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#490162 - 04/30/14 12:07 PM Today's Belize News: April 30, 2014
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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

Prime Minister departs country on Personal Leave
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, 28th April, 2014, to Houston, Texas on personal leave to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, for a medical checkup. Prime Minister Barrow will return to the country on Sunday, 4th May, 2014.

PUC Announces Final Decision in BWS Annual Review Proceeding 2014
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today issued the 2014 Annual Review Proceeding Final Decision for Belize Water Services Limited, BWSL. The Commission approved a revised Business Plan and Regulated Values [including some $14.326 million in capital investments for the next Annual Tariff Period (ATP)] that resulted in an average increase in Tariffs of some 6.9%, save and except for the Caye Caulker Branch, for which Tariffs remain the same.

Ambergris Today

Gabriela Nunez Represents Belize at Miss Costa Del Caribe Fitness Competition
A proud Sanpedrana, Gabriela Nuñez, took center stage at the Miss Costa Del Caribe fitness competition that took place in Cancun, Mexico over the weekend and garnered her first experience as a fitness competitor/model. She came short of a win, but the experience has been a catalyst for her to continue competing and perfecting her body in the bodybuilding arena. A rising Belizean fitness athlete, Gabriela competed in her first fitness event in the Bikini Fitness category at the Mr. and Miss Costa del Caribe 2014, Saturday, April 26. She classified for the second round but although she did not come out in first place in her category, Gabriela feels like a winner gaining much needed experience for future competitions.

Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune Winner Visits Belize
While enjoying the accommodations at Black Orchid Resort, in Burrell Boom Village, Belize District, the staff of Ambergris Today had the pleasure of meeting a ‘Million Dollar Celebrity”. Autumn Erhard became a millionaire after beating the crazy odds at the popular Wheel of Fortune TV game show. She and her fiancé Joey Penna visited Belize this past March as part of a travel package she also won at the show. Autumn won the Belize adventure package “Best of Both Worlds” provided by Black Orchid Resort when she became the second million dollar winner in the history of Wheel of Fortune. For her to win she had to land on the $1Mil spot during the first rounds of the game, solve a “Best of both Worlds” puzzle, beat her contestants, make it to the bonus round without landing on ‘Bankrupt’, spin the wheel again and land on the $1Mil card (again) and then solve the final puzzle.

Misc Belizean Sources

Join us for Serenadas para Mama!
A night of entertainment with Caribbean Roots Band 7:00 p.m. May 10th in- front of the Corozal House of Culture.

Fire season in Belize
Fire season in Belize is observed every year from February 15 to June 15. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development issues an advisory to the public during the season.

DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT - Ambassador Adalbert Alexander Tucker
The Government of Belize announces the passing of His Excellency Adalbert Alexander Tucker, Former Ambassador of Foreign Trade. Ambassador Tucker passed away in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday, 10th April 2014.

BBIA Book Fair
Happy Book Week! The BBIA is having their annual Book Fair to celebrate, and it'll be at the Cayo Welcome Center Friday and Saturday. The fun starts at 9:00am. They'll have informational booths set up, the San Ignacio Public Library and the SISE House of Culture will be there, there will be face painting for the kids by the SHJC face painting crew, and lots of great books. They are planning cultural night activities too. "Belize Book Insudtry Association Book Fair at Cayo Welcome Center. Friday, May 2nd, and Saturday, May 3rd, starting at 9:00am."

FCD Chiquibul Vistor Center
The Friends for Conservation and Development inaugurated the new Chiquibul Visitor Center last week. It looks like a very welcoming and informational visitor center, and PACT was there to get some pictures of it. Be sure and visit it when you are in MPR. "Funded through the GEF/UNDP funded SNC.PAs project being implemented by the National Protected Areas Secretariat (NPAS). It is also complementary to PACT’s ongoing investments in the Chiquibul National Park. Acknowledging NPAS for the beautiful pictures"

Micro Enterprise Utility Start-up Package
This initiative is the outcome of continuing dialogue between the private and public sectors. more specifically between BTL, BWSL, and BEL to alleviate the startup cost of establishing a new business.

Belize Electricity Limited Project Manager
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Project Manager, Systems Expansion in the System Planning & Engineering Department, Belize City.

Belize City Gang Ceasefire is Temporary Reprieve
Authorities in Belize have reported a ceasefire between gangs in the south of the country's largest city following a surge in homicides, though the country's prime minister is pessimistic it will lead to a wider initiative. Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow told 7 News Belize that National Police Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster led the peace talks between the gangs, which had agreed on a ceasefire. The discussion was called by the police in the wake of seven gang-related killings in the space of 10 days in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City. According to News 5, the ceasefire would be complimented by added police capacity in the zone. "Even as the Police are stepping up their enforcement actions in the area, an effort is being made to talk through the situation with the gang leaders, with the principals to see if some kind of ceasefire, if you will, might be mediated," Barrow told News 5.

Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta Concert
The Cayo Welcome Center was the place to be Friday night when the Mexican Embassy sponsored a concert. They brought down a great pianist, guitarist, and soprano singer. Another great night at the CWC.

UB Earth Day Fair
The University of Belize is having their annual Earth Day fair tomorrow, starting at 9:00am. They'll have entertainment, prizes, food, drinks, and lots of information booths. The guest speaker will be Hon. Liselle Alamilla, Minister of the Environment. In related news, the UB Orchid Garden Society celebrated Earth Month with a trip to Caves Branch. "The University of Belize, Orchid Garden Society has been working very hard to bring about their mission of promoting conservation and preservation of these magnificent plants."

