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#473074 - 09/21/13 12:26 PM Today's Belize News: September 21, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Carnival, Jump Up and Jo’uvert- Celebrations of Independence!
While many of us are familiar with Carnival there is one aspect of it that is almost, if not as equally fun …Jo’uvert (pronounced: Jou-vay)! The word Jo’uvert itself is derived from French patios and literally can be translated as “daybreak” or morning. This is only fitting being that Jo’uvert starts in the evening and lasts until daybreak. For many, thinking of jo’uvert brings one thing to mind “Loads.” Loads of music, drinks, mud, paint, oil or chocolate smeared all over loads of people, who partake in this street party until the break of dawn, all for the sake of good and maybe “not-so” clean fun. In Trinidad, the covering of oneself and others in mud/oil/chocolate is done in remembrance of a civil disturbance that took place in Port of Spain, whereby the people painted themselves with oil or mud in order to avoid recognition.

TripAdvisor® awards certificate of excellence to The Belize Zoo
All those who visit it can surely say that The Belize Zoo (TBZ) is the best little zoo in the world. It is thanks to these visitors who recognize this tiny jewel of wildlife conservation and education that TripAdvisor® has recognized TBZ by awarding them with a Certificate of Excellence for the year 2013. TBZ received a four and a half star rating, making it among the top 10% of attractions rated by TripAdvisor® worldwide.

Electrical failure is the cause of Ramon’s Village Resort fire
On August 27th a large portion of the world renowned Ramon’s Village Resort on Ambergris Caye was destroyed by a horrific fire. Nearly four weeks later, the Belize Fire Department is reporting that their investigation concludes that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. According to Orin Smith, Station Officer and lead fire investigator, the fire started in cabańa number 14 and not in number 15 as was initially reported. “Our investigation has concluded and has determined that the fire originated in cabańa 14. What transpired is that the two structures were very close to each other, and from the view of many, who saw the fire, it was thought that it started in structure 15. While investigating we found that the fire started on the roof of cabańa 14. The cause of the fire was classified as electrical due to evidence of “beading through arcing” (evidence of a melted conductor that was exposed to a certain temperature during the fire sufficient to cause melting) that was discovered on a wire that provided electricity to a ceiling fan in the cabańa. None of the other wires had evidence of arcing or beading,” said Smith. The total estimated cost of the damages has not been revealed, but according to Smith, because the fire was not “arson,” no one can be held responsible and it is classified as an accident.

Ramon’s Village Resort open for business
Rebuilding underway following fire, staff eager to welcome guests. Ramon’s Village Resort is pleased to announce that the iconic beach resort located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize is now open for business following a fire at the resort on Tuesday, August 27th. While a portion of the resort sustained fire damage with rebuilding already underway, thirty authentic thatched roof cabanas on the north side of the property are open for occupancy as well as ten quaint cottages at the Belizean Princess located just across the street from Ramon’s. The warm sand, azure blue waters of the western Caribbean and delightful cabanas at Ramon’s Village and stylish cottages at the Belizean Princess, all nestled among native flora and fauna, await our beloved guests.

Record Attendance at 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) hosted their 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place on the weekend of September 14th and 15th. The two-day event attracted over 19,000 people at the Institute of Technical Vocational Education Training (ITVET) facility on Freetown Road in Belize City. The Expo Belize Market Place is held to coincide with the September Celebrations and provides the business sector with the opportunity to showcase goods and services at one of the biggest trade shows in Belize. “An impressive 19, 000 plus visitors swarmed in from various parts of the country to experience the largest trade show in Belize. The various attractions this year included the participation of the Cooperatives of Belize, the Department of the Environment, other governmental and nongovernmental organizations, Embassies, popular local artists and artisans, the fuel and oil companies, children’s entertainment corners. In addition to displays from the numerous commerce, manufacturing and services sectors, this year’s EXPO also had the participation from a Guyanese company Edward B. Beharry & Company Ltd,” report the BCCI.

BBQ lunch at the Lion's Den today
On 21st Belize Independence Day, the Lions Club will be serving BBQ lamb ,rice and beans, stew chicken and potato salad starting at 11AM. Come and get your lunch, the bar will be open, come out and watch the parade!

Ambergris Today

Minister of State Elvin Penner Required to Resign
The Office of the Prime Minister announced that, with immediate effect, the Hon. Elvin Penner is no longer a Minister of State in the current Administration. The Prime Minister formed the view that, with respect to a situation brought to his attention on Tuesday, Hon. Penner, as Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers. As a consequence the Prime Minister me with Hon. Penner on the evening of Wednesday, September 18, 2013, and required him to resign. After discussion Hon. Penner agreed with the position of the Prime Minister. He therefore tendered and had accepted his immediate resignation.

Mayor Danny Visits Schools on National Service Day
On September 19, 2013, the entire country of Belize conducted various activities in observance of National Service Day in remembrance of the father of the nation RH. Hon. George Cadle Price. It is a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. In Ambergris Caye the San Pedro Town Council set out to all the different schools (ABC Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow, Little Angles and San Pedro Pre-School) to give out coloring books and goodies. The children were happy to receive a visit by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Giant Cave Entrance
A GoPro view of the entrance into Giant Cave, Caye Caulker. Initial frames show me making sure GoPro is running, and some of the equipment I am carrying. Next frames show Caye Caulker in relation to the cave entrance, very close to shore. Then I start into the hole following Marty in. You can see the entrance is vertical from the bubbles coming up at me as I make my way through the crack. The thin line you see is the only thing that keeps us from getting lost. Remember I am wearing double 80's on my back and another 80cf stage tank on my side. Marty is at the bottom of the shaft and is beginning to enter the horizontal constriction at the bottom. At 2:27, I get stuck and have to back out, running into another diver behind me. I have to back her up so I can get through. it is very constricted at the entrance and is at about 60-foot of depth. You can also see how easy the visibility goes to 0. In the horizontal shaft you have to crawl on your belly to get through, pulling with your hands.

The Contrast of Field Work
In the field, I sometimes have those special days, full of contrasts. During a recent outing with the crew from the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize Field Station on Calabash Caye, I had such a day - low visibility water vs crystal clear closeup photography; rough boat ride going out vs smooth as silk on return; cold, windy morning vs warm sunny afternoon; icy, big drop rain storms with lightening all around vs beautiful sunset; shivering hungry divers hoping to head home vs stuffed, dry scientists ready to do a night dive. This short video on the GoPro shot at 60 fps and replayed at 30 fps shows us in the middle of a rainstorm, where the drops sting and the cold water and wind forces us to look for shelter where there is none (note the one diver grabbing a fin to protect her face) vs the ride back home at sunset ... smooth, warm, tired but feeling alive ... — with Victor J Alamina, Celso Cawich, Chris Encalada and Ruth Gutierrez.

BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE'S CAYE & CORONATION 2013 (89 photos)
Coronation of Miss San Pedro 2013-2014, Miss Solani Graniel and Uniform Parade of school in commemoration of the Battle of St. George's Caye.

TRIBUTE TO THE BAYMEN (29 photos)
On Monday, September 9, The San Pedro House of Culture along with the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Tribute to the Baymen at Central Park. There was a presentation by the Marching Band from San Pedro High School, Dances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, National Anthem and Song Presentation by Tricia Stokes and to close the show a presentation by the Varandah Taylz Theatre Company from Belize City. There was also musical entertainment by Man at Work throughout the Night as well as the Punta Boyz.

