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#473244 - 09/24/13 06:49 AM Today's Belize News: September 24, 2013
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

Kudos to the Flota girls!
Birthdays are extra special for young children, as it more than likely means a party, complete with cake and goodies, and of course, presents! But that’s not how everyone does it, as The San Pedro Sun has found out about three wonderful girls who preferred to raise funds for a worthy cause instead of getting presents on their birthdays. Alejandra (10), Arianna (8) and Addison (4) Flota asked their wonderful birthday party guests to kindly make contributions to their cause, rather than bring presents. Those generous guests in turn helped the girls be able to hand over $730 to Saga Humane Society on September 17, 2013!

San Pedro celebrates Belize’s 32nd independence
While Belize is still a relatively young nation, her people take pride in celebrating their independence from British rule. Excitement and cheer are displayed in a parade of colors and Belizean pride every 21st of September. After the formalities of the Independence Eve, the jump up is a joyous celebration of patriotism. In San Pedro Town, elaborate costumes adorned the streets as the jump-up crowd made their way through the town streets. The 32nd Independence Day parade route was set to start from the beach in front of San Pedro High School and make its way into town central and ending up at Central Park. Residents of all ages crowded the street sides of the parade route from early, to ensure they got a good viewing spot. The parade kicked off shortly after 1PM, islanders ready to party in the streets adorned with an array of feathers, beads and lots of glitter. Leading the parade was Miss San Pedro 2013-2014 Solani Graniel in a beautifully decorated float depicting the best Ambergris Caye has to offer: sand, sun and sea.

Ambergris Today

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, 30 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.

San Pedro Commemorates Belize's 32nd Independence Anniversary
Bringing in the 32nd Anniversary of Belize’s Independence, the San Pedro Town Council held the official flag raising ceremony and fireworks display on Friday, September 20, 2013. The festivities kicked off with the annual block party held at Central Park. The official ceremony had speeches of goodwill by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, dance presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy and a song by Elina Palma. The crowds parted and gave way to the arrival of Miss San Pedro 2013 Solani Graniel into Central Park. She was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Mito Paz and led by the San Pedro High School Marching Band and the Torch Bearers made up by members of the San Pedro Leos Club. This year the Belize Coast Guard assembly was lead by Sanpedrana Almita Pinelo Coast Guard Adjutant, who just recently became a member of the Belize Coast Guard after completing her training in the United States of America. Almita had the honor of leading the Belize Coast Guard assembly into Central Park, inviting Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia for the inspection of the members and firing off the 21 gun salute at the stroke of midnight.

Town Council Continues Patriotic Celebrations with Concert
The patriotic celebrations continued on September 21 at Central Park with a musical concert under the auspices of the Ambassador and people of El Salvador. “I am having a dejavu, a flashback into San Pedro’s past when in the 1930’s San Pedro boasted La Banda de San Pedro with thirty odd musicians,” commented Emcee Angel Nunez, as he introduced the 64-member military symphony of El Salvador. The two-hour extravaganza included a grand repertoire of themes of several movies and compositions of renowned composers like Agustin Lara, Ray Conniff, and selections from Abba, The Beatles and Rocky. The delighted audience was just one step from getting up and dance and applauded over generously to the visiting musicians. A packed Central park enjoyed this show for two hours, a gift from Belize Ambassador to El Salvador, Her Excellency Celi Paz.

Pic of the Wee: Enjoying the Simple Things in Life, Island Living
A picture is worth a thousand words and more; this great capture by Jose Luis Zapata shows us how much fun this girls is having just by swinging away on her hammok, enjoying a beautiful day at the beach. Island Life in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doesn't get better than this. Photo by Jose Luis Zapata Photography

Saga Thanks for a Successful Central American Cook Off
Saga HS would like to give a sincere Thank You to El Fogon and every person involved in making Cook Off- Central America September 19 a festive and successful night. Newly paved Trigger Street, country flags made for a celebratory atmosphere for a block party all provided by gracious hosts El Fogon for the evening. Money raised will be used for the October SNIP-a-thon. Saga HS will be hosting visiting vets to provide over 300 FREE spay/neuter for low income island residents. All eight countries of Central America were represented with impressive entries into this month’s contest. After all the votes were counted Feliz Bar’s was the 1st prize winner for Pollo Encebollado - (Nicaragua). 2nd prize winner went to El Fogon for Tamales - (Belize). 3rd prize Croquetas de res con queso - (Costa Rica) to Carolina Caldweld. The other delicious dishes were Pupusas (Salvador) from Pupuseria tipico Salvadoranio Restaurant , Chicken Quesadillas (Mexico) - Faride Lima , Stuffed Plantains w/ cream - (Honduras) Letty Hernandes, Patacones - (Panama) Carolina Caldweld, Boyos (Guatemalan tamales) – Patricia Rosalez. We are very grateful to have the support of all those who entered. Thank you to dish sponsors Rene Steinmetz, Pampered Paws, Sew What, and Wolfgang Wind.

Misc Belizean Sources

September 10th Ceremonies 2013
55 minute video

MET Partners with Astrum Helicopters to Offer New Maya Mountain River Decent Expeditions in Belize
Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET), a family-owned and operated Eco-resort in Western Belize, announce the upcoming dates for their Maya Mountain River Decent Expeditions for the 2013-2014 season. MET has partnered with Astrum Helicopters Belize in order to offer helicopter drops into the jungles of Belize as a starting point for these new expeditions. This excursion offers something for those athletic thrill-seekers who want to experience the most seldom traveled parts of Belize. MET's specially-trained guides will take visitors on the ride of their life. The expedition begins when you arrive at the remote jungle lodge at MET. This is the base of operations where you will spend the first and final nights of the trip. The next morning, the adventure begins with as scenic drive through to the helicopter departure point in the mountains. The helicopter flight takes you over rugged jungle terrain of the Maya Mountains and into the upper reaches of the pristine Rio de Dos Quebrados. Using inflatable kayaks, spend five days descending this pristine waterway, an unforgettable journey that MET pioneered first in 1994.

