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Specials and Events

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

Every picture tells a story- “The Drought is Over”
On March 28th The San Pedro Sun was invited to attend the St John’s College School (SJCS ) in Belize City’s annual reading fair. Held under the theme “Newspapers matter: they connect us to the world,” the event was aimed to encourage students to look at newspapers as an alternate source for reading. The drastic drought that threatened the lives of many is finally over. The country was shaken as the drought that started on September 1st has finally come to an end. Our country had to endure six weeks without rain. This resulted in millions of dollars lost due to animal and crop casualties. On October 14th the rain finally returned and everyone met it happily. The downpour begun at exactly 11:15 a.m. and lasted a solid 120 minutes.

San Pedro Police statistics register slight increase in Crime
The San Pedro Police Department has released the crime statistics for the month of March 2014. The report demonstrates a slight increase in major crimes, especially burglaries and theft. In addition, police report that the possession of controlled drugs is increasing with severity on the island. While crime is on the rise in San Pedro Town, police have reported a 50% decrease in crime for Caye Caulker Village. For the month of March 2014, Caye Caulker police only reported one incident of burglary, one incident of theft, one incident involving wounding, one incident of attempted murder, one incident involving harm and two incidents of damage to property. No major crimes were reported for the month of March in Caye Caulker.

Letter to the Editor: The Dons of the Done Deal
Dear Editor, I have attached a copy of my latest fable and would be tremendously grateful if you would find the contents worthy of publication in your esteemed newspaper. In the meantime, I wish you a fabulous day. Lucius Blackstone. The Dons of the Done Deal The last time we visited the happy land of Felize things were going wonderfully. The industrious people of that fair land, through hard work and cooperative effort had made their home the envy of their neighbours. They had stopped cutting down their trees and instead invited people to come sit in the shade and enjoy the many beautiful vistas to be found in the pristine peaceful forests. For combined with the beautiful white beaches protected by their famous reef, with crystal clear waters lapping gently upon the sand, Felize was indeed a magical land to visit. In fact, once word got around, people from all over the world were coming to see this beautiful place and the Felizeans prospered. Some opened hotels or tranquil retreats, others restaurants, or fed their families by showing visitors the many sights to be found in this wonderful land. More and more people came to stay, went home and told their friends abut it, so that each year Felize counted a greater number of guests, many of whom would spend more and more time and gold in this tranquil country. But fame can be a fickle mistress. While she attracts pleasant visitors who only want to enjoy the serene beauty of a place, she can also sing a siren’s song to the greedy, the sort of people who see dollar signs instead of nature’s bounty, and wish to plunder it for their own ends. And so it was that one day a cold north wind brought the people from the Land of the Midnight Sun. The captains of this fleet of hardy folk were experienced in the ways of making gold, and they knew a good thing when they saw it. “Well send our own Big Boats full of people who will pay to see this magic land. And we’ll make sure they pay us, and only us to experience the magic of Felize! We’ll make a fortune!”

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizean convicted in Guatemala escapes from prison
The Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre is reporting that Belizean Joseph Budna who is serving a lengthy jail sentence in Guatemala has escaped from prison. According to the Prensa Libre report, Budna was taken from the prison to a hospital for a medical checkup when he gave the two guards escorting him the slip. Budna is serving a 25 year prison sentence after he was convicted of the crimes of kidnapping and extortion last year. The prison guards under whose watch Budna escaped have been taken into custody.

Queen’s Baton arrives for Commonwealth Games relay
The Queen’s Baton, which heralds the launch of the twentieth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland this summer, arrived this afternoon in Belize via the Philip Goldson International Airport. The baton contains a message from the head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, inviting athletes to join the Games. She will formally read it to open the ceremony on July 23. The baton is made of elm wood from the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland, with a top of sculpted titanium and a granite gemstone which will be gifted to Belize on the baton’s departure. On hand to meet it were dignitaries of the National Sports Council (NSC) and Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA), whose President, Hilly Martinez, reported that Belize is sending its largest delegation to Scotland this year with four, possibly five, disciplines represented: athletics, cycling, table tennis, triathlon and shooting.

Queen Elizabeth II gets new portrait for her birthday
Today, Monday, April 21, is the 88th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was born in 1926 to King George VI and his wife Elizabeth, in London. While Queen Elizabeth II spent her birthday privately at home, in her honor gun salutes were fired in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and a new portrait of her was released, a black and white photograph by celebrated photographer David Bailey. The mother of four princes and princesses, she ascended the throne in May of 1952 and has seen generations of change across the world. She is the fifth-oldest head of state, being Queen of the United Kingdom and fifteen other countries including Belize. Click here to see additional reporting on the new Queen Elizabeth II portrait, including a pictorial of her reign.

