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#491214 - 05/22/14 12:01 PM Today's Belize News: May 22, 2014
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Aji Tapas Bar and Restaurant celebrates Grand Re-opening with World Class Champagne
When it comes to an evening of elegance, fine food and wines- Aji Tapas is an excellent choice. Located in northern Ambergris Caye, Aji Tapas provides guests with appetizing cuisine and a fine assortment of beverages, including the latest edition of fine wines and the world class champagne “Armand de Brignac,” presented at the grand re-opening of the establishment on Thursday May 15th. The moonlit evening included several tastings of fruity white and rich-oaky red wines from the King Estate winery of Oregon, USA and The Pendroncelli winery of Sonoma, California USA. These selections delighted guests with their rich flavors, but the highly anticipated star of the night was the champagne making headlines worldwide: “Armand de Brignac.” Popularly known as “Ace of Spades,” it is both produced and bottled by the Cattier family in Chigny les Roses, a village in Champagne, France.

EU Ambassador HE Paola Amadei on working trip to San Pedro
The European Union Ambassador to the Caribbean, Her Excellency (HE) Paola Amadei was on a working visit to Ambergris Caye. Her stop on the island is part of her one week working tour in Belize, where she is visiting dengue and malaria hotspots within the country. During her visit to the island, Amadei met with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Administration of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II. “The project will run up until 2015, and it is aimed to increasing resources such as vehicles and foggers, while strengthening the technical staff to better respond to these spontaneous outbreaks. Another aspect is to increase the national campaign to educate people on ways to protect themselves from dengue and malaria, and even now, the chikungunya disease that has been introduced and is present in 15 islands in the Caribbean. It is important for the general citizenry to be a part of the preventative initiative of these water-borne diseases. Simple things can help prevent these diseases, but our citizenry need to be educated in ways they can play a role.”

Ambergris Today

Republic of China (Taiwan) Presents US$5 million Grant to Government of Belize
Today in Belmopan, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of US$5 million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Belize. The cheque is the grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize for the year 2014 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between the two countries. The purpose of the grant is to help in the development of Belize.

Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet Spotted Filming in Ambergris Caye
Their flags waving onboard the Seaduced by Belize catamaran at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve last week gave them away. Both the Discovery Channel and Animal Plant’s flags were flown onboard the catamaran as they filmed at the marine reserve. As Belize’s popularity keeps growing, we keep on seeing a huge presence of television networks as they film, take pictures and make documentaries in and around the country of Belize. Hollywood celebrities are being spotted on a regular basis and seeing a camera crew on the streets is nothing new anymore. Just this past week the Huff Post Travel section listed Ambergris Caye, Belize as one of the “15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous”. The post mentions that Belize is set to become Central America’s newest hotspot, making Ambergris Caye its crowning destination.

Misc Belizean Sources

EU AMBASSADOR VISITS SAN PEDRO (16 photos)
The European Union Ambassador to the Caribbean, Her Excellency (HE) Paola Amadei was on a working visit to Ambergris Caye. Her stop on the island is part of her one week working tour in Belize, where she is visiting dengue and malaria hotspots within the country. During her visit to the island, Amadei met with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Administration of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II.

Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia Belize Earns Fodor’s Choice Award
Fodor’s Travel, one of the world’s leading providers of travel information has bestowed the prestigious “Fodor’s Choice Award” for the best hotel in southern Belize to Chabil Mar, the only guest exclusive resort in Placencia Belize. The award recognizes Chabil Mar as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value. Chabil Mar means “beautiful sea” in Ket’chi Maya and is located along the 26-mile-long beautiful Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. The luxury resort sits between an indigenous Garinagu settlement and the former Creole fishing village of Placencia.

Channel 7

Shot Fired, Man Down At Corner Dean
There was a shooting in the city just twenty minutes ago. First off, our footage is just back from the scene, so if you are sensitive to graphic images you might want to change the channel. It happened on at the corner of Dean Street and East Canal, which is just down the street from our Channel 7 studio. 7News got there just minutes after while the man who was riding a bicycle was writhing on the pavement. According to reports he is an elderly man who was carrying bags. A robber or robbers wanted to rob him of those bags, and they shot him in the process. After they took the bags and he fell to the ground they searched him for money – as he lay sprawled on the street. Police rushed him to the hospital ten minutes after the shooting – he was still conscious. We'll have more on this in tomorrow's newscast.

