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#476115 - 10/31/13 07:03 AM Today's Belize News: October 31, 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

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!

Ambergris Today

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 Nuńez 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.

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

Channel 7

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: Daniel Ortiz 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."

PAC Postponed
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.

Channel 5

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 [...]

#476116 - 10/31/13 07:03 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 31, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


NEMO Issues Further Advisory on Flooding
In its latest advisory, NEMO cautions the public that the Belize River continues to rise and that communities that are experiencing flooding are Gracie Rock, Hattieville, Freetown Sibun, Grace Bank, Biscayne, Crooked Tree, St. Pauls Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Anns, Santana, Corzalito and Bomba. NEMO advises residents living in these to take the necessary action to safeguard life and property and move to higher ground. In addition, NEMO says that the Coast Guard has dispatched one boat to Rancho Dolores, Crooked Tree and Freetown Sibun to assist residents. Those heading to Crooked Tree Village are warned that small vehicles cannot access the road into the village. In the Mountain Pine Ridge, the northern side of the Privassion Bridge approach has been washed away and only small vehicles can cross over the bridge and must do so with extreme caution. The Guacamallo Bridge is under water and is impassable to vehicular traffic. The road network in the Mountain Pine Ridge is severely eroded and drivers are asked to drive with extreme care. The Low lying Bridge in San Ignacio /Santa Elena is still under water and remains closed to traffic. The Iguana Creek Bridge is and the Baking Pot Ferry remains closed to traffic.

Canadian Retiree Murdered in Northern Belize
57 year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, a Canadian retiree who lived in Consejo Shores, Corozal for the past few months, was brutally attacked and murdered at around six on Tuesday evening inside the two storey house that she rented. Police say that the woman, who was planning to relocate to San Ignacio Town, Cayo on Thursday, suffered multiple stab wounds to her upper body. Her attacker pounced with calculated precision and the only evidence left behind were an eight inch bloodstained knife on a sofa, a few drops of blood and footprints as he escaped the premises. ASP Daniel Arzu “We realized that access was not possible given the fact that the building was secure. It has one stairs which carries a metal door and that was locked. We made entry into the building via a ladder and inside, we observed a Caucasian female, a woman on the floor in the living room; it appears that person or persons may have made entry by climbing to the upper flat of the building and exited the same means by jumping down and made their escape.”

President of Public Service Union Has Questions on Recent Immigration Transfers
Rumors have been rampant since early this week that there would be a transfer of staff from the Immigration Department. Love News has confirmed with the President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades that this transfer has indeed occurred. In an interview this morning we spoke with Blades who provided his views on the reason for the transfer. MARVIN BLADES “The immigration scandal based on what we have been hearing is the only thing that would cause the ministry to transfer 11 clerks. That’s what I am hearing so far on the news; we have verified at least 7 or 8 for sure but we didn’t verify the others but I am pretty sure it’s happening to the rest of the officers. However, what we are trying to find out as I see it is where these officers have gone, which department or what ministry and were the proper procedures followed which is in place; as you know we have regulations that govern transfers. So, we need to find out where are the 11 officers; what department is they going into and who will replace them and what is in place for these officers who are going to replace these 11 officers.”

Immigration Minister is Unconcerned About Visa Allegations Made Against Minister Castro
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Edmund Castro, is the focus of an allegation being made by Alverine Burgess who claims that Castro is involved in a visa hustling ring. Castro through a press release denounced any allegations. Today we asked, Godwin Hulse, as the Minister of Immigration, is he is even looking into the matter. Hulse explained that the allegations made against Castro are not within his remit. HON. GODWIN HULSE “I haven’t heard all the allegations; there are so many things running around but what I want to say about visas specifically is that people must realize that the visa is a permission to come to this country; that is what it is. When you get to this country, when you get to any of the border points, you get a permit to do several things; you either get a permit if you want to be a student that’s called a student permit, you get a permit if you are a visitor for so many days, you get a permit if you’re going to work that you have to apply for. The visa is to get here. Citizens of many countries do not require visas to come to Belize; only a few countries require visas to come to Belize.