The Reporter

Skin cancer on the rise
Cancer Research UK statistics show more than 13,000 people develop malignant melanoma each year, compared with around 1,800 in the mid-1970s. It says the rise is partly due to rising popularity of package holidays to Europe from the late 1960s. Sunbed use has also fuelled the increase, the charity has said. Malignant melanoma is now the fifth most common cancer, with more than 2,000 dying from it each year. Around 17 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with the disease in Great Britain every year – compared with three per 100,000 in the mid 1970s.

More violence in Venezuela
Fresh violence has erupted in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro. Masked protesters burned effigies of the president after a rally called “Resurrection of Democracy”. Police responded to petrol bombs in the Chacao district with tear gas and water cannon. More than 40 people have died in violent protests since February and hundreds of people have been arrested. The demonstrations started with students demanding action to tackle Venezuela’s high crime rate, its growing inflation and shortages of certain food staples. They have since grown into a wider opposition movement and many of the protesters say they will not stop until the government of President Maduro resigns.

Elderly woman beaten to death
Police are following leads into a ruthless beating of an elderly woman that claimed her life. The incident happened in Boston Village, Belize District sometime on Good Friday. Relatives and neighbours grew concerned when they did not see Marva Miller, 68, and after knocking on her door and calling out for her, they discoverd her lying face down and unconscious on her floor, bleeding from her head on Good Friday evening. Initial investigations reveal that someone broke into a window at the back of her house. A piece of board lay near her and there were sawdust visible on the back of her head where she had suffered a wound. Miller died on Easter Sunday after she reportedly suffered a stroke.

Blogs

“Walking on Sunshine” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After around forty minutes frolicking around (Ziggy that is, not me) we headed back home so that we could sit down and watch Arsenal stroll to a three goal win against Hull City. Ziggy was absolutely amazed by the skill and finesse shown by the Arsenal players. Three Arsenal fans in the house now. The fan base just went up by fifty percent! Feeling quite happy with ourselves it was time for breakfast. Bacon sandwiches for Rose and I and chicken (well. It was Sunday) and biscuits for Ziggy. With breakfast out of the way Rose and I then headed off to catch the 11.30 hours water taxi to Caye Caulker to meet up with most of the BATSUB guys for Ian’s farewell bash.

Sunset Sunday: Caye Caulker, Belize
We arrived on stunning Caye Caulker one week ago…and found it hard to say goodbye today. The relaxed island vibe was contagious, the Creole and Caribbean flavoured food was fabulous and the water was crystal clear and calm. Needless to say, we didn’t want to leave this little gem! The island (technically it’s a caye) is so small that it’s only a 2 minute walk from East to West. We definitely weren’t up for any sunrises, but we made it for sunset!

Shark Diving in Belize
OK that’s sounds way scarier than it was… These sharks are blind and I am not even sure if they have teeth like the predators you see on “Shark Week”. The type of sharks we swam with were “Nurse” sharks (the name alone should strike fear into you). They kill their prey by “sucking” them to death according to Wikipedia. So they may not kill you but they could probably give you one hell of hickey! Either way it was still pretty cool to be within a few feet of a shark larger than me. The sharks were not our only draw for the trip off of Caye Caulker, Belize. We went with Ragamuffin tours for the half day snorkeling tour which included a trip to “Shark-Ray Alley”. The alley was just as described full of Sting Rays and Sharks. Also seen on our trip were Stingrays, manta-rays, and a giant grouper. The tour companies seem to frequent the area and “chum”, so the smart fish head to the easy food. The grouper we saw look nearly domesticated as it swam with our tour leader. The grouper easily weighed several hundred pounds and dwarfed our guide. One of the most graceful things I have seen under water was the manta ray that glided past with just a flap of its massive rubbery wings.

Snorkeling at Silk Cayes – Placencia, Belize
The water is so clear that there are at least 5 shades of blue at the different depths. Then the island is completely surrounded by coral reef, and variety pack of colorful fish. The reef is a good depth to enjoy with just snorkel gear. Everything around the island is either just below eye level, or free dive-able. It’s hard to choose if the view way better from above or below the surface. The snorkeling was top 3 that I have ever done, but just look views from the sand! From shore we saw a lemon shark just as we were gearing up, and then he can back around lunch time as our cooks through some scraps in the water.

