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#475658 - 10/25/13 11:40 AM Today's Belize News: October 25, 2013
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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

Former California Judge will be Belize’s US Ambassador
A new US Ambassador to Belize has been confirmed by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Nominated on July 8th, Carlos R. Moreno, who served for ten years on the California Supreme Court, will succeed current US Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, who has been in Belize since August, 2009. The 64 year old Los Angeles, California resident and son of Mexican immigrants grew up in a Spanish-speaking home. Moreno is a retired jurist, having been a federal judge for the Central District of California and having served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California until his retirement in 2011. In his confirmation hearings, Moreno told the approving committee that, “Helping the Government of Belize to strengthen its rule of law will be one of my top priorities…it lays a stable foundation for much-needed economic development in Belize.” He cited in his remarks that an estimated 70,000 Belizeans live in the United States while tens of thousands of American expatriates live in Belize.

El Secreto Resort trains 25 staff members in basic first aid
The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross is very pleased to announce that on October 22nd and 23rd, a first aid training for the staff members of a resort on Ambergris Caye was conducted. 25 staff members of El Secreto Resort received training in basic first aid under the watchful eye of First Aid Instructor Jermaine Santos from Belize City. According to Laurie Norton, Red Cross Coordinator in San Pedro Town, El Secreto Resort is located 11 miles north of San Pedro Town and the resort’s management understands the importance of having trained staff onsite. “Not that anyone wants to have an emergency situation, but it is a part of life and unfortunately things do happen. With this many trained staff members on hand, El Secreto will be better prepared for any situation,” explained Norton.

Ambergris Caye family charged for unlicensed ammunition and contraband cigarettes
San Pedro Police have detained four people after they were busted with a large quantity of contraband cigarettes and unlicensed ammunition. They are 35-year-old Jaziba Nasser and 42-year-old Nazim Nasser (husband and wife) along with their two sons, 19-year-old Jamal and 18-year-old Hilal Nasser, all Lebanese nationals. Sometime around 4PM on Wednesday October 23rd, San Pedro Police visited a residence located on the second floor of a supermarket on Coconut Drive on Ambergris Caye. All four were jointly charged for being in possession of unlicensed ammunition, and they were taken to the Belize City Magistrate Court on Thursday October 24th. Because of the nature of the offence, no bail was granted and they were remanded to prison. According to police, more charges for the contraband cigarettes are expected to be brought forward by the Belize Customs Department.

Spending your days on Ambergris Caye: Ladies’ Night, Wet Willy’s (#6)
Ladies night at Wet Willy’s has been a long time favorite for just about anyone who comes to the island, and for locals it punctuates the middle of the week with a night of fun and dancing. It’s a “Must Do” kind of a thing. Located on the beach over the water, patrons get to rock the dock while dancing under the stars. DJ Tracks spins the latest jams while prizes and giveaways are offered throughout the evening. Ladies get in for free and the gents get a free drink with their admission. Drink specials add to the merriment and a great time is had by all! Come in early and grab a bite before the party starts. Wet Willy’s is the only “smoke-house” on the island and offers a great menu of burgers, wings, sandwiches and more!

Ambergris Today

Ministry of Health receives donation of Antimicrobial Pillows
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin was on hand at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, for the symbolic delivery of approximately 300 pillows donated by the Belize Dry Cleaners for hospitals across the country. The antimicrobial treated pillows measure 20” X 26” and are filled with 8oz garneted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipe-able and flame resistant. The pillows will be delivered over the next couple days to five hospitals: Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Western Regional Hospital, Northern Regional Hospital, San Ignacio Community Hospital and Corozal Community Hospital. During the brief handing over, Minister Marin commented that “the donation of these pillows will help in our efforts to provide the best quality of care for the public, especially when they are required to stay in a bed for treatment or recovery purposes.” The pillows were handed over by the Managing Director of Belize Dry Cleaners, Mr. Lascelle Arnold. He mentioned that they felt the need to donate the premium quality pillows because “they will undoubtedly be beneficial for the purposes of infection control.”

My Body is Precious – Girl Empowerment Campaign
The Special Envoy for Women and Children will be embarking on a countrywide Girl Empowerment Campaign, which will be launched in Belize City on Monday, October 28, 2013. This tour is an extension of the My Precious is Precious initiative, which started with the launch of a child friendly book on “good touch, bad touch” in April of this year. As we continue efforts to educate the public on sexual abuse of children, the Girl Empowerment Campaign will focus on high school girls. Our aim is to encourage these young ladies to delay their sexual debut and not to give in to the pressures they may face at this critical point in their development. The campaign will also seek to educate teenage girls about sexual abuse, and to provide information for those who have been or are still being victimized on seeking help and recovering from the trauma of these experiences. We want to remind them that their bodies are also precious.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caribbean Export launches Belize national trade information network
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network on Friday, October 11, 2013. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region-wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a National Trade Information Network (N-TIN). The other countries include Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname and Jamaica. Over the past year, the agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs. According to David Gomez, manager for trade and export development at Caribbean Export, “The N-TINs are central to the delivery of enhanced trade information services and will contribute to the establishment of mechanisms at the regional level for similar services delivery… the process involves both data collection and compilation and identification of services that respond to the trade information needs of CARIFORUM exporters and the wider private sector.”

Heavy rain in the south
Underneath all this water is a bridge. The sudden rise in water levels in rivers in the southern part of the country this afternoon left students of both the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho Technical High School stranded. According to Aurelio Sho of Ak’ kutan Radio, the bridge at Blue Creek was submerged, preventing children from villages and communities beyond Blue Creek from returning home. Villages that are beyond Blue Creek include Aguacate, Jordan, San Benito Poite, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon, Otoxha and Dolores.

