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#486809 - 02/26/14 05:07 AM Today's Belize News: February 26, 2014
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Monitoring fatal road traffic collision
Belize is investing in making roads safer. Progress seems slow, but people are the centre of our efforts because of the nature to save lives on our roads. Sympathy is extended to all who was impacted by the lost of a loved one, friend or colleague. Join us in tracking fatal road traffic collision each month and comparing it to 2012 and 2013 statistics (Source: JICC). Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and only together we can save lives using an integrated model designed for you.

Atlanta Silverbacks sign Deon McCaulay
Only three players in the entire world scored 11 goals during the qualifying rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks have signed one of them. Belize national team forward Deon McCaulay equaled the goal-scoring totals of strikers Robin Van Persie of Netherlands and Uruguayan Luis Suarez during the last qualifying cycle, and now he is bringing his talents to Atlanta, the Silverbacks announced Tuesday, pending ITC approval. The 26-year-old caught fire during the opening rounds of 2014 World Cup qualifying, scoring 11 goals in just eight games. Although Belize was unable to book their place in Brazil, the exploits of McCaulay didn’t go unnoticed.

Competition getting tougher at the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament
The competition is getting tougher and tougher as the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament progresses. On Saturday, February 22nd and Sunday, February 23rd, the third set of games was played at the SacaChispas Football Field and all the teams were out for a win. Football fans were treated to exhilarating matches, as most games either ended in a tie or a close win. Saturday’s games were all about strong defense. The first game was between Caye Caulker and Communicaciones. It was clear that both teams wanted the win, but in the end it was Caye Caulker who edged out a 4-2 point win. The second game was between the Dorados and Caribbean Depot. Even though Caribbean Depot played defensively, the Dorados still managed to sneak in a couple goals and won the match in a 2-0 point game.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Police Indicates Teenagers Involved in Recent Crime Problems
Teenagers as young as 15 years old (and younger) have been identified by the San Pedro Police Department as being the culprits of a recent increase in crime this past month, January 2014. Castellanos says that they know who some of these teenagers are and the department is working on apprehending them. The heads of the Neighborhood Watches suggested a possible curfew to target teenagers out during the late hours of the evening. A second factor attributing to a slight increase in crime in January, says Castellanos, would be the department's lack of patrol vehicles. "The police officers have not been able to conduct their regular and scheduled patrols around the island properly due to the lack of vehicles," stated Castellanos. "This hinders the department tremendously in our response time and visible presence around the island. Criminals are aware of this and know when to take advantage of our handicap." Currently the San Pedro Police Department counts on only two trucks and one golf cart for mobility, one of those trucks just recently being donated anonymously to the department by a local business. Castellanos is sending appeals to various entities requesting assistance to obtain more vehicles for the department and Mayor Daniel Guerrero also mentioned that the San Pedro Town Council is also working on acquiring a vehicle for the police department.

25 Years Ago: First Retired Couple in San Pedro
Vernon and Terri Hamman arrived in San Pedro in the 1950’s at a time when the village was about 400 strong, and fish nets were hanging to air and sun-dry on poles near the beach. The village probably had about 20 fishermen who survived with subsistence fishing. There were also some 15 coconut farmers working for Mr. Blake and earning a living by cleaning the coconut groves known as ‘cocals’ and collecting the coconuts for processing and exportation. This was the scenario when Vernon arrived to visit the island and the little fishing hamlet known as San Pedro. Vernon liked it and thought it was the best place in the world to retire. He talked it over to his lifetime companion, a beautiful blond who wore large sunglasses day and night, and she too thought it was a beautiful idea. They were people persons and easily got to make friends with 399 of the Island inhabitants. Soon Vernon and Terri were busy visiting friends, getting free fish from their island friends. The locals thought it was an honor to befriend a pair of friendly gringos who either came from heaven or from Hollywood. Of course nobody knew about Hollywood at that time but what is the difference?

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Police Report
All police reports are official and unedited. Report #1 Incest/Damage to Property: A 15 year old female Belizean minor, unemployed of the Corozal District, accompanied by her mother reported to Corozal Police that on Saturday 22nd February 2014 around 7:30 P.M. her father arrived home highly under the influence of alcohol. He proceeded to behave disorderly and began to have a domestic argument. He left the house and went away but about an hour later he arrived home and asked for a cell phone and broke it into pieces...
Report: #2 Robbery: On Monday the February 24th, 2014 around 11:00 A.M. upon information received of a robbery at North American Store located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, Santa Elena Border, Corozal Police visited the said area where upon arrival 48 year old Ricardo Villasenor, Mexican businessman of Las Flores, Manzana 23 Quintana Roo, Mexico, reported that on said date about 10:00 A.M. he exited the rear of North American Store to go to his white color Chevrolet AVIO car with L/P VVY2275 which was parked approximately 15 meters away in the compound and whilst opening the trunk of the car to take out the money which was inside two separate black plastic bags...
Report: #3 Burglary: 33 year old Brigida Paulina Patt of Rainbow Town Area, Corozal Town, reported that between 8:30 P.M. on Saturday the 22nd of February, 2014 and 5:00 A.M. on Sunday the 23rd of February, 2014 her house was broken into and stolen were (1) one 24 inch Ladies Hurricane Nankon Pink in color with purple strips s/n unknown valued at $230.00Bcy, (1) one Pink in color Tablet "Go" brand valued at $300.00Bcy, (1) perfume brand "Women of Earth" value $55.00Bcy (1) Perfume brand "Forever" value $55.00Bcy, (1) perfume brand "Adorise" value $145.00Bcy...

Ministry of Health Heads Delegation to Drug Abuse Program in the United States
Government of Belize Press Office

Vanilla Hills Lodge
Vanilla Hills Lodge, a beautiful little eco-lodge located in Bullet Tree Falls, is getting some outstanding reviews. They are small right now, with only 2 cabins, the Hibiscus and the Orchid, but another one is on the way. They also have a line of cheeses, breads, and jams that are tasty and healthy. "Vanilla Hills Lodge is situated in the rolling hills of Cayo on a wooded lot on the banks of the Mopan river. Although only five minutes from San Ignacio Town, the tourist center of Western Belize, the lodge is surrounded by peaceful nature. Vanilla Hills is your ideal starting point for a multitude of tours. From here you are within easy reach of famous Maya sites, impressive cave labyrinths, the tropical jungle and many more day tours. At Vanilla Hills Lodge you will be staying in spacious and well equipped cabanas."

Rotary's Annual Eye Clinic
The Rotary Club is having their annual eye clinic, starting on March 9th, and going through the 12th. They are bringing in eye specialist, and they'll help with cataracts, glaucoma, and other diseases. You can register at the Pharmacy on West street. Call 804-2510 for more information. Thanks, Rotary!

Armed robbery reported in the Corozal Free Zone
Police in Corozal are investigating an armed robbery on Monday morning in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. Police say that Mexican businessman Ricardo Villasenor, 48, came out of his establishment, namely North America Store, and was going to his vehicle which was parked in the compound when he was accosted by two men of Creole decent one of whom was armed with a knife. Villasenor told police that the man with the knife placed the weapon to his right side and demanded money. The official report says that “after several demands from male persons Villasenor then took both plastic bags which contained the sum of $1,250,000.00 Pesos in different denominations which is equivalent to $208,000.00 Bcy. He was then pushed inside the trunk where he was search and robbed of his red Alcatel cellular phone value at $1,200.00 Pesos equivalent to $200.00 Bcy and $800.00 pesos equivalent to $133.33 Bcy a total of $208,333.33.”

Man reportedly falls out of moving passenger bus
There are reports that a man fell out of a moving bus this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The name of the man who fell out of the bus has not yet been confirmed; but reports are that the incident happened around 7 am today near the Burrel Boom junction. The bus was heading towards Orange Walk when the man, who was seated on the machine at the front of the bus, apparently slid off and through the open door of the bus. A passsenger on the bus says that he only saw when then man tumbled out of the bus.