Immigration Minister Meets With Social Partners to Form Scrutinizing Committee
Last night we told of the meeting that the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, had with the social partners and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The basis of the meeting was the proposed amendments to the Immigration laws as outlined by Minister Hulse in a press conference two weeks ago in relation to the Nationality Scrutinizing Committee. Hulse told us more. HON. GODWIN HULSE “Well it was just information; it is courtesy, first of all. As you heard at the press conference that we held two Thursdays ago and announced that there will be this nationality scrutinizing committee that will now support the department in scrutinizing persons who apply for citizenship. So, we are doing everything to ensure that we bring some serious credibility to this process and we announced that we would invite a representative from the Belize Chamber of Commerce, a representative from the Belize Council of Churches and a representative from the NTUCB to sit on that committee along with CEOs from the various ministries.

A Look At Improving Communications on Climate Services
Climate change affects everyone but not all of us are up to date with information being release by experts due to various reason. Well, today a three day conference entitled, “National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services in Belize” commenced at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. For those three days, relevant stakeholders and professionals will be creating a strategic plan on how to funnel down key information to the common man. Love News spoke to the Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service of Belize, Dennis Gonguez and the Head of the Global Framework for Climate Services Office in the World Meteorological Organization, Filipe Lucio. DENNIS GONGUEZ “What we plan to do is we are looking to improving our climate service to different stakeholders in Belize. So, we are looking at how the meteorological service could provide better climate information.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How do you plan to trickle down the information to the common man?” DENNIS GONGUEZ “Well that’s what we are looking at; we are looking at strategic ways we can communicate and that’s why we have this consultation here, so we can look at ways, so we could communicate that information down to the everyday person and that is what we are looking at over the next three days.”

Belize Waste Control Says Mayor Misinformed Media
The owners of Belize Waste Control have responded to comments made by Mayor Darrell Bradley on Monday. When questioned about delayed payments to the sanitation company, Mayor Bradley said the Council is about ten weeks behind schedule in payments and the fact that they were in a similar position last year. According to the release from Belize Waste Control, the last payment from the council was received on October 3 and was payment for the period of July 15 to 19, which puts the council in arrears for 15 weeks. It says while during the previous Mayor’s tenure there were protests, she did not allow arrears to go beyond eight weeks. It ends by saying that they would welcome a discussion with the Mayor.


Doctor Mario Estradaban Testifies In Murder Case
The case against Eric Gonzalez, accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto, resumed today before Justice Herbert Lord in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court of Belize. On Monday October 28th 2013, the Crown, comprised of Councils Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis, introduced their first witness to the stand who testified as the then Scenes of Crimes Technician for the Orange Walk Police Department. Today, two other witnesses were called to the stand to testify, they are Dr. Mario Estradaban, pathologist at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and Juan Francisco Soto, father of the late Daniel Soto. With no objection from defence attorney, Simeon Sampson, the post mortem report of Daniel Soto produced by Dr. Estradaban, was accepted into evidence. While on the stand, Dr. Estradaban gave a vivid account, based on the facts of his report, of what caused Soto’s demise.

PUP Continues Recall Process
And while Elvin Penner has not made up his mind if he is resigning, the People’s United Party says it now has enough signatures needed to trigger a recall in Cayo Northeast. The opposition says it is pushing the issue because it is their duty and obligation to look over the best interest of the people. CAROLYN TRENCH-SANDIFORD – PUP, Deputy Party Leader “We have preceded in terms of the first step 30% threshold required to trigger the recall, we have gather over 30% of the signatures required and what we have done because of the experience with Election and Boundaries with the Oceana situation which you all know but also because we know that the elections and boundaries processes are also tainted, that was how Penner was able to register three to four hundred persons leading up to the elections with nationality that were gathered one and two days before the registration despite the provisions of the law which say you must be a Belizean and live somewhere for two months let us not forget that, so we have gathered the signature over 30% which I think it is two thousand plus at this point in time and we are continuing that process we are not stopping, so that has been completed so I can say now we can take it to the elections and boundaries commission but what we are doing meanwhile is also to double check and triple check, because we know that when those signatures go there, there are couple things that are going to happen.

Motion For Senate Inquiry To Be Presented Next Week Wednesday
On Monday we told you about a Notice of Motion for a Senate Inquiry into the Immigration scandal which was filed by the PUP Secretariat. The motion, which was discussed with social partners before it was handed in to the Clerk of the National Assembly, is slated to be tabled and debated at the next sitting of the Senate. PUP’s Deputy Party Leader for Policy & Reform, Carolyn Trench Sandiford says the Party is engaged in a multi-prong approach into allegations of corruption or conduct unbecoming of public officials. CAROLYN TRENCH-SANDIFORD – Deputy Party Leader, PUP “As you go along the stages what you are seeing is a blatant disrespect for the law in terms of fraud, in terms of doing what we would call kind of a parallel system of accountability in government, where is the money going? In terms of what I would say encouraging multiple players engage and involved in government affairs, at the end of the day it is not only about criminal charges and I think we need to be very clear on this and to look at it from this angle as well. Is not so about criminal charges as it is a blatant disrespect and disregard for something that is sacred which is our Belizean identity, when it comes to the passport matter what has transpired is that we have rendered to some extent suspicion on who we are when we leave this country, we carry not only a Belizean passport but we carry a CARICOM passport which gives us certain privileges when we travel in the Caribbean that is going to be suspect recently we understand and it is recorded that a plane landed in Miami and there were some issues regarding the passport of Belizeans...

