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#469430 - 08/02/13 10:30 AM Today's Belize News: August 2, 2013
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Specials and Events

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

Reina de la Costa Maya® 2013 is Destinee Arnold
Miss Belize is the 2013 International La Riena de La Costa Maya!! Destinee Arnold took the crown in the 22nd edition of the International Costa Maya Festival®. With her grace, poise and beauty, Destinee managed to capture the heart of the audience as well as that of the panel of judges.. Miss Belize displayed a costume depicting the hard working Maya women. It included a blue outfit with jewelry and a headpiece adorned with pottery, symbolizing the contribution women made to the artifacts found in ruins across the Mundo Maya Region. Miss Costa Rica selected the queen of the indigenous people of Naorin. Her gold and orange outfit symbolized protection. Miss El Salvador was dressed as the Princess of the Sun and showcased a bright orange outfit with beautiful feathers symbolizing woman power. Miss Mexico was dressed as a Maya Princess who fell in love with a Spanish warrior, giving birth to the first Mestizo.

The Costa Maya International Festival is here!
The long awaited event is finally here! The Costa Maya International Festival starts today and the grounds are ready. The Saca Chispas Field has been transformed to host the biggest festival in Belize. Be sure to get your tickets. See you there!

SPTC hands over radios to Police
The San Pedro Town Council handed over a set of new radios to the San Pedro Police Department on Friday July 26th. The radio equipment was secured through the assistance of the Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. It was handed to the department in a short ceremony that took place at the San Pedro Town Council and is the second of two donations. Radio Donation to Police-2Hon. Heredia Jr. handed over the radios, stating that the he hopes the radio makes the work of the police a little better. At hand to receive the donation was the Deputy Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department, Inspector Reynaldo Pook. Inspector Pook took the opportunity to thank the SPTC and Minister Heredia for his constant support to the San Pedro Police Department.

SPTGA trains 37 participants in scuba diving and fly fishing in annual camp
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) is holding their second annual Summer Training Camp. The event will run for two weeks and the 37 participants will receive training in scuba diving and fly fishing. The camp started on July 29th at the San Pedro High School with an enrollment exercise and briefing. Phillip “Billy” Leslie, President of the SPTGA, explained that the participants were offered the opportunity to be a part of the camp as an incentive. “Every year we go to the various island schools and we ask the administrators to select four kids for the summer program. What we did on the first day is enroll them and introduce them to the other students that started the fly fishing training two weeks ago.” The participants range from 11 to 15 years and are both male and female students.

Ambergris Today

Belize Issues Alert on Regional Dengue Outbreaks
The Ministry of Health hereby informs the general public of several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution.The Government of Honduras has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak has left 16 people dead. The disease is present throughout Central America and has caused 26 deaths and infected nearly 40,000 persons.

A-List Celebrity Bradley Cooper Vacationing In Belize, Plus Others
Last week San Pedro saw the presence of reality television celebrity Jef Holm from ‘The Bachelorette’, but now there is an even more popular celebrity vacationing in San Pedro/Belize, quite possibly two of them. This picture of Bradley Cooper has been circulating on Facebook for a day now. It shows “The Hangover” star pictured alongside a Belize Tourism Board employee Zinnia Magaña at Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport as he arrived in the country. It is rumored that he is in San Pedro enjoying the island along with Jennifer Lawrence who is not a first time visitor to the island. But get this; Bradley is not the only A-List celebrity on the island. We can 99% confirm that “Titanic” superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is also vacationing on the island, although we know this is not his first time here. Leonardo also owns his own island just west of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye named Blackadore Caye, which he is reportedly going to construct a first class eco-friendly resort on it. And how about Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis? Yup they were in the country just last week, sources tell us!

Young Sanpedrano to Represent Belize in CONCACAF Games
The Football Federation of Belize held try-outs to scout the best football players to participate at this year’s CONCACAF games in the Cayman Islands scheduled for August 14, 2013. Fourteen-year-old Sanpedrano Alexander Cadle was one of the lucky Belizeans to make it in the Under-15 team and represent Belize along with his teammates from around the country. Participating teams in the inaugural Under-15 event will be going from across the Caribbean and Central America and include Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