Bambi success story! Thanks to all who helped with this rescue!
Wildtracks Update: A big thank you to all those involved in the safe rescue and transport of the white tailed deer fawn (it is reported that the mother was killed) - Nathan Sherred of Columbia Village (for the rescue), Ian and Kate Morton of Hickatee Cottages (for hosting the fawn for a couple of days while travel arrangements were finalized),Tropic Air (for being willing to fly the fawn north to the Municipal Airport), and Jen Chapman (for being willing to "fawn-sit" on the back seat of the vehicle for the 4 hour journey)...now heading northwards for Sarteneja... (2 photos)

Stranded adult female loggerhead sea turtle
Nora from Minnesota was walking the shores of Maya Beach and encountered a stranded adult female loggerhead sea turtle. The turtle was barely moving and she contacted the police who moved the animal to a nearby resort where the animal is being monitored before being transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Please report all stranded sea turtles immediately so that they can be rehabilitated if alive or the threats can be identified if found dead. Thank you Nora for your important report.

ATURDAY, MAR 1, 8am-1pm SELLERS: $25 for two (2) tables Sell whatever you want! FUND RAISE for your school, medical needs or personal. BUYERS… You never know what you’ll find!!!! CONTACT: Tamara, 226-2070 or Jan Brown, 662-2725 Under cover for rain or shine. “San Pedro Lions Club – We Serve”

World Wildlife Day? Let's celebrate our wildlife EVERYDAY!
The Belize Forest Department under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is preparing to celebrate the first ever World Wildlife Day which will be held on March 3rd, 2014. The day is being set aside to celebrate and to raise awareness on the importance of the world’s wild flora and fauna. On this day, efforts to show appreciation for and highlight the importance of our flora and fauna are encouraged. Therefore, the Forest Department is inviting the general public to come join us here at the Forest Department Compound on Monday March 3rd 2014, to celebrate World Wildlife Day by witnessing a ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding signing at 11:00 am. Each rehabilitation partner will be showing casing their work and the Forest Department sees this as a practical way of engaging young Belizeans in being good stewards of the environment through active involvement in conservation activities. (2 photos)

Strike at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan?
Sources indicate that workers at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan are threatening to strike if their overtime is not paid. The overtime wage bill should have been submitted to the Ministry of Health by the hospital’s accounts department before February 13th. This includes some 108 workers including doctors and nurses.

Training and Certification Program (PROCCER) Regional Training of Trainers Workshop with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission
A delegation of six Belizeans, through the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), Ministry of Health, returned to Belize over the weekend from the Training and Certification Program (PROCCER) Regional Training of Trainers Workshop with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States (CICAD/OAS). The objective of the program was to share new methods that can be adapted to improve the quality of care in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and dependence and drug-related violence. In this approach, the program works with both governmental and non-governmental front line organizations that provide drug abuse and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for persons suffering from drug abuse and/or dependence and their families, as well as other high-risk populations.

Last Tuesday at about 9:30a.m., police were escorting 7 male prisoners from Kolbe Foundation Prison to San Ignacio Town in the Blue Police van and upon reaching Ontario Village, one of the prisoners namely Jarod Lamb who is on remand for Murder and Robbery escaped by jumping out of the moving van and made good his escape. Yesterday at about 4:00p.m., San Ignacio Police conducted a sting operation near the Cemetery in Santa Elena Town, Cayo where Jarod Lamb was found. He attempted to run into the nearby bushes when he was shot in the left leg by San Ignacio Police. He was then transported to the San Ignacio Town Community Hospital and later transported to the K.M.M.H, where he remains under Police guard.

Women in Belize Tell Their Stories
Over the course of a month in San Ignacio, Belize, I spoke with women about their experiences in their relationships and in their communities with regard to family planning. These women, whose ages ranged from 24 to 50, were open and generous when sharing their stories. We talked about a variety of things, like where they learned about sex and their experiences with pregnancy. Although their lives were different, there were similarities in every woman’s story. When I asked Crystal, who was 24 years old, where she turned for information about sexual and reproductive health, she sighed and said, “Google.” Crystal didn’t have any children, but shared with me that she’d seen a lot of her friends panic when they learned they were pregnant. “I think most for people, it’s more of a scary situation, rather than a joyful one,” she said. “They wonder what they’re going to do, and if the father is going to sustain the child.” A Creole woman named Irene agreed. She’d become pregnant unexpectedly at 22 years old. “I really wasn’t making any decision,” Irene said, but took action after giving birth. She spoke to her sister, and then to a doctor. She started taking birth control pills to prevent another unplanned pregnancy.

Belize: Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
ATM cave is known world-wide as the cave of the Crystal Maiden. She was a sacrificial victim left deep in a cave by the Mayans near the village of Teakettle, Belize. The cave is a very popular attraction, and as such may be closed to the public in the next few years if damage to the artifacts continues. You can visit it ONLY with a licensed guide and with a local tour company. We went with Destiny but PACZ is also highly recommended. We also went to Tikal with Destiny. I loved Tikal, but didn’t care for the guide they gave us. He was smart, spoke English, and was well informed as to dates and the subject matter. The problem was that he had some kind of New Age Spirituality agenda that didn’t sit well with six scientific types. For instance Donelo said new studies show that all people in the world are descended from the Maya, that Mayan is the root of all languages in the world, the Mayans first invented the number zero, and they introduced ideas of heaven and hell to the Vatican. He also talked a lot about higher spiritual planes, energy vortexes, and other new age ideas that may or may not have resonated with the ancient Mayans.

Return of the howler monkeys: signs of recovery 13 years after Hurricane Iris
Maarten Hofman, until recently Research Coordinator with Ya’axché Conservation Trust, now FONASO PhD Candidate, shares his thoughts on a recovering ecosystem. He recalls the joy of witnessing the first signs of a species returning since Hurricane Iris cleared most of its habitat 13 years ago. In 1998, Ya’axché Conservation Trust, with the help from Fauna & Flora International, Grassvalley Trust and IUCN, acquired the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, a 15,000 acre area in southern Belize, mostly consisting of secondary forests. At that time, the area had been subject to both indiscriminate and selective logging, underbrushing and limited agricultural activities such as slash-and-burn and small scale cattle ranching. The corridor preserve was recovering from these disturbances and in some areas, timber trees were expected to take at least 15 years to reach harvestable size again. Despite the disturbed nature of the forest, several tree dwelling species, including howler and spider monkeys, reportedly inhabited the tree crowns, albeit in low numbers.

Spanish Lookout Business Expo
The Spanish Lookout Business Expo is this weekend. "The Spanish Lookout Business Chamber is organizing its biannual Spanish Lookout Commercial/Industrial Expo on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, 2014 from 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on each day to be held at the Country Side Park in the Spanish Lookout Community. We hereby extend an invitation to the wider Business Community in Belize to be a part of our highly anticipated expo."

Flavors of Belize Interview
The Flavors of Belize cookbook was the subject of Larry Waight's recent interview with Tanya McNab. The interview is a great read, as is the book. "The fascinating thing about Belizean cuisine is that we are able to pull influences from all over the world, while still being able to call it our own and stand apart from all of them. Due to Belize’s rich history of welcoming so many immigrants from across the globe, our country, culture, and inevitably our cuisine has become a fusion of these many different influences and that is what makes it so special. We have dishes that can blend the curry brought here by the Indians with chocolate, a staple of the Maya for a dish that is a hint at both cultures but so different that it’s in a category all on it’s own. We don’t realize how lucky we are to enjoy good food almost everyday with such ease and inexpensively at that."

Google Forest Watch
Interesting article of the day. The Cayo Tour Guide Association has a new article out entitled 'Falling Trees,' and it's all about how Google has aggregated data that shows how deforestation has occurred around the world, and Belize. Global Forest Watch is interesting, to say the least. http://www.globalforestwatch.org/ "This now leads me to Google, yes the big fat giant that is on everyone’s PC or on mobile devices these days, which has developed a new way to monitor deforestation worldwide, combing data for the past twelve years. Using services they already have, like google earth and maps you can monitor deforestation in almost real time, a technology that is still is in its beta form meaning it will only improve from here. They are calling it Global Forest Watch. The browser program uses layers to show areas of deforestation and also areas of regeneration worldwide including Belizean forests. Tweaking around, you can highlight protected areas and layers also show satellite and terrain images. In some areas, logging and mining can also be shown. The data is from 2001 up to 2012 so last year’s activity is not visible just yet. "

One hundred and eight workers at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan are threatening strike action if their overtime is not paid soon, a source says. Those threatening to strike reportedly include doctors, nurses, attendants and drivers. This would bring operations at the hospital to a stand still. The workers are blaming the administration for their inconvenience. The overtime wage bill should have been submitted to the Ministry of Health by the hospital’s accounts department before February 13th but for whatever reason, it wasn’t. Some workers say that they will simply not show up to work. Efforts to contact the hospital’s administrator or those in the Ministry of Health have been unsuccessful.