NATIONAL SERVICE DAY (63 photos)
On Thursday, September 19 we celebrated National Service Day in commemoration of the father of the nation, Hon. George Cadle Price. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors visited the pre-schools to hand deliver some treats and coloring books to the children. It was a great joy seeing their reactions and how excited they were for their treats! ORDER OF VISIT: 1. ABC Pre-School 2. Brighter Tomorrow Pre-School 3. Little Angels Pre-School 4. San Pedro Pre-School 5. ABC Pre-School (afternoon class)

Independence Celebrations in Benque
Benque Viejo celebrated Independence Eve with a school rally this morning, and yesterday they celebrated National Service Day and National Colors Day in style. "Benque Viejo observed its beautiful Independence School Rally earlier this morning ad a symbol of patriotism and love for Belize."

Pictures from National Service Day and National Colors Day

Independence Day Eve in Cayo
Cayo will be hapening tonight. In fact, on Burns avenue, the party has already started. Emmanuel Mangar is playing at Mr. Greedy's, which is having happy hour all day today and tomorrow. The Soul Project is having their Open Mic night tonight, and tomorrow night will have Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations play. At the Cayo Welcome Center tonight, the Jade Band will be playing for this week's Music in the Park. Fireworks start at midnight. Have a safe and fun Independence Day weekend!

4 The World Duck Run Medical Clinic
Feelgood news of the day. Duck Run was another village that 4 The World paid a visit to on their medical mission around Cayo. This week they did clinics in Calla Creek, La Gracia, and Santa Familia. Thanks again, 4 The World! "We can't say enough good things about the OUHSC Team as they have done an amazing job helping so many people all over the Cayo District of Belize. Today's medical clinic was planned and set-up by two special 4 The World volunteers who several years ago were the first recipients of 4 The World scholarships to go to high school. Rigzy and Edlin did a fantastic job planning & setting up the clinic for their village!"

September Celebrations Music in the Park
Happy Independence Eve! There's a lot going on in Cayo this weekend. Parades, music, dinner specials, motorcades, and fireworks. The special September Celebration edition of Music in the Park was spectacular. A big thanks to the BTB and Fuego Bar and Grill for making this happen! Have a great holiday weekend! In related news, Fuego is having their Music in the Park tonight, and the Jade Band will be playing. "There was a lot happening at the Cayo Welcome Center Saturday. The Belize Tourism Board set up a great little display, and they gave out prizes and some food during the day. The World Culture Band teamed up with Emmanuel Mangar again at night. Rompe Rajas also played a few sets."

CHILDREN'S PARADE - SAN ANTONIO, CAYO (8 photos)
Primary School children attending schools in San Antonio, Cayo took part in an Independence parade in the village this morning. Guest of honor at the event was Cooperatives Officer and village resident Leonardo Solomon Tzib.

CELEBRATIONS FLOAT (7 photos)
The final touches are being added to the float from Georgeville that will be entered in the Independence Day parade on Saturday. The Williams family has been working on the artistic creation since August 1st. Here is a first look at the float.

JAMAICAN TO ENTER THE DR MARKET
Bridgetown, Barbados, September 16, 2013. During the period 11-13 September 2013, Caribbean Export Development Agency, assisted 20 Caribbean firms, the majority of whom were from Jamaica (14 firms), in their effort to explore trade opportunities with the Dominican Republic (DR). Other participating firms included those from St. Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Haiti. The initiative was executed within the framework of the EU funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme and was geared towards the promotion of stronger trade and investment relations between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

Channel 7

Penner’s Passport Scandal Unravels Further
Tonight, the scandal involving Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner deepens as more information is surfacing about the Belizean passport that was fraudulently issued to a South Korean National. 7news has learned that the South Korean man is in jail in Taiwan and is pending extradition to another Asian country. He's reportedly very wealthy but has been in a Taiwan jail since August. Yet, quite suddenly, he now possesses a Belizean passport dated September 9th, 2013, which he could not have applied for - because he was in jail! Apparently, it was thought that the Belziean passport could have saved him from extradition. The problem for former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Penner is that he signed the South Korean's passport picture and application - which is required by law under the new passport regulations. The justice of the Peace counter-signing it is - we are told - a former UDP elected representative at the municipal level who is close to Penner.

Court: Yhony Assaulted No One
Many times on this newscast you've seen tour operator Yhony Rosado speaking out on matters affecting the cruise tourism sector. But 10 months ago, Rosado went from the accuser to the accused when a rival tour operator accused him of pulling his licensed 9mm pistol and making threats with it. And while he did get remanded for one night, Rosado has been on bail, quietly and dutifully attending court to fight his case. Today, after numerous hearings and adjournments, the Belmopan Magistrate heard the matter in full. 7News was there in Belmopan and here's the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting Yhony Rosado, the owner of Cavetubing.com, arrived this morning for what he hoped would be the last adjournment for his case at the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, where he's been facing trial for aggravated assault with a firearm. His friends, supporters, and employees gathered to provide him with moral support, and he was very confident that we would be exonerated:

Mahogany Heights And La Democracia Experienced Flooding
Yesterday, 7News showed you the flooding on the Western Highway which broke a culvert at mile 27, stopping our news team from getting to La Democracia and Mahogany Heights Villages where flash floods had swept in. Well today, we went back to both villages where residents told us what happened when the water started rising early Thursday morning. Everyone we spoke to said that they'd never seen flooding like this in their village before: Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights "We had about 5 to 6 inches of water inside the house. When we woke up almost everything was floating in the house." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about how you guys actually got the water out? How long did it took for the water to recede?" Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights "We had to wait for almost half an hour before the water from the yard start to go down, then the water from the house started to come out too."

Couple Charged For Intercourse With Minor
30 year-old John Williams, a resident of Lords Bank is at prison tonight after he and his girlfriend, 27 year-old Stacey Leslie were taken to court for allegedly performing sexual acts on a 14 year-old female minor. The girl reported to police, at around midday on Tuesday, she was walking in the Hollywood area of Lord's Bank when Williams, who she knew very well, drove up and invited her into the car. She was introduced to Leslie, who was in the passenger seat, and all 3 went to Cayo, where Williams bought them food. They then went back to Williams' house, and, that's where, according the minor, the couple gave her marijuana to smoke. Afterwards, Leslie allegedly performed oral sex on the minor, and later Williams joined by having intercourse with the girl.

Cano Took All Questions
Yesterday embattled former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund Daniel Cano grabbed the national spotlight, when he hosted an hour-long press conference - where he took all questions from the media. He held the event to clear his name, which had been tarnished by the allegation that he took an eleven thousand dollar cash bribe from contractor Kennard Smart. And, from the feedback we've gotten, Cano did what he had set out to do: those we've spoken were convinced by the quite appealing logic that someone who took a bribe would not have an hour long - no holds barred press conference. Tonight we look deeper into his disclosures, which he made freely, because as he said, he has nothing to hide:.. Daniel Cano, Former Executive Director - SIF "I am here because I have nothing to hide. I have performed my duties at SIF to the best of my professional abilities and with always the best intentions." Jules Vasquez reporting But in the battlefield called SIF the best intentions weren't good enough - and Cano admits that he fell short of maintaining the highest standards:

SSB Cuts Senior Citizen’s Pension
This morning a 79 year old elderly man found his way to our news room after being disturbed with a letter he received today from the Social Security Board. Rupert Saunders was designated as one of 4,000 elderly men and women eligible to receive a monthly noncontributory pension under the poverty alleviation program. But this morning he received a letter from SSB informing him that he had been cut from the program. The letter stated that the pension has been revoked based on information which showed that Saunders immediate family has adequate means of income in order to support him. It also mentioned that the pension will cease with effect from October 1st. Now Saunders only used to get one hundred dollars a month, but he says that money goes a long way. Rupert Saunders "This morning I was home and they gave me this letter." Monica Bodden "A letter from Social Security?" Rupert Saunders "I was wondering who is this letter from, but when I open it and read it I found out that they took away my hundred dollars that I get every month. This is not right. I have a lot of family, but no one wants to take care of me."

