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#474531 - 10/09/13 12:19 PM Today's Belize News: October 9, 2013
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

STP projects on Ambergris Caye are moving forward
The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal Projects are expected to be completed by November 2013. Despite major opposition by a sector of the Ambergris Caye residents, ground was broken in June of 2012, 14 months ago. Terry Wright from the Sustainable Tourism Project (STP) Unit said that up to date, the project is going well and it not too far away from completion. He explained that 100% of the lagoon area for the field has been reclaimed, and the top layer of sand fill is currently being spread. In addition, 100% of the water taxi concrete platforms, complete with masonry work, roofing and rendering of terminal building walls, is finished. Wright said that the wooden picket sections of the perimeter fence have been installed, with only the top portion underway.

New Peace Corps Volunteers assigned to La Isla Bonita
The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government and Peace Corps Belize aims to assist people in health and education. Christina Chapman is currently residing in San Pedro as the newest Peace Corps Volunteer. Christina is 26 years old and originally from Boise, Idaho, USA. Christina will be serving two years here in Ambergris Caye, focusing on the north side of the island including areas such as San Mateo, Boca del Rio and San Juan. Peace Corps Belize aims to promote healthy living and reduce factors that can lead to diabetes and hypertension by introducing the community to making healthy food choices and incorporating exercise into daily activities.

Annual Boat Licensing Exercise
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) hereby informs the general marine public that the registration and licensing exercise for the year 2014 will commence on October 7th, 2013. During this exercise all vessels involved in coastal and river service shall be registered and licensed, including skiffs, Jet Skis, sailing vessels, launches, tugboats, barges, dredges or any other watercraft used to ply the waters of Belize, including the inland waterways, as required under the Laws of Belize, Chapter 234, Revised Edition- 2000, Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act.

BTB Tourism Statistics January – August 2013
2013 started off with exceptional overnight arrivals. January, February, and March of this year saw 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% increases, respectively, when compared to last year’s overnight arrivals. Arrivals for July and August did not disappoint. There was an estimated increase of 8% for both months. Overall, the period of January – August 2013 saw roughly 17,228 more visitors than 2012. The chart below shows the arrivals of overnight visitors from January through to August of 2012 and 2013. Arrivals this year, thus far, have surpassed 2012 for every month, except April. Overall, overnight visitors have increased by 8.7%. With these numbers, we are well on our way to making the 300,000 overnight visitors mark.

Ambergris Today

Belize Port Authority Notifies Boat Owners of Annual Licensing Exercise
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) hereby informs the general marine public that the registration and licensing exercise for the year 2014 will commence on October 7th, 2013. During this exercise all vessels involved in coastal and river service shall be registered and licensed, including skiffs, Jet Skis, sailing vessels, lanchons, tugboats, barges, dredges or any other watercraft used to ply the waters of Belize, including the inland waterways, as required under the Laws of Belize, Chapter 234, Revised Edition- 2000, Harbors and Merchant Shipping Act.

Tourism Arrivals for Belize Continue Upward Trend
The Belize Tourism Board has just released tourism statistics from January to August 2013 that indicate that the year started off with exceptional overnight arrivals and statistic show an increase in arrivals throughout the year compared to 2012. January, February, and March of this year saw 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% increases, respectively, when compared to last year’s overnight arrivals. Arrivals for July and August did not disappoint. There was an estimated increase of 8% for both months. Overall, the period of January – August 2013 saw roughly 17,228 more visitors than 2012.

Letters to the Editor: Reconstructing the Youths Mentality for National Development
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your reputable newspaper to address issues relating to the “youth mentality”, which are considerably important to our National Development. Some people might ask, what is “Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development”? Well, in my professional perspective, the majority of our young people in Belize is poor and thus, is OVERLOOKED. The system TOLERATES this. We, at the Teens Belize Organization say that this must change. There is URGENT NEED for reconstructing the youth mentality if our youths are to take Belize to economic prosperity. Currently, the majority who is poor, and are at a disadvantaged, just “go” with the flow. But they have potential, but it’s no use they advance this potential because the system generates a sense that “it’s the survival of the fittest”. How about “the fittest who survive” help those who didn’t survive the system? Have our people “up there” ever thought of that?

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize and Guatemala election officials meet in San Ignacio town
Electoral officials of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday in San Ignacio town. President of the Election and Boundaries Commission Bernard Q. Pitts headed the Belize delegation while the Guatemala delegation was led by the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal Maria Eugenia Villagran de Leon. A statement from the OAS, under whose auspices the meeting was held, says that the purpose of the meeting was to “exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for the inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums.” The meeting was held on the same day on which Belize and Guatemala were due to hold simultaneous referendums so that the people of the respective countries could determine whether or not the centuries old claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final resolution.

DIA DE LA RAZA!
Don't miss out on this event! We will be having lots of entertainment and cultural presentations.

UB Wins ATLIB Softball
Congratulations to the University of Belize Black Jaguars for winning both the male and female softball tournaments! "UB Black Jaguars Male and Female Softball Teams are the new ATLIB Softball Champions after defeating Ecumenical Junior College (EJC) and Independence Junior College (IJC) on October 5, at the Governor General Field, Belmopan. The females beat EJC by a landslide 16-1 in the final game, and defeated IJC with a score of 8 to 2. Sharine Reyes was named Most Valuable Player. In related news, Males triumphed against IJC scoring 15-7 and edged out EJC 8 to 7 The MVP was no other than Nick Chung. The Recreation and Sports Department thanks all those who supported the females and congratulates the UB Black Jaguars Softball team. Congratulations UB Black Jaguar Softball Teams!"

BTB Invites L.A. Clippers
The Belize Tourism Board invited the Los Angeles Clippers to Belize in their latest humorous invite. The Breaking Bad cast invite was classic, and this one's well done too. They also mention the new L.A. to Belize flight that Delta will start offering for the next busy season. But maybe send the team to play on Falcon Field instead of in Belize City. Yes, they really did mention BC as a destination. Funny!

World Culture Band at Soul Project
More pictures from the World Culture Band's first performance at the Soul Project. They'll be back soon. Thank to both the WCB and the Soul Project for having such a wonderful concert. "The World Culture Band, along with Emmanuel Mangar and Eddie Allen, rocked the Soul Project Saturday night."

New Stamps Issue (5 photos)
“The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”

Bilateral Meeting of Electoral Authorities of Belize (3 photos)

Channel 7

Nationality Section Closed As Mystery Nationality Documents Keep Popping Up
Tonight, the nationality section of the Immigration Department has been closed down pending investigation into missing documents. No official word has been received but 7news has learned that it will be closed for two weeks as an inventory of all documents is conducted. We could not reach Immigration minister Godwin Hulse for comment, but 7News has learned that after Arthur Saldivar's allegation last night that hundreds of documents had been set aside for destruction - an investigation has to be made to see if indeed files are missing or were secretly set aside for disposal. It's is a very big "if", and virtually an existential one for the Department as they face the very real prospect that a parallel operation was running in the background, secretly issuing nationality documents for files that never came to the surface. Again, we stress that is only a possibility -but one we must speculate on - after Arthur Saldivar produced more documents of dubious and disturbing origin today.