2014 National Song Competition
The National Song Competition sets the tone for the celebration atmosphere each year for the annual September festivities. This year for the first time, the competition will be branching out to the districts offering both workshops and stage performances to the artists and song writers residing in the districts. The winners of these district competitions will be invited on the National stage on August 9th, 2014. To launch this exciting new venture, the National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce the launch of the National Song Competition 2014 to be held tomorrow August 30th, 2014 at the House of Culture Ball Room starting at 1:30 p.m. You are cordially invited to attend...

Response to Public Service Union Release
The Ministry of Health notes with great concern a release from the Public Service Union (PSU) seen today 29th April but dated 25th April concerning an alleged complaint made by Mrs. Sharon Anderson, Senior Pharmacist at the Ministry of Health. The Ministry would like to clarify certain points as the release contains several misrepresentations.

Ras Bolo presents for the first time in Corozal: King of Kings Lion of Judah
Ras Bolo presents for the first time in Corozal: King of Kings Lion of Judah, a historical and educational event - Sunday May 4, 2014 at the Corozal Town Central Park 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Screening of the 'Three Kings of Belize' Documentary, Creole musical instrument display, video clips of Pastor Billy Graham presenting H.I M. Haile Selassie I. Presentation by Ras Bolo and much more!

Mexican President, Enrique Pena-Nieto and Belize's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington
At the Mexico-CARICOM Summit in Merida, Mexico, 29th April 2014.

Channel 7

Raul Magana Jr, Lost His Wife And Son, Explains Accident
Tonight, Raul Magana Jr is recovering from the worst day of his life - the day he lost his son and wife to an accident where he was behind the wheel. Magana was in the drivers seat - and survived without serious injury, while his son and common law wife, who were sitting beside him in the passenger seat both died. It's an unimaginably difficult situation, but today Magana Jr had the courage to talk to 7News about it. Here's how he explained the accident and his immense loss:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 28 year-old Lissa Li and her 3 year-old son Raul Lee Magana, passed away in a terrible accident yesterday at Mile 27 on the Northern Highway. It's a tragic situation for anyone to process, but more so for the driver of the vehicle, Raul Magana Jr. He told us that he hasn't really processed the enormity of his loss of not only his common-law wife, but his son as well:

Prisoner Van In Accident
That accident happened at mile 27, and this morning at around 9:00 - just 17 hours later - another accident happened on that same stretch of road in Biscayne Village, this one at mile 26. Fortunately, there were no fatalities when a police van slammed into the back of a Mariner SUV a few yards away from the Biscayne Government School. Inside the SUV was a family of 5, while the van was transporting 7 prisoners and 4 police escorts heading for Supreme Court in the north. The driver of the SUV slowed down on the road and the driver of the police van rear-ended him, causing extensive damages. After police processed the scene this morning, we got a chance to speak with the driver of the SUV, and he gave us his perspective of how the accident unfolded:

PSU Accuses CEO Ministry of Health
The situation between the pharmacists and the Ministry of Health remains tense - and today the Public Service Union lent an angry voice to the dispute. In a lengthy release, the Union accused Health CEO Dr Peter Allen of defaming Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson - and undermining her authority. As Chief Pharmacist, Anderson is the only one authorized to sign customs entries to release pharmaceutical drugs. But she was on sick from April 7 to 17th., and on April 11th., the Procurement Manager at the Central Medical Stores office sent out an email alleging that she was on strike and quote, "refusing to sign supply orders, which could endanger the health of patients." The PSU claims that CEO Allen wrote back in support of that statement, saying Anderson was quote "holding the system to ransom." To end that state of affairs, the Ministry recommended four other persons to sign customs entries including the controversial Director Of The Drug Inspectorate, Danini Contreras. They say the CEO did this without going through the proper channels. But the PSU says it's all a witch hunt, because they claim Anderson was having the entries brought to her home so that she could deal with them. The Union says, quote, "she saw the email as a continuing attack on her personally and on her position as chief Pharmacist by Dr Allen." The PSU is demanding an apology and retraction of the email.

Mayor Bradley's Love-Hate Relationship with His Job
Last night on the news, you heard Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley speak plainly about why he's in no hurry to make up his mind about whether or not he'll run for Mayor. But the truth is - despite all his internal bickering - Bradley loves the job - he just can't stand being hauled to court by the sanitation companies. He explained that love-hate duality yesterday:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "I love being mayor. I think that anyone would love a job that they see that they are making a difference and the significant benefit is that people now have a sense of hope and optimism and pride about living in Belize City and it would be my greatest joy to see that increase and grow to something that blossoms into a fire that ignites passions in individual people." Jules Vasquez "You are doing a job that has a redeeming personal value. Why don't you just recommit and say man I'll stick around as mayor?" Mayor Darrell Bradley "I have never..

Voices Speak Out From Closed Community Of Shipyard
For all of its history in Belize, the Mennonite Community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District has remained closed to outsiders. But what happens when members of the community are suddenly not welcomed? Well, according to a group of Mennonites who were excommunicated, those persons become silent victims of sustained marginalization and discrimination, which sometimes escalated to violence. They say that the cases go unreported because there is a degree of public shame associate with excommunication, and those victims would rather suffer in silence. Well, that tactic didn't happen on last week Thursday when a family became the targets of the mischievous mob from Shipyard - their former brethren. According to the allegation, the mob assaulted them with machetes, which caused a member of the family to pull his licensed weapon to scare them off. The men allegedly chopped one from the family in the head, but instead of that assailant receiving criminal charges, the man who used his shotgun to scare the mob off was charged with aggravated assault. That caused a group from the community to become outraged, and they did an unprecedented thing; they took their complaint to the media. Tonight, we'll show you a startling look into the culture at Shipyard, starting with the man who was chopped by a member of the mob. Here's how he explained it:

