FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
Holiday Hotel Celebrates Halloween in Grand Style!
“Every year I say, ‘They can’t possibly get any better…’ and then they do!” Lisa McCorkle Guerrero echoed the sentiments of everyone who had gathered at the Holiday Hotel for its annual Halloween Bash. As one of the Holiday Hotel’s biggest celebrations, the annual Halloween Party attracts people from all across the country who show up in full regalia, eager to outdo the past year’s costumes. From the sweet and pretty to the outrageous to the full on creative, costumes abounded this year, and yet again, set the bar high for next year.
Jerdon Anderson and Gorge Olivarez make their mark at the Laguna de Bacalar Sailing Regatta
On Saturday, October 25th Jerdon Anderson and Gorge Olivarez, from San Pedro Junior Sailing Club, traveled to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico to represent Belize and San Pedro at the Laguna de Bacalar Sailing Regatta. This was the first time that sailors from Belize have been invited to attend an International Regatta, and they certainly made their mark as Jerdon Anderson took the top prize! The first four races of the division were held on Saturday, October 26th and Jerdan quickly took first place in the first three races. In the final race of the day, Jerdon was satisfied with finishing third. On the other hand Gorge started off in fourth place in the first race, second in the second and third race and moved up to first place in the final race of the day. The boys performed exceptionally well on the first day of race and were leading the Optimist division. Jerdon had placed first with six points and Gorge was closely behind in second with a score of nine points.
Saga Halloween Party (42 photos)
Kids and critters in costume....nothing cuter!
Remembrance Day Events in San Pedro
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour there will be a resounding silence throughout the Commonwealth; it will be for remembering all those fallen heroes of the two world wars and all the conflicts since and we shall remember them.
Jamila Janmohamed, member of The Royal British Legion Belize would love to see the San Pedro Community show its support for the Belizean and Commonwealth veterans and their families by wearing a poppy and contributing to the cause.
Crime Stoppers Belize Wins Awards and Honors Local Media
Crime Stoppers has been in operation in Belize since 2004 and to date has become a household name after quickly gaining reputation as a legitimate organization that gets the job done by guaranteeing confidentiality to persons who provide tips on crime. Crime Stoppers Belize continues to work arduously to make sure that every household in the country knows about their service and uses it to tackle crime.
One of the ways in which Crime Stoppers Belize is spreading the word about its service is through local television and radio commercials. They have been so good at producing effective commercial spots that in September of this year Crime Stoppers International recognized two of their advertisements. The first was a television ad featuring Marleni Cuellar of Channel 5, Indira Craig of Channel 7 and Anju Gidwani of Love TV and the second was a radio ad that featured the voices of Dorian Nuñez of Ambergris Today Online, David Marin a former panelist on Reef TV morning show and Jorge Aldana of The San Pedro Sun Newspaper.
Misc Belizean Sources
Turneffe Flats Honored with Green Globe Certification
The Turneffe Flats Resort in Belize announced today that it has earned Green Globe certification. The Green Globe Standard is a "structured assessment of the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners," according to GreenGlobe.com. To earn the certification members must have high standards in environmental, sociocultural, quality, health, and safety issues, plus contribute to local communities and their local environment.
Turneffe Flats Resort, located 30 miles off the coast of Belize, recently led efforts to establish Turneffe Atoll as the country’s largest Marine Reserve. The resort offers fly fishing, scuba diving and marine eco-tourism activities. It also features a spa, casual dining, private villas and guest rooms.
Way Back When: Today In History
More than 400 people were killed in Belize, the capital of British Honduras, by a tidal wave in the wake of Hurricane Hattie that hit the area with winds of 200 mph. The storm also left many missing and thousands homeless. Gov. Sir Colin Thornley estimated that more than 75 percent of the buildings in Belize had been destroyed or damaged by the disaster "that overwhelmed our estimates."
The plaque that was presented to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the people of San Pedro Town
by Mayor Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui of Othon P. Blanco, Q. Roo, México.
American father and son convicted of band fraud and money laundering
A father and son duo is facing serious jail time in the United States after they were found guilty of bank fraud and money laundering involving offshore banks in the Cayman Islands and Belize.
According to a report carried by News Channel 7 in Pensacola, a federal jury there found Gary Wayne Thomas of Daphne, Alabama, and son Brian Keith Thomas, 40 of Birmingham, guilty of laundering $4.5 million dollars in loans to off-shore banks in the Cayman Islands and Belize.