Mayor: Eric Change Had Better Come Home By This Friday, Or Else
And while we expect Hulse's disclosures are having a stultifying effect on the higher-up's at the Immigration Department - the other issue is Deputy Mayor Eric Chang. He has been informally linked to the Citizen Kim scandal - and was expected to answer questions when he came back to Belize from Taiwan on October third. But Chang hasn't returned - and he's about to go a week over his approved leave from council duties. Monica Bodden asked Mayor Darell Bradley about his extended leave and what it means for Chang's role as Deputy Mayor:... Mayor Darrell Bradley "Eric Chang is still in Taiwan. He was slated to return on October 3rd. He didn't return on the 3rd. The council had a meeting last week and we address this issue and the council determines that we are going to send him a communication which I have. I have written him and ask him return as early as possible. Members of the council have been in communication with him but of course of the immigration issue that's a looming pressure and rightly so, members of the public want him to explain himself. The council also wants to get information because we are conducting an internal review in relation to his involvement if any, because we are hearing allegations. There are investigations going on, but we don't have anything concrete as yet. We are still waiting for those investigations to be completed. We also want an opportunity to be able to dialogue with Councilor Chang and to get an explanation from him as it relates to what is going on so that we could answer questions to the public because rightly the public needs to know the full extent of what is going on and so it doesn't take anyone in the City Council - I think we are doing a lot of good work and we need to maintain that reputation for integrity and accountability."

BNTU, Subzero Tolerance For Immigration Antics
Well, the Belizean National Teacher's Union is fed up with all of it. The union issued an angry release today on the Citizen Kim passport saying that it reeks of corruption, and adding that the union has a, quote, "unflinching, subzero tolerance when it comes to our nation's patrimony being compromised." The statement emphatically declares, "the time is now to deal with this situation....nothing less than a national and international scandal...apply the laws, now and leave no stone unturned." The statement urges quote, "all right minded citizens to join in demanding that this declaration be heeded." The statement closes by saying, quote, "the wheels of justice must turn in all quarters and all directions..the BNTU is prepared to oil the wheel and keep it oiled." We could not reach the president to find out the meaning behind that promising, but ultimately oblique metaphor.

13,000 Fake Nikes, 31,000 Fake Converse Found in Belize Headed For Free Zone
Three containers full of bogus Nike, Converse and Chanel merchandise are sitting at the Queen's Bond Warehouse at the Customs Department in Belize City tonight after they were busted by agents of Nike who flagged the container when it left China weeks ago. The containers were destined for a Chinese-owned company in the Corozal Free Zone named Pacific Ocean International Ltd. Nike's trademark is registered in Belize, and so it's local attorney David Morales contacted customs to open the containers and inspect them. That started yesterday with two forty-foot containers. Those were stuffed with 13,000 pairs of fake Nike tennis shoes. Morales tells us that is the biggest seizure of fake Nike tennis shoes this year in Central and South America and the Caribbean - eclipsing a bust of 12,000 made earlier this year in Colombia. The Nike tennis vary in type from Air Max CROSS TRAINERS to KING JAMES basketball shoes to 501 RUNNING SHOES. While that was in container number one, container number two was full of Nike shorts, thirty thousand of them - again all fake. And then today they opened container number three which was stuffed with thirty one thousand pairs of fake Converse all-star tennis shoes - which is like whoa! Morales says that too may be the 2013 high for the region, but they haven't confirmed that yet. Speaking of the NIKE Products, Morales says the fakes are good and even the trained eye can't easily tell if they are bogus. He said they had to send the bar code to Nike Headquarters in Oregon to confirm that they are fakes.

Belizean, “El Diablo” Shot in Calderitas
Tonight, Mexican newspapers are reporting that 41-year-old, Belizean also known as Delmar Javier Guerra was shot in Calderitas, Chetumal in what looks to be a targeted attack. Multiple reports from Mexican newspapers say he is a customs officer, but Customs says he is not and has no affiliation with the department. They say he is known to frequent the northern border. We have found out that he is from San Joaquin where he is known as "El Diablo" - and as the name might imply, he is known for underworld movements. According to the reports, he was shot to the left side of the neck near the restaurant zone in Calderitas and is now fighting for his life at a local hospital. The news outlets say that they treated Guerra, and police arrested a taxi driver who witnesses say, was an accomplice in the shooting. According to the Quintana Roo newspapers, local authorities are yet to reveal if the attack was an attempted execution, as unofficially, it is said that the incident is linked to organized crime.

BDF Took Fire In Chiquibul
Last week Wilfred Elrington told the united nations general assembly about the problems with Guatemalans in the Chiquibul, and tonight, the BDF is reporting tonight that it led a special operation in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve over the past week from October 1st to the 8th. The stated purpose of the operation was to deter unauthorized activities such as logging, hunting, fishing, gold panning, poaching, and pilfering of our archeology sites in our National Reserves. The joint law enforcement team comprising members of the Belize Police Department, FCD, and the BDF, came under hostile fire approximately 12 meters east of the Belize/Guatemalan border. This is an area commonly known as Cebada Camp. Thee Belize law enforcement personnel returned fire and subsequently detained two male persons who they later found out to be Guatemalan nationals 17 year old Carlos Didal Sanntias, from Santa Elena Flores and 27 year old Domingo Cuz Xol, from Santa Maria Alta Verapaz Guatemala. A third person was able to make good his escape. Three weapons and seven live rounds of ammunition as well as expended shells were recovered from the scene. Both men were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station to face charges.

Man On Parole Gets Bail For Drug Trafficking
32 year old Ryan Tillett and 26 year old Mason Patnett both pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking when they appeared before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. According to police, a check point was set up at La Democracia and at 9:30 Saturday morning, they saw a black Saturn approaching them. The driver of the car was told to pull over to the side of the road, but instead of doing so, he sped away heading to Belize City. The police set chase after the car and as the car arrived at Mile 23, they saw the car stop, one of the occupants got out and threw out a large black plastic bag. The person then got back into vehicle and drove off. Police were able to stop the vehicle and took the two occupants back to Mile 23 where the bag was thrown. When the bag was retrieved and opened in their presence, it was found to contain weed. The men and suspected drugs were taken to the Hattieville Prison where the drugs were weighed and totaled two thousand five hundred and forty five grams, or five and a half pounds.

Social Partners Call UDP PAC, A “Charade”
Just two weeks ago - it looked like the UDP had managed a political coup, the meetings of the Public Accounts Committee seemed to be going so well - with the social partners sitting in, a chartered accountant on board and the senior public officers there to testify. Well, if the UDP government thinks that worked, they'd better come again. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Council of Churches, the Association of Evangelical Churches and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a joint statement today. It says, quote, "we wish to make it categorically clear that we absolutely cannot support the present Public Accounts Committee's unilateral public hearings." End quote. It adds, "Albeit our respective Senators/representatives have been in attendance at these hearings they are there merely as observers, and not as an endorsement of these hearings. The recent statements advanced in the media, suggesting that the churches and social partners are fully on board with the PAC public hearings initiative, are grossly inaccurate. We cannot, and will not, in any way shape or form; legitimize "the government investigating itself"!" end quote.