Organic fair set for this weekend in Punta Gorda town
If you are interested in knowing more about organic farming, then the place to be this weekend in Punta Gorda town. The fifth annual organic fair, organized by the Belize chapter of Sustainable Harvest International is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at the Central Park in Punta Gorda town. The two-day event will kick off with an organic forum and presentations on Friday morning and continue in the afternoon with tours to organic farms in Toledo. On Saturday, the organic fair will bring various displays by partner organizations and participating farmers to the PG Central Park. The annual organic fair is being held with the theme “feed the soil.”

Lights repaired at Jane Usher Boulevard basketball court
Residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City can now use their basketball court in the night. That is because the lights at the facility have been repaired. According to a press release issued today, the repair of the lights at the basketball court in the Jane Usher Boulevard area was carried out by Gilroy Usher Senior and the PUP Port Loyola Committee. According to the release, the lights will enable youths to take part in sporting activities at night. The other added benefit of having the lights repaired, according to the press release, is that they provide illumination “for part of a large area behind the court that is otherwise jet black at night and very unsafe to travel due to the absence of any street light.”

Modern Maya Documentary
Sandro Teck, a well known artist from Bullet Tree Falls, is highlighted in the documentary about the Maya in the modern day. Scott Saiz, one of the New Mexico State University students who took the Belize Documentary Film course over the Summer, did this wonderful documentary, which not only features Sandro and his family, but also manages to capture some of Belize's wildlife at the same time. Xunantunich is shown in the documentary too. They even go spearfishing in the Mopan to catch some fish. Well worth the watch. "Documentary about a Belize Artist and his way of life in 2013"

Halloween Buy and Sell Classifieds
The Halloween issue of the Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds is out. There's a great article in this one about the health benefits of yoga, written by Jude at the Vision Exchange. "Belize's original classified ads publication. Classified ads are only $5 every two weeks and Business ads start at $15 per week with designs included. Deadline to place ads are every Saturday @ 12 noon."

Belize Cancer Society Visits SHJC
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society paid a visit to Sacred Heart Junior College to educate them about cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. SHJC will be a big participator in the Cancer Walk that will start in Esperanza at 5:00am this Saturday. "Thank you to Dr. Marvin Manzanero for taking time out to join us in educating the students of Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) about cervical cancer, prostate cancer and healthy sexual practices. It was indeed a very informative and pleasant afternoon spent in the company of young adults. At the end of the session the president of SHJC student council presented our branch with a cash donation from a fund raiser they had conducted on our behalf. Thank You SHJC for your support towards the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch."

Belikin Halloween Block Party
Mr. Greedy's, Belikin, and the SISE Town Council are teaming up again to bring another awesome Halloween Block Part to Burns avenue. It'll be on Dia de los Muertos, Friday, November 1st, and it'll be free, as always. Check out that DJ line up. Don't miss it! "Belikin Beer presents the Biggest and Spookiest HALLOWEEN Block PARTY!! Hosted by Mr Greedys Pizzeria In Conjunction with the San Ignacio Town Council It's all going to be happening On Burns Avenue in San Ignacio Town!! Costume Contest! Lots prizes for the Funniest, Scariest, Sexiest, Most Creative costumes. NO COVER CHARGE MUSIC & LASER SHOW BY: Caesar production sounds DJ Chris and DJ Chronic DJ Wolverine for some trance and EDM music"

SHC Parade and Fair
Sacred Heart College has their parade and talent show tomorrow, and their fair and business expo on Saturday. There will be a car smash on Saturday. "Friday - Parade Friday night @ 6 - Talent Show, BBQ and Rice and Beans Sale, tamales, nachos, garnaches, cake, lemon pie etc. Saturday - SHC Annual Fair Lots of food and entertainment for the family!! Trampoline, bouncy house, face painting, ring toss, etc. Tamales, pibil, garnaches, nachos, pizza, BBQ, cake, lemon pie etc. Football, Dog Show, Marching Band Business booths - Come get special deals! Saturday Night @ 8 - SHC DANCE Don't miss out on our biggest event of the year!!!"

Rotaract Resurrects Haunted House
Rotaract is bringing back their haunted house this year, and it'll be on Saturday, November 2nd. The festivities will once again be at Hode's, and will begin after the sun goes down. There will also be a costume competition. "The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is Pleased to announce their Costume Competition and Horror House event... Prices for Horror House: $2.00 anyone under 10, $3.00 for anyone above 10. Costume competition entrance: FREE!"

BIWG Charity Fundraiser
The Belmopan International Women's Group is having their yearly fundraiser tomorrow night at the George Price Centre. The theme is 'White Havana Nights,' and they'll be serving traditional Cuban food, and will have Carlos Perrote playing for the event. As always, they'll have a silent auction and many door prizes. "The Belmopan International Women's Group strive to make a positive difference in Belmopan and neighboring villages, extending as far as San Ignacio and including institutions such as the Dangriga Cancer Center. Once a year they hold a major fundraiser, a themed night filled with music, food, dancing and of course, wonderful company! Please join us and help play a part in making a difference in lives of your neighbor!"

El Pilar Exhibit and Hike
El Pilar is celebrating 30 years of being open to the public this weekend. To celebrate, there will be an exhibition and presentation on El Pilar at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow, from 9:00am until 4:00pm. The festivities continue on Saturday, when the Duke of Edinburgh Award Belize will be having a day hike, starting at 6:00am, from El Pilar to the Cayo Welcome Center, and then, starting at 3:00pm, they'll have the big ceremony to celebrate the special event. "El Pilar has more than twenty-five identified plazas in an area of approximately 100 acres (38 hectares), ranking it equal with major centers of the lowland Maya area. It is the largest center in the Belize River area, more than three times the size of such well-known centers as Baking Pot or Xunantunich. The site is divided into three primary sectors: Xaman (North) Pilar, Nohol (South) Pilar and Pilar Poniente (West). The eastern and western sections are connected by an offset causeway system extending between two large public plazas."

