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#488925 - 04/02/14 12:01 PM Today's Belize News: April 2, 2014
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
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The San Pedro Sun

Belize – European Union Political Dialogue
The first ever Belize – European Union Political Dialogue, as provided for under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was held today in Belize. The objective of the dialogue was to engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas. Ambassador Paola Amadei, accompanied by the resident British High Commissioner, led the EU delegation; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, led the Belize delegation. High on the agenda for the dialogue were issues relating to Economic and Political Developments; Border Issues, International, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU); Fishing, Visa arrangements for EU and Belizean Nationals; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; Crime and Security; Regional Integration and Cooperation; and Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

Quarter Finals of the SPSC Football Tournament Heat UP
The end of the San Pedro Sports Committee Football tournament is fast approaching, and eight teams remaining matches are only getting tougher and tougher. Now in the quarter finals, all teams are struggling to score as many goals as possible to earn their team points and escalate in ranking. The first round of the quarter finals was played on Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th, and teams only had one thing in mind, winning! At 7PM Saturday, four teams faced off. First to take the field were Joker FC and Dorados. It was a tight game till the end, but Joker FC out edged their competition and took the win with a 2-1 point match. The second game was between Southwind and Island Pure. It was a devastating game for Island Pure as Southwind delivered them a crushing defeat. The game ended in a 6-1 point win for Southwind. In order for Island Pure to make it to the next round, they must win a perfect 7-0 point game in their next match.

Winnie Estelle drops anchor at her final home
On Monday April 1st, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in Maryland, USA received its newest edition to its fleet of historic vessels. The Winnie Estelle, a Chesapeake Bay buyboat, made her homecoming to the town where she first started some 94 years ago. On April 1st, the 65- foot vessel made its way to The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum , which will be her final home. According to a release from the official Facebook page of the museum “Winnie Estelle will be used by CBMM for drop-in public cruises, student ecology tours, a floating classroom, private charters, weddings, and more. Beginning in May, scenic Miles River cruises on the Winnie Estelle will be offered Fridays through Mondays. Four, thirty-minute cruises will be offered daily at $15 for non-members, $10 for CBMM members and $5 for children under six. Same-day tickets will be issued at the museum’s store or welcome center.”

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Belize is for Lovers
Saw this saying on a T-shirt once and it came to my mind when I photographed this picture during a beautiful sunrise last week at the Xtan Ha Resort located in North Ambergris Caye, Belize. I have gotten accustomed to getting up very early to witness the beautiful sunrises that we are blessed with here in Belize. This couple had one of the best views of this sunrise, or might I say that they had the PERFECT viewing spot to enoy the sunrise. Two lovers holding hands and experiencing one of the best pleasures while vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; it cannot get better than this!

Guat. and Bze Governments Respond to Killing of Guatemalan in Chiquibul Reserve
The Governments of Belize and Guatemala deeply regret the death of Guatemalan national Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, 26 years old, resident of the village of San Marcos, Municipality of Dolores, Department of Peten, Guatemala, in the afternoon of Saturday, March 29, 2014, that occurred in the Chiquibul Reserve, Belize, in an incident involving the Belize Defence Force. According to police, on Saturday, March 29, 2014, around 4:20 p.m., the BDF were leading a joint patrol along with Forestry officers and police. They were some (7) kilometers north of Rio Blanco and some (3.4) kilometers east of the borderline when they encountered some armed male individuals within Belizean territory. The police ordered them to stop, but they report that the men opened fire at the law enforcement personnel who in turn returned fire and fatally injured 26 year old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the Guatemalan village of San Marcos, in Peten.

Televisa Mexico TV Host Personality Films in Belize
Lights! Camera! Action! Belize was the background setting for Ritmoson Latino last week as a film crew from Televisa Networks Mexico arrived in the country to film their next episode of the Spanish-American music video channel. Host of the show Fer Sagreeb was in Hopkins Village and Ambergris Caye, amongst various other locations shooting Ritmoson Latino programming. The Embassy of Belize in Mexico, in conjunction with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), helped facilitate the trip for the Ritmoson Latino Film crew that arrived to film from March 22 to the 28, 2014. In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye the crew was spotted at Elvi’s Kitchen and filming along with the crew of Belize Pro Dive Center.

El Fogon Café Is Perking Up San Pedro
Authentic Belizean Cuisine is what comes to mind when one hears – El Fogon! This restaurant is known for serving up rich local food that is packed with flavors typical of homemade Belizean food. The Ambergris Today staff has been invited to indulge in the deliciousness of all the good food they serve for both lunch and dinner. Owners Luis and Olive Dominguez made sure that El Fogon Café’s server Leonel Lopez hooked us up with only the best in coffee and tea. Angel Perlita is a tea lover and she was ecstatic when she saw the wide assortment of teas. Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Orange Tea, Peppermint Tea, Raspberry Tea, Chamomile Tea, Lemon Tea and Ginger Tea. These are only a few of the many flavors offered either hot or cold.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mexican art exhibition opens today in Belize City
A new art exhibition called “Graphic Coincidences” opens tonight at the Institute of Mexico on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. According to a press release from the Mexican Embassy “the exhibition includes a series of drawings by Mexican artists Mireya Gomez, Mariana Montes and Victor Manuel Garcia, during the period 2012-2013 under the direction of visual artist Ahmida Gomez at the School of Fine and Visual Arts of Quintana Roo, Mexico.” The release further states that three artists’ work depicts their creative experiences with various techniques. “This exhibition reveals the concerns of students who “coincided” in time, place, perceptions, interpretations, representations, perspectives and ideologies to reach a goal,” says the official release. Entrance to the exhibit is free of cost and the display will be open to the public until April 10th.

Toledo group plans demostration in PG
A group called Toledo Association for Belizean Rights is planning a peaceful protest in Punta Gorda town on Thursday. And the full fury of their discontent is aimed squarely at another organization, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. The Association is not happy that SATIIM, according to them, is seeking to secure a portion of prospective oil revenues in the name of the indigenous Maya, even before the first well is dug and with no regard for other groups in Toledo. Founding member of Toledo Association for Belizean Rights Joseph Estephan says the protest is not about discriminating any race or ethnic group, but to show that “we are all Belizeans under one law.”

European Union Political Dialogue (5 photos)
Government of Belize Press Office

Rotaract Clubs Celebrate Earth Hour
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio visited the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk to celebrate Earth Hour Saturday. They observed the hour without power, instead having a bonfire, and then they camped out. "On Saturday, March 29th, the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk invited clubs across the country to a campout. Clubs spent 60 minutes, EARTH HOUR, together in total darkness. The challenge was not to use any electronics or have any lights on at that moment. The Orange Walk club had some team building games prepared, and in no time the hour went by. This album is a compilation of the different moments captured before, during and after Earth Hour Campout. :)"

SI United vs Police FC
The SI United will host the Police FC tomorrow, April 2nd, at 8:00pm at the Broaster Stadium. Go, United! "San Ignacio United host Police FC this Wednesday night at the Norman Broaster Stadium!!"

UB Earth Day Competitions
The University of Belize is having their annual Earth Day celebration on Wednesday, April 30th. Like always, they are having some competitions to celebrate the event. All secondary and tertiary students can enter the video competition. Videos must have the theme of environmentally friendly waste management practices. UB students can enter the essay competition. There will also be a bike race on the day of the event.

Women in Arts Fair
The Women in Arts Fair had a plethora of wonderful arts on display and for sale. Soaps, pottery, shirts, souvenirs, paintings, and even food could be found at the Cayo Welcome Center. There was music throughout the day too, including Mr. Pitts. The SISE House of Culture really did a great job this year. Pictures on G+. "The San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) had their annual Women in Arts Fair this Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center."