Chaa Creek Spa One of the World’s Top Ten Spa Values
I recently came across an article noting that the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Hilltop Spa was selected as one of the world’s top ten spa values by the internationally respected Gayot’s Guide and I was taken back to when I got a full body massage during my first visit to the famous eco lodge in Belize. It was definitely a unique and relaxing experience as I lost myself into the relaxing sounds of the rainforest of the Maya Mountains of Belize accentuated by the therapeutic hands of my masseuse. The spa at the Lodge at Chaa Creek sits on a hilltop overlooking the 365 acres of private nature reserve that prides itself on being a true eco lodge, totally devoted to green, sustainable tourism. After a day of outdoor adventure in the jungle you can unwind with a world-class signature body treatment at the Hilltop Spa. This is exactly what I did on my last day at the resort; I booked a 6a.m appointment for a full body massage following a day of hiking and exploring in the rainforest.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize's Las Terrazas Resort Wins Prestigious 2013 World Travel Award and is Named "Belize's Leading Resort" for the Third Year in a Row
Las Terrazas Resort is pleased to announce that, for the third year in a row, they have been named Belize's Leading Resort at the 2013 World Travel Awards. More than 5,000 companies, destinations and organizations are nominated for these prestigious annual awards, voted on by more than 220,000 industry professionals worldwide. "We are deeply proud to earn this prestigious award from our peers" says Carolyn Stone, Director of Sales of Las Terrazas Resort. "We are honored that our elite colleagues have again recognized us for our hard work and effort in making Las Terrazas Belize's top resort destination" The World Travel Awards, known as “the Oscar’s of the Travel Industry,” celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those brands which are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service. The awards and judging are strictly controlled to ensure total fairness.

NTHU Volunteer Group at SHJC
NTHU has their volunteer group in Cayo, and they are going to different schools to distribute supplies and teach about computers. They stopped by Sacred Heart Junior College, which works with the group every year. Thanks, NTHU! "The National Tsing Hua University student group from Taiwan is in Cayo for a month to visit many of the primary schools. They will be helping to teach computers and will be distributing school supplies to students. This is the 3rd year that the Taiwanese Belize Educational Service Group has come to Cayo for this."

Legacy Summer Conference
Legacy Youth Ministries is having their Summer Conference starting today. They have a great mission. Here's to a highly successful conference. "We at Legacy are passionate about grooming the next generation of leaders to take their rightful place of leadership in all spheres of society. Thank you for the role you have played in the lives our Belizean youths. We wish to come alongside you by inviting YOU and YOUR YOUTHS to our 2013 Summer Conference. Legacy’s Youth Conference will be held at the YWAM Banana Bank Campus AUGUST 1 – 4, 2013."

Queen of the Bay Belmopan
The Queen of the Bay Belmopan pageant is tomorrow night, Friday, August 2nd, at the UB gymnasium at 6:00pm. The winner will go on to the Queen of the Bay pageant in a few months. The after party is at E and L Sports Bar. Best of luck to all contestants.

Channel 7

The King Speaks About “That Night” At Princess
Six months ago, on February third, Minister of State Mark King had a major incident in the Princess Casino in Corozal. Reports say he threw a wild tantrum after security tried to put out his friends – and then repeated it when police came. King was criminally charged for aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and threatening words, but maintained his silence – even after he was acquitted in mid-June. Today though, after months of requests for an interview, he invited us to his political clinic in the heart of Lake Independence on Mahogany Street. He told us he’d take all questions and indeed, he didn’t dodge. The first thing we wanted to know was what happened that night at the Casino. Jules Vasquez “What happened on February 4th in the Princess Casino in Corozal? We’ve heard so many reports – what is your account?” Hon. Mark King “My account Jules is that I wear two cap – I wear a cap as a Minister of State and I wear a cap as a Justice of the Peace. When I got into the incident it was to actually maintain the peace, however, I was dragged into the incident on a bad note and that was what caused me to end up into the incident. I am sorry I got dragged into the incident but according to you, I did nothing wrong. I say that because if you read the Justice of the Peace – it tells you exactly what you can advise a police man to do. So if anyone would have knowledge of that – even going to court, I felt completely and utterly honest to myself that I did nothing wrong.

Salva Cops Bust One Thousand Pounds Plus Of Cocaine Heading From Panama To Belize
A major, thousand pound cocaine bust has been made in El Salvador – and authorities there say the cocaine was headed for the Corozal Free Zone. Prensa Grafica from El Salvador reports that on Wednesday a joint task force stopped a cargo truck with Costa Rican plates, loaded with cocaine bound for Belize. Authorities there had advance intelligence and were expecting the van – which press reports say, was heading from Panama to Belize. The van was declared as carrying 48 buckets of frozen pineapple pulp in a “Thermo-King” cooler. But when police checked the buckets they found four to six kilos of cocaine in each. The counting continues, and so far the weight is at 468 kilos, which is over a thousand pounds. It is the second largest cocaine seizure in Salvador so far this year. The cocaine is valued at 15 million US Dollars.