Ambassador of Ecuador to Belize, His Excellency Segundo Andrango visited San Pedro on September 18 along side a colleague Mr. Luis Alberto Morales.

Banda Sinfónica Militar de El Salvador - September 21, 2013 (19 photos)
The "Banda Sinfónica Militar" from El Salvador played hits like ABBA's ever popular "Dancing Queen", "Mamma Mia" and "Fernando" , the Star Wars Theme Song and even our very own National Anthem! It was quite impressive and definitely a great show!

Independence Day 2013 Parade Winners BEST FLOAT: 1st Place - Wil Alamilla - "Shaping up a colorful future" 2nd Place - Wings ADULT GROUP: 1st Place - San Pedro AIDS Commission 2nd Place - Sajia's Construction 3rd Place - Just Friends SCHOOL CATEGORY: Wil Alamilla "Shaping up a colorful future" KIDS CATEGORY: Little Dynamic Stars All winners can pass by at the San Pedro Town Council to collect their prize. Thanks everyone for participating and thank you to all our judges.

INDEPENDENCE EVE 2013 (54 photos)

VIDEO: Belize Independence Day Parade 2013
Celebrating 32 years of independence.

UB Library Summer Reading Program
Feelgood news of the day. The University of Belize Library had a Summer reading program. Is that a jaguar that came to talk with the kids?

Mountain Equestrian Trails in International Lifestyle Magazine
Mountain Equestrian Trails is highlighted in the latest issue of International Lifestyle Magazine. There are 4 pages of information about MET and Cayo, and it's all great. They highlight the horseback riding and birding tours that MET is known for. It's in the middle, around page 64 "There are some beautiful locations on this planet where you can take time out to enjoy the beauty of nature and the jungle of western Belize is one of them. Here you can wake to the sounds of a jungle, the croaking toucans, or calling parrots. There are the sounds that are just deafening and yet, at the same time, are just so beautiful because they are all sounds natural to the habitat, it is freedom."

Cayo Tops World's Best Budget Locations
Cayo was listed number 1 in a Huffington Post article about the best budget locations in the world. The author has a lot of great things to say about Cayo and its residents. "Warm and welcoming, independent and private. Those four perhaps seemingly contradictory adjectives best describe both Belizeans and their country. Belize is also one of the safest countries in the world, despite what you may read about it... However, I favor the interior Cayo region with its Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest, a frontier where self-sufficient communities are emerging and attracting like-minded folks interested in being 'independent together,' as a friend living in this part of the world describes it.

Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations
Independence Day was the perfect night to see some of the best Belizean music, and the venue was the Soul Project, Cayo's cultural hub. What an amazing show Emmeth Young and his band put on. Hopefully they'll be back soon. "Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations rocked the Soul Project Saturday night. It was an incredible show with some of Belize's best talent. They drummed through the night. What an amazing experience!"

Recent rains in the north caused inconveniences for families in Concepcion village. One family had to bail out their house and set up sand bags to try and keep the water out.

Captive parrots rehabilitated, returned to the wild
The Belize Bird Rescue is celebrating the successful rehabilitation and return of wild parrots to the forest. According to BBR, after two years of rehabilitation, two former captive parrots were set free. During their rehabilitation, Belize Bird Rescue officials say the birds were able to grow back their clipped winds, develop muscle tone and flight ability as well as learning to feed themselves in the wild. The parrots were released in July of last year in one of the national parks, and last month, this photograph of the former captive birds was captured. Despite their early life of captivity, these birds have flourished and reproduced in the wild. They were identified by metal bands placed on the adults’ legs before they were released. The baby parrot does not have that metal band.

Belize Immigration Smuggling and Corruption
Belize Consultant has been following this latest Visa scandal at the Immigration Department. Our inside governmental sources that leaks confidential information have given us all the details on the matter , and we here at (BC) will put the information at hand to all social partners and media so that the facts are presented and those involved in the visa corruption be exposed. And the inside story goes like This: The reason why the previous Immigration Director Ruth Meighan was transferred abruptly: At the immigration department under the UDP government there is specific Ministers that are involved with Human Trafficking (visas) and the sale of Nationality, they are Hon. Elvin Penner, Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Erwin Contreras. These three Ministers have a structure in place that allows them to profit huge amounts of money through the Immigration Department. It is established that the proceeds of these monies goes to fuel their political ambition and also personal gain. The previous Director Meighan served under the then Minister of Immigration John Saldivar , where she learned how the sale of Visas and Nationality is done through an international smuggling ring, established by these three politicians.

Anonymous donor gives half a million dollars for PICU project
An anonymous donor has gifted half a million dollars for the new pediatric intensive care unit under construction at the KHMH. The announcement of the “generous donation” was made this morning via a press release by the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The official statement says that the half a million dollars is the first half of a pledge of one million dollars. The statement from Mrs. Barrow says: “it is comforting to know that people recognize the significance of this project and the great need for a properly equipped and staffed facility for our children. This donation will be a huge help in our efforts to ensure that Belize gets its first dedicated Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to give newborns and critically ill children the best possible healthcare right here at home.”

