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#471740 - 09/03/13 11:56 AM Today's Belize News: September 3, 2013
Marty Offline


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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

The San Pedro Town Council distributes bags and books
On Friday August 29th, 2013 Councilor Kenrick Brackett and The San Pedro Town Council held an Information Day at the Central Park. There, Brackett handed out school bags, books and a host of other school supplies to a multitude of young students as they got geared up for the new school year. Various short presentations were given by the National AIDS Commission Island Committee (NACIC) and The Ministry of Health (MoH). NACIC’s president Dennis Craft talked about the committee’s upcoming plans for the school year and the various presentations they’d be doing. This was followed by another presentation, by representatives of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Francis Westby and Edgar Lalin, they briefed students on the preventative measures as it relates to the Dengue outbreak in San Pedro Town. MoH also distributed a generous amount of medicated bed nets to families present at the Information Day. At the end of the presentations, Councilor Brackett addressed the crowd, giving the students encouraging words right before members of Traffic Department distributed over 300 school bags, books and supplies to the students present.

Woofer: Customer Assistance
“I’ll never go in a Walmart again in my life,” Charlie said. “Keep on walking fast until we get to the car.” “Neither will I,” I told him. “That was about the most embarrassing moment in my entire life. People are still staring at us.” A few minutes earlier we were happy to be in [...]

Ambergris Today

Police Car Chase and Accident Leaves Woman Seriously Injured
A traffic accident involving a Government of Belize vehicle has left two persons injured after the Polaris crashed into a fence. The San Pedro Police found themselves involved in a car chase trying to detain the driver of the Polaris along with two other passengers. The accident occurred at the corner of Caribeña Street and Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town in the wee hours of Friday, August 30, 2013. According to San Pedro Police, at about 2:30a.m. a team of police officers were on a routine mobile patrol at Central Park when they observed a Polaris slam into a parked golf cart belonging to Mrs. Atlantida Eiley, then reverse and hit the fence at Heritage Bank and fled the scene. The mobile patrol then set chase after the Polaris and it was down the street that they saw the vehicle hit the building (Pelican Properties Office) on the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Caribeña Street.

Ramon’s Village Resort Bouncing Back after Fire
There is nothing keeping back Ramon’s Village Resort from making a strong comeback after the terrible fire that destroyed a large part of the resort on August 27, 2013. The staff of Ramon’s, seen here with big smiles, happy faces and high spirits, was taken on last week Friday, August 30, 2013 as the resort’s owners Mr. and Mrs. Headrick arrived from the United States. After a talk and prayer with his staff, Mr. Richard Headrick and his staff got back to work to get the resort up and running. As plans get ready for reconstruction, the resort is still open for business with the 40 rooms that were not damaged by the fire and a fully functioning dive shop.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT August 24 – 31st, 2013
Island time is here. It’s a slower pace in terms of people, but not fish. The fish are here – but they are tough to find in the storm. Anglers were persistent and they were rewarded. Maybe everyone didn’t get their prize fish this time, but one thing I know for sure – they are leaving much better anglers. Thanks everyone for a fun week.

Tlacoyos: A Mexican Grilled Snack That Tempted The Conquistadors
For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes. To taste the best tlacoyos, I was told I had to go to Xochimilco, the sprawling suburb in southern Mexico City. Juana Pina Gonzales has been selling them in the region for 25 years. She only uses blue corn masa — the dough used to make a tortilla — and stuffs the dough with all kinds of fillings, including smashed pinto or fava beans, a potato puree, mushrooms or a light cheese similar to ricotta.

George Price Art Competition
Primary and High school students are invited to submit entries for the George Price Art Competition. Submissions will be accepted through September 16th, and the winners will be announced on the 19th. For more information, contact the Benque House of Culture at 823-2697. Happy September Celebrations!

Sunday Show Day at Express Oh! Cafe
Express Oh! had their first Sunday Show day, and it was a huge success. They had food, coffee, entertainment, face painting, and much more. Emmanuel Mangar played, with Jose Barrera backing him up on drums. Dania Arana also sang. Hopefully, this will be a monthly event. "Musical Performances, Singing, Dancing, Story telling, Face painting, lots of snacks and delicious drinks for sale... Lots of fun in Santa Elena :) BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED!!!"

BNDC Carnival Spirit
The Belize National Dance Company performed many times while at Carifesta in Suriname. Here's another one of their performances. Great job representing Belize! Happy September! "Performance at CARIFESTA XI in Suriname (20.8.2013)"

Channel 7

National Bank Launched; PM Says Not a “Political Pork Barrel”
The National Bank of Belize opened its doors in Belmopan today. Offering low cost credit to teachers, public servants and regular Belizeans, it is a major initiative for the Barrow Administration in its second term. And like a long distance runner who just got a second wind, the Prime Minister today seemed emboldened by having finally crystallized and brought into being an idea long imagined: a people’s bank. We were at the opening and found out more:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The launch of the National Bank of Belize is an accomplishment for the ages." The ribbon was cut this morning, the plaque unveiled and The National Bank of Belize on Forest Drive in Belmopan opened for business this afternoon. It is as the Chairman said, a different kind of bank: Hon. A. Joy Grant - Chairman, National Bank of Belize "A bank whose focus is on serving the financial interest of all Belizeans, whosegoal is not about maximizing profit - but about providing the working class Belizean with the financial assistance and knowledge they require to improve their living standards throught the construction."