Diver 'VANISHES' in Portal to Maya Underworld
Researchers, diving into natural pools in Belize in the quest for offerings from the ancient Maya, found what's believed to be the country's first recorded fossilized remains. Watch as one diver 'disappears' into the pool's floor. Videographer: Marty O'Farrell

World Responsible Tourism Awards – ReefCI photos in the final
These are the five pictures that Chris Tafuri submitted for photography section of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. He was inspired by his ReefCI trip and decided to focus his entries on the Lion Fish eradication program at ReefCI. Chris says; ” I’m honored just to be mentioned and to be recognized for my experiences at such a wonderful and beneficial endeavor that ReefCI provides. It truly was a an experience of a lifetime that touch my soul and enhanced my spiritual being!” We wish Chris good luck and are looking forward to hearing the results on 6th November 2013 at the WTM!

Flooding in rural Toledo district strands students
Underneath all this water is a bridge. The sudden rise in water levels this afternoon left students of both the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho Technical High School stranded. According to Aurelio Sho of Ak’ kutan Radio, the bridge at Blue Creek was submerged, preventing children from villages and communities beyond Blue Creek from returning home. Villages that are beyond Blue Creek include Aguacate, Jordan, San Benito Poite, Santa Teresa, Mabilha, San Lucas, Corazon, Otoxha and Dolores.

WIN-Belize speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize has also issued a statement condemning the Amandala article on the issue of rape which appeared in the Sunday, October 20 edition of the newspaper. WIN-Belize in its statement condemned the article saying that “the tasteless and nonsensical comments … were written without consideration for the emotional harm such comments would cause victims and families.” The organization also called for the newspaper and the writer of the article “to apologize to the women and children of Belize.” The WIN-Belize statement goes on to say that “to make comments such as (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2) the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3) It is a natural act; and (4) the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence is unbecoming, for women should not be portrayed as sex objects.”

Channel 7

“Clear The Land” Signed Visa Recommendations, But Says He Didn’t Take A Bribe
Minister of State Edmund Castro is in Miami tonight where he is attending a Conference on Transport. But while he's away, his name is making the worst kind of headlines here in Belize. Last night Channel 5 presented an interview from an anonymous female whistleblower who claims that she bribed Castro to facilitate 200 visas for Chinese passports at two thousand per visa. That's four hundred thousand dollars in bribes - and he allegedly did it all in just five months from October 2012 to March 2013. It is a damning accusation, and while no documentary proof was offered in last night's report, the firsthand account is compelling, if not completely convincing. This afternoon, we tracked down Castro in Miami via cell phone. He gave an emphatic denial:.. Jules Vasquez "Minister, would you say you've heard these allegations about you that you have accepted $2,000 per visa application? You have expedited applications through your office using, using your office and that you have taken a bribe. How do you respond to these allegations?"

Police Minister Says Castro And Penner Have To Answer For Themselves
And while the Prime Minister has his hands full with that matter, Police Minister John Saldivar is washing his hands of it; he told the media today that Castro and Penner would have to answer for themselves. Here are his remarks when we caught him outside of UDP Headquarters today: Marion Ali, reporter "Are you or were you involved in any way in this immigration scandal?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Definitely not." Marion Ali, reporter "In any of the activities?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "You don't even need to ask that question. Its definitely not." Marion Ali, reporter "What about other ministers of the Cabinet? Is the Cabinet itself investigating any other person other than Minister Penner. Minister Castro's name has also come out?"

Guat Car Found At Western Border With Drugs
About an hour ago, customs and the police Mobile Interdiction Team intercepted a Guatemalan car entering Belize through the Western Border. Sources tell us the car appears to have at least three packages of drugs. At this hour, the search continues, and best information tells us that so far one package has been found with a white substance. The vehicle is a 2012 Toyota Aries with Guatemalan plates. Two Guatemalans were inside. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

The Weakest Customs Scam (Possibly) Ever
People try to run all kinds of hustles through the Customs Department, some ingenious, some just average. But the one we're reporting on tonight seems just plain dumb. After three weeks of investigation, the Customs Department today called in CIB to arrest a female cashier who had allegedly been fleecing the department. So far it looks like only a few thousand dollars are missing, but it's how she did it that's the news. The female officer, who has been with customs for 7 years was recently transferred to the cashier section. In August, customs noted that they had been getting an unusual number of blank cheques. That was odd enough, but what sent the red flags all the way up was that the companies never did business with customs. When they investigated, they concluded that this female cashier had been taking cash from the customs receipts, and then reimbursing the money with bogus cheques so that her books would balance out at the end of the day. The cheques? Those apparently came from her brother - who's accusing her of stealing his company's checkbook. Customs found that only about five thousand dollars was misappropriated. Tonight she remains in police custody at the Queen Street Station pending charges.

Air Freight Shipments On Freeze At PGIA
AMERIJET is the leading Air Freight service provider to Belize. They bring in shipments once or twice weekly - and they do so for a number of cargo companies couriers and e shoppers including One Bin, E Zone, DHL, and FED-Ex. But tonight, over a hundred packages are on hold - and some folks are even saying they can't clear their Halloween Costumes for weekend fairs because of changes at the airport which have effectively put a freeze on Amerijet packages. According to our information, the Airport has moved the terminal where air cargo is cleared to a new area between BDF Camp and the Airport. But it seems the new smaller, and more expensive location is also a logistical nightmare for AmeriJet because they have to get flatbed trucks to cart their packages all the way around to the Price Barracks road, which is also bad news for Customs because the bonded items have to go out, however briefly, on the open road.