Norwegian MOU Gets Ready For Inking, But Resistance Mounting
Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to 7News that a final Memorandum of Understanding will be signed with Norwegian Cruise Line in relation to a Cruise terminal to be built on Harvest Caye, just south of Placencia. Barrow told us that after all the relevant discussions; the Minister of Trade now has the blessing of the Cabinet to sign this agreement with NCL because all the terms in the final draft of the MOU are agreeable – those terms differ somewhat from those we saw in the draft copy. We note that the PM will not be signing the document, as was called for in the original draft. The PM told the Guardian that the MOU is not legally binding. So, it’s now only a matter of when the actual signatures make it onto the document to make it official, meaning that, despite vocal opposition, NCL will get the opportunity to develop Cruise Tourism in Southern Belize. But with peninsula activists coming up with a slightly off color but visually potent campaign – embodied in this “noh bend down” t-shirt design, we doubt the opposition has been quelled.

Scathing Rebuke From CCJ To Musa/Fonseca
Last week Friday we told you about the landmark judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad. The highest court in the land found that the settlement deed former Primer Minister and former Attorney General Francis Fonseca had signed with the Ashcroft-Allied British Caribbean Bank in 2005 was quote, , “illegal, void and contrary to public policy.” But that’s not all the court said. We’ve gotten a copy of the 36 page judgment which is especially severe on Misters Musa and Fonseca. It says, in paragraph 44, that the promises made in the deed and a subsequent letter, quote “could entitle the Minister to implement the promises recorded in the Deed without the cover of parliamentary sanction is to disregard the Constitution and attempt to set back, over 300 years, the system of governance Belize has inherited and adopted." In paragraph 53, the judgment adds a scathing rebuke; it says “Prime Ministerial governance, a paucity of checks and balances to restrain an overweening Executive, these are malignant tumours that eat away at democracy. No court can afford to encourage the spread of such cancer.31” It goes unto say, “implementation of the provisions of the Deed, without legislative approval and without the intention on the part of its makers to seek such approval, is indeed repugnant to the established legal order of Belize.”

Still No Re-instatement for Teachers From Escuela Mexico
If you’re not from the north, most of you may or not remember the unrest which took place Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Village in early 2008. It was the year when rookie Minister of Education Patrick Faber took up the education portfolio. It was one of his first trials as Minister, and if Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, the Principal and Vice Principal of the school, could, they would give him a failing grade. That’s because according to them, when the teachers refused to cooperate with them, and parents of the students started to resist them, he took disciplinary action against them, which he did not have the authority to do. So, they took him and his ministry to court before Justice Minnet Hafiz¬Bertram claiming that Faber violated their rights when he suspended them after he put together an investigating team which, according to them, rail-roaded their careers with an unlawful, illegal and irrational report. They won their case before Justice Hafiz Bertram who made all the remedies against the investigating team and their report. But, Lucas and Celia Carillio believe their position was not fully vindicated, so they took the matter to the Court of Appeal which was heard in 2010.

Hon. Julius Proposes; PM Disposes
Yesterday, 7News told you about the motion which PUP’s Julius Espat wants to get tabled at next House meeting in relation to the Public Accounts Committee. Espat, as the P-A-C Chairman, wants to change the configuration of the committee which currently has 4 members of Government and 2 members from the Opposition. He wants to see a new configuration where Government gets 2 members, the Opposition gets 2 members, and 3 members should come from the Senate, one from the church, the business community, and the Unions. According to him, this new configuration of 7 will see the P-A-C function better at looking into expenditure of public funds because both political parties will enjoy lessened influence. He claimed that he has followed all the necessary steps to get the members motion tabled in the house, but when we spoke to Prime Minister Dean Barrow today, he told us that Espat is very wrong. According to Barrow, he has seen several procedural errors which Espat made in relation to the Standing Orders, and he intends to make strong objections when the opportunity presents itself.

Facebook Fraud Perpetrated On Cellular World
FACEBOOK: Like it or loathe it, it’s here to stay. And while it’s a great way to communicate with friends and family and for many to market their business, there’s also room for identity theft, and many scam artists lurking and looking for a chance to make some facebook fraud. One business that was recently targeted by a scammer is Cellular World. Under the facebook name Eric Therr, someone created a page promoting Cellular World’s latest flyers, phones and other gadgets. It doesn’t end there. This person has been communicating with customers who are interesting is purchasing items and has even given them an account number to deposit money while sending them to pick up their purchase at the different Cellular World Location. So far the matter is under investigation, but the store say they would like to inform the public about the fake facebook page – and tell them not to go there: Karan Sabnani – Co-owner Cellular World “We were alerted today that there are customers that have been depositing money into an account that is coordinated with a Facebook page under Cellular World who is offering products at unbeatable prices and people are falling into it and calling and sending money to the account. They are coming to our stores, Belmopan, San Pedro and here in the City to come and claim their product that they have deposited for. It came to our attention that we haven’t gotten any of these deposits.