Western Ballaz Host Running Rebels
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Orange Walk Running Rebels this Friday. The first game will be Cayo against Belmopan, and it's the seniors. Lots of prizes will be given out, and as always, there will be lots of food and drinks. The after bash will be at Meluchi's. "Game this Friday at SHC. Come out to support our WB boys and our Over 35 Cayo Selection. Western Ballaz is tied for 1st place with a 7 -1 record. YEY!! Let's go Ballaz, let's go!!!"

ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING ELEMENTS, COSTINGS AND CONSTRUCTION FOR THE FALCON FIELD RECREATION CENTER AND FACILITIES
Government of Belize Press Office

FEASIBILITY STUDY, ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND COSTINGS FOR THE BENQUE VIEJO FOOTBALL COMPLEX AND FACILITIES
Government of Belize Press Office

Traffic Jam on the Progresso Heights Road yesterday
The graceful Wood Stork (mycteria americana) is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "Wood Ibis", though it is not really an ibis. As of August 28, 2013 it is classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, although there have been proposals to down list it to threatened. This is a subtropical and tropical species which breeds in much of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The Wood Stork is the only stork that presently breeds in North America. In the United States there is a small and endangered breeding population in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a recently discovered rookery in southeastern North Carolina. On the other hand, in Santa Catarina state (Brazil), its decline seems to have been reversed: after an absence between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s, the species is now again regularly encountered there, in particular in the Tubarão River region.

Video: Hicatee Release
Members of the Hicatee Research and Education Group (funded by The Conservation Leadership Programme) briefly discuss their radio tracking work with the critically endangered Hicatee turtle (Dermatemys).

Video: View from Estels in San Pedro
15 sec.

Video: Blue Hole Belize 2014
2 1/2 min, Scuba diving

Video: Pool @ Portofino San Pedro Belize
16 sec.

Video: Room #1 at Portofino in Belize
25sec. Here's the view from the front porch of my cabana at the Portofino Resort in San Pedro Belize

Video: Continental Breakfast at Portofino Belize
10 sec. Toast on homemade bread, pineapple,cantaloupe,watermelon,papaya,o­range marmalade,and cheese and don't forget the coffee

Video: Teaching in Belize: A Cultural Journey
4min. A group of MVNU education majors traveled to Belize to experience teaching in another culture.

Video: Expeditions with Patrick McMillan - Belize
27min. This episode focuses on how SHI's work in Belize is preserving the winter habitat of migratory birds. Patrick McMillan hosts the 30-minute Clemson University nature series, Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, which is produced at Clemson University and airs on PBS across the United States. McMillan won the Emmy award in 2013 for excellence as on-camera talent.

Video: Drunk Belize Rum Punch Recipe!!! Unedited
37sec.

Video: Andidre LIVE March 29th BELIZE CITY
12min

Video: Belize Backpack- 13 DAY
11min. This video is about Belize

Video: Belize
5min. Spring Break 2014 in San Pedro, Belize

Video: Approach into Belize City in Cessna Caravan
2.5min

Video: Spanish Belize Food Project
9min. Spanish project on how to make powder buns.

Video: Belize Pics
7.5min.

Channel 7

Supreme Court Interview Face Off: Mayor Bradley Vs. SC Courtenay
The heated, adversarial relationship between Belize Waste Control and the Belize City Council continues. As we've reported many times, every few months, City Hall falls behind in its payments to the Sanitation Company. The arrears pile up and it got to the point in December of last year, that the City owed the Waste Control almost 4 months in arrears. And so, Waste Control took the City to Court. In February, Mayor Bradley told the media that the case was being withdrawn by Waste Control. But today it went back before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who heard it in his chambers. The media waited outside of court, and we spoke with both sides. Interestingly enough, Mayor Bradley and Waste Control's attorney, Eamon Courtenay, entertained the press standing side by side. Courtenay listened intently - almost impassively - to the answers that the mayor was giving, and then stepped in and mauled him. Here's how that conversation went:

Woman Sergeant Suffers Stroke At Concert, Died Today
Today, the Police Department mourned the passing of one of their own, 42 year-old Sergeant Kimari Tucker, who had been a police officer for 26 years. On Saturday, She attended a reggae concert at the ITVET Compound, but while enjoying herself, she passed out after suffering a stroke, and had to be rushed to the KHMH, where she was clinging to life until this morning. She was being kept alive by machines, and the doctors had recommended that her family consider taking her off of life support because she was brain dead. Unfortunately, her organs began to fail, and she died this morning, taking the difficult choice out of her family's hands. Today, 7News spoke with her family about the few hours before she attended that concert. Here's what they told us: Neisan Gillett, sister of deceased "Kamari was in high spirit, she was really excited to go to the concert and I remember her like really happy that day and she got dressed, went out and as soon as she got to the concert she said she felt dizzy and she had a little bit of a headache and she collapsed. My niece and the police officers took her immediately top the Karl Heusner Hospital and when they were there she was unresponsive from the beginning. They did everything that they could and they were able to get a small heartbeat and they help her with her breathing and unfortunately she passed away earlier today."

Race For UDP Mayor: Leila Pulls Out, Will Bradley Stay In?
Last night we told you that Mayor Darrell Bradley did not submit his name as a candidate for the UDP's mayoral convention. The three persons who did submit are current Deputy Mayor BQ Pitts, former Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie and former councilor Leila Peyrefitte. Well, tonight, there's more news: multiple reliable sources tell us that Peyrefitte has withdrawn her name and will reportedly throw her support behind Leslie. Peyrefitte did not respond to our requests for comment. And while this happens in the foreground, we are reliably informed that in the background Bradley loyalists including staffers and councilors are pressuring him to run. Even though the deadline has passed it is widely felt that Bradley can ask Party Leader Dean Barrow for a "bly", so to speak. Today in the margins of an interview, our colleague Giovanni Brackett from Plus TV asked him about it, and here's how he responded:

April First Was a Big Day At BTL
April first marks a time of change at Belize's biggest phone company, BTL: Chief Operations Officer Karen Bevans has demitted office, and so has executive Chairman Nestor Vasquez. Vasquez was installed when the Barrow Administration nationalized Telemedia in August of 2009 - and Bevans was appointed to Chief Operations Officer a month later. Vasquez stays on as Chairman of the Board and member of the Executive Committee - while Board Director Anwar Barrow takes Vasquez's place as Chair of the Executive Committee. Senior Executive, Rafael Marin -is currently the acting Chief Operations Officer.

Fisheries Catches Out Of Season Lobster
Ishmael Vernon Jr, a Belize City Student, was busted with 78 undersized lobster tails on Friday by the GSU. The lobster tails were discovered in the back of a Prado in a bath pan packed in several black plastic bags. The Lobster season is closed from February 15th to June 4th and so Vernon was detained by the officers and charged with the unlawful possession of the lobsters. We found out more from Fisheries enforcement today….

Hicatee Hunter To Court
Last night, 7News told you about Special Constable Goldurne Seguro, a driver of a Supreme Court judge, who was charged with fisheries offences because he was caught fishing for hicatee turtles with a gill net and in excess. Well, his nephew, 30-year-old Hilberto Seguro, was also arraigned on the very same charges today. Seguro was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart for 4 fisheries charges, and he pleaded not guilty. Like his uncle, must return to court on May 15. As we told you, Fisheries busted the men just after midnight on last week Thursday. They had 8 Hicatee turtles which they caught using nets in an area of Sand Hill called Black Creek. They had the turtles in 2 separate sacks. If convicted they face fines for the charges, the nets, and each turtle.