“Pancho” and McFoy Close Ranks, Say Stevedores, NTUCB Will Have To Wait
The Christian Workers Union is at a cross roads. As we reported earlier this week, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, which is the umbrella body for labour unions, and the stevedores are demanding that they hold a Congress as they had committed to do on October 26th - that's Saturday. But, last week Friday in Belmopan, an assembly of the Union's member entities voted 13 - 2 to postpone that meeting to February of next year. The stevedores say that has no validity; they are proceeding with their Congress on Saturday - and proceeding to elect a new president and secretary general. But, today in their first interview since August, Gonzalez and McFoy stood their ground; they say it wasn't their decision to change the date, that's what their members decided, members including the stevedores: Antonio "Pancho" Gonzalez, CWU President "We as the executive - we deplore the kind of actions they have taken because we believe that to dialogue, understanding, discussion we can move more positive ahead rather than with negative actions. We saw some internal setbacks; financial constraints and so forth and at a meeting on the 18th October, 2013, with all the representatives from all areas including the two stevedores, they decided to change the date of the congress to February 2014."

Lebanese Caught With Ammo, Get Remanded
Tonight, 43 year-old Businessman Nazim Nasser, 19 year-old Jamal Nasser, 18 year-old Hilal Nasser, and 36 year-old Jaziba Nasser, are all in prison after they were allegedly busted with unlicensed ammunition yesterday. According to San Pedro Police, at around midday, they conducted a raid on the family's home on Coconut Drive, where the officers executed a search warrant for illegal firearms and ammunition. Inside one of the bedrooms, the officers found metal safe, which contained 6 live rounds of 22 ammunition. All 4 who were present, were arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Understanding the Nexus Between Gangs And School Dropouts
Yesterday, we told you about the CARICOM workshop to assist Belize's social sector to better understand and combat the trend of youths participating in Gang Activity. It is a 3 day conference under the theme, "Youth, Gangs and Violence Partnering for Social Development and Crime Prevention." The experts are here to discuss one of the most confounding problems of this era: the culture of youth and gang activity. And this afternoon 7News caught up with visiting Belizean social scientist, Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty. Gentle-Genitty is an assistant professor at the Indiana University's School of Social Work. She's been studying the link between youths who drop out of formal education, and their eventual pull toward gang life. She explained it briefly to us: Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Ph. D. - Assistant Professor, Indiana University "To have a society that is a schooling dependent society. There is a anticipation that all children are going to go to school and they are going to do well and they are going to move on to better and brighter things. When that process is disruptive there is no true process for them to be re-engaged and often times we see that the dis-engagement happens at a time when there is nobody to supervise those kids and then they end up in an environment that we may seem as being deviant. Those deviants may lead to petty thief/petty stealing that would eventually get them to prison, but we also see them taking a route of gangs as an option. That's not necessarily the best route but as we examine our society we have to look at what avenues have we provided for students that have decided to step out of school."

How You Can Help Jevaun
A week ago, we told you about 9 year-old Jevaun Freeman, who is suffering from a rare disease which causes him to bleed through his pores. His mother gave an impassioned plea to the public to help her raise funds to afford the treatment he needs, and her workplace has answered her call. Tiffarah Young Castillo, Jevaun's mother, works for the NICH's Institute of Creative Arts, and in an effort to assist her raise $12,000 needed for the medication, they are holding a turkey dinner sale. Today, 7News spoke to NICH's Communications Officer, Shari Williams, who explained why they want you to support by purchasing one of the turkey dinners: Shari Williams, Comminications Officer - NICH "Jevaun Freeman who is the son of Tiffarah Castillo, she is a security officer here at the Institute of Creative Arts, a NICH employee. We've been trying; our staff along with our President Mrs. Diane Haylock has been thinking of ways how to support this mother during her time of intense pressure.

High School Celebrates Drug Freedom
Today, the students of Gwen Lizarraga took to the streets to celebrate Drug Week. Now, with the pervasive presence of marijuana, we know that staying drug free means more than just marching through the streets. We asked the principal how they balance out positive messaging against negative social influences:... Dr. Lorna Mckay "We are celebrating Drug Week and this is one of our parades that we usually have every year. Our students made banners depicting how they feel about Drug Week." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "What are some of the challenges you find in terms of talking to young people who are now using more drugs at a younger age and how do you see since Drug Week has been implemented, have you seen a change?"

Crimestoppers Congratulates to Media Partners
And while they're fighting drug culture, Crime Stoppers is fighting crime. And a big part of that is public messaging, getting the public to know about and trust that hotline as an anonymous and effective way to fight crime. And today CRIMESTOPPERS rewarded its media partners who participated in the two Crime Stoppers advertisements that received regional recognition at the Crime Stoppers International conference held in September. At the press conference, the media also got an update on the latest activities of the programme. Chris Garcia, Crime Stoppers Belize "It was more or less 3 things; 1). We haven't had a press conference for years and so we needed to do something so the public know what we are doing. 2). To thank the media, all of you for assisting and promoting us throughout the years and making people know about the crime ring, what's happening so that they know what type of information to give and 3). To acknowledge our sponsors and supporters that gives money and in kind."

Channel 5

Minister Castro alleged procured visas to Chinese nationals at $2000 a head
On Wednesday’s newscast, we showed you a glimpse into the institutionalized visa hustling scheme. The man allegedly at the center of it is Minister of State Edmund Castro. He has [...]

