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#491089 - 05/20/14 11:45 AM Today's Belize News: May 20, 2014
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

Mayor Danny Guerrero attends conference in Dominican Republic
The Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero has returned to the country after attending the 2nd Central American and Dominican Republic Mayors' Forum. Held in the City of Santiago in the Dominican Republic from May 7th to the 9th, the event saw over 100 mayors from the region at one forum geared to discuss issues of mutual importance. Mayor Guerrero attended the event in representation of the Belize Mayor's Association. Mayors from all Central American countries, Haiti and all the municipalities in the Dominican Republic participated in the event. The main objective of the forum was to create a network for mayors from all the municipalities in the region in an effort share and integrate ideas that can help the region grow.

Raymundo Nuñez and Alexya Perez receive Jesuit Scholarships
Select graduation students of St. John's Junior College (SJCJC) have been awarded Jesuit scholarships to further their education, and two of the recipients are San Pedranos. 18-year-old Raymundo Nuñez and 19-year-old Alexya Perez will be graduating on Sunday, June 8th with their Associate's Degree, and have received scholarships due to their academic excellence. A total of eight students were awarded Jesuit scholarships;Alexya Perez, Andre Alamina, Betty Tan, Daniel Waight, Megan Martinez, Paul Sylvestre, Reneisha Banner and Raymundo Nuñez.

Family Feud results in a mother and son being shot
Police are searching for an under aged male who shot at a mother and son on Sunday, May 18th. According to San Pedro Police, at around 11AM the police Quick Response Team (QRT) responded to a report of a shooting incident in the San Pedrito Area. At the scene, police noticed two persons suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The two victims were 23-year-old Nigel Polanco and his mother, 45-year-old Aurora Gonzalez. Initial reports stated that Polanco and Gonzalez were socializing in front of their residence when they were shot. The under aged attacker fired one single gunshot, causing damage to both victims, then fled the scene. Polanco suffered injuries to his left leg while Gonzalez had injuries to her left knee and middle finger. The victims were rushed to the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for primary medical treatment. They were then transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where they received further medical treatment and are currently in a stable condition.

17-year-old shot over alleged drug territory
On Saturday, May 17th, the Police Quick Response Team (QRT) responded to a shooting incident in the San Pablo Area at around 3:15AM. According to initial reports, a 17-year-old female had been shot inside a wooden apartment building located on Marina Drive. Upon arrival police found the female suffering from multiple gunshot wound. Further investigation revealed that two gunmen had fired shots at the apartment door, then gained entrance to the apartment and shot the victim. The under aged female was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II for primary care and was later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical but stable condition via Wings of Hope. The victim sustained gunshot wounds to the right side of the abdomen and to the right side of the jaw, with apparent wounds on the right thumb.

Ambergris Today

Mayor Daniel Guerrero Attends 2nd Regional Mayors' Forum
The first regional forum of Central American and Caribbean Mayors was held on September 25 & 26 in 2012 in the city of Guatemala. At that time issues such as public safety, urban growth, youth and their fundamental role in human development were analyzed. In this Part II Forum municipal mayors and representatives of associations of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Belize and the Dominican Republic were all present. The Third Regional Forum of Mayors will be hosted in the Republic of El Salavador. Mayor Daniel Guerrero said his trip to the Dominican Republic was a fruitful one. He learned various aspects on how other municipalities of different countries function and how San Pedro can relate to them.

165-Pounder Highlights Captain Sharks Fishing Tournament
Captain Josh Reyes and his crew topped the Captain Sharks Second Annual Bill Fish Tournament that took place over the weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. With this 165-pound Marlin caught on the first day of the tournament, Captain Reyes was able to secure the first prize trophy as no other boats came close to reeling in any larger fish, except for some nice Mahi Mahi and Tuna. Congratulations to the winners and all the participants who braved the bad weather conditions during the first day of the tournament.

Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurant Celebrates with #1 Champagne in the World
It is rated the #1 champagne in the world and has made appearances in several hip-hop music videos, sometimes referenced as "Ace of Spades" in song lyrics; and now you can find it in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Bottles of Armand de Brignac were popped during the reopening on Aji Tapa Bar and Restaurant that took place on Thursday, May 15, 2014. Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurants celebrated its reopening under new ownership of Tony and Linda and with collaboration with the Beverage Division of Karl H. Menzies of Belize City, they held a wine tasting event at the restaurant. There was special presentation of wines from King Estate of Oregon, USA, and invited guests had the pleasure of tasting some rich red and white wines, included delicious tapas from Aji which included cheeses and their famous bacon wrapped dates.

Misc Belizean Sources


Belize Bird Rescue, a Belmopan based non profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases wild birds, is having their 'Night Out for the Birds' fundraiser this Friday, at the British High Commission's clubhouse. All proceeds go to them, and they can use it; they had 18 intakes last week alone, and aren't they cute?