Channel 7

Penner Passport Was For S. Korean Fugitive
Tonight, the latest in the Elvin Penner Immigration Scandal is that three immigration officers have been recommended for suspension. A release issued one hour ago from the ministry of immigration says that, quote, "there has been a serious breach of the regulations and rules governing the issuance of this passport and that officers did, whether through negligence or acquiescence, allow a fraud to be perpetrated on the system," end quote. The release doesn't say much else - and coming four days after the Prime Minister made the first announcement, it has to be viewed as a disappointment. The release still does not disclose who the passport was issued to or under what circumstances. Neither does it say who signed the passport, and under what circumstances, or how the case came to light. But 7news has learned that the new Belizean is Kim Won Hong - who is wanted in South Korea for embezzling millions of dollars from a huge South Korean Firm called SK Shipping Company. An SK executive Chey Tae-won is serving time for the embezzlement - and his case is coming up for appeal. He says Won-hong was the mastermind behind the embezzlement scheme - and that Won-hong swindled him out of half a billion dollars - and that's billion with a "B".

Questions Over Castro
And tonight there are reports of more scandal coming out of Taiwan involving a Belizean politician. Credible reports to this newsroom say that Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro, who left for Taiwan last week, was sent home after a Taiwanese female Ministry of Foreign Affairs staffer complained that he had made unwelcome sexual advances upon her. Our reports say, the act of indiscretion created quite a stir in Taipei's official circles. As a result, very senior officials in Taiwan reportedly complained directly to Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday. He reportedly called Castro and ordered him to return home immediately. Again, that's what we have pieced together from credible sources. But Castro, who returned to Belize City on Saturday, denies it all. He says no such thing happened, and the first he heard of what he calls "all kinds of foolishness" was when he returned to Belize. He said he was not sent home, that his trip was from the 14th to the 21st and that's exactly the itinerary that was kept to.

Talented Young Media Multi-Tasker Killed In Hit And Run
You may not know the name Erron Golanche, but you may have seen him in the TV ad about SMART Prepaid Roaming in Mexico, or you may have seen his work on countless advertisements. The 25 year old Golanche was a media multi-tasker, he could shoot, edit and do graphic design. But late on Friday night, he was killed in a hit and run accident. It happened in Orange Walk when he was riding on his motorcycle. His mother explained the circumstances: Jerrilyn Flowers, Mother of Erron Golanche "Eyewitnesses state that they saw the white pickup coming and swerving across the street. The ladies that were in the minivan in front of the driver pull to the side of the street to let him passed, but instead of him passing he swerve from his lane directly into Erron's lane hitting Erron. Erron died on the spot. The driver continue driving"

Two Years After His House Was Shot Up By GSU, Menjivar Gets Off
In May of 2011, it made the headlines all over when the Gang Suppression Unit raided Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar's home. It was hugely controversial because the GSU let off with over 100 bullets on the home; they said that Menjivar fired at them first. Menjivar, his pregnant wife, their 3 children, and their maid were sleeping inside their home, and said that they thought it was an armed assault conducted by bandits dressed in police uniforms. So, after all that gunfire, and over 13 hours of searching, nothing incriminating was found, and Menjivar was charged with 9 counts of attempted murder, and he was jailed until his attorney could secure bail. That was over 2 year ago, and today, Justice Denis Hanomansingh handed down his decision after hearing the trial without Jury. Daniel Ortiz was there when that ruling was given:

Daughter’s Testimony of Abuse Sends Father To Jail
This morning, a 56 year old father was convicted aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and sentenced to three years in prison by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. We can't give you names or show you his face, but during the in camera trial, the victim, his now 16 year old daughter, testified that on March 24, her father fondled her breast and that that was not the first time, but the second. The child told the court that after the incident, she told her brother, who then took her to the police to report the matter. But in court, the father told the court that he was innocent of the crime and the only reason the child made up that story about him was because he and one of her brothers had a misunderstanding earlier. The trial started last Thursday and this morning, when the father was returned to court, he was convicted of the crime and sentenced to three years.

Traffic Accident On Boom road Was Serious, Could’ve Been Deadly
Earlier we told you about the traffic accident that claimed the life of 25 year old Erron Golanche, well the number of weekend fatalities could have increased last night when there was a serious collision on the Boom-Hattieville Road. It happened at about 8:00 when Godfrey Garcia ran off the road and into a ditch. Paul Waight who was driving a van from Hattieville to Boom accompanied by Joseph Seguro and his common law Daisy Alamilla stopped to render aid and so did Paul's brother who was passing in a green pick up truck. It all happened on a dangerous corner and Seguro saw a Red Rodeo approaching which he tried to slow down. But the Rodeo knocked him, his common law and crashed into the green pickup injuring Michael Wade. Police explained further:... ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "There was an incident that happened prior and persons had stop to assist and persons on the highway may have not notice the vehicles on the road and they knocked down and eventually drove into one of the persons assisting."

PM Barrow Uses Independence Day Platform To Support Equal Treatment For All, Gays Included
Independence Day in Belmopan was all about the speeches by the two political leaders, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca. Fonseca spoke to 21 minutes and Barrow spoke for 27 - but, overall the post of Prime Minister - usually has the advantage; he speaks last and can speak about a whole host of government programmes, while the opposition leader can only speak about the general state of things, and he has to do so without getting too political. So, most of the news coming out of the speech is from the Prime Minister who outlined a major government funded infrastructural push funded by Petrocaribe money:... Prime Minister Dean Barrow "My Fellow Belizeans, as we start this thirty third year of our Independence our material prospects are exciting to behold. We are embarked on nothing less than the creation of a post-Independence golden age that there will be will be a dramatic second half growth, and that it will surpass the 2% that the National Budget forecasts." "In a word, it is infrastructure."