CPBL...
The Citrus Growers Association held an extraordinary meeting on Saturday. The business was bittersweet: to transfer 10% of the CGA's shareholdings in Citrus Products of Belize Limited, about 8 million shares. That relegates CGA from the majority shareholder to one of three minority shareholders - but it also sees them getting rid of a multi million dollar loan in exchange. That 10% shareholding now goes to the Social Security Board - which had loaned CGA the money. The resolution was passed by both the CGA and its investment company - and on Saturday in Pomona Valley Henry Anderson told Patrick Jones what makes it meaningful: Henry Anderson, Chief Executive Officer - CGA "What happened today however is symbolic in the sense that the growers of the CGA no longer own the majority - nobody does; the bank has 46%, we have 43%, Social Security has 10% and there is some sprinkle out there. So there is no majority shareholder. Coming down from the 51%, as a grower said is not an easy thing. What this does it takes our head out of alligator mouth; we show our honor and pride as CGA that we pay our bills. We still have a lot of other bills to pay, but this is a big step and we are making the investments and working with the partners and we have the vision to drive the industry for another 100 years."

It's Final: Water Rates Will Go Up
The Public Utilities Commission has made its final decision on what's going to happen with your water bill. After an inconclusive review by an independent expert the PUC yesterday announced that there will be an average 6.9% increase in Tariffs except for Caye Caulker Branch, where Tariffs remain the same. That is up somewhat from the PUC's initial decision, which was for a 6% average increase. Still it is way less than the 16% that BWSL was asking for.

Female Farming: Virtues and Value
As we draw near to the National Agriculture And Trade Show 2014, many times we get lost in all the hype and hoopla of the fair and forget that it's really about farmers, those early risers who fill the Belizean breadbasket with food. Indeed the virtues of farming are often forgotten in the instant everything electronic age, and that's why we take time out to look at the farmers of the year. The female farmer who got the distinction is from the Toledo district - and she also got the nod in 1997. 15 years later, Angelica Dubon is still going strong. Monica Bodden found out why:.. Angelica Dubon, Farmer of the Year "My whole life I have been a farmer." Monica Bodden reporting Angelica Dubon's mother died when she was just one year old, and she has been farming since she was 6 - and now at 66, she is farmer of the year for the second time. Angelica Dubon, Farmer of the Year "I feel so great and so privilege that my hard work paid off."

Senior Farmers Loves Onions
She is joined by the senior and junior farmers of the year, who hail from Corozal and Cayo, respectively. Senior farmer Felix Esquivel explained that farming is hard but very rewarding work because you get to be your own boss:…

Third Time Was A Curse For Fire Damaged Family
Tonight, a family living on Arlington Drive in the Faber's Road area is homeless after their house caught fire 3 separate times between yesterday and this morning. It's the kind of thing that seems surreal, and after intervention from the Fire Department, you would figure that the fire would be completely controlled. Well, not so, and after 3 successive blazes, the house was completely destroyed. Today, the McKoy family explained their continued misfortune to the media: Gilbert McKoy - Fire Victim "I was alerted by my niece daughter when she came running across telling me that the house was on fire. I was shocked, I never believe it because I was sitting down in the hall watching TV, but I smell something burning, but my neighbor beside me is always burning things so I really didn't pay it any mind, so I continue watching the game until my niece daughter ran cross and tell me uncle you house is on fire. It was then that I jump up and I ran back in the kitchen, but then I remember that I didn't have on anything in the kitchen, so it was then I ran into the dining room and then I saw smoke coming out of the room from under the door and at that time my wife had already come across because she was across at my sister's house. I grab a bucket of water from in the kitchen and ran and open the room door but the whole room was already on fire."

Channel 5

Raul Magaña Jr. recounts the harrowing ordeal of losing his wife and son
The frightening ordeal of surviving a fatal road traffic accident and witnessing the horrific deaths of a wife and son are vivid memories which, sadly, thirty-five-year-old Raul Magana Junior will [...]

Police van, carrying prisoners, crashes on the Phillip Goldson Highway
Around nine a.m. this morning, less than a mile away from where the tragic accident involving the Magaña family occurred, there was yet another traffic mishap. Emerson Michael says that [...]

US Capital permit expires on Wednesday, but attorney says deadline has been waived
On Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that government would not enforce the deadline for U.S. Capital’s existing permit to conduct exploratory work within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park.  [...]

Former Alcalde removed based on Maya customary law
Executive Director Greg Ch’oc has offered comment on Makin’s abrupt removal.  The former Alcalde reportedly signed a document stating that the village of Conejo, one of five buffer communities surrounding [...]

Religious persecution in Mennonite community sparks violence
The community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk district is home to thirty-five hundred Mennonites. They’re generally considered a peaceful, hardworking, quiet people. Their homes, farmlands and industrial sites are [...]

Shipyard residents speak out on violence in community
Like Vegas, what happens in Mennonite communities generally stay in Mennonite communities. But one altercation last week has prompted members of Shipyard to come forward and speak out. It’s almost [...]

Attorney says appointment of minister’s daughter unconstitutional
The Pharmacists’ Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health have been at odds for some time now. The discord came on the heels of the appointment of Danini Contreras, [...]

PSU to file essential services dispute over appoint of Drug Inspectorate
And where pharmacy-related matters are concerned, things in the Ministry of Health just got even more interesting. The Public Service Union has gotten involved, and made its presence known today [...]

