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#490826 - 05/13/14 06:47 AM Today's Belize News: May 13, 2014
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The San Pedro Sun

SPRC Celebrates Education Week
As part of Education Week, the San Pedro Roman Catholic (SPRC) Primary School hosted a series of activities from Monday, May 5th to Friday, May 9th to stimulate child education and creativity. The celebration was held under the theme “Quality Teachers: Nurturing the Inherent Potential of our Children”. The students enjoyed a variety of activities along with their parents and teachers throughout the week. On Thursday, May 8th, teachers organized a spelling bee competition for the infant divisions. The young spellers were given words that they spelled out using a white board. According to Vice Principal, Patricia Lopez the spelling bee was a unique opportunity for the infant students to show their mental capacity. he decoration of trash bins and making signs for the school.

Press Release – San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi
San Pedro Belize Express takes this opportunity to clarify the recent adverse events. Delays: In the event that a crowd exceeds the capacity of the boat in rotation, SPBE immediately dispatches a supporting vessel; rationally, it takes a small amount of time for that vessel to reach the port and board the remaining passengers. SPBE utilizes its entire fleet (15 vessels) to guarantee all passengers are accommodated for. The fleet capacity ranges from 45 pax to 120 pax. Tickets: The majority of tickets sold are round trip tickets; the return tickets are open and valid for three months for any of the company’s scheduled departures. The issue recently was that return tickets holders are still returning in from the islands for the Easter. The majority of these ticket holders do not check in; therefore, crowd capacity cannot be accurately predicted per departure. This causes a rush of both return ticket holders and those whom purchased tickets on site.

San Pedro students shine at CJC
Two students from San Pedro studying at Corozal Junior College (CJC) were amongst a group that received awards on Tuesday May 6th. The two San Pedranos are Uriel Contreras and Laji Nuñez, former students of San Pedro High School. The awards were part of the winning accolades given out by CJC to the groups that performed the best at the annual Science and Business Expo hosted on April 11th. The annual event saw students divided into groups who then developed business ideas as well as science projects to be displayed. The business ideas and projects were judged by teachers and business people from within the Corozal community. Winning first place in the business category was Construction Network Consultancy. Taking second place was Cultural Gourmet and third place went to Underwater Illusion Science. That group consisted of Odalys Pena, Samira Velazquez, Ronnie Medina, Arturo Cansino and San Pedro’s Laji Nunez.

Team Coco Beach wins 10th annual Eco Challenge!
The first day saw the participants kayaking for 25 miles through the San Pedro Lagoon, in the mangrove/water channels, then into the Laguna de Cayo Frances, coming out in choppy seas on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye. They went far north along the Belize-Mexico borderline in the Bacalar Chico Area then into the Laguna de Cantena which stretches for about seven miles. Once across the Cantena, the kayakers struggled with the kayak on their backs crossing, to the eastern side of the island then kayaking again to the finish line at the Robles Point at Basil Jones beach area. The organizers of the Eco-Challenge are very grateful for all the support shown by the business community and individuals over the years, and take the opportunity to thank all those who made the event a success. By all accounts, this year was the most challenging due to the sea and wind conditions and so we congratulate all the participants for their good spirit!

My Beautiful Belize Chills Out in Wyoming
My Beautiful Belize editor Tamara Sniffin reads a recent issue of My Beautiful Belize while wishing she was back enjoying the sun, sand and sea of Ambergris Caye. Sniffin, currently visiting family in Laramie, Wyoming, USA, is freezing her Belizean bum off while Wyoming experiences a Spring Winter Storm that has closed roads and schools across the state.

Ambergris Today

Idolina Vasquez Selected Mother of the Year San Pedro 2014
The Hon. Louis “Cus” Sylvester Sports Field was the venue for this year’s Mother’s Day celebration in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. The event was teeming with mothers of all ages, all having a great time with entertainment that the San Pedro Town Council had put together. The highlight of the evening was the coronation of Mother of the Year 204 Mrs. Idolina Vasquez. Mother of the Year 2013 Mrs. Carolina Kumul was on hand to crown Idolina and present her with a bouquet of flowers. A very happy and elated Idolina accepted the honor of being Mother of the Year and was all smiles the rest of the evening. Mrs. Idolina Vasquez (75 years old) is married to Santiago Vasquez and is mother of four children: Eloina Bliss, Mina Guerrero, Lorna Vasquez and Santiago Vasquez. She has ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Pepé – From Beast to Best Friend in One Easy Snip
Pepé was not born with size and strength on his side, but what he lacked in stature, he certainly made up for in swagger. He had spent most of his life hanging around a local park, but didn’t have any real owners, people who loved and cared for him. Like most dogs, a home and a family to protect, that would love him in return was all he really wanted. Because he was uncared for, he ran the streets with the big dogs, ripping open people’s trash, fighting and barking at night and generally being a nuisance to San Pedro. But deep down, he was determined to work his way into the hearts of someone who would appreciate him. So, when he met a little girl who treated him with kindness, he followed her home. When he wasn’t out chasing female dogs, fighting and causing trouble, he would come round to visit her and they developed a close bond. The only problem was that Pepé did not seem able to stay at home and become a good and trusted member of the family because he was too busy trying to be a ‘big dog’ in the neighborhood.

Pic of the Week: I 'Sea' Food in San Pedro, Belize
I 'SEA' food; do you 'SEA' food? One of the best things about living on an island is having access to so much seafood. To the delight of seafood lovers, there is never a shortage of fish, lobster (seasonal), conch (seasonal), octopus, shrimp, crab and much more on the island. Most restaurants on Ambergris Caye offer seafood and there are those whose menu is strictly seafood. One such restaurant that concentrates on "Seafood Everything" is Waruguma Restaurant. Pictured here is the restaurant's aquarium display were you can select what you want for dinner from a fresh option of marine creatures. It does not get any better than this.

