EU and the USA. US President Barack Obama said at a press conference held to announce the talks that the US-EU trading relationship is the largest in the world, accounting for about a half of global GDP. He announced that the US would host the first meeting to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (T-TIP) in Washington next month (the week of July 8). Obama also said that he believes the US and the EU can forge an economic alliance as strong as they have in the areas of diplomacy and security – alliances which he said are the most powerful in history.

LEROY GOMEZ HAS APPEAL FOR RAPE AND ROBBERY CONVICTIONS DISMISSED
Today, the Court of Appeal dismissed Leroy Gomez’s rape and robbery conviction appeal after a panel of Justices heard arguments from his lawyer, Hubert Elrington, on Tuesday, June 11. Gomez was sentenced to 15 years concurrently for each offense on August 8, 2012, after a jury found him guilty of the crimes on July 31, 2012. The victim of the rape and robbery appeared in court and gave her testimony. She said that she was walking on Administration Drive heading toward her boyfriend’s house when she noticed someone riding toward her on a bike. Her attention was drawn to the person because he looked like a friend of hers who had passed away. She testified that she kept on walking and when she looked back, she noticed that the same person was still riding toward her in the direction she was going, but this time, he was wearing a handkerchief tied around his nose and mouth, allowing only his eyes to be visible.

3 SHOT IN THE CITY IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS
Three men are lucky to be alive after they were shot in two separate shooting incidents in the city. One man was shot multiple times in his house by two masked men, while the other two men were shot while walking on Pine Street. The shooting victims are Arturo Varela of Antelope Street Extension, Rafael Francisco Aguet of Pine Street, Belize City, and Cecil Gill, also of Pine Street. The shootings both occurred in Belize City on Tuesday, June 11. Varela told police that about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, as he was about to exit his yard, he saw two men putting masks on their faces inside his mother-in-law’s yard (she lives next door to him). He quickly ran back into his house, but the masked men ran after him, and as he shut the door, they kicked it open and one of them opened fire and the he was hit by gunshots several times.

TWO MEN ACCUSED OF ROBBERY WITH KNIFE
Jaime Villanueva and Wardworth Clark were both charged with robbery today, Friday, and granted bail of $5,000 each. Villanueva, 28, a barber, and Clark, 18, a construction worker, pleaded not guilty to their charge. They are to reappear in court on July 24, 2013. Both men were charged with robbery after being accused of holding a man at knifepoint earlier today and robbing him of a backpack, a Belize passport, a wallet, a Nokia cell phone, and a hat. All the items are valued at over $200. The two men have previous convictions, but the court did not deem them flight risks and granted them bail on the condition that they stay away from the complainant and witnesses. They are also to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Wednesday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

GENTLE TOUCH OF CAYO TAKES EARLY LEAD IN ATLANTIC BANK WOMEN INTER-DISTRICT FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
The FFB’s Atlantic Bank Women Inter-district Football Tournament 2013 got under way over the weekend with Week 1 games on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. Garnering 3 points from the only victory over the weekend was perennial Cayo champions Gentle Touch who have taken the early lead in this competition. On Saturday afternoon at the FFB Field, Triple-B of Belmopan drew, 1-1, with visiting Toledo Scorpions, giving both teams a point each. Jenisha Scott shook the net for Triple-B, while Shireen Paulino hit the target for the Scorpions. Then on Sunday at the Ladyville Field, visiting Gentle Touch of Cayo defeated the home team, Ladyville Jaguars of the Belize District, by a 3-1 score. Gentle Touch got goals from Ethleen Gentle, Eden Gentle and Abby Halliday (by penalty); while the Jaguars’ only goal was by Kara Kisling. Seeing their first action this coming weekend will be Sugar City Girls or Orange Walk and Dangriga Pumas of the Stann Creek District. Resting will be Triple-B of Belmopan and Gentle Touch of Cayo.