Getting It Right At The Dangriga Market
The Dangriga Market, it's one of the most famous and flagrant misadventures in public spending that we've ever reported on - and now the long delayed market project is getting a second start. A new contract was signed on March 24th, and the good news for Dangriga resident tonight is that the contractor CB Construction from Cayo has pledged to complete it within 6 months. The contract is for 1.22 million Belize dollars and it was signed after SIF got the green light from the World Bank and the Contractor General. As has been widely reported, the previous contractor Kennard Smart said he could not complete the project because he was being squeezed by SIF employees. That led to a major shake-up and mass firings from the institution - and a stalling in the half completed project.

Climate Change and Carbon Credits
Whenever the topic of climate change comes up, most people think about its negative effects, such as a rise in sea levels, the increase in average global temperatures, and changing weather patterns. But the Climate Change experts want to attract investment where entrepreneurs act responsibly in relation to their carbon footprint.

GSU Busts PIV Stash Spot
Yesterday afternoon, the GSU swooped down on a stash spot for the PIV Bloods and came out with a significant trove of unlicensed ammunition. They searched an open lot on Berries Street in Lake Independence - which is the heart of the PIV Bloods Gang Territory. Inside a plastic container tucked against a fence, they found eighty nine rounds of 9mm Luger brand ammunition, three 45mm Winchester brand ammunition, one .32mm round and one Sig Sauer metal Pistol Magazine. A black plastic bag with 7 ounces of marijuana was also found.

BIL Building In The West
Belize Infrastructure Limited - that's the public funded company that's investing all those millions in sporting facilities across the country. And they yesterday signed initial agreements for two western facilities: the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities and the Falcon Field in San Ignacio. In Benque Viejo, LAR Architects and Associates headed by consulting architect Mr. Luis Ruiz will design the revamped infrastructure at the Benque Football Complex and Facilities. The consultation phase will include public consultations, cost estimates, and operational recommendations for the Benque Football Complex. This is commonly known as Marshalleck Stadium where that disastrous BPFL semifinal match was played in deplorable field conditions. In Cayo, the Falcon Field on Joe Andrews Boulevard will also get an upgrade. International Environments Ltd - which did the re-design of the BTL park - received the contract to design and consult for that facility.

Chamber Warns OHS Bill Will Cause Loss Of Jobs
The labour unions pushed government to table the Occupational Health and Safety Bill in the House of Representatives in December, and they did in January. But, government did so with a great deal of reservation, because of the sweeping and costly reforms it would impose on businesses.

Merchants Complain About Sixth Street
Sixth Street is one of the busiest streets in the Kings Park area of Belize City. Now that it’s been paved, it’s been getting a lot more traffic by drivers who want to access the budget supermarkets such as K-Park Williams and Twins. But the City Council has other plans – it has turned sixth street into a one way thoroughfare. That’s frustrating business owners who say they are losing money because of the reduction in traffic flow. Today we spoke with one of the representatives of K-Park about it:..

Drawing From Mexico
The Institute of Mexico is hosting its first art exhibit for 2014. It is called Graphic Coincidences- a series of drawings by 3 Mexican artists from the School of Fine and Visual Arts in Quintana Roo.

A Belizean is the Next Contestant On The Price Is Right
Today, Belizean Sandra Mazariegos walked away with a new car from the popular American game show, the Price is Right. Mazariegos managed to win the pricing games, where she picked up a new car. She later moved on to the 3rd round spinning the Big Wheel and got the highest score of 95. She made it all the way to the Showcase showdown, but overbid on her showcase, which caused her competitor to win today's show. Here's how those final moments looked in the showcase showdown:

Channel 5

Attorney for Belize Waste Control says Mayor Darrell Bradley is “mal pago”
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was back in court today representing himself and once again he seems to be heading down the rocky road leading to his possible incarceration. The [...]

City Hall remains in arrears to sanitation company
As we told you, last year the Mayor narrowly dodged contempt proceedings which might have landed him behind bars. He and Belize Waste Control were able to reach a settlement [...]

A female cop passes away unexpectedly
The police department has lost one of its brightest. Sergeant Kimari Tucker passed away this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she had been admitted since last Sunday. [...]

Is the killing of an armed Guatemalan in the Chiquibul justified?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think the killing of an armed Guatemalan in the Chiquibul is justified? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

The dismal conviction rate for murders
Three months into 2014, six persons have been tried in court for three sensational and heinous murders. In fact there are about one hundred and ninety persons behind bars and [...]

Former Minister of State driver acquitted of traffic offense
There is another acquittal though for a lesser offence to report tonight. Back in May 2010, the wife of the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development [...]

Cooler heads prevail at the Saint Ignatius High School
On Friday, an internal discord among teachers and management of St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town came to a head when representatives of the Belize National Teachers Union [...]

Investigations continue into murder of American Expat and disappearance of 2 Sarteneja men
The murder of seventy-six year old American national Dennis Walt has gone below the radar.  The incident has not made it to the police blotter, despite the discovery of his [...]

Guinea Grass man died of alcoholic stupor
Thirty-year old Azael Gomez, a resident of Guinea Grass, was found dead inside a latrine at a primary school in the village on Monday morning.  His decomposing corpse was stumbled [...]

Driver of judge charged for fisheries offense
Two men have been charged for fisheries offences after they were found with eight hicatees at a fishing camp in Sand Hill. Fifty-three year old Goldburn Seguro, who is the [...]

55 year old man charged with theft
A fifty-five year old man was before the court today to answer to the charge of Theft. He is accused of stealing nine hundred and fifty dollars worth of items [...]

GSU finds ammo and drugs in Lake I
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting that it found ammo and drugs in the Lake Independence area. The GSU says that at midday on Monday, it carried out a search [...]

B.T.L. changes…who is in and who is out
When we contacted former Chief Operations Officer of Telemedia, Karen Bevans, today, she told us that she was awaiting word from the Belize Tourism Board on the offer to take [...]

Dangriga marketplace project to resume
After months of delay, work on the Dangriga Town Market is set to resume.  A new agreement for the completion of the project was signed on March twenty-fourth, between newly [...]

Mexican Embassy offers scholarships
The Mexican Embassy on a yearly basis provides scholarships to Belizeans students to obtain graduate and post graduate degrees at universities and education facilities within that country. And as of [...]

Golden Princess Casino to reopen under a new brand
On February twenty-first, the Golden Princess Casino at the northern border closed its doors. Fifty-seven employees were terminated while ninety-six persons were relocated to the other Princess Casino at the [...]

Belizean wins South Florida University’s Miss International Pageant
There is some positive news to report tonight and that is that Belizean Jacinta Gomez won the annual University of South Florida Miss International Pageant this past Sunday. It is [...]

3 Chetumal artists featured in exhibit at Mexican Institute
The Mexican Embassy is not only offering scholarships, today it launched a new artistic exhibit. The exhibition includes various drawings made by three young artists – Mireya Gomez, Mariana Montes [...]

CTV3

Shortage Of Lime Affects Consumers And Vendors
Tonight, there are hard times in Margaritaville: skyrocketing lime prices slam restaurants and bars; crop damage and tree disease have driven costs of the green citrus to an all-time high. Reporter Maria Novelo and videojournalist Jesus Melgar take to the streets to find out if its scarcity is affecting businesses. Maria Novelo – Reporting It’s no pulp fiction, there’s a genuine shortage of lime. A mainstay of the margarita and an essential ingredient, ceviche lovers say, for their dish. You can find them, but be prepared to pay. A bad harvest year in Belize is causing a run on limes in the country, suddenly making the fruit a precious resource for owners of restaurants and other lime-loving businesses.