Ivan Duran: Aurelio’s Work Is Belizean
Aurelio Martinez got a major putdown this week when the Belize Tourism Board apologized for choosing his song as the backing music for its own promotional video. Well yesterday, the record producer Belizean Ivan Duran sounded off on facebook about the decision. He says , quote, "I'm really saddened to see some Belizeans treat Aurelio as a foreigner, Aurelio has done a lot to promote Belize and Garifuna culture throughout the world and he has been a key player, along with Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor in internationalizing the new 'sound of Belize.'" Duran adds, "Aurelio, is in great part responsible for "saving" Paranda music in Belize...Aurelio has always been treated as a distinguished honorary citizen of this country and he has always represented us proudly." And, Duran concludes, "The song is question was recorded and produced in Belize, with Belizean musicians, sound engineers and music producers, furthermore, the copyright of this recording is owned by a Belizean record company. This recording is 100% Belizean, not only because of who owns the rights, but also because it represents an authentic Belizean sound which was conceived and created in Belize." Duran closes with a question,

KHMH Turns 18
Earlier this week, the KHMH invited the media to celebrate its 18thanniversary. In terms of media participation, it was a disaster: only Channel 7 and the Guardian newspaper showed up. But it was a newsworthy event nonetheless as the Hospital bosses spoke candidly about the institution'ssuccesses and its challenges - including this year's epic loss - the death of eight babies due to a runaway infection in the Pediatric Intensive care Unit. Here's what they said about tough times in the past and a possibly bright future: Daniel Ortiz reporting Yesterday, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital celebrated its 18th anniversary of service to the Belizean public. The KHMH is the national referral hospital, and as such, it has come a long way in its ability to provide tertiary level care to patients. However, the hospital has inherited the legacy of a public health institution. That legacy is one which the administration accepts has been challenging, given the cultural mindset to dismiss the good work which happens there.

West And Gaynair Head To Los Angeles
National Football team players Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair have been celebrated nationally and internationally for turning down a cash offer from a match fixer. And now, the Belizean American Community in Los Angeles wants to host them as guests of honour at Independence Day activities in the City of angels where there is a huge Belizean population. It's one more honor for the pair who have become international jet setters. We met them at the airport today: Ian Gaynair, Being Honoured At Independence Celebrations in LA "She said that she wanted us to be a special guest at the Hollywood Park that they usually have every year on the 21st of September. West and I was okay with that. Now everybody feels so happy that we are going out there. It is an honor to represent our country." Woodrow West, Being Honoured At Independence Celebrations in LA "It's a good feeling, it's not nervousness. I guess this time it will more easy because we are giving back to our fans. Mostly a lot of Belizeans will be there and we feel proud of our self that they appreciate us here and abroad."

Pan Yaad Was Epic
Since 2009 the Pan Yaad Concert at the House of Culture in Belize City has emerged as one of the true highlights of the September Celebrations Calendar. It is full of colour, movement, and that thing which always makes September special: Music! Last night was no different, as the steel bands, shimmered, swayed and grooved to music that floated on the night air like a sweet contagion. Here are some highlites of the three and a half hour concert:.. The entire concert which aired live on Channel 7 will repeat over the weekend.

FRANKIE ON 21ST
And before we close tonight, a programming note: tune in at nine tonight on Channel 7 for the Cultural Extravaganza and Flag Raising live from the memorial park. And tomorrow morning join us at 9:00 for the Independence Day Official Ceremonies live from Belmopan. We leave you, as we always do on Independence Eve, with Frankie Reneau's rousing, magisterial rendition of the Belizean national anthem. Happy Independence Day Belize, have a safe and festive celebration!

Channel 5

Name of South Korean national in Penner scandal revealed
On Thursday, Minister of State with Responsibility for Immigration, Elvin Penner, was fired for his alleged involvement in a scandal at that department. News Five has confirmed that the termination [...]

SIF scandal; contract between SIF and Kenard Smart allows for appointment of adjudicator
The former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, came forward on Thursday to speak about a one week old scandal of corruption that has rocked the SIF. [...]

Kenard Smart’s relationship with the SIF prior to allegations of financial misconduct
Kenard Smart’s relationship with the Social Investment Fund, prior to allegations of financial misconduct, has been a rather shaky affair.  In January 2011, there was controversy surrounding a contract awarded [...]

Cano admits that offerings should not have been accepted by SIF employees
Of the four employees that were terminated from SIF on Tuesday, public relations officer Mike Hernandez says that the check he received from Kenard Smart, in the sum of five [...]

Ladyville couple is accused of tag-teaming and sexually abusing a minor
Almost every week night there is at least one instance of sexual deviants preying on minors to report. Each of those crimes is heinous in its own right, but tonight [...]

Stadium caretaker is found in dead in Independence
The partially nude body of twenty-four-year-old Ferris Torres was discovered inside the sports council’s office in Independence Village on Thursday morning.  Shortly before nine a.m., police visited the Michael Ashcroft [...]

Yhony Rosado has his day in court and is acquitted of firearm offence
A year ago, the very vocal Yhony Rosado was charged with a firearm offense. He spent one night in jail, but maintained all along that he was innocent of the [...]

Woman who allegedly put a hit on her husband gets bail from Supreme Court
A woman, who is married to a British citizen and who has been accused of putting a hit on him by allegedly hiring the services of a Woman Special Constable, [...]

Man wanted for chopping and shooting in San Pedro
San Pedro Police today issued an all-points bulletin for McLean August, a man wanted in connection with a chopping and a shooting which resulted in injuries to three persons – [...]

P.U.P. Party Leader says PAC meeting is illegal
When News Five caught up with the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca on Thursday at National Service Day activities, we also got an update from him in respect of [...]

Ramon’s reopens for business
The iconic Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro was destroyed by a massive fire on the night of August twenty-seventh.  The inferno gutted a total of thirty-two rooms, leaving in [...]

Flooding up north affecting the sugar cane industry
While the rains are wreaking havoc in rural communities, they are also having dire effect on the industry which is the lifeblood of the north. For the past two years [...]

Deplorable road condition at Consejo Shores, Corozal
Residents of Consejo Shores in the Corozal District are tonight complaining about the deplorable road condition and sanitation problems they are presently facing, as a result of heavy rains in [...]

Cayo students jumpstart Independence Day festivities with a parade
Today, students of schools in every district got a jumpstart on Independence Day festivities, with displays of patriotism and pride in full effect. The students’ parade and rallies to bring [...]

Flash back: 32 years ago, Belize obtained its independence
It is the eve of Belize’s independence. At midnight tonight the symbolic raising of the Belizean flag countrywide will usher in the thirty-second birthday of our young nation. There will [...]

LOVE FM

Territorial Volunteers Maintain ‘NO to ICJ’
As Belize gets ready to celebrate its 32nd year of independence, Love News met up with Will Maheia of the People’s National Party who says that they continue to focus on their NO to the ICJ campaign. Maheia who is also a member of the Belize Territorial Volunteers says they are firm in their position that that is not the right way to go despite what the government might be doing to convince the people otherwise. WIL MAHEIA “We noticed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had started a campaign to convince Belizeans that it is the right thing to do; we are firm in our decision that we should not go to the ICJ; we are firm in our decision that we should continue to support the territorial volunteers of which I am a part of that, to man our borders and I know from listening to the radio it is clearly to be seen that the government is trying to convince Belizeans, I don’t know how much Mr. Shoman got to do the book but that money should be spent to man our borders. We have communities in the Toledo District where every community along the border is willing to be a volunteer force to man its border. So, the government needs to get its act together and begin to put boots on the ground in the Chiquibul, in Colombia and also along the southern border where there continues to be incursions on a daily basis.”