A sergeant in the police department is the run man in visa scandal
Our source got hold of that passport and it shows that the visa hustle is still going on….at least as recently as August 2013. Tonight, we have part two of [...]

The lucrative scheme of the passport scandal revealed
We also revisit the lucrative scheme which allegedly netted two thousand dollars per visa. According to our source, they did this between October 2012 and April 2013 – a total [...]

Why did confidential informant decide to come forward?
Our confidential informant says she no longer continued in the visa scheme in April of this year. But as the passport shows, the hustle continued. Our C.I. maintains that she [...]

National Security Minister says he is unaware of the sale of entry permits
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, has also responded to questions regarding his possible involvement in the sale of visas, in light of recent reports that there is an ongoing [...]

2 Guatemalans detained after being found with 1 kilo of powder cocaine
A pair of Guatemalan nationals, identified as Jonathan Gregorio Adolfo Sandoval and Ruben Delilo Carrias Veliz, was nabbed at the western border this evening following a search of a vehicle [...]

Cuban and Mexican nationals taken to court
Cuban nationals twenty-nine-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and twenty-nine-year-old Henry Reyes, arrested by San Ignacio police on Tuesday, have been transferred to Benque Viejo del Carmen where they were arraigned for illegal [...]

CWU Executives ask membership to stay away
The membership of the Christian Workers Union, an estimated seven hundred men and women, employed by various private and public sector agencies, is in a wrangle.  President Antonio Gonzalez has [...]

Gonzalez says there is no misappropriation of funds
According to McFoy, members of the union cannot call a congress without the consent of the general council.  Furthermore, McFoy says that they absented themselves from a recent meeting to [...]

No payments to Belize Waste Control; 8 persons laid off
Belize Waste Control has not been paid for more than three months – that’s over half a million dollars in arrears. Of course, this is nothing unprecedented. If fact, it [...]

City Council owes millions of dollars to Belize Maintenance Limited
Of course that is little consolation for workers of Belize Waste Control. And there’s less consolation for the other sanitation company – Belize Maintenance Limited. BML is owed fifteen weeks [...]

Mayor Bradley Council will not renew contract with BML
The Mayor says that rather than looking at arrears, the Council has to look at the big picture – which is that the city is paying far too much to [...]

Driver charged in near fatal traffic accident on Boom/Hattieville Road
It has been a month since a near fatal traffic accident occurred on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. As many as four vehicles were involved and five persons were injured. The [...]

25 year old sentenced to 10 years in prison for firearm and ammunition charges
The trial of twenty-five year-old Belizean, Michael Alexander Dawson for kept firearm and ammunition began two months ago; it concluded today in the Courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Dawson was [...]

Church says its role in PAC hearing is to uphold integrity and accountability
The Public Accounts Committee, led by pro-tem chairman John Saldivar, has reached out to the Council of Churches and is extending an olive branch to other social partners, following a [...]

Crime Stoppers Belize honors the media
Crime Stoppers has become a household name; the organization quickly gained a reputation because it guarantees confidentiality to persons who provide tips on crime. Crime Stoppers public service announcements, in [...]

Father asks for help in finding his 14 year old daughter
A Belize City father is looking for his missing daughter, Moesha Chee. Kenrick Chee was informed four days ago by the child’s mother that it is the third time the [...]

Healthy Living looks at breakfast on the go
If you’re a person who’s committed to having breakfast every morning then the following story may not be for you. If you are one of the many who finds that [...]


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#475659 - 10/25/13 11:40 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 25, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE FM

Another Minister’s Name Surfaces in Immigration Scandal; Minister of National Security Says He Is Clean
New information linked to the recent immigration scandal continues to surface. Since this week started, there have been new names of at least one more Cabinet Minister circulating as well as those of operatives who helped in the scheme. While that junior Minister is not available for comment one Minister who has categorically denied any involvement in the scam is Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, who spoke to reporters today. JOHN SALDIVAR “Definitely not” MARION ALI “In any of the activities?” JOHN SALDIVAR “You don’t’ even need to ask that question and definitely not, ok?”

Caught on Camera: Postal Clerk Tampered and Stole From Mail and Parcels
On Wednesday Love News reported on the case of the missing mail at the Belmopan Post Office. Today Belmopan Police formally charged 32 year old Tania Davis, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, Cayo, with, among other offenses, Burglary, Mail Tampering and Handling Stolen Goods. The second grade postal clerk at the Belmopan Post Office was charged after investigations revealed that mail had been going missing since June of this year from the post office. Deputy Post Master General, James Gabourel told Love News today that the Belize Postal Service views the incident as an isolated case and that the post office had to install a hidden camera to solve the mystery of the missing mail. JAMES GABOUREL “Earlier this year we were getting complaints from a few customers and the record will show that we have at least 5 such costumer complaints where costumers were complaining that they were not receiving specifically, electronic gadgets in their parcels or packages. The matter was investigated by our Postal Inspector. However, we could not come up with exactly who the culprit was.

Marie Sharp’s Products Highlighted As Unique At World’s Largest Food Show
The ANUGA food show which is the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair had the participation of Marie Sharp Proud Products of Belize. Marie Sharp told us about her experience at the fair. MARIE SHARP “It was a very, very busy food show; ANUGA is the world’s largest food show and I think that because our products were picked for its uniqueness because they are fruit flavored habanera, they were showcased at the entrance of the show grounds. So, you find that buyers go there first to see what unique products are listed there and then they would then come around and taste and try. Apart from ourselves we had one other Caribbean island that was best product out there, he had banana ketchup; so, he was a unique product also and so you find that because of that we had people come to our booths to look for us and I mean from all over the world.” Sharp said that a number of countries showed great interest in her habanero sauce. MARIE SHARP “We had about four major ones; one is Kuwait, the other one is Dubai and we have Ireland and Canada. So, if we can land these companies, it’s more money for us, more money for our workers, and more money for our people we are supplying and we can buy more peppers. So actually the whole country benefits from our success.” The fair was held in Cologne, Germany and Marie Sharp won the Taste 13 award for her fresh fruit Habanero Sauce.