Tropic Air’s High-Tech Flight Simulator
Tropic Air has been spreading its wings regionally with flights to Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The company boasts about its 11 aircraft and 250 staff in 15 destinations. And while that's all well and good, what passengers care about most is flight safety. And now, Tropic has taken a meaningful step in that direction with the acquisition of a flight simulator. Daniel Ortiz went to San Pedro today to take a spin on this very high tech toy:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At first glance, it probably looks like an amusement park ride, but this state of the art, full motion "Redbird" Cessna Flight Simulator is anything but that. It represents an investment of approximately half a million dollars, and is fully equipped with all the flight instruments, switches, and levers one would find in the cockpit of the most up to date Cessna aircraft available. And why shouldn't it? After all, every single Tropic Air pilot will get advanced training using this simulator.

“Robbery” Stabbed In Eye
It didn't make it into the police report, but 7news ah confirmed reports that a well known street figure Kareem Lopez known as "Robbery" from the Lake Independence area was stabbed in the eye yesterday. We are told his injury was serious and he was rushed to the hospital. But best information today is that he discharged himself and will not be seeking police action. Reports suggest he may have been stabbed as the result fo a family dispute.

Talking Around A Referendum With The OAS
It's not quite referendum talk, but, On Monday, electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the OAS. A release says they exchanged information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala ?s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation. The meeting took place within the framework of the new confidence-building measures that both countries adopted last May with a view to improving the conditions necessary to establish a new date to hold the simultaneous referenda.

Channel 5

Nationality office is sealed off amid the new allegations of immigration corruption
At eleven-thirty this morning the nationality section in Belmopan closed its doors to the public. At a meeting, the staff was told only that because of an investigation they would [...]

Minister Hulse says the D.P.P. and police are not locked out from investigating
So what does this development mean for the ongoing investigation? Minister Hulse told us that the two matters – the leaked documents and the passport scandal – are two different [...]

Rhetorical question: will there be a criminal investigation into mess at immigration department?
The Minister accused us of asking rhetorical questions, but we were genuinely confused at that point. The question remains – can the D.P.P. and the Police institute a criminal investigation [...]

Dubai national, who got nationality and passport, is of interest to the U.S.
There is fresh information tonight that the disgraced Elvin Penner signed off on loads of nationality certificates to Middle Eastern and Asian nationals. The documents are being made available by [...]

Is attorney Arthur Saldivar abusing and manipulating nationality documents?
Arthur Saldivar is not disclosing how the more than a hundred and fifty documents found their way into his hands just before they were destroyed. But he says he will [...]

Is the nationality department also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates?
Do you believe that the nationality department is also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

Where in the world is Eric Chang?
Belize City Councilor Eric Chang is still missing in action. But his name continues to come up in the passport scandal which saw the fall from grace of Elvin Penner. [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley says that still no response from Chang on his return
So where is Eric Chang tonight? Well nobody knows for sure, though the best guess is that he is still in Taiwan. He was scheduled to return to Belize on [...]

Vision Inspired by the People wants Godwin Hulse removed
Multiple entities and organizations today came out swinging at the government of Belize. In regards to the Penner passport scandal, the B.N.T.U. took the first vicious swing via press release, [...]

Huge bust of fake Nike products at Customs
There was a huge bust of counterfeit fake goods on Monday night worth millions of dollars. Customs officials were keeping an eye out for the fake goods since last week [...]

Attempted execution of Belizean in Calderitas
The Mexican newspaper, Diario de Quintana Roo, is reporting today that Belizean, Delmar Javier Guerra, a resident of San Joaquin up north was shot in Calderitas on Monday. The report [...]

Chamber of Commerce calls for PM, Senate and Commissioner of police to deal with passport issue
As we said earlier, there are now calls for an independent commission of inquiry. The Chamber of Commerce this afternoon called on the Prime Minister, the Senate, and the Commissioner [...]

B.N.T.U. and social partners want an investigation into passport scandal
Not much has been heard from the unions on the on the passport scandal since the story broke on September nineteenth, that is until today, when the militant Belize National [...]

Human remains found in Belmopan
With so much happening on the political scene, the discovery of what seem to be human bones in Belmopan went somewhat under the radar. The bones were discovered by workers [...]

A glaring error in the amendment to the Criminal Code
An amendment to the Criminal Code was discussed up to late this evening in the Senate Committee in Belmopan. It drew the attention of a large representation from the churches [...]

Mark Lizarraga says that there is a critical need for 13th senator
Whatever the reason, the fact is that the government maintains a majority in the Senate. That means that once a bill is presented by government, the extreme likelihood is that [...]

LOVE FM

Family In Northern Belize Needs Help In Finding Missing Family Member
A family of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk District is looking for their loved one who has been missing for one week. Thirty-nine year old Andres Sosa who resides in Santa Martha Village Orange Walk went missing last Wednesday October second in United Ville, Cayo, where he has been working for the past seven months. His cousin Yasmina Chaneck spoke with Love News. YASMINA CHANECK “He came to work here and now he disappeared andwe see that the police don’t want to do anything because we came from Santa Marta to try and help his family and the police here are not doing anything. We have made a report to the police and we expected to hear it on the news or something, that he is missing but they have not said anything. He was working here Mr. Mike is the chairman here and he was working with the chairman. He was working in construction along with his little brother because they say that his little brother came to bring food for him from Melchor every day. Then he came one day and did not find him.”

More Evidence of Wrong Doings at Immigration?
Yesterday attorney Arthur Saldivar dropped a bombshell when he revealed that he has come in possession of a number of documents that contain irregularities. As promised, Saldivar came forth today with what he referred to as original documentation from the Ministry of Immigration of two more instances where Former Minister of State, Penner was involved. The documents, according to Saldivar, were slated to be destroyed. One allegedly contains Penner’s signature, while the other purports to contain the signature of Ady Pacheco, who works out of the Immigration and Nationality Department. Saldivar spoke first about the two individuals whose documents were allegedly fraudulently processed. And one of the individuals is a person who Saldivar says is of interest internationally. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “The two individuals whose names appear on the documents, one is supposedly an oriental, you would notice that the picture on the document itself appears to be somewhat manufactured or manipulated. The second individual is a Middle Eastern person; from our information, Mr. Ibrahimi is of ill repute and there may be a situation where he is being investigated internationally; so, again what is to be borne in mind is that there are receipts for the applications of these persons but the files don’t show all the required documents.

Three Million Dollars of Imitation Brands to Be Destroyed by Customs
The Customs Department is tonight conducting an investigation involving the importation of roughly three million dollars-worth of fake Nike, Converse and Chanel products. Love News has learned that three containers containing Nike tennis and tights, converse tennis and Chanel handbags, perfumes and clothing, arrived in the country last week Wednesday. It was discovered during the processing of the paperwork while at the Queen’s Bound on the Customs compound that the containers were loaded with generic merchandise. According to Trademark Infringement Investigator, Robert Cadle, anyone can detect upon close inspection, that in the case of the Converse tennis, the items are not genuine because they are made of cheap material and the All Star tags, soles and inner linings are of inferior quality. The All Star tags in particular are stitched only on both sides, while the genuine Converse brand has the tag sewn all around. Cadle says that in the interest of not having the genuine brand names appear to be sporting cheaply made products, they will not be donated to any organization, but will have to be destroyed if the importer does not challenge that decision. The importer has been identified as Pacific Ocean International Limited, a company based in the Corozal Free Zone.