Principal: Schools should always strive for improvement, building helps
The principal at the Sadie Vernon Technical High School in Belize City, Belize, said school administrators should strive to leave their schools better than when they first arrived. Laura Middleton will leave the high school improved during her tenure there with the help of New Horizons Belize 2014, an annual exercise that provides Belize Defence Force and U.S. military engineers the opportunity to train to deploy while also perfecting their crafts in civil engineering. The military engineers are constructing a new addition for the school. "Receiving a new building like this speaks of the vision for improvement in a school," said Middleton, who has been the principal at Sadie Vernon since 2006. "A principal should never be the leader of an institution that is the same as when they arrived." Sadie Vernon will definitely not be the same as when she arrived, as the 3,125 square foot-facility is nearing completion. The addition will include three classrooms, one science laboratory, two administrative offices and two restrooms.

Virtual Color Festival
Today Universe's Virtual Color Festival has a finalized date and place. It'll be happening on July 12th, at the Agric fair grounds. They'll have some neon paint, so you'll want to wear white. it'll by far be the biggest neon party Belize has ever seen. They have the DJ line ups for the stages on the event page.

Kim Simplis Barrow Addresses Diversity
Once again, Mrs Kim Simplis Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, has a great message for all regarding diversity and human rights. "Message from Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow in observance of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, May 17th"

Documentary Field Film School - 2014
This year's Documentary Field Film School started a few weeks ago, and the students have been having a great time learning about film in Belize. Last year, they did Bullet Tree Falls, with this year they are doing San Antonio, and the films will be shown at the next Cayo Film Festival. They had a screening and an Open Mic night at the Soul Project.

Belize Female Football Team at UNCAF
The female football selection is in Guatemala City, where they will be participating in the UNCAF Female World Cup Qualifier. They play Honduras tomorrow, Panama on Thursday, and the Guatemalan National Selection on Saturday. Go Team Belize! "Belize's Female National 'A' selection is in Guatemala City where they are now preparing to play against the Honduran National selection on Tuesday 20/5/2014 at 10:30am, Belize time."

Power interruption 7:00 am to 11:00 am Wednesday, May 21, San Pedro Town
Area in San Pedro from Elliot Subdivision in San Pedrito Area, to San Pedro Airstrip, including Spider Lily St., portion of Pescador Dr. and portion of Angel Coral St. BEL to conduct upgrade works, extend high voltage lines and replace a leaning utility pole carrying transformer.

6th Annual Flowers Bank Kriol Festival 5/31 & 6/1
Great for the kids to come out and learn more about the country

Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Presents US$5 million Grant to Government of Belize
Government of Belize Press Office

How to Buy Property in Belize
For anyone looking to buy property in Belize, this guide gives a first class starting point.

Channel 7

Two Women Shot In Weekend Violence In San Pedro
A teenaged girl was shot in San Pedro in a violent home invasion this weekend. Tonight, San Pedro Police have 2 men detained in what they believe is a drug related shooting. It happened at around 3:00 on Sunday morning in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town. A 17 year-old female and her 1 month-old baby were in their house when 2 gunmen invaded her home - by shooting through the door - then and shot her in the jaw and the abdomen. She had to be taken via air ambulance from San Pedro to Belize City for emergency treatment. She has been discharged from the KHMH. Today, the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police explained how this incident unfolded and what are the criminal undercurrents at play: Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro "On Saturday the 17th May, 2014 about 3:15 in the morning we received information of a shooting incident on Marina Drive in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town. As a result of information received the quick response team visited the area where they met a female by the name of Irma Maheia, 17 years of age. She was seen suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot injury to the mid-section of her stomach. A gunshot injury to the right side of her cheek and to the right side of her thumb. She was rushed to the polyclinic and eventually the clinic made arrangements through the Wings of Hope to fly her to Belize City to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. She was in s critical condition. Initial investigation revealed that the young lady was at home with her one month old baby and somebody knocked at her door, she got up to open the door and upon doing that they fired two shots into the door and the door was opened and then they fired two more shots. As a result she got those injuries."

16 Year Old Female Returned to Belize After Being Held In Mexico By Older Man
A 16 year old girl who was found in the custody of a 53 year Mexican man has been returned to Belize. The minor - who has not been identified - is reportedly from August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk district. She was rescued in the town of Carillo Puerto on May second when Mexican police saw a male and a female arguing in a car in a secluded area. When they went to check, they found 53 year old Mexican Miguel Manzanero Cocom with the 16 year old who blurted out that she was being physically and verbally abused, and held against her will in Mexico. She had been there for 7 months. The older man was arrested and she was taken into the custody of Mexican authorities. She was scheduled to be returned to Belize on Friday - handed over from Mexican immigration to the Belize Department of Human Services. CEO Judith Alpuche confirms this evening that the child has been put into the protective care of the department. The human trafficking unit of the police department is also investigating. At this time, she has not been returned to her family because of the questions surrounding the circumstances of her departure.