Belize City Gears Up For 20th Night – Independence Eve
It’s the eve of Independence and tomorrow, Belize will be celebrating thirty two years of independence. But before we get to tomorrow’s festivities, we’ll tell you how the September Celebration Commission plans to celebrate independence eve. The official ceremonies will be held here in Belize City at Memorial Park and according to the Communications Officer for the National Institute of Cultural and history, Shari Williams, the event is set to be spectacular. SHARI WILLIAMS “As you know, tomorrow is our Independence Day celebrations and so we have started the preparations out here at Memorial Park for tonight. Tonight is 20th night which means we will be bringing in Independence Day with a bang and hence the workers in the background trying to get Memorial Park ready. Tonight’s event starts off at 8:30 and we are inviting people to come out early and bring the children.

Couple Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor
A common-law couple, who it is alleged committed sexual offences on a 14 year old girl, was formally charged when they appeared in court today. They are 30 year old John Williams, a construction worker of Myrtle Waight Crescent, Ladyville and 27 year old Stacey Leslie, a domestic worker. Williams was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge and Leslie was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith explained to Williams that the court cannot offer him any bail. She remanded him into custody until October 29. Leslie pled not guilty to the charge.

A Look at The Belize City’s Fort Point Area
The Fort Point area of Belize City is home to an assortment of colonial structures, the Baron Bliss monument and the Radisson Forte George Hotel. But little do many people know that this part of Belize was once an island detached from mainland Belize City. The record books at the Belize Archives Department describe the Fort Point in the early 1900’s as a swampy island at the mouth of the Belize River. It got its name in 1803 when a small fort was erected on the little island on the left tip of the Belize estuary, caused probably by silt from the river. Fort Point was used as a defense to the settlement and soldiers did duty from there beside cannon balls and guns. Its boundary with the mainland was where the present-day Belize Marketing and Development Corporation is now located, where a strait of water once flowed. After two small houses were constructed at Fort George in 1920, the then Government planned to modernize the area and contracted the US-based Jefferson Construction Company to do the job. The work to make Fort Point one with the mainland took two years to complete – from 1922 to 1924. Lots were apportioned out and the Memorial Park was built in remembrance of fallen British Hondurans of World Wars I and II. The modern Memorial Park, recently remodeled, has been the resting place of three fallen soldiers of the First World War.

Arson Ruled Out in Fire Investigation for Ramon’s Village
Last month, we showed you the scene left after Ramon’s Village Resort was gutted by fire. The multi-million dollar resort which was insured both internationally and locally for a hefty amount of money burnt to the grown on August 27th. An investigation into the cause of the blaze was launch and it has now been completed. According to reports, the cause of the blaze has been ascertained to be an electrical malfunction. As was reported, the fire started in Cabana 14 and spread quickly to the other pimenta style cabanas. The resort was established back in 1987 and is expected to be completely re-built by the end of the year.

Fire and Brimstone Planned for Belize City
On October 5, the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting a Fire and Brimstone Concert, and don’t worry, it’s not really something dangerous, it’s just another fundraising concert coordinated by Gospel Artist, Reality Youth. According to him, the concert hopes to bring all Belizeans together to praise God and be enlightened in this time in which there are many challenges to face in the world. REALITY YOUTH, Gospel Artist “Just bring your family and let us have a good time worshiping God in spirit and in truth. I am not God; I am just a child of God doing his work in Belize city and I want everyone to come out. I am not going to be the only one performing at the concert; we have a selection of artists, we have a selection of different denominations, we have African church from here in Belize City, we have Spanish church from Mahogany Heights, we have Garifuna church from Belize City and we also have a community Christian Church from Pomona. We just want everyone to understand that God is just bringing his people together to worship, to glorify and lift up his name. Our artists include Messenger, who is a young man that is very gifted by God and is out of Corozal; we have Spiritual Chef from Belize City. These artists are bringing their original lyrics; some of them are using tracks but majority of the artists will be performing with live bands.”

School Parade Starts Independence Day Celebrations in Northern Belize
The Independence celebrations kicked off this morning in the Orange Walk District with the annual school Parade through the principal streets in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical has more on the event. DALILA ICAL REPORTING “The September 21 celebration kicked off this morning with carnival music, loud cheers, big smiles and tons of enthusiasm in Orange Walk Town. The primary and high school students paraded through queen Victoria Avenue, Baker’s Street, Main Street, Hospital Crescent and back on Queen Victoria Avenue in high spirits as they celebrated the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Carla Alvarez Manager at the District Education Center in Orange Walk says the event began with a short opening ceremony at the Central Park. CARLA ALVAREZ “The purpose of this parade is for the kids to get an opportunity to express themselves and showing their patriotism and the commencement of the Independence Day celebrations.” DALILA ICAL The pre- Independence march is held annually and sees the participation of primary and secondary schools in town, however this year the San Jose Palmar School asked to join in.


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#473075 - 09/21/13 12:27 PM Re: Today's Belize News: September 21, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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CTV3

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Students In Corozal Commemorate National Service Day
Organizations and community activists throughout Belize today held special ceremonies and events in commemoration of Service Day. September 19th has always been celebrated as a day where schools and different...

BHOC Celebrates 11 Years Of Serving The O/W Community
Eleven years may not seem like a long time to you but for the Banquitas House of Culture, it reminds them of all the trials and tribulations they have been...

UDP's Elvin Penner Gets The Chopping Block
Today was commemorated by thousands of Belizeans as Patriotic and Service Day and this morning, it appears that the Prime Minister of Belize was also commemorating this day. In a...

PlusTV

Minister of State Elvin Penner forced to resign from Cabinet
Former Minister of Public Utilities, Information and Broadcasting and Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection Elvin Penner has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a sudden and shocking overnight development. A terse press release issued today from the P.M.’s office states that the Mennonite...

Man found dead at Michael Ashcroft Stadium
The body of 24 year old Ferris Torres, an employee of the Independence Village Council was found Thursday morning inside the Michael Ashcroft Stadium. Police are treating the case as a homicide and are now trying to piece together just what happened in the final hours of Torres’ life....

Opposition Leader comments on SIF scandal
The Social Investment fund has been a hot topic of discussion on the media since allegations of corruption broke out some weeks ago. On Thursday, PUP leader and Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, added his thoughts to the public discussion when he was asked to comment on the ...

Former Executive Director of SIF addresses media on his resignation
On Thursday afternoon former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund Daniel Cano came forward to address the press about his resignation and the contention surrounding the organization’s dealings with contractor Kennard Smart especially concerning the Dangriga Town Market Project. Daniel Cano was with the organization since 1999 and...

Court date set for SATIIM and Government of Belize
On Thursday parties to the case between the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)and the Government of Belize learned their date for trial in the case, which is October 22 and 23 to be held before Justice Michelle Arana. Both SATIIM executive director Greg...

Country remembers Rt. Hon. George Price on National Service Day
Members of the Lions club raised 20 flags on Thursday, September 19, at the Flag Monument in Belize City in spirit of National Service Day. Thursday also marked the official remembrance for Belize’s first Prime Minister the Right Honorable George Cadle Price. The former seminarian and...

Belize’s First Prime Minister remembered
September 19th , Thursday, marked the second anniversary of the death of Belize’s First Prime Minister, George Cadle Price. Shadel Dyer –Young prepared the following story paying tribute to the deceased National Hero. Shadel Dyer –Young reports: Born George Cadle Price on January 15th 1919,...

Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding
Heavy rain fall has caused flash flooding in various areas of the country. Affected were portions of the La Democracia community, which caused the Sibun River to break its bank. Several homes on the Coastal road were under water due to...

Decrease in major crimes
There continues to be a decrease in major crimes throughout the country. The newly released Crime Statistics compares the months January to August of this year to that of last year. The largest decline is in robbery, with 192 cases reported this year, compared to 339 of last year....