San Ignacio Man Killed By Stabbing
San Ignacio Police have one man detained tonight, and they continue to question him in relation to the stabbing death of 29 year-old San Ignacio Resident Jorge Tzib. Police found him killed on Joseph Andrews Drive; he was stabbed multiple times, and his throat was slit. Today, 7News went to San Ignacio town to find out about caused the young man to be brutally killed in the street. We spoke with police. Insp. Reymundo Reyes "What we have is this morning sometime after 1:55 am San Ignacio receive information of a male person lying in the middle of the street on Joseph Andrews Drive in front of the Red Cross building. As a result they proceeded to the area and on arrival they saw this male person lying on his left side of his body with what appears to be multiple stab wounds on the knee area and a slit on the throat."

PAC, UDP Style Meets in Belmopan
Earlier this month, 7News told you about the plan which Government majority members of the Public Accounts Committee intended to implement: they decided to look into public spending done by the two political parties' government administrations from the financial periods of 2003/2004 forward for the PUP and 2008/2009 forward for the UDP. The Opposition has made it clear that they refuse to support this agenda as the way forward, and they've called these meetings illegal since the Chair of the committee did not set the agenda. Current Chairman Julius Espat and his fellow opposition member, Rodwell Ferguson, who makes up the PAC, did not attend today's meeting, the first in the series, which was significant for 2 reasons. Firstly, it was the first meeting in years which actually conducted the business of the committee, and it was also done in the public, where the media was allowed in, which is not the norm of this or any committee. Once again, the Government majority elected John Saldivar as protem chair of today's meeting, and in his opening statement, Saldivar made a public request of Julius Espat, which he described as a compromise. Here's how he explained why Espat should sit as chair on the Wednesday meetings:

Massive Problem Croc Caught On San Pedro
A 700 pound 11 foot American Crocodile was brought in from San Pedro Town today. It's what is known as a "problem croc" because it has lost the fear of humans and is feeding on their pets and their food. More than that, the massive reptile has been seen slithering through backyards at the back of the San Juan area of San Pedro. With all that, the folks from ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary have been trying to trap the problem croc and they finally snared it today. With the assistance of Quality Poultry Products which provided a boat, they brought the croc to the city for further transfer to their facility in Ladyville. We were at Quality Poultry when the very big boy was brought in:.. Vince Rose, ACES "This croc has been patrolling the backwaters of San Pedro, all the back houses eating their dogs basically for the last couple of years. We had caught him a long time ago and hasn't seem him since. We finally caught him in San Juan area of San Pedro and the Quality Poultry Chicken had donated their services to bring the croc from San Pedro to here."

Were Russians Really Stranded On Way To ATM Cave
The social media lit up yesterday when rumors went out that 10 tourists got trapped in the ATM Caves IN Teakettle due to a flash food. Well, it appears that those rumors were greatly exaggerated. That's what the tour guide from Mayawalk Tours, who led the tourists into the caves told us today, when we spoke to him. Here's how he described the events: Aaron Juan, Owner/Operator Mayawalk Tours "No one was trapped in the cave. We never went in the cave. It was a normal day at the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal). In the rainy season the river goes up and down and we are always a little bit careful about that and I had explain that to them already." "They are all river rafting guides actually and one of them owns an adventure company in the states. One owns an adventure "White Water Rafting" in Russia. Our little river to them was not a big deal. They decide to try it and if we can do the cave then we do it but if we can't then we just return. I had explain all that already to them."

Oh No She Didn’t!
In our last segment, 7News showed you excerpts from the Belmopan Independence Day ceremony. That was but one of several held around the country, and this year, the Village of Succotz experienced quite an exciting Independence Day celebration. It happened when the queen of the Ms Independence Day pageant pulled quite a stunt. She refused to accept the crown because the organizers allegedly jilted her out of her package she was to receive as winner. Yancy Bautista, the 2013 Ms Independence attended the crowning ceremony, and chose not to participate. That's until she snatched the crown from the runner up just as they placed it on her head, and she ran off, breaking it. It's the kind of thing which draws attention, and it has already gone viral on Facebook. Today, 7News spoke with Bautista, where we asked her why she did it, and if she now has any regrets. Here's what the third former said: Yancy Bautista, Miss Independence 2013 "I won the Miss Independence 2013-2014. The reason why this happen is because they involve politics in what they shouldn't. My dress should not supposed to be red. It is supposed to be white."

#473245 - 09/24/13 06:49 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 24, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

3 immigration officers suspended for issuance of passport to South Korean national, Kim Won-Hong
Tonight, there is much more information coming out of the immigration scandal which resulted in the immediate firing of Minister of State Elvin Penner last Thursday. The catalyst for the [...]

Independence Day Speeches: P.M. lauds his government
At midnight on the twentieth September, a flag raising ceremony was held at Belize’s City’s Memorial Park to usher in Independence Day. Thereafter the formal Independence Day festivities moved to [...]

…And also highlights landmark case of Caleb Orosco vs G.O.B.
A highlight in the Prime Minister’s Independence Speech relates to a landmark case in the Supreme Court for which a decision is pending.  It is the case of Caleb Orosco [...]

While Leader of the Opposition says government is reeling with scandals
For the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, the government is reeling from one scandal to the other. Fonseca also called for less confrontation and more dialogue, less arrogance and [...]

Highlights of Independence Day Parade in Belize City
In Belmopan, the official ceremonies concluded around midday; the government and the leader of the opposition had different versions on the state of the nation.  In Belize City, the formal [...]