PM Says NCL MOU Omitted Major Clause
And while the news of the day was the national bank – the media had a laundry list of issues to question the Prime Minister about. First up was Norwegian Cruise Line. On Friday, the members of FECTAB told us after meeting with the PM that a new Memorandum of Understanding was being prepared. The PM today told the press it is not a new MOU, but a final contract, which will be taken to the House of Representatives. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It’s a misnomer to call it MOU; we’re moving to a point where there is going to be a legally binding contract and I have promised that some of the things that either weren’t clear or that NCL apparently didn’t understand in the MOU will be reflected in the legally binding contract." Jules Vasquez "And that is principally the issue of ships migrating south?" Hon. Dean Barrow "Yes, in two ways; there is to be no diversion of the current Belize City calls and there is to be no use of that port by ships other than NCL ships. When I went back I didn’t see that in the MOU; we had made that clear in Cabinet, I don’t know how it didn’t find its way in the MOU but I am saying, I am putting them on notice and it’s not that I am taking them by surprise because this was our position throughout; the binding agreement will make that absolutely clear."

PM On PAC: Takes A Shot At NTUCB, Hits Hon. Finnegan As Collateral Damage
Another issue of much public interest is the Public Accounts Committee; Government and The Opposition disagree sharply about the way forward for this important House committee. The opposition wants to re-constitute the membership completely; Government wants it to say as is; The Opposition wants to review Auditor General Reports from 2012 going forward; the Government wants them to go back to 2008. The Chamber of Commerce, which had initially jumped on the Opposition plan – has backed off, and simply urged both sides to get along. But the National Trade Union Congress of Belize is sticking with the Opposition model, and has criticized the Prime Minister for not having the will to push forward with real reform. Today, he shot back at the NTUCB, and claimed his Party Whip Michael Finnegan as collateral damage in the process: Jules Vasquez "You had mentioned that it would be too costly or too complex to change it." Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I don't care what they buy - let me make it clear again, I am not going to offend the principle of 'majority rules', I am not going to offend the standing orders of the House. Note that the Chamber of Commerce quite sensibly said 'in effect, we're not really interested in any restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee - all we want is to see the work done'. I've already put forward a proposal that can get the work done, so with every respect to the NTUCB and not to quarrel with them - we will press on and there will be no restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee so as to make it unruly and to violate not just the standing orders but the whole principle of democracy."

Court: She Put A Hit On Her Hubby
Tonight, 38 year-old Frances Eve Ayala Wilson, a resident of San Ignacio, is in jail after she was taken to court for allegedly putting a hit out on her husband. According to her spouse, British born Glencoe Wilson, he found out that Wilson hired a police officer offering her $10,000 to kill him on April 24 of this year. The Wilson’s recently married, and according to Glen Wilson, she supposedly wanted to get rid of him to get his money. It’s an allegation which emerged in early August. Police investigated for all that time, and they finally charged Frances Wilson with abetment to commit murder. She was arraigned today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who listened to the submission for bail from both the prosecutor, and her attorney, Simeon Sampson. After careful consideration, Magistrate Hamilton remanded her to prison until September 17, 2013, her next court date.

Greg On Why He’s Going
As the news ended on Friday, we confirmed that Greg Choc was leaving SATIIM to go study law. What had been reported two days prior and rumored for weeks was confirmed in a press conference Greg Ch’oc held in the village of Midway in Toledo on Friday just before news time. Though he had been hounded by the media for days, and was surrounded by the press on Friday in Toledo, he delayed the announcement until he was quote, “among his people” in remote Midway – two hours of rough road south of Punta Gorda Town. He explained that he had been accepted to the University of West Indies Cave Hill Campus: Gregory Ch'oc - Executive Director, SATIM "I am not going anywhere, I am here to continue the struggle with the Maya Communities - yes I have been accepted to law school - it's a personal decision that I have taken in consultation with the leaders of these communities. They have given me their trust to lead them and it's only right that I consult with them. When I decide to go, there will be someone that will rise to the challenge to continue to honor the legacy of resistant of our ancestors. For now, I am going to be here - I am related with the highest spirit of the communities whose support I enjoy, whose trust I hold dearly. It will probably be for one year."