The online report says that the men hid the in 2008 and stopped paying on the $56 million dollars in loans they received from New South Federal Savings Bank.
The online report further says that over the last three years, Gary Thomas wired $2.1 million dollars from the off-shore banks to five Destin bank accounts opened by Brian Thomas and others.
Cubola's Living Together Sponsorship
Feelgood news of the day. Cubola Productions has teamed up with some local businesses to provide school books and training. Pictured is the San Jose Succotz primary school. Thanks, Cubola!
"In June 2013, Cubola Productions offered to team up with donors in the private sector of the Cayo District to supply the 'Living Together a Belizean Social Studies Series' for Primary Schools Standard 1 book and workbook at cost price. As part of the package we also committed to supply free training for teachers... Each book and workbook have an identifying label and logo acknowledging the sponsorship made to the school and to the Standard 1 children. We thank the sponsors: Chaa Creek, Pine Lumber and Caracol YCD for their generosity and willingness to mentor our children in their quest to become responsible citizens."
Rotary Educates Our Youth
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their 'Educate our Youth' dinner and live auction to raise money for the 25 scholarships they provide to the needy children of Cayo. There will be a live auction along with some great food, including tortilla soup, coconut shrimp, lobster and beef kabobs, and chimichangas, which will be served by the SHJC Food and Beverage students. Thanks, Rotary!
"The Rotary Club of San Ignacio will hold it's annual Fundraising Dinner & Auction. Pursuant to our motto 'Educate our Youth' the function will take place at the Cayo CET, Buena Vista Street, San Ignacio. A delicious surf & turf dinner will be served by students of Sacred Heart College and CET. Amazing prizes will be auctioned for our main goal: raising funds for the 25 permanent scholarships our club provides to talented and needy children from Cayo."
SMCU Visits Octavia Waight
The SMCU staff paid a visit to the Octavia Waight Centre while celebrating International Credit Union Day. Thanks, SMCU, for brightening their day!
"Saint Martin's Credit Union - Belize staff celebrating international credit union week/day with elders at the Octavia Waight Centre, in San Ignacio Town. Giving back to our community."
Galen Halloween Bash
The Galen Student Government is having their Halloween Bash tomorrow night at Barrio Fino. Cloud 9 will be there.
In related news, in Cayo, Fuego is having their Halloween costume party and Serendib is having their anniversary special.
Belize Wildlife Benefactor's Tour
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has an excellent idea for sustainable conservation projects. People can take a learning vacation that helps the local community. They'll be doing their first one in January.
"How to find sustainable income sources for small wildlife conservation projects in developping countries? We have been working and pondering for a few years...and we are exited to share that in January 2014 we will try something new: An 8 day high-end tour to experience and support amazing wildlife conservation efforts while enjoying the best of Belize. Not for credit, but for wildlife lovers and conservation minded individuals with the desire to travel with a purpose. For those interested in an adventure, with 'creature comforts,' while contributing to wildlife conservation in Belize. Please share this message and the flyer with your friends and family or others who might be interested in learning more about this?"
VIDEO: Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize
The ultimate skydive in my 22 years of jumping! Exit from 13,500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds and NO wind) with my beautiful husband slaDE~ and our Arizona friend, Ginger. I deployed at 8,000 feet so I could soak in all the exotic beauty and sublime heavenly experience. A once in a lifetime never-to-forget skydive!!! BTW, my canopy is red, black and gray, and I am the last person to land in this video. WOOHOO!
The Great Blue Hole is a stunning circular jewel surrounded by a ring of shallow luminous coral reef in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Measuring 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, this ocean-floor limestone sinkhole is believed to be the world's largest blue hole, made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Atolls are characterized by a large, fairly shallow lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. Only four known true atolls exist in the Western Hemisphere, and of these, three reside in Belize: Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glovers.
NOTICE TO ALL COROZAL BOAT OWNERS
BELIZE PORT AUTHORITY NOTICE: 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, 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.
Ms. Tanya Carter on her Belize Tour
The lovely and talented Ms. Tanya Carter on her Belize Tour performs in Corozal over the past weekend! Photo by Jordel Heredia
Canadian Retiree Killed In Consejo
Tonight, Corozal Police continue to investigate the first murder in 7 months in that district, and it’s a terrible one: the stabbing death of a 57 year-old female Canadian retiree.