Orange Walk Residence Complain About Street Conditions
The heavy downpour over the past week has not only left many areas of Town waterlogged but is also giving motorists a nightmarish ride and headache thanks to the potholes that keep popping up or get larger on most road surfaces. Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar took to the streets where we were inundated with complaints from motorists who are fed up with the bad road conditions since they are now facing expensive repair costs for the damage to their vehicles. Maria Novelo – Reporting If you are a regular commuter in Orange Walk Town, chances are that you may have either fallen into a pothole or may have developed severe back pain. Heavy rains this week has once again exposed the poor quality of roads in Town, as even the ones that were re-carpeted have developed new potholes.

BSCFA Addresses Non-Compliances
In the month of April, the BSCFA fell into non-compliance with Fair Trade standards after an audit was conducted by FLOCERT. The BSCFA immediately began working at addressing those non-compliances and wrote to FLOCERT informing them about the measures they plan to implement to address those issues. Recognizing the importance of the benefits of the Fair Trade movement such as commanding premium prices in foreign markets, the BSCFA has been working arduously ensuring that they keep up within the rules and regulations of the movement. However, FLOCERT seems not so convinced about the measures implemented by the BSCFA and therefore has scheduled to conduct a follow up audit in the month of November to verify that indeed those non-compliances have been addressed.

Canadian National Viciously Stabbed To Death In Corozal
Last night Corozal recorded its fourth murder as a criminal or criminals made their way into the home of 57 year old Canadian National Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. Nichiporowich, who relocated to Belize some six months ago, lived on the second floor of a two storey building located in the Consejo Shores Area of Corozal Town when her life was viciously taken away by a ruthless intruder or intruders. Our news team has been following the story since morning and here is what they found. Victor Castillo – Reporting The peacefulness surrounding a neighborhood in the Consejo Shores, Corozal, was shattered around 6:00 yesterday evening when several loud cries for help were heard coming from the residence of 57 year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. Neighbors, who refused to speak to the media on camera even after being interrogated by police, claim to have heard screams coming from the upper flat of this residence where Nichiporowich, a Canadian National who moved to the area three months ago, resided.

BSCFA Walks Out On BSI In The Middle Of Strategic Planning Presentation
Sugar Industry Stakeholders met today at the Gala Lounge to strategically plan the future investment of the Industry where key points were raised to remain competitive beyond 2017 in the Global Market. But that’s not all that happened. Our news team was on hand for the event and brings you the following report. Maria Novelo - Reporting In an effort to effectively compete in the global market where changes to the EU is imminent, Industry Stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and majority holder American Sugar Refinery, met today to chart a way forward in their new Action Plan for the Future of the Sugar Industry of Belize.


Body of Carlos Valdez recovered from Mopan River
The search effort for 65 year old farmer Carlos Rito Valdez, believed to have drowned after his boat capsized in the high rise Mopan River is slated to continue Wednesday. A surface search of the river was conducted on Tuesday, but there was not much the search team could...

Edmund Castro Continues to Evade the Media
The House of Representatives is scheduled to convene this Friday and while there is no official word on the reason for the unexpected meeting, it is certain that the recent revelations involving passport, visas and nationality scandals, will be put on the floor for debate. There,...

Belize Waste Control responds to Mayor of Belize City
On Monday night, we showed you Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley speaking on the Council’s current spat with Belize Waste Control and BML. Well on Tuesday, the Belize Waste Control hit back, saying the Mayor’s comments on payments were untrue. But before we get into that release, take a...

Police destroy marijuana plantation
Police destroyed a marijuana plantation on Monday. Between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30pm, Police conducted a joint Anti-Drug operation about 1 ˝ miles Northwest of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. There, they came upon a marijuana plantation containing about 50 marijuana plants ranging from 2 inches...