The Media Makes A Trek Through Temash
And, as we told you that press conference came at the end of day 1 of an extensive tour which Ch’oc organized. One of the central issues which he wanted to deal with first hand is the impending exploration by US Capital Energy inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. SATIIM’s co-management contract was taken off the table a month ago, but because the Mayan communities of the Toledo believe that the national park sits on Maya Customary Lands, they say they continue to have authority over park territory. And according to SATIIM, that’s being threatened by this oil exploration, and so they’ve been making regular media rounds to keep the issue fresh in the public’s mind. He did so once again, by taking us to the drill site on Friday, and our Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting SATIM took the media to the drill site, inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, on Friday afternoon. The trip started with a 30-minute boat ride from Punta Gorda town to the estuary of Temash River. From there, SATIM took us up the river for another twenty minutes before we arrived at their final chosen entrance. Here Ch'oc briefed us about where we were and why he chose that location.

PM Says STNP Is For GOB
And while that story shows the high level of friction between the buffer communities and US Capital Energy – from the perspective of the state, the directive remains: Drill at Will. As the PM told the media today, he sees no issue in between competing claims on ownership and control of the lands US Capital hopes to drill on. He says those are vested thoroughly and exclusively in the state: Reporter "Are the current relations between the government and the Maya people concerning to you and how do you foresee things going forward?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Are the relations concerning? No, not more than, I am concerned about all the people of Belize and the relations with all of them." Reporter "In terms of them thinking of changing their approach." Hon. Dean Barrow "I don't know that." Reporter "and their hard talk." Hon. Dean Barrow "Well, as Jules Vasquez famously said, I famously don't watch the news. No I'm not worried about that. We have, I believe, put out a statement saying that we respect the courts' decision, even though we are appealing it and so no new titles, nothing of the sort will be done, in the Toledo District; that ought to satisfy them. If it doesn't, then I'm afraid they are off base, they are out of kilter. The SATIM National Park is a National Park you know. The court hearings, the litigation, were at the instance of the villages and the court talked about lands owned by the villages. As far as I am concerned, the national park is not included in that and in any event, the national park is subject to a particular legal and statutory regime. In my view, there can be no question of any kind of ownership, other than the ownership of the state, when it comes to national park."

Craziness At Court
Since November of last year, Orel Leslie, Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist have been on remand awaiting trial for the murder of 28 year-old James Norales, who was shot to death on November 23, 2012. They’ve been in and out of court since then awaiting a preliminary inquiry, to see if the court has enough evidence to try them for the murder. Today, after several adjournments, the preliminary inquiry was expected to commence once again, the prosecutor told the court he could not move forward. The families of the accused men, as well as several police officers, expected that the matter was to be struck out again, but the magistrate gave one final adjournment. And so, while the men were being transported back to the holding cell, they got into a scuffle with those additional officers, who were attempting to re-arrest without knowing that the current case was still live.

Brazen Broad Daylight Robbery Of Brodies Payroll
There’s always a spike in major crime when September rolls around – due in part to financial pressures as parents have to find money to put their kids in school and because extra money is required for the Celebration month. That trend may be manifesting itself once again in a rash of robberies and burglaries being reported this weekend. The biggest one happened on Saturday afternoon in Belize – in a broad daylight armed robbery that netted thieves almost fifty thousand dollars. At 4:30, 52 year old Security Guard for Brodies was walking from James Brodies Store on Albert Street just across to First Caribbean Bank to make a cash deposit. That’s the heart of downtown on a busy Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop a gunman from walking up and demanding the black plastic bag he carried. Inside that bag were four cash bags to a total amount of $46,064 dollars, which he handed over.

CITCO Takes Big Busses Off Streets
This morning, the Belize City Traffic Department impounded 6 city buses and stopped them from running their routes today. There was nothing wrong with these buses and their drivers other than the buses have been assessed by City hall as being too big for the streets in downtown Belize City. And so today, the drivers were pulled off their runs and stopped from operating. They were upset with the decision, and today they told us that they don’t agree with the decision, especially because they’ve made investments to prepare for the opening of the new school year – which started today. Here’s how they explained it: Dexter Hemmans -Bus Driver "This morning they came and told us that our bus won't be able to run again, they didn't give us any notice in writing, they are just saying that they will take off the big bus off the run. I went upstairs and I sat down with Mr. Jenkins and he told me that my bus can't run anymore, and I told him, 'boss, I got a loan so that I can get my bus', we run under a company name, and I need to pay my loan everyday so I can get out of debt and I can sustain myself and my family. It's quite unfair what those people are doing, we as Belizeans have a right to earn an honest living. I am in this business for about ten years now, and we have other senior men that are here about 19 years, 15 years. I think it is quite unfair what is happening. The Haitians say they will stop the dollar van, they are still running, they have no license plate."