Money Exchanger To Money Collector
We are sure that you have heard about people who have a passion for collecting currency from other countries. In Corozal Town we found one such individual. Doctor George Sajia began collecting foreign currency when he first started to work as a money exchanger at the Northern Border. It was a part time job, one that grew his interest in collecting money from over 55 countries around the world. And that’s how he became a numismatist. Dr. George Sajia – Currency Collector “The first person that gave me a bill was Switzerland and the bill was so colorful and so interested that when I saw it that is when I really started to collect them and then I took it as a habit and asking the tourist about the bills of their country and that is how the collection started back in 1995.” Victor Castillo – Reproter “From since 1995 to present day, how many of these currencies have you collected?” Dr. George Sajia – Currency Collector “I’ve lost track but approximately I have around 55 countries in paper money and I also have coins.”

Validation Workshop Held In Belize
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is hosting a two day validation workshop in order to support the development of the Investor’s Guide for Mitigation and Carbon Markets and a Mitigation Project Portfolio. The workshop began today and will culminate tomorrow at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. The event is being hosted in collaboration with the European Union and the UNEP Risoe Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (URC) as part of a programme for capacity building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). The workshop is being held with the full realization that Belize is considered to be one of the countries that are most susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change and climate variability. This is particularly significant since many of the effects are already being experienced on the coast and interior areas of Belize and have threatened vital services, production, food security and even the quality of life of Belizeans.

Embassy Of Mexico Holds Art Exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico is presenting an art exhibition being opened as we speak at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The title of the exhibition is Graphic Coincidences. The exhibition, says Press Officer Marcelino Miranda, features the work of three young artists. Marcelino Miranda “The exhibition includes different works and all of them are Mexican artist from the Quintana Roo State in Mexico. Those two female artist and one male artist and two of them are going to be present at the opening tonight and this is a very good opportunity for those who are interested in art to come to Mexico and especially for young artist and young children. The Mexican embassy wants to promote young artist to get inspired and also to look at the works that are being developed by young artist in Mexico, I would like to underline that this is a part of the 2014 control program of the embassy of Mexico in Belize and that overall what the embassy of Mexico is trying to promote is a cultural and an article dialogue between Mexico and Belize.”

Guinea Grass Resident Dies As A Result Of Alcohol Stupor
Yesterday we told you about the unfortunate fall that led to the demise of 30 year old Asael Gomez, a resident of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District, whose badly decomposed body was found by a student at the Guinea Grass RC School’s latrine, shortly after classes begun. While there were many rumors surrounding Gomez’s death, police pathologist Dr. Hugh Sanchez conducted an autopsy yesterday to confirm the cause of death. Sanchez certified that Gomez died as a result of “bronchoaspiration as a consequence of alcoholic stupor.”

Nachos' Bus Company Demands Answers From Ministry Of Transport
In 1988 the Perez family, who resides in Corozal Town, launched their business, Nacho’s Bus Service. Since then the family have been mobilizing passengers, including students, within town limits. In 2011 the company’s road permit expired and owner of company, Ignacio Perez decided to reapply for his runs at the Corozal National Transport Department. That is two years ago and to date Perez is yet to receive a response from the department. Today, with nowhere else to turn to, Ignacio Perez visited our news center in Corozal and related his story to reporter Victor Castillo. Victor Castillo – Reporting Ignacio “Nacho” Perez – Proprietor Bus Company “I applied for two years, I send my renewals, I went to Belmopan, Mr Jefferies due an application for me he signed and I signed it and up to now no answer, the only answer that we got is that they have called any meeting, whenever the meeting we will get answer, answer, and we haven’t received any answer. Apart from that I am running a vehicle with a private plate; I have the registration and I have the license plate and the number is 1847 and I still cannot change the plate why because we do not get any answer from Belmopan and what I am looking for is for them to give me the authority or for them to send a letter or the road service permit for me to license but without Belmopan sending the letter I cannot license because Mrs. Riverol says that she has to get a letter from Belmopan to license.”


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#488926 - 04/02/14 12:02 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 2, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE FM

Former Minister Driver Acquitted Following Death of Minister’s Wife
Justice Denis Hanomansingh today directed the jury in the southern court session, to deliver a verdict of not guilty against 30-year-old, Venancio Salam. Salam’s plight began in May 2010 when he was driving a burgundy Nissan Navarro, property of the Government of Belize and assigned to the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Juan Coy. Salam was driving in the area of Indian Creek Village in the Toledo District when the vehicle, carrying former Minister Coy and his wife, Brigida, suffered a tire blowout on the driver’s side, causing the vehicle to overturn. Coy’s wife died at the scene of the accident while both Coy and Salam were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital via a BATSUB helicopter. Initial investigations led authorities to render the charge of manslaughter against Salam but over the years as the legal proceedings took place; the charge was altered to causing death by careless conduct, of which he was today declared not guilty. Salam was represented in court by Leo Bradley Jr., while the prosecution was represented by Lindberg Willis.

Dangriga Market Refurbishment Undertaken by Cayo Company
On Wednesday Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund William Lamb will hand-over the project site to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio, Cayo District for the completion of the refurbishment and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga. The new contract was signed last week. The final contract price is one million two hundred and twenty eight thousand three hundred and ten dollars and ninety five cents. The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of existing Ferro-concrete of the market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market’s parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls. The Dangriga Market Project, is considered one of the largest infrastructure projects under the Government’s 30 million dollars Belize Municipal Development Project, and is being implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of BMDP under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund. Its financing includes counterpart funding from the Dangriga Town Council and a World Bank loan.

Contracts Awarded For Capital Projects in Belize
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated yesterday with a contract signing for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The contract was awarded to Benque Viejo based firm, LAR Architects and Associates headed by consulting architect Luis Ruiz. A second contract was signed and it was for the Falcon Field Recreation Center and Facilities. The winning contract was awarded to Belize City based firm, International Environments Ltd headed by lead architect Daniel Arguelles. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this contract, include the design and construction as related to any environmental management, approved design plans and construction for both projects.

PlusTV

Belize Waste Control Takes CitCo to Court Again
The never-ending saga of Belize City’s sanitation woes wound up once again before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, as Belize Waste Control, one of the City’s two sanitation partners, once again pressed for action to be taken against Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. The Council is once again...

Person Found Dead in Guinea Grass Village Died of Alcoholic Stupor
Last night we told you about the dead body that was discovered by an Infant two student of Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk, when she went to use the bathroom. Today, police issued an official report. Investigations have revealed that on Saturday, March 29th, at around 8:00 am...

The Belmopan Market Vendors Are Moved Again
The Belmopan Market is on the move again. On May of 2013, the Tuesday and Friday Market vendors were relocated from the old Civic Center to the Agriculture and Show Grounds with plans to move them back to the Civic, when renovations are completed. The plan to move them...

Planned Protest Against Greg Choc
Executive Director of SATIIM Greg Choc has been very vocal in the NGO’s stance. However, one organization is discontented with their motives and is tabling their concerns through a scheduled protest on Thursday, in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Joseph Estephan, founding member of Toledo Association for Belizean Rights says he...