San Ignacio resident is murdered on a main thoroughfare
In the wee hours of this morning a San Ignacio resident was brutally murdered on one of the municipality’s main thorough fare. Jorge Luis Tzib was brutally stabbed and his [...]

Investor scouting group from Russia trapped at ATM cave
There was another incident in the west which fortunately ended without casualties. Nancy Marin of NM Productions, a location management company out of San Ignacio, booked a river tour at [...]

Erron Golanche of Acafellas killed in hit and run in Orange Walk
Popular beat boxing talent Erron Golanche, a member of the musical group Acafellas, lost his life on Friday night during a tragic hit and run in Orange Walk Town.  Details [...]

5 persons injured in near fatal accident on Boom/Hattieville Road
There was a near tragedy on the Boom/Hattieville road just after eight on Sunday night. It involved four separate vehicles and resulted in five persons being seriously injured. It didn’t [...]

Mike Menjivar has his day in court…he’s home free
In May 2011, popular Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar was at home with his family when the GSU raided his home, supposedly looking for drugs and guns. In the melee which [...]

3 year behind bars for Belize City man who sexually assaulted 15 year old
A Belize City Construction Worker was convicted this morning in the Belize City Magistrate for committing an indecent assault upon a fifteen year old girl. Dwight Flowers, who is thirty-seven [...]

Pageant Controversy: duly elected Miss Independence Succotz snatches crown
In the west, the Independence Day activities were not without its own share of controversy. In San Jose Succotz, the installation of Miss Independence is a big affair. But this [...]

Sports Monday: football fields, cycling tracks and softball pitch were busy over the Independence Weekend
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   30 riders congregated for the start of the BCA’s test race that ran 2 laps on the Boom-Hattieville Road [...]


Water Store Burglarized; Neighbor Accused
Twenty-one year old Samuel Halliday, a laborer of Mahogany Street was denied bail and remanded into custody when he appeared in court today and was charged with burglary. Halliday pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant lives next door to the complainant, that the stolen items have not been recovered, that the offence has become prevalent and the severity of the penalty if convicted. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and remanded Halliday into custody until November 8. The incident occurred on September 16. The complainant, Vanessa Williams, the owner of Aqua Light Purified Water, located on Mahogany Street, reported to the police that her business place was burglarized and four thousand four hundred and forty dollars was stolen.

Duo Flees Police Checkpoint; Police Pursues and Uncovers Drug
Two men, 26 year old Mason Patnett and 33 year old Ryan Tillett, who were allegedly busted with 2,545 grams of cannabis, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared in court today. They pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence carries a sentence of three years and a fine of $10,000 and a convicted person can be fined and confined. The prosecutor also objected to bail on the ground that Patnett has another charge before the court for drug trafficking. Chief magistrate Anne Marie Smith upheld the objection for Patnett and remanded him into custody until November 14. She offered Tillett a bail of one thousand dollars. The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 21. According to Police reports, the defendants were In a black Saturn car that was coming from the direction of Belmopan and was stopped at a police check point at La Democracia. The police reported that the driver of the car sped off and they pursued the suspects in a high speed chase. The police said that when the car reached mile 23 on George Price Highway , one of the occupants got out and threw a black bag out of the car. The police continued their pursuit and apprehended the suspects at mile 15. They took the suspects back to mile 23 and they retrieved the bag and when they searched it they found that it contained cannabis. As a result, Patnett and Tillett were taken into custody and charged.

Journalist Loses Partner in Hit and Run Incident in Northern Belize
Police in Orange Walk are looking for one Freddy Herman Villada in connection with a hit and run incident that claimed the life of a young man and left another recovering from the incident. Witness reports tell LOVE NEWS that sometime around 10:45 a white dodge ram truck was speeding out of San Jose Palmar and upon arriving at the junction of Palmar Road and Boundary Road, in front of the Rotaract building the white truck collided with a scooter that was coming from the opposite direction. Senaida Jimenez was right in front of the white pickup truck before it collided with the scooter and was the first respondent. SENAIDA JIMENEZ “This vehicle was coming at full speed from Palmar Football Field and my friend was telling me that this man was drunk and I told him that no he wasn’t drunk that it’s just because Palmar has a lot of holes in the street and she kept telling me that yes, the man is drinking because he is coming at full speed. Passing the Palmar Bridge, I realized that this man is coming at full speed and my friend told me that I have to move if not the driver will take me; so, I moved to my right and the driver over took me on the left hand side and on the opposite side there was a cycle coming and we just heard a bang and the driver drove away with the cycle about five hundred yards. My friend and I came down from the vehicle and we saw a body lying on the ground, we moved a bit more and we saw another body. We asked the people around to please take the other body to the hospital and someone did accept because in reality there was no police there as yet and I felt bad leaving the body there knowing that it was still moving and nobody was going to render help and so, a parent gave help and took the young man to the hospital. I called a doctor to please tend to the patient and then the doctor called and said that the patient only had broken leg; the two of them were bleeding and we were mainly taking care of the one that was moving his hand, the one lying down.”

Immigration Officers Face Possible Suspension Following Recent Scandal Involving Minister

He Fondled The Minor’s Breast Then Threatened Her If She Leaves Him; Magistrate Rules Guilty Verdict
Fifty-three year old Dwight Flowers, a laborer charged with aggravated assault on a 15 year old girl and using threatening words, was found guilty of both charges today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was sentenced to three years for aggravated assault and six months for using threatening words. Chief Magistrate Smith stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so he will serve three years. The incident occurred on March 24, 2013. The girl, who testified in camera, said that Flowers fondled her breasts and told her that if she left him he will kill her. Flowers testified and denied that he committed the offence. Flowers was not represented by any attorney.