‘Tux’ Vasquez, the new president of Chamber of Commerce
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an annual general meeting held recently, has appointed a new president.  Businessman Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez succeeds immediate past President Kay Menzies, who [...]

BCCI to focus on OSH Bill and 13th Senator
While the issue of a thirteenth senator has remained all but moot, Vasquez says that the matter will be put before the executive and membership of the chamber and, depending [...]

Couple homeless after late evening fire in the city
A Belize City couple is homeless after a fire on Monday destroyed their home on Arlington Drive in the Fabers Road area. Fire Department personnel were called to the area [...]

Public Utilities Commission approves increase in water rates
The Public Utilities Commission has approved a rate increase requested by Belize Water Services Ltd.  While it is not the sixteen and a quarter percent initially sought by the company, [...]

Man charged for attacking his wife and daughter with hammer
Thirty-five-year-old William Rubio appeared this morning in the court room of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was slapped with charges for four criminal offenses. Two counts of aggravated [...]

Burrell Boom Man convicted for drug trafficking
Twenty-seven-year-old Andy Alford, a resident of Burrell Boom, was convicted of drug trafficking at the conclusion of his trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.  Alford, who was unrepresented, was [...]

Hopkins fisherman found floating in sea
Dangriga police are investigating the death of a Hopkins fisherman. The body of fifty-seven-year-old Audrick Palacio was found floating in the sea in the southern village sometime around eleven on [...]

Did water surges at the Vaca Dam contribute to multiple drowning?
In early April, two students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned near the low-lying bridge in San Ignacio. Their deaths sparked speculation that a surge of water released from the [...]

CTV3

Several Churches Joins The March To Send Message That Jesus Is Coming Soon
Several churches of Orange Walk Town and Corozal joined together over the weekend and took to the streets to share one message. The march was organized by the northern youth federation which comprises of about 30 members. Elia Torres, who is the planning director for the region, told us more on the activity. ELIA TORRES – Planning Director “We had some of Corozal joining us and we also had their Adventure, Pathfinder and Mastermind club joining us for the march and we were all proclaiming one message, that Jesus is coming soon and we need to read more the bible in our homes so we were giving out magazines and tracks proclaiming the same message and we hoping that people wouldn’t have thrown it out in the garbage but they would have taken out time to read it.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Now what do you think about the turn out?” ELIA TORRES – Planning Director “The turn out, it could have been better I could not lie, it could have been better but the ones who came out the they work the ground and we all did the best and when we got their at the park we had some Christian music and nice fancy drilling from our young people showing that our people are our future and that we can invest in them.”

Group Of Mennonites Attacked by Members Of Their Community For Listening To Music
Throughout the years, in fact decade after decade there has been little known disturbances reported from within Mennonite Communities across Belize except for the occasional work or traffic related fatalities. Today, however, a group of people turned to the media to shed light on a side of the community and the religion that paints a disturbing picture. The move comes following an altercation between two groups of men at camp ten in Shipyard last Tuesday, April 22nd. We start our rather extensive coverage of the situation here, with that incident. The incident occurred on the property of Franz Petca, where his son George was along with other young men listening to music. Note that exposure to music is strongly prohibited at the community but Franz Petca has been excommunicated from the church and his family no longer follows the teachings. However, reports are that the young men are targeted by followers of the church. The group of young men was listening to music when they were allegedly attacked by another group. Henry Reimer says he saw the incident unfold and ended up being beaten as well. Reimer says he was stoned while George Petca was assaulted with a machete that was reportedly placed to his throat. His mother, who allegedly came out in an effort to break the fight, was chased away with machetes by the band of men. It was at this point when Franz Petca came out from his home armed with a shotgun. A concerned Pete Penner, who lives outside the community, said he understands the family was minding their own business when the young men were attacked.

BSCFA Boycotts SugarFest
As mentioned in the story, while the participation of the Belize Sugar Cane farmers Association was dismal in this weekend’s Sugarfest, it wasn’t because they did not receive an invitation on behalf of BSI/ASR. So why the boycott? Well, while representatives of the BSCFA refused to comment on camera, we understand that the move forms part of the association’s plan of action to show their discontent with the way the negotiations of payment for Bagasse are going. A bulletin we received indicated to farmers to desist from attending the Sugarfest. BSCFA stated that a celebration could not take place when BSI/ASR proposes to pay cane farmers only .51 cents per ton of cane for the Bagasse and is unwilling to negotiate a just payment. In the release BSCFA accuses BSI/ASR of using Bagasse money to finance the Sugarfest. At the end of the release the BSCFA asks its members to remain strong and united.

What Does It Mean To Be Excommunicated In The Community Of Shipyard?
Yesterday we presented the story of members of the Shipyard community who have been expelled from the corner church for breaking stringent rules set in place by the community’s leaders. The leaders, we understand, follow the Old Colony beliefs, a more conservative group that suppressed individualism in dress, lifestyle and land use to maintain harmony in the community. The understanding is that followers of the faith are defensive, fearful of change and highly suspicious of outsiders. While we have only heard the stories of a few people who say they have been facing religious oppression for years, it certainly has shed light to a new side of the community that for the most part has been viewed as peaceful, respectful, and by all means hardworking by most Belizeans. Today, we take a look at another side of the situation - the challenges faced by those who are excommunicated yet live within the same community.