Mothers' Day Murder Weapon Found In PG
Punta Gorda police have recovered what they believe is the murder weapon in the shocking mother's day murder of 26 year old Janice Vargas. On Friday, suspect Kenner Gomez Trapp took police to the town's cemetery where he led them to a .38 pistol buried in the bushes. It was a Smith and Wesson revolver for which Trapp did not have a license. He was charged with keeping a firearm without a license. He is also the main murder suspect of Vargas's killing. But he has not been charged yet, because the file has been forwarded to the DPP - who has asked the police to do some more investigative work to fill out the case.

Business Owner Held Up, Robbed Of Major Money
On Friday night, police at precinct 3 in Belize City received a call that there had been an armed robbery at Food and Beverage on New Road in Belize City - just three blocks from the Queen Street Station. Police learned that the owner of the establishment Robert Wong had been held up at gunpoint outside his store, then taken back inside where the robbers stole what we are told is a large sum of money from him. They then escaped in his Toyota Hilux. The Hilux was found abandoned an hour later near the junction of Coney Drive and Buttonwood bay Boulevard. The robbers had fled and there was no trace of the money they had stolen. Wong was not hurt.

Court Decides: Did Hon. Castro Violate Cabinet Code Of Conduct?
Edmond Castro, the Belize Rural North Area Representative, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, got some good news today when he walked out of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the claim brought by Trevor Vernon, a resident of the Rural North constituency. Vernon was seeking to have the court declare that Castro behaved improperly as a public official when he accepted cheques for personal expenditure from the Belize Airport Authority, a statutory body which handles public funds for a very specific purpose. But, the actual case didn't even get heard because at the last adjournment 2 weeks ago, Castro's Attorney, Denys Barrow, made an application to strike out the claim at the initial stage. His contention was that the Vernon's claim violated the rules of the court because was brought in the wrong form. Barrow submitted that because of that, the Chief Justice shouldn't hear the case since the reliefs being sought couldn't be granted. Chief Justice Benjamin agreed with Barrow and at today's adjournment, the case was struck down. We tried to get a comment from Castro about his vindication at the early stage, but he was determined to remain mute on the topic. Phillip Palacio, the attorney who was pressing the case against him, was a bit more forthcoming, even though the matter didn't go anywhere. Here's what he had to say:

Testified Against UNIBAM, J'can Professor Being Pressured Out Of Job
Press Reports out of Jamaica say that a coalition of Gay Rights Activists in that country are trying to get Brendon Bain, a professor at the University of West Indies, fired from his post because he was an expert witness in the UNIBAM challenge in the Supreme Court, which happened in May of last year. Bain is the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative, and the advocates are claiming that his expert testimony in the Caleb Orozco case in Belize represents a conflict of interest, which has destroyed their trust in him. Bain, contributed expert testimony in the UNIBAM/Caleb Orozco case. In his deposition on August of 2012, Bain testified that some public health practitioners and agencies "have hypothesized that decriminalizing the practice of anal intercourse among consenting adults would lead to a reduction in the incidence rate of HIV infections among MSM". However, he said that to date, published data have not substantiated that hypothesis. He also deposed that removing the anti-sodomy laws off the books could have a negative effect on Belize's economy.

Special Envoy On Human Rights for LBGT
And, closer to home, on Saturday night Belize's LGBT community celebrated The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at the House of Culture in Belize City. Speakers included PUP Senator Lisa Shoman as well as US Embassy Chargé dAffaires Margaret Hawthorne. Deputy British High Commissioner, Grace Chun was also there. Special Envoy for Women and Children was there by tele-presence, delivering a prepared message - here's a snippet of what she said about human rights:.. Kim Barrow - Special Envoy for Women and Children "Hate crimes and hate speech against the LGBT community continue to rear its ugly head and we have seen cases in Belize where they have been physically attacked or subjected to insults without provocation. No one deserves the in-humane treatment that many LGBT persons suffer. They are often in fear, not only for their physical safety but for their lives and that is no way to live."

5 Million USD From Taiwan For Infrastructure
Venezuela's Petrocaribe fund may be a deep source of spending for capital projects, but for budget support, the Barrow Administration, like those that preceded it, continue to turn to the Taiwanese. Government has tapped Taipei for 20 million dollars in budgetary support in this fiscal year. And, so, today in Belmopan, Taiwanese Ambassador David Wu, presented a cheque for $5 million US Dollars to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dean Barrow. According to a press release, the cheque is a "grant from Taiwan for the year 2014 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program." The purpose of the grant is very general, it is to quote, "help in the development of Belize." Today at the handing over the Taiwanese Ambassador explained that it is for infrastructural support:

MFA: No One Requesting Ebanks
Christian Floyd Ebanks remains under remand at the Hattieivlle Prison on a gun possession charge. But still, no state has made a request for his extradition. And so, foreseeably, Ebanks who is a Belizean citizen could apply for bail after the mandatory 15 days of detention. As we have reported, news reports from Ecuador in 2012 list him among the most wanted in one state, where he allegedly committed a murder. And while there are reports that he is still wanted in Ecuador, this evening the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that nothing has come to them officially. Ebanks is very well known in Belize where he owned and operated a business in Orange Walk called Sky Wireless for three years. He was also well known in the PUP where he was connected to former candidate Cayo West Candidate Oscar Sabido. And while PUP sources told us he was Sabido's campaign manager going into the 2012 election, Sabido today called us to say he cut all ties with Ebanks in mid 2011, before he became standard bearer. He says that Ebanks had campaigned with him in Benque Viejo - but because of his aggressive and glib style Sabido stopped it short. Ebanks told political operators in the PUP that he had been actively involved in national campaigns in Ecuador.