Channel 7

Mexican Held Up And Robbed In Free Zone
Tonight, Corozal Police are investigating a brazen, daylight, armed robbery of a Mexican businessman inside the Corozal Free Zone. Yesterday morning 48 year-old Ricardo Villasenor, was held at knifepoint by two men who robbed him of 1.25 million pesos, that's $208 thousand Belizean dollars. The robbers were able to pull off the heist and escape before Belize police were called in so it is proving be a difficult case for them to crack. Today, the Officer Commanding Corozal Police told 7News that the victim identified his robbers as Belizean because of their particular Spanish dialect: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police "Yesterday about 11am in the morning we received information about an incident in the Corozal Freezone. As a result Corozal police visited the North American store located in the zone where a Mexican national who has identify himself as Ricardo Villasenor reported that about 9:30 thereabout he had went into the zone to make purchase and upon going to the trunk of his car to retrieve the money he was approach by 2 creole decent male persons whereby one of the male persons placed a knife to his side telling his to give him the money or he will be killed (in spanish). Fearing for his life he surrendered 2 bags of money which he had in it contain about 1.25 million pesos which would be approximately 208 thousand Belize. Thereafter they put him in the trunk of the car and also stole his Alcatel cell phone and $800 pesos. These guys made good their escapes. They are being sought. We have one person of interest in our custody at this point in time."

Princess Golden Making A Run For The Border?
Since Friday, 7News has been reporting on the sudden termination of over 100 employees who were let go when the Princess Group of Companies closed down the Golden Princess Casino. Tonight, we have a more on it, as the trail of the story led us to Chetumal. Daniel Ortiz found out more:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Today, we found movers clearing out the building that once was Golden Princess Casino. From the outside, one gets the impression that it will open for business later, but it won't. The decision to close it was delivered abruptly last week. Best reports to 7News are that around 130 Belizean employees were laid off. The reasons given were that business is bad, the rent is too high, and that the company is losing money to keep Golden Princess open.

Port Remains Closed For More Than A Week
Tonight two cargo vessels are waiting at sea and the shelves in the port warehouse are bare because the Port of Belize remains closed, more than a week after a barge crashed into it. CEO Arturo Vasquez told us this evening that the damaged beams have been removed and hauled away, and work on the news ones has been completed and everything re-assembled. Now, they are waiting for the cement to set so that the bridge can reach the required strength to support the massive weight of containers being hauled across it. Work to cast the three beams that had to be replaced finished at 3:30 this morning - and the cement needs 24 hours to reach the required strength. So that should be finished at 3:30 tomorrow morning - in time for offloading of the Seaboard vessel to start at 8:00 am.

US Embassy: OJ Holden Wanted
The name OJ Holden popped into the news last week when the 76 year old American-Belizean Caye Caulker Resident had what could have been a serious accident at the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal. He pulled up his pants, and accidentally triggered the 9 millimeter pistol that was in his pocket. The gun fired towards the ground, and when the bullet hit, the fragments splintered off and grazed two persons. They received only very minor injury and Holder's gun was confiscated, while the two injured persons declined to press charges. But it seems that little appearance in the news, however fleeting, caught the attention of US Law Enforcement. Our reports say that last week, Holden was detained in Belize on the interest of US law enforcement. But, Holden who has been in Belize for 22 years, is a naturalized Belizean, so he was released. Today, an embassy spokesperson in Belmopan told us that, quote, "The U.S. Embassy can confirm that OJ Holden is wanted by U.S. law enforcement for narcotics charges." End quote. When asked if the U.S. will be seeking his extradition, we were told, quote, "(US) law enforcement routinely works with Belizean counterparts on areas of mutual interest." End of quote.

Girl Diagnosed With Rare Skin Condition, Father Pleads For Help
Tonight, a Belize City family is making hasty preparations to get their 3 year old daughter to Merida after she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare and serious skin condition. Last week, little Siarsha Amri Alvarez was rushed to the hospital with a very high fever - but it turns out that was the onset of the syndrome, which first appears with flu-like symptoms, and then breaks out into an aggressive rash that causes the top layer of skin to die. Today her father came to appeal for assistance and gave us some background on what's been happening with his daughter:.. Simeon Alvarez Jr. - father "She is in severe pain. Doctor Craig said that her sickness is not mild, its not moderate, its severe. She can die as long as all of her skins peel off. Speaking right now her skin is peeling off; she is crying, she can't pee how she wants, she can't stool how she wants - everything pains her. Her eye brows are peeling off, her skin, top of the skull is peeling off - her hair, now she is in terrible condition."

The Aftermath of A Murder Is Tough For Family
Last night we told you about 36 year-old Oliver Peters, who is accused of inflicting the stab wounds that caused his Uncle, 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr.'s death. While those are the bare facts of the case, today Monica Bodden visited with the family and looked beneath to find a family devastated by the killing and overwhelmed with medical bills:.. Monica Bodden reporting On December 7th, 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. was stabbed once to the chest by his nephew- inside his family yard on Arlington Drive. After being in the intensive care unit at the KHMH for 2 and a half months, Ferguson succumbed to his injuries 9am on Saturday morning. Lorraine Ferguson - Wife of Deceased "The nurse told me that he would have come out of the hospital well, they would have taken out the thing from his throat and they would have teach him how to walk but 2 days after my husband got worse and the doctor said that he had complications because of the stab wound." Monica Bodden "He had water in his lungs?" Lorraine Ferguson - Wife of Deceased "He had water in his lungs and they say that his heart was too weak, it wasn't functioning well and bacteria was in his blood and his pressure goes up and down."

Trying to Find Quality In Healthcare
The Ministry of Health is hosting a 3 day training workshop on Optimizing Quality Performance. Over 60 personnel from the different health facilities across the country are taking part in the training sessions, which aims at identifying quality in the health system and figuring out how to measure it. It is a Central American Initiative and Belize is participating. Today 7news stopped by to find out more. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Director - Planning Unit - MOH "There is a training workshop which is related to USAID sponsored project called the optimizing performance for quality. Its really a Central American initiative which Belize is participating and so for the next 3 days we are training personnel from the different health facilities across the country from north to south, east to west in the methodology; what we are taking about when we are discussing quality and how to measure quality." "I think that over the past years one of our biggest challenges has been how do we deliver quality health services to the population. It's not only about delivering services but the quality of the services. More and more quality has taken on a greater importance in Belize and all across the world, so its a significant project for us to be able to have our people trained on how do we measure quality - its not only talking about quality, but what do we mean by quality, how do we measure it and how do we ensure that our services are of the good quality for the population."

Man Charged for Shooting In Neck
Last night, 7News told you about 21 year-old Andrew Augustine who was shot in the neck. Well, the man who police believe to have been is shooter is 23 year-old Stephan Anderson, and he is at prison tonight. As we reported, Augustine was walking on Jasmine Street, when he was a gunman rode up to him, and shot him in the neck. He was rushed to the KHMH, where the doctors were able to successfully treat his wound. Police investigated, and today they took Anderson to court. The Chief Magistrate read him charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, when he was arraigned, and due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail.

Dion Mc Does It With US Second Division Team
He's the greatest striker of his generation but Dion McAuley's fame isn't only local - he's also one of only 3 players in the whole world that scored 11 goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. And now, he's hit the big time. It was announced today that McAuley has signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks, a US professional soccer team. A release on the team's website says Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda scouted him during the Gold Cup. McAuley arrived in Atlanta on Sunday and is quoted as saying "I've arrived in Atlanta with a good level of fitness, and my expectations are to come here and help the team win championships….I hope that I can score some goals and help the team win." The 26 year old Mcauley just finished doing that same thing with the Belmopan Bandits who won the Belikin Cup Championship - after he scored four goals in the final game of the championship series. The Silverbacks play in the North American Soccer League, the second Division league in the US.