Apparent Murder In Tiny Santana Village, First In Decades
If you're not familiar with the old Northern Highway, then you probably don't know Santana Village. But the community of about 500 is making headlines tonight because of a possible homicide, the first one there in five decades or more. 57 year-old Maurice Dennis Young, better known as "Tuko" was last seen on Monday, and when his body was discovered yesterday, it caused an upheaval in village. Persons who have viewed the body tell us that there are some peculiar signs which suggest violence to them, but the official confirmation on his cause of death is still pending. Our news team was there at the on-site autopsy this morning, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Family members and friends of 57 year-old Maurice Young could only look on as police officers and Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an on-site autopsy of his body. They agonized about the cause of his death for hours. He was last seen by his friends early this week, and when he was discovered yesterday, there were signs that he had been dead for at least 2 days.

Mayor Meets PM to Talk About The Future... of Streets?
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley had a meeting today with Prime Minister Dean Barrow this afternoon at his Coney Drive Office. Reports say that it was to discuss Bradley's political future with the UDP. But Bradley denies that. After the meeting he told us it was all about streets. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "The Prime Minister and I met and we had a discussion, and the primary purpose of the meeting was actually to update him in relation to where we are with the infrastructure project. Of course, we had indicated that the Prime Minister generously gave the city an additional 10 million dollars in relation to continuing the concreting of streets, and I periodically have to update the Prime Minister in exactly where we are with those works. We had originally gotten 3 million dollars, and we had commence works on 8 of those streets including Buttonwood Bay - which is almost finished, Seashore Drive, Independence Drive, Regent Street West - which is fully completed - the continuation of Dean Street, the entire length of Princess Margaret Drive, and Youth for the Future Boulevard. And what we aim to do in the coming future, of course - it's all up to the Prime Minister - is to do a second wave, so that we can continue on an additional amount of streets. He had asked that I put together a second wave, similar to what we did when we launched this first wave of these 8 streets to get together invoices, do the tendering, do the scope of works, and to identify recommended areas to him so that he could make a determination in terms of where we would proceed. We're much more comprehensive in our approach. We're much broaded in our scope of works, and I believe that at the end of this term in office, the City Council will be in a position where it can comfortably manage the infrastructure problems of Belize City. Of course, people will continue to live on streets that have potholes, and continue to live on streets that are flooded, but we believe that within this last 2 and half years, substantial inroads have been made primarily in the area of infrastructure."

DPP Displeased With 3 Months For Attempted Murder
In December of 2001, Wilbert Cuellar was the beneficiary of the rarest thing: a stroke of judicial generosity. He was convicted of the attempted murder of Josue Chay, but trial judge Justice Dennis Hannomansingh said it was unjust. So he invoked what's called "inherent jurisdiction" to set Cuellar free without a day served behind bars. Well, in March the DPP challenged it in the court of appeal where the judges ordered that Hannomansingh pass an appropriate sentence. So today the matter went back to the Northern Session of the Supreme Court, where Hannomansingh passed what he felt was an appropriate sentence: he sentenced Cuellar to three months – which is the time between when the Court of Appeal made the order, and the day on which it went to court. But the DPP says she is compelled to appeal a sentence of 3 months for an attempt to murder. Wilbert Cuellar allegedly picked up a cement brick to knock out Chay so that Darwin Diaz could chop him repeatedly. Diaz was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

More Immigration Fraud From Queen Pin's Lair
Since we reported on 46 year-old nationality documents fixer Marleny Castellanos last week, the Immigration Department has been flooded with persons coming forward to say they got their documents through her thinking they were legit. Today, 7 of them were taken to court. They are Honduran Jenny Arita, Guatemalans Juana Lopez, Rudy Alexander Juarez, Mario Anibal Reymundo, Luis Flores, and Salvadorans Juan Emilio Lobos and Freddy Antonio Lobos were all arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for using documents they were not entitled to for fraudulent nationality certificates that Marleny Castellanos allegedly arranged for them. All 7, except Juana Lopez, were also arraigned for another count of using documents they were not entitled to because Marleny Castellanos also assisted them in getting fake birth certificates.

Entire Family Arrested, Man Pleads Guilty
33 year-old Keyon Cleland is spending his first night of a 5 year sentence after he pleaded guilty to firearm and drug trafficking charges. The Gang Suppression Unit searched his North Creek Road address this morning and he was present along with 42 year-old Daphne Grant and a 13 year-old minor. Inside the house, they found a 9 millimeter pistol, an extended magazine and 12 grams of cannabis. Due to the illegal items, they were all charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keep unlicensed ammunition, drug trafficking. They were all arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where Cleland took the blame for the illegal items by pleading guilty. Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced him to 5 years for the firearm, 5 years for the ammunition, and $10,000 dollars for the drug trafficking offence.