Misc Belizean Sources

Western Ballaz Defeat Diplomats
The Western Ballaz travelled all the way down to Punta Gorda this weekend to play the Toledo Diplomats. They won in a close game, that even went into overtime, by two points, with the final score of 79 - 77. They are now in first place again, along with the Tiger Sharks. They host the Belmopan Bandits this Thursday, at 8:30pm.

International Museum Day in Cayo
May 18th is International Museum Day, and the SISE and Benque Houses of Culture are celebrating. The SISE House of Culture is having Open Days starting this Wednesday, May 14th, and going through Friday, May 16th, with the theme of 'Museum Collections make Connections.' The Benque House of Culture is having their Open Day next Wednesday, May 21st with the theme of comparing old and new digital collections. Enjoy!

Cayo Classifieds Issue 15
Another issue of Buy and Sell Weekly is out. Bambu Tee is opening in the Cayo Welcome Center between Masabaduga and Yoli's Pizza. They have an article about Cockscomb Basin in this issue. Don't forget about the Master Gardeners Programme at DuPlooy's.

Control prices for Liquefied Petroleum Gas
Kindly take note of the new control prices for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) effective May 8, 2014. To view the changes, please click on the link

AF doctor leads medical team in Belize
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Steven Acevedo has enjoyed a variety of assignments in his Air Force career. For five years, he was a medical laboratory officer before going to medical school while in the Inactive Reserve. After that, he found himself as a pediatrics flight commander until he journeyed to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, followed by assignments in Lakenheath, England, and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. His travels continue, as he is now off to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas for a neonatal intensive care fellowship. "I'll stay in for 20 years and retire, but I'll make sure I have a well-rounded career before it's time to move on to something else," he said. Acevedo already had been accepted to medical school before joining the military, but he said he just wasn't ready to go until he had served as a lab officer for five years. He resigned his commission as a captain to attend school at the University of Texas-Galveston, and then completed his residency at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

OB/GYN team cares for Belizean women
A female team of two deployed to Central America in support of New Horizons Belize 2014 to provide obstetric and gynecological care to Belizean women. U.S. Air Force Maj. Ivette Suber and Capt. Kaessee Brown are both stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where they work in the labor and delivery section at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, but their time in Belize was spent in a different San Antonio; they both set up operations in the Isabel Palma Polyclinic in San Antonio, Belize, a small town in the southern Toledo District. Suber and Brown joined a team of doctors, nurses, technicians and educators from Belize, Canada and the U.S to provide free medical care to Belizeans. The care was provided as part of New Horizons Belize 2014, an annual exercise held in Central America, South America or the Caribbean that offers international partners an opportunity to train to deploy while operating in a humanitarian capacity.

Tropical Tranquility at Coppola's Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize
You’ve worked your whole life to be able to enjoy this moment. The kids are gone and there’s no job to rush back to – now is your time for adventure! Burrowed in a remote rainforest location hidden in Belize’s Maya Mountains is a tranquil tropical getaway perfect for the young-at-heart who are looking to enjoy retirement or escape an empty nest. At Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge, guests can enjoy the thrill of a truly unique, off-the-beaten-path holiday in an area of the world unspoiled by modern conveniences and tourism. The intimate 20-room luxury resort hotel is a true jungle oasis and rainforest hideaway that’s the ideal locale for relaxation and rejuvenation with a plethora of activities available to explore and enjoy, including: Sunrise Bird Watching Take a short sunrise walk around the resort’s gardens and trails as your personal guide points out the well-camouflaged birds hiding in the nearby rain forest. Learn about our migrant species and the many secrets of our feathered friends, as with almost 600 species documented in Belize, this walk is an excellent introduction to the region’s native birdlife. Hiking Explore the natural beauty surrounding Blancaneaux Lodge with a variety of different immersive hiking experiences, including a full day hike through the jungle-clad hills of the Elijio Panti National Park; a trek to Big Rock Falls for a soothing dip into cool mountain creek energized by the massive waterfall or an orchid walk along trails beside tumbling waterfalls and granite outcroppings with trees home to several different species of the vibrant flower.

Supply NCO deploys for USSOUTHCOM exercise, says it all started with trying to be like 'mom'
She was home-schooled. After graduating high school, she went to college to become a teacher or a journalist, but ultimately chose a different career path and now she’s on her second military deployment to Belize. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Delilah Simmons, a supply noncommissioned officer deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, joined the Air Force seven years ago. Her parents, Joe and Michelle, were both members of a security forces squadron and met while they were stationed in San Antonio. Sgt. Simmons, their first-born and only daughter, was the only one of their three children who decided to enlist. Ultimately, she wanted to be like her mother. “I joined the military to be like mom,” said Simmons. “She is the strongest, most loyal and giving person I know.” Simmons that it was her very structured childhood and parents’ focus on education that prepared her for military life.

Child abuse reporting legislation!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez I want to publicly thank Mrs Dolores Balderamos, Faith Babb and Senator Lisa Shoman For championing the cause and helping to draft the legislation And all those who made their contribution To increase the chances of children getting the right protection Thanks for sharing your passion and giving this the right attention The biggest problem I see is implementation But then again some might lack the information Perhaps it’s the time for another round of mass circulation That might even include some media presentations To update the people about the Child Abuse Reporting Regulations. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms But I want to make a special appeal to all moms In lieu of what happen with the fourteen year student in Belmopan Kudos to the mother who reported this situation And followed it up with the institution I blame the entire institution for failure to report the situation There is a mandatory reporting legislation This case requires a full investigation Some members of staff need to be subject to prosecution Or at the very least asked to hand in their resignation

Spanish Lookout Rescue Team EMT Training
The Spanish Lookout Rescue Team has been doing EMT training, and has been working with local hospitals, and with BERT. "Training this year is a bit different, everyone has been studying on their own at home and then meeting at Ralican for two weeks of hands on practice with Pat Horn as trainer. Then follows a week of working at hospitals and BERT. Than another week of training with Bob and one last week of hospital hours. Its a long ways to go till graduation, SLRT is grateful to everyone participating."