Sisters Are Working In the Trenches
Last week we showed you the men from tough neighborhoods who have been hired to do the trench work on the Central American Boulevard. The Boulevard is going to be paved from the Belcan Bridge right up to the port of Belize, so there's a lot of trenching to do, especially if it's manual labour. But, there's a wrinkle in the project to report tonight. It's not only men that are doing it - we found some ladies in the trenches today! And they weren't there serving refreshments, the 12 of them were brandishing shovels and pick axes and getting the job done! Monica Bodden found out more from their contractor: Monica Bodden "Now, for many people they will say that this is a man's job. How comes you guys actually have the females onboard?" John Pollard "These females have a lot of heart and as you guys can see - take a look at what they are doing, this is their production. This morning I said to them there is no job for females and they are saying to me 'man, Mr. Pollard, please don't take us likely because we can do what men can do too.' So here I am. They got their respect, they got their try and they are showing me that yes they can do what the males also can do."

Fugitive Rodney Rolled Into Police Custody
22 year-old Sherman Rodney, who escaped from police while at the KHMH is back in custody after he handed himself yesterday. Though, he did them the huge favour of having to track him down, Rodney was charged with escaping from lawful custody, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Because he is being investigated for a burglary, he was denied bail and remanded to prison, after which officers from the Criminal Investigations Branch immediately escorted him back to the Police Station. As we reported, a police officer said that at around 6 o'clock on Thursday evening, he escorted Rodney to the KHMH to seek medical attention because he was complaining of severe pain to the left arm.

Artisans Making Tourism Work
Last year we told you about a project called "Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites". It is a project to teach Belizean producers how to make crafts that are genuine products of Belize. The $350,000 dollar project which has been awarded to a Caribbean consultant is being done in different segments. One such segment is diversification of the artisan product that is available in Belize - both physical products as well as experiential tourism. Artisans from around the country were selected to take part in the first stage of the training. Judy Karwacki - Tourism Project Specialist "The project has essentially a few key steps to it; the first was a rapid assessment, where we came in and working on 9 archaeological sites. So we've gone and we went into this area around Altun Ha and then up in Orange Walk because they've got Lamanai and Barton Creeek in these things - Cayo, because of Xunantunuch - Caves Branch, ATM etc. and Punta Gorda with Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Blue Creek. We went in and we met with community members and artisans and we did what we called a rapid assessment and based on that process and with the input of local coordinators, we engage people from the community who works with artisans, we select artisans or artisans groups to come to the first stage of training because in many cases we are taking a group approach because group supports each other and we told them to bring people."

NCL Opponents Get Fuel
The opponents of the Norwegian Cruise Lines proposed project in southern Belize are gaining steam. Today the Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development sent an email to Chief Environment Officer Martin Allegria to comment on the supplemental information submitted by Norweigain Cruise Lines after the EIA public consultation went awry. They say that "the (supplemented) EIA fails to provide enough complete and sound environmental and socio-economic information on which to base a rational decision about the desirability or undesirability of NCL's proposed cruise port at Harvest Caye." They add that "the revised and additional information provided by the project proponents… actually suggest that the project is less feasible than originally considered, rather than more so."

Hon Alamilla Presenting At Prestigious Conference On Oceans
One of the persons that mail is addressed to is Minister of Environment Lisel Alamilla. But she'll get it on the road in California where she is right now presenting as part of a prestigious panel at the World Oceans Summit. The high level event is organized by the Economist Magazine and it convenes global leaders from government, business, international organizations, NGOs, think-tanks and academia to discuss the risks bought about by ocean degradation and help shape debate about governance of the ocean. Tonight Alamilla is the lead presenter on ecosystem based management.

Channel 5

2 men injured in late evening shooting in Belize City
Just before news time this evening, several shots rang out in the Queen Square area, approximately a block away from the Raccoon Street Police Station.  Two Belize City youths were [...]

2 bandits escape with $208,000 in daring daylight robbery at Free Zone
Corozal Police are investigating a broad daylight robbery which occurred in the Commercial Free Zone on Monday morning. It happened in the parking lot of the Fabrica de Mayoreo, and [...]

Deon McCauley signs contract with U.S. Soccer Team, Atlanta Silverbacks
Belize’s star striker Deon McCauley, one of only three athletes to score eleven goals during the qualifying stages of competition leading up to the approaching FIFA World Cup, has found [...]

Family says contract is a stepping stone in McCauley’s career
While the Belmopan Bandits, the Football Federation of Belize and his teammates on the Belize National Selection celebrate the success of one of their own, Deon’s father, David ‘Manu’ McCauley, [...]

Post mortem confirms Thomas Ferguson died of stab wound
A post mortem examination on the body of Thomas Ferguson Sr., who succumbed over the weekend to an injury received on December seventh, 2013, confirms that he died of complications [...]

57 employees terminated from Golden Princess Casino
Last Friday, the Golden Princess Casino located at the Northern border closed its doors. The news was immediate cause for concern, particularly so because reports were that as many as [...]

Stephon Anderson remanded for the attempted murder of Andrew Augustine
In Monday’s newscast, we reported on the shooting of twenty-one year old Computer Technician, Andrew Augustine. While Augustine remains hospitalized, police believe the alleged gunman was twenty-three year old Stephon [...]

Man gets 10 years for robbery
Tanya McNab, a Belize City resident, was robbed at knife point in December 2012 by a man who stole her handbag valued at two thousand dollars. Her bag contained her [...]

Sherman Rodney arraigned for escape
Sherman Rodney is claiming he was beaten badly by the police and had to be hospitalized. And while the cops say he escaped from the K.H.M.H., Rodney says he walked [...]

Repairs near completion on Port of Belize’s pier
Repairs to the wharf at Port of Belize Ltd. have been ongoing since an accident last Tuesday during which an incoming barge caused significant structural damages when it collided into [...]

A workshop for artisans who work adjacent to archaeological sites
Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archeological Sites…It is a project that is the brainchild of the Belize Tourism Board, the National Institute of Culture and History and the European [...]

Junior Buddy, the jaguar, celebrates his 7th birthday
Throughout the years, many animals at the Belize Zoo, including the now deceased April the tapir, celebrated their birthdays to much fanfare from animal lovers across the country.  Junior Buddy, [...]

…while Edgar Hill, to be used for research studies
Another jaguar, Edgar Hill, was caught in a trap within the Mennonite village of Pine Hill, in the Toledo District.  The predator cat had attacked a horse and buggy and [...]

A one-on-one with Deon McCauley
As we mentioned earlier in this newscast, Belizean footballer Deon McCauley has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he will be playing in the North American Professional [...]

#486810 - 02/26/14 05:08 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 26, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


The police manhunt to recapture escaped prisoner and accused murderer , Jarod “Steel Bob” Lamb, 25, of Ontario, came to a violent conclusion at about 4:00 this afternoon, in the area of the San Ignacio cemetery, where policemen found and shot him just below the right knee. Lamb was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, under police escort. After Lamb is released from the hospital, he will be charged with escape from lawful custody, and returned to the prison cell at the Belize Central Prison, where he has been remanded on a murder charge. Lamb had escaped from San Ignacio police at about 8:30 Thursday morning, and they have been searching for him ever since. Lamb was today sighted in the area of the Santa Elena cemetery and residents called police, who responded immediately. When Lamb saw the cops, he ran, and they fired at him, hitting him just below the knee.

The families of former PUP Minister of Government and Sir Alexander “Sandy” Hunter and his brother and former PUP Minister Fredrick “Fred” Hopkins Hunter, and the family and many friends of Fred Hunter’s son, Anthony “Tony” Hunter, 52, are mourning the loss of Tony, who was killed in a tragic road traffic collision that occurred about 9:00 Saturday morning between Miles 2 and 3 on the George Price Highway. Tony was travelling on his motorcycle from Hattieville to Belize City when he reportedly collided with the rear of a backhoe between San Foam Factory and the highway’s junction with the entrance into Linda Vista Estate. Tony, operations manager for a car rental franchise bought by Bowen and Bowen, died at the scene, and was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. A witness who lives near the scene of the accident told Amandala that she was in her house when she heard a loud bang, and when she looked out, she saw a man lying on the road in front of her driveway. The motorcycle on which he had been travelling was across the road in the drain and a backhoe was about 20 feet away from where the body was lying.