TWO-WAY CRICKET SHOWDOWN
Excellence vs Berlan and Brilliant vs Sunrise. Cricket fans are poised for a real treat, with both best-of-3 semifinal series coming down to a final third game, as this past Saturday, June 15, saw both Game 1 losers avenging their loss in Game 2, knotting up both series at 1-1. The decisive Game 3 will determine the two finalists in the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition. At the Bermudian Landing cricket field on Saturday, Zone 1 #1 seed, defending champions Excellence of Double Head Cabbage rebounded from their Game 1 loss by defeating the Zone 2 #2 seed Berlan of Bermudian Landing. Berlan batted first, garnering 103 runs, but Excellence eclipsed that total with 104 runs, with 4 wickets to spare, forcing a decisive Game 3. For Berlan, Jerry Casasola scored 34 runs and took 2 wickets; while for Excellence, Keenan Flowers batted 39 runs, and Orson Flowers took 5 wickets. Meanwhile, at the field in Crooked Tree Village on Saturday, it was Zone 1 #2 seed Sunrise of Lords Bank exacting their revenge against Zone 2 #1 seed Brilliant of Crooked Tree, who had won Game 1 of their semifinal series the previous week. Sunrise went to bat first, and they put up the formidable total of 197 runs, with Barbadian born Michael Sobers leading the scoring with 66 runs. Brilliant was unable to match that total, their last wicket falling at 151 runs, despite 22 runs each from Shane Westby and J. Smith. For the victorious Sunrise, Dwayne Hendy, Justin Sanchez and Edison Parks took 2 wickets each; while for Brilliant, Lawrence Banner and Brandon Lewis took 3 wickets apiece.

THE PUZZLE THAT IS THE JEWEL Editorial
There are certain individuals in Belize who have proven themselves to be the most rank of villains in different spheres of our Belizean society, but these individuals move around in our society with absolute impunity. Why is this so? It is because these individuals are protected by powerful institutions and forces, and, because they are so protected, the disapproval, or even condemnation, of the Belizean people is of no account. Such is Belize. Belize is a free market capitalist society which has produced some wealthy families and individuals. When one points fingers and calls names, then these families and individuals raise a hue and a cry, on the grounds that exposure of their wealth will endanger them. Since Belize’s criminals appear not to have yet developed any expertise in blackmail and kidnapping, one wonders if such danger would have to originate from across our borders. It is the poor who are in danger in Belize, we think, not the rich. In a football tournament in Costa Rica in January this year, Belize’s footballers overachieved and qualified for the so-called Gold Cup tournament in the United States next month. We say “overachieved,” because Belize’s football programs are generally haphazard and poorly financed. The Central American teams against which the Belize selection competed have very well-organized and highly financed football programs. Plus, Belizean football had only last year managed to escape from the selfish, suffocating, and suspicious rule of one Dr. Bertie Chimilio. The Belizean people, at home and abroad, were quite thrilled by our boys’ success in Costa Rica, but the new executive of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) did not move quickly enough to exploit the Costa Rica success in financial terms. When they finally managed to stage a fund-raising telethon last Saturday, the FFB’s approach to the telethon was a kind of socialist one. Their executive spokesman explained that the FFB’s goal was a half million dollars, and he reasoned that, it being the case that Belize had 300,000 people, if each person gave a dollar, then they would be more than halfway there.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
It’s a distinct handicap in business here to be a person of roots ancestry, as opposed to being of immigrant background. If you are in any kind of business, our Belizean people expect you to be always in possession of liquid cash, and they have developed a habit, which has become almost obsessive, of asking for money. Our people do not ask the immigrant business people for money because they know they will not receive any. But, when they see a native business person, the request has become almost automatic, and sometimes it is practically demanding. In competitive businesses which require various kinds of machines and equipment, like ours on Partridge Street, you are always seeking to accumulate capital so as to update your machinery and equipment. The more modern your machines are, the higher the quality of the product you can deliver to your customers, and the more competitive your business will be. The more competitive your business is, the more you will be able to expand, which means the more jobs you can create. In between charity and outright extortion, however, native businesses in poor neighborhoods suffer an amount of capital hemorrhaging on a daily and weekly basis which makes capital formation more difficult to achieve. It is impossible to explain this to the individual supplicant, because he or she considers his/her situation to be critical, and the supplicant really does not want to hear you are trying to buy a machine which will make your newspaper look better or your radio station sound cleaner. No, no, no. Gimme money, right now!