St. John’s Credit Union Slice Mortgage Rates
It is a well-known fact in Belize’s financial sector that the different lending institutions have excess liquidity, but there is not enough investors making loans to meet the demands. So, the institutions have to come up with ways to attract customers to borrow from them, and that is difficult because none wants to actually make bold reduction in their interest rates. Well, St. John’s Credit Union is making such a move by reducing their residential mortgage rate from 12% to 8%, providing its customers with unheard-off savings since the start of the different credit union institutions in Belize. Today, 7News stopped by to ask the General Manager why they are giving such back to their customers, and she told us that it’s something they’ve been requesting for some time now: Daisy Dawson – General Manager, SJCU “When we look at what is happening in the market in respect to residential mortgage, you can see that rates are going down. Our members have been asking us for quite some time now, if our credit union will look at those rates and if we would be reducing ours as well. And so the management and board decided that we needed to explore and see what it is that we can do to address that concern and so we went through an exercise and here we are today. We have come up with an interest rate of 8% on the reducing balance – for the life of the loan and for a maximum of 25 year.

PROFILE….
Tonight’s profile is about Mark Pascascio – the police officer stationed in Mahogany Heights. But his profile story isn’t about his life as a cop – really, it’s about his role as a father, an adoptive father, who rescued a child who was heading down the wrong path. Here’s his story of how to save a life:….

Dara Doing It For The Needy, Again
Grassroots philanthropist Dara Robinson is no stranger to the Belizean public. For the past 7 years, he has been running a low income feeding program from the confines of his home to less fortunate school students who just cannot afford breakfast or an afternoon meal. And like a good Samaritan he has been into poverty stricken neighborhoods many of times delivering boxes of grocery items on his motorcycle to families in need. But it has been a sacrifice for this poor man who has spent years fundraising to keep his passion alive. One of those events is his annual “Ride for Hunger”. It’s the second year and his friend Kwame Scott has teamed up with him to make it bigger and better. Kwame Scott - Organizer of Ride "Let me say that - one day last year, Dara called and said he had to speak to me urgently and he said he had had this vision and that there's a Diabetes ride that he knows about, and a Cancer Walk and a Social Security ride that benefits different purposes and causes. His passion is 'hunger' and he wants to do a ride to create hunger awareness and try to raise a few small skibblings for his feeding program. Being that I'm intimately involved with cycling and Dara is my very close breddrin and I'm intimately involved with the feeding program also - I had no problem executing what was his vision. Last year we started out 120 riders and at some point we had over 200 riders along the way. This year August 3rd, this Saturday - we are having the second annual "Ride for Hunger'. We've changed a couple of small things - instead of starting at 8:00, like we did last year - we will start 6:30am.


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#469431 - 08/02/13 10:30 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 2, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Full 3:31 video of Costa Maya 2013 Pageant
LOVE IT!

Belizean wife plots a ‘hit’ on British Husband
Police are preparing to arrest a San Ignacio resident for a serious crime of conspiracy to commit murder.  While the charge is not unusual, the case is rare in Belize, [...]

Before busted in El Salvador, cocaine was headed to Belize
It is well known that Belize is a major transhipment point for drugs heading to the United States from Colombia. And tonight, there is a report of a huge bust [...]

B.T.B. and Tourism Ministry calls B.T.I.A. ‘irresponsible and ill-informed’
The government newspaper reports today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed that Minister Erwin Contreras will be signing a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian Cruise Lines on behalf of [...]

B.T.B. and Tourism Ministry fully support Norwegian Cruise Line’s Development
The Harvest Caye project has come under heavy opposition by environmental groups because it is believed that NCL is getting the better of the deal. There is no word as [...]

Cab driver crashes in creek and dies
Orange Walk taxi driver Hugo Moreno was laid to rest today in his hometown. In the west, the family of another taxi driver is also preparing his funeral service. Adolfo [...]

Suspended since 2008 Principal and Vice Principal’s Appeal fails
In February 2008, two administrators, the Principal and Vice Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technico de Mexico, Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, were suspended. The teachers of the school had staged [...]

Handyman steals a hundred dollars
A handyman from the Ladyville area who claims he relocated from Dangriga to the City in search of a job is in trouble with the law for allegedly stealing from [...]

Sorry he beat him up, court says pay $1000
A Belize City man got off with a light fine today for beating another man on Coney Drive on Tuesday. Twenty-three year old Julian Cowling appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano [...]

Slain Orange Walk Taxi man laid to rest
Today the remains of what is believed to be the body of Orange Walk taxi-man Hugo Moreno were laid to rest by his grieving family and friends. The forty-two year [...]

Pro-gay protest to be held in the north
There’s a peaceful demonstration planned for Orange Walk this weekend and it’s all about the gender policy. If you first reaction is – pro-constitution march AGAIN you would be wrong. [...]

A seminar to stamp out fraud
Forty-eight persons from the public and private sector attended the third part in a business fraud seminar at the Biltmore Hotel today. The organizers say that accountability and honesty in [...]