Opening Of The Celebration Season
On Sunday the official ceremony marking the opening of the September Celebrations was held in the one-time colonial capital of Belize, St. George's Caye. This year the country will be celebrating its 215th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the 32nd anniversary of Independence. The village chairman of St. Geroge;s Caye underscored the importance of the Tenth:… Johnny Searle Jr. -Chairman of St. George's Caye "As the chairman of the St. George's Caye Village Council, it's my honor and privilege to welcome you to St. George's Caye for the opening ceremonies of the September Celebrations. As I look around I see many familiar faces and I see a few new ones but the one thing I saw in everyone's face this morning as I greeted everyone, was that they have this joy and happiness in them that's Belize. I'm not sure, I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, or even if it's one single thing but I think it's a number of factors that come together when you are here in Belize. Even the visitors that come to Belize see it and they feel it too and if they stay for a while, they get it too, because it's contagious.

Belize City’s Best Public Space Declared Open
And while that was Sunday on St, George’s Caye, on Saturday in Belize City the Fort Point Pedestrian Walk and refurbished Memorial Park was declared open. Work on the project started 18 months ago in February of 2012. At its completion, its completely transformed the Fort Point Area. And while we can quibble about some of the style elements, there’s no arguing that the two-acre park has been positively transformed. Keynote speakers addressed that fact:.. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism "3000 Belizeans employed in meaningful employment and more than 500 citizens reside in this area. The Fort George area continues to serve a central hub for comers and tourism activity." Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "So that we have a park that is first class and first world - befitting our residents and the users of this space."

PM Says Regional Reports Wrong, Petrocaribe Rates Not Going Up
As you might have heard the Prime Minister say at the top of the newscast, the new National Bank is being capitalized by Petrocaribe funds. As we’ve reported that money comes from sales of fuel imported into Belize from Venezuela, for which Government only has to pay half, while getting the other half on credit at very favourable terms. But how much Petrocaribe money does government have? We’ve also heard that Petrocaribe finds will be used to build new sports facilities under Belize Infrastructure Limited. Well, the PM isn’t saying how much is in the bag, but it’s clear he hopes Petro-dollars can push an economic boom in the second half of the year:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This economy is going to grow by leaps and bounds because of this huge infrastructure push that government will make and as I'm saying - I have the where it all to fund."

Channel 5

The National Bank of Belize opens its doors; initial interest rate is at 5.5%
The National Bank of Belize Limited was established in April 2013, and today its doors were opened to the general public in Belmopan. The state-owned bank will primarily provide concessionary [...]

SATIIM’s media tour of Temash Two goes without a hitch
Last Friday and Saturday, the media was hosted by SATIIM on a trip to the Sarstoon Temash National Park to witness first-hand ongoing work by U.S. Capital Energy.  On the [...]

Barrow says ruling on communal land does not include Sarstoon Temash National Park
SATIIM and Mayan leaders of communities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park are waging war against the government of Belize. They feel that government is not recognizing rights which the [...]

Greg Ch’oc says he’ll study law and clarifies whether he has resigned from SATIIM
Greg Ch’oc, the Executive Director of SATIIM, also used the trip to Sarstoon Temash to provide clarity to the question of whether he had resigned from the N.G.O. Speaking in [...]

Government goes full steam ahead with NCL Project
The memorandum of understanding between the government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Lines is a done deal, and the parties are not allowing any grass to grow under their feet. [...]

P.M. Barrow says N.T.U.C.B. mixing up the ham and the hammer with the PAC
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat has summoned the members of that committee to a meeting. That is set for this Wednesday, but meanwhile there is much drama [...]

P.M. says economy to grow courtesy of BIL
There was a contraction of the economy in the first quarter of 2013 – a negative point five percent. The Statistical Institute of Belize cited downturns in the citrus, banana [...]

British National speaks out on wife’s hit on his life
Last Friday, police detained a San Ignacio woman, who was in hiding, for allegedly plotting to have her husband eliminated. Frances Ayala Wilson and her husband, Glen Wilson, have been [...]

His wife, Frances Ayala Wilson, remanded to Court
In court today, her attorney, Simeon Sampson claimed that she was staying at her father’s home San Ignacio Town, but police came up empty-handed despite several attempted to apprehend her. [...]

Belize City traffic woes
Today was the beginning of classes for primary schools across the country. But here in Belize City, a number of students and commuters from various areas were without transportation because [...]

Residents versus Roman Catholic School in Big Falls, Colombia
The academic year 2013, for primary schools across the country, began today.  While parents, students and teachers were on hand to commence the first day of classes, in Big Falls, [...]

The Memorial Park is now the Fort Point Pedestrian Walk
Despite the rains earlier in the day, the official inauguration of the transformed Memorial Park went on schedule on Saturday. The park, which was once dedicated to the soldiers who [...]

Lionman Triathlon, Billiards and Female Football on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 14th Annual Lionman triathlon was staged at the Sanlighter Promenade on Princess Margaret Drive yesterday as some 46 [...]