Belizean Man Shot: Did A Drug Deal Go Bad Across Border?
A Belizean was shot yesterday in Calderitas, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Information to LOVE NEWS is that Delmar Javier Guerra, a resident of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District was shot in what is believed to be a drug transaction gone wrong. Details are not quite available but we understand that yesterday afternoon around 3:30 Delmar Javier Guerra was at Walmart in Chetumal and from there hired a taxi to take him to Calderitas, a small coastal village north of Chetumal. There he waited under a tree near El Santuario el Manati Resturant. Shortly after, another taxi approached and a young man exited. The young man approached Guerra and pointed a black gun at him. The proprietor of a nearby restaurant who was outside of his establishment told us what he saw. OWNER “What happened was that taxi came with a man in a green shirt that was looking for someone. He came out of the taxi and began talking on the telephone. The taximan began to talk with someone who he told that the man was there in a green shirt. Shortly after about two or three minutes someone came who shot the guy. When I turned around I saw when they were pointing the gun at him and shooting. It was a dark skin man with a blue shirt and hat. He came pointed and shot him. He was shot to the mouth and the bullet exited by his neck.

Students Encouraged to Read Through New Library at Methodist School
Corozal Town Methodist Primary School has a new library. The new facility was officially opened yesterday afternoon in the presence of the school body and parents. Gwendolyn Monima is the principal and told us it took the school approximately six months to get the facility operating. GWENDOLYN MONIMA “Well as a staff we decided that we need a special place where the children can read and enjoy reading. We noticed that when we had a mini library in the staff room they were always crowding it; so, we had a need for them to have that space of their own. We discussed it and then we had a team from Oklahoma under the patronage of Pastor Maxmus; he came, did the painting, made the shelves and donated two tables. We also had another donor from the United States, she is a past student and she gave us some donations to fix a wall because the wall was not properly done. Some other parents came in and gave us some books; it’s not just the school effort, it’s a community effort by the other stakeholders, so we were able to put this library together. It took us about six months; there is a computer lab here and that will be linked to this library with one or two computers in here so the children can use.”

Drug Bust on Bus Headed East
An early morning drug bust on board a bus led Police to the discovery of over five pounds of marijuana. The bus was headed into Belize City from the Cayo District. Police say just before ten o’clock this morning they were conducting operations for illegal substances and other items on board an A and E bus when they came across 39-year-old Ellis Rudon and 51-year-old Dorla Faber. The two are expected to be charged with drug trafficking.

PC In Southern Belize Faces Firearm Charge
A police constable was detained and charged for a criminal offence in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “A Police constable was detained and charge for a criminal offence in Punta Gorda. Officer in command Toledo Police Formation Superintendent Simeon Alvarez spoke of the incident.” SUPERINTENDENT SIMEON ALVAREZ “At around 12:30 on Sunday morning, 6thOctober, a police officer attached to the Dangriga formation, David Mejia Jr., stationed at a substation in Silk Grass Village visited Punta Gorda Town and was socializing at the sports bar which is situated on George Price Street. Apparently he had an altercation with a police officer attached to this formation and as a result of that he went outside of the establishment and allegedly fired two shots from his police service revolver in the air. As a result of that, the police responded and they detained him and took away his firearm. Found in his firearm was 2 expended shells, three live rounds of ammunition and one in his pocket.

4 Years Later: Better Crop Returns for Sugar Cane Farmers
The cane price estimate as of September 30, 2013 has been released by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and what it shows is an increase in the estimated cane price. The last estimation released at the second payment for farmers was at $68.84 and the new estimated price stands at $73.17. Chairman of the Committee of Management at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association Alfredo Ortega spoke more about the estimated price. ALFREDO ORTEGA “It reflects very good for us as farmers; this gives a reflection on the quality of cane that was delivered and also in the information that BSI has provided for us, it detailed on how they reached to this estimate at this point in time. All the sugar has been transported to the EU and to the different destinations such as Canada; our main sources are EU and Canada and the rest is for local consumption, also the molasses. There is an agreement that is in the contract between BSI and Tate & Lyle, that for every ton that is being sold, over the 70,000 tons, there will be revenue sharing between Tate & Lyle and BSI based on the price of the sugar that is being sold in the EU. It reflects that they are giving us 100 euros per ton and that reflects on the portion of 70,000 tons; the amount that was sold to the EU is 94,541 tons; so, based on the 24,541 it is where we are getting that 100 lbs. euros per ton and this gave us that opportunity to increase the estimate at this point in time.”


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#474532 - 10/09/13 12:19 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 9, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE TV

Customs Detain Containers With Imitation Brand Merchandise
The Customs Department is tonight conducting an investigation involving the importation of roughly three million dollars-worth of fake Nike, Converse and Chanel products. Love News has learned that three containers containing Nike tennis and tights, converse tennis and Chanel handbags, perfumes and clothing, arrived in the country last week Wednesday.

PlusTV

Police Commissioner and FIU director comment on Penner investigation
Many have called for a criminal investigation into the deal created by Elvin Penner to benefit a business friend, South Korean Kim Won-Hong, by granting him a Belizean passport. Talk show host Evan “Mose” Hyde and at least one other person have made formal complaints with local police. But...

PUP launch recall challenge in Cayo Northeast
With official confirmation that United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative and former Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection Elvin Penner would not resign his post, the effort by the People’s United Party (PUP) to force a recall referendum, the first in Belizean history under...

UDP National Party Council meets in Belize City
The United Democratic Party’s National Party Council met at its Belchina headquarters in Belize City on Saturday morning. It is the third highest authority in terms of governance of the ruling party, trailing only the Central Executive Committee and the National Convention in importance. This...

Murder of PG resident in Belize City
Police say they believe - Gary Mancel Pratt, 28, originally from Punta Gorda Town, was mistakenly killed on Friday night. According to Police he was in a yard on Antelope Street Extension when a slim built man approached him and shot at him several times, hitting...

Suspected human remains discovered at Belmopan dump site
According to reports from the City of Belmopan Police Formation. On Saturday at about 2:15p.m., acting upon information received, police visited an area about 100 yards away from the entrance of the Garbage Dump, on the Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District, upon arrival at the location police observed what appeared...

Foreign Minister unfazed by Guatemalan disapproval
With the vote of confidence given him by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington could afford to boast just a bit as he gave PLUS News his first interview since returning from the United Nations General Assembly in New York City where he...

Fatal road accident involving taxi cab
Police in Corozal are investigating a fatal road accident involving a taxi cab, that claimed the life of a passenger. The deceased, 22 year old Martin Armstrong, was along with Alfred Massam and Benigno Loria in the cab of driver George Johnson travelling from Corozal Town to Consejo Village...

Taxi driver escapes with minor injuries after confrontation
In this year alone, three taxi drivers went missing during pick up runs and were subsequently found dead days later; these incidents have caused operators across the country to be on high alert when transporting passengers. And fortunately, for one Corozal cab driver, he managed to escape with only...