Prison Officer Played Possum To Smuggle Weed Into Jail
29 year old prison officer Ajani Smith, who tried to smuggle 54.6 grams of cannabis into the jail, has to pay a 10 thousand dollar fine after he was caught in the act. On August 25, 2013, Smith was working at the prison gate when he told a fellow officer that he was in pain from an injury to his leg and he wanted to go to the medic. He made his way limping to the main building of the prison. He thought that because he was claiming to be in pain, the mandatory search would have been bypassed. Well, that didn't happen, and upon his arrival he was told that as per procedure, he would be searched. The officer found the weed in a black plastic bag that was taped around his leg and was inside the leg of his pants. Smith was handed over to the police at Hattieville where he was charged. Today at the adjournment of his case, he decide to change his plea from not guilty to guilty, and Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced him to pay a fine of $10,000. He must pay the entire amount by October 31, or he will serve 3 years in the prison he was once guarding.

Can't Stop The Hustle: Rosewood
Rosewood, it seems, you can burn it, ban it, list it under CITES (SITE-EASE)...do what you like, but the movement of the prized hardwood just doesn't stop. Today 7News was alerted to two 40 foot containers stored on the compound of Belize Engineering which is adjacent to the customs building in Belize City. They are full of Rosewood - reportedly bound for China. The agent we are told is the same Chinese business-man who has been moving the lion's share of Rosewood exports from Belize over the past few years. In this case, the Forestry Department confirms that it did authorize the movement of the Rosewood last week Friday form Punta Gorda Town. Now, if you're scratching your head, saying, "Hasn't rosewood extraction end exportation been put to an end?" We were too...but that only covers newly cut Rosewood. These two containers, according to the Forestry Department is pre-amnesty. Chief Forrest Officer Wilbur Sabido told us via text that it belongs to a private estate landowner who had that material from between 2012 and 2013. The volume of pre-amnesty rosewood that just seems to be lying around seems virtually inexhaustible.

Toledo: ITVET Instructors Angry With Boss
"No confidence" - that's what the teaching staff at ITVET Toledo say they have in their manager Allen Genus. The staff have put out a 22 point list of grievances, and a signed petition for his removal. They say that the manager doesn't have a teaching license, or any formal training in education, and they say allege that he has been mismanaging the institution. They've put together a 31 page complaint, which has been submitted to the Ministry of Education. We could not get comment from the Ministry of Education this evening - but we'll keep following the story..

Harvest For Kids Gets Corporate Support
The Harvest for Kids programme has done many amazing things, like putting 15 combines into a 20 acre corn field all at once. This year they are going for rice, not corn - and Founder of Harvest For Kids Alex Perez explained how you can help with your everyday shopping:.. Alex Perez, Founder of Harvest For Kids "The partnership is that they put the Harvest for Kids logo in their packaging, so when people buy the rice, they now get the opportunity to give back to the kids. A percentage of each rice bag goes, a portion goes to the kids. The price of the rice doesn't go up, it remains the same price; it's just taking a portion of it to send to kids especially for the school programs and the summer camps that we have that are coming very soon." "The more people buy the Circle R rice, the more commission the kids get. It's not much, but in the long run the more Circle R rice people consume in Belize, the more we will receive for our kids. We are hoping that other companies would see what Circle R did and we can hopefully have other companies doing the same."

KREM To Court For Sales Tax Arrears
Last week, we told you about the Belize Times being taken to court for Sales Tax arrears; today it was another media house: KREM TV. The Media house is in trouble with the General Sales Tax Department which says that the company owes them $126,000 thousand dollars. KREM TV was summoned by General Sales Tax to appear today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton in respect to arrears from the period June 2010 to September 2013. KREM's attorney, Yohhanseh Cave appeared and asked for an adjournment. It was granted and the case was adjourned until June 18.

Shalini Is The Champion again
The Women's cross country was held on Sunday morning. It started in Cayo and ended at Leslie's imports at mile 1 on the western highway - here's how the finish looked:.. Reporter "This is number five. Does it feel as sweet as 1, 2, 3 and 4." Shalini Zabaneh - 1St Place, Women's Cross Country "All victories are sweet, sweet, sweet." Patricia Chavarria - 2nd Place, Women's Cross Country "It feel really great because all the previous races I wasn't doing my best and today I said I am going to put everything out and that's what I did and it feels really good." Reporter "You certainly look the superior rider out in the hills from the first attack that you made which separated the peloton. You seem to cause some separation every time you got onto one of the big hills out there and I am sure that that gave you some satisfaction knowing that you were challenging some the bog riders in today's race: Shalini and Kaya. How does it feel to know that you have stepped up your game now and you will from now on be considered one of the favorites in races like this?"