“How You Can End the Guatemalan Claim”
Earlier this week, the prolific writer and former ambassador for Belize Assad Shoman was at the University of Belize’s Belmopan Campus to talk to students about the Guatemalan Claim and the way forward. On Thursday he was in Belize City with his new book – a sort of guide...

KHMH celebrates 18th Anniversary
On Wednesday members of the press met with representatives of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on the occasion of their 18th anniversary. The hospital has recorded great strides in certain branches of medicine but continues to suffer the black eye of recent deaths in the pediatric intensive care...

Mayor Bradley responds to PUP allegations
Earlier this week the People’s United Party accused the Belize City Council of embarking on a smear campaign against its supporters by publishing notices in both the UDP and independent organs that they owe property taxes. The PUP charge that these so-called false publications can be viewed as defamatory...

“A Call To Worship” in Belize City
On the eve of Independence Day, churches will be gathering for a corporate time of praise and worship in Belize City. The spiritual jamboree is being held under the banner “A Call To Worship.” It is a time when believers from various denominations unite with one purpose – to...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Fisherman Missing At Sea
According to a missing persons report filed with local police, a Caye Caulker fisherman who set out this morning with several other companions went missing. When he did not return to the boat and his companions could not locate him in the waters where they were fishing, they reported it to police. A search and rescue effort has been activated.

Amandala

BELIZE’S MARCH TO INDEPENDENCE: SEPTEMBER 10TH. 1798-SEPTEMBER 21, 2013
BELIZE’S MARCH TO INDEPENDENCE: SEPTEMBER10TH. 1798-SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 Features — 20 September 2013 — by Ismail Omar Shabazz Belize’s first step towards independence began on September 10, 1798 at the Battle of St. George’s Caye. This victory for Belize allowed Belizeans to claim 8,866 square miles of land, sea and rivers from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon River. In 1898, 100 years later, a brave black man named Simon Lamb took up the struggle for independence. In May 1914, Simon Lamb passed away. In the year 1950, the march for Belize independence continued under the leadership of the Honorable George Cadle Price, the Honorable Philip Goldson, the Honorable Leigh Richardson, and others.

BARROW SACKS PENNER!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has fired Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, Hon. Elvin Penner, but has refused to tell the nation exactly why he has taken this unprecedented step, except to say, in a press release issued today, Thursday, that Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” We say “fired,” but the Prime Minister preferred to say that he “required him [Penner] to resign,” and offered the crumb that the Immigration Ministry, under the portfolio of Hon. Godwin Hulse, and the Ministry of the Public Service “has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Belize passport to a South Korean national.” So, what has the Hon. Elvin Penner, representative for Cayo Northeast, really done? The Prime Minister would not answer this question put to him by the media. In his release, he would only say that the Immigration Ministry “would make a statement in the next day or so as to the results of that investigation,” even though Penner has been fired “with immediate effect.”

SERIOUS SISTERS – LATORIA AND TIFFANY ANDERSON!
The two are charged with breaking into Jennifer Meighan’s house, tying her up, beating her, then stealing some items. This afternoon, sisters Latoria, 26, a hair and nail technician of #168 East Collet Canal, and Tiffany Anderson, 23, a babysitter of the same address, were charged with burglary and harm after Jennifer Meighan, 19, reported to police that the women forced their way into her apartment, beat her up and then stole her property. In that report, Meighan told police that at 1:30 Monday morning, she was at her apartment on Seagull Street when she heard a knock on her door. When she queried who it was, a voice answered “Yoh sista”, but when she opened the door just enough to see who was there, she realized that it was Latoria and her sister Tiffany, with whom she had had several run-ins previously.

FELICIA CHEN FINALLY REMANDED TO THE BELIZE CENTRAL PRISON
Felicia Chen, the woman who is accused of killing three of her four children and attempting to kill the fourth on April 27, 2013, was returned to court this morning, and as always, she was under the heavy shield and protection of CIB officers. Ever since she was first taken to court on April 29, her court proceedings have been held en camera and today was no exception. Although media personnel were present when she was brought into court, before the matter started the prosecutor, Alford Humes, asked that the court be cleared. The Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, then cleared the court, allowing only for the psychiatrists and the female officer to remain in court.

4 SIF STAFF FIRED AMIDST CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS
Their boss, Daniel Cano, however, was allowed to resign. According to a press release issued by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) dated September 17, 2013, four members of staff have been terminated by SIF’s Board of Directors based on findings documented in a Contractor General report. This followed an emergency meeting that was held by the Board of Directors late Monday evening. The meeting was convened following allegations of rampant corruption that have recently surfaced, including accusations of extortion within the Social Investment Fund connected to a botched $1.3M renovation project that was to be carried out at the Dangriga Town Market as part of the Municipal Development Project. The release implies that the firings took precedence after “the board determined that four members of staff were complicit in activities which merited termination.”

“MUGGER DAY” A FESTIVAL OF FOOTBALL MEMORIES
It was a first effort, the idea of football legend himself, Nelson “the Roo” Robinson, and the street facing the Third World field was temporarily blocked off yesterday afternoon by a congregation of relatives, friends and football fans and veterans who came to share in the festive occasion to honor the memory of perhaps Belize’s greatest football legend, Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt, who passed away in New York on June 28 of this year. In a brief ceremony to mark the occasion at the residence of Ms. Linda Faber, ex-wife of the Roo, master of ceremony Earl Grinage first invited Mugger’s wife, Mrs. Sylvia Garbutt, who received Belize’s Meritorious Award in his honor at the Bliss on Thursday last, to say a few words about her late husband and thank the organizers and everyone present for sharing in the occasion. Others then shared their thoughts, including Norman Fairweather, a close friend of the Mugger in New York, Hilbert “Areas” Craig, Bert Cattouse, Vincent “Winty J” Johnson, and the Roo, who then exhorted everyone present to enjoy the rest of the evening – music, food and drinks were provided under a tent in the yard.

DANGRIGA SPORTS STATS
CPBL 6-A-Side Tournament In the CPBL 6-A-Side Tournament over the weekend, Wagierale won by default over Pomona United, who went to play in the 1st Division tournament in Griga. In the other game, Real Juventud won, 6-4, over Burial Ground Warriors. Reports are that the playoff games for this weekend will be postponed until next week in support of the celebration festivities and other activities by the Village Council. Wamule U-23 Playoffs & Finals results The Wamule U-23 “King of the Court” Champion of Champion was held on Sunday at the Ecumenical basketball auditorium, where Foreshore was crowned the over-all Champion of Champion by defeating Ghans.

R3 YOUTH SPORTS DAY, SEPTEMBER 28
in memory of basketball athlete Ronald Robert Rivers. Plans are under way for a Youth Sports Day in memory of basketball athlete Ronald Robert Rivers, who was a robbery/gunshot victim earlier this year. According to organizers, it will be an all-day sporting event and Basketball Marathon for children ages 6 to 12 years, and will be held at the Iguana Street basketball court from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 28. There will be prizes and medals for winners, including sportsmanship and team awards; and they will be catering for 75 – 100 children, serving breakfast, snacks and lunch. Registration is FREE. There is still a need for assistance, so interested donors can contact Ms. Kylie Rivers at 633-2973.

BOXING ON THE RISE, TOURNAMENT AT CAYO WELCOME CENTER
There is new energy on the Belize boxing scene right now, and it bodes well for a sport that has apparently been on life support for some time now. The sporadic commercial promotions at Biltmore and Bird’s Isle are okay, but they are far too few and far between. A lot of questions have been raised about the activity level of those in charge of the sport’s top administrating body, the Belize Boxing Federation, whose president, community activist Moses Sulph, has not had a discernible impact on the plight of the sport that once enjoyed such great popularity in Belize. But there are others who refuse to give up, and their initiative has resulted in the formation of a new vehicle to try and get the boxing engine rolling. Over the past couple days, our sports desk has enjoyed visits from a few dedicated gentlemen who are putting their heads and hearts to the plough, and have already registered a new non-governmental and non-profit organization, the Belize Boxing Development Council. Henry Gill, Houston Carr, Frank Martinez and Clinton Tucker are all involved with the new organization, which is committed to “promote and obtain efficiency and harmony in the sport of boxing” in Belize.