Judicial officials discuss money laundering and drug trafficking
Crime is the business of the courts – at least, one-half of it – but drug trafficking and money laundering, at least the kind known to be carried out by major operatives, is rarely pursued. Today in Belize City the Central American Integration System (SICA) hosted a one-week conference...

Belize represented at 52nd Directing Council of PAHO
Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin represented Belize at the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) which was held last week in Washington DC. According to a government press release sent this morning, health officials have devised and agreed upon an action plan which aims...

Plus TV settles out of court
This television station was sued for defamation of character by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who is also the Belmopan Area representative. John Saldivar claimed that earlier this year statements made about him on our “Rise and Shine” morning program by co-host Patrick Jason Andrews defamed his character....

PACT receives grants for research and conservation
On Monday some $736,000 in grants for research projects and conservation and environmental development were handed out by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. Keynote speaker Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla paid tribute to the awardees. Minister Lisel Alamilla We’re here today giving two research...

Athletic Association holds elections during its AGM
The Belize Amateur Athletic Association (BAAA) held elections during its annual general meeting over the weekend in Belize City. The Association was suspended by its parent body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following internal disputes. The new president is Hugh “Pinas” Staine, who spoke to PLUS News...

Two persons detained after searches in Belize City
On Friday, the Precinct Two Quick Response Team in the old capital, conducted an anticrime operation targeting known criminal elements and crime ridden areas. The team searched some thirteen yards and made two detentions. A searched of an empty bushy lot situated on Lavender Street, led to the discovery...

Money stolen from James Bus
Commuters who use public transportation will know that – you board on a bus with the condition that you pay the required bus fee, but this past Friday, two men decided to play by their own rules and walked off with close to $300 after a short ride on...

Amandala

PUP CAMPAIGN TO UNSEAT PENNER BEGINS!
Allegations are that pubic officers have been threatened not to sign. The story of disgraced Minister of State Hon. Elvin Penner, with responsibility for passports, is far from over; in fact, some say that it may have just begun. Last Wednesday, October 2, Opposition PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca wrote Hon. Penner, area representative for Cayo North East, to give him an ultimatum: resign from the House, or be recalled under an electoral law that Penner’s party, the UDP, had passed in 2010. Fonseca informed Penner via that correspondence that he had until 5:00 p.m. today, Monday, to do what is in the “best interest of the people of Cayo North East” and “resign or be recalled.” According to Fonseca, Penner “has lost the trust and confidence of those he represents,” and therefore, his resignation would be his final opportunity to “put the interest of the people ahead of the United Democratic Party.”

FIU BEGINS INVESTIGATIONS INTO “PENNER’S PASSPORT SCANDAL”
Today, attorney Arthur Saldivar, who has said that he is “acting alone,” apart from his party, the People’s United Party, has called for the shutting down of the Immigration Department after allegedly rescuing 150 immigration documents belonging to Asians and Middle East citizens, reportedly signed by fired Minister of State Elvin Penner. But Penner’s troubles, and the troubles of his minister, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and Prime Minister Barrow, who has publicly supported him against criminal charges, saying that he already has been “properly punished” by being forced to resign from Cabinet, seem to be just beginning. Apart from the effort by the Opposition PUP to have Penner recalled from his seat, the Cayo North East constituency, and a request to the police by KREM Radio talk show Evan “Mose” Hyde to have Penner investigated criminally, the director of the powerful Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), attorney Marilyn Williams, has revealed that her unit has already begun investigating the passport scandal, and reports that about US$120,000 may have passed hands illegally.

TOUCHY RAPE BILL STIRS TROUBLE
Controversial Gender Neutral Rape Bill says, “Every person who intentionally penetrates with his penis, the vagina, anus or mouth of another person who is under the age of sixteen years, commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life…” Short sentences for acts of sexual harm against persons, especially minors, and the lack of a sex offenders’ database have been a matter of grave public concern, and so the recent announcement that Cabinet, Government’s chief policy-making arm, has sponsored an amendment to Belize’s Criminal Code to toughen penalties against sex offenders was met with euphoria – that was, until certain factions realized that the bill introduces “gender neutral” language which they contend would bring legitimacy to unnatural sex acts, even while the matter is bound up in a challenge before the Belize Supreme Court. The proposed amendment, which mentions the anus along with the vagina as a sex organ 20 times on 29 pages, adds a term “parent’s partner,” sparking similar concerns as the redefining of “spouse” in a banking act introduced last year—a change which one religious leader told us was leading down “a dangerous road.”

“FIRE!!!” AT IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT!
“There is a systematic burning of immigration documents, signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner …hundreds upon hundreds.” – Arthur Saldivar According to PUP Rural North standard bearer, Arthur Saldivar, who came to the Kremandala compound this evening with the “proof,” the Immigration Department is in the process of destroying incriminating evidence; to wit, files purportedly containing the data of a number of other Asians and others who either have received, or are in the process of, illegally receiving Belizean citizenship. All the documents, said Saldivar, approximately 150 of them, were signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner, who was kicked out of Cabinet a little over two weeks ago by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to Saldivar, he and his “associates” found out that the files were being burned, and managed to rescue some of them. The Immigration Department had announced that an “intense investigation” was being conducted in the department; it now seems that indeed an “intensive investigation” was being done, but not to find out what illegality had occurred. It apparently was to find dangerous files that had to be destroyed.

CONCH SEASON OPENS: OVER 1 MILLION POUNDS OF CONCH TO BE HARVESTED
The 2013 – 2014 conch season was declared open on Tuesday, October 1, and will last until June 30, next year. During this season, over 1 million pounds of Queen conch (also known as strombus gigas) will be allowed to be harvested. According to the Fisheries Department, the conch season had to be closed earlier than the stipulated deadline for the past 3 years because the quotas were met before the official end of season. During last season, about 1 million 58 thousand pounds of conch were harvested; the quota was met before the deadline and the season was closed. Hampton Gamboa said that the Department will issue a quota which will be divided among all the areas in the districts and when the individual quotas are met, the season will be closed and no more products will be accepted. There are Fisheries officers in the area to ensure that the quotas are met and not exceeded. If and when the quotas are met the season will be closed, either on or before June 30.

BDF ON TOP, POLICE ON THE BOTTOM IN WEEK 2 OF PLB OPENING SEASON 2013-2014
When the dust had settled after Week 2 games in the Premier League Opening Season on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, one team, Belize Defence Force FC, remained a perfect 2-0, to claim unchallenged 1st place in the standings. Both Verdes FC and defending champion Police United FC are yet to gain a point, having both lost their season opener; but Verdes has a better goal difference (-1) compared to Police (-2), which makes it the second week running that the defending champion maintains cellar dweller status. The early surprise is the re-entry Paradise/Freedom Fighters, who sat out last season, and are now in 2nd place with a win and a draw. On Saturday night, October 5, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Belmopan Bandits got 3 goals from Elroy “Bibbs” Kuylen (11’, 29’ & 88’) and 1 from Deon McCaulay (51’) to grab a comfortable 4-1 win over visiting San Ignacio United FC. San Ignacio’s only goal was by Anthony Gonzalez (57’)

NATIONAL TEAM SELECTED FOR CARIBBEAN CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIP
Last Thursday, October 3, following the completion of the Thursday Twilight Criterium on Marine Parade, the Belize Cycling Association (BCA) announced that it had made its decision “after completing four test races” as to which riders would make up the National Team to represent Belize at the upcoming Caribbean Cycling Championship in Curacao, scheduled for the weekend of Friday – Sunday, October 18 -20. The National Team consists of male cyclists – Nissan Arana, Byron Pope, Joel Borland, David Henderson and Robert Liam Stewart; and female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley. (Ed. Note: We have observed that of late, former Krem Classic and Women Cross Country champion Kaya Cattouse has not been participating in cycle races. She recently became a national female football champion with Triple B of Belmopan; and a source indicated that she may be shifting her attention now to body building.)