Investigators are seeking the help of the public because there are very few clues in the crime which happened in the secluded village of Consejo, a place where many North Americans settle down to retire.
7News went to the village, to find out how it unfolded; Daniel Ortiz reports:
The community of Consejo Village in the Corozal District has been shaken by the murder of Canadian 56 year-old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich.
The Consejo Shores area is a well-known real estate location where international retirees settle down, and as such, they expect to leave peacefully.
That peace and sense of security was violated last night.
Accused Robbers/Killers to Court
So, while police are working on solving that murder, they believe that they’ve cracked the case of 61 year-old George Blanco, the truck driver who was killed on last week Friday when robbers targeted his meat wholesale delivery truck. Tonight, 21 year-old Alton Bailey, 33 year-old Roger Hernandez, 25 Roque Middle Middleton, 33 year-old Elario Frank Eligio are at prison after they were charged in Magistrate’s Court this evening.
As we reported, on Friday afternoon, the Yo Creek resident George Blanco was with his boss, Abraham Penner, and they were driving through Sandhill when a gunman opened fire on the truck as it passed over the last speed bump in the village near the old Northern Road. Blanco was hit under the left armpit, and he died at the wheel. This caused the vehicle to veer off the road, and when it stopped on the shoulder, 3 men robbed Penner of $9,600 in cash and fled.
PUP Want Hon. Castro Recalled
It’s been 25 days and counting, but the PUP says that by next week, they’ll have about 2000 signatures vetted for submission to the Governor General to formally launch a recall in Cayo Northeast. And now, the opposition is embarking on another recall effort. PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat told us the decision has been made to launch a recall drive in Belize Rural North, that’s the home base of two-time UDP representative, the embattled Edmund Castro.
As has been widely reported, Castro is accused of taking bribes to facilitate visas for Chinese. Alvorine Burgess says she paid him four hundred thousand dollars in bribes to facilitate 200 visas in five months. Castro empathically denies her claim, saying he did write a generic letter of recommendation for five visa applications but claims that he never took a penny from her. Castro’s attorney – who also happens to be the Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams has initiated libel proceedings against Channel 5 and Alvorine Burgess.
Floodwaters Rolling Into Belize City
Flood waters continue to roll towards the Belize District tonight and the after effects of a week of heavy rain are still being felt. The water is rising fast in Crooked Tree, and the Causeway is impassable for small vehicles. It is doubtful that busses will be able to go into the village tomorrow and NEMO has dispatched a boat to the area. Coast Guard has also dispatched boats to Rancho Dolores, and Freetown Sibun. Water is also rising in Bomba and Flowers Bank while Gracie Rock, Grace Bank, Biscayne, St. Pauls Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Anns, Santana, and Corozalito are experiencing flooding. But we do know that water is going down in Hattieville, but it’s rising at the mile 8 community of Western Paradise where we spoke to a pair of villagers today:
Closer Look At Police Shakedown In ATM
Last night we showed you how police shook down Thyrell Hyde in an Atlantic Bank ATM booth. His shake-down story is so incredible, that without the video evidence, it would be hard to believe. But with the evidence it is compelling, and stands out as one of the most outrageous police abuses ever caught on camera. Tonight, we take a closer look at the video to see how the cops made sure they got every dollar they could from Thyrel Hyde:
Daniel Ortiz Reporting
The camera inside the ATM picks up 2 men. The one in red is Thyrell Hyde, and the other in the corner is one of the police officers he says kidnapped him and took him there to rob him of money from his personal bank account.
Inside the ATM room, it seems so ordinary, just like 2 close friends who have no trust issues making a withdrawal, but if the allegation is true, it is an obscene abuse of authority.
Report: Belize Business Climate Not Conducive
And crazy, corrupt events such as that can only serve to further tarnish Belize’s image as a country where it’s not easy to do business as usual. A report called “Doing Business 2014” sponsored by the World Bank says that Belize ranks 106 out of 189 countries in terms of “how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.” This is two notches down from last year, below the regional average for Latin America and the Caribbean which is 100, and far below Mexico which ranks 53rd and Guatemala which ranks 79th. The problem with Belize? Well, the study says that doing business in Belize is just plain difficult, from dealing with construction permits to registering property, to paying taxes, to getting electricity, it’s all just plain difficult in Belize. In terms of ease of starting a business Belize is ranked 167th – which is way below the regional average; in terms of getting credit, Belize is ranked 130th, and in terms of protecting investors, Belize is ranked 138.