Has National Assembly Clerk Hired Someone to Kill Pawpa Mena?
Dangriga police are investigating a serious allegation made against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. According to a known criminal, Jermaine Mouse Miranda, he was hired by Eddie Webster to kill UDP standard bearer for Dangriga, Pawpa Mena. Miranda told Dangriga police that in early march, he...

Preliminary Inquiry Awaits Santos Carvajal
On Monday we reported the story of 51 year old Santos Carvajal, who faces dismissal from his special constable post with the Police Department. He is also criminally charged with carnal knowledge of a female minor. That case went to court today and he was told that the matter...

Will Darrell Run for Mayor Again?
Monday was the deadline for candidates for the United Democratic Party (UDP) to contest the Mayoralty of Belize City to submit their names. The list thus far looks like this: current Deputy Mayor and councilor Bernard Q. Pitts, Jr.; former deputy Mayor Dion Leslie, and former councilor Leila Peyrefitte....

Construction Company Burglarized of $45,000 Worth of Equipment
Belmopan police have one man detained pending investigation of a burglary that left one business owner over $45,000 in the hole. according to police reports, David Medina, the owner of Medina’s Construction, reported that he was hired by Santanter Farm in the Banana Bank area to build a sugar...

SIF Moving Forward with Dangriga Market
The refurbishment and expansion of the Dangriga municipal market is back on track as SIF handed over the project site today to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio. A new contract with respect to the Dangriga market was signed by SIF’s new Executive Director, William Lamb and representatives...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Easter Sailing Regatta
April 19th and 20th, Caye Caulker

Amandala

WOMAN SERGEANT TUCKER’S CONDITION “GRAVE” AT KHMH
A female police officer, who is a mother of three, is currently on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) following what was reportedly a hypertensive condition that caused her to faint while going to a public event which was held at the ITVET compound on Freetown Road in Belize City this past Saturday, March 29. Amandala understands that Sergeant Kimari Tucker, 43 – attached to the Precinct 4 Belama Substation –was accompanied by friends and family, who were all on the grounds of ITVET, where the concert was being held, when she suddenly collapsed even before reaching the concert itself. Yesterday, her family told KREM News that she was in a serious condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH, where she had been declared brain-dead, but was still breathing on her own at the time. Today, however, we were informed that her condition has “deteriorated significantly,” as she is currently on life support, and her blood pressure has escalated, which has resulted in complications which appear to be life-threatening.

BWS FIELD WORKER CHARGED WITH RAPEBWS FIELD WORKER CHARGED WITH RAPE
A Belize City man who is employed at Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) as a field worker was arraigned on a single count of rape when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. The accused man, Eugene “Portion” Reneau, 51, did not have to enter a plea, because his case will be heard on indictment after a preliminary inquiry is held to determine if there is a prima facie case against him. Reneau, a resident of 59 North Front Street, was released on a $1,000 bail, plus one surety in the same amount, and his case was adjourned to May 29. The allegation against Reneau is that on Friday, March 28, at about 2:30 a.m., he raped a 26-year-old Ladyville woman, who told police that he put a knife to her throat. According to a police report, Ladyville police, acting on information they received, visited an area around Mile 10½ on the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville, where they saw a man, and a woman of Creole descent, about ten feet from the roadside, in the swamp, standing in a pool of water.

GUAT FARMER SHOT DEAD IN CHIQUIBUL
The problem of unchecked incursions inside Belize’s prized Chiquibul Forest, particularly inside the Chiquibul National Park, and the clear and present danger these incursions pose—not just for Belize security forces but also for Guatemalan campesinos who exploit the area for illegal farming and other illegal activities—came into sharp focus again over the weekend with the killing of Tomás Desdicho Ramírez, 29, of San Marcos, Petén, Guatemala. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina, who issued a joint statement today, agree on one thing – that the incident happened inside Belize, but the question now is whether the Belizean military officer who shot Ramírez was “culpable” for the death—or whether he was justified in shooting Ramírez. Belize police said that Ramírez, who was allegedly found armed with a Maverick Mossberg Model 88 12-gauge pump action shotgun, was shot in the upper right side of his body, his abdomen and right leg. Belize police have told Amandala that Ramirez’s body arrived in San Ignacio at around 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Sunday, and it was positively identified by officials from the Embassy of Guatemala in Belize. A post-mortem was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

“BAD CARD” MURDERED AFTER BIG LOTTERY WIN
One day before his 57th birthday, and a little over 9 hours after winning a “substantial sum” of money through his selection of the single number 75 in the Sunday lottery, Dean Lyons, 56, was shot to death yesterday evening while sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal, a short distance from Mike’s Club. His family is devastated over his sudden death. According to a police report, police visited West Canal between Water Lane and Orange Street, where they saw the body of Hector Dean Lyons, a self-employed man of Cemetery Road, Belize City, on the steps in a sitting position, with his head hanging down, with a gunshot wound in the left side of the head and an exit wound in the right side of the head. Police said that their initial investigation reveals that at about 7:25 last night, Lyons, a taxi driver with other sources of income, was sitting on the steps of a house next to the sidewalk on West Canal when a dark-complexioned man wearing a black shirt rode up to him and asked for some money.

RENOWNED EVANGELIST ON YEARLY VISIT TO BELIZE
A Jamaican-born former pioneer and businessman turned evangelist who made Belize his home in the early 1970’s is presently in Belize, and decided to share the interesting story of his life’s journey and encourage individuals to follow in his footsteps. Today, Amandala spoke to Pastor and Evangelist Ludlow Walker, 77, who travelled the world as a “Sea Pharoah” in his younger years, but came to Belize in the early 70’s and eventually built a hotel called the Mopan Travel Lodge at Mile 15 on what was then the Western Highway which was called Tropical Park. According to Walker, it was the first efficiency apartment hotel that was built in Belize and there were a lot of business people and political officials who used to visit the location, mentioning that it is also the place where he met esteemed gentlemen such as former UBAD president Evan X Hyde and the late former PUP politician Ray Lightburn. “On March 8, 1981, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ. I was divorced from my wife at the time and out of love for my family, I asked God to give me back my wife and 2 children with a pledge to serve him until my last day on earth.

KREM TV’S MARYAM ABDUL-QUAWIYY CROWNED MISS AFRICAN QUEEN 2014
Last Saturday, the 6th edition of the Miss African Queen Pageant took place at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City, and Krem TV’s news anchor Maryam Abdul-Quawiyy emerged as the winner of the contest in which five other participants also vied for the title. During the pageant – which was organized by the advocacy group “Concerned Belizean Women” – the six delegates displayed their passion and knowledge of African Heritage through historical and cultural presentations while showcasing a measure of poise and elegance which had to be proven worthy enough to take home the crown for this year’s competition. In the end though, there could only be one winner, and Ms. Abdul-Quawiyy walked away with the crown. Today, she told Amandala that it was important for her to take part in the pageant because young black Belizean women need to see more examples of people like themselves doing something positive and gaining respect.