FREE OPEN-AIR BOXING AT CAYO WELCOME CENTER
The little 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds from the Cayo Lions Den gym are raring to go, explained manager/trainer Frank Martinez by phone this evening, and he will have some of them put on a few rounds of exhibition on Saturday; but unfortunately, talks with the gym in Belize City did not result in competition coming forward for the Cayo youth, who will now have to spar amongst themselves. Nevertheless, this Saturday’s event will be a showcase that is geared to excite and inspire the youth who may want to put on the gloves and take up the sport of boxing. Thus, continued Martinez, the event being FREE is determined to accomplish exactly that; not profits at the gate right now, but raising the interest in the sport among the youth and the general public, who will get to see some good fighters from Guatemala matched against our local boxers. Building the base of the sport now is so that it can become economically viable later on.

NEEDED: GREATER POWER FOR THE BELIZEAN PEOPLE Editorial
From 1954 to 1979, the People’s United Party (PUP) won seven consecutive national elections. From 1954 to 1974, however, its percentage of the votes cast shrunk in every election, until the PUP barely got more than half of the votes in the 1974 general election, though they won two-thirds of the seats. With little more than half of the votes, however, the PUP continued to rule with an iron hand after 1974. The key element in PUP dominance of Belize’s public life was the government monopoly radio station – Radio Belize. Parliamentary democracy requires a two-party system, so that the people are presented with a choice when they go to the polls. In the higher form of parliamentary democracy, the total of Opposition seats and the ruling party backbenchers is more than the total of Cabinet Ministers. What this means is that any motion presented in the House of Representatives by the Cabinet executive can be defeated by a legislature coalition between Opposition representatives and ruling party backbenchers. This possibility has never existed in the flawed Belizean version of democracy, however, because both PUP and UDP governments have religiously made sure that almost every one of their ruling party representatives is in the Cabinet. Thus, decisions made in Cabinet are automatically passed by Belize’s House. Belize’s putative parliamentary democracy has always been deliberately sabotaged by the PUDP.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
- by Evan X HydeLast week I began a partial holiday early Tuesday afternoon. I did not have anything to do with the preparation of any of our two issues last week, but on Tuesday morning from 5 to 7:30 I had sold the Tuesday Amandala from our old family home near Bolton Bridge and the Haulover Creek. I was taking a holiday because my wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, besides which I felt somewhat “stressed” from a series of public events, including an awards ceremony, a funeral, and a memorial service which had come one after the other in rapid succession. It was the said last week Tuesday morning, however, when a drama began to unfold on Mose’s WUB show on KREM Television and Radio. My oldest son is a grown man, and I do not interfere in his business. Sometimes he consults with me, but that is relatively infrequently. In the Elvin Penner passport matter and Mose’s call for a police investigation, Mose was paddling his own dory on Tuesday morning.

CROCODILE ATTACKS SWIMMER
A man swimming and spearfishing in the lagoon at the Mosquito Coast area of San Pedro – which was reportedly filled with debris – is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a crocodile at about 8:00 Friday morning. The man struggled with the animal, which eventually released him and escaped. The victim was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was treated and later released. Chenot Rose, an expert on crocodiles and alligators, of ACES, San Pedro, told reporters that the crocodile bit the swimmer in defense because he was invading his territory. Rose does not believe the animal was hunting for food, because the attack on the swimmer would have been fatal if that had been the case. He said that when crocodiles hunt for food, they have a deadly bite and grip, but when they are threatened, they snap in self-defense and leave the area.

HOUSE DESTROYED ON RING ROAD IN THE LAKE I AREA; FAMILY SUSPECTS ARSON
A one-flat timber house and all its furnishings and equipment were completely destroyed by fire at about 11:30 this morning. The house, which was the property of Morris Amos Taylor, 84, of Ring Road in the Lake I area, was one of three timber houses in the yard, but the quick response of the Belize Fire Service confined the fire to Taylor’s house, and the other two houses were not damaged. It is not certain how the fire started, but it began inside the house, in which there was a mentally challenged woman, 32, and the front door of the house was locked. The door was later kicked open by a man in order to rescue the woman from the raging flames. A neighbor said that she was in her house sleeping when smoke aggravated her. She opened her door to see what was happening, and that was when she saw the house on fire. She noted that the door of the house was closed.

TEENAGER CRUSHED TO DEATH BY STONE CRUSHER
A Mennonite boy, 15, crushed to death by a stone crusher in a quarry in Shipyard, Orange Walk, a Mennonite community, last Thursday morning at about 9:00, was buried yesterday, Sunday. Information to us is that Peter Reimer was working at the quarry when he fell into the stone crusher, which was in operation, and it quickly crushed him to pieces. A younger boy who was with him ran for help, but by the time he was able to get help and the machine was shut down, Reimer was already dead. The remainder of Reimer’s body was recovered, and his corpse was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital morgue, where it was declared dead on arrival.

HUMAN BONES FOUND AT BELMOPAN DUMPSITE
Bones found at the garbage dumpsite outside Belmopan about 2:15 Saturday evening have been identified as human bones. Police said that the bones will be handed over to their forensic department so that a battery of tests employing DNA testing techniques can be carried out to determine the identity of the person to whom the bones belonged. Police said that about 2:15 Saturday, they went to the garbage dump area, where they saw the bones in a hole measuring about 12 feet in length by 8 feet in width, by 3 ½ feet in depth. Beside the suspected human bones police also saw an old white cloth with red and blue stripes.

CORPSE RETRIEVED FROM THE MOPAN RIVER BURIED AS “JOHN DOE.”
A corpse that was floating in the Mopan River in Benque Viejo about 9:30 this morning has been retrieved. Due to its state of decomposition, a post-mortem exam was conducted at the scene of the discovery, and the cause of death was certified to be drowning. Foul play was ruled out. The unidentified man, who appeared to be of Creole descent, was buried in Benque later today after the autopsy. About 9:30 this morning, a man who was walking in the area saw the corpse floating on the banks of the river, and called the police. Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, Commander of Benque Viejo Police, told reporters that photos of the man were taken (not suited for the media due to the state of the corpse ), and these are available for viewing at the Benque Viejo Police Station, so that the body can be properly identified and given to the deceased man’s family.