A woman is devastated, after her son stabbed her brother, who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at about 9:00 Saturday morning. Alice Ferguson’s son, Oliver Peters, 36, will be arraigned on a charge of murder for the death of her brother, Thomas Eugene Ferguson, 53, who died on Saturday, February 24, two and a half months after he was stabbed by his nephew at about 1: 00 Friday morning, December, 6, 2013, at their family house on Arlington Drive. Ferguson told Amandala that they were all at home sleeping that Friday morning, when Peters, who does not live with them, came to their house and began to cause an uproar. He caused the light in the house to go out by breaking the bulb and got into an altercation with his brother and then punched his brother in the face. Peters then got a knife and went to the home of his uncle, Thomas Ferguson, which was in the same yard. He knocked on the door and when Ferguson opened the door, he stabbed his uncle in the chest. Ferguson then fell to the floor. Alice said that her son stood there, watching his uncle on the floor. She said she got angry with him and asked him why he stabbed his uncle.

The draft national budget—which includes roughly $800 million in recurrent spending and $200 million in capital spending, for a total of approximately $1 billion—is slated to be submitted to Cabinet this Thursday, February 27, according to information Amandala received today from the Ministry of Finance. Last year, Parliament approved $778 million in recurrent spending for the current financial year, and the draft of the 2014-2015 budget, which is due to be tabled in Parliament on Friday, March 7, before the March 9th holiday weekend, calls for just over $800 million in recurrent spending. Almost 40% of that is earmarked for wages and pensions, including funds programmed for a salary adjustment for teachers and public officers, which is due to take effect in July 2014, an official told us.

130 workers terminated from Golden Princess Casino
The Golden Princess Casino of the Corozal Free Zone, which employed over 200 workers from the Corozal District area, has ceased operations and roughly 130 workers of those workers were terminated. The workers were called to a meeting in the casino about 11:00 Friday morning, when they were informed that the casino was closing down. The owners reported that the casino was operating at a loss and could not afford to stay open. The casino has been operating just outside the Free Zone for over 10 years. The employees are now waiting to be paid, and to collect other severance benefits from the company. In an interview with CTV News, workers of the casino reported that they all went to work as normal on Friday, when they read a message placed on the bulletin board informing them of a meeting that was to be held in the casino conference room at 11:00 that morning. They attended the meeting and that was when they were told that the company was closing down.

CGA and Banks can’t agree on Citrus MOU
The contentious rift between citrus stakeholders Citrus Growers Association (CGA) and Banks Holdings Ltd. has reared its ugly head once again – this time leading to a delay in the signing of a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which should have been finalized last Wednesday, February 19. Tonight, Amandala managed to speak with CGA executive Denzil Jenkins, who told us that CGA is optimistic that an agreement will be reached as soon as “the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.” Reliable sources within the citrus industry told Amandala earlier today that both parties were apparently still trying to “iron out” issues regarding “certain technicalities and legalities in terms of the MOU.” Amandala understands that the current disagreement is over an addendum which was inserted by Banks Holdings into the MOU – one with which the CGA does not agree. The CGA’s attorneys reportedly described the MOU as being “bogged down with technicalities.”

Attorneys for Minister of State Edmund Castro, Channel 5 News and Alverine Burgess were at the Supreme Court today, Monday, for a case management session before the start of a libel suit that Castro has filed against Channel 5 News and Alverine Burgess. But if attorney Godfrey Smith, S.C., who is representing Channel 5 News, has his way, Castro’s claim will be struck out under a provision in the Prevention of Corruption Act, he told reporters. Less than one month after the Penner Passport Scandal broke, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, speaking at a press conference on October 23, said he had reports that Cabinet ministers were involved in a visa hustle. The Prime Minister emphatically begged his ministers to “please stop it,” adding that hustling at the Immigration Department “could cause the government to fall.”

As a people, we have been through experiences that have left us in disbelief. This description of “disbelief” applies to those of us Belizeans from the older generations, and the disbelief reaction occurs because of the colonial frame of reference with which we grew up five and six decades ago. Younger Belizeans do not experience our disbelief. They have grown up in the age of television and computers. There is nothing which leaves them in shock. They are more likely to experience anger and outrage, and it is arguably the case that anger and outrage are more relevant in 2014 Belize than shock and disbelief. 1950 Belizeans fought against colonialism and class prejudice. 1969 Belizeans fought against racism and imperialism. Today, what Belizeans are fighting against are modern, sophisticated, sinister forms of racism and imperialism. It is a very difficult fight, because we are not properly educated about the nature of sovereign nationalism, and we are not dedicated to that sovereign nationalism. In addition, educated Belizeans, such as our lawyers and politicians and big business people, have taken the lead over the last three and a half decades in selling out Belizeans, Belizean assets, and Belizean national dignity, for money. They are never punished for their treacherous deeds. In fact, it is the treacherous ones who run our society.

From The Publisher
Over the past few weeks I’ve been discussing political and economic concepts with you which have to do with the market place and the state. We say that the market place is committed to competition, raw competition, whereas systems wherein the state is prominent, focus on cooperation amongst the citizenry as the road to national progress. In George Orwell’s classic satire, Animal Farm, he attempted to show that in the state-prominent models, there still have to be individuals in charge. And the likelihood is great that these individuals will become elitist, selfish, and acquisitive in their behavior, thus undermining the very philosophy which drove the people to overthrow the previous leadership and install new ones. Near to us in Cuba, we have not seen Fidel and Raúl Castro become corrupt in material terms, although they have been in power now for 55 years. I think it is fair to say that the Castro brothers are exceptions to Orwell’s rule. Fidel and Raúl have been authoritarian, nevertheless, and people in my profession do not have that freedom in Cuba which we enjoy here in the media. The thing is, the United States, the most powerful country in the world, essentially declared war on Cuba the year following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and when you are in a war, you cannot tolerate as much dissent as when you are at peace.

LETTERS: Floating viral time bomb?
Dear Editor, While the debate over a major cruise ship terminal in the otherwise pristine southern Belizean waters continues, another serious concern has to be addressed. I refer to another recent outbreak of suspected norovirus aboard a Carnival cruise ship that incapacitated some 700 passengers and crew, and a recent CNN article, “Are cruise ships floating petri dishes?” The article raises some serious concerns and made me think; can a small country like Belize take a chance on what could be a floating viral time bomb? At the risk of sounding alarmist or as resorting to hyperbole, I feel that this is a very real concern that needs to be addressed.

LETTERS: Compton writes Evan X
Dear Evan, In “From The Publisher” of February 19, 2014, you mentioned that the Chamber Reporter was the first to introduce the offset printing technology in Belize in 1967. While it is true that the Reporter was the first newspaper to adopt this offset printing technology in Belize, I believe the technology was introduced by the Government Printers, which was on Church Street in Belize City where a BTL office is now situated, about 1963. This was followed by my brother, the late Elwood Fairweather, who had his print shop on Albert Street (Craig’s Waterside) in the lower flat of the residence of attorney and poet, Raymond H. Barrow. Elwood later helped the Chamber to set up their equipment. The Chamber Reporter was previously printed in Miami, Florida.

BCB Holdings reports US$4.8m net loss
BCB Holdings Limited (BCBHL), the parent company of the Belize Bank – the largest, full-service commercial and retail banking operation, today reported a net loss from operations of US$4.8 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2013, contrasting with net income of US$4.7 million for the same period of 2012. Consequently, the company reported a net loss per ordinary share of US$0.05, contrasting with net income of US$0.05 per share in 2012. BCBHL also reported a net loss from operations of US$2.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013, while it reported US$2.1 million net income for the same time in 2012. This has meant a loss of US$0.03 per ordinary share for the last three months. For the last three months of 2012, BCB Holdings reported net income per share of US$0.02.