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#471741 - 09/03/13 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 3, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE FM

Belize Crowns New Queen of the Bay
Belizeans gathered at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Friday August 30th, to witness the Sixty Eighth Annual Miss Queen of the Bay Pageant. The pageant was this year held in two parts, the first which was the talent competition which was held two weeks prior and in which Miss Belmopan Mikayla Banner and second place by Miss Toledo, Jahrine Avila. On Friday the seven beauties contested in the presentation, curtsey, and question and answer categories. Jahrine Avila will be officially crowned Queen of the Bay 2013-2014 by outgoing Queen of the Bay, Yadira Argueta, on September 10 during the Official Battle of Saint George’s Caye Ceremony.

Prime Minister Clarifies Points Regarding Norwegian Cruise Line
Another burning issue on the news lately is the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line. It had come under some heavy criticism by the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize, FECTAB. Since their condemnation, the PM met with the leaders of the group and today he gave reporters the Government’s perspective on the Norwegian MOU. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “As we did with ASI, there would have to be a legally binding agreement between Government and NCL; so, that’s what I was talking about, it’s a misnomer to call it MOU; we’re moving to a point where there is going to be a legally binding contract and I have promised that some of the things that either weren’t clear or that NCL apparently didn’t’ understand will be reflected in the legally binding contract.” LOCAL REPORTER “Is that principally the issue of ships migrating south?” RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “Yes, in two ways; there is to be no diversion of the current Belize City calls and there is to be no use of that port by ships other than NCL ships. When I went back I didn’t see that in the MOU; we had made that clear in Cabinet, I don’t know how it didn’t find its way in the MOU but I am saying, I am putting them on notice and it’s not that I am taking them by surprise because this was our position throughout; the binding agreement will make that absolutely clear.”

Man Succumbs Following Attack in His Home
On August 23, we told you about Kenneth Flowers, the man who was chopped on face while on his bed sleeping at his residence in Mahogany Heights. Flowers was suffering from three large cut wounds and was rushed to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital by police. News tonight is that Flowers succumbed to his injuries over the weekend and as a result, police are now investigating a murder. As we reported, Hattieville police visited Flowers’ residence where they found him in a sitting position with three large chop wounds to his face and bleeding profusely. At that time, it was reported that police had detained two young men from the village pending the outcome of the investigations.

Belizean Woman Propositions Policeman to Kill Her British Husband
Thirty-nine year old Frances Ayala Wilson, a house wife and mother who allegedly wanted to pay $10,000.00 for a “hit” on her husband, was charged with abetment of murder when she appeared in the court of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that Ayala is a flight risk because she was hiding from the police and that the offence is of a serious nature. Ayala’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, responded by submitting that she was arrested at her father’s home in Benque Viejo and if she wanted to abscond she could have done so because the border with Guatemala is a short distance away. Magistrate Hamilton upheld the objection on the ground that the offence is of a serious nature because it carries a penalty of life imprisonment. He remanded Ayala into custody until September 16. According to the allegation, on April 24, Ayala solicited the commission of the crime of murder by the act of asking a police officer to find someone to kill her husband, for the sum of $10,000.00. Ayala married a wealthy British national, in 2009 and the couple was living in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, until about three months ago when Wilson allegedly found out that a police officer was approached to take the job to kill him.

City Council Says Bus Is Too Big For City Runs
Several bus passengers were left to waiting at the Belize City Bus terminal this afternoon when six runs from Transit Belize were reportedly cancelled by the Belize City Council. Dextor Hemmans a driver for Belize Transit spoke to Love News that his runs were taken away because the bus he operates is too large. DEXTOR HEMMANS “This morning I was on my regular run and a traffic officer came and told the passengers on my bus that they have to come off and that we had to go and park by the Traffic Department and told me that our bus was too large to be running in the city. I asked Mr. Jenkins if this has been passed in law because everything has laws and he told me that is what they are doing within the City Council. They did send me a letter in 2011 but things are hard; one bus tire is eight hundred dollars much less to go and buy a bus for fifteen or twenty thousand dollars; we can’t afford that right now, we are barely making a living. We have been operating since 2008 and on a daily basis; we transport about 400 – 500 persons at one dollar per person and fifty cents for children.

Unemployed Belizean Owes Court for Eleven Convictions
Forty year old Dean Banner, a resident of Isabella Bank, who owes the court and said that he could not pay because he could not work, was sentenced to six months imprisonment today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to damage to property. Magistrate Hamilton said that the sentence is to run concurrently to any other sentence he is serving. Banner owes the court for 11 convictions, one of them for damage to property. The incident occurred around 8:25 p.m. on Friday, August 30. Banner’s ex-common-law wife, reported to the police that when she arrived at her house she saw Banner standing by her bedroom window and then Banner went to her front door and kicked it until it broke at the bottom. She said the door has a value of $250.00.