GUAT XATEROS CAUGHT IN CHIQUIBUL FOREST
Two Guatemala nationals, Adelmo Mancia, 24, and Rolando Ramirez, 35, were arrested on Friday, June 14, 2013 in the Chiquibul Forest. The Joint Forces Team for the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) were on patrol in the Chiquibul Forest near the Tapir Camp, where they saw two Hispanic men moving towards the Caracol Road. The men were caught around 7:30 p.m. in the area. Mancia was armed with a .38 revolver with five cartridges while Ramirez was armed with a 16-gauge shotgun with three .38 revolver ammunition. The men also had in their possession 64.6 grams of cannabis. The men were about five miles away from the Western Border and were moving further into the interior of the forest. They were apparently seeking xate leaves and hunting game species, both of which are illegal activities in the area. Both men were detained and taken to the San Ignacio Police Station, where they were formally charged for keeping a firearm without a gun license, keeping ammunition without a license and drug trafficking.

OCEANA AND GOB EXCHANGE BLOWS AS THEY AWAIT CJ’S RULING
Prime Minister Dean Barrow reasserted his Government’s position last week that until they can come up with “firm metrics” on which zones offshore of Belize will be excluded from petroleum exploration, it will hold off on the issuance of any new petroleum concessions. Meanwhile, the most recently released map showing the petroleum contracts indicates that two petroleum concessions, those issued to Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy, continue to be included – a bone of contention between the Government and Oceana, which obtained a favorable ruling from Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall in April declaring six offshore contracts to be “unlawful, null and void.” Oceana says that the inclusion of the two concessions on the latest map, dated May 2013, is “outright disregard” for the Legall ruling. Treaty Energy Corporation, the joint venture partner of Princess, paused petroleum exploration works shortly after the Legall ruling, but announced shortly after that it was resuming works based on the advice of its attorneys and public statements from the Government of Belize. Government’s attorney, Denys Barrow, SC, has argued in court that the contracts were not quashed by Legall, but that the Government is fettered from conducting any oversight of Treaty’s activities. However, Oceana contends that Treaty ought not to be doing any works under the petroleum contracts.

DANGRIGA TOWN BEHIND IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Market renovation delay is causing vendors to lose revenue. Dangriga Town is the only municipality that has not seen completion of phase one of the two-part Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) under the Social Investment Fund. We were told that last Wednesday a team from the World Bank and Social Investment Fund (SIF) visited the Town Council to take a mid-term review for the BMDP and to check the project’s progress, challenges and lessons learned, among other things. The Dangriga Market Extension and Renovation Project is a $1.3 million dollar project and is the largest project under phase one of the BMDP. However, Dangriga’s market project is the only phase one project in the country that has not been completed as yet. Dangriga Town Mayor Gilbert Swaso said it is all due to poor management and financing. “The Dangriga Market Extension and Renovation is significantly delayed,” he said. “As a matter of fact, since the signing of the contract it was expected that that project should have been completed end of July, which is the one-year period since the signing of the contract. However, because of several factors which include from a SIF perspective, poor management and poor financing of the contractor, that market is significantly delayed.”

VENEZUELA AND BELIZE STRENGTHEN TIES
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize held an “Act of Friendship and Solidarity” activity today, Saturday, in the city of Belmopan. The purpose of the gathering, which was held at the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (IVCC), was for the people of Belize to be reassured that Venezuela will continue to build their political and economic relationship. His Excellency Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize, said in his address that the economic, political, and military sectors of his country are being threatened by Venezuelan and Latin American opposition groups. He went on to add that those in opposition are seeking support from the United States government in overthrowing the democratic government of President Nicolas Maduro. He said that overthrowing President Maduro would lead to an end of policies of cooperation, integration and solidarity that the country has already formed with Latin American and Caribbean sister nations. For that reason, the Venezuelan government is seeking to further strengthen their ties with those nations without foreign interference. Adalbert Tucker, Ambassador For Foreign Trade and Head International Cooperation for the Government of Belize, told us that the day’s activity was an opportunity, not only for Venezuela to show their solidarity but also for the Belizean people to offer their encouragement to Venezuela as the country pushes for increased solidarity.