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#491090 - 05/20/14 11:45 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 20, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Tensions boiling over between Government and BGYEA
Relations between the government and BGYEA have not always been cozy.  In fact, the two have been mostly at odds over a development at the Harmonyville community on the George [...]

G.O.B. says no to agriculture in Harmonyville buffer zone
Following our visit to Harmonyville to get a firsthand understanding of the lay of the land, News Five caught up with Commissioner of Lands and Surveys Wilbert Vallejos.  He explained [...]

UWI Professor under fire for testifying in UNIBAM case
A judgment has not been delivered in the case of Caleb Orosco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) versus the Attorney General of Belize, supported by various church groups. [...]

Court decides in favor of Minister of State Castro
A claim against Minister of State Edmond Castro was struck out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning. The matter had been before the court since February 2014, when Belize [...]

Belize City resident drowns on his birthday
A rescue team is scouring the Belize River Valley looking for the body of a resident of Isabella Bank. On Sunday, what should have been a memorable occasion ended in [...]

2 women are injured in separate shootings in San Pedro
Three persons, including two women, were injured in two separate shootings over the weekend in San Pedro where crime is spiking. The first incident occurred after three on Saturday morning [...]

Prison guard convicted for drug trafficking in prison
A prison officer was today convicted of drug trafficking inside his work place which is the Belize Central Prison.  Ajani Smith Senior was caught with fifty-four grams of marijuana strapped [...]

2 men charged for West Landivar burglary
Two men, one believed to be the mastermind behind a home burglary in the West Landivar area of Belize City, were before the court today to answer to separate charges. [...]

Lands Commissioner says Unitedville residents will not be moved
Earlier you heard about the ongoing land disputes in Harmonyville. That’s one of the most recent because there have been countless cases. Last week, News Five broke the story of [...]

Commissioner says corruption is a plague in the lands department
While this dispute has the appearance of being resolved, it points to gross negligence in the Lands Department. Those are the words of Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos, who went [...]

Couple left homeless after mid-afternoon blaze destroys their house
A mid-afternoon fire at the corners of Lawrence Avenue and Jones Street has left a Belize City couple homeless.  Sometime after one o’clock, the attention of residents was drawn to [...]

Cotton Tree man stabbed 6 times by 2 brothers
Belmopan police continue their search for one of two men believed to be involved in a stabbing on Friday morning in the village of Cotton Tree. Twenty-nine year old Kurt [...]

Ministry confirms Valley of Peace crops were destroyed by herbicide
The destruction of a sprawling acreage of farmland in Valley of Peace by crop-dusting in mid-March has resulted in a significant loss for growers in that community.  While it was [...]

SIRDI opens its headquarters up north
Today, hundreds of cane-farmers and sugar industry stakeholders joined dignitaries and government officials to officially open SIRDI’s news headquarters. The Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute was created in 2009, [...]

SIRDI’s greatest challenge is to adapt new, innovative best practices
The challenges to the industry have been many, natural and man-made. But Osorio says that in just five years SIRDI has made giant strides in the industry. Perhaps the greatest [...]

A $10 Million cheque from Taiwan
One of the country’s most generous partners is the government of Taiwan. This morning in Belmopan, Ambassador David Wu presented a cheque in the sum of five million U.S. dollars [...]

James Adderley has the stats on sports
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 14 in the NEBL brought regular season play to a close with 3 teams vying for the remaining [...]

LOVE FM

Prison Officer Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking
29-year-old, Ajani Smith, a prison officer who attempted to smuggle cannabis into Belize Central Prison by faking an injury to his leg, was fined ten thousand dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of drug trafficking. Smith was given until October 31 to pay, in default, he will serve three years in prison. The bust occurred on August 25, 2013 when Smith was working at the front gate of the prison and told a fellow officer that he was in pain from an injury to his leg and that he wanted to see the medic. Smith went limping towards the main building of the prison and when he arrived there he was told that a search would be conducted on him. The search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 54.6 grams of cannabis that was taped around his leg and was inside the foot of his pants. As a result, the police in Hattieville were contacted and upon their arrival at the prison, Smith and the bag of cannabis were handed over to them.

PlusTV

Mexican Man Arrested for Trafficking of 16 Year old Belizean Girl
Earlier this month, we reported to you that a 16 year old Belizean female minor was found in Carillo Puerto, Mexico in the company of a 53 year old Mexican man identified as Miguel Angel Manzanero Cocom. Today we have reports that the female minor, identified only as D.M.G originally...

17 year old Girl Shot Multiple Times in San Pedro
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye has been a hotbed of violence over the past few weeks. On Saturday there was another shooting incident on the island. It occurred in the San Pablo Area of San Pedro Town. 17-year-old Irma Mejia was shot the right side of her abdomen, to...