NURI AKBAR PRAISES FRED HUNTER’S BOOK Letters
Dear Editor Amandala, An associate of mine, Hubert Pipersburgh, recently presented me with an autographed copy of former Minister of government, the Hon. Fred Hunter’s book (The History of the Sovereignty of Belize by Occupation Force of Arms Treaties). First I want to publicly acknowledge and thank Fred Hunter for the work, effort, time and diligence he invested in writing and compiling this latest contribution to Belize’s limited literary collection. The author primarily focuses on a narrative that supports the view that over a sequence of various wars and conflicts spanning several centuries, the early settlers of what would become Belize won sovereignty by occupation, force of arms, and treaties. He cites several battles, among them the ambush at Yalbac in 1794 where it was reported that the settlers ambushed and defeated a Spanish invasion of 500 men led by a Col. Manuel Garcia, and of course the culminating Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10th, 1798. It is important to note that in the various battles the author cited leading up to the St George’s Caye battle, there were many casualties, property damage, and prisoners of war that were inflicted upon the early settlers by their perennial enemy, the Spanish.

WHAT ABOUT TASH AND LASIO? Letters
— by Wellington C. Ramos Dear Editor, On behalf of the Belizean American Caribbean Football Association Inc., we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the following football players who died recently: Louis Antonio “Mugga” Garbutt (New York City), Culebra Neal, “Pilis” Neal, Philip “Buck” Palacio and Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez. I noticed that some players were inducted into the Avengers Football Team Hall of Fame. I did not see the names of two great players whom I played against that I think should be in this group: Jacinto “Tash” Guiterrez and Mike Martinez, better known as “Lasio.” These were two of the best strikers that ever played for Avengers in their era. All these players are prime candidates to be inducted into the Belize Football Hall of Fame. What are we waiting for?

BELIZE’S “TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION” Letters
— by J.C. Arzu Dear Editor, Belize’s 32-year-old version of “taxation without representation” is imposed on Belizeans, residents and visitors by the Belize Constitution: Chapter 4, Part 5, Section 40, Subsection 2. The Executive/Ministers of Government. And, I quote BelizeLaw.org: “(2) Appointments to the office of Minister shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate: Provided that persons holding the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives or President of the Senate may not be appointed to the office of Minister.” This is why it’s taxation without representation. As you already know, area representatives are elected at each Belize general election. However, the above portion of the Constitution dictates that the Prime Minister promote some area reps to the office of Minister of Government. Those promoted area reps, for all intents, purposes, and practice, are no longer able representatives of taxpayers for the remainder of their term in office. Effectively, leaving all taxpayers unrepresented in the third branch (the Legislature) of a democratic three-branch form of government.

AMENDMENT NOT TO PROTECT: TO DECEIVE Letters
— by Paul Rodriguez Editor Sir: I do not recall that when he campaigned in 2012, Prime Minister Dean Barrow sought a mandate to change our Constitution to rid our nation of its Christian values. With the introduction of a Bill to re-define rape, to criminalise assault of the anus and the mouth as equivalent to inserting the penis into a woman’s vagina, he seeks to do the following:- establish the anus and mouth as sexual organs; trivialise sexual intercourse and remove it from the sacred context of transmitting life. It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It seems that forgetting that he does not have a mandate to change our values has morphed our Prime Minister into absoluteness. It is morally obtuse not to recognise that dealing with the violation of the right of a woman to decide when and if she will participate in the process of creating a new human life is radically different and distinct from any other violation. To force a woman to carry within herself a child that is the seed of an assailant is the worst thing that could happen to her.

WPC JENNIE TANNER, EXONERATED OF EXTORTION CHARGES AFTER BEING INITIALLY CHARGED ON JANUARY 30, 2013
WPC Tanner first had her charge thrown out for want of prosecution in court on June 28; the charge was also dismissed by a Police Tribunal on July 24, but Tanner was rearrested and arraigned on the same charge on August 16, 2013 WPC Jennie Tanner was exonerated of an extortion charge this afternoon by Magistrate Clive Lino after her lawyer, Anthony Sylvester, made a submission to the court claiming an abuse of process. WPC Tanner was initially charged with extortion on January 30 this year after a report was made by Christopher Graham, that on December 11, 2012,while in San Pedro, WPC Tanner offered to “look the other way” if he gave her $100 and bought two margaritas for her, after he was stopped for driving a crowded golf cart. According to Graham, after he paid WPC Tanner the money and bought her the drinks, he reported the incident and asked to pursue the matter criminally.

BRANDON BAPTIST, OREL LESLIE AND TYRONE MEIGHAN WILL FACE TRIAL IN THE SUPREME COURT
The trio is accused of killing James Norales on November 23, 2012. After months of adjournments and not knowing if they would have to face a trial in the Supreme Court, Orel Leslie, 24, Brandon Baptist, 24, and Tyrone Meighan, 19, had their murder case committed for trial in the January session of the Supreme Court today. The three were arraigned in November of last year for the murder of James Norales, 28, and have been remanded ever since. The Preliminary Inquiry (PI) that the trio had been awaiting for so long almost didn’t happen, because their lawyers, Ellis Arnold and Arthur Saldivar, were pushing for the matter to be thrown out.

CHURCH BURGLARIZED: MOTHER AND SON ARRESTED
A mother and her son have been arrested and charged with burglary and handling stolen goods, for the burglary of a church in Trial Farm Village. They were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Thursday. Arke Lee, 17, of Trial Farm, was remanded until Monday, November 4, while his mother was granted bail. She was ordered to return to court on the same day with her son. Police said that all the items stolen from the church – which totaled $1,500 in value and included musical equipment – were recovered. The burglary of the church, the “Casa De Oracion” of the Black Water Creek Area of Trial Farm, Orange Walk, occurred sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. The pastor of the church, Freddy Chuc, reported to police that when he went to the church on Wednesday afternoon, he saw the back window broken and the back door open. He then realized the church had been broken into. He checked and found that some items, including two speakers and their wires, and a power amplifier were among the items stolen.

DAWN BAIZA, 49, CHARGED WITH THEFT AND 18 COUNTS OF HANDLING STOLEN GOODS
Baiza is accused of making off with over $55,000 worth of merchandise from JEC, where she worked as the janitor. Dawn Baiza, 49, a resident of #8181 Balan Street, was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on one count of theft and 18 counts of handling stolen goods. According to police, Bassem Chakaron, owner of JEC located on Youth for the Future Drive, reported that on October 1, someone visited JEC and attempted to pawn a gold ring. But an inspection of the ring revealed that it was a ring that belonged to that business that had been reported missing. Chakaron decided to have the business audited and that audit revealed that between July 11, 2012, and October 1, 2013, an assortment of jewelry totaling $55,380 in value had gone missing from his business.

PUNTA GORDA RESIDENT MURDERED ON ANTELOPE STREET EXTENSION
Police believe it to be a case of mistaken identity. A resident of Punta Gorda, who was employed at the Belize City Center demolition project, was shot and killed at about 10:15 Friday night near a yard on Antelope Street Extension. Garry Mancel Pratt, 28, of Water Supply Area in Punta Gorda, Toledo, was standing on Antelope Street Extension when a man walked up and shot him twice in the head. Pratt died almost immediately. Police say that they have a person in custody who they believe can assist them in their investigation. Pratt’s landlady, Geraldine Castillo, said that she was at home when she heard multiple gunshots. Shortly after, neighbors came to tell her that Pratt had been killed. Castillo said that she is still in a state of shock and disbelief, because Pratt did not deserve it. He was a hard worker, she said.