Union Members Fight for Change in Leadership
Two days ago the stevedores who have a gripe with their leadership in the Christian Workers Union of which they are a part, announced that they will hold their General Congress this Saturday to conduct elections. The two representatives were accompanied by Dale Trujeque, an expert in Industrial Relations who is providing pro-bono assistance to them in their fight for change of leadership. The stevedores, Dion Pitter and Raymond Rivers, say they represent other stevedores who have concerns over the management, or lack thereof of fees paid to the CWU over the years. They also alleged the leadership of the CWU, President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary, James McFoy, of gross mismanagement of those funds. But today McFoy and Gonzalez came back swinging, denying the allegations. Here’s what they told Love News today. ANTONIO GONZALEZ “The allegations that are founded are baseless, we are prepared and we have always been prepared to any finance auditing and things like that. We don’t have any fear that there is any kind of misappropriations whatsoever. The dues are utilized for the daily, weekly and monthly sustenance of the union when it comes to expenses, salaries, traveling, rent, utilities.”

Prisoners Go To Court Following Discovery of Drugs in Cell
Three inmates of Belize Central Prison, charged with three counts of drug trafficking, were freed of the charges when they were dismissed today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They are 24 year old Orel Leslie, 37 year old Wesley Emmanuel and 41 year old Floyd Anthony. They were arrested and charged when a prison officer searched a cell around 10:30 a.m. on April 6 and found three separate parcels containing cannabis tucked in crevices in a wall of the cell. During the trial, the prison officer testified that he searched cell number six and found the cannabis, which were 213 grams, 62 grams and 323 grams. But under cross examination by Leslie’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, the officer admitted that the inmates were housed in cell number ten. Arnold then submitted that whatever was found in Cell # 6 was of no concern to his client. Chief Magistrate Smith then dismissed the charges.

30 Years Ago El Pilar Was Rediscovered
Tomorrow an event to celebrate thirty years of the re-discovery of the archeological site of El Pilar will be held in San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District. An exhibit and presentations will be held at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow morning. Organizer of the event, Cynthia Ellis Topsey, says that a hike for the youths has also been scheduled. CYNTHIA ELLIS TOPSEY “One of the first things we are going to do is to walk down memory lane and have young people walk or ride to the El Pilar site; that will be Friday evening. There will be young people coming from Benque, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Belize City, and Dangriga. Doctor Annabelle Ford and many of the pioneers believe that a lot of the solutions to the challenges of living in Belize could be found in the wisdom of Maya history and heritage; so, Friday afternoon there will be a walk just to the entrance of El Pilar. In the morning of October 25, that’s Friday, we are going to have displays of the El Pilar journey at the Cayo Welcome Centre and in the night Doctor Ford, Father Richard and others will be sharing with the young people, forty young people, about what is the journey of El Pilar has been like. The following day which is the Saturday, we will walk through some of the trails of El Pilar and the young people will walk to the Cayo Welcome Center signaling the beginning of the celebration with a cultural program at the Welcome Center.”

A Punch In The Face Lands Man In Jail For Sixteen Months
Twenty-six year old Ernesto Reyes, a laborer with no fixed address charged with wounding, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he was about to testify. Reyes’ sentence is to take effect from August 28, 2013 when he was arraigned. The incident occurred around 8 a.m. on August 26, 2013. The complainant, Britman Mariano, testified that he was walking on Albert Street and when he reached in front of Adventist Primary School he saw Reyes walking in front of him and he approached Reyes to tell him that he, Reyes, was wanted by the police. Mariano said that when he touched Reyes’ shoulder, Reyes turned around and punched him in his face and it caused a cut wound to his left eye.

Six Live Rounds Land Family in Prison
A family of four, all of them naturalized Belizeans residing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, became inmates of Belize Central Prison today when they appeared in Court and were charged with kept ammunition without a gun license. They are 42 year old Nazim Nasser, his wife,36 year old Jaziba Nasser who is pregnant and their sons, 19 year old Jamal Nasser and 18 year old Hilal Nasser. The pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Sheringe Rodriguez remanded them into custody until November 29. Police charged them yesterday when they searched a house on Coconut Drive in San Pedro and found six live rounds of point 22 caliber ammunition in a metal safe. Jamal pled guilty to the charge when it was first read to him but he changed his plea when the charge was read a second time to him. The four were represented by attorney Lionel Welch.

Belizean TV News Anchors Recognized by Crime Stoppers
Love TV’s Anju Gidwani, News Five’s Marleni Cuellar and 7News’ Indira Craig were today recognized for their vital participation in the advertisement created by Crime Stoppers Belize. Crime Stoppers International Awards for the Best TV Public Service Announcement were presented to all three ladies and Chief Operating Officer for the organization, Chris Garcia, explained the purpose. CHRIS GARCIA “Every year we come across, many times, some of the same children and listening to them they speak differently about crime. They talk about telling their brothers not to do certain things. Some of them would tell us, “Miss, I used to hear gunshots all the time and I’m scared and now that I know that we can do something, I tell my mommy that we should call the Crime Stoppers.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “The number- 0-800-922-TIPS and web address www.crimestoppersbelize.org are the key information being projected to the audience. The viewers are also made aware that any information passed unto Crime Stoppers Belize is confidential with possibly monetary reward. Last year, Crime Stoppers Belize won a regional award for its gun violence video advertisement depicting how a fired bullet can affect the entire community and this year the idea was to encourage community participation.”