Belize Boasts Fort Point Pedestrian Walk During Village Expo for Local Artisans
September Celebrations started out with a bang. Even before the month of September saw its first day, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture along with the Belize Tourism Board the Inter-American Development Bank and the Belize City Council inaugurated the newly renovated area of Fort George, the Fort Point Pedestrian Walk and launched the Village Expo which was held at the same location. At the ceremony Mayor of Belize City Darrel Bradley welcomed the attendants as he reminded them of the history and importance of the area, calling the project reclamation of the city. DARREL BRADLEY “There were those in our community who had lost hope; who were saying that our city was on decline and this park and this space really represents the transformation of our community, the reclaiming for Belize City for the benefit of all those who call Belize City their home and for all those who visit our shores.” During his Keynote address, Minister of Tourism and Culture Manuel Heredia said he is proud that his ministry was given the opportunity through the IDB funded Sustainable Tourism Program to build and enhance that community as a tourism and leisure destination

Leader for Indigenous Group in Belize Tells Media About The Threats He Has Gotten
There were at least three different times when there was some level of tension throughout the media tour conducted by SATIIM at one of the drilling sites in the Sarstoon Temash National Park Area and surrounding communities. Perhaps the biggest and obvious moment was when Choc, for the first time, spoke publicly on the dangers he has faced due to his work as an activist. Choc, who has always shown a strong fortitude, became visibly emotional during this part of his speech. GREGORY CHOC “I never resigned as the Executive Director of SATIIM; I have never tendered my resignation at no time. As I have said, I have been accepted at law school and as I said earlier, the trust and the responsibility given to me by these communities, I have to consult and I have consulted with them and it is within that that I believe the information was leaked and obviously, those who don’t like what we do, took it to another level.” Choc says that the reality of the dangers that come with the work he and the community leaders have embarked on are all too real and is something each is aware of.

National Bank Offers Loan For First Time Home Owners
The symbolic cutting of the ribbon and release of balloons today at the entrance of Forest Drive marked the historic opening of Belize’s first national bank. The financial entity was the brainchild of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, on the advice of people alive and departed with wide-ranging backgrounds in economics. The facility, according to the PM, will start off operations with a 20 million-dollar investment by the Government of Belize, which was sourced through loan funds from Petro Caribe through Venezuela’s former President, Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicholas Maduro. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “With the twenty million dollar capital contribution, the bank will, as you have heard, at the beginning will operate solely as a mortgage financing institution and its exclusive home construction loan portfolio will cater in equal proportions to public officers and teachers on one hand and then to the larger public. Loans will be for a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars and this is for first time home owners, so, there will not be any refinancing of existing loans held with other institutions.” The impetus behind the initiative is derived from what Prime Minister Barrow believes is top-heavy interest rates offered by existing commercial banks.

September Celebrations Officially Launched on Former Battle Ground
Sunday was the first of September and as such, officials and other Belizeans gathered at St. George’s Caye where the September Celebrations 2013 honoring two hundred and fifteen years of the battle of St. George’s Caye and thirty two years of independence were officially launched. In his welcome speech, the Chairman of the Village Council of St. George’s Caye, John Searle Junior, spoke of Being and feeling Belizean as he contemplated this year’s theme of Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the Free.

PlusTV

US Capital claims SATIIM is spreading misinformation
On Friday morning PLUS News and other media houses embarked on a two-day visit to the Toledo District, specifically the Sarstoon Temash National Park and surrounding buffer communities. The issue has been much in the news over recent days due to last Friday’s confrontation between...

Mother of two children who almost perished in fire criminally charged
A mother of two children who almost perished in a fire is now in prison. Twenty five year old Shanel Robinson was arraigned in court this morning on child abandonment. According to police reports, the Belize City mother left her two children, ages three and four, alone in their...

Former FFB president ordered by court to pay up
Former President of the FFB Bertie Chimillo was in court again on Friday. As we told you in Thursday night’s newscast, Mr Chimilio was summoned to court by the Income tax Department regarding the recovery of arrears. The record is showing that Mr Chimillo owes income tax some $13,900 plus...

Oceana representative in Belize looking for new country head
On Thursday, Oceana Chile Vice President Alex Munoz met with the Belizean media to explain the process for searching for a new head of Oceana in the Belize office. That task will be very difficult, since filling Shepherd’s shoes will be a challenging one. But the Chilean VP explains...

Prayers said after Ramon’s Village fire
Restoration has begun following the destruction of some 30 units at the Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro. The establishment, which has been in operation since 1982, was partially destroyed by fire on Tuesday night. The institution’s design and construction personnel have been on the...

Dr. Theodore Aranda appears on Rise and Shine and discusses political conflict during Independence process
Dr. Theodore Aranda was a guest on Rise and Shine on Tuesday of this week. As a political pioneer with a unique perspective, Dr. Aranda was able to discuss the actions of both main political parties during the time of Independence. Doctor Theodore Aranda: We have got to start...