Belize Business Man Suffers Fatal Traffic Accidents And Loses Family
A tire blow out was the cause of a major traffic mishap that occurred yesterday afternoon which cost the life of a mother and her child. The tragic incident unfolded between mile 26 and 27 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to the authorities, 35 year old Raul Magana, businessman and resident of Ladyville, was travelling in his Toyota Land Cruiser along with his girlfriend Lissa Ying Li and their 3 year old son Raul Li Magana Jr. when the vehicle suffered a blow out. Eye witnesses commented that Magana lost control of the vehicle, overturned and flipped violently several times before landing on the side of the road. Magana’s wife and son sustained severe head injuries and both of them died on the spot. According to police reports, Magana and his family were heading towards Belize City when the accident happened. Presently, Magana remains at the KHMH receiving treatment for a cut wound to his head and right arm.

Mennonite Resident Charged For Several Offences In Community Of Shipyard
In last night’s newscast we presented the story on the fight that broke out at Shipyard on Tuesday April 22nd and which resulted in the arrest of Franz Petkau, a resident of the community. Petkau has been slapped with five charges. Today CTV-3 News spoke with Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Formation Selvyn Tillett who gave us the report on police records. Selvyn Tillett “There was one Henry Petka and Abram riding their carriage and arriving in front of the Petka family one George Petka started insulting them and thereafter it is understood that he went to his yard and took a machete and assault these people and subdued and machete taken away from him and when he called for his dad he came driving with his pickup with his shotgun and fired a shot. Henry Petka receive a braced to the right cheek, he was dealt with and after investigation police arrested and charged Mr Franz Petka for discharging a fire arm in public, repeated assault with a firearm, having a firearm whilst under the influence, drove motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to the court on Friday and he was remanded until the 21st of May.”

Police Intervention Into The Matter Alledges Bribery By The Elders In shipyard
The confrontations emerging from the Shipyard community is a complicated matter that is centered on religious belief and practices. There are also allegations that the police have been bribed by several elders within the community to ensure they run their community as they see fit. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Formation Selvyn Tillett rejects these accusations adding that Shipyard is well within authorities’ reach and control. Selvyn Tillett “Shipyard is part of Orange Walk, is part of Belize so we have jurisdiction over that.” Dalila ical - Reporter “There are allegations from certain sections of the community that police is being bribed by the elders and those who leads the church and have these strict rules in order to have things run their way in the community, what is your comment on that?” Selvyn Tillett “You said allegations and allegations will be made and that is way to be proof.” Dalila ical - Reporter “Do you have any occasion or anytime when there are any reports or any officer receiving money to be one sided?” Selvyn Tillett “This is news to me and this is the first time I heard this allegation, first time.”


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#490163 - 04/30/14 12:08 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 30, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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LOVE FM

PUC Approves Increase for Water
The Public Utilities Commission has issued the 2014 Annual Review Proceeding Final Decision for Belize Water Services Limited. The PUC approved a revised Business Plan and Regulated Values including some fourteen point thirty two million in capital investments for the next Annual Tariff Period that resulted in an average increase in Tariffs of some six point nine percent except for the Caye Caulker Branch, for which rates remain the same. The PUC says it has approved no adjustment to any other previously approved Fees and Charges contained in the company’s 2009 full tariff proceeding final decision. The PUC will host a press conference later today to discuss the decision.

David Faces Murder Charge After Stabbing Stepfather
24-year-old David Branson Ortiz has been charged with murder. Ortiz is charged with the murder of his stepfather 69-year-old Norman Benguche Senior. Benguche was stabbed three times to the back on Sunday morning while at his home. According to Police Benguche was having his breakfast on the verandah of his home when Ortiz took possession of a knife that was on the table and stabbed him.

Ministry of Health vs Public Service Union
Contention continues to build within the Ministry of Health with a recent burning issue stemming from a move to authorize four other individuals including Danini Contreras, the daughter of Honorable Erwin Contreras, as signatories on custom entries. The move was brought to the media’s attention through a press release that was issued by the Public Service Union last Friday, April 25 which explains the series of events that led to the demand for an apology and retraction of a document. From what we gather, this latest saga started on April 11, when an email was sent by the Procurement Manager of the Central Medical Stores to six individuals of the Tenders Committee within the Ministry of Health, recommending that four additional persons be authorized to sign custom entry forms for the importation of pharmaceutical drugs.

Fire Season Is On
In a related note, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department reminds the public the Fire Season is on. A release from the ministry says that in Belize the Fire Season is observed from February 15 to June 15 on an annual basis. Currently we are at the mid of the season. The Ministry is asking the public, especially agricultural farmers, to take all the necessary precautions when using fire for their daily necessities such as the burning of their garbage and preparing land for cultivation. Most forest fires originate from negligent use. In most instances agricultural fires tend to get out of control due to the time of the day when the fire is lit and the failure to open fire lines around the entire perimeter of the land clearing. The ministry is encouraging farmers NOT to burn during the hottest part of the day which are between the hours of 10am and 2pm and ensure that at least a 3 meter wide fire line is cleaned around the area to be burnt. Finally, the Ministry calls on all Belizeans to help protect forests, property and safeguard Belizeans health.

Andy Gets Fined 10K for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-four year old Andy Alford, a resident of 74 Fresh Pond Village, was fined $10,000 today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of drug trafficking. Alford was ordered to pay forthwith, in default five years imprisonment. Alford was unable to pay so he was taken to prison. The incident occurred on February 26. The police, armed with a search warrant, went to Alford’s residence and executed a search of his house. Nothing incriminating was found in the house. But when police searched a red van belonging to Alford that was parked in the yard they found a black plastic bag under the steering wheel that contained 132 grams of cannabis. As a result, Alford was taken into custody and charged. Alford gave a statement from the dock in which he claimed that the drug was planted by the police.