Teenager Shot, By His Accomplice?
A 17 year-old from Ladyville was shot yesterday morning – allegedly by his own accomplice in a robbery. Police say that at around 6:30 a.m., the minor was hanging out with his friend on the Ladyville Basketball Court. That's when they decided to rob an 18 year-old male at gunpoint of $150 cash and a mountain bike. They tried to corner him, but the victim slapped the gun away, causing it to go off, shooting the 17 year-old minor. Still, they did manage to get away with the money and the bike, but police tracked them down because they had to go to the KHMH to treat the injury. The Rural Executive Officer in charge of Ladyville Police explained more: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "We did have a report, and we are working on that report. We know tha somebody ended up in the hospital with a possible gunshot injury, and it may have been caused by persons known to him. He is in recovery; we are in the process of locating another person who will assist us with our investigation, and our exhaustive efforts have yielded nothing as yet with regards to the other person being brought into custody, however, it's not a process that we've abandoned."

Malibu Beach Burns In Griga
There was a fire in Dangriga just after midnight on Monday. A popular restaurant and club was completely destroyed. Now, it had a thatch roof, so you can say these things happen. But yesterday in Dangriga the club and property owners told us this was no accident; it was arson. Here's the story:.. The club is valued at eighty thousand dollars and it was not insured. The Fire Department says it is still investigating and has reached no conclusion yet.

PUP Pushes For New Gun Law
In February, Belize's gun laws were all in the news. COLA and the PUP alleged that they were unjust and unevenly applied. The COLA thing has cooled off, but the PUP says it hasn't given up on trying to change the laws. The PUP's legal team wrote to the Minister of National Security with their proposed amendments on February 12th. At the time Minister Saldivar said in the house that government had commenced a review of the laws quote, "to find some fair and less draconian laws." That was February and it sounded good because everyone seemed to be moving in the same direction - towards less stringent gun laws. But the PUP says that they haven't heard back from Government and so now the opposition is going to try and take their own Firearms Amendment Bill to the House of Representatives. The party's legal advisor hosted a press conference today to explain how and why:… Anthony Sylvestre - Legal Advisor, PUP "Given the Government's obvious unwillingness to make the necessary amendments to the Firearms laws, it is the Opposition's imperative to therefore act to have these laws removed to end the pain, suffering, injustice, and hardship caused daily to our people when they are carted off to prison at least 2 weeks for no good reason. Therefore, in furtherance and fulfilment of its duty, the PUP will move in the National Assemble at the next sitting of the House or the Senate a motion for leave to introduce a bill for an act to amend the Firearms Act, and a motion for leave to introduce an Act to amend the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act."

SATIIM Says GOB Sympathetic Sunday Wood Inconsequential
Last night, we told you about the stand SATIIM and the Mayan Buffer Communities are taking on US Capital Energy – the oil company which is in their back yard. It's basically a wait and see approach until they go back to court for an injunction against the oil company next month. But while they are waiting and seeing, they say Government and US Capital are dividing and conquering – or trying to at least. As we've shown you, government has been active in the area – even holding a meeting in Sunday Wood attended by two ministers and top technocrats. Ch'oc commented on it yesterday: Gregory Ch'oc - Executive Director, SATIIM "Since Madam Justice Arana issued her ruling, there's been a flurry of activities, obviously sanctioned by the Government of Belize, US Capital Energy, whose aim is to undermine the Unity in the Maya Community, to pit one group against the other." Alfonso Cal - President, Toledo Alcalde Association "But as we notice today, like our community has been saying, there's been a lot things happening. There are people reaching out to them, sharing their ideas of the way other want the community to live."

The Other Side Of The Kevin Connor Killing
Last night we reported on the murder of 15 year old Kevin Connor – the teenage boy who was found in an area adjoining Jane Usher Boulevard - with two gunshot wounds to the face. There is no latest information on his murder but as we told you last night, Conner was a suspect for the recent murder of Patrick Bevans. Yesterday his family told us his death came as no surprise because he was a target in the streets. But in that interview, Connor's mother made some allegations that have left Bevans's in laws furious. Today they spoke with 7news. Voice of: Aggrieved Family Member "Why we call the media is that we aren't too happy. We aren't too pleased, and we aren't satisfied with Ms. Connor's against our sister. We sympathize with her, but you can't be accusing anybody if you aren't 100% sure. She made a comment on the news last night that the murder of Patrick Bevans is the reasons why they killed her son, and it's because of Patrick Bevan's common-law wife, who is my sister, she say was calling up her son's name, that it was him who killed Mr. Bevans. So, according to her, that's why they killed her son. We are here to tell her that that's not correct, for you to get on TV and say something like that is just wrong.