PlusTV

Motorcycle rider detained following traffic accident
Police have detained the driver of a motorcycle involved in a traffic accident on Tuesday evening. Jason Grant, a 31 year old electrician of Faber’s Road, was driving toward the Haulover Bridge on his black Honda motorcycle when at the entrace of Bella Vista subdivision on the Philip Goldson...

No comment from FIU on Penner investigation
The press cornered Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Marilyn Williams, at court on Wednesday and asked for an update on the investigation of former Minister of State in Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner. The FIU has made it a policy not to comment on its ongoing investigations and...

Belize-Can School Boycott reaches Belmopan
In Tuesday night’s newscast, we brought you highlights of a school boycott taking place in the north. Some parents have pulled their kids out of school in protest of the proposed 2013 Gender Policy. As we mentioned, GOB has held off from implementing the policy, until further reconsideration of...

Court of Appeal to consider bail for appellant in money laundering case
Wednesday was scheduled for the hearing of the criminal appeal of Michael and Melonie Coye, father and daughter, and their former company Money Exchange International Limited, all of which were convicted last August in the Supreme Court of money laundering offenses. Arthur Saldivar, the attorney...

Former workers of BWS may obtain a settlement for wrongful termination
PLUS News has been reliably informed that the six former workers released by Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) may obtain a settlement for wrongful termination from the company earlier this year. The matter was adjourned Wednesday afternoon by Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel to November 29, reportedly because the...

Assault trial of Brian Audinett and Allan Kell set for December 13
On Wednesday morning trial was scheduled for House of Representatives Sergeant-At-Arms Brian “Yellowman” Audinett and Allan Kelly, accused of using insulting words, harm, assaulting and wounding a police officer and common assault and threatening words on Philip “Fawda” Henry and PC#1366, Wilbert Chi. However, the matter was adjourned to...

Justice Michelle Arana to decide on SATIIM Court Case
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana will consider her decision in the case between four Government entities and U.S. Capital Energy on one side and Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Alcaldes of four Maya communities surrounding the Park on the other. On Wednesday Senior Counsel Eamon...

Stakeholders in solid waste management meet
The Transfer Station and Sanitary Landfill opened months ago to great fanfare. On Wednesday we got a chance to find out more from stakeholders who were holding a workshop in Belize City. Gilroy Lewis is Project Director for the Solid Waste Management Authority. Mr. Gilroy Lewis-Project Director “Today’s workshop...

CARICOM Strategy Meets with Renovated Hope for Social Inclusion
A three-day workshop began on Wednesday in Belize City hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat and dealing with the subject of youth violence. We hear from the Secretariat’s Program Manager for Sustainable Development, Beverly Reynolds. Beverly Reynolds – Secretariat’s Program Manager for Sustainable Development “We begin a three day workshop...

Innovative Sanitary Pillows Arrive to Belizean Hospital Beds
In an effort to sustain infection control within the hospital unit, the Belize Dry Cleaners donated 300 antimicrobial treated pillows to hospitals across the country. The 20” X 26” pillows are filled with 8 oz garnetted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipeable...

Police say robber is targeting students in the Princess Margaret/Coney Drive area
Police in Belize City say that they have dispatched added security in the Princess Margaret/Coney Drive vicinity, after catching a robber they believe have been targeting students in that area. One such incident is believed to have last week Tuesday. A 17 year old reported that while she was...

University of Belize Launches Reproductive Health Fair
It was all about reproductive health on Wednesday morning at the University of Belize. A group of 4th year students, for their reproductive class, joined their efforts to promote reproductive health awareness in the UB grounds through education. Ms. Julie Simpson- Fourth Year Nursing Student This fair...

Dental Health Week Celebrated with Fair in Central Health Region
Under the theme “Brush and Floss Every Day and Keep Cavities Away,” this week is being observed as Dental Health Week. Today there was a fair held on the grounds of the Central Health Region. Senior Dental Surgeon in the Ministry of Health Dr. Raphael Samos explains. Dr....

Belize to be represented in modeling contest in New York
Gambita, literally means small shrimp in Spanish. Gambita is also the name of an American retail company that sells clothes to petite women around the world. The reason we tell you this is because this coming Friday, October 25th, Gambita will be hosting a modeling contest in New York...

PlusNews tours Central Belize
PlusNews gets you a bit more familiar with an intimate resort nestled near the Sibun National Forest Reserve, as well as a popular tour corporation that offers thrilling and unforgettable adventures. Shadel Dyer-Young completes her coverage of a media familiarization tour...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

88 West Halloween Party
88 WEST HAS HAD THEIR LIQUOR EXTENSION APPROVED! THEY WILL BE OPEN TILL 1:30 PM

Blogs

More of El Secreto Resort
During day 2 of the San Pedro Belize Red Cross first aid training I took the opportunity to walk around the grounds of El Secreto and take some pictures so you can see what it looks like. The resort located 11 miles north, is a beautiful property with 13 individual thatched roof villas, each one decorated with Belizean flavor, luxurious finishes, outdoor private jacuzzi and private patio shower. To see inside the rooms check out the blog post Belize Luxury Resort El Secreto shhhhh…it’s a secret by Romantic Travel Belize. It is easy to see why the resort made the Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2013. Day 2 of training went well, the staff for the second half of the training were eager to do their hands on practical sessions. Over breakfast I was getting to know Jermaine more and asked about how he got involved with Red Cross and first aid. I leaned that he has been active doing first aid for just over 7 years, and has done CPR 7 times in his life – he is only 21. The last time Jermaine had to preform CPR, he saved his neighbors baby’s life.