More Violence on La Isla Bonita; Mother and Son Shot
More violence was reported on La Isla Bonita. On Sunday night, in the San Pedrito Area of San Pedro Town, 23-year-old Nigel Polanco was shot to his left leg and his mother 45-year-old Aurora Gonzalez was shot to her left knee and left middle finger. According to police, Polanco...

Trapp Gomez Charged for Gun Possession; Charges of Murder Expected
On Friday May 16, police arrested and charged 20-year-old Kenner Gomez Trapp of Oriole Street Punta Gorda Town after they found in his possession a point 38 Revolver. Trapp was wanted by police for questioning in the shooting death of Janice Vargas, the young mother who was shot at...

Cotton Tree Man Stabbed at Bus Stop
29-year-old Kurt Hyde, a Belizean construction worker of Cotton Tree Village, was at this bus stop in Cotton Tree Village on Friday morning waiting on the bus, when he was approached by two men of Cotton Tree Village who took out a knife and stabbed him several times. Officer...

Professional Witness in Orozco Case is Discriminated Against
Those who oppose the homosexual agenda and lifestyle, even with the use of health statistics, around the world, find themselves targeted and bullied by homosexual advocacy groups. Here’s a report on how UNIBAM is trying to get another professional fired because his professional opinion was used as testimony. Bullying...

15 Year old Escaped Prisoner Recaptured
Earlier this month we told you about the two prisoners who escaped from Independence police on Mother’s Day. 26-year-old Dale Augustine of Seine Bight and a 15 year old minor of Bella Vista were in the police holding cell in that village when they somehow managed to knock the...

Prison Officer Fined for Attempted Weed Smuggling to Prison
29 year old Ajani Smith, a prison officer, pleaded guilty today to drug trafficking charges before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. But because he is a first-time offender, he was spared mandatory jail time and fined $10,000. Smith was working at the Central Prison’s front gate on August 25, 2013, when...

BGYEA Says They WILL Plant Corn in Buffer Zone
Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association known as BGYEA had big plans to utilize the 29 acre buffer zone which separates Harmonyville from the George Price Highway. The group said they were going to plant corn in order to generate to build streets in Harmonyville; streets that BGYEA says the...

Cancer Walk for Awareness
The Belmopan Cancer Society held its Cancer walk this past Saturday. A great turnout of supporters of those who are in battle with the disease and those who are rallying for a cure, participated in the event. The walk started from Camalote Village and ended in Belmopan. Besides creating...

The Reporter

EDITORIAL
Let us pause today to say “thank you” to the United States for her gift of 38 new vehicles to our Police Department to help us fight crime. Most of these vehicles are Ford pick-up trucks, but there are a number of Polaris all-terrain vehicles in the batch. These will […]

Patrick Jones

PG police believe they have found the firearm used to kill Janice Vargas
A Punta Gorda man who was wanted by police to assist in the investigation of the Mother’s Day murder of Juanita Vargas now stands criminally charged. 21 year old Kenner Trapp was charged today for the crime of keeping a firearm without a gun license. Channel 7 News reported this evening that Trap is now the main suspect in the murder of 26 year old Janice Vargas who was found mortally wounded inside the Jamaica Bar in the morning of Sunday, May 11. She died a couple hours later while enroute to the Southern Regional hospital for medical treatment. The Channel 7 News report said that on Friday, Trapp took PG police to the town’s cemetery where they found a .38 Smith & Wesson brand revolver buried in the bushes.

Helping inner city youths gain life experiences
The innovative program called Harvest for Kids which is the brainchild of the Belize Camping Experience keeps is making raves among the youths. The hit program’s purpose is to provide outreach to at risk Belize City children and young people by giving them an opportunity to get out of crime-ridden communities and visit farms around the country. The objective of the intervention is such that they get to see how the farming communities live and how peaceful living outside of the city can be. But this year, program organizers plan on getting kids from Orange Walk engaged in the program. That is according to the group’s new recruit Josie Gongora. On Saturday, a number of children from the City were taken on a field trip in Blue Creek village to see the crop that will directly benefit them through the children’s programs they attend.

Sisters knocked off their bicycle in Corozal
Two students from the Skeleton Town area of Corozal were knocked down as they double-rode a bicycle over the weekend. Around 6:30 pm on Saturday, May 17, fourteen year old Vianney Pott and 11 year old Daniela Pott were sent to the neighbourhood store by their mother but instead of returning straight home after making their purchase, went to a friend’s house which is across the Phillip Goldson Highway. On their way home, the girls were knocked off the bicycle by a truck as they attempted to cross the highway. Vianney Pott received injuries to her face, shoulder and leg, while Daniela Pott complained of pain to her body.

Taiwan gives development aid to BelizeThe government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has gifted the government of Belizethe sum of US$5 million in development assistance. A cheque-handing over ceremony was held this afternoon in Belmopan during which the Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow received the grant from Taiwan’s ambassador to Belize David Wu. According to a government press release, “the purpose of the grant is to help in the development of Belize” and will be used “to cover a part of the expenditures on key infrastructure projects, including the BElize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase Two, the extendion of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District and for he new crossing of the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.”