Blogs

The Malachite Butterfly
The Malachite is a neo tropical butterfly that has large wings that are black and brilliant green or yellow green on the upper sides and light brown and olive green on the under sides. Its name is derived from the mineral malachite which is similar in color to the bright green on the butterfly’s wings. The Malachite is a popular species of Butterfly in Belize and can be found throughout Central and South America. According to Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide David Juarez, these butterflies are wonderful strong fliers and the green on their wings gleams and shines when it catches the sun. “You will enjoy every moment spent watching the Malachite Butterfly”, says David.

National Trade Information Network

Christmas Expo 2013
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), is recognized for organizing the largest most distinguished trade show in the nation, “The Expo Belize Market Place”. Over the years the BCCI received various requests from the general public and its members to explore the possibility of another Expo. It is for this reason that last year the BCCI ventured into its first Christmas Expo Extravaganza, which turned out to be a complete success attracting in excess of 4,000 people to the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel. This year the BCCI, its members and a wide assortment of businesses are bringing Christmas to you, so that you are able to make all your holiday shopping in one location. Join us two days, November 30, and December 1, at the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on both days.

“Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Must be starting to feel slightly better because yesterday morning I woke just before 02.00 hours. I tried to get back to sleep but failed miserably so I got up, made myself a mug of black coffee, grabbed the iPad and headed to the veranda. I stayed out there long enough to have a ‘scan’ read (including the match report for the West Bromwich versus Arsenal match) of The Times on-line and finish my coffee but then I started to feel tired (which I feel is being caused by the painkillers and anti-bacterial tablets I am taking) so I went back to bed and slept through until 05.15 hours when I got up and went through the routine again. I then set about pulling together yesterday’s edition of the blog and pressed the publish icon around 07.25 hours, nearly one hour later than the publishing target time I set myself a few weeks ago. Not bad though. Not something I am going to berate myself about. I then showered, shaved and got dressed and headed off to Estel’s for breakfast – my first visit since It re-opened last Wednesday after a short ‘slow-season’ closure. Not too many people there so the service was exceptionally quick and the coffee was replenished frequently.

Tips for Backpacking in Belize
Backpacking in Belize can be both enjoyable and budget friendly if you follow a few basic tips. Belize is ideally located in Central America yet it’s more like a Caribbean island. The country is small, safe, easy to explore and locals are friendly and helpful. Luckily, it’s also an English speaking country. Just make sure you choose the right time to visit. Traveling in Belize on a shoestring budget is possible, but compared to other countries in Central America, things are a bit more expensive. Expect to pay $15 USD at inland hostels and $20 or $25 on the islands. A good plate of food will cost you an average of $5 USD per meal if you avoid fancy restaurants. As for drinks, beers are $1.5 USD at the store and $2.5 at bars. Rum is the best way to go because it’s a lot cheaper. Happy hour is a good way to get cheap drinks and most bars do it from 3PM to 6PM. If you like beach bars, here are my top five.

Amish Cook: Recipes star pumpkin, a favert fall ingredient
Since thishere is pumpkin seesen, t'column is devotid ta acoupla reed'r favert recipes involvyun' thishere tastee autumn garde goodie. Mer about t'happenings n' t'Eich'r household nex week! Pumpkin Sheetcake, PUMPKIN PIE

International Sources

Capturing the Aura of the Scottish Highlands With the iPhone 5s
National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has praised the new camera in the iPhone 5s after using it to shoot more than 4,000 photos on his recent trip to the Scottish highlands. In a blog post on NationalGeographic.com Richardson writes: With intense use (I've made about 4,000 pictures in the last four days) I've discovered that the iPhone 5s is a very capable camera. The color and exposures are amazingly good, the HDR exposure feature does a stunningly good job in [tough] situations, the panorama feature is nothing short of amazing -- seeing a panorama sweeping across the screen in real time is just intoxicating. Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting. Once I figured out what the camera could do well, I began to forget all the things it couldn't do at all.

Instagram: jimrichardsonng
Jim Richardson I shoot for National Geographic Magazine, and share my favorites here. Some iPhone, some from assignment. Whatever, sharing is the point. See link above.

Belize: Two Of The Most Popular Retirement Spots
Ambergris Caye is Belize's top tourist destination. And it's easy to see why. Turquoise waters, swaying palms... And the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere. The reef system is home to an underwater sinkhole called the Great Blue Hole, and to hundreds of other idyllic islands, snorkel and dive locations. And Ambergris Caye is the jumping off point to it all. If you love water sports, this is the place for you. If you're a fisherman, you can hook a pretty big fish in these waters, but be warned that you may be hooked yourself. A growing number of foreigners are calling this island... and nearby Caye Caulker... home. The larger of these two islands, Ambergris Caye is Belize's center for ocean sports during the day and for partying at night. It's the largest of the 200-plus islands off the country's coast. Most of the island's 12,000 residents (about one-third of which are expats) live in San Pedro, the only town on the island.

Zoo Block Party Fundraiser Planned
The SUNY Cortland community has rallied in the past to support an adopted zoo in a different country. On Saturday, Oct. 19, they will continue their efforts, this time by hosting a block party to support renovations to make the Belize Zoo more accessible to the public. The block party, which is open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parking area beside the Marketplace Mall in downtown Cortland. The festivities will continue at 7:15 p.m. inside the Blue Frog Café, site of several prior zoo fundraisers. The block party will feature family-friendly carnival games and activities and possibly a few furry guests from the Cortland SPCA and other groups. That evening’s festivities at the Blue Frog will include games of chance, music, magic and refreshments. The presence of Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, an environmental educator at the Belize Zoo, will highlight the day’s party. Andrewin-Bohn, in his second visit to SUNY Cortland, will be on campus to promote the zoo from Oct. 14 to 23.

Bryde's Whale Secrets Revealed by DNA Tests
The poorly understood Bryde's whale presents a conservation conundrum for biologists, but genetic fingerprints could finally help researchers keep tabs on the species and protect vulnerable populations. Bryde's whales (pronounced BREW-dus) are listed as "data deficient" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's main authority for the conservation status of wildlife. The 50-foot-long (15 meters) whales seem to be widespread; they can be found in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. But little is known about the distribution of their populations, their range, and their subspecies, which makes it difficult for scientists to determine whether they might be endangered by ship strikes, Japan's scientific whaling fleets or other environmental threats, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Take a Pragmatic Approach to Securing Your Financial Future
The U.S. government is at war…with itself. All across America, government institutions have shut down, leaving just a skeleton staff to man the country. The doors of national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty, America’s greatest and best-known symbol of freedom and the American Dream, clanked shut last Monday…leaving the workers at those monuments adrift in a sea of uncertainty. And if you’re thinking about retiring overseas, the right offshore strategy can make that easier… In several of the best retirement destinations worldwide, including Panama, Uruguay, Ireland, and Belize, that approach could entitle you to a second passport…and open up a whole new world of travel and investment opportunities.


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