YOA Orchestra of the Americas coming to Belize
If you’re an aficionado of classical music or even just like it a lot, you’ve probably heard of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. The world class two hundred member [...]

Getting pregnant with Healthy Living
Are you planning on having a baby in the near future? Did you know that the choices you make even before getting pregnant can affect your pregnancy? Taking care of [...]

LOVE FM

Traffic Accident Claims Taxi Driver's Life
A man is dead following a traffic accident n the Cayo District last night.. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY “A man is dead after he was involved in a traffic accident on Wednesday, July 31 at around 7:30pm. San Ignacio Police was called out to the San Ig...

BTIA's Opposition to Cruise Project in Southern Belize May Have Been Premature
The proposal for the Cruise Tourism Development Project in southern Belize has gotten the attention of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and its Placencia branch and today when their representatives appeared on the Love Morning Show, they got the attention of the Belize Tourism Board. ...

Miss Costa Maya International Wears Crown Tonight
One of the most anticipated and tourism attracting events in the country, the International Costa Maya Festival, opens today in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, with the La Reina De la Costa Maya competition now in its twentieth year. One of the Organizers of the event, Milo Paz spoke to Love News...

Thirteen Years Since the Amalgamation of Tertiary Institutions in Belize
In August 1st of 2000 the University of Belize was formed through an amalgamation of five educational institutions in Belize. Those are the University College of Belize, the Belize Technical College, the Belize Teachers’ Training College, the Belize School of Nursing and the Belize Co...

Love FM Prepares for Kayak Challenge 2013
Back in 2011 the first ever LOVE FM’s Islands Kayak Challenge was held and after taking a one year hiatus, the one of a kind competition is back. This year twelve teams entered the competition with the same goal and that is to be the champions of the challenge and take home the grand prize ...

Sessions on Detection and Prevention of Business Fraud Conducted
Business fraud is something that often times end up in the news when it leads to an arrest of someone. But today a number of businesses and government agencies signed up for a series of sessions on detecting and preventing business fraud. Moore Stephens Magana is a firm that conducts ...

Six Hundred for One Hundred Dollars
A man who stole a hundred dollars from a woman, who hired him to do some work at her house, was ordered to pay six times that amount by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. He is 30 year old handyman Dalton Longsworth. Longsworth was fined six hundred dollars when he appeared today before Magistrate Cayetan...

CTV3

Close To 500 Kilos Of Cocaine Destined For Belize Confiscated
Belize is considered a main transit point for drugs that make their way to the United States by land, sea and air and it seems that the jewel will never lose that status. On Wednesday July 17th, a joint task force of the National Civil Police and the Armed Forces of El Salvador stopped a van carrying Costa Rican license plates, loaded with cocaine and allegedly bound for Belize. Inside the van was 468 kilos of cocaine. Reports are that the Anti Drugs Unit of El Salvador received information that the cargo would enter the country hidden among licit goods. The value of the cache is said to be around $15 million. The drugs were found hidden inside 48 buckets of froze pineapple pulp transported in a thermo king container. Reports are that stuffed inside each bucket were four to six kilos of cocaine. According to La Prensa Grafica from El Salvador, the head of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Attorney Generals Office, Jorge Cortez, has stated that the van was merely passing through by El Salvador. Its final destination was the Corozal Free Zone.

Hugo Moreno Laid To Rest, Taxi Drivers Take Stand Against Crime
In the wake of what has become the first recorded murder for the Orange Walk District since October of 2012, today the remains of what is believed to be those of 42 year old taxi driver, Hugo Ernesto Moreno, was laid to rest. We say believed, because the post mortem conducted on the charred remains found inside the truck of a white taxi car belonging to Moreno, was unable to prove the identity of the individual much less the cause of death. However, Moreno’s family had no other choice but to lay to rest the charred body that was handed to them by police. But amidst the pain and grief, taxi drivers from Orange Walk Town have expressed concerned for their safety and took a stand against crime. Irvin Aragon - Reporting In the month of February of 2012, Police made a gruesome discovery that shocked the entire Orange Walk District; the body of well known Orange Walk taxi driver, Fernando Antonio Cowo, was found brutally stabbed to death inside his taxi car in Corozal Town. On Tuesday, another case presented itself with similar circumstances this time though, what is believed to be the body of 42 year old Hugo Moreno, a taxi driver who went missing on Saturday, was found burnt beyond recognition and locked inside the trunk of his car.