Lola’s Art & Vern’s Restaurant in Seine Bight Village: Put Both on Your List!
On August 31st, I wrote about the small Garifuna village of Seine Bight. The town that is just north of Placencia and so different from that lovely beach spot…and very interesting in its own way. After staying in Placencia for two nights, I moved up to Robert’s Grove (WOW…AND another place I STILL need to tell you about)…a gorgeous resort about 2 minutes walking distance from Seine Bight. I walked into town on my first morning and found some really great stuff. After taking a bunch of pictures my first stop was Lola’s Art (you can see all the signs in my previous post). I’d seen her work all over town, even hanging in my room at Robert’s Grove, and I wanted to buy a little something and to meet the lady herself. She is a few small unpaved blocks off the main road. There are plenty of colorful though faded signs. You’ll find her gallery.

Win Amazing Prizes for An Amazing Cause: SAGA Humane Society’s Halloween Silent Auction
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… This year is SAGA’s TENTH Annual Halloween party for dogs, kids and adults (and even some turtles last year). It is far and away our biggest fundraiser of the year. We have costume contests (for kids & dogs!), food, raffles, a DJ, games, candy, cookies. This year’s party is at BC’s Beach Bar on Sunday October 27th from 10am to 4pm. It really starts getting good around 2pm but arrive early for a seat!

Chaa Creek Welcomes News of Medical Tourism in Belize
The Lodge at Chaa Creek said it is closely watching the newly-formed Belize Medical Tourism Association, which has recently been announced in the International Medical Travel Journal. Chaa Creek Marketing Director Larry Waight said that the announcement of the service may offer benefits for both tourists and Belizeans. “This could be great news and possibly change the face of health care in Belize,” Mr Waight said. “It’s also the next logical addition to the range of services we currently offer our visitors,” he said. According to an article in the International Medical Travel Journal News of 21 October 2013, “The new Belize Medical Tourism Association seeks to promote medical tourism to Belize while at the same time eventually ending the practice of Belizeans going abroad for medical care. “The association has members from the medical and tourism sector. It sees medical tourism as an opportunity for medical practitioners and wants more members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association to join. Foreigners have been accessing medical services in Belize for years but in an ad hoc manner. Now, Belize will be marketed internationally as a destination for medical tourism. Patients will be offered packages that include medical services, hotel accommodation and tours,” the IMT Journal reports.

Request for Proposals – Publisher: CAribbean Export Outlook
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is developing the inaugural publication of the Caribbean Export Outlook. This publication will focus on providing valuable information to readers on the status of trade and exports in the CARIFORUM member states. Readers will be able to subscribe to the publication on an annual basis and it will include content that speaks to the state of affairs of trade and exports in the region, projected sectors and markets for the region to capitalize on, cross cutting issues affecting exporters and investment opportunities in the region. In addition, the experiences of exporting firms and relevant regional and international contacts for firms will also be included. A full outline of the main areas of the publication is available in Appendix 1.

“Casino Royale” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After four nights in our new home (albeit in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment and not the First and Second Floors that we will eventually move to) I am gradually becoming accustomed to our new surroundings. I now don’t have to think twice about where the coffee is, where my mug is, etc. I also have decided where my favourite location is to take the coffee and iPad to first thing in the morning. The small flight of steps at the front of the house that lead to the apartment. Its not the most comfortable seating position but the breeze is great. That’s where I went yesterday morning when I got up shortly after 04.00 hours. A quick read of The Times on-line (I didn’t want to dwell too long on Arsenal’s loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League) and then straight in to producing yesterday’ edition of the blog. It took me slightly longer than usual to pull the edition together. Covering more typical blogger subject matter (food being yesterday’s choice) required a greater level of thought on my part. I am sure though that with a few editions under my belt it will flow a lot more easily.

International Sources

Belize Barrier Reef home to over 100 different kinds of Coral and some 500 Species of Fish
It is a known to many that Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world. But, it is not known to many that the reef is inhabited by more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish. The top attraction in Belize is its alluring underwater. The wetland invites hundreds of bird species that include dozens of migrants who come in their way north or south. The best months for bird watching are the drier months (February to May). It is the period when the lagoon dries up and the bird congregate around the remaining puddles. Bird watchers can sight some 570 species with the help of their binoculars. Well, these birds and animals are elusive, but keenness to see could result to spot spider monkeys and howler monkeys, peccaries, coatimundis, gibnuts, American and Morelot's crocodiles, green iguanas and countless species of birds.

World's first venomous crustacean found in Australia
Scientists have identified the world's first venomous crustacean - and in what may come as little surprise to some, it lives in Australia. The predatory crustaceans, known as blind remipedes, liquify their prey with a highly toxic venom before sucking their newly-prepared meal from the dead critter's exoskeleton. But don't try calling them 'poisonous crabs', one of the scientists who made the discovery told the Telegraph. So can they kill a human? "We were wondering about that," said Dr Jenner. "In the literature there's nothing on it, so I was trying to convince [von Reumont] to allow himself to be bitten." But on Thursday night Dr Jenner was approached by a man who claimed to have been bitten by the creature in the past. "He said near the village where he lived in Belize these occur near the entry of caves where people swim." The man claimed he was bitten in the leg. The pain, he said, started as a pinch before growing up his leg into his lower back, where it remained for weeks. Based on the venomous chemical cocktail of proteins and neurotoxin detailed by the scientists, and the man's description of his large bite wound being like 'digested tissue', Dr Jenner believes he may have identified a genuine case of a blind remipede bite.

If Beer Ads Were Forced to Be Honest - Beer Commercial Parody
Breweries would go out of business in a hurry if this got out...


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