Hon Wilfred Elrington donates equipment to form a youth drum corps
On Wednesday we told you of new assistance for the Police in fighting crime. The other half of the crime-fighting equation is community outreach, and in Police Precinct 2, located south of Central American Boulevard, it is Sergeant Brent Hamilton and others who are leading that fight. On Friday...

Oscar Mira pursues a political career
You might have heard of the new face that has recently left a comfortable post as the Deputy National Security Coordinator to pursue a political Career. He grew up in Belmopan and is now inspired to compete for the position of the PUP standard bearer in the Belmopan Constituency....

New ATV will assist with safety and rescue efforts at cave sites
The Government of Belize has received counterpart funding from the European Union through the Belize Rural Development Program II to finance a project entitled “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites.” Co-financing for the project is being provided by the Government of Belize, through...

Hawksworth Bridge closed for maintainance
The Ministry of Works and Transport is currently undergoing maintenance work in the West. and as a result the Hawksworth Bridge will be periodically closed off for the next week. The closure takes effect from now to Friday, September 6. Closing time is from 9:00pm to 4:00am daily.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

End of Summer Bash at 88 West Sat. Aug 24th

“Garbage Warriors” needed
Dear Trash Pick up Volunteer (or as I like to call us, “Garbage Warriors”), the Caye Caulker Health Committee is organizing a garbage pick up on September 28th and 29th at 7:am, meeting point at the Split, your help will be much appreciated.

If you have extra computer mice …
Do you have computer mice?! Ocean Academy is looking for 10 computer mice for students to use in the computer lab. If you have one you no longer use, please bring it to Ocean Academy, to Sea Dreams Hotel front desk, or in the afternoon to the community library. Thank you!

Businesses close down for slow season
The months of September and October are traditionally very slow tourism-wise. During these two months, business owners usually close down and take time out for themselves and their families. The staff usually also enjoy the welcome break. It is grueling to work non-stop, 7 days a week, for ten straight months. Some businesses usually take this time to renovate and upgrade their facilities. To those businesses who are closing down for the break, we wish you an enjoyable vacay. See you next season!

Caye Caulker Humane Society fundraiser a success!
After a week delay the fundraiser on the beach was a go this afternoon (August 31, 2013). A fair amount of dogs got a flea and tick bath, lots of puppies came by for their shots and we sold a lot of beer for the good cause. Here’s an impression of the day. A total of $1512 was raised. Congratulations to all for a successful day. Photos from the Caye Caulker Humane Society facebook page.

Ocean Academy is looking for volunteers…
Ocean Academy is looking for volunteers (small stipend available) to work with high-schools students for an hour in Tuesday elective class or Thursday P.E. class. 3:30-4:30. Students choose to enrol so they are interested and keen, and class size is small (6-10). We are particularly interested in anyone who can coach basketball, garden/compost, photography, dance or computer skills. Please contact the school at 226-0321 or email principal.oa@gmail.com

The Reporter

Trade Union backs PAC reform
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) dissected and took issue this week with Cabinet’s rationale for not implementing reforms to the Public Accounts Committee.

City Hall and Stephen Okeke agree on sale of Antonio Soberanis bust
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley announced Wednesday that the Belize City Council has finalized negotiations with sculptor Stephen Okeke on the purchase of his definitive bust of Belize’s legendary labor leader Antonio Soberanis.

Fire guts Ramon’s Village Hotel – 29 cabanas destroyed
Ramon’s Village, one of San Pedro Town’s most popular tourist resorts, was partially wiped out during a fire that started around eight o’clock on Tuesday night.

Maya Leaders release UN letter to GOB
The Maya Leaders Alliance has made public a correspondence sent to the Government of Belize by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, inquiring about human rights violations in southern Belize.

Editorial
Now that the Government of Belize has reached agreement with Norwegian Cruise Lines for a 25-year development concession for its proposed pleasure island at Harvest Caye, it seems only right and fair that it should give similar favourable consideration to proposals for Stake Bank and North Drowned Caye.

The Media: influencer of the people and political will
The cornucopias of structural and social issues that have been dominating the collective psyche of the Belizean populace of late (and of old) have repeatedly led the socially aware and conscious to ask one seemingly redundant question: why hasn’t anything changed?

More honors for West and Gaynair for reporting match-fixing attempt
Belizean heroes Ian Gaynair, who scored Belize’s only goal in 2013 Gold Cup USA, and goalkeeper Woodrow West continue to receive accolades honoring their honesty and integrity in reporting the attempt to bribe them into match-fixing.

CARICOM member states call for reparation; Belize is slow to act
The Government of Belize has finally decided to form a reparations committee. The decision, which was reportedly made at last Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, comes more than a month after July’s Caribbean Communities (CARICOM)’s 34th Heads of Government Meeting. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told Reporter that Adalbert Tucker, a [...]