Edmond Castro misconduct case struck out
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning struck out the matter of Trevor Vernon vs. Minister of State for Transport Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro. Vernon was trying to call his area representative to account for what he believes are violations of the Code of Conduct in the Constitution. Despite the objections of his attorney, Philip Palacio, to the “technical” objections brought by the other side, the Chief Justice agreed that the case was not properly brought under the Civil Procedure Rules of the Court and lacked a reasonable chance of succeeding. Palacio conceded his disappointment but said that the matter remains largely unaddressed and it will be up to his client to decide whether to continue pursuing the matter in court or by other means.

Prison officer fined for attempted weed smuggling to prison
29 year old Ajani Smith, a prison officer, pleaded guilty today to drug trafficking charges before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. But because he is a first-time offender, he was spared mandatory jail time and fined $10,000. Smith was working at the Central Prison’s front gate on August 25, 2013, when he complained of pain in his leg and said he needed to see a medic. He limped toward the office but the officer he spoke to already suspected him and he was told that a search would be conducted. In the search the officer uncovered a black plastic bag taped around his leg, inside his pants, containing 54.6 grams of suspected cannabis. Smith was immediately detained and charged. Smith changed his plea from not guilty before trial began today and asked the Magistrate to be lenient as he is the sole provider for his family.

Two charged for theft and handling stolen jewelry
Police have arrested and charged 25 year old construction worker Jamil Meighan of Ivor Street and 31 year old laborer Wilfred Stanley of Neal Pen Road for burglary and handling stolen goods respectively. They are respectively accused of breaking into the home of 29-year-old Janelle Reyes at Freshman Lane in West Landivar between April 9 and 12, stealing over $10,000 in assorted jewelry, and pawning it at several pawn shop establishments in Belize City. According to police, Reyes said the burglars took an assortment of earrings, chains, medals, bracelets, and pendants, both silver and gold, from her bedroom.

Annual Guadalupe Procession held in Belize City
were out in numbers on Sunday evening for the Annual Guadalupe Procession to raise prayers to the saint. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of the Americas and Mexico and it is traditional to pray to her for protection against natural disasters, particularly hurricanes. The hurricane season begins in less than two weeks on June 1 and concludes on November 30. The procession carried on through the principal streets of Belize City after services at Holy Redeemer Cathedral.

Communal Land Rights discussed in Big Falls village
The village of Big Falls in the Toledo district has indicated that it wants to opt out of a communal land case brought to the Supreme Court by Maya villages of the Toledo district in 2008. At a meeting on Sunday afternoon, strong objections were raised by villagers of Big Falls to the inclusion of their community in the claim, allegedly without their consent, because there was no prior consultation. The meeting was called by the chairman of the village Roberto Coh for the expressed objective of finding out what is Communal Land Rights and what are the processes involved.

Police recapture escaped teenage boy
Police say that they have recaptured a 15 year old boy who had escaped from the holding cell at the Independence Police station earlier this month. According to the Police Press Officer, the teenage boy was arrested and charged on Saturday for the crime of escape from lawful custody and damage to property. Additionally, police have arrested and charged 18 year old Bobby Garcia, a resident of Bella Vista village for the crime of harboring a criminal. The 15 year old boy and another man, Dale Augustine, busted out of the holding cell at the Independence Police Station on Saturday, May 10. Augustine was recaptured two days later by Placencia police and returned to lawful custody in Independence village.

Blogs

Casa de Paradiso, Ambergris Caye: A Night at A Gorgeous Rental House in A Gorgeous Location
Just a few weeks ago, I received a note from a house owner in the beautiful Tres Cocos area of Ambergris Caye. She rents her house out by the weekend or by the week and would like to advertise on my site. Okay, I thought…perfect. This is, after all, my job & how I keep myself fed and clothed. But in all my travelling both in Belize or anywhere else, I had never done a house rental. I've always stayed in B&Bs or hotels so to make sure I could properly understand what I was advertising (critical you see), I was going to have to stay the night. And HOLY CRAP. If you are travelling with a group or with your extended family or just another couple, let me show you this place. Because both the area and the home itself knocked my socks off. What a crazy fun week you could have at this spot, Casa Paradiso. The home is located just 1.5 miles north of the bridge. A very easy ride to and from town by bike or golf cart or Coastal Express water taxi. That's the route I went and we were the first stop…right at the Palapa Bar.

Belize Butterflies on the Road: Chaa Creek visits school
As part of our commitment at The Lodge at Chaa Creek is to work with our local communities in building awareness and educating our local people on conservation and preservation of our natural environment. And in that respect, as part of our community outreach program, today saw our “Butterfly on the Road” Program when two of our Naturalist Guides packed up their equipment and visited the Sacred Heart Primary School in San Ignacio Town. A total of 110 local students in the infant division had the opportunity to learn more about one of the most magnificent butterflies in Belize, the “Blue Morpho” or the Morpho Peleides, and butterflies in general, along with the significant roles that butterflies play in our eco-system. The 110 boys and girls were all thrilled to have had this great learning experience, which gave them the opportunity to learn the complete life cycle of a butterfly. They also learned the importance of butterflies in our environment; how they contribute and how they adapt to the environment. Our naturalist guides also thought them about what humans can do to protect butterflies in our environment.