BAS Fun Day at Cockscomb Basin
The Belize Audubon Society had their Fun Day at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. "Thanks to all the Members and friends who come to have a great time with us exploring Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary on May 10th, 2014. Photos by: Dirk Francisco"

PACT Calls for Proposals
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust has a call for proposals and a call for concepts for large grants, which would be between $200,001 and $400,000. Contact PACT for more information.

2015-2016 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
The U.S. Embassy is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. This one-year fellowship program in the United States is offered to mid-career professionals working at the policy level who have a record of leadership and a commitment to public service. Fellows are based at leading American universities for ten-months to pursue self-designed programs to include independent study, coursework, and an internship with an organization in their field of expertise. DEADLINE: July 30, 2014

Attracting Investment and growing the Economy in Belize – Not just a Belizean problem - Part II
The first thing that needs to be stated this point is that the relatively low rate of capital flow investment into Belize isn’t unique to us. It’s a common phenomenon among developing countries that has attracted droves of economic researchers to look at empirical data and compare them to what traditional economic theories (and models) suggest. One such economist is John Lothian, who in his 2006 research paper entitled “Institutions, capital flows and financial integration” reminded that “ loosely related to the question of why capital does not flow from rich to poor countries is the question of why poor countries do not grow much more rapidly”. In terms of answering the intra-country growth question, he referred to other work that tested growth accounting formula against statistical data and found that the conventional factors (i.e. Labor and Capital) were not the only contributors to growth. They found that a substantial portion of growth (or lack, thereof) is attributed to a component of growth that is unexplained by those shares of the factors. This unexplained component has been dubbed the “residual”.

Channel 7

3 Hondurans Rescued By Coast Guard
Three Honduran fishermen who had been lost at sea for 6 days, were rescued by local fishermen early this morning. 7News was at the Coast Guard Headquarters when they were brought in - and they told us how they survived with little water and no food: Jules Vasquez reporting The men and their vessel were found near Columbus Caye, 32 miles southeast of Belize City. They had been drifting for 6 days. Due to rough seas the coast Guard took about 4 hours to bring them in - the vessel listing to and fro in the swells, additionally slowed because they had to haul in the men's vessel, a 34 footer called Japhet. For the sea-weary passengers, 19 year old Don Delbert, 17 year old Brian Herrera and 26 year old Danly Kelly they seemed relaxed, relieved and tired: Don Dilbert, Lost at Sea 6 Days "Not frighten, but weak."

PG Mother Explicably Killed On Her Special Day
Residents of Punta Gorda Town spent yesterday in saddened disbelief after a young mother was killed on Mother's day, and to make it even worse, it happened in the presence of her 2 year-old daughter. It is only the second murder in the town this year, and the violence of it is incomprehensible for townspeople: why would a 26 year old mother be killed in her house at 1:25 in the morning? The officer commanding Punta Gorda, Simeon Alvarez, told us about this killing in Indianville, a community just outside PG: Supt. Simeon Alvarez, OC - Punta Gorda Police "Acting upon information received of a shooting incident at Jamaica Bar at around 1:25 am on Sunday 11th May, 2014, police visited the said bar located on Cayo Street in the Indianville area of Punta Gorda Town. Upon the arrival there they saw a female of creole descent of was later learned to be one Janice Vargas, 26 years old Belizean waitress of a West Street address in Punta Gorda Town. She was seeing lying face up in a pool of blood in the corridor leading to the back door. The body had what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the right shoulder and was unconscious at that time. At the time she was in a company of another co-worker, a male person. Her two year old child was with her at the time of the incident."

Grandson Of Amandala Publisher Killed In Roadside Collision
And while that mother was killed on Mother's day, another mother's special day was filled with grief after her teenaged son lost his life in a terrible traffic accident this weekend. It happened after 4:00 on Saturday morning on the Northern Highway. 19-year-old Evan Garnett Jr was driving to his mother's home in Los Lagos after a night out, but never made it. At mile 12, he had a violent collision with a bus that was on the other side of the highway, parked on the road's shoulder. The Honda Accord he was driving was stripped of its top, as he literally appeared to have run under the bus. For the beleaguered Officer Commanding Belize Rural, it is the 16th traffic fatality in his area for this year. He told the media about it: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Sometime after 4 this morning police responded to an accident scene in the area of mile 11. Visiting the scene a single vehicle apparently collided into what is the remains of a passenger bus that was parked on the opposite side of the highway. The lone male individual that was in the vehicle succumb and has been taken to the morgue." "Our preliminaries are that we are uncertain as to what may have caused it. We still are looking into the possibility of why he veered off the road. Damages to the vehicle is immense, but one has to be cognizant of that fact that vehicles are man-made and they have their flaws. Its only there to take you somewhere. But some people abuse the use of it and with diminished capacities it could mean anything."

He Took A Gun To A Funeral
On Friday, we told you about the gun police found at the funeral of 24 year-old Julian Willoughby. Well, the man who police say had it on him is in jail tonight. He's 21 year-old Wilfred Ramirez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension. Ramirez was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith on charges of keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He pleaded not guilty to both charges, but because they are firearm offences, he was remanded to prison until July 7th. As we told you, Julian Willoughby's funeral service was just about to start, and according to police, they saw Ramirez behaving suspiciously. They went to search him and a sawed-off shot gun slid down his pants leg. They retrieved it and found that the shotgun was loaded with a 12-gauge cartridge.

Gunshots Fired Randomly At City Children
And around the same time police found that gun, there was a senseless and dangerous shooting nearby. Gunshots were inexplicably directed at a bunch of kids who were playing in an open lot. At around 4:40 a group a pair of men on bicycle were chasing a man towards Central American Boulevard. They lost sight of him, and then inexplicably turned around and fired five shots indiscriminately into an open lot where children were playing. One of the youths, a 15 year old was shot in the right foot. Luckily his injury was not serious. Police are looking for two suspects. There was another Belize City shooting on Sunday night at 11:30. 18-year-old Ronnie Leal, was traveling in a car on Kraal Road, when a gunman ran out of a yard where a party was being held and fired several shots towards the car. Leal was shot in the abdomen.