Minister of Culture seeks stiffer penalties for tampering with sacred monuments and relics
It wasn’t too long ago that the nation’s attention was centered on the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological site in northern Belize. A portion of the site’s ceremonial temple was destroyed, reportedly at the hands of D-Mar’s Construction, for road aggregate. Four persons, company owner old Denny Grijalva,...

Mayor Bradley says all help is welcome to fix Belize City Streets
The Belize City Council has been revered for its tough approach to addressing the immediate fixing of over 100 streets under the Municipal Bond program. Now the Government is getting in on the act with works of its own. Mayor Darrell Bradley tells us more. Mr. Darrel Bradley- Mayor...

Price of Butane rises
The Government of Belize has announced a dollar increase in the price of butane. The new costs per 100lb cylinder took effect yesterday and are follows: in Belize City and Corozal $118.00, in Belmopan and San Ignacio $120.00 and Benque $121.00. Orange Walk residents will pay $119.00, Dangriga residents...

Patrick Menzies says he intends to change his approach
It turned out to be another rainy day for Patrick Menzies and some of his company, However, like he has proven in other occasions, his fiery nature did not sway him and still went on with what was scheduled to be the last leg of...

Day of Healing held in Yarborough Community
Since it began earlier this year the Day of Healing initative has been all over the City bringing a day of peace to crime-torn communities. On Saturday, despite the wet weather in the City, residents of the Yarborough area hosted fun activities. Co-organizer Jerome “Peeloff” Mejia...


The Inn At Robert’s Grove: A VERY Comfortable Way to Visit the Placencia Peninsula
A few months ago, I took my first trip to Placencia, the beautiful small beach town that is probably the second most popular beach vacation in Belize after Ambergris Caye. I loved it there. Love it there. And plan to return early and often. My first two nights were spent in the town proper (you can read about and see the pictures from those visits below). Next I moved a bit north to a resort just south of Seine Bight but a quick taxi ride from Placencia, The Inn At Robert’s Grove. A bit too comfortable in my suite and on the gorgeous grounds…I really didn’t want to leave. A picture of the main building with the dining room, the main bar and just a beautiful lounge area.

Living Together Sponsorship – Donors’ Program
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. The feedback we continue to have from primary school teachers using the Series has been very positive. They have expressed a strong interest in having access to the Standard I book and workbook, the newest title in the Series, however many schools do not have the funds to purchase class sets. This is the first year of this programme but we hope to eventually gain more sponsors with the hope that all primary schools in the Cayo District will have access to these materials.

“The Way We Were” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Now we have moved up to the First and Second Floors (we moved up there after the burst pipe incident on Saturday) I have really been trying to get back in to my routine. You know. Get up early. Make a mug of coffee (black). Grab the iPad and go sit on the veranda. I’ve got the coffee worked out. I know where the essential ingredients are -coffee, water, kettle, spoon and mug- and I know where I keep the iPad. But the dilemma is which veranda? The heavy rain of the last few days though has made the choice a little easier. The veranda with the best cover – the western (lagoon) facing one on the First Floor. Decision taken -literally for me- it’s time to move one of the two chairs (fit for purpose) that we have until our patio furniture arrives (more about that in a future edition).

Top 15 Luxury Hotels in Belize
Here I am including a list of what I consider the best luxury hotels in Belize right now. Each place has something unique to offer, whether they are a hip boutique hotel with all the modern comforts and world class amenities or a rustic Eco haven in the middle of nowhere. If you think that I’m only mentioning the resorts below because they offer upscale full service or have exclusive clientele, you’re wrong. These properties have been hand selected because they offer spectacular views, exquisite food, the best tour guides and staff, and have a rich ambience rated “5 Star” in my books. Chaa Creek, Ka’ana, Blancaneaux Lodge, Chan Chich, Hamanasi, Chabil Mar, Turtle Inn, Roberts Grove, Cotton Tree Lodge, Belcampo Belize, Cayo Espanto, El Secreto, The Phoenix, Mata Chica, Victoria House