Banana Oat Smoothie
On a hot Summer's day a smoothie is just the thing to hit the spot. This is a healthy alternative to the usual sugar laden cool libations that we normally consume. Chock full of healthy things like oat flakes and yogurt, this drink is sure to please.

Twenty Essential Items Every DIY Travel First Aid Kit Must Have
Nobody plans for cuts, scrapes, or itchy rashes while on vacation. But if that slip on a gravel road leaves you with a cut up knee, or that walk through poison ivy has you frantically itching your leg, are you prepared? Or would you need to seek out the nearest store for bandages or anti-itch cream? Don’t lose precious vacation time in search of the local pharmacy! Bring your own first aid kit instead. D0-It-Yourself (DIY) travel first aid kits are easy to make and easy to bring. You probably already have most of the essential items at home. The items you don’t have can be purchased at your local pharmacy, Target, Walmart, or other stores.

International Sources

Belize has the 3rd highest rate of alcoholism in Latin America and the Caribbean
The beer-loving Central American country of Costa Rica had the fourth highest rate of alcohol dependence in the region, though it was not significantly higher than the regional average. The World Health Organization (WHO) published a worldwide study (PDF) on alcohol consumption and its effects last Monday. WHO measured consumption rates, favorite types of alcohol, and side effects such as addiction, road accidents and liver cirrhosis. Perú reported the highest rate of alcoholism, at 4.9 percent of its population, followed by Colombia and Belize. Costa Rica reported a rate of 3.1 percent, barely edging out 27 other countries in the region who reported rates between 2.9 percent and 2.5 percent. For comparison, the U.S. had a rate of 4.7 percent.

Throw me a bone...fish
When I began my career in fly fishing I never considered traveling to far off places. The thought of traveling to far off places or even getting on a plane was not realistic for me. I have said before the notion of fishing in those now familiar places were a child’s dreams and nothing more. I had someone suggest to me that I might host a trip to one of these places to lower the cost of my travel or even get it paid for. So that’s what I decided to do, host a trip. However, now I had to make a decision on where to go. I had fished in saltwater as a kid, dad took me to Florida to reef fish, and I loved it. The most exotic thing I could think of was fly fishing in saltwater and specifically for Bonefish. It was a fish I had seen Larry Dahlberg fish for, and I thought that would be a fish I would really like to catch. So after a little research I decided on Belize and specifically Turneffe Island.

Videos

Video: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan visits Belize, 3min.

Video: Meet the family! U.S. Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno, 20sec.
Meet the new U.S. Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno and his family!

Video: The Ozone Layer, Department of the Environment-DOE,Belize, 3min.

Video: Ewaste Chemicals, Department of the Environment-DOE,Belize, 2min.

Video: Organic Farming, Department of the Environment,Belize, 2min.

Video: BELIZE CAMALOTE VILLAGE, 5min.

Video: BELIZE CAMALOTE VILLAGE ,THE JOURNEY,1, 11min.

Video: BELIZE CAMALOTE VILLAGE ,THE JOURNEY,2, 2min.

Video: BELIZE CAMALOTE VILLAGE ,THE JOURNEY,3, 1min.

Video: Whale Shark - Belize, 2min.

Video: Popeye's Beach Resort, 1min.
Popeye's Beach Resort sits on the beach front of Caye Caulker and offer sea front accommodation, for the perfect tropical vacation getaway. Our rooms, cabanas and suites are comfortable and affordable. Wake up in the morning to the sounds of the ocean as it crashes against the shore or enjoy a warm cup of coffee from your balcony while enjoying the beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea. You do not need to walk far to find that perfect spot to get a tan. Due to our convenient location our guest just need to walk couple steps from their room to the beach side to get their tan on.

Video: Belize - San Ignacio area, 5min.

Video: Whale Shark in Belize, 1min.
Crossing off swimming with Whale Sharks from my bucket list for the second time. This one was a 25 footer I'm told.

Video: Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min.

Video: Joseph Stamp - My Life, 35min.
"My Father and Mother may abandon me, but the Lord will take care of me..."Joseph Stamp tells us about his life as a child growing up on the streets of Belize and explains that though many did not care for him The Lord, full of grace and love never left him.

Video: The friendly bull shark guides of Belize, 1min.
As we were finishing our last dive, we noticed a new guide had shown up. Just hanging out, making sure we got back on the boat safely, by, you know, circling us for a few minutes.

Video: The Jungle Belize, 4min.
Cayo District Belize Carocol Mayan Ruins

Video: Aggressor Dancer Belize 2012, 5min.


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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!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
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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