MINISTRY OF FINANCE DENIES VETTING THE IBC AND SHIPPING REGISTRIES TERM EXTENSION LETTER
The Ministry of Finance has categorically denied a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition that the letter of March 24, 2005, signed by him and the then Prime Minister, which purported to extend the term of the Management Services Agreement for the International Business Companies Registry and the Shipping Registry for another seven years from 2013 to 2020, had been vetted by officials of the Ministry of Finance. Gian Gandhi, who has been legal advisor in the Ministry of Finance for the last 13 years, says that at no time was his advice sought on the validity of this letter and that the first time he saw it was last month when it was produced by Belize International Services Limited in response to a letter from the Financial Secretary. Gandhi also says that he has carefully looked through the Cabinet Briefing Notes for the period January 1, 2003 to March 31, 2005, prepared by the then Cabinet Secretary, Robert Leslie, and that he found absolutely no mention of extension of term of the Management Services Agreement for the IBC and Shipping Registries. This contradicts the Leader of Opposition’s claim that the extension letter had been approved by Cabinet.

Blogs

VIDEO: Friday night boxing San Pedro Style
This Video shows how action packed Belize boxing matches are. Great people watching, excellent boxing and prizes too.

Lobster Fest in Belize
Belize is a country filled with diverse cultures, and an array of different terrains. Every year the country hosts many events. One very popular and rapidly growing island celebration, held for the last 17 years in June and July, is the Belize Lobster festival, better known as Lobster Fest. This festival marks the opening of the lobster season and the closing of the conch season. Lobster fest features Belizean music, live entertainment, water activities and a variety of contests that are fun for everyone but most importantly it features manydifferent Lobster dishes. Lobster fest is celebrated in three different locations; Caye Caulker, Placencia and San Pedro. These celebrations include activities and entertainment for locals and visitors. Lobster fest begun in Caye Caulker as a local tradition 17 years ago. Since then its popularity has increased attracting not only locals but many tourists to the island to enjoy the different seafood delicacies. Each year this lobster fest develops into a larger and more productive event as the public demand and business participation increases. Caye Caulker, the original Lobster Fest locale, has gone from a local fest to an international festival gaining recognition from both locals and tourists world wide. Placencia was the second destination to host the Lobster fest in 1998 in an effort, by the Belize Tourism Industry Association, to attract and increase visitors to the Peninsula during the slow summer months. Placencia attracts many to its sandy beaches and turquoise waters. If you are in Placencia in the month of June make sure to stop by to enjoy the lobster delicacies, the fun family activities and most importantly indulge in the Belizean Culture.

What to do with rain in Belize
Sometimes you just cannot help bad weather when traveling. I have seen a few weather posts on forums recently about people wanting to know what to do with themselves when it rains. Unless you are the type that melts when wet like the wicked witch of the west, going out in the rain can be lots of fun. Just make sure you are well water proofed if you do. This morning Dick and I had a few errands to run so we checked out the back roads to see just how bad they were getting from all the rain. We saw lots of big puddles and a few peoples yards were under water. I took lots of video and will start editing it tomorrow and see what I got. After coming home I was planning to finish a #TravelTuesday post but I got sidetracked with a great rainy day project instead. AVG scanning, organizing and backing up all my pictures. With 36,716 thousand of them, it has taken me a good 9 h to load them between two 16 GB flash drives and my 300 GB Samsung external hard drive. When was the last time you backed up all your important files? This was a perfect excuse to watch TV in bed while I worked

Making Waves in Belize
On twitter, there’s a big chat every week that you can follow with the hashtag #FriFotos or by tuning in to the @FriFotos account. Participants share photos and stories around a certain subject which is usually chosen early in the week by a committee and then announced through the FriFotos account and by co-hosts of the chat. This week’s theme is: waves. Immediately I thought back to Belize which was my last destination right before returning to NYC for the summer. One of our days involved being out in a boat and there are few things I love more than cutting through the water, making waves, on a bright and sunny day. Particularly when it’s the Caribbean. Just look at the color of that water!! I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you will join in the photo-sharing fun on your own blog or over on twitter. I look forward to seeing your images.

Belizean Beef Panuchos
Panuchos are a Spanish dishes of Central America. It is cooked only in certain districts in Belize and is not as popular as garnaches, enchilader or panades. This dish is similar to the Belizean Salbutes, but with the twist of adding the main ingredient of Belizean Tamales. The cheese that is added on top and allowed to melt makes this dish irresistible.