EDITORIAL: Déjà vu, one more tractor blade!
DÉJÀ VU, ONE MORE TRACTOR BLADE! Editorial — 01 April 2014 A football and basketball trip to Peten had suffered the worst accident in Belize’s sports history. Four young men had been pinned under the Peten truck after the truck’s left side had been raked asunder by a protruding, unlit tractor blade. As they screamed in pain, in the darkness, someone lit a match to see better. But the truck had overturned, and fumes from its gasoline tank had filled the air. There was an explosion and fire. Gilroy Buller, Errol Clarke, Kyrle “Old Man” Turton and Charles “Buki” Leslie were burned to a crisp. Jaime Zaldivar was badly burned, and ended up losing a leg to the surgeon’s knife. The thing about the tragedy near Mile 8 on the Western Road was that no one paid the price for it, except the ill-fated athletes, and their friends who walked around in a daze for weeks. For high quality Belizean athletes to be traveling in a truck, not a bus, across the border with a driver no one had ever seen before, was not considered unusual in those days. For their deaths to go just like that, no one really to blame legally, was not considered shocking. Insurance companies almost never paid claims in 1971. The owners of the lowboy and tractor which had caused the accident were Belize Sugar Industries, the subsidiary of the superrich British transnational, Tate and Lyle, which could have afforded to pay some damages. But this was a story which ended up lost in the dark confusion and ignorance which is the “history” of sports in Belize.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
At Spanish Caye during the school summer holidays in the early 1960s, it would be the basic Charles Hyde and Telford Vernon families on the northern side of the caye, while on the southern side, which was owned by the Belisle family, two of my grandaunts, Maggie and Edwina Belisle, would usually be in effect. In those days civil servants here worked until 12:30 on Saturday afternoons, so that my dad, Mr. Telford, and other working-age adults would come out to the caye on Saturday afternoons. They would bring ice blocks packed in sawdust in crocus sacks, chicken and meat for Sunday dinner, fruits and vegetables from the market, and various grocery commodities. They would return to Belize City on Sunday evenings to report to work Monday mornings. During the week until they returned the following Saturday, I would be in charge of keeping the caye supplied with fish and conch. I was the oldest of the Hyde children. Mr. Telford’s stepson, Bunce Longsworth, was a bit older than myself, but he was not as trained in the sea life. Besides, my maternal uncle, Roy Belisle, had made me captain of his sailing sloop, Kitty, the only sailing boat on the caye during the week. So, Bunce deferred to me.

Prevention of Corruption Act deadline for disclosure
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) reminds all persons elected to town and city councils, House of Representatives, Senate and the Speaker of the House that today, March 31, is the stipulated deadline date for submission of annual financial disclosures. VIP also calls on the Prime Minister to fulfill his legal obligation without further delay and appoint members to the Integrity Commission.

Redmond writes on Belize citrus
It is time for citrus growers to demand world market prices for their fruit. For years, Belizean citrus growers have been paid prices which are much lower than the world market price for citrus juices. The citrus processors in Belize have traditionally produced citrus concentrates, which sell for much lower prices on the world market than the ready-to-drink juices produced in consumer-ready packs, such as the “Tetra Pak”. These types of packs have the advantage that they can be distributed and stored without the need for refrigeration. Over 85% of the world trade in citrus juices is in these single-strength juices and not in concentrate form. Yet, we in Belize continue to produce concentrated juices. The citrus processing plant in Stann Creek has all the equipment necessary, including the packaging machines and extra storage capacity, to produce single-strength orange juice.

Clear the fog
For too long certain clerics and Catholic Religious women have been making public statements and taking postures which have been causing confusion in the minds of sincere Christian people. I think it is time to clear away the fog and dispel the black smoke. As far as I know, Almighty God has never abrogated any of His commands to suit man. Certainly, He has not changed His Sixth and Ninth Commandments, which enjoin all men, gay and straight, to live pure and chaste lives; to the married, this means fidelity; to the unmarried, chastity and abstinence. Before the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 all Christian churches subscribed to the belief that the use of artificial methods of preventing pregnancy is immoral. This decision taken by vote opened a Pandora’s Box; and since then, the whole world has gone sex crazy.

Big up, Tingy
The late Michael Tingling waged a memorable boxing battle with Leroy Hardiman at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town back in the days. He was in the employ of my late uncle, Ernesto Cuello, who had sponsored one of the best in Belize, David Dakers. This was before these guys. “Tingy,” as he was known, put up a good fight, but as Fitzroy Guisseppi (hope the spelling is correct) commented, “Tingy can’t tek knock in a ih head.” He went down after being caught twice in the head. The first one stunned him and the second one put him down. Can’t remember which round. He was very good, but Hardiman was better. If he was younger, that racist in Chicago could never have hurt him. A few weeks later, Hardiman and Shorty Clarke fought their “Smoking Joe vs Muhammad Ali” type war at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town.

PUP RESUMES FIGHT TO UNSEAT ELVIN PENNER WITH APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF REJECTED PETITION SIGNATURES
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today has resumed its fight to unseat the disgraced United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for the Cayo North East constituency, Elvin Penner, with an application for a judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to reject over three hundred signatures that it had collected in its election petition to trigger a recall referendum for Penner. The judicial review application was filed on behalf of Orlando “Landy” Habet, the PUP standard-bearer for the Cayo North East constituency, along with four other registered voters from the constituency. PUP senator and attorney Lisa Shoman told reporters outside of the Supreme Court Registry, just before the papers were filed, that the Party is filing the judicial review application for the referendum petition to have the court make a decision on the 337 signatures that the Chief Elections Officer rejected in the party’s election petition drive.

Belize immigration officers nab Cuban trio believed to be heading to the U.S.
An anonymous tip to Belize immigration officers led to the arrest of three Cuban nationals who had entered Belize illegally and were found at a hotel in Belize City. They were charged with entering Belize illegally and were fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court when they were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. They pleaded guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who imposed the fines and signed an immigration removal order for them to be deported back to Cuba. The three are Roberto Raul Ronaina Hernandez, 32, a professor; Ernesto Rodriguez Tanquero, 23, an engineering student; and Dayani Perez Hernandez, an economist. When immigration officers visited Bay View Guest House, located at #58 Baymen Avenue, they found the Cubans inside room #8. According to court records, when immigration officers asked for identification papers, the trio were able to produce their Cuban passports.

More road traffic accidents – one man dead
A life was lost and two persons suffered massive injuries in three separate traffic collisions that occurred in Belmopan, Blue Creek in Orange Walk, and on the George Price Highway respectively. The three collisions occurred on Tuesday, March 25. Jacob Niekoleis, Jr., 18, died after he slammed into a fence when he lost control of his motorcycle. Police said that about 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, Niekoleis, Jr., suffered massive head injuries and an injury to his ribs as a result of the accident. He was rushed to the Blue Creek Village Clinic, after which he was taken by air ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. However, at about 8:15 that same Tuesday night, he died due to the injuries. In another incident, Alexander Shepherd, 49, was injured in the leg and hand after he was knocked down by a truck in a hit-and-run-collision while riding his bicycle on the George Price Highway.

Body found in bathroom by young students in OW
Some unsuspecting infant students from the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic Primary School in the Orange Walk district made a dreadful discovery this morning when they came upon the lifeless body of a Hispanic man inside one of the female bathrooms at their school. Although details have so far been sketchy, Amandala understands that the discovery was reportedly made sometime after 9:00 this morning when two female students went to use the bathroom. When they opened the door, they reportedly saw the body of a man with his head hanging inside one of the toilets. The man has since been identified as Azael Gomez, a 30-year-old resident of Guinea Grass.

Husband held up wife at gunpoint, then stole her vehicle keys
Gladys Dominguez, 47, a businesswoman of Sapodilla Street, Corozal Town, told police that she was held up at gunpoint by her estranged husband, who assaulted her, and stole her vehicle keys and escaped in the vehicle. The incident occurred about 2:30 Friday at a beauty salon on 3rd Street North, Corozal Town. Dominguez was at a beauty salon when her husband, from whom she had separated, entered the salon and pointed a gun at her head and told her, “I will shoot you if you do not give me the key for the vehicle!” According to police reports, Dominguez tried to escape by walking away from her husband, but he followed her, and that was when he allegedly pushed her, then slammed her several times against the wall, and then punched her on the left and right sides of her head. Fearing for her life, and concerned about the welfare of everyone who was in the salon at the time, she handed over the keys to her beige SUV, valued at $6,000, to her husband, who then drove away in it.