Mrs. Grace Peters (1920-2014)
Funeral services were held this afternoon at St. Ignatius Church for Roselia Grace Peters, a Dean Street stalwart for many decades. Officiating was Rev. Amelio Chi and the Organist was Mr. Joe Lawrence. Pallbearers were Lisburn Peters, Alvin Peters, Delbert Peters, Kevin Peters, Stanley Leslie, and Herman Arnold. Mrs. Peters was born on November 8, 1920, and passed on February 17 of 2014. She leaves to mourn her children: Lauren Diaz, Lisburn Peters, Alvin Peters, Blossom Peters, Therese-Peters Arnold, and Delbert Peters; daughter-in-law, Diane Peters; son-in-law Herman Arnold; sixteen grandchildren; twenty four great grandchildren; three great great grandchildren. Mrs. Grace Peters was a foundation stone of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), the parent organization for the Kremandala businesses, in the early years. This newspaper extends the deepest of condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

BWC arrears to be settled out of court
The strenuous relations between the Belize City Council and one of its sanitation contractors, Belize Waste Control (BWC), soured even more after BWC hauled the Mayor to court last Friday for 5 weeks of outstanding arrears for sanitation services. Mayor Darrell Bradley stressed that the litigation hearings were “unreasonable,” since the Council was doing its best to keep the debt within the limits of their contract with BWC – which allows for 4 weeks of indebtedness on the part of the Council. This week, he told Amandala that both parties have decided that the lawsuit will now be settled out of court. The Mayor explained, “The situation is that last week, Waste Control had commenced other action against the City Council in respect of the arrears. In December of last year, we were 15 weeks behind with them (BWC), and they sued us for that 15 weeks. I was kinda surprised, because we were paying them. Now, we’ve brought it down to 5 weeks, and the contract itself shows us to be 4 weeks in arrears. Last Friday in court, we agreed to enter into a settlement order, and each side would bear their own costs, so the City Council will not incur any costs [of court].”

Suicide in Santa Clara, Corozal
A family from Santa Clara in the Corozal District is devastated after a 25-year-old father was found dead with a rope around his neck by his common-law wife, Karina Pech, 23, in the living room of their house at about 6:30 Tuesday morning. Adriano Samuel Ramos, 25, a laborer, was rushed to the Corozal Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival by Dr. Sajiah Jacobo and Dr. Ingrid Sansores. Ramos’ body was taken to the Corozal Morgue where a post-mortem was carried out to certify the cause of death. There were no signs of violence on his body, and police have ruled out foul play. His twin brother, Rafael Auriano Ramos, 25, a tour guide of St. Matthews, Cayo District, identified his body to police. Doctor Mario Estradabran, Police Coroner, conducted the post-mortem today, and at the conclusion of the autopsy, certified the cause of death to be asphyxiation by hanging due to suicide.

The horse and buggy business has become a staple attraction of the cruise tourism industry in Belize City, and on days when cruise tourists come to our shores, the horse-and-carriages can be seen weaving through traffic, pulling groups of tourists to-and-fro all across the city. That practice, though, has now come under scrutiny after a 10-wheeler truck ran over the leg of a horse that was pulling some tourists in a carriage this past Tuesday at the corner of Craig and Daly Streets. The horse, called Jack, sustained a broken leg and had to be subsequently euthanized, to the ire of animal enthusiasts who have long been complaining that the horses are sometimes treated inhumanely because they work long hours and normally have to compete with buses, taxis and other vehicles in heavy traffic.

Health and CitCo address pigeon infestation at Michael Finnegan market
Some weeks ago, we told you about the problem of pigeon infestation at the Michael Finnegan Market (formerly the Queen Street Market), but the Environmental Health Unit in the Ministry of Health quickly stepped in with corrective measures, after observations that pigeons were found eating directly out of sacks of beans left open at the market. They have mandated vendors to use clear plastic to cover their produce, which they retail by the pound, rather than leaving them exposed to the open air. Amandala was informed by an official of the unit (formerly Public Health) that their investigations had revealed that some of the market vendors were actually encouraging the pigeons by feeding them. The unit has since asked those vendors to discontinue the practice. As we detailed in our previous article, pigeons are known to carry an array of pathogens, a serious problem because of their bad habit of dropping their feces anywhere they please.

PLB Closing Season delayed
Last Tuesday, February 18, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) released the schedule for the first 2 weeks of its new Closing Season 2013-2014 tournament, with games slated to be played over the weekend on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. This was followed by another release on Wednesday, February 19, where the PLB announced the “Disciplinary Board results/sanctions” in respect to the semifinal game from the last competition on Sunday, January 26, at the Marshalleck Stadium between home team Verdes FC and visiting FC Belize. We considered the late issuing of the sanctions to be of poor timing to usher in the start of the new season. As reported in last weekend’s issue, 4 Verdes players were suspended for 6 months and 1 Verdes player for 2 years (effectively all of the upcoming season), and both Verdes FC and FC Belize had the charges for cards issued during the course of the game raised to $150.00 per card. Both clubs, but especially Verdes FC, would therefore be reeling from the effects of the sanctions, while trying to prepare for opening games. FC Belize, whose owner, Lionel Welch, passed away recently, was given a pass by not being scheduled for action in the opening weekend. But, what was looking like a rocky start to the Closing Season turned out to be no start at all.

Corozal sports news
On Saturday, February 22, the official opening and parade of the Mayor’s U-10 Football Tournament 2014 was a huge success, with 12 participating schools. This was followed by the first 2 games of the tournament at the Corozal Civic Center grounds, where Corozal Methodist won, 1-0, over St. Francis Xavier; and Calcutta Gov’t defeated San Antonio Gov’t, 3-1. The Corozal District primary school male softball Finals will be completed on Wednesday, February 26, at the Civic Center grounds between the boys of Corozal Methodist and Xaibe RC. The Corozal Methodist female softball team are already the District Champions. The Family Fun Run 2014 is scheduled for 9th March, commencing at the Andres Campos Civic Center starting at 9:00 a.m. and finishing at Miami Beach with fun activities such as watermelon eating contest, 3 legged race, lime and spoon, parent and child beach cruiser race, limbo dancing and much more. Your entire family is invited.

Hill Circuit Test Race results – Sunday, February 23
The Cycling Federation of Belize held the first in a series of Test Race Events yesterday on the Hummingbird Highway as part of its selection process and preparation of the National Team. The event featured a Hill Circuit Race from Belmopan to approximately 1/2 mile from Cave Branch Bridge and return, for three and a half laps, with a return climb to finish on top of the Hill in Armenia Village, approximately 70 miles, for the Elite; and two and a half laps with a return climb to finish at the same spot for Female, Junior and Youth riders. Below are the top finishers for each category. Elite – 1st place Joel Borland (BTL Cycling Team); 2nd Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit); 3rd Peter Choto (C-Ray Road Addikz); 4th Giovanni Lovell (BTL Cycling Team); 5th Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes); 6th Marlon Castillo (BTL Cycling Team); 7th Geovanni Choto (Western Spirit); 8th Herman “Hijo” Requena (SMART Cycling Team); 9th Quinton Hamilton (SMART Cycling Team); 10th Gregory Lovell (BTL Cycling Team). Female – 1st place Shalini Zabaneh (Sagitun); 2nd Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank Swoosh).

A mentally challenged man of Big Falls Village in the Toledo District died after being shot in the leg by police with a 12-gauge pump action shotgun after he chopped a special constable and attempted to chop another officer at about 8:00 Monday morning in Big Falls. Moses Williams, 25, was declared dead at about 9:30 that same Monday morning by Doctor Luz Legra Williams of the Punta Gorda Hospital. Police said that the incident occurred about 8:00 Monday morning when two policemen of the Big Falls were trying to arrest Williams, who was armed with a machete.

Jury find Lenny Bennett Benguche, 27, guilty of maim
After the court amended the indictment to reflect the accused man’s given birth name, Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez signaled that he was ready to let the jury into the courtroom to hear its verdict in the trial of Lenny Benguche, who has been using a number of aliases in the past, and who had been indicted for maim. The foreman of the nine-member jury of 5 women and four men, who had been in deliberation for over four hours, indicated that they had reached a unanimous guilty verdict. Benguche, who was unrepresented at the trial which began on Monday, decided to exercise the option of a mitigation hearing before Justice Gonzalez passes sentence on him on Friday, February 28. The incident which led to the maim occurred on January 28, 2008, in Ladyville when Benguche shot his ex-girlfriend, Christina Zetina, behind her thigh, and as a consequence, the leg had to be amputated.

Repeat firearm offender picks up 10-year prison sentence
A Belize City man who has a previous conviction for keeping an illegal firearm and ammunition was convicted a second time for a similar offence and was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of both charges in the Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced Jevon Levi Slusher, 32, to ten years on each charge, but stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Slusher will only spend ten years in prison. In 2006, Slusher was convicted on firearm and ammunition charges and sentenced to five years in prison. Concerning Slusher’s latest charges, according to police, around 10:15 p.m. on February 22, 2013, they observed Slusher throwing an object into a bushy area near Jane Usher Boulevard.