GSU Finds Drug Hidden In Man’s Shoe; Magistrate Renders Custodial Sentence
Twenty-seven year old Jerdean Jergenson, a stevedore of Reggae Street, was sentenced to three months imprisonment today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith when he pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug for three point two grams of cannabis. Chief magistrate Smith imposed the custodial sentence because Jergenson has a previous conviction for possession of a controlled drug. The bust occurred on Saturday, September 21. The police, members of the GSU, went to Bismark Club, located on Queen Charlotte Street, to search for a person who was wanted. Upon their arrival they saw a man dressed in black who was acting suspicious. They approached the man and informed him that a search wound be conducted on him. When they searched him they found the cannabis hidden inside the inner sole of his tennis shoe. As a result, Jergenson was taken into custody and charged.

Independence Day: PM Speaks on Agriculture, National Security and Homosexuality
There was a lot said during the Prime Minister’s official Independence Day Address to the nation. We’ve been reporting on what he shared regarding infrastructural developments for the country, but there was also talk about market growth and according to the PM, the grass is greener on the Agriculture side. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW American Sugar Refiners is expanding the capacity at the BSI mill to grind ten thousand tons of cane per day as early as the next crop year which starts in two months. Farmers are busy planting additional acreage to take advantage of this historical increase and these are indeed times of plenty and prosperity for the north of our country. Meanwhile the new Green Tropics Sugar Mill is beginning to be assembled and Brazilians want to do ethanol at Libertad. Generally, agriculture is making a great leap forward. Four thousand additional acres of rice are being planted for export by the Mennonites in the area behind Roaring Creek; we are sending corn to Mexico as well as Guatemala and Jamaica and the second cattle sweep is being completed which will allow us to sell our livestock anywhere in the world.” Prime Minister Barrow also spoke of the rise in tourism arrivals for the country and commended security forces for the decrease in crime, especially the gang related activities in Belize City. There are also a number of improvements scheduled to take place in relation to keeping our territorial integrity as outlined by the Prime Minister

Police News
Police are investigating a case of attempted murder reported in Belize City. According to reports, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital around 12:30 p.m on Friday and saw a woman who identified herself as Carol Vernon, a forty eight year old resident of West Street. Vernon was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police investigations revealed that on the same day around 12:20 p.m, while she was socializing with two other persons at a garage on number sixty one George Street, a fair complexioned man came out from an overgrown yard, approached them and fired two shots in their direction injuring Vernon. The man was described as being of slim built and fair complexion, with a low haircut and he used a green rag to cover the bottom part of his face.


Sugar City Is Invaded By Belizeans Celebrating 32 Years of Sovereignty
The thirty-second anniversary of Belize’s Independence has come and gone, and with it, thousands of Belizeans travelled from close and far to be a part of the celebrations held in...

OWTHS Gets New School Building
This year Orange Walk Technical High School, whose motto is “The School that cares”, is celebrating its 30th anniversary serving the northern part of the Country as one of the...

Residents Of Consejo Corozal Invaded by Water and Garbage
But, those villages here in Orange Walk are not the only ones affected by the heavy rains over the past few days. The villagers of Consejo have been affected as...

20th Night Proves Deadly In O/W As Traffic Accident Claims The Life Of One Man
Tonight, police are on the hunt for one man who fled the scene of a horrific traffic accident. As residents of Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages were preparing to...


The International Development Bank launches investigation into SIF
The Social Investment Fund has been under public scrutiny since the alleged corruption in the construction of the Dangriga Market has been made known. After investigations into the allegations made by contractor Kennard Smart and the complaints of financiers Herman Bailey and Emmy Ramirez, four persons were fired and...

Daniel Cano, continues to deny any personal involvement in illegal practices
Former executive director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), Daniel Cano, continues to deny any personal involvement in illegal practices leading up to his resignation earlier this week. But he did admit that he allowed a culture of laxity to take over at the organization that allowed contractor Kennard...

Firearm charge against FECTAB member is thrown out
Yhony Rosado, owner of Cavetubing.com and FECTAB member was a rising national figure when in December of 2012, a firearm charge sent his reputation and his business into distress. Rosado was accused of pulling a gun on the owner of another cave tubing company Vitalino Reyes Jr. – the...

PNP Leader comments on Minister Penner’s resignation
Before the Belizean public could fully digest the SIF blowout, we learned that Elvin Penner, who served as Minister of Public Utilities, Information and Broadcasting and Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection tendered his resignation following some very grim accusations. The area representative for Cayo Northeast, we...

Woman police say put a hit on her husband is out on bail
A Belize City woman who is married to an American man and who has been accused of putting a hit on her husband is tonight out on Supreme Court bail. She is 39-year-old San Ignacio, Cayo resident, Frances Ayala Wilson. Frances Wilson was arraigned in the Belize City...

Teenage girl allegedly sexually assaulted by Ladyville couple
A teenage girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a young Ladyville couple. The couple allegedly took the 14 year old on a trip to Cayo some three days ago and then took her to their home in Lord’s Bank. That is where they allegedly gave her marijuana to smoke....

A Belmopan School Bursts Excitement Over New Library
The children at Garden City Primary School are overjoyed, and for good reason too. After a full year of planning, coordinating and executing, yesterday, September 19th, the Garden City Primary School Library officially opened its doors to eager students. the construction of the building from start...