Police Officer Convicted Of Abuse Of Authority
Police Constable Brandon Hertular, is in jail tonight awaiting a sentence after he was convicted of theft while on duty. The dramatic conclusion to this case, played out in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today. The theft occurred on March 5, 2012, and the complainant, Shirley Chicas, testified in the trial that she was at her Belize City home with her 2 sons when Hertular and another man entered. Both of them identified themselves as police officers, and they searched her house. They confiscated a 9 millimeter pistol, 2 cellular phones, and $1,650 in cash, saying that the items were going to the Police Exhibit Room pending the outcome of some robberies they were investigating. The problem is that instead of doing so, Chicas said that he kept the items for himself. In his defence, he testified and denied the allegation, but with all the evidence before her, Chief Magistrate Smith found him guilty of Theft. The police also accused him of burglarizing the exhibit room, but that there was not enough evidence to prove the offence against him.

Kareem Arnold Accused of Pre-Easter Stabbing
25 year-old Ladyville resident Kareem Arnold joined Hertular at prison today because police said that he stabbed 19 year-old Parish Copius. As we reported, the incident happened on April 16 at around 11 o'clock that morning. Copius reported to police that he was at the home of his cousin at the corner of Pigeon and Parakeet Streets. He says that Kareem Arnold and another man approached him, and he tried to run away. The other man blocked his path, and that's when Kareem Arnold allegedly stabbed him several times in the right side of his body abdomen.

Precinct 2 Finds Weed Stashes
Police officer from Precinct 2 are reporting that they found a little more than a half a kilo of marijuana today. Just before 3:30 p.m., the officers received intelligence and their quick response team conducted a search on Antelope Street Extension. On the street side behind a garbage drum, they found 7.01 ounces in 2 bulky black plastic bags. No one was in the area, so the drugs were deposited as found property. That was in addition to the 17.2 ounces they found before midday. At around 11 o'clock, the QRT was on patrol in the Jane Usher boulevard area. The stopped and searched a bushy open lot which led to the discovery of 2 black plastic bags containing the drugs. Again, no one was in the area, so the marijuana was deposited as found property.

The Knocked The Tore Down The Cell Door To Get Out
Independence Police continue to search for 26 year-old Dale Augustine and a 15 year-old minor, who escaped from the holding cell at that police station. It happened on Saturday night, just before 8 o'clock, when a loud bang was heard in the cell-block area. When the officers responded, they found one of the cell doors knocked completely off its hinges. Augustine, who is from Seine Bight, and the 15 year-old Minor, who is from Bella Vista, managed to escape.

Health Ministry Launches 10-Year Master Plans
Today, the Ministry of Health launched the 2014 National Health Sector Strategic Plan and the accompanying Non-communicable Diseases Plan. The country had been operating without these plans since 2011, and today, the Ministry's Director of Policy and Analysis Planning Unit told us that it's a drastic improvement in the way they provide health services: Ramon Figueroa, Director of Planning & Policy Analysis Unit "To begin with the plan is innovative in the sense that it is incorporating the World Health Organization's framework for health systems development, so we are looking at the strengthening and development and re-engineering of a health system as oppose only to looking at vertical programs, that's one thing. The other thing is that we are looking at it in terms of the whole health sector as opposed to only the Ministry of Health and there is reason for that. Many of the problems that we have in health are the product of what we called social determinacy which include for example, poor education, lack of employment, poverty, basic sanitation and those things really the Ministry of Health has no real input or influence on those social determinacy factor, so for example, we are looking at chronic non-communicable diseases which is one of our priority areas in terms of service delivery. We are looking at from the aspect of promotion, detector, early screening, working with other partners, for example, the national cancer society - looking at education in schools. Looking at immunization as another part. So the interventions are broad-based across the board. We are also looking also for example at the treatment aspect of it, so it's a long the whole spectrum of care."

GOB's Mother's Day Gifting
Mother's day is always big for politicians, since mothers make up the very fabric of the community and are always prominent in politician's campaigns. And, so, the Barrow Administration has created a kind of Mother Day Gift Giving programme to match its controversial Christmas Cheer programme. All 17 UDP Representatives were earmarked fifty thousand dollars each to share with his constituents on mother's day. Lists like these ten sheets for Corozal Bay in which we count counted 398 names, show that each mother who was selected received one hundred dollars. In Corozal North, Representative Hugo Pott gave fifty dollars each to one thousand mothers. In both cases, cash is not handled directly by politicians, but the recipients get vouchers which they cash at the government treasury. Not all divisions gave cash vouchers: In Belize Rural North Edmund Castro says he gave away 1,500 gifts. The Opposition has called it state sponsored party political patronage, but the UDP - which has been doing the Christmas Cheer programme since late 2011 says that it is simply a way of sharing with the most needy.

Belize's Internet Still The Slowest; Among The Most Expensive
Another survey of internet bandwidth speeds and pricing in the Caribbean has been done - and again Belize has come out dead last. The 2014 survey includes 19 countries in the Caribbean. It shows Belize as the only country still offering a 128K as its lowest available speed. But Belize's highest bandwidth speed, 8Meg was above at least two other countries and tied with many others. Still that 8meg maximum came nowhere close to the 160 megs being offered in Barbados or the 100 megs offered in Curacao, Grenada and Jamaica. And while it doesn't nearly compete in terms of speed, in terms of price, Belize's highest internet speed easily outstrips the competition - and in fact is the highest in the region. That 8 megs costs 353 US dollars per month, while in Barbados 160 megs costs 100 US dollars per month. While in Jamaica 100 megs costs 125 US per month. St Lucia which offers 8.8 megs for 211 US dollars per month is the second closest to Belize in terms of high price.

#490827 - 05/13/14 06:49 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 13, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

PG woman is murdered on Mother’s Day
As women celebrated Mother’s Day, the life of a twenty-eight year old mother was viciously taken in the presence of her two year old daughter. It was a callous crime [...]

3 Honduran nationals rescued at sea
Three Honduran men set out to sea last Tuesday heading to Placencia but they never got to their intended destination. Their vessel apparently experienced mechanical problems and the trio drifted [...]