BELIZE CITY MAYOR’S CUP RESUMES TONIGHT AT MCC+
After a meeting last night at the MCC Grounds with 11 of 12 participating teams in the Belize City Mayor’s Cup competition, tournament coordinator Ken Vasquez has informed us that the games will resume this weekend, after last weekend’s Week 2 games had been postponed “due to past conditions of the field and issues with security due to the celebrations.” One more development coming out of last night’s meeting is that Kephawn’s Pawn Shop FC, one of the Yabra based teams, “has chosen to withdraw from the tournament.. due to difference of views.” Also, Ladyville United has replaced Port Loyola FC which had not fielded a team so far in the tournament. The tournament is scheduled to continue with the 11 teams now remaining, which means that one team will have to be idle each weekend.

OUR NATIONAL HOLIDAY
Independence Day, September 21, falls in between Belize’s three basically ethnic holidays – September 10 (Creole), October 12 (Mestizo), and November 19 (Garifuna). Independence Day should be the great unifier, the great national and nationalistic statement, and Belizeans have been working towards that goal for 32 years. We still have some ways to go. There are at least two striking things about how Belize moved to Independence on September 21, 1981. One is that the British refused to give Belize the defence guarantee which would have eased the tension amongst Belizeans and healed some of the Heads of Agreement wounds which had been opened in March and April of that year. If you think strictly and technically, the British were right. Belize was asking for the political status of independence, which would have been, in a sense, compromised by a defence guarantee from our longstanding colonial masters. But, the Belizean situation was an exceptional one. The British could have made an exception. British Honduras had been claimed by Guatemala since the latter part of the nineteenth century, and the Guatemalans, 40 times more numerous than the Belizeans, were making threatening noises about an independence to which Belizeans felt entitled.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
by Evan X This Saturday we mark the 32nd anniversary of our political independence. Belize has changed a lot since independence in 1981, and there are some Belizeans who believe our country has changed for the worse. There seems to be a lot more wealth in Belize than 32 years ago, when you look at the fancy homes and huge office buildings, the late model SUVs and expensive powerboats, and so on and so forth. But, Belizean society has deteriorated before our very eyes. Today we have to watch far too many of our people strung out on drugs, afflicted by HIV/AIDS, suffering with mental illnesses, literally starving, and caged in the Kolbe prison at Hattieville. Where material things are concerned, we appear better off in Belize, but where our roots human resources are concerned, we Belizeans are in bad shape. Personally, I welcomed the coming of television in 1982. I had watched television in America between 1965 and 1968, and in late 1970 Galento X Neal and I had watched Muhammad Ali fight Oscar Bonavena on a television set in a sidewalk café in Chetumal.

ORANGE WALK – YOUR BEST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH
At the end of my last article I promised to reintroduce to you Raymond Granville Lashley, but I will be unable to live up to my commitment because I need to do some further research to be able to write about as great a figure as Raymond Granville Lashley. I beg your pardon and indulgence to move on until I am able to complete the commitment I made to you, my readers. In the meantime, I will discuss with you football in the District of Orange Walk. My article “Was Queen’s Park Rangers the Greatest?” drew a lot of attention and my article “One In A Million You” created havoc among avid football players and their fans. Scores of readers complimented me on the article, “One in a Million You”. All recognized the talent and ability of the Avengers football team. I was of the opinion that I was the only man in Belize that was latched on to Pappy Smith. Hell no! The feedback I received on the article convinced me that I did not stand alone. My corner was heavy laden with both footballers and fans.

IS BELIZE REALLY INDEPENDENT, OR BEING SOLD TO BE RE-COLONIZED?
When Belize became independent in 1981, the world was undergoing one of the worst economic crises in its history. Virtually all countries of the world and especially small developing countries were strongly affected by the sharpest economic decline since World War II. World GDP growth that averaged around 4 percent in the 1970s fell to just over 2 percent in 1980 and further dropped to 1.2 percent in 1981. Oil prices sharply increased as world trade fell from an average of 7 percent in the period 1976-79 to 1.5 percent in 1980 and near 0 percent in 1981. The crisis plunged hundreds of millions of people and entire regions into to greater poverty. This adverse situation also placed Belize on the brink of economic collapse. Prices of its major exports fell drastically on the world market. For example, sugar, which comprised over 60 percent of Belize’s exports and which showed US 30 cents per pound in the spot market in 1980, fell to US 7 cents per pound in 1984. According to Central Bank statistics, Belize’s real GDP growth rate also fell from 2.2 percent in 1981 to minus 0.8% in 1982 and minus 1.6 percent in 1983. Unable to meet its obligations to its people, the government was forced arrange a stand-by agreement with the IMF.

BELIZE IN TRANS-OCEANIC TRADE
When GOB resumed control of Port of Dangriga, the Barrow administration set itself apart and different from all previous administrations and predecessors by embracing a policy that promises national development and economic opportunities. Heretofore, the only declared policy and practice has been to reward friends and punish enemies, which indeed is, and in fact, filling high offices with political lackeys, friends and family members facilitating looting of public resources and corruption in government. The Prime Minister’s reopening Port of Dangriga, most obviously, not only deserves applause and support, but it further announces Belize’s directing its natural, social and human resources at the pursuit of economic opportunities; and lately, adding yet another logistical dimension in the opening of the National Bank of Belize. The re-opening of Port of Dangriga is not merely the opening of just another port. The port, with its more than 45-foot deep open waters, less than 1,000 feet away, will open up huge possibilities and opportunities and will change our current import and export trade pattern by enabling Belize to move into the world-wide trans-oceanic maritime trade, import, export and commercial traffic.

AS A LAYMAN …
Kaleidoscope…thoughts are things; there is nary a thing extant that was not ever a thought…in this day of electronic wizardry, fax, etc. why should banks hold their checks for 6-7 weeks when interbank movement runs at 2% interest per hour… please…the refugees will work us out of our country…calling refugees “aliens” has an ominous connotation…they are not beings from outer space…use of words to induce hate, fear and anger…while we poke fun at them they learn our language; we can’t or won’t learn theirs… Seychelles is a good example for Belize to examine on the effects of the Oriental immigrants on the country…send a mission to observe…in 30 years the president of Belize will be of Chinese/Mayan/Indian ancestry…the vice-president will be the descendant of Creole/Indian/Mestizo…Belize is the only country that sells land at fireman rates to foreigners who then sell to their compatriots at profitable margins…this is a mystery of which one stands in awe…the white man is willing to die to gain knowledge; the black man is afraid to leave his neighborhood…Belizeans adopt the images of America but not the work involved to create them…now that Britain has retrenched the Gurkhas after long and faithful service to Empire, Belize should absorb them into the BDF, payment being land and citizenship after 12 years service…more rewarding to them than thank you and a long service medal

SUICIDE
— by Dr. Elma Whittaker-Augustine, Clinical Psychologist Belize’s “10th September” is also the date that the world is asked to pause and focus on preventing suicide worldwide. The theme for this year is “Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention”. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The data on the suicide rate in Belize is relatively low (13 in 2012) in comparison to other countries. However, one suicide is one too many. The more we increase our knowledge of suicide, stigma, a major barrier to suicide prevention, will hopefully gradually disappear. Our article for this month will focus on some of the causes of suicide, its impact, ways to respond and interventions. Why do some individuals choose suicide? It is not possible to accurately answer this question. However, some factors that contribute to this decision are feeling intense emotional pain, which is reported to be more painful than physical pain, feeling hopeless, feeling life is not worth living, feeling trapped, feeling isolated, feeling our problems are insurmountable and we have tried all options and have had enough and think that the only relief is suicide, feeling that our family and friends would be better off without us. All these feelings are also symptoms of Clinical Depression.