Ramon’s Village Resort will be fully renovated in time for Christmas Season
More than three weeks ago Ramon’s Village Resort went up in a flaming frenzy that consumed almost two thirds of the famous resort. An investigation was conducted to determine the origin of the fire and on Friday, the investigation is complete. The San Pedro Sun newspaper had the report,...

DIVAZ Next Door TV Show Goes the Hype Way Again
Divaz Next Door presents: Divaz Adventure! Hosts of PlusTV’s daytime show, in collaboration with Bucawina Adventures and Eco Tours are offering viewers the opportunity to spend an activity filled day touring the Mayflower Bucawina National Park. Ana Guy-“DIVAZ Next Door” Host “DIVAZ is of course is...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Celebrating Our Independence
This past weekend every one geared up for our 32 years of Independence. This year’s theme was “Belize In You, Belie In Me, Land Of The Free”. To begin the hype for the celebrations the Caye Caulker Village Council began announcing competitions such as the most patriotic house, vehicle and or person; decoration of bicycles, dance groups and floats. The Village Council began their 3 day festivities with fireworks display and dance at the Central Park with musical entertainment from Local Belizean Artists Mr. Program, Barrington and The Islanders from San Pedro, Facebook Song Competition Winner Ronny B, Bobo Youth, Laban and his drummers, Students from the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School and Ocean Academy, Be The Next Superstar winner Shannelly, Be The Next Superstar competitors Bryan and Donnovan along side Dj Chico, and Good Life Sounds: Dj Exclusive and Dj Kenrick. Certificate of Appreciation awards were given to the following people for their time dedicated to the community:

Kayaking With A Purpose – Allie Johnstone
This will be the 5th year that a handful of students from Ocean Academy have joined me for the Kayak P.E. Class. It has been a pleasure to teach the youth paddling skills such as self-rescue, proper stroke break down, water safety, weather watching and even knot tying. Previous years I’ve had up to 5 students but this year we have 8, 3 returnees, I’m proud to say! The difference this year is we are adding another element to the class and that is Marine Biology. The paddlers are asked to choose a creature, fish, or plant to study during the semester. Students have now chose their subjects and we are ready to begin mapping habitats this Thursday. The students will then think of a question about their subject and try to learn the answer through study by the end of the year. Personally I find this addition exciting because we also as a group will be monitoring the Long snout Seahorse ( hippocampus reide) populations on the north west side of Caye Caulker. Perhaps we can discourage harvesting in Belize and teach that these creatures are worth more as a tourist attraction than dead, dried and being sent to the Asian market.


Celebrating 32 years – San Pedro Belize Independence Day Parade
Every year on September 21st individuals, groups, and businesses decorate themselves and their golf carts and parade through town. This year we were celebrating 32 years in the annual San Pedro Belize Independence Day Parade. As always the parade kicked off with a loud siren and the Police and fire department leading the way. The paraders were very lively with brightly colored costumes and great music. They drove or danced along waving flags, throwing candy to the kids. There were less people this year and I have heard some mixed reviews, not everyone cared for it. I liked the parade, you could tell everyone put a lot of effort into their costumes. The music was just right and I loved peoples song choices the first pass. A little shorter was ok but hopefully it does not become too short. Due to the number of pics I ended up with I decided to post a few large size ones, a small photo gallery and the rest of my parade pictures you can find on tacoogirl.com facebook page photo album.

2013 Independence Day Parade on Ambergris Caye, Part Two: VISIT BELIZE IN SEPTEMBER!
So…Saturday was the big Independence Day parade in San Pedro and it was a beautiful breezy and HOT day. But then…it is always hot. I already showed you the pictures of the beginning of the parade in Part One. Here are the rest… Could this group look any better? All parades should featured DJs with dancing groups behind them. It should be international law. Do you see how fun it makes things? These people have been waiting, dancing, roasting for 3 hours at this point. You’d never know it.

Chaa Creek Thanksgivings are a New Belize Tradition
Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek is reporting another rise this year in families enquiring about the latest trend in destination holidays – tropical Thanksgivings. Turning the traditional family feast into a shared adventure is becoming increasingly popular, according to the eco resort’s food and beverage manager. Bryony Fleming Bradley said that since Chaa Creek began offering all-inclusive Belize Thanksgiving packages, there has been a steady rise in interest; an increase she attributes to positive word of mouth, the proximity of Belize to North America, and the desire to do something different that the entire family can enjoy. She also attributes the rise in the popularity of Chaa Creek’s Thanksgiving holidays to the increased cost of hosting large family gatherings at home as compared to the price of the all-inclusive Belize vacation packages now on offer.

Belize – A cultural melting pot
Belize a refuge, a home of diverse multi-ethnic cultures, people with different skin tones, different languages and belonging to various ‘pots’ all adding to our colorful Belizean culture. Lying amidst the horizons of Central America and the vast Caribbean sea; a nation with the most diverse population among its neighboring countries, rich with a blend of different cultural practices. Wondering how it came to be? These interesting multi-ethnic and rich cultural heritages all make this melting pot unique and so unlike any other. Most Belizean descendants are from multi-racial heritages varying from a combination of Mayans, Africans and Europeans. The melting pot is traced back when the descendants of these tribes fled for refuge to the country of Belize. Garinagu a new born tribe, descended from the Native Carib and Arawak tribes who escaped from enslavement in the midst of gaining freedom. The Mayas, naturally considered to be the first inhabitants of Belize, inhabited the country for over hundreds of years. Although their civilization may have quite disappeared, presently some still live amongst the rural areas of the country. Mixtures of Mayan and Spanish culture gave birth to a new group; the Mestizos.