Mother and Daughter Beaten with Hammer
Thirty-five year old William Rubio who allegedly beat a 30 year old woman and her 15 year old daughter with a hammer, was charged with two counts of dangerous harm and two counts of aggravated assault when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the charges of dangerous harm are indictable. Rubio was offered a bail of one thousand dollars.His case was adjourned until June 17. The incident occurred around 12 p.m. on April 27. According to reports, Rubio had a misunderstanding with the woman and he beat her with the hammer. When the woman’s daughter intervened she was also beaten with the hammer. The woman and her daughter were taken to KHMH where they were issued with medico-legal forms.

Jehovah Witness Charged For Forged Visa
Fifty-three year old Nigerian national Patrick Albaengbee, a member of Jehovah Witnesses who had a counterfeit Belizean visa in his passport, was fined one thousand dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to using a permit not issued by lawful authority. Albaengbee was ordered to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. A removal order has been made for him to be deported to Nigeria after he has either paid the fine or served the time. Albaengbee, a computer technician, arrived in Belize on April 10 at Phillip Goldson International Airport, via an Avianca flight from El Salvador. When immigration officers checked the Belizean visa in his passport they detected that it was not genuine.

Memorial Service Planned for Bert Tucker
An official memorial service to celebrate the life of Ambassador Adalbert Tucker will take place on Saturday at ten a.m. at St. John’s Cathedral. Ambassador Tucker, the former Ambassador of Foreign Trade died on April 10 in Jamaica where he had gone to seek medical attention. Following the service, interment will follow at Homeland Memorial Park on the George Price Highway.

PlusTV

Bus Carrying Prisoners Crashes Into Family Vehicle
There was an accident on Belize’s roads this morning involving a Police Department vehicle transporting 13 prisoners to Hattieville and another vehicle. The two vehicles collided at Mile 26 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the vicinity of Biscayne Village, just one mile from the scene of Monday’s accident....

Raul Magana Mourns Loss of Family After Traffic Accident
As we reported yesterday, there was a fatal traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Around 3:30 Monday afternoon, Ladyville businessman Raul Magana II was driving down from the Northern Border toward Belize City along with common-law partner Lissa Ying Li and their son Raul III when their Toyota...

Director of Drug Inspectorate Post Causes More Problems with PSU and MOH
On the 4th of March 2014, Plus TV broke the news of a new and controversial post at the Ministry of Health. We dug into the story and were able to confirm that not only was the post newly created without proper procedures but it was also already filled;...

PUC Breaks Down Water Rate Increases
Belizeans will pay about fifty-five cents more for water on average, as decided by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Belize Water Services (BWS) had asked for a 16% increase in water rates and initially got 6.4%, but they objected on the basis of a certain portion of the revenue...

Marijuana Decriminalization Moving Forward
From the time when he was Minister of Police and Public Safety, Douglas Singh has led the charge to a consideration of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. He said today that the effort is moving forward, but it will have to do so without him as...

‘Fishers of Men’ Founder Dies
Fishers of Men is a U.S. ministry operating in Belize for the past ten years. It’s founder, Buddy Hardy ,became ill while in Belize and had to be flown out to the U.S. Reports are that he was improving but then things turned for the worse and he passed...

Patrick Jones

Conejo village Alcalde removed for supporting US Capital
Tuesday, April 29, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The division in the Maya communities of southern Toledo has grown increasingly bitter and it has now claimed the head of one of the communities which is said to oppose U.S. Capital Energy’s exploring for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park without the informed consent of the community. First Alcalde of Conejo Village, Valentin Makin, was removed on April 24, from his position per the wishes of his community and replaced by Eufemio Makin – it is not clear if they are related. This came after a community meeting on April 22 in which Valentin Makin is said to have admitted signing a document at the behest of Justice of the Peace Alejandro Vernon on April 6 which “purportedly stated that Conejo had granted its unequivocal free, prior and informed consent for US Capital Energy Belize Ltd to continue its work and drilling on our Maya Customary Lands.”

Mother and son perish in road traffic accident
There was a fatal road traffic accident on Monday afternoon on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The victims have been identified as 3 year old Raul Li Magana and 28 year old Lissa Ying Li. The mother and son who died were traveling in a Toyota Land Cruiser driver by 35 year old Raul Magana, Senior when the vehicle suffered left rear tire blow out. That blow out is believed to have caused the driver to loose control of the vehicle and it overturned, flipping several times. Magana’s wife and son sustained severe head injuries and both of them died on the spot.

PSU comes out in support of Chief Pharmacist
The Public Service Union (PSU) has rallied to the defence of one of its senior members, Chief Pharmacist Sharon Sanchez-Anderson, who accuses her bosses at the Ministry of Health of personally libeling her and her character and attempting to circumvent her on the important matter of who signs for the importation of drugs into the country. According to the PSU, while Ms. Anderson was on sick leave earlier this month, an email dated April 11, 2014 sent by the procurement manager for the Central Medical Stores to members of the Tenders Committee accused her of going “on strike and refusing to sign [for] supplies”, adding that she was “seriously endangering the health of our patients.” This email asked for other individuals to be allowed to sign for Customs entries with regard to drug importation. Four persons were approved to sign for importation of pharmaceuticals into the country including the controversial Danini Contreras, Director of the Drug Inspectorate.

Van carrying prisoners crashes into family vehicle
This morning there was an accident involving a Police Department Ford van transporting 13 prisoners to Hattieville and a Mercury Mariner. The two vehicles collided at Mile 26 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the vicinity of Biscayne Village, just one mile from the scene of Monday’s accident. There were several persons injured in both vehicles but no fatalities reported and the prisoners were taken to Orange Walk for treatment. Biscayne resident Emerson Michael was driving the Mariner with his mother and three children on the road. He says he was driving slowly on the right side of the road, getting ready to turn into the entrance of Biscayne Government School but not fully turning as yet, causing the van to blow its horn as if he wanted him to pull off the road.