THE REALITY ON THE GROUND
— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd I want to remain optimistic that there are enough Belizeans of right thinking mind who want to see a Belize that will progress for the greater good of as many people as possible. I want to think that amongst my fellow Belizeans there are people who do not only want to see themselves live a decent quality of life, but want to see others experience the same, and thus will help to make that possible. I want to think that in our midst we have our own Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Mandela, people who are agents of change and who stand up for principles and others. Yes, the adversity they will face in Belize will not be as severe as what the above leaders faced, thus one would think that all the more reason it should be easier to rise up and be part of a revolution of change to uplift this country.

RENOVATED BATTLEFIELD PARK INAUGURATED
A newly remodeled Battlefield Park was officially opened to the public today by the Belize City Council. The historic park has sat at the center of Belize City for centuries, in fact as far back as the 1600s. The park is prominently known as a meeting place for inhabitants of Belize City since 1638. It is referred to as the birthplace of the Labor Movement in Belize, which was headed by popular Belizean activist, Antonio Soberanis, as well as the People’s Committee, which later became known as the People’s United Party. The downtown park was a hub for public meetings and even concerts in the past, but recently it had been reduced to a place of refuge for some of the vagrants who roam the city. Some members of the public were disgruntled at the thought of renovating the relic because of the historical significance attached to it. Nevertheless, it fell under the Belize City Council’s “Master Plan” to remodel the downtown area of Belize City and thus, contractor International Environments Ltd., was given the job to do a complete facelift of the age-old park. Works commenced in May of this year; not just to upgrade the park, but to reclaim the area as a bona fide plot of public space.

CRIME ON DOWNWARD SPIRAL UP TO AUGUST
Major crime down by 43%, but carnal knowledge up 51%. The Belize Police Department has issued a press release indicating the crime statistics for the month of August 2013. According to the statistics, there has been an overall reduction of 11% in major crimes across the country. There were only 3 murders recorded countrywide for August 2013, compared to 9 murders which were committed last year in the month of August – a difference of 33%. From January to August of 2013, there were a total of 70 murders, compared to a total of 97 for the same period of 2012. This so far amounts to a 27.8% reduction in murders, while shooting incidents are also down by 29.4%. The biggest decrease in major crimes, however, is the 43% decline in the number of recorded robberies. While rape is down by 30%, there has been a considerable, and disturbing, increase in the number of reported incidents of carnal knowledge. That particular crime is steadily on the rise – up by a whopping 51%. Theft also continues to spike; it has gone up by 7%.

TORRENTIAL FLOODING AFFECTS NORTH AND WEST OF THE JEWEL
Heavy rainfall associated with a slow-moving area of low pressure over Belize over the last few days has caused flash flooding in La Democracia near Mile 31on the George Price Highway. NEMO has been monitoring the area since Monday. Earlier this morning a flash flood from fast-rising waters due to heavy rainfall which fell last night caused the Sibun River to break its bank. NEMO reported that several homes on the Coastal Road were under water due to the flash flood. NEMO Belize District Coordinator and the Police were deployed to the area to establish what occurred and render assistance. Even though the water is receding rapidly the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team (BDARRT) will continue to check the area and remain on standby to provide any search and rescue assistance that might be required. At Mile 27 on the George Price Highway the road is compromised due to damage to a culvert, causing traffic delays. Drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution when passing that area and whilst travelling on the highways as rains have affected most of the major and secondary roads and streets throughout the country.

THOMAS VINCENT RAMOS DAY IN ILLINOIS, HOUSTON AND LOS ANGELES
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have issued proclamations to establish September 17 as Thomas Vincent Ramos Day in their states and cities. They are paying tribute to the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize — a celebration whose significance has spilled over the country’s borders. This recognition and honor of a Garifuna icon in the US is the third such among US governors, state legislators and mayors. In 2009, former Houston Mayor Bill White proclaimed December 2nd as Andy Palacio Day; in March 2013, a petition in the Texas Legislature was introduced by Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and was passed to declare March 14 as Chief Joseph Chatoyer Day in Texas and in September, the state of Illinois has followed. “This is very good,” said Josalee Velasquez on the Garifuna Times Facebook page, “a milestone in proclaiming our stand… So proud to be Garifuna in Chicago.”

COMMERCIAL WATER HARVESTING Letters
— by Charles Leslie, Jr. Dear Editor, A resource that we get plenty of, annually, and could be harvested and exported – RAIN WATER. Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for human consumption, landscape irrigation, farm irrigation and other uses. The rainwater is collected from various hard surfaces such as roof tops and/or other types of manmade above ground hard surfaces. This ancient practice is currently growing in popularity throughout the world due to interest in reducing the consumption of potable water and the inherent qualities of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting advantages: • Makes use of a natural resource and reduces flooding, storm water runoff, erosion, and contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals, and fertilizers. • Reduces the need for imported water. In our case, we have plenty that we can export to those countries that are importing water. • Excellent source of water for landscape irrigation, with no chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine, and no dissolved salts and minerals from the soil.

A CRY FOR HELP FROM CONSEJO SHORES
A resident of Consejo Shores, located about 7 – 8 miles from Corozal Town, called us this afternoon to inform us that the Consejo Shores road is under 1 – 2 feet of water, and that every year for the last three or so years, the road has been flooded, leaving residents in a terrible situation. Consejo Shores is a retirement community mainly inhabited by foreigners, some of whom have been here for years, who pay a large sum of money to live in the area, we are told. We are told that many residents can’t get out of the community to buy the necessary foodstuffs, fuel and other necessities, and furthermore, garbage from the dump is floating for miles on the road and children can’t get to school. When the rains finally quit, the water takes 4 – 5 days to recede to the point where the road is usable again. The resident, who has been in Belize since 2003, said that the road should have been fixed about eight years ago, but the money has always disappeared, used for other things, and the residents have been left to punish with the yearly floods and the terrible inconvenience of being stranded if they don’t have a very high vehicle to try to traverse the road.

BANKS HOLDINGS AND CPBL BACK IN COURT
This time a settlement is reached. After being delayed for several months, the case between Banks Holdings Limited of Barbados and the Belize Citrus Growers Association Investment Company Limited and Citrus Products of Belize Limited reached trial before Justice Rita Joseph Olivetti in the Belize Supreme Court yesterday, Monday, September 16. Although the litigation is now set for trial, any arguments by both sides have been put on hold. Yesterday afternoon, after half a day’s adjournment, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, who represented Banks Holdings Ltd., informed the court that both sides have agreed on a settlement to quash the dispute between them. The dispute arose over three points of contention: (1) the appointment of a chairman to the CPBL Board of Directors; (2) the method by which decisions of the board are taken; and last but certainly not least, (3) the questionable management of the company, under the leadership of CEO Dr. Henry Canton, who has reportedly been repeatedly accused of bad faith and poor management, yet citrus growers have been unable to remove him from his seat.

The Reporter

Five Women pound would-be robber
A young man who tried to rob Isolene Bańos, 69, producer of Golden Corn Tortillas , was beaten and subdued by Banos and four other women members of her family last Friday, until the police came and took him away.

Barrow fires Elvin Penner over immigration scandal
The Belize Immigration and Nationality Department continues to be plagued by scandals that are potentially damaging to Belize’s national security, and now its latest scandal has cost the Minister of State with responsibility for immigration his cabinet post. On Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a press release, [...]