Two Missing Children From The South Reunited With Their Father
While there are still no leads into the death of Hugo Moreno, tonight we are happy to report that the two children went missing from the south 11 days ago are now in the custody of their father. CTV3 News understands that eight year old Nehemiah Romero and his sister, nine year old Fanny Romero, were located in Copan, Honduras and were reunited with their father yesterday morning. The children, who hail for the Village of Cowpen in the south, were last seen in the company of their maternal grandfather Juan Jovel, who was initially accused of kidnapping the children. Jovel apparently took the children to Honduras on the same day that they were reported missing to police. All indications are that the children followed their grandfather to the entrance of San Juan Village where he was scheduled to catch the bus. They refused to return home so he allowed them to travel with him. While there are still many questions that remain unanswered, the children’s father, Feliz Romero, says the family is considering if whether or not to lay charges of kidnapping against Jovel. Romero and his two children are scheduled to travel back to Belize sometime this week.

Police Look For Man Impersonating A Police Officer
Adalberto Castellanos, that’s the name of the man police, are looking for tonight after he impersonated a police officer and scammed more than a $100.00 from a resident of Corozal. On the 4th of July 2013, 43 year old Jose Escamilla, Belizean mechanic of Finca Solana Area Corozal, was approached by a Hispanic man who identified himself as a police officer Adalberto Castellanos. Castellanos allegedly offered to assist Escamilla in obtaining a gun license. After a while of discussion, Escamilla gave Castellanos $150.00 in different denominations. Castellanos promised to be back in a couple of days with the proof of payment. On the 6th of July 2013, Castellanos visited Escamilla at his residence in the Finca Solana Area, gave him an envelope and told him to take it to Belmopan and hand it over to the ‘BOSS’ and he will receive his gun license. Couple days after the transaction, Escamilla opened the envelope only to find out that there was a receipt inside with no signature and a payment voucher.

Garbage Everywhere Harbours Aedes Aegipti Mosquitoes
Yesterday the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Health, issued an advisory informing Belizeans of a severe outbreak of dengue that has caused several deaths in neighboring countries such as Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In Honduras, the government has declared a state of emergency after a dengue outbreak has left 16 people dead. Across the Central American Region, a total of 26 deaths have been recorded and approximately 40,000 persons have been infected with the virus. While the number of confirmed dengue cases remained minimal here in Belize, the Dengue Prevention Plan continues in operation. There is no doubt that one of the biggest concerns for Belizeans, when it comes to dengue, is the dumping of garbage in locations that prove to be health hazardous as they serve as a breeding site for the Aedes Aegipti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the dengue virus. One particular community that has expressed concern for the situation is the Village of San Pablo.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Health Committee’s First Workshop
On July 27th and 28th the Caye Caulker Health Committee attended it’s first workshop in learning how to identify Stigma and Discrimination and how to battle it. The workshop was held at Sun Breeze Hotel’s Conference room and in attendance were the National AIDS Commission Island Committee and the 4 members of the Caye Caulker Health Committee; Mr. Raul Young, Mrs. Chila Trejo, Ms. Juana Cowo and Ms. Laura Che. The training was made possible with the support of the USAID Central America Capacity Project, Intra Health International and Nurse Lourdes Heredia from Corozal community Hospital and the NAC Corozal Committee. The training certified that participants in attendance have the education, training and resources necessary to tackle Stigma and Discrimination specifically aimed towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and families. Special thanks goes out to the following who contributed to the success of the workshop: Pedro’s Hotel in San Pedro for providing accommodations, San Pedro Belize Express for providing transportation , USAID Capacity Project, Nurse Lourdes Heredia and all those who were present.

Blogs

Captain Pudlin in action and a Glass bottom boat review
The glass bottom boat was good for seeing the fish and turtles at the edge of the reef. It did stop and feed the sharks. Also stopped to get into the water. My problem was that it is a very old and really slow ride. The motor is not much and the boat needs work. As a little family business though, I guess they try when you see the big guys diving and flying around. You definitely could fall asleep on the ride back and forth. Hard part was finding someone to tell us where it was located. They work out of a garage out of the back of their house. John Thanks for your review John, I had heard the boat was on the slow side, Dick said pack accordingly if you ever take that trip. For me that would mean lots of water, small cooler full of snacks and an extra camera battery

My Week Out & About on Ambergris Caye: Gimme Tree Dolla Pork Taco
Last Sunday I posted a bunch of pictures from the previous week of the GORGEOUS weather and the gorgeous food I’ve been eating. I’ve got more… some changes in town, a bit more food, some pictures that I’ve posted on my facebook page and some that I haven’t. The great weather continues… let’s hope it hangs on for the weekend. Not only is it the HUGE Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro but I am headed out to Chaa Creek. Yes, the resort near San Ignacio where PRINCE HARRY stayed when he visited Belize last year. THE PRINCE HARRY. Here is my post about my trip to meet with Harry. And by “meet” with I mean stand within 10 feet of him on a hot hot night in Cayo. Perhaps Chaa Creek will let me touch the bed where he slept. Does that sound weird? I am definitely not leaving to miss Costa Maya. In fact, every time I’ve attended I’ve had a ton of fun. It looks like it will be huge this year… the island should be packed. Even the hotel, Banana Beach, is setting up a Heineken tent in their parking lot to extend the party.