“Do You Remember” it in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize?
I got up around 04.30 hours on Sunday with the belief that Arsenal’s home game against Stoke City had a (local time) kick-off at 05.15 hours. With so much time to spare I made my mug of black coffee and retired to the veranda with it and my iPad to read the Sunday Times on-line. Straight in to the sports’ section where I found that I had made a monumental error. The kick-off was 06.30 hours! No worries though (or so I thought), more time to enjoy the Sunday Times. At 06.25 hours I moved inside, switched on the TV, chose channel 103 and sat down to enjoy the game. But no. Catastrophe! NBC in its wisdom (sic) had chosen to televise the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix! How could they? Don’t they know that I couldn’t give a fig (I have other words to use but …) about Formula 1! I very quickly (and smoothly) moved to Plan B – TheTelegraph website. Nowhere near as good as watching the game on TV but I was able to keep ‘in touch’ with developments as the game unfolded. A game which Arsenal won by three goals to one.

International Sources

Women in CSR: Shannon Schuyler, PwC
SS: Our CR commitment is a perfect combination of engaging with and providing value to our stakeholders and communities. The days I recently spent in Belize teaching children about financial responsibility and leadership, as part of PwC’s Earn Your Future program, were perfect. The children’s enthusiasm reinforced my conviction that our CR efforts really do make a difference. If speaking personally, my perfect day starts and ends with my family. A simple stroll through the park with my husband, son and two dogs is really all I need to be completely content.

Marines continue fight against drug cartels across Americas
Marine Corps leaders remain committed to training militaries across the Western Hemisphere that are fighting on the front lines of the drug war and forging new partnerships to deal with humanitarian and disaster relief efforts and other types of crises in the region. In missions to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and other nations, Marines have deployed to help combat a violent drug trade that has devastating effects across the Americas. It’s a fight that requires coordination with countries across a vast geographic area. But as the Pentagon considers ways to cut costs, there is talk of combining the two combatant commands that are leading the fight — U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command — into a single “Americas command.” Although critics worry that the merger could signal to Latin American partners that they don’t matter, Marine officials insist that is not the case. In fact, the Corps wants to engage more nations in Central and South America for the same reason it is expanding in the Pacific: to build familiarity with allies so that when crises emerge, there are existing relationships on which to build, said Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla, director of operations at Marine Corps headquarters.

See Coral Reefs Like Never Before Thanks To Gorgeous New Panoramas
Today the Catlin Seaview Survey—which recently brought us some amazing views of the Galápagos coastline—launches the first-of-its-kind database of our underwater world. Catlin Seaview Survey began with a comprehensive study of the Great Barrier Reef in September 2012. The imagery documented the composition and health of the reef across its full range depth. That survey involved more than 100,000 360-degree panoramic images along the length of the reef—about 2,300 km. Since then, the team has traveled to more beautiful coastlines, including Belize, Mexico, and Aruba. To take such detailed (and scientifically useful) imagery, the survey team uses a specially built panoramic underwater camera. For this new online database, dubbed the Reef Record, the survey team is pairing the panoramic imagery with datasets from collaborators like NOAA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, World Resources Institute and the Global Change Institute. The hope is that scientists, educators, and the general public can use the record as a resource to understand and track how the changing climate and pollution are affecting coral and the marine environment.

Fortis Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Dividends-2013
The Board of Directors of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) has declared the following dividends: Fortis is the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada, with total assets exceeding $17 billion and fiscal 2012 revenue totalling approximately $3.7 billion. Its regulated utilities account for 90% of total assets and serve more than 2.4 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investments are comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada and petroleum supply operations in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States.

Bitcoin Securities Exchange BTC-TC Shutters $12M Operations, Cites Regulatory Environment
The legality of BTC Trading Co. and LTC-Global, registered in Belize and operated from Oregon, has been questionable since the site opened originally. The company’s FAQs state repeatedly that assets on the site are not to be considered real and openly acknowledges Burnside’s lack of necessary funding to support significant legal oversight. Regulations in the digital currency space have seen a number of developments so far this year, but recent actions from the SEC specifically are likely the impetus for the closure. This summer, the Securities and Exchange Commissions charged Trendan Shavers of the Bitcoin Savings and Trust with violation of security registration laws, among other charges. During the hearing of that case, the presiding judge wrote that “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money.”

Making Local People Stewards of the Earth
“People trying to protect their traditional lands are still being killed or forcibly removed. But we may be at a tipping point favouring community land rights,” White told IPS. Peru, Belize and other countries are recognising those rights. Land disputes in India, Cambodia and elsewhere are driving political change. Some parts of the corporate sector are supporting land rights. Last July in Ireland, governments in the G8 group of wealthy nations made “unprecedented commitments” to secure land rights and improve land governance, he said. “The conditions are right for a historic step and overcome a major obstacle to improving the well being of people and the planet,” White said.

How Travel Writing Can Help Fund Your Trip
Did you ever want to go abroad but weren’t able to fund it? That doesn’t mean that your trip is doomed to never happen. Imagine instead getting paid to travel the world. It is possible to fund your trip and even make a profit by writing about your adventures. Travel writing can become a full-time passion or merely something you do on the side. It can be a way to justify a vacation and pay for some of the costs, maybe write off your trip on your taxes. With this career, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get out and see the world…in a way you never could as an ordinary tourist. Terri Marshall has never been the type of person to settle for “ordinary”. One of the ways she left ordinary behind was to start her career as a travel writer. “I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time. I wanted something extraordinary. So…I decided that I could live this life less ordinary as a travel writer.”


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