Smart’s creditors may sue SIF
Emy Gilharry Ramirez of Gush & Emy, from Corozal, may sue the Social Investment Fund to recover the $500,000 in material and labor, which she claims she invested to help Kenard Smart of K&G Construction execute the $1,377,839 Dangriga market project. Ramirez retained the services of attorney Audrey Matura when [...]

Battlefield Park restored
“This park was never really a park; it was a gathering place to bring our people together. And so when you look at the design of the park, it is to pay respect to that history,” said Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.

Blogs

Cashing in karma points and full moon pictures
Sometimes you cash in your karma points on something completely unrelated to how you got them and sometimes there is a direct connection between doing a person a favor and being able to do one back for them very soon after. For us this time, it was the latter. Paul got a phone call last night from Jason, they were stalled by Ritchie’s and needed a tow. It was a toss up, stay home and watch the end of project runway or be the go with girl. I figured even though I was not really needed, he asked for company and it could earn me a few karma points to go for the ride. Especially since I was away overnight with Mary the night before for dinner and a movie. More details coming on that by tomorrow morning.

The Signs of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro
I love signs and I love taking pictures of signs. Especially hand painted ones. Here are some pics that I took in the Boca Del Rio area (between town and the bridge). And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. There are about 5 different spellings of motorcycle at this shop. I’ve only been in Compadres once but there were certainly no blonde bikini-ed ladies playing pool. Lots of little delis to get food. In NYC, a deli makes sandwiches, in Belize, it makes local food. I guess that makes sense. My favorite San Pedro tranny.

Little Belize’s Independence Day the Biggest Yet
As a young nation celebrating its 32nd birthday, Belize is understandably enthusiastic about Independence Day, and this year’s September 21 celebration is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet, according to the owners of Belize’s first eco-resort, The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick opened Chaa Creek’s doors on the same date that Belize achieved independence from Great Britain, said she’s not surprised that Belizean nationalism shows no signs of waning. “I imagine that independence day celebrations were wildly enthusiastic in the young United States of America around 1808 while Americans were still basking in their new found liberty and sense of national identity. “We’re undergoing the same thing in Belize right now. There’s a lot of pride, excitement, and energy in watching your new nation grow and take its place in the world. There’s a real feeling of having arrived mixed with excitement about the future. “We’ve come a long way in 32 years and we’re still just recognising the amount of opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be,” Ms Fleming said.

“Sound and Vision” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On waking up yesterday morning I felt as if I had taken a mild beating around the left side of my face, and especially my nose. I know that I am a relatively heavy sleeper but surely Rose couldn’t have ‘got her own back’ for something I had said and it didn’t wake me. A visit to the bathroom and a look in the mirror (no photos I am pleased to report) and I saw that the left side of my nose was slightly swollen and the area around my left eye had some dark discolouration. And then it hit me (no, not Rose) I was suffering from sinusitis. Now knowing that it wasn’t a consequence of upsetting Rose I made my mug of coffee, grabbed hold of the iPad and went to my place of choice in the early morning, the veranda. Once out there I didn’t really do a great deal. Yes I read the news online (enjoying the write-up on Arsenal’s game the previous day), publishing yesterday’s edition and sending a couple of emails to try to find out if the company handling the shipping of our stuff from the UK have managed to establish exactly where our consignment is.

International Sources

Belize’s Independence Day
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the Belizean people as you mark the 32nd anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21. Our relationship is strong and rooted in the shared values of democracy and cultural diversity. We work as partners to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build opportunities for all people. The successful friendship between our two countries sets a powerful example for the entire region. As you celebrate from northernmost Corozal to southernmost Toledo, I wish the people of Belize a safe and joyous Independence Day.

New World Oil & Gas boss eager to begin new phase
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) boss Bill Kelleher says he is eager for the company to begin a new phase of it development, following the new cornerstone investment from Niels Petroleum. The transformational funding deal, which provides up to US$50mln and was signed-off by shareholders last week, will help the firm create value. Among other initiatives allows the group to now look at taking on additional opportunities. In this morning’s interim results statement the company run the rule over a busy period – which included a drill programme that found evidence of a hydrocarbon system within its acreage in Belize but fell short of making a discovery. Elsewhere it has completed a seismic exploration programmes on its acreage in Denmark. “As the first half of 2013 has shown, there is no straight line route to building a multi-project exploration and production company,” said Kelleher, New World chairman and chief executive. “While key milestones were met over the last six months, this has been a mixed period for New World. “On the one hand, we fulfilled earn-in commitments at all three of our exploration projects so that New World has been assigned a 100% working interest in the Blue Creek project in Belize and a 25% interest in each of Danica Jutland and Danica Resources in Denmark.

McAfee Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee Speaks with CNBC's Jane Wells Today
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with former McAfee Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee. Portions of the interview will run throughout CNBC's Business Day Programming. All references must be sourced to CNBC. MCAFEE ON MURDER, DRUGS AND WHO SHOULD PLAY HIM IN A MOVIE JANE WELLS: Who killed him? JOHN MCAFEE: I have no clue. WELLS: No clue at all? MCAFEE: You know Belize is the murder capital of the world. If you look at the statistics more people are murdered in Belize than anywhere. Tourists, disappear all the time. It's not publicized because tourism is 70% of the gross national product of the country. And so it's kept very quiet but it's a very violent, very dangerous place.

John McAfee talks tech, drugs and breaking bad
John McAfee is back in the technology game. Should he be trusted? McAfee is living in Portland, Ore., nearly a year after fleeing Belize to avoid questioning about the murder of a neighbor. He still insists he had nothing to do with the gunshot killing. "Belize is the murder capital of the world," he said this week. "It's a very violent, very dangerous place." Since returning stateside, McAfee has surfaced rarely. Three months ago, he posted a racy video on YouTube mocking his former anti-virus software company. Last week he had to respond to a false report that he had died of an overdose in Las Vegas. McAfee said the hoax was not a publicity stunt on his part, and that he spent a lot of time frantically contacting friends who believed he was dead.

Kuwait Amir congratulates Armenia, Belize, Malta on Nat''l Day
HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah congratulated each of Armenia, Belize and Malta on their respective National Day on Saturday. The warm sentiments were conveyed in separate congratulatory cables to Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan, the Belize Governor-General Sir Colville Young and Malta's President George Abela, according to an Amiri Diwan statement. HH the Amir wished the leaders the best of health and their nations development and prosperity.

SADR present at Independence Day Celebrations in Belize
Saharawi Ambassador in Nicaragua Mr. Suleimŕn Tieb Henŕn has represented the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the ceremonies commemorating the 32th anniversary of the independence of Belize on 21 September 1981, according to a statement of SADR embassy in Nicaragua. Saharawi Ambassador held bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize H.E. Mr. Wilfred Elrington. SADR envoy to theses ceremonies took this opportunity to convey to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Mr. Colville Norbert Young, also representative of Queen Elizabeth of England, the congratulations of Saharawi President Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz on this important event.

THE ULTIMATE SCUBA DIVING HOLIDAY
There are many spectacular dive sites in the Caribbean, but few of them can beat the coral reefs and beautiful underwater coral gardens found beneath the warm, crystal clear tropical waters from Mexico and Belize. Belize in particular is quite rightly considered to be one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Marine life is fairly similar wherever you travel around in the Caribbean, but the combination of thriving marine life and superb coastal resorts makes the coastal area between Mexico and Belize a perfect dive destination. When you’ve had enough of the resort live, leave it behind and head down beneath the waves where you will find colorful corals gardens, dramatic deep drop offs and a varied selection of reef fish such as angel fish, groupers, barracuda and if you are lucky you will encounter the biggest fish in the sea, the Whale Shark. Crossing Borders Cross border transfers between Mexico and Belize are fairly easy and lots of diving enthusiasts start off their trip exploring dive sites off the coast of Cozumel before heading down to continue diving in Belize.


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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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