Young Adrian Lopez drowns
Corporals Matthew and Lynnette Lopez of the Dangriga Police Station are mourning the death of their son, Adrian Lopez, 8, a standard 1 student of Sacred Heart RC School in Dangriga, who drowned in the Dangriga River (North Stann Creek River), in the New Site area while in the water with a group of friends at about 3:00 Saturday afternoon. Adrian was floating on a piece of foam when he slipped off, went under and did not resurface. His mother, Corporal Lynnette Lopez, said that they were unaware that Adrian had gone swimming with friends. They were at home on Saturday, and became alarmed around 6:00 that evening when he had still not come home, and went looking for him. The boys who were with him did not say anything to them initially about what had occurred, but at about 7:00 that night, they went to the parents and began to relate pieces of what had happened.

TIGERSHARKS AND WESTERN BALLAZ TIED
After Week 8 games in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League tournament, involving 8 teams from across the country, the San Pedro Tigersharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz are tied with 22 points at the top of the standings. Belize City (Smart) No Limit and Dangriga Warriors each have a back match pending, and Toledo Diplomats have 2 back matches remaining. In weekend games, on Friday night, Belize City (Smart) No Limit travelled north to Orange Walk and came away 1 point winners, 76-75, over home standing Orange Walk Running Rebels; all other games were on Saturday, and the scores were all lopsided. In Corozal Town on Saturday, visiting San Pedro Tigersharks won, 86-68, over Corozal Heats; in Dangriga, the visitors were again successful, as Cayo Western Ballaz were 61-48 winners over Dangriga Warriors; and in Punta Gorda, it was the visiting Belmopan Bandits blowing out the Toledo Diplomats by an 86-41 score.

Keion Robateau new Junior Cross Country Champion 2014
There were a few prominent names to watch among the field of 20 Junior cyclists that started out from the Succotz Ferry yesterday morning at 9:00 in the 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic; but Keion Robateau was not one of those names. Some of the recent big names among Juniors had already moved on to the U-23 category, namely Giovanni Lovell, Joel Borland, Austin Armstrong, Jr., Deezan Spence, and Oscar Quiroz, Jr. (Youth riders are 14 -16 yrs, and Juniors are 16-18 yrs; after their 18th birthday, they move up to U-23.) So that, among recent champions of major Junior cycling events were defending Junior Cross Country Champion Zamir Guerra; top Junior finisher in the recent Belmopan Cycling Classic, Tarique Flowers, who also won this year’s Krem Classic for the Juniors; and Delon Gentle, who has been a consistent contender, being the 4th Junior in the last Krem Classic, the Junior champion in the Valentine Classic, and the 2nd Junior in the Belmopan Classic. But, from the records we have been able to peruse, Keion Robateau had, up until yesterday, still not broken into the top-3 group of Junior finishers in any of the major races. His best finish was 5th Junior in this year’s Belmopan Classic.

AMERICAN RETIREE FOUND DEAD IN SARTENEJA
Late Friday afternoon, an American national who lives in the community of Sarteneja in the Corozal District was found dead in his warehouse, reportedly with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. Police reports are that the decomposed body of Dennis Frank Waltz, 77, was discovered by villagers on Friday, March 28, after he went missing the day before and his motorcycle was subsequently found on the outskirts of the village sometime earlier in the day. According to Corozal police, at about 4:46 p.m. last Friday, they visited the property of Waltz, a retired American. When they checked a concrete warehouse with zinc roofing, they found a man dressed in a pair of blue jean shorts, white socks and brown tennis shoes, lying motionless in a sitting position in a corner of the building, He had apparent gunshot wounds to the mouth, the right upper side of his chest and the top of his head. Teofilo Rodriguez, 44, who is also a resident of Sarteneja, told police that he checked Waltz’s property after his motorcycle was found outside the village Friday morning. Villagers, however, sensed that something was wrong from the day before, on Thursday, March 27, when the victim could not be found at his residence.

Alleged burglar of Biscayne Government Primary School remanded
The Biscayne Government Primary School was burglarized between March 17 and 18, and according to reports made to police, a number of electronic devices were stolen, some of which have not been recovered. Police investigations, however, have led to the arrest of an 18-year-old village resident, who was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. Joshua Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the two criminal charges. But when Smith asked the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, if there was any objection to his being granted bail, the prosecutor said he was objecting to bail on the grounds that the police are still conducting an investigation into the burglary, and that some of the items have still not been recovered. Rodriguez told the court that if granted bail, the accused man might interfere with the police’s investigation. The Chief Magistrate upheld Rodriguez’s submission and denied bail to Smith, remanding him into custody until his next court appearance on April 11.

Tourists report rape and jacking in Placencia; police say couple “concocted” story
Placencia police are investigating an allegation that a tourist couple was held up by two men and the woman raped while they were walking on the beach in Placencia, at about 11:30 Friday night. Initial reports were that a Canadian couple who were visiting Placencia were strolling on the seaside when two men approached and held them up at gunpoint. The man was allegedly beaten and held captive at gunpoint, while the men took turns to rape the woman, who each put a knife at her throat. The male victim told police that at gunpoint, he was taken to the bank to withdraw money from the ATM by one of the thieves, while his wife was held hostage at knifepoint by the other bandit. The man reported that after obtaining money from the bank, he was forced to take the thieves to their room, where the thieves stole their belongings, and then they escaped.

The Reporter

The Belize Times

Blogs

Benque Free Zone update
This update was sent in by an eye witness. Western Border update: 31-3-14 @1:30PM Game of cat and mouse, while Guatemalan security forces went for lunch, time to work fast! :) Despite the gun fire and confiscation of goods by security forces earlier, see pics inside SAT office, the trafficking of contraband of illicit goods continue flowing from the Benque Viejo Free Zone, using under aged youths to carry in the goods through the contraband trails into Guatemala. The logic they run faster and the Guatemalan authorities will not arrest minors; See attached pictures of youths going up the trail, and youths coming back FOR MORE! Note: This is done in front of the OAS office, what IMAGE WILL THIS SEND WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO TO ICJ?

Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Dive operators off the coast of Placencia and Hopkins in Southern Belize have access to one of the most amazing experiences in the world. For 10 days after the full moon during the months of March, April, May and June, every year Snappers spawn around Gladden Spit and attract numerous Whale Sharks to dine on clouds of Caviar. Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve has been drawing divers for years, with not a guarantee, but merely a possibility that they might have a chance to dive alongside the largest cartilaginous fish in the world. Like many giants, their massive form is accompanied by a gentle nature.

My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize Mega-Project in Southern Belize
And before I start, as with any development, particularly one of this unprecedented size in this area, there is lots of information and some controversy out there. I am in absolutely no position to judge any of it on my website. This visit, as a guest of Sanctuary, was my very first. I asked them if I could see the area (via email) and they incredibly graciously invited me for two days. To mix with their potential investors, to meet their sales people, to stay at their resort, Kanantik, all with no ground rules or discussion beforehand. Just an invite. They SO didn’t need to do that. They could have told me that it was for potential investors only – and I would have been fine with that. It’s private land after all… Our group had been prepped with a really impressive presentation about the vision behind Sanctuary, the Belizean owner/investor Johnny Usher and some of the many features of the project. The part that clearly grabbed the most participants was what Sanctuary calls the “5 Ecosystems” on the land. From river to tropical savannah to jungle to Caribbean marine to coral reef all on one property. And how the developers plan to make sure that all of those all kept intact and healthy.