Apparent Shooting Was Not A Shooting
We have an important update to that apparent shooting we told you about at the top of the news. We say "apparent", because police sources are telling us that doctors at the KHMH as saying that they couldn't find any gunshot injury. We did observe blood on the street and a shot was definitely fired – confirmed by persons in the area and heard 400 feet away at our office. But, while a shot was surely heard, and the man was on the ground bleeding, seems he had a head injury from an assault, not from a gunshot. So we are very relieved to report that the victim, identified as security guard Levi Brown was not shot. He was injured, but is conscious, speaking and in good condition. As we told you, he was riding down Dean Street with a bunch of bags, and at the corner of Dean and East Canal, he was attacked by a gunman, who robbed him of the bags, and then when eh fell to the ground, searched him for money.

"Embarassed" Stephen Okeke Puts TV Ramos Sculpture Up For Sale
2 months ago, we told you about the controversial Stephen Okeke and his artistic project to create a monument for Thomas Vincent Ramos, the cultural icon and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. Everything was going according to plan, but as with so many of his works, no one contracted him to create this monument – it's kind of a dead raise: he builds it, and hopes funders will appear. At the time of its launch we publicly speculated that it would go badly – and – though we hate to be right on this one – it has gone awry, one more Okeke project ending in sadness and madness. He told us that the TV Ramos monument was endorsed the Mayor of Dangriga Town to be placed in a public space there for the community to appreciate. But for the past few weeks, it's been sitting in front of his business place on the Northern Highway with a for sale sign. We stopped in and asked him about it, and here's what he said to say: Initially the monument was valued at $40,000, but he told us today that he'll accept all offers from persons interested in purchasing it.

That Heavenly Sound
Celebrated Gospel Singer Nicole Mullen came to Belize one year ago in April of 2013. She returned today for a concert next week Fridayat the Governor General's field in Belmopan. She told us she came early to hold workshops and spread the vibes of her new album, "Call on Jesus":…

Channel 5

Body of Santana man found in bushes behind his house
The body of fifty-seven year old Maurice Dennison Young was found on Tuesday evening; the last time he was seen alive was on Monday night when he told a friend [...]

No officer assigned to Maskall Police Station
While there hasn’t been a murder in Santana for decades, the death of Maurice Young has highlighted what residents call rising crime in other rural communities on the old northern [...]

More charges expected against the mastermind of an immigration scam
Additional charges are expected to be levied against Marleny Castellanos, the alleged master-mind behind an immigration scam involving residents of Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Castellanos is already facing sixteen [...]

ComPol tells COLA he won’t hand over the Penner files
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie will not hand over any evidence in the private action brought by COLA against Elvin Penner. He said so by letter to COLa President Giovannie [...]

MLA charges that DAVCO is dividing the indigenous community
The issue of oil exploration in the south is boiling over, but there is another hot-button matter which is the communities in the south are facing. As we reported on [...]

P.U.P. heading to the House seeking to change the firearms act
In February 2014 the People’s United Party wrote to the Government of Belize, submitting draft amendments to the Firearms Act and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act. There has [...]

Robber hospitalized after he is shot by his accomplice
A minor is at the K.H.M.H.  recovering from injuries he received during a robbery on Tuesday. But all indications are that the minor, a Ladyville resident, was one of the [...]

UNIBAM speaks on termination of Head of CHART
The University of the West Indies on Tuesday terminated Professor Brendan Bain as Director of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Programme. Bain offered witness testimony in the case of Caleb Orozco [...]

Religious activist reacts to the termination
But religious activist, Pastor Scott Stirm is strongly opposed to Bain’s termination. Stirm claims that Orozco started the campaign to get rid of the professor from CHART.   Via Phone: [...]

SATIIM rejects G.O.B.’s oil agenda in the south
During a press conference held on Tuesday in the Toledo District, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, as well as the claimant communities who have been party to the [...]

Crooked Tree Fisherman claims he is wrongfully detained
Crooked Tree Fisherman, Kenneth Bruce, was charged on Tuesday for being armed with an offensive weapon. He was offered police bail and today when he appeared before the courts to [...]