Health Minister says he is not expected to micromanage hospitals
At a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Health last Friday, media personnel were informed that each media house could ask only two questions. Calling a press conference to [...]

The list of U.D.P. supporters from the north who got the Mother’s Day cash
Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, might worry about pesky health-related matters like a lack of basic medication, no money to hire doctors and no money for properly equipped ambulances…but politician [...]

Promising student loses life in road accident
There have been about thirty fatal traffic accidents since the beginning of the year and on Saturday there was another traffic fatality to add to the growing list. A promising [...]

Cop is convicted of theft
Less than two weeks ago, an officer was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of firearm and ammunition offenses.  Tonight, Police Constable Brandon Hertular, accused of [...]

Wilfred Ramirez behind bars for taking a gun to a funeral
Last Friday, twenty-one year old Wilfred Ramirez attended the funeral of Julian Willoughby, an associate of his who was slain during a hail of gunfire the weekend before.  While mourners [...]

Did Health Minister discontinue the pharmacist exam?
The ongoing controversy within the Ministry of Health has become somewhat cloudy. Ministry of Health C.E.O., Peter Allen, continues to insist that patient safety is top priority. So does the [...]

Pharmacists’ Association calls for proper, transparent testing protocols
One other area where there is significant discord is the testing of pharmaceuticals which are brought into the country. The Ministry of Health insists that proper testing protocols are in [...]

2 shootings in the Old Capital
Early in the newscast, we told you about two persons who lost their lives in separate incidents. But in the City, two persons were injured in unrelated shootings over the [...]

Siian Rancharan honoured for Do Di Rait Ting Program
Du Di Rait Ting is a program by the Community Policing Unit of the Police Department that gives recognition to young persons, who are exemplary students within their respective schools [...]

Rasha Dawson also recognized for stellar performance at Gwen Liz
Also being recognized today was Rasha Dawson of Gwen Lizarraga High School. Eighteen-year-old Dawson is a fourth form student in the business program at the high school. Following an accident [...]

Dale Reynaud says his name has been tainted by a murder he didn’t commit
On Thursday, January thirtieth, forty-three-year-old Sittee River resident Ana Foster left home to go visit her son. She never reached his home. Early the next morning her lifeless body was [...]

Ministry of Health launches a health plan
This morning, the Ministry of Health launched its blueprint for the effective and efficient integration of health services. It’s entitled the Belize Health Sector Strategic Plan, and the focus is [...]

Nurses – Force for Change and A Vital Resource for Health
The nurses of Belize are rarely in the spotlight, seldom singled out for criticism, praise or controversy. But there is no doubt they are a very vital component of our [...]

Football, basketball and volleyball stats in Sports Monday
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Week 13 in the NEBL season saw the Corozal Heat show up at Sugar City Friday night with only 6 [...]


Policeman Convicted of Theft
Police constable Brandon Hertular, who was charged with theft, was convicted of the offence today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Hertular was remanded into custody until tomorrow for sentencing. On March 5, 2012, Hertular stole a nine millimeter pistol, two cellular phones and one thousand six hundred and fifty dollars in cash. The complainant, Shirley Chicas, testified that Hertular and another man entered her home while she was there with her two sons and they identified themselves as police officers. She said the men, who were dressed in camouflage uniforms, proceeded to search her house and they took the pistol, cellphones and the money. She said they told her that they were going to take the items and cash to the police exhibit room and hold them there pending the outcome of their investigation into some robberies. Hertular testified and denied that he committed the offences. Hertular was also charged with burglary but that charged was withdrawn because there was no evidence to support that charge. Hertular was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

Tour Guide Arraigned on Stabbing Incident
Twenty-five year old Kareem Arnold, a tour guide of Ladyville who the police believe was one of two brothers involved in the stabbing of 19 year old Parish Copiuos, was charged with dangerous harm when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until June 3. The incident occurred around 11 p.m. on April 16. Copiuos reported to the police that while he was at the house of his cousin, located at the corner of Pigeon Street and Parakeet Street in Ladyville, he was approached by Arnold and his brother, Kenroy Arnold. He said both brothers were armed with knives and they wrongfully accused him about a pervious incident, then one of them stabbed him in his chest. Copious said he tried to run but one of the brothers blocked his path and he was stabbed several times in the right side of his body and back. Copious was admitted to ward at KHMH where the doctor who examined him and treated him classified his injury as dangerous harm. Police say they are still searching for Kenroy Arnold to charge him in connection with the incident.

Police Retrieves Gun at Funeral
Twenty-one year old Wilfred Ramirez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension who allegedly took a sawed off shotgun to the funeral of Julian Willoughby, was charged with kept prohibited firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Ramirez pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until July 7. The incident occurred on May 9. Reports are that while the burial ceremony was in progress at the church, the shotgun fell from the foot of Ramirez pants. The crowd that had gathered around fled from the scene. Police who were in the vicinity retrieved the shotgun, which had a 12 gauge cartridge in it, and they took Ramirez into custody.

Young Man Dies in Traffic Accident Close to Home
Nineteen year old Evan Garnett Jr. lost his life on Saturday morning as a result of a tragic traffic accident. The accident happened on Mile 11 on the Phillip Goldson highway where the vehicle that Garnett was driving collided onto a bus parked alongside the highway. Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Nine year old Evan Garnett Jr. was travelling from Belize City to his home in Los Lagos in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He was driving a white Honda Accord but as he approached Mile 11 on the Phillip Goldson Highway something went wrong. He reportedly lost control of the vehicle, veered on the opposite side of the highway and drove into the back of an old abandon bus- pushing the bus which was parked alongside the highway, a few yards. Ladyville Police arrived on the scene sometime after four o’clock. ASP Christopher Noble, OC, Ladyville Police “A single vehicle apparently collided into what is the remains of a passenger bus; it was parked opposite side of the highway. The lone individual that was in the vehicle succumbed and was been taken to the morgue. No accident fatality is something that you want to out rightly say is not extensive; every fatality is taken seriously; damage to the vehicle is immense.”