Mexican Foreign Minister, Dr. Jose Antonio Meade, visits Belize
By Aaron Humes Freelance Reporter Former Secretary of Finance and Energy in the administration of President of Mexico Felipe Calderon, Dr. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena, has stayed on in the cabinet of Calderon’s successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, as Secretary for Foreign Relations.

The Migration Issue
Population migration has been key to the development of communities, nations and continents. When man first set foot on planet Earth, there were two burning human instincts that to this day has helped to form the backbone of human nature. That is the innate curiosity to explore and to use [...]

Belize City woman gets remanded on drug trafficking charges
A Belize City woman was remanded to prison, following arraignment on two drug trafficking charges in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, for a quantity of marijuana weighing around 75 pounds.

Mark Seawell fights extradition to U.S. in habeas corpus case
By Aaron Humes Freelance reporter Accused drug trafficker Mark Seawell’s application for a writ of habeas corpus concluded yesterday, Monday, in the Supreme Court. It began a few hours late on Thursday morning, August 15, after the vehicle going Hattieville to bring Seawell down to the hearing experienced problems.

Brazil’s foreign minister resigns amid row with Bolivia
Antonio Patriota, Brazil’s foreign minister, stepped down Monday night amid a diplomatic row with neighboring Bolivia. President Dilma Rousseff’s office issued a brief statement, saying Patriota had submitted his resignation and would be replaced by Brazil’s representative at the United Nations, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

United Nations says it will contact United States over spying report
The United Nations said on Monday it plans to contact the United States over a report that the U.S. National Security Agency bugged its New York headquarters and warned that countries are expected to respect the world body’s diplomatic inviolability.

Walking linked to fewer strokes in women
Women who walk at least three hours every week are less likely to suffer a stroke than women who walk less or not at all, according to new research from Spain.

Cocaine rapidly changes the brain
Taking cocaine can change the structure of the brain within hours in what could be the first steps of drug addiction, according to US researchers.

Belize girls win 3 in Central American U-20 volleyball championship
The Belize National Under-18 female volleyball team won three games against Honduras, El Salvador and Panama, but finished in fourth place after three losses at the Under-20 Central American championships held in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras from August 19-25. It was still a considerable improvement over the previous team [...]

Belize girls score 7 goals at CA U-20 Football Championship
The Belize National Under-20 football girls, the Lady Jaguars, returned to a warm welcome from the Football Federation of Belize on Monday, August 26, after scoring seven goals in three matches at the UNCAF Under-20 Football Championships in Comayagua. They were on the receiving end for 10 goals and lost [...]

Blogs

My Personal Cooking Lesson at Elvi’s Kitchen: Secret Recipes, Prince Harry and Jennie’s Trip to NYC
It was something that we’d be planning to do for a while but last week, the invite came! I was most cordially invited (I added that part) to the kitchen – the inner sanctum – of one of San Pedro’s oldest and most favorite restaurants, Elvi’s Kitchen, for my own personal lesson in cooking. How cool is that? Elvi’s Kitchen was started by San Pedrana Elvia Staines almost 40 years ago on the island as a tiny “hole in the wall” called Elvi’s Burger Isle. She built two palapas under a large flamboyant tree. For the full history, check their website. Many years later, the tree (now deceased…RIP buddy) is still in the middle of the MUCH LARGER establishment.

Photo of the day: Sunset in western Belize
In this blogpost, we share one of many magical sunsets that you get to enjoy in the western Maya foothills of Belize. Given the geographical location, we are surrounded by Maya foothills that hide the sun as night sets in, and it makes for sunset photography. Only this time, it was captured with an iPhone, conveniently on the go.

“Just the Two of Us” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Those of you that read Sunday’s edition will know that I was eagerly (OK, and nervously) looking forward (there must be a bit of a masochist in me!) to the Arsenal v Spurs game. Got everything done – including breakfast for Rose – before the kick-off (09.00 hours local time). TV tuned in to channel 103 (NBC). Nicely positioned on the sofa when the players walked on to the pitch. And then catastrophe … the signal was lost. Try as I might (and believe me I did try) I could not get the match. Left with no alternative I switched to the Internet (at least it was working) and listened to the game on Talk Sport (a UK radio station). No where near as good as watching Arsenal beat Spurs by a thumping (sic) one nil but at least I was ‘there’. Figuratively speaking. Not much else to say about the remainder of the day really but I did manage to persuade (after much cajoling) Rose to venture out with her bruised and swollen face.

International Sources

For fantastic adventure, consider Belize
Have a blast in Belize: Belize has so much to offer: snorkeling, Mayan ruins, scuba diving and fabulous food. But it's more expensive than other Central American countries. Juliana Goodwin explores... Belize is a land of diversity. On the mainland, dense jungles shroud ancient Mayan ruins. On the islands, long stretches of beaches attract throngs of tourists. There are more than 500 species of birds; 145 species of mammals and nearly 140 species of reptiles and amphibians, including crocodiles and iguanas. Marine life includes everything from whale sharks to manatees to clown fish.


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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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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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