The proposed establishment of a logistical terminal near the Port of Belize
A private company is proposing the establishment of a logistical terminal near the Port of Belize. The idea was pitched to both public and private sector agencies during a two-day [...]

Port project seeks partnership of both private and public sector
Once the project comes into fruition, it will be divided into two basic components.  According to Vasquez, there will be an ownership aspect, as well as an operational one in [...]

Toledo ITVET wants its manager removed
Since the beginning of the week, tension has been building up at the Toledo Institute of Technical and Vocational Education Training. On Monday, a group of seven instructors of the [...]


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#491215 - 05/22/14 12:02 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 22, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

CTV3

Cane Farmers Fear They Will Not Deliver Their Quota Due To Inclement Weather Conditions
Concern is growing as the rains have begun and there is still a large quantity of sugar cane left in the fields. The close of this year’s crop is fast approaching but may be fast tracked if the weather does not hold up. Farmers are now fearing that a significant amount if not all of their crop will remain in the fields. This then translates to big losses. As all stakeholders keep a close eye on the weather and only hope for the best, we took a field trip yesterday to see firsthand what farmers have started facing as the rains begin. Maria Novelo – Reporting Ellis Cal – Cane Farmer “Las entregas cañaverales ya se están quedando atoradas pues estos días han caído unas aguas y ya se está quedando saturadas y si sigue las lluvias no vamos entregar cana. Ahorita la caña ya estaba en su máxima contenido de la sacarosa y la edad ya tiene más del ano y el contenido de la sacarosa estaba en su peak y ahora que vienen las lluvias se van a ir para abajo y que esa misma sacarosa que tiene la barra de cana ya no rinde la sacarosa de la caña.”

Two Men Charged For Attempt Robbery Of A Taximan
Sadly, stories of taxi men suffering abuse and violence in the course of their daily and nightly work continued to be reported on an all-too-frequent basis throughout last year. As we reflect back on 2013, no issue could be more chilling than the tragic case of murdered Orange Walk taxi driver, 42 year Hugo Moreno who was found stuffed inside his vehicle trunk of his car which had been set on fire. And today, another incident involving a well-known taxi driver has gripped the taxi association but luckily he managed to get away unscathed. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillett, says the incident occurred around 11:00am today in the outskirts of Carmelita Village. Selvin Tillett – Deputy commanding OW Police “A male creole person approach you and ask what is price to charter a taxi from here to Belize City and he quoted of 150 and apparently the man said ok I want a round trip so that is going to be three hundred dollars according to Mr. Oliva he went to his house to get money to put fuel and oil in his vehicle stop at come and go gas station and on its way out of Carmelita by the curve the male person approached him and asked him to urine. It was two persons in the taxi and he stopped and coming back he approached Mr. Oliva right on his face and they started to fight and he was able to grab his bunch of keys closed the vehicle door and run towards Carmelita village where he got assistance and called police and the quick response of the police lead to the detention of two male persons from Carmelita village and one of them found in the car and the other nearby and so they have been detained and charged for the crime committed attempt robbery.”

Escalating Sex Crime Involves Minors
Reports of Carnal Knowledge, rape and indecent act are made across the country of Belize almost on a daily basis. The situation has raised concern especially in the Department of Human Services but at the end has left more questions than answers as to why there is an increase in cases. What makes matters worse is that some of the cases the victims have ended up with child as a consequence of the abuse. In Corozal alone, a total of 10 cases of carnal knowledge were reported in 2013. At the beginning of this year, the case of 14 year old minor was exposed. She told police that on the 10th of November 2013 she went to the house of a man whom she knows and had sexual intercourse with him and as a result she became pregnant. As mentioned at the top of the story, there are great concerns of the rapid sex crime and the Corozal District is not extinct. Daniel Arzu – Acting. OC “It is first and foremost almost indicate that it is of concern too as the acting commander at this time we have been looking at the statistic regarding the sex crime and indeed it is escalating and we have seen that minors are the victims in these cases as a matter of fact for this month itself we have recorded two sex crime that in itself involves minors, we have arrested two persons, the files itself of the investigation has been submitted with information to the Director of Public Prosecution for the guidance and we are carefully dealing with those cases and we are hoping that we have the requisite evidence and put everything in place that when we proceed to trial that the outcome would favourable but I must say that we are very hard at it, we investigate carefully, we ensure that we do what is right in order to secure conviction later on so that is where we are but to say that the sex crime is occurring I would tell you yes and it is escalating and we are hoping to engage in some form of intervention; programs, educational programs from our legal stand point or our management level to ensure that the community is kept safe.”