Raul Magana mourns loss of family after traffic accident
Around 3:30 Monday afternoon, Ladyville businessman Raul Magana II was driving down from the Northern Border toward Belize City. Accompanying him were his common-law wife Lissa Ying Li and their son Raul III when their Toyota Land Cruiser suffered a blowout on the left rear wheel near Mile 27, causing the vehicle to flip over several times. While Magana ultimately escaped with cut wounds to the head and right arm, neither his partner, aged 28, nor their son, only three years of age, survived their serious head injuries. We caught up with him today and he said he noticed “something funny” with the vehicle moments before it began to flip out of control. Magana says he could only watch in agony as his son died before his eyes while his wife passed on before he could rescue her.

PUC breaks down water rate increase
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided that Belizeans will pay about fifty-five cents more for water on average – but it could have been more. Belize Water Services (BWS) had asked for a 16% increase in water rates and initially got 6.4%, but following their objections an independent expert, the auditing firm of Baker Tilly Hulse, was appointed and their report was recently submitted. The PUC has now decided to grant an increase of 6.9% for all consumers except in Caye Caulker. PUC Director for Water and Waste Water Rudolph Williams says Belize City residents using 1,000 gallons or less pay $8.55 a gallon, up from $8 even. Rates for usage of water and sewerage countrywide ranged from $10 to $17 while rates for Caye Caulker stay even at $23.

Asian Citrus Psyllid causes lime shortage in Belize
There has been a scarcity of lime at markets across the country. And the reason for that scarcity is a tiny insect called a citrus psyllid. The invasive pest has a voracious appetite for citrus plants, particularly lime, and is responsible for the huanglongbing disease which was known previously as citrus greening. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Citrus Growers Association Henry Anderson, the shortage of lime is directly attributed to the psyllid.

Citrus Growers approve sale of CPBL shares to Social Security Board
Citrus growers voted overwhelmingly this past weekend to give up shares in CPLB in exchange for a debt liquidation agreement with the Belize Social Security Board. Ten percent of CPBL shares were approved for offering to SSB. The vote came during a special general meeting which was held at the compound of the Citrus Growers Association on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Saturday, April 26. Following the special general meeting of the Citrus Growers Association, we spoke with the organization’s Chief Executive Officer Henry Anderson about the significance of the vote and what it means going ahead.

Blogs

North Ambergris Caye Birthday Joyride
These pictures of our Birthday joyride are for my brother Rob who just had his birthday and Cowboy Doug whose is coming up this week. You would have enjoyed our drive Rob, not only did we have good entertainment with Cowboy Doug rockin out to Elvis and Van Harlen, we have a fantastic view on our island style country drive. This post also goes go out to Emily and Barry because they have traveled the roads in north Ambergris Caye many times on bikes with camera in hand. It has taken time to even pare down the pictures enough from our Sunday drive to get close to uploading. I decided to spit them in two batches and discovered some new math while doing so, 15 pictures does not equal 4oo yards. That is what Cowboy was claiming for distance from Coco Beach swim up pool bar to Mata Grande Grocery store. It is a good thing the 3 of us cowboy wranglers did not send him wandering off alone to the store or we would not have seen him for a good while as you will see from the pictures below :)

An Afternoon At Grand Caribe And Palapa Bar by Day And By Night
Yesterday, I headed up north on Ambergris Caye to lounge about with some visiting friends. These guys are planning to retire and move to the island next year but this was just a family vacation and I always jump at the chance to poke around resorts. Particularly those I haven’t spent much time visiting. This time it was the HUGE resort of Grand Caribe about 1.5 miles north of the bridge and San Pedro. You can easily take a golf cart and I hear that the roads are the best they’ve been in ages. There is even talk of the road getting paved. I took the Coastal Express water taxi. Takes less than 10 minutes to get up there and I always love a boat ride. There is no more scenic bar on the island. Both the view inside and out. Next stop? Grand Caribe. They really have the most gorgeous dock.

6 Delicious Food choices in Belize to eat like a local!
Belizean cuisine reflects the country’s multiethnic population and rich history. When you blend all the diverse ingredients starting from the early Maya settlement through to the pirate past, the British settlers, the vibrant African influences, the attempted Spanish conquest, the Mennonite farming communities and the more recent influx of many other cultures, you have a recipe for something very, very special! Foods that originated thousands of years ago are still served every day in Belize. Tamal is a perfect example, having its origin in the earliest Maya cuisine, as does the finger-licking-good Cochinita Pibil style of cooking pork meat. This cochinita pibil is a skinned pig, marinated with strong acidic citrus juice, colored and flavored with annatto seed, wrapped in plantain leaves and buried underground overnight for a slow-roast. Barbecue got its start with Buccaneers, whose name comes from buccan, an Arawak word for smoking meat, an occupation pirates busied themselves with while on shore or traded to keep a supply of meat aboard their vessels. So it is said then, that our Belizean barbecues are a throwback to the days of pirates standing around the cooking meat drinking ale or rum and swapping stories. Cool like the Caribbean breeze!

The 7 Most Beautiful Birds of Belize
Belize offers amazing opportunities for bird watching thanks to the 570 species of birds that live in the country. According to the Belize Audubon Society, approximately 20% percent of the 570 species are migrants from North America and every year new species are being documented. In 2007 for example, 8 new records were accepted which included the Crested Caracara, Canada Goose, and Spot-breasted Oriole. In this blog post, we are delighted to share with you the 7 most beautiful birds of Belize. And of course, there are so much more colorful and attractive birds in Belize.