Three Amazing Places in Belize You May Not know About
The “Other Blue Hole” – St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park Not to be confused with the Great Blue Hole off Belize’s Caribbean coast, this is a great rest and swimming stop just some 12 miles southeast of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway. Years ago there was just a little scraggly path leading down to this wonderful shady place to swim and cool off on the way to the coast. Now managed by the Belize Audubon Society It’s been upgraded with rest areas, benches, a visitor centre and guard house, but still has that off the beaten path charm and is one more reason why the Hummingbird Highway is one of the best drives in the universe. It’s also evolved from a convenient rest stop to a great daytrip destination in its own right. Actun Che Chem Ha The fascinating network of Maya ceremonial caves has only recently gained attention as a tourism asset, with tubing through the Barton Creek Caves system and hiking into the amazing Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), known as the cave of the stone sepulchre or cave of the crystal maiden, attracting an increasing amount of visitors each year. But the little family managed Che Chem Hah cave gives visitors a more Indiana Jones experience and harkens back to the early, pre tourism industry days of Belize. It was only discovered a couple of decades back when one of the family’s hunting dogs chased game into a hole. The son, William, climbed in with a flashlight and discovered over 300 stone, jade and ceramic artefacts, a plethora of pottery and an altar where ancient Mayas conducted sacred rituals. Vaca Lake reservoir The remote Vaca Lake reservoir in the Upper Macal River Valley offers a rare glimpse into a vibrant bit of Belize’s diverse eco system and is home to exotic wildlife such as tapirs, howler and spider monkeys, toucans, parrots and even the occasional jaguar and ocelot. This is one of the more recent adventure offerings added to Belize’s already rich menu of things to do. The Vaca Lake is a reservoir set in the upper Macal River Valley a few miles upstream from the Belize Botanic gardens and Chaa Creek on the Macal River, and as a manmade body of water one may wonder how it fits in with eco-tourism, but in fact the remote lake has opened up a fascinating part of the jungle world with a rare opportunity to get close to the flora and fauna of the area while relaxing in the shade.

Rasta Rambo – King of The Belize Jungle
I decide to venture off-property and take this thrill seeking tour with Percy Gordon, famously known as Rambo, the King of the Howlers. The Monkey River tour is one of the best ways to see the true face of Belize – Belize with its uncut, raw, overgrown bush, abundant with crocodiles, fat lizards, turtles, birds, dolphins and manatees! This tour is a true Belizean safari. Our guide Rambo is rich with knowledge, confidence, and a deep thirst for adventure. I introduce myself to him, and as he ruggedly shakes my hand, he says, “My name is Percy, but I am known by many as Rambo or King of the Howlers, I am a deep sea diver and that is my way of life.” I decide to call him Rasta Rambo, because he adds “Mon” after every sentence. “Look over there mon, crocodiles!”, “Look here mon, you see the monkeys.”, “No worries mon, in Belize you don’t have to worry about anything mon!”

VIDEO: Rasta Rambo Monkey River Tour Belize
Watch video of Howler Monkeys Here

Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro,Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013 – ” You’re Ready Now”.
Normal service (well if you consider what I normally include in my blog as normal) will be resumed with the next edition but I thought -given the questions I raised in an edition a few days ago I would take a mini break from writing about our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and publish a Special Edition to let you see some of the preparations for the 2013 Costa Maya Festival being held in San Pedro. Given that Don Squier expressed an interest in knowing more about the Sunset Boardwalk project I took a walk around the old Saca Chispas Football Field earlier today to see the work that was taking place to make it ready for the Island Party Night and International Night that will be held there on the 2nd and 3rd August respectively.

International Sources

Belize Selects FAMCare Human Services Software to Help Track Information and Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Citizens
The Belize Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, (MHDSTPA) has partnered with Global Vision Technologies, Inc. (GVT) to implement FAMCare human services software for their case management needs. MHDSTPA is the lead entity of the Government of Belize in the development of people, enabling them to realize their full potential and play a meaningful role in their communities. FAMCare, Rapid Case Management Software - is GVT's flagship software platform designed to streamline human services data management. FAMCare will enhance all of the data collection, information management, and reporting tools needed to deliver the best care to the vulnerable population living in Belize. "What we are about to accomplish in the next few months is a feat that I know many of our sister Caribbean states have been trying to accomplish. We are definitely blazing trails here and it seems we could not have asked for a better partner in GVT," said Judith Alpuche, CEO MHDSTPA. In collaboration with all relevant partners, the mission of MHDSTPA is to facilitate policy development and to implement programs that promote social justice and equity, enabling people to be self-sufficient, responsible and productive citizens.