Missionaries Building Relationships With Local Students
There have been many missionaries visiting Belize over the last years. Each has had their own objectives and unique experiences. Today we tell you about yet another visiting group who has been sharing memorable moments with student at Bishop Martin High School. They are members of the University of California in Berkley who are spending some quality time with the students. Vice Principal Luisa Gillett tells us about their experience over the last three days. Luisa Gillett – Vice Principal “On their first day the students’ that are part of this mission team met with our students to talk about faith testimony, they talked about requirements to attend their University which is one of the top Universities in the US yesterday we met with the teachers to do a spiritual development and today we are working together as a school community with the mission team in carrying out many schools improvement projects.” Dalila ical – Reporter “How has the interaction been going with the visitors and the school population, the students?” Luisa Gillett – Vice Principal “It’s been going great especially with the different talks where they met with the students and the students have a lot of questions and they opened their eyes to what Universities out there are looking for that it is not only academic but it has to do with a lot of attitude, it has to do a lot with personality and one of the most important things they highlighted to our students is that aspect of giving back to your community that they want to start linkages with our school in the hope that when they receive that education they will come back to Belize and contribute to their country.”

NDACC Conducts Youth Tobacco Survey
The National Drug Abuse Control Council is in its last stages of conducting a Youth Tobacco Survey in Belize. The assessment is primarily targeted at high school youths and in Orange Walk it is no different. They are given a questionnaire where their response varies from student to student and is being spearheaded by PAHO and the Ministry of Health through NDACC. Eldred Neal, District Coordinator for the National Drug Abuse Control Council in Orange Walk, says the survey coincides with World No Tobacco Day scheduled for end of May. Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC “Parted on Monday and it will run all through the end of the week some 41 school country wide has been selected through a scientific data program and in Orange Walk seven schools particularly ranging from standard six classes to third form classes, we have had four selection of primary schools and three selections of secondary schools and the age group that were selected was 12 year old through 16 and we are looking at prevalence but more so we are looking at policies that exist in the schools.

Corozal Police Department Receives Much Needed Resource
On May 15th, some 38 much needed new vehicles valued at approximately 2.3 million dollars were handed over to the Belize Police Department by Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne, Charge d' Affairs, from the U.S Embassy. The fully equipped vehicles were handed over at a brief ceremony at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Out of the 38 new vehicles, the Corozal Police Department received their fair share to fight crime in the upmost northern part of the country. Daniel Arzu – Acting OC “I will say on behalf of the police formation and in extension the Commissioner of Police and the government of Belize that we are extremely grateful for the US government to have afforded us with those much needed resources, our formation was given to 154 pickup and those vehicle one will be utilized by the community policing unit which is one of the strongest arm of the within our department, the community policing and the other is going to be utilized by the crime investigation branch to be more efficient in the crime fighting efforts , investigative ability.”

PlusTV

Backlash Over Firing of Professor Bain from UWI
Social media is still all abuzz about the firing of Jamaican Professor Brendan as the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. UNIBAM and 32 other homosexual advocacy groups demanded Bain’s termination from that post because of his expert testimony in the Caleb Orozco vs Government of...

17 Year Old Boy Shot to the Chest
A 17 year old was shot to the chest yesterday in Ladyville allegedly during a botched robbery.Police say early yesterday morning, they visited a home in Ladyville Village where they observed a 17-year-old male with one apparent gunshot wound to the left side of his chest. Initial Investigation reveals...

Teachers Accused of Having Affairs with Students
Reports coming in to Plus News are that there have been allegations of two teachers from the Baptist High School in Belmopan who have been accused of having affairs with female students. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reliable sources tell us that one of those teachers...

Gun Law Reform Revision Still on Hold
Earlier this year the Government of Belize indicated interest in revising the gun laws after a series of controversies, including the release of public officer Reynaldo Verde from a mooted firearm charge and the release of Police Corporal Gino Peck after a little-used section of the law was implemented....

Keyon Cleland Sentenced to Five Years Behind Bars
This afternoon, 33 year old Keion Cleland of North Creek Road began a five-year stretch in the Central Prison after pleading guilty to firearms and drug charges. Cleland will serve three concurrent five-year terms for possession of a firearm without a gun license, possession of ammunition without a gun...

Seven Charged for Illegally Obtained Certificates
The ring of illegal nationality and identification documents uncovered on the island of Caye Caulker has widened as today seven more persons went to court charged with using certificates they were not entitled to use. The seven are 24 year old Salvadoran