As you might expect, Government Investment Czar Mike Singh doesn’t like the report one bit. He says they have very little comments to substantiate the information provided, there’s no fresh, updated information from last year and this is because they have not had a formal point of contact in Belize. He says that this year his office has provided updated information on reforms but the new information will not be reflected until the next publishing.
Caneros Want To Cash In On Bagasse Bucks
Last night, we told you about the dramatic move which executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers took to voice a protest against Belize Sugar Industries and their parent company, American Sugar Refining: they walked en masse out of a stakeholders meeting.
As we’ve told you it’s in relation to bagasse, the bi-product of sugar production after the sugar cane has been processed. BSI’s subsidiary, BELCOGEN, uses this material to generate electricity which it then sells to BEL.
Currently, BSI reaps 100% of the profits it makes from that arrangement with BEL, but the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association wants a share in the earnings.
Today, 7News caught up with the Chairman of the Association’s Committee of Management, and he told us that the cane farmers deserve a piece of the pie because they provide the sugar cane, the raw material which ends up as bagasse:
Guat Professionals Busted At Border: 3 Engineers + 1 Lawyer Face Remand
The police Mobile Interdiction Team has made another neat bust at the Western Border. This morning at 11:30 the MIT with K9 support searched a grey 2010 Toyota Hilux with Guatemalan plates coming over to Belize from Melchor. They found six rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition and two rounds of .380 ammunition inside the glove compartment. That’s an offence, and all four occupants, including three Guatemalan engineers and a lawyer were arrested and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. They are 31 year old Engineers, Jorge Mario Najera Bolanos, 33 year old Eva Haydee Soto Espina and 30 year old Melvin Alfredo Posadas Ponciano along with 32 year old lawyer, Luddyn Adolfo Fuentes Vasquez all from Guatemala City. They are detained pending arraignment in court, on 2 counts of unlicensed ammunition. And though it’s only eight rounds, any unlicensed ammunition charge IMPOES for mandatory remand.
Wesley Walking To Be Drug Free
This morning the students of Wesley College marched through the city streets chanting messages for a drug free Belize. It’s the schools 15th annual Red Ribbon Week which has become a part of its tradition in the fight against teenage drug use. The parade ended at the school's compound, and immediately after that, the entire school participated in a rally, in which the students displayed skits and dramas developed around the Drug Free theme. We found out more:
Elizabeth Goff - School Counselor
"This week is a very important week for us. We are celebrating our 15th annual red ribbon week. Red Ribbon Week is all about drug prevention, and so, this week, the school is united under the theme, "A Healthy Me Is Drug Free." They've been a lot of activities; we had the opening of the week with Ms. Jennifer Lovell, President of the Mental Health Association of Belize, and she gave a very powerful message to our students. Yesterday, our teachers wore caps or hats as a way of saying capping out drugs, saying no to drugs, and there were some very creative hats - it wasn't a competition, but it was just something that the teachers wanted to do. The kids love that; they loved to see the teachers involved. Today is Red Ribbon Day. We have always on the Wednesday, observed it as Red Ribbon Day. We got to Wesley Church as usual, so, we've had our church service, and there was the first part of the judging of t-shirt competition. Then, after service, we're taking our message to the streets, and we're almost at Wesley College, and it's been a very good parade. The kids have been much energized, very lively in sharing that message of saying no to drugs."
Consejo Road Is Rough!
At the top of our newscast, we told you about the murder in Consejo Village. Well, that wasn’t the only reason for our news team visiting the village. A month ago, 7News received complaints from residents of Consejo that the main road to their village has been long neglected, and is in need of major repairs. Whenever there are heavy rains, the road becomes impassable due to flooding.
And, sure enough, today, when our news team used the road to get to the village, it was virtually impassable. We found 3 men on the road who were trying to alleviate the problem by opening up a drain on the most flooded section. They told us that the residents are fed up:
Marco Antonio Manzanilla - Concerned About The Road
"The road is really in bad shape. They came like 2 weeks ago to repair it, but they were asking for donations to repair it. They only thing that they did is repair the really bad holes, and now this rain fall again, it messed up the rode once again. Instead of elevating the road, they just covered the little holes. Now, we have the same problem once again. It doesn't make it any better because, for example, I have an Explorer, now I have to come with the Jeep. With the Explorer, I had 2 front bearing destroyed because of the waters being too high."