Muffins remane a good way ta use overripe bananas
Gods’ blessins ta all. Air fambly doesn’t like overripe bananas. Here is a good way ta use 'um! Nanner MUFFINS 3 large bananas 1 large egg 1 teespoon bakyun' powd'r 1 1 /2 cups flour 3 /4 cup sugar 1 teespoon bakyun' sody 1 /2 teespoon salt 1 /3 cup meltid butt'r er margarine

10 Tips for Living in Belize
“For those who enjoy live music, there are a variety of places where people hang out and listen to local bands, all for free. Beach bars include Crazy Canucks, BCs, and Fidos, all near town. On the north side, Legends often has good music. We love to dance to a live band on the beach, cooled by a sea breeze! Sunday afternoon lunch is a time when everyone goes out for beach BBQ and to socialize. Popular places include Caribbean Villas (they have plenty of water toys), Crazy Canucks, BCs, and the Palapa Bar (up north). We go to Wine de Vine on Friday nights. This is a “smoke free” environment where many expats, business owners and tourists drop in for a nice glass of wine, and a cheese platter. There are more volunteer organizations than I can mention. Many expats join both to contribute, and to meet people. The most popular are the Saga Society (which is the local Humane Society), the churches, Lion’s Club, and various school organizations,” reported one expat living in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

International Sources

A Caribbean obsession: The United States’ endless campaign to destabilize Cuba
The recent revelations about the USAID’s farfetched scheme to foster a popular anti-government protest movement by infiltrating Cuba’s mobile phone network perhaps bring full circle America’s 55-year campaign to destroy the Cuban Revolution. Fortunately for the people of Cuba, none of these bewildering, hairbrained and often violent schemes – which have included countless attacks on Cuban soil – have succeeded. The most notable, of course, being the disastrous CIA sponsored 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Still, these failed attempts have resulted in the loss of thousands of Cuban lives. This obsession with destabilizing Cuba or wanting to assassinate Fidel Castro has been constant, and every failure has begotten another compulsive craving to topple a government that successive American administrations have misguidedly perceived to be an enemy. The long list of CIA futile attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro has now become a running joke, not just in Cuba but in the world in general.

23rd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group
The 23rd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group will be held from May 26-30, 2014 at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. The meeting will be preceded by a CSG steering Committee meeting on May 25, 2014. The hosts, organizers and CSG invite members, crocodilian biologists and all interested individuals to take part in the meeting. CSG Working Meetings provide the principal forum for the presentation and discussion of issues surrounding crocodilian research, management and conservation. This meeting will feature several special sessions, including: Zoological contributions to crocodilian conservation Human-crocodile conflict Crocodilian behavior How many crocodilian species are there? Crocodilian reproduction Selected presentations concerning crocodilian reproduction will be selected to be published in an issue of the South American Journal of Herpetology. Details of this special issue can be viewed by selecting the link under the Announcements to the right.

Videos

Video: Jungle in Belize, 14min.
Our trip to Belize in January 2014, checking out some of the jungle.

Video: Howler Monkeys and Hummingbirds in Belize, 1min.
First day house sitting, listening to the ROAR of Howlers while the Hummingbirds feed...

Video: Tarpon on Caye Caulker Belize, 1min.
Nice tarpon gathering.

Video: Rocky II Spoof Video Filmed In Ambergris Caye Belize, 3min.
We decided to have just a little more fun while vacationing in Belize with out friends and family... We had to suspend live shooting because both myself and Joe suffered injuries from running full speed without stretching... I injured my hamstring and Joe injured his quadriceps. LMAO... Yep age caught up to us...

Video: Placencia, Belize 4 26 4 27 2014, 3min.
Placencia is a very kick back quiet town. Beautiful beaches and really good food. Friendly people. Not to pricey.

Video: Another Shade of Blue - Belize, with Ty Sawyer, 23min.
World famous adventure writer and photographer, Ty Sawyer, is on assignment in Another Shade of Blue. Join Ty as he travels to the planet’s most remote, raw, and real destinations, in search of jungles, oceans, rivers, villages, and the people that bring these locations to life. With only one week to find the essence of a destination and capture it in words and images to meet his magazine’s deadline, Ty immerses himself in the beauty and wonder of each destination to bring amazing stories and breathtaking photography right onto your screen. He seeks to find stories and photographs that are out of the ordinary, so he often finds himself facing challenging terrain, weather obstacles, uncooperative subjects and the element of time. Ty is determined to get the stories and stunning photos that sell the magazine and land his work on the cover.

Video: Turneffe Flats in Belize 1999, 28min.
Turneffe Flats in Belize July,1999

Video: Belize scuba diving blue hole 2014, 11min.

Video: Belize Zipline, 1min.
Gopro3+ Black helmet mount

Video: Paddling off Half Moon Caye in Lighthouse Reef Belize, 1min.

Video: Summer 2013/14, 11min.
Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama

Video: WEST CARIBBEAN CRUISE 2014, 38min.
Complete video chronicle of our escapades in the West Caribbean on the Norwegian Jewel Cruise ship. March 23-30, 2014. Visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize and Roatan, Honduras. Stop at Costa Maya, Mexico was aborted due to strong winds and waves at the port area.

Video: Almond Beach Resort Belize- Chica Travelista, 3min.
The Chica Travelista visits Almond Beach Resort and Spa in Sunny Belize!

Video: Checkoway's 40th Birthday in Belize, 4min.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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