Police Constable Convicted of Theft
In March of 2012, a Belize City police officer was accused of wrongfully taking items from a home while conducting a search. Today, he was convicted of the lesser charge of theft. Brandon Hertular was accused of going to the home of businesswoman Shirley Chicas on March 5, 2012...

Mother’s Day Shooting Leaves a Two Year old Motherless
Mother’s Day saw the murder of a young pregnant mother. The incident happened at Jamaica Bar located on Cayo Street in the Inidian Ville Area of Punta Gorda Town where 28 year old Janice Florice Vargas had been working for the past few months. According to Police reports at about...

Teenage Student Dies in Traffic Accident
Another weekend, another fatal traffic accident, and again it was in the Ladyville area. 19 year old Evan Garnett was driving from Belize City to the residential enclave of Los Lagos, but upon approaching an auto parts scrapyard he apparently lost control of his white 2006 Honda Accord 4-door...

Honduran Fishermen Survive Week at Sea
Every so often there is a tale of unfortunate accidents at sea leading to a scramble to survive. The latest happened to three Honduran fishermen who were travelling to Placencia aboard their skiff named “JAPHET” when their engine failed. That was one week ago and up until early this...

Gunmen Open Fire on Minors Playing in Abandoned Lot
A group of young people were playing in an open lot in Belize City when gunmen opened fire on them. After the hail of bullets stopped, a 15 year old was shot to the foot. According to police reports, the incident happened on Friday evening on Antelope Street. As...

Teenager Shot to the Abdomen
Another teenager was shot in Belize City this weekend. On Sunday, 18-year-old Ronnie Leal, a gas attendant of Lords Bank, Belize District was shot to the left side of his abdomen. According to the police report, Leal was travelling in a car on Kraal Road, Belize City with a...

Ladyville Tour Guide Charged for Injury to Teenager
On April 16, Ladyville teenager Parish Copius told police that he was stabbed by two brothers who wrongfully, he says, accused him of involvement in a prior incident. Today one of those two brothers was charged with dangerous harm. 25 year old tour guide Kareem Arnold was read the...

Ministry of Health Announces Strategic Development Plan
The Ministry of Health has been in a lot of hot water lately with regard to the management practices of its CEO, Dr. Peter Allen, and his treatment of top officials surrounding him. But the Ministry is trying to move on from its internal crises and get back to...

Stephen Okeke Out of Door on Thomas Vincent Ramos Bust
A few weeks ago he was $5,000 richer as a result of donation for the completed bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos, Garifuna hero. But tonight, sculptor Stephen Okeke has once more run afoul of certain elements that he says are trying to suppress his creativity. Because his deal with...

Disabled Student Wins Award
The Police Department regularly awards young people for doing the right thing. The most recent recipient was awarded today at Gwen Lizarraga High School. Graduating fourth former 18 year old Rasha Dawson lost her right leg to a traffic accident at the young age of 6 but remains...

Patrick Jones

Ariel Rosado Scholarship Foundation rides the highways
On Wednesday, April 14, it will be three years since the tragic death of 28 year old cyclist and promising attorney Ariel Rosado, who was killed in a massive traffic accident at Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway. In memory of a life cut off before reaching full potential, the Ariel Rosado scholarship foundation was established to give life to future leaders of Belize. It’s biggest initiative is a bike ride in his honor featuring amateur and professional riders, many of whom raced with Ariel professionally and were good friends. This year’s event was staged on Saturday beginning in Cayo at 6 in the morning and concluding at the Hour Bar Field on Princess Margaret Drive just after midday. Ariel’s father and the president of the Foundation, Dr. Alvaro Rosado, estimates that 150 riders participated, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships to high school and college students.

Tourism industry seeks balance between cruise and overnight sectors
According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), overnight arrivals have increased by an average of 9.67% over the first three months of 2014, while more than 300,000 cruise ship visitors came to Belize for an increase of 22%. Tourism numbers have been almost consistently on the rise for several years now and president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Herbert Haylock, who spoke with us at the Belize Tourism Expo on Friday, said that the increases, which they hope to maintain, come from the collective promotion of the destination by the many persons involved. The work started at the Expo continues on a one-on-one basis between operators and agents, he noted. But with so many visiting Belize, and in view of the ongoing debate about cruise tourism’s place in the tourism sector and Belize’s development generally, where can the balance be found, so that today’s cruise tourists become much more?

Ministry of Health announces strategic development plans
The Ministry of Health today launched a general strategic plan covering the next ten years, to 2024, and a concurrent plan to address non-communicable diseases or NCDs. The Director of the Policy and Planning Unit of the Ministry, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, says that this plan expands the Ministry’s view on health and wellness from a official strategy to a complete look at the health needs of the entire population. The Ministry has previously been focusing on its own impact; Figueroa says they will now shift some of the work to key stakeholders in civil society and elsewhere who may have a fresh outlook. This, he told us, will help the Ministry become more efficient. Despite being launched only today, the plans are already being implemented, at least in part.

Honduran fishermen survive week at sea rescued in Belizean waters
Three Honduran fishermen who were traveling to Placencia aboard their skiff the “Japheth” when their engine failed have been rescued. For one week, up until early this morning, they were without food and had only a dwindling supply of water. But a local vessel sighted them near Columbus Caye, 32 miles southeast of Belize City and this afternoon they touched down on Belizean shores, only slightly worse for wear and welcomed by anxious family members. Danly Kelly says they were praying that the east to southeast wind would push them toward the Belize coast, and on behalf of the group he is happy they were rescued as they could not have held out for much longer. The Belize Coast Guard took responsibility for the group, bringing them safely into shore and ensuring they got urgent medical attention. The Coast Guard’s Operations Officer Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis explains that they are suffering from dehydration and attendant illnesses.