Belize elected to top level UN Security Council
In a surprise move, Belize has been elected to the UN Security Council, and will be sharing an office with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, who requested the move “in order to work in close proximity with the Belizean advisors,” he said. US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that It was a surprise move, but necessary given recent events in the world. “We need a country that is laid back and recognises the value of preserving nature and having a good time. “We were also looking for a nation to provide some killer dance beats to our meetings, and Belize fit the bill. “When the nation offered to provide their great barbeque to all General Assembly meetings, it cinched the deal,” he said. Happy April Fools Day!

This Lion no King
It’s stunningly beautiful, and when you see it majestically move though the water encircled by a massive mane of feathery fins, you understand how the Red Lionfish got its name. It even gives off that “I’m cool and I know it. No one messes with me,” vibe. People come from around the world to see it its natural habitat since it’s that spectacular. We’ve seen it in Belize and across the Pacific Isles, and it never fails to captivate. However…. Like its namesake, it’s very dangerous and predatory. Just ask anyone unlucky enough to have been stung by one of those beautiful, feathery fins. So fishermen and divers stay away from it – with good reason. It also has a huge appetite, and is eating its way unopposed though the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, causing considerable damage as an invasive species. Now, what’s interesting is that the meat from the Lionfish is considered a delicacy and is indeed delicious – if you’re game to catch it. Enter the marine conservation organization “Blue Ventures” which is trying to create a market for the fish as a way to combat its negative effects on the reef. The conservation group is working on teaching fishermen how to catch and clean the species without getting stung with the right handling and processing techniques.

International Sources

16 Alarming Airline Secrets That Will Change How You Fly
Previously, we've had minor freak-outs upon learning that people habitually steal airplane lifejackets and the flight crew will refill your water bottle if you ask. But have you ever wondered if pilots stay awake the whole flight, or if anyone's touched your complimentary pillow before? [Spoiler alert: LOTS of people have.] A curious Reddit user asked airline professionals for facts about flying we might not already know. The answers (from flight attendants, pilots, engineers and frequent fliers) revealed a series of secrets you're going to wish you never knew... either because they're so useful, or because they're so utterly revolting. We've added a few of our own world-rocking facts to the list, and we've gotta tip our hat to Viral Quake for posting some of the Reddit thread's most startling secrets. We should also mention the validity of individual Reddit comments can't be completely confirmed. That being said, we're already thinking about flying from a whole new perspective.

The World’s Best “Starter” Offshore Haven?
The small country of Belize nestled on the Caribbean coast of Mesoamerica doesn’t really fit in. Belizeans speak English, so they aren’t part of the Central American region culturally, and, as the country itself is tucked below Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula, Belize is not really part of Central America geographically either. European settlement in Yucatan was initiated by the Spanish, but the area around Belize became a buccaneer’s haven as English pirates realized that Belize’s coastline served as a good base for their attacks. Eventually, they also started logging logwoods for textile dyes. While Spain and England disputed control of the area for more than a century, the English settlers were mostly left to their own means. Finally, at the end of the 18th century, the Spanish lost a naval battle off the coast, and Spain stopped trying to expel the English from the region. Still the settlers were mostly left on their own, and the large landowners established their own local government. This buccaneer background and the long-ignored status of the settlers set the stage for the Belizean culture that exists today. Today, Belize continues to follow its own independent path. Belizeans (there are about 350,000 of them in the country) keep to themselves, and the government interferes little with day-to-day life. That mentality helps to explain why Belize has developed into the offshore jurisdiction it has. When it gained independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize had no real economy. The financial services industry that the British had initiated (including writing banking privacy into the constitution for the new country), therefore, took hold and became an important part of the scene.

Belize, European Union Review Bilateral Relations
Delegations of Belize and the European Union (EU) met here to review their relationship and discuss issues of common interest, according to statement by the Belizean government. According to the statement, Foreign Minister of Belize Wilfred Elrington, who was heading the delegation, exchanged information on the actions and initiatives being undertaken by Belmopan and the EU in the economic, social and political areas. The meeting was held under the Cotonou Agreement, which provides the framework for ties between the EU and developing countries. The issues addressed included economic and political development, border issues, visa procedures, crime and security, human rights, climate change and others.

Caribbean Export hosts the 3rd Caribbean Conference of the International Financial Services
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Government of The Bahamas today commenced a three day high profile summmit: The 3rd Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector in the Caribbean Region under the theme "The Caribbean Engaging the World in Financial Services" at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, Nassau The Bahamas. The financial services sector continues to be a vital sector for the development of Caribbean economies, to the extent that the financial services are the second largest contributors to gross domestic product (GDP) in the Caribbean region. The leading Caribbean Forum countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) involved in international financial services are The Bahamas and Barbados, along with Antigua and St. Lucia who also register the largest contribution of financial services to GDP of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries.

YOU BETTER BELIZE IT: WHY I DIDN’T LOVE BELIZE
Belize is paradise. Water so clear it is nearly transparent. White sand beaches. Hammocks hanging under palm trees. Everything you want when you escape your regular life for a few days. This is why so many people are drawn to Belize. It is a fantastic place to take a break from the doldrums of winter and the routines of everyday life. I was super excited to finally hit the beaches of Belize after 3 1/2 weeks of traveling through Guatemala. Here is the thing. I didn’t love Belize. *Gasp* I didn’t hate it either, I just didn’t love it. I know, I know how could I not love a place that graces the covers of travel magazines? A place people flock to for ultimate relaxation. I can hear the grumbles of my friends wanting to shake me and remind me that its 0 degrees at home. I think there are a few factors as to why I didn’t love Belize: 1. We did the same thing for 12 days straight- swim, lay, drink, nap, repeat-and I got bored. 2. It is an expensive place and tough to stick to a budget. 3. Everywhere we went was built and maintained for tourists, so we didn’t get to experience the “real Belize” It is also important for me to say that there were two totally different parts to our time in Belize which I think plays a high factor in my feelings toward my experience. The first week was spent on Ambergris Caye. In a gorgeous, waterfront villa where, according to the workers, “We could have and do ANYTHING we wanted.” My parents, sister, and her boyfriend joined us for this leg of our trip, so it was a family vacation. We relaxed, we drank, we had fun together, and best of all, I rarely opened my wallet. This meant that the second part of our Belize trip was overshadowed by the previous week and was also a time where we needed to snap back to reality (or our strange concept of reality, which isn’t actually reality) aka budget hotels and cheap meals.

Your Flight’s Been Cancelled – Now What?! – Ten Tips For Trouble Free Trave
You hope it won’t happen to you. But what if it does? Do you know what to do if your next flight is cancelled? If you don’t, you should! In today’s oft over-crowded flights, it’s those who act fast that score the precious few available seats on that next flight out. Not sure what do if your flight is cancelled? No sweat! I’m here to help. Here’s ten tips to help get you back in the air after your flight has been cancelled. Prepare Before You Fly An ounce of preparation before flight day can minimize day-of airport aggravation and frustration in the event of a flight cancellation. It might also get you back in the air more quickly. Here’s four tips you can do now to better prepare yourself for the potential of a flight cancellation. 1. book flights directly with the airline Booking directly with the airlines will give you better leverage in the event of a flight cancellation. Third party bookings may save some cash upfront, but can be more problematic when rebooking a cancelled flight. Airlines typically first rebook those who booked directly with them.


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