Sea cucumber exporters plead guilty to Fisheries charges
Three Guatemalans, a woman and two men, who were busted with thousands of pounds of sea cucumber at a Fisheries Department checkpoint, pleaded guilty when they appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who imposed a $500 fine on all three of them. Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, 49, and her two Guatemalan employees, Cesar Gerardo Hichos Ramirez, 22, and Hugo Rolando Orellana Salas, 52, were charged with engaging in commercial fishing, while not being the holder of a valid fishing license. In addition, Aldana was charged with being in possession of a forged document. She pleaded guilty to that charge and Hamilton imposed the maximum fine of $6,000, to be paid immediately. The trio was represented by attorney Bryan Neal, who engaged the court in mitigation pleas on their behalf, imploring Magistrate Hamilton to not impose a custodial sentence on them.


More facts about US National adoption related arrest in Belize and my surprising medical refund
Some of you may have read the recent news about the recent US National adoption related arrest in Belize. They extradited Mary Mooney from Belize right around the time I got sick, held her in Miami for a week and no one was able to tell her clearly why. Mary is still waiting for charges to be officially explained in court tomorrow and as far as she has been able to determine they are based on a company she was employed by back in 2007 and 2008 and the indictment has to do with placement of Deaf and HIV positive children from Ethiopia. I agree that it is important for news agencies to help the public be informed and part of this includes letting us to know who to watch out for. Seeing this story progress, I have gained a new perspective about how damaging it can be to label someone guilty [right down to the 'mug shot' picture everyone chose to use] without giving everyone enough facts to make an informed decision. What happened to consideration of a persons life, future and who they really are? Anyone could have found a nicer picture on Mary’s facebook page, I picked a nice one for my homepage feature image slider to this post. Of course doing so would not have matched the guilty criminal side of the story that was being reported. As far as I read, not one news agency took the time to look at who Mary Mooney really is in the adoption word and what her track record has been so far. Please keep in mind I am not faulting anyone for doing their job based on the one report all of us saw and that I am writing this from a personal point of view because I believe a second side of side of the story needs to presented.

Belize’s Big Cats Get a helping Hand as another Belizen Eco-Initiative Takes Off
Another initiative by Belize to contribute to a sane and sustainable world is picking up speed. We’re referring to the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with 18 nations to create and safeguard a wildlife corridor aimed at preserving one of the world’s most magnificent creatures and a Belizean icon – the jaguar. Thanks to an official commitment from the Government of Belize and its environmental partners, there is now formal agreement to maintain the corridor through the jaguar’s natural habitat from Mexico through Central America and down to Argentina. And according to a keynote speaker at the event commemorating the signing, Belize stands out for preserving a robust habitat for the big cats. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, who is the CEO of the international non-profit organisation, Panthera was lavish in his praise for Belize’s efforts. “You have some of the wildest jungle I have seen remaining throughout the jaguar range. You have some of the best jaguar populations…

Grow your Business
We are delighted to inform you of another opportunity for growth-oriented, innovative women entrepreneurs and business owners across the region: : “Grow your Business” (GyB) 2014 workshops have today been launched by the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC), as part of the ‘Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean’ (EPIC) being implemented by infoDev, a department of the World Bank, in partnership with Canada’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). GyB 2014: Transform Your Business through Innovation These workshops are designed for women entrepreneurs to develop a fresh approach to their business. Over a three-day period, participants will explore new ideas to expand and improve their current business offerings, refine their unique selling propositions, better engage their existing customers and forge new business relationships. Our intention is that this GyB experience will empower entrepreneurs to fulfil their new business visions with ease and confidence.

The “new” debt crisis, and why austerity won’t work
The problem of toxic debt levels in the Caribbean is neither new nor particularly surprising, given the established trends in government spending even amidst poor economic performance and dismal growth prospects. However, the recent and ongoing involvement of the Inter national Monetary Fund (IMF) in the region’s economic affairs and the familiar championing of spending cuts and austerity are cause for concern, especially with the Fund’s history of botched economic experiments in Latin America (including Argentina) , Asia and now Greece. While huge public spending cuts seem to be a band-aid for the economic hemorrhaging, they are inadequate and short sighted solutions to the much bigger problem of creating (and supporting) economic growth.

Enjoy bacon omelet rolls fer brakefuss, lunch er dinn'r
8 aigs 1 cup milk 1 /3 cup flour 1 ret pepp'r, finelee choppet 8 slices bacon, crumblet 3 gree onyuns, finelee choppet 1 teespoon dride oregano 1 cup shretdet Cheddar cheez 1 cup salsa Direckshuns: Heat ove ta 350 degrees. Line 15 by 10 by 1-inch pun wit parchment pap'r wit ends extendyun' ov'r shertest sides o'pun. Spray wit cookin spray. Beat aigs, milk, an' flour n' a large bowl wit whisk until blendet. Stir n' t'nex 4 ingredyints. Pour into preparet pun. Bake 14-16 minnuts er until edges air almos set. Top wit cheez. Bake 2 minnuts er until meltid. Roll up omelet immediatelee startin at one shert end an' peeleeun' off pap'r as omelet is rollet. Place un platt'r, cut into slices. Serve wit salsa.

Cheesy Amish Brakefuss Casserole
1/2 pound slicet bacon, dicet 1/2 lb sausage 1/2 tsp garlic powd'r 4 cups froze shretdet hash brown potatoes, thawet 9 aigs, lightlee beete 2 cups shretdet Cheddar cheez 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheez (I uset 4%) 2 cups shretdet Swiss cheez Preheet ove ta 350 degrees. Greese a 9×13-inch bakyun' dish. Set aside. Cook bacon an' sausage n' a large skillet until done. Drane fat. N' a large bowl, combine bacon, sausage, potatoes, aigs, cheddar cheez, cottage cheez, an' swiss cheez. Pour mixture into preparet bakyun' dish. Bake 40 ta 50 minnuts.

Kelsey Balderamos transferred from St. John’s Junior College to University of St. Thomas · Texas. Balderamos went to high school at St. Catherine Academy where she helped lead her team to the National High School Championship in 2007 and 2008 qualifying to play internationally at the CODICADER Games in 2008 and 2009. She also played for the Stars Volleyball Club. Kelsey is a member of the 2012 All-Red River Athletic Conference Team and postseason award-winners as voted by the conference's coaches. Champions of Character..... — at University of St. Thomas - Houston.

Belize Fashion Fusion 2014 a Success
This past weekend Nouveau Model Management, Belize's premier modeling agency partnered with well known wedding, fashion and events photographer and Philanthropist, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography to present an innovative show designed to promote Belizean fashion designers, Belizean jewelry designers, an international fashion designer with Belizean family ties all showcased on the runway by the beautiful and elegant models of Nouveau Model Management. The fusion of designers such as Danny Torres from Jada's Fashions, Mauricio Canelo of De-Yans Fashion Jewelry, Lula Bennett of Lula's Impressions, supported by local boutiques such as Catwalk Fashions, Pink Boutique and Eve'e Secrets Lingerie made for a spectacular event. The main reason for the fusion and the fashion show was to show a child some love for Valentines as all profit from the show gets donated to charities such as the Belize Association of California and the Love Foundation for the less fortunate Belizean Children. The show was hosted by Jackie Castillo and William Neal.

Profiting from a strong private sector - Part III TAXES
The private sector also pays the largest proportion of taxes to the government of Belize. In the 2013/2014 budget, approximately $581 million or 80%, of the total $727 million in estimated tax revenue is projected to come from the or through the private sector. This does not include stamp duties, land tax, and several other taxes to which the private sector also contributes. It also doesn't include PAYE, some of which is contributed by private sector employees.

Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) boys win National Football Championship!!!
The boys of Escuela Secundaria Técnica Mexico of San Roman, Corozal, will represent Belize at the upcoming Central American Junior Scholastic Games (CODICADER) in Guatemala in September. They have won the National Football Championships organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA). Delille Academy in Dangriga hosted the tournament sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and Crystal Water at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Friday and Saturday, February 14-15. The Escuela Mexico boys, completely dominated the Southern regional champions, the boys of Independence High School, and won 4-1 in the championship finals. When the Independence defenders blundered into taking down an Escuela forward in the goal area, the referee ruled penalty. Escuela’s central defender, Edgar Itza, stepped up to convert for a 1-0 lead.