Police constable convicted of theft
In March of 2012, a Belize City police officer was accused of wrongfully taking items from a home while conducting a search. Today, he was convicted of the lesser charge of theft. Brandon Hertular was accused of going to the home of businesswoman Shirley Chicas on March 5, 2012 and taking a 9mm pistol, two cellular phones and $1,650 in cash. He and another man dressed in camouflage clothing identified themselves as police officers to Chicas and claimed to be investigating robberies. They said they would take the items to the Police Department’s Exhibit Room at Queen Street Police Station pending the outcome of their investigations. Hertular was initially charged with burglary but the charge was withdrawn at trial due to lack of evidence.

Man charged for prohibited firearm found at funeral
24 year old Julian Willoughby was laid to rest last week Friday – but not without some incident. Police, alert to possible threats of retaliation, had dispatched a team of officers to guard the church where the funeral was taking place to prevent any incidents. And they acted quickly when they observed 21 year old Wilfred Ramirez of an Antelope Street Extension address in the area. A sawed-off shotgun appeared to fall from inside his pants to the ground, causing a brief panic. No one was harmed, but Ramirez was immediately detained. The gun contained a 12-gauge cartridge.

Ladyville tour guide accused of injuring teenager
On April 16, Ladyville teenager Parish Copius told police that he was stabbed by two brothers who wrongfully, he says, accused him of involvement in a prior incident. Today one of those two brothers was charged with dangerous harm. 25 year old tour guide Kareem Arnold was read the charge before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and no plea was taken as the offence is indictable. Copius was socializing at a cousin’s house in the village late that night when two men he identified as Kareem and Kenroy Arnold approached him. Both carried knives and proceeded to trap Copius and stab him in the chest, back and right side.

Disabled student wins Police Department award
The Police Department regularly awards young people for doing the right thing. The most recent recipient was awarded today at Gwen Lizarraga High School. Graduating fourth former 18 year old Rasha Dawson lost her right leg to a traffic accident at the young age of 6 but remains steadfast and overcomes her challenges. The Evergreen Street resident is a member of Belize Association of Persons Living with Disabilities and the youth group Motivating Youths of Belize, and regularly volunteers to assist the less fortunate, whether it is fellow youth or persons with disabilities. She balances this with her school work and being a rolemodel for those who know her, such as the time when she made her cousins return things they stole from a neighborhood grocery shop.

Machete fight in Libertad village leaves one critically injured
A man from Libertad village in the Corozal district is fighting for his life after he was chopped in the head on Sunday night. Giovanni Henry Borland sustained the serious injuries during a machete fight late Sunday night. A motive for the melee which landed Borland and another man, identified as Denmar West in the hospital, has not yet been confirmed by the police. Around ten o’clock last night, Corozal police were called out to Libertad village and when they arrived they found that there was an altercation during which machetes were used to inflict injuries to Borland and West. Borland was the more seriously injured of the two men who were both taken to the Corozal Town Hospital for treatment.

Police question PG man in connection with Sunday morning murder
Police in Punta Gorda town have detained one man for questioning as their investigation of the early Sunday morning murder of Janice Vargas continues. Vargas, 28, was found mortally wounded around 1:25 am on Sunday, May 11 in a corridor leading to the back door of a building housing the Jamaica Bar on Cayo Street in the Indianville area of Punta Gorda town. Police say that when they found Vargas she was unconscious and in a pool of blood and had what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the right shoulder. Vargas was taken to the Punta Gorda hospital and was being transferred to the Southern Regional in Dangriga when she died.


Eco-Challengers Fight Strong Winds to Kayak Around Ambergris Caye
The 10th Annual Ambergris Caye Kayaking Challenge was a brutal one for the competitors. 40+ miles, 2 days, camping in the wilderness at the tip of the caye, it’s a huge physical and mental challenge. And this year, the 20+ mile per hour winds and gusts that were almost constant over the two days, hitting the little boats basically sideways the whole time, made things even tougher. The water looks beautiful (especially when a cloud rolls over) but it was choppy and milky from the churned up sand. 2nd place came in just a few minutes after. It was harder to get this young San Pedrano out of his kayak. LOVE to see all these young locals participating…a really amazing, constructive and inspiring event. Though I must be getting old…usually this gives me just a flicker of excitement that I too will do this next year! This year, it didn’t even cross my mind…

Belize Eco Kids Summer Camp: Sign Up Today!
The deadline for applying to the annual Eco Kids educational summer camp is drawing near, and the Lodge at Chaa Creek is urging young Belizeans between the ages of 8 and 13 years old to get on board! Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the Eco Kids camp is a great opportunity for young Belizeans to learn about their natural environment and develop skills while having fun during a weeklong jungle adventure. The adventure begins on Saturday July 20th at Chaa Creek’s Macal River Camp and runs until Sunday, July 28. Twenty-four lucky young Belizeans will stay in comfortable casitas and enjoy three healthy meals and snacks each day while taking part in structured educational activities. Chaa Creek supplies all accommodation and meals, the arts and craft materials, tee shirts, 24-hour camp counsellor supervision and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.

Stuffed Cabbage
This is a little bit healthier version of a burrito. I used leftovers to stuff the cabbage and then baked to make a wonderful meal. You can put anything you want on the inside and you can use spaghetti sauce or taco sauce as the topping.

International Sources

Financial Breakdown For Belize Trip
As part of our series on the costs associated with travelling through the Americas, today we will continue with our detailed expenses in Belize. In case you missed the original post, throughout our trip we’ve been keeping detailed expenses. Every time we make a purchase we write down our costs in either a paper notebook or a phone. We decided to put those detailed expenses to use and show you how much it cost us to travel in each country. Coming into Belize, we didn’t really know what to expect in terms of a budget. We were actually surprised by how expensive things were. I guess we were spoiled by the prices in Mexico. In the end, we went over our goal of $110 a day. Our average for 12 days in Belize was $124.66, almost the same amount as the US portion of our trip.