Kate Heartfield: War over gay rights being fought by proxy
Victories for freedom in one part of the world can trigger backlashes in other parts. Bigots are forced to concentrate their efforts where they think they can win. This has happened with feminism, particularly when it comes to sexuality and reproductive freedom, and it is happening with gay rights. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Montgomery, Ala., and began its life by bringing cases against the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, published a report in July about this phenomenon. Called Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize, it connects recent victories for tolerance in the U.S., such as the gradual shift toward legal same-sex marriage, with setbacks elsewhere. In some cases, the report suggests, these setbacks are not happening despite the victories in the U.S. but, in part, because of them. Anti-gay groups in the U.S. are spending their considerable resources to support their comrades in places where a critical mass of politicians supports their goals.

Mayor of Belize meets with Evanston Mayor
Mayors Darrell Bradley (Belize City) and Elizabeth Tisdahl (Evanston) met today in Evanston to discuss the Sisters Cities program. Pictured left to right: Councillor Kevin Singh, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Belize City Director of Administrations Sharlene Rudon and Councillor Dion Leslie.

Meteor shower brightens Cayman sky
The Cayman skies were lit up by a fairly large meteorite that traveled from the direction of Belize towards Jamaica this past Monday night. According to President of the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society, Chris Cook, it was quite a big meteor that was crossing the Caribbean. Mr Cooke said that it was not seen in Belize, but it was sighted in Cayman and also in Jamaica. “By the time the meteor got to the middle of the island, it had broken up into a number of segments and obviously it was too high for any of the parts to come to land, and may have gone past Jamaica as well,” he observed. Almost certainly pieces of it fell into the sea; meteors collide with the atmosphere all the time and land in the sea,” he explained. Mr Cook said that astronomers have been having more interest in the passage of meteors, especially after the crash of the meteor in Russia.

Best festivals in Chicago this weekend
Belize Day in the Park Can't point out Belize on a map? (It's in Central America, Magellan.) Get a crash course of the joys of its food, crafts and music at this one-day fest. Hawthorne Race Course. August 4, noon–10pm. $5, kids ages 6 to 12 $2, kids under 6 free.

15-year-old Rowan Garel becomes first blind person to dive Belize's Blue Hole
15-year-old Rowan Garel made history last week by becoming the first blind person to dive the renowned Blue Hole in Belize. According to a press release issued yesterday, Rowan successfully completed the 100+ foot dive on July 26, after the original dive had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather earlier in the month. Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia, Belize, sponsored Rowan's Blue Hole dive after learning about his journey earlier this year. Larry France from Chabil Mar talked with media about Rowan's extraordinary adventures over the past couple of years. "In 2011, Belize was first introduced to the young Rowan Garel when he made a bold decision to conquer Victoria Peak," shared France. "A year later, he took on the ninety-two mile Walk Across Belize and completed the lengthy journey." France decided to help raise funds for Rowan's quest and the only program in Belize that deals with blind or visually impaired people, the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI).

Shifting Baselines: Why the Environment Is Even Worse Off Than You Think
I had a chance to tag along this past weekend in Belize with a team from the Catlin Seaview Survey as they began their underwater assessment of the endangered coral reefs of the Caribbean. You can read about the project—which is using panoramic underwater cameras and machine vision to digitize the oceans—over here. It’s very cool stuff, done in conjunction with Google Earth. As part of my reporting, I dove with the team in the waters above Glover’s Reef, which is part of Belize’s protected Hol Chan marine reserve. (I know, environmental reporters have a tough life.) The water was warm and blue, and the varied coral to my eye looked abundant and healthy, with intricate, boulder-size brain coral, jagged fire coral and majestic elkhorn coral. There wasn’t quite as much sealife as I’d been hoping to see, though brilliantly-colored parrotfish swam among the coral, and I just missed glimpses of sea turtles and even a rare hammerhead shark. To me it was a beautiful dive, a gorgeous coral reef. It was what the oceans should be.

Belize Panedia Virtual tour by Caitlin Seaview
Don't Miss this!!! A game-changing scientific study to record & reveal the world`s coral reefs. There are some amazing shots of Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole. Dive right in!

Rising sea levels are slated to submerge substantial parts of 1,700 US cities
This item has been corrected. Sea levels, as we know, are incredibly sensitive to rises in global temperatures. A study released earlier this month revealed that the increase of a mere degree celsius could lead global sea levels to rise by as much...

20 Photos Of Manatees Doing Manatee Things And Being Very Cute
Manatees are the cutest.

10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
While the decision to relocate to a lush, tropical country may have been an easy choice to make, the process of actually picking the country may be an entirely different story.


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