Grow your business through better cash management
“When it comes to your small business one of the biggest challenges can be having the cash to grow. There are a number of “cash management” tools offered by banks that can help your business pick up surprising amounts of cash flow without increasing traditional borrowing levels. As simple as it may seem, before you can identify tools to improve cash flow you must understand your company’s cash cycle. The cash cycle consists of: How you get paid. What you do with the cash you have on hand. How you pay it out.

“Wasting My Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Another rainy morning yesterday created no great desire on my part to do much at all. Even attempts to sit in the fresh air on the veranda didn’t last too long before the rain swirled in and I retreated for cover in to the condo. Boy did I get through some pages of the latest book that I am reading though (The Covenant by James A. Michener). Fairly raced through the pages! As the day progressed the weather started to improve. The downpours became less frequent and slightly lighter and the sun made attempts at showing itself so Rose and I decided to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to look at progress. With our raincoats with us and the windscreen on our golf cart it didn’t matter if it rained, did it? Well that is where we were wrong. Why? Well, when we got to the golf cart-parked just outside the condo we are renting- we found it minus the windscreen. Some b@&#*^d had stolen it. We briefly (for all of two minutes) contemplated reporting it to the police but concluded that it would be a pointless exercise and I really didn’t see the sense in wasting my time! Nothing about our windscreen that discerns it from the hundreds and hundreds on the island anyway. So, feeling well and truly pissed off (angry/irritated for non UK readers) we set off on our journey north and got to our lot shortly after 3 pm (much of the water on the road north of the bridge had gone).

June 9, 2013 - June 15, 2013 Fishing Report
What a fun week. Thanks everyone for expressing your fishing passion and fun with us here at El Pescador. It’s always heart felt to see our returning guests, thank you. What can we say? We have been “sold out,” for weeks! All of our guides are working full time and they keep exploring. We are so proud of our guide team: Without you, new angers would never know how it feels to land a bonefish on fly. Without you, our “Grand Slam” plaque is now filled, and now we need to have the guys make a new frame. Wow. YOU GUYS ROCK!

What Follows Low Proficiency Scores?
According to the recently released results of the 2013 PSE (Public School Examinations) proficiency exams, more than half of all exiting Primary school students throughout Belize ranked poorly in English and Math. The results that were released to the media show that 53% of the 7359 students who took the exams were assessed as not proficient. The median score in English was 58% while in Math it remained steady at around 54% as the previous year. These low proficiency scores indicate loudly that our students in Primary schools are not learning as they should. Readers who follow my Guidance Counseling columns know that, for years now, I strongly advocate and assert that Education, especially at early levels, needs to be focused on successful “learning”. Low PSE results this year show, without a doubt, that there continues to be large disparities between teaching and learning in our Primary schools. The results of these standardized exams deem that half of all students who complete Primary school throughout the country this month are “not ready” to enter high school. How valid is this statistic? At the outset, I submit that it does not mean that our children and schools are deficient. Moreover, no amount of finger-pointing or vocal public accusations against schools/ teachers will even out any disparities between teaching and learning, or improve student performance. Politicization of these results merely focuses on blaming, and adds to the trauma that students and schools may be suffering now. Let us, especially after this unfavorable assessment, respect and uphold the dignity of our schools and teachers, and students. To remove the stigma of failure, policymakers who manage Belize’s Education Systems can focus on designing and providing multiple resources for schools and educators to use to help young students learn to develop their inquiry and reflection skills. Rote learning and memorization of fragmented academic subjects, which we continue to emphasize in Primary schools, are not learning methods. Teamwork, experimentation, and problem-solving are preferable.

Standards 6 Teachers Can’t Pass The PSE Either
As a follow up to our last article about the high failure on the PSE in Belize. Well it turns out that the teachers can’t pass the exam either. This tells us that something is still seriously wrong and actually makes the argument stronger. Either the teachers are so under educated or the system is so broken. I go with the last one, there is no way on this rock we call home that we have that high failure rate in our Educators base. This latest finding actually proves my point even more that we DESPERATELY need to do something about the current state of our education system but we need each and everyone of you to join hands and do your part no matter how small. Here is the article as per 7News As we’ve reported, failure rates in the PSE continued last year and with examinations coming up in May, most educators concede that it won’t get much better. And today, new information released by the Ministry of Education tells us why that may be the case. Late last year, teachers took the test and the results were alarming. Those were released to mixed reaction at a Ministry of Education press conference this morning. We were there.