Caye Caulker – A True Tropical Paradise
The caye we went to was Caye Caulker, the smaller, and less touristy one. We actually went there to meet up with one my friends from the US that was on vacation there. Because there was 3 of us we decided to get larger accommodations and through a stroke of luck we ended up staying in the best Villa in the whole town – Villa Hermosa. It was right on the main street and it was heavenly. It had two bedrooms, an open concept with the breeze flowing in through the twenty or so windows, and hammocks in the front porch overlooking the main street of the Caye. My friend and I would sit for hours on the hammocks with the breeze flowing through our bodies. The only reason we would get off the hammocks was to stop one of the many vendors that passed by the house for some nourishment. We had the Cake Lady (she’s on YouTube) pass by every day once she found out we have a sweet tooth. She has been making cakes on this island since she was 16 (almost 30 years now), and she goes around selling delicious goodnesses like coconut pie, key lime pie, chocolate-coconut pie, banana bread and so on. We bought at least 3-4 slices of pie from her every day, resulting in our respective weight gains, I’m sure.

Ocean Temperatures Reach El Niño Threshold; El Niño Odds Rise Above 65%
For the first time since the fall of 2012, weekly-averaged sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific have reached the threshold needed for an El Niño event to be declared. By definition, an El Niño episode occurs when SSTs are at least +0.5°C from average for three consecutive months in the region 120°W - 170°W, 5°S - 5°N (called the Niño 3.4 region.) The weekly ENSO update issued by NOAA on May 12, 2014, put ocean temperatures in this Niño 3.4 region for the past seven days at +0.5°C from average. An El Niño event is still not a sure thing, though. We saw similar behavior in the fall of 2012, with SSTs warming up above the +0.5°C threshold, prompting NOAA to issue an El Niño Watch. However, the ocean SSTs were not able to hold for the required three month period, and no El Niño event ended up happening. However, this year the odds appear more favorable. NOAA has issued an El Niño Watch for the summer and fall of 2014, giving a greater than 65% chance that an El Niño event will occur during summer, a boost upwards from their >50% chance given the previous month.

Agri-tourism eco-lodge feels like Jurassic Park
Belcampo guests immersed in local food, culture, nature. Oversized hummingbirds and a pair of toucans flit about a tangle of jungle that is 50 shades of moist green. A hefty iguana flicks his tongue at me as troops of treetop howler monkeys unleash a choir of otherworldly rasps and gasps that sound more like aggravated dinosaurs — I feel like I’m on the set of Jurassic Park and I haven’t even got out of the shower yet. Belcampo Belize is an agri-tourism eco-lodge that is all about saturating its guests in locally farmed organic food, Mayan culture and tropical nature and that includes a giant, full-frontal picture window facing the virgin jungle in every suite’s spa-like bathroom. An English-speaking country wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize’s sparsely populated southernmost province of Toledo is a remote frontier lucky to have retained about 75 per cent of its rainforest. I fly into Toledo’s Caribbean-paced main town of Punta Gorda (pop: 6,000) with its funky mix of dreadlocks, expats and rickety seaside watering holes and am picked up for the 20-minute shuttle to the hilltop perch of Toledo’s only luxury lodge overlooking 23,000 acres of largely untrammelled jungle.

Woman Credits Fallen LAPD Detective With Bringing Kidnapped Daughter Home
A Ladera Heights mother is crediting a fallen veteran Los Angeles Police Department detective with bringing her kidnapped daughter home years ago. Raquel Butler said Det. Ernest Allen, who was killed Friday when a cement truck crashed into his vehicle in Beverly Hills, was her guardian angel. “I don’t know where I would be right now, where my daughter would be right now, if he didn’t feel for me,” Butler said. “He really held my hand through it, literally.” Back in 2008, Butler’s then-7-year-old daughter, Zaria, was taken for two months by the girl’s father, Dahnje Marceo. Allen was the lead detective out of the LAPD’s Southwest Division assigned to the case. Butler said she talked to Allen multiple times a day until he secured a reward. Along with the FBI, he located the pair in Belize. “He promised me he would do everything in his power to get my daughter back, and he honored that,” Butler said. “All tears of joy. He was like, ‘I told you, we are gonna get her home.’” “I’m thankful to everybody who helped to bring me back,” Zaria said.

Local students discover new bacteria, study dwindling coral reef
Two Camdenton High School students are garnering attention at the state and national levels for their scientific endeavors. Katie Chappell was announced as the state of Missouri’s sole representative to the National Stockholm Water Prize Award national competition. Chappell will receive an all-expense paid trip to a site on the Potomac River outside of Washington, D.C. to compete against representatives from every U.S. state and protectorate for the opportunity for an all-expense paid week-long trip to Stockholm, Sweden. She collected data from the Marine Biology / IB trip to the Glovers Reef Atoll island off the coast of Belize. Her study assessed the effectiveness of a commercial fishing ban implemented by the government of Belize designed to protect its sensitive, diminishing coral reef ecosystem.

TripAdvisor Announces Travelers' Choice Hotels With Exceptional Service
TripAdvisor(R) , the world's largest travel site*, today announced the Travelers' Choice(TM) Hotels with Exceptional Service, honoring 1,762 properties in 98 regions and countries across the globe. The awards recognize top accommodations for service in the world and individual lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, South America, South Pacific, the U.K., and the U.S. Top 10 Hotels for Service in the Top 10 Hotels for Service in the U.S.: World: 2. Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins, Belize


Video: Belize Trip Hilights, 6min.
Hi lights of the 2014 UNCW Watson College of Education trip to San Pedro, Belize.

Video: Main Street Placencia, 1min.

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

Video: Victoria Tunnels, Belize, 4min.
Cool coral formations, lots of small fish, a big lobster, and a long, dark swimthrough.

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
Los Encantos, San Pedro, Belize April 2014 Aerial Views via Phantom 2 Vision

Video: caves branch belize, 2min. slideshow


Video: San Marcos Satellite Video Conference, 5min.

Video: Quick and fun Intro to san marcos, 1min.

Video: Journey to Che Chem Hah Caves, 12min.
Follow along on the rough road through the jungle in Belize as we make our way to El Mirador, our tour guide. Come with on our hike through the jungle as we make our way to Che Chem Hah caves. Learn about different plants and trees and experience what a jungle hike is like.


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