All of last week, the UDP members of the Public Accounts Committee were meeting with the social partner stakeholders to get them to buy into the UDP version of the PAC. Those consultations are still being parried back and forth but the UDP-PAC was to have resumed meetings this week under the old formula. But, it didn’t happen. Monday’s meting was postponed, and today, the Financial secretary Joe Waight showed up to testify as did member Patrick Faber, but it had to be postponed again. The reason? Faber tells us there wasn’t a quorum with one member out of the country and the opposition absent.
Canadian woman is stabbed more than eight times inside her house in Consejo
There is a brutal murder to report tonight; a Canadian woman was stabbed to death at her house sometime on Tuesday evening. Her body was found in a pool of [...]
P.U.P. Deputy Leader calls for recall process to begin for Belize Rural North
The P.U.P. has reached the threshold to trigger the recall mechanism in Cayo Northeast. In fact, the party has exceeded the threshold and continues to gather signatures. Meanwhile, Elvin Penner [...]
The Opposition plans to demonstrate in Belmopan on Friday
The P.U.P. will be in Belmopan on Friday, and we don’t mean just inside the House. Deputy Leader Julius Espat has confirmed that the party will be organizing a protest [...]
Godwin Hulse says visas are really no big deal and is not concerned about Castro
The man in the visa hot-seat, Minister of State Edmund Castro, continues to dodge the media at every turn. Apart from a lengthy press release in which he remembers recommending [...]
Minister Hulse speaks on 11 abrupt transfers from immigration department
It has now been forty days since the Wonhong Kim passport scandal highlighted the corruption in the Immigration Department. The matter is of national and even international importance, but while [...]
Tyrell Hyde says he will recover losses through court action against police department
On Tuesday, shocking surveillance footage of a police shakedown involving a university student surfaced in the media, following several attempts by the family of the young man to settle the [...]
Ombudsman says his department has been working on matter with police
Tyrell Hyde is unhappy with the Police response to his complaint. He has presented video evidence which shows the officers involved. He even has witnesses who will corroborate his story. [...]
Flooding continues to affect communities in Rural Belize
The rains are slowing down and in some areas, floodwaters are beginning to recede. In other areas, residents are having a hard time getting in and out of their houses. [...]
Land dispute continues on Cemetery Lane
On Saturday, Cemetery Lane in Belize City resembled a war zone as armed Police Officers and B.D.F. soldiers galvanized into action. It wasn’t another Operation Jaguar or Operation Restore Belize. [...]
The case of Glenn Tillett versus Lois Young and Nestor Vasquez
In June of this year, media personality Glenn Tillett’s case against Lois Young, Nestor Vasquez and the Social Security Board was freed to continue at the Supreme Court after the [...]
Attorney says neither Young and Vasquez gained anything from sale of Telemedia shares
In the afternoon session, Dr. Lloyd Barnett, who appeared for Vasquez and Young, seemed to suggest that the transaction did not involve B.T.L. directly and that S.S.B. needed to diversify [...]
Tillett says there will not be a chaotic situation to reverse transaction
Finally, we asked Tillett whether, if the court rules his way and finds the conflict of interest he proposes, there would be “a chaotic situation” as described by Doctor Barnett [...]
4 are charged in connection with the murder of Jorge Blanco
Late this evening, CIB personnel rushed over four Belize City men to court to charge them in connection with a murder and robbery that occurred on midday last Friday. This [...]
Carnal knowledge case involving Belize City bus conductor
A Belize City bus conductor will have to put up a defense in the Supreme Court for a charge of carnal knowledge of a thirteen-year old school girl for which [...]
Body of drowned Succotz man is retrieved from Mopan River
The lifeless body of sixty-five year old Carlos Valdez has been recovered from the Mopan River, following a massive search effort by family and friends since the canoe he was [...]
San Ignacio Police busts vehicle with 21 pounds of weed
Just after six p.m. on Tuesday, the San Ignacio Police searched a vehicle on the George Price Highway in front of the Ministry of Works in Santa Elena Town. The [...]
CWU formally booted from N.T.U.C.B.
On Monday, the Christian Workers Union was formally booted out of its umbrella organization, following a failed congress over the weekend which should have seen the ouster of President Antonio [...]