Belize Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Wife in All Out Brawl
Late breaking reaching NBZLive is that embattled Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and his wife were involved in an ugly and disgraceful melee on Saturday in Crooked Tree Village. The incident occurred during a racing event in the village. Sources from within the Belize Police Department who have pretty much had it with Commissioner Whylie told NBZLive that it’s time he submits that letter of resignation or he should be removed! According to eyewitnesses, a fight broke out among villagers from Lemonal, MayPen and Carmelita, all villages of the Belize Rural North constituency. A brave prison officer intervened to stop the fight but was soon overcome but the melee. Corporal Donald Gillett then got involved and soon got things under control. An allegedly intoxicated officer, identified to us a PC Ogaldez who is stationed in Crooked Tree took out his service revolver and fired shots in the air. That is when Compol Whylie instructed Corporal Gillett to take away the officer’s weapon.

International Sources

Belizean native returns home in US uniform
Born and raised in Belize City, Belize, Karen Burbank had it drilled into her mind by her mother that if she sticks with her education, she will succeed. Now a U.S. Army sergeant, Burbank has had five years of training and experience as a medic and recently deployed to Belize from the 349th Combat Support Hospital in Los Angeles. From April 7-17, Burbank ensured proper care was provided to people from her home nation. Working in the triage section of the New Horizons Belize 2014 medical readiness training exercise, or MEDRETE, Burbank was responsible for obtaining blood pressure and pulse readings, as well as determining a patients' main reason for visiting the temporary clinic.

Local Chocolatier Raises Funds to Visit Cacao Farm in Belize
In March 2011, Puja Satiani checked her phone for a brief moment between an afternoon workout and a meeting with colleagues at her law firm, when she got devastating news. Her paternal grandfather, one of the most meaningful presences in her life, had passed away. Her grandfather's death led to Satiani revisiting her life and priorities. "Around this time, I discovered premium chocolate, and there began my obsession with chocolate and its mother, the cacao bean. I became so obsessed with cacao and chocolate that I trained in France and traveled around France and Brussels. Upon my return, I started a small business handcrafting confections with premium chocolate and ingredients - all without preservatives," she said. "Since I started working with chocolate in 2011, I've dreamt about experiencing first-hand how cacao is grown and harvested and how the cacao bean is transformed into chocolate." Now Satiani has started a fundraising campaign to make that dream a reality. Via Indie GoGo, she aims to raise funds for a trip to Belize, where she hopes to follow cacao's journey all the way from the farm.

Videos

Video: After San Pedro Belize Express bridge collapse, 4min.
Hundreds of people on the dock causing it to break.

Video: Dive Belize - Part 1, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 2, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 3, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Video: Dive Belize - Part 4, 3min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 5, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 6, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 7, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 8, 6min.
April 2014

Video: Guatemala, Belize, Mexico (Yucatan), 8min.
My journey through Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan (Mexico). March and April 2014 (3.5 weeks). Highlights: Vulcano Acatenango (3900m, Guatemala, near Antigua), Sailing trip in Belize and Diving in Cenotes (Tulum, Mexico), Semuc Champey (Guatemala)

Video: An Aerial Video of Ambergris Caye, Belize by J. Massey, 4.5min.
A really cool video done by J Massey using a DIJ Phantom Quad Copter to capture the beauty and specialness of La Isle Bonita. Once again this year Ambergris Caye has been voted The Best Island in The Caribbean.

Video: Dave Zook Belize Presentation, 2hrs1min.
For more information about getting involved with the project contact Dave Zook at dave@horizonstructures.com or (717) 278-2456

Video: Police Brutality In Belize, 2min.
Yet another case of Police Brutality in Belize. Even though we at Belizean Comedy love to post funny stuff, we are also about exposing the real Belize, the side that people try to hide.

Video: airboat - Belize, 9min.

Video: Blue Ventures Exp. 2-14 (PART 3), 6min.
My adventure together with the amazing Blue Ventures Team and volunteers in Belize, 14 feb - 27 mar 2014. More videos soon, stay tubed. Like, subscribe and expect every part of nature.

Video: Dance of the Green Moray, 3min.
Green Moray Eels dancing during a dive at Esmeralda Canyon, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Interesting creatures. Beautiful in their own way.

Video: Belize Diving, 4min.
A film featuring some of the buetiful dive locations of Belize Created with MAGIX Video deluxe 2014