VIDEO: Cavern Diving safety message
Cavern Diving with a certified Cavern guide is a safe and enjoyable experience however many unscrupulous "guides" risk unsuspecting open water clients lives on a daily basis to make an extra buck or because they simply do not care. Please watch this brief video that explains the cavern diving safety guidelines.

International Sources

The new “Most expensive expat cites” list is out, with the usual misleading data
The fine folks at ECA International, which is evidently a global human resources consultancy firm, has released its 2013 list of the most expensive cities for expats, and most outlets seem to reprint it without evaluation. I’ve actually mentioned this in the past, but this year the list is even more skewed than before, so I can’t help but discuss it again. On top of the list of most expensive cities is Oslo, which is actually a justifiable champion because it’s the most expensive city in an expensive country where nothing is cheap. There’s another more obscure Norwegian city on the list, as well as Zurich, Geneva, Bern, and Basel, which are also solid choices for similar reasons in Switzerland. Tokyo also deserves its place, even if it has fallen down the list this year due to a weakening Yen. The cities that don’t really belong Where I begin to take issue with the list is that Luanda, Angola comes in #2, Juba, South Sudan is #4, and Moscow is #5. The average incomes of locals in these three cities are only a fraction of the incomes of the others on the list, so this “expat” list only really applies to executives at multi-national companies and oil engineers.

Angela Amos to study overseas
A Colcord woman has been selected to participate in summer 2013 global graduate studies in the Central American country of Belize. Beginning in mid-July, Siloam Springs High School staff member Angela Amos of Colcord, will study conservation and marine ecology in the Central American country of Belize. “I’ve struggled a bit for several years with the increasing throwaway mentality that seems to have taken over our world. This led me to studying more about conservation efforts both locally and internationally. I’m especially interested in purchasing local goods and seeing local farms and businesses thrive, and I try to make purchasing decisions with that in mind. Last fall my principal sent a flyer about a program that seemed tailor-made for me, focusing on conservation and ecology methods. The first year I will be able to study in Belize, but in the three years it takes to finish the program, I’ll be able to travel to three different international locales to research differing conservation methods (both animal, marine, and community-based conservation efforts),” said Amos.

New chair of CRFM Ministerial Council urges implementation of Castries Declaration on IUU fishing and CARICOM Common Fisheries Policy
The recently appointed chairman of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, has urged fellow Caribbean ministers to place special emphasis on the implementation of policies and recommendations coming out of the 7th Ministerial Council of the CRFM, held at the end of May in Barbados. An area where focus is definitely needed is the implementation of policies and recommendations in a much more timely manner. We have seen tardiness to this end in the implementation of policy decisions from the Ministerial Council. One such policy that readily comes to mind is the Castries Declaration in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated [IUU] fishing and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy,” said Estwick.

Best Places To Retire 2013: 21 Cities Around The World Are Named
Where's the best place in the world to retire? Is it Abruzzo, Italy or maybe Cayo, Belize? The truth? Only you can decide. But to help anyone who might be contemplating a move abroad, Live and Invest Overseas has compiled its First Annual Retire Overseas Index. After considering 12 factors -- things like taxes, safety, climate, health care and real estate -- Live and Invest Overseas came up with 21 destinations it believes offer the greatest potential for the would-be retiree in 2013. Note that none of the destinations are countries -- but cities. "Naming countries as top places to retire is silly. It doesn’t make any sense. Because even very small countries can offer dramatically different standards of living, lifestyle options, costs of living, climates, etc.," said Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas and Huff/Post50 blogger. "Belize is maybe the best example. It’s a tiny country with all of 350,000 people, yet it offers both Caribbean beach living and back-to-basics country living on the mainland in the Cayo district," she added. There's also no ranking. According to Peddicord, all the destinations should be considered.


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