VIP Belize calls PM to Please Sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)
The VIP Invites ALL Belizeans at Home and Abroad to join our petition to help fight Corruption……a hard copy drive will be launched countrywide on Thursday Oct 31st. marking the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption For 10 years Belize has refused to sign the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). As a result, Belize is viewed as a country that is not serious about fighting corruption which has now become a cancer that has beseiged the heart and spirit of Belizeans. Every department of our Government is plagued by an entrenched Culture of Corruption that is retarding the development of our country, increasing poverty, crime, cost of living, education and negatively affecting every facet of society. As concerned Belizeans, we must unite to demand that our Prime Minister and Government sign the Convention NOW. By signing this petition you will show the country and world that we the people of Belize want to rid our country of corruption and thereby set Belize on the path to National Development, Peace and Prosperity.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Sugar Cookies n' Pumpkin Shapes
Today is un apperpriate day ta share t'recipe fer these pumpkin shapet cookies, I uset ta make 'um fer air youngns so at wen thay kum trayler frum skool thar would be a ‘pumpkin treet’ fer 'um. The n' lat'r yeers I made 'um fer t'gran'chiltre. All o't' youngns an' g’youngns have growd up, but who a'ken resist a purty cookie deceratid as un orange pumpkin! Thishere recipe a'ken be uset fer differnt seesons, it’s my favert at Christmus usin festif' cookie cutters.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas extends Belize PSA for two years
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has told investors that the Belize government has approved a two year extension to its production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Blue Creek project. The PSA now runs up until October 12 2015. Over the next twelve months the company intends to carry out a thorough review of its previously captured seismic and drilling results. Then, in the second year of the renewal, New World will have the choice to either drill one new exploration well or ‘drop’ the PSA. New World says it continues to look for a farm-in partner to share the exploration drilling costs at Blue Creek. "We are delighted to have received the approval from the Government of Belize for the third renewal period on the Blue Creek PSA,” chief executive Bill Kelleher said in a statement.

Caribbean 2013 Tourist Arrivals by Country of Origin
Following is a summary table of Caribbean tourist arrivals from the Caribbean Tourism Organization:

Bookbag Santa's new sleigh might break the bank
You may recall the teeny tiny Roanoke charity Bookbag Santa — I’ve written about them a couple of times. It’s a tax-exempt nonprofit that collects usable school supplies discarded by students here and ships them to poor and needy schoolchildren in Belize. Not only does that keep tons of material out of our landfill, but it puts those items to their best use elsewhere. Bookbag Santa has some exciting news to share. Saturday, it won an online contest, 100 Cars for Good, sponsored by Toyota. The prize is a new vehicle. That’s a real big deal for a charity that operates on a total budget of less than $1,000 per year. The outfit is a one-man shop run by artist/environmentalist/handyman Gary Hunt. He’s been taking used school supplies down to Belize since 1990, and he incorporated the organization as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2007. Its website is Bookbagsanta.com

Cultural awareness dance Nov. 13 will benefit Central American nonprofit
Students at Appalachian State University will host a cultural awareness event called Dance Around the World on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. to benefit the Tumul K’in Center of Learning in Belize. Dance Around the World is a multicultural dance featuring groups from Appalachian’s campus and the Boone community. Each group will perform and teach a dance that represents their culture. The dance will be held in Plemmons Student Union’s Parkway Ballroom. The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to give a suggested donation of $6. This event is organized by students in the Department of Communication’s Principles of Fundraising class to raise money for an international non-profit organization, Tumul K’in Center of Learning. Tumul K’in is based in Toledo, Belize. Its mission is to promote sustainable development through intercultural education while preserving Mayan culture and traditions. Proceeds from Dance Around the World will be used to purchase T-shirts for Tumul K’in’s Maya Day celebration, scheduled for Spring 2014.

Saving Paradise
Many of the male parrotfish fish found in the Ulithi atoll were once female. They are among several species in the coral reef-ringed waters that are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they change sex during their lifetime. With more than 200 miles of reef, Ulithi is one of the world’s largest atolls, or circles of coral reef that enclose a lagoon. Its sapphire and emerald waters are punctuated with dozens of diminutive islets, each with a halo of bright beach around a verdant center. Four of the islands are inhabited, with a population of just 400 to 600 on the most crowded, Falalop. (As home to Ulithi’s high school, Falalop’s population balloons during the school year.) Autonomous and overlooked, Ulithi has “essentially no red tape,” in Nelson’s words. The scientists can make a recommendation and, if they choose to, locals can implement them immediately. This instantaneous conservation is nearly unheard of in the field. It took more than 20 years of government negotiations and meetings for reef conservation proposals Crane worked on in Belize, for example, to be adopted.

If you're looking for island vibes, beautiful weather, underwater adventure, reggae beats, and good people, travel on over to Caye Caulker, Belize! In this video, I reunite with my best friend Allie and get to know the island of Caye Caulker.


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