Unconfirmed but reliable information is that PUP Senator Collet Montejo has been sacked. Montejo earned the ire of his party’s hierarchy after he endorsed Luke Espat for Standard Bearer for the Cayo Central constituency. Recently Montejo was encouraged to re-enter the race in the division which he lost marginally in the 2012 elections. Those plans changed shortly when he was asked or told to stand down from contesting. Montejo then decided to support Luke Espat. Inside sources tell NBZLIVE that senator Karen Bodden may also be on the chopping block and that Lisa Shoman will be the only senator that will retain her post. Convention is set for Sunday, April 27, 2014 when Luke Espat will face off with Daniel “Dan” Silva.

International Sources

Silverbacks sign Belizean scoring ace McCaulay
The Atlanta Silverbacks signed 26-year-old forward Deon McCaulay from Belize's Belmopan Bandits. He had scored 11 goals in eight matches for Belize in World Cup 2014 qualifying to tie Dutch star Robin Van Persie and Uruguayan Luis Suarez for the most goals in the 2014 qualifying campaign. "I've had my eye on Deon for a long time, and I got a chance to see him up close at last year's Gold Cup. His talent, speed, explosiveness, and knack for scoring goals is exactly what our team needs," said Silverbacks technical director Eric Wynalda. "After the departure of many of our top attacking players from last season, there were some question marks as to how we would replenish the offense. Those questions have been answered in the form of Deon McCaulay, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have him."

Belize offers Mayan ruins, Caribbean pleasures
My wife, Marcia Jacobson, and I like to be in a warm place between my Cornell semesters, and this year we chose Belize — formerly British Honduras — a relatively small country that became independent in 1981 and is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and on the west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Because it was once a British colony and people speak English, Belize is a good place for U.S. and Canadian citizens to vacation. Most tourists go to Belize to learn about the Mayan culture and to enjoy sea activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and swimming. Birding is also popular. Families and young adults find ample resources for adventure activities, such as rappelling and zip lining as well as cave exploration and cave tubing, particularly at Actun Tunichil Muknal, offered referred to as ATM. Of the 325,000 people, many are descendants of Mayas, and these are often Catholics; others include U.S. expatriates, Chinese, Indians from India as well as Amish and other Mennonite settlers who live in their own self-defined enclaves. Tourism is the major industry. The soil is not great, but good enough to support large gardens and small farms. In San Ignacio, many tourist workers supplement their seasonal incomes by growing their own food and selling the surplus.

Jaguar gains new protection in Belize
The future of the jaguar in Belize is looking brighter following the signing of a conservation agreement between the Government of Belize, the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize and the wild cat conservation organisation Panthera. The trio agreed to work together to implement science-based conservation initiatives that secure and connect jaguars and their habitats in Belize and beyond, facilitate land development that is both ecologically sustainable and economically profitable, and lesson human-jaguar conflict throughout the country. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Its decreasing population is primarily due to deforestation rates, human persecution and human-jaguar conflict, and is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN who now estimates it occupies just 46 per cent of its historic range. Situated on the southern tip of Mexico and eastern border of Guatemala, Belize serves as an integral link connecting jaguars within these countries and all jaguar populations south of Belize.

The Man Behind Miami's Biggest Gold Heists Caught in Belize
In October 2012, just outside a pastel-painted Coral Gables apartment building, one of the largest gold heists in Florida history went down. A convicted thief named Raonel Valdez, who was supposed to be wearing a court-ordered GPS device, somehow jacked $2.8 million in gold from courier George Villegas. And within a few months, Valdez had vanished. Private investigator David Bolton, hired by the Bolivian company that owned the stolen gold, stayed hot on Valdez's trail, but not even a $25,000 reward offered by his client produced any good leads. "We tracked him in four different countries," Bolton says. "We were always one step behind." Until now. Last week, immigration authorities in Belize caught the wanted man in a small town bordering Guatemala. The arrest brings to a close one of the wildest crime stories in recent years, one that — as recounted in a New Times feature story last July — suggested Cuban gangs were infiltrating Miami-Dade County's underworld.

Supermarkets urged to increase Fairtrade support
Irish supermarkets lag far behind their European counterparts when it comes to supporting Fairtrade products, the charity’s director, Peter Gaynor, said yesterday as Fairtrade Fortnight got under way. Half of all bananas sold in Switzerland carry the Fairtrade mark, while the corresponding figure in Ireland is 7.7 per cent. Sugar cane farmer Alfredo Ortega from Belize and Alex Flores from a cashew nut co-op in El Salvador are travelling around the State this week talking to schools and community groups about Fairtrade. Mr Ortega works with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Tate & Lyle buys some of their produce. He said it had been challenging for farmers to meet the various standards required by Fairtrade but it was worth it. “It has brought benefits to the farmers, to the families of the farmers and the community.”

AT&T Adds Global Unlimited Messaging to Mobile Share Plans
AT&T today announced two of its best-ever offers for international messaging and direct dial calling from the U.S., delivering more value to customers who want to connect with family, friends and coworkers living abroad. On Friday, February 28, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will now include unlimited international messaging from the U.S. to the world. AT&T consumer and business Mobile Share customers can send unlimited text, picture and video messages. Current Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value customers will automatically benefit from this offer. AT&T is also excited to introduce international calling from the U.S. to any number anytime to over 35 countries, including Canada and Mexico, for 1¢ per minute with our new international calling package, World Connect ValueSM. The “penny-per-minute” calling rates also apply to calls made to any number in the majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.

Taino-Maya Parallel Cultures
This a synopsis of a talk given by Peter Barratt to the Institute of Mayan Studies at the Science Museum in Miami on the 19 February 2014 As you may know the TA-INO and the MAYA have the same origins - both originally having arrived in the ‘New World’ from Asia. To put migrations to the Americas into context we have the Clovis Culture in New Mexico which has been positively identified as being a settlement at the end of the last glacial period… that, in round terms, was roughly 13,000 calendar years ago. Though…none of us I am sure will be surprised if the date of the migration into the Americas from Asia will be pushed back to …possibly to 50,000 years ago. The first peoples to migrate to the Caribbean were people of the Casimiroid culture who were later driven back to far western Cuba. (They are sometimes mistakenly called Siboney). The Casimiroids entered from the Yucatan/Belize in about 4500-2000 BC possibly following a chain of cays that has long since disappeared under the sea. The Casimiroid were a lithic people who left very little in the way of artifacts, (Polish archaeologist Kozlowski put a date of 4190 BCE on one Casimiroid site in Cuba) The first and most significant migrants came from South America. The first were people of the Ortoiroid lithic culture who lived between 2000 BC and 300 BC. This map shows the five cultures that had developed in the Caribbean up to 1492.

Doing Business in the Caribbean: CARIFORUM Needs Reform
THE RECENT report, Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, is one of a long-standing series of co-publications of the World Bank and International Financial Corporation, which records the global competitiveness of 189 nations from 2012 to 2013. Sixteen of these nations are Caribbean: Fifteen are CARIFORUM member states. The current and previous ranking of these nations is shown in table 1. My immediate observation was that the Caribbean’s longest-standing independent nation – Haiti – was ranked last at 177, while the only non-CARIFORUM and dependent nation – Puerto Rico – was ranked first at 40; and these positions were unchanged from the previous year. In “Political Independence and Economic Development in the Caribbean,” I took a look at the Caribbean phenomenon that larger independent nations, like Haiti, generally have lower-income economies compared to the smaller dependent ones, like Puerto Rico: as it is in this case.

AT&T fights messaging apps with unlimited free international text plan
After announcing LTE roaming agreements for various international markets on Monday, AT&T on Tuesday revealed that it will soon offer free international text messaging to its customers, including support for video messaging, in a move that should help it counter mobile apps that offer almost free chatting features. Starting on February 28th, AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will include unlimited international messaging including SMS and MMS, but the offer will not support messaging apps that require a data connection to send messages, and which, if used abroad, will cause additional roaming data charges. Free picture and video messaging will be supported only for 120 countries, with free texting available to 190 countries in total. Furthermore, the messages must originate from a user’s phone number and must be sent between phones, with tablet and laptops not included in the offer. In its press release, AT&T also says that “service may be terminated or restricted for tethered messaging, excessive international messaging or misuses.” In addition to free messaging, the carrier will also introduce a new “penny-per-minute” international calling rate to any number anytime, for 35 countries including Canada and Mexico. The plan will cost interested users an extra $5 on top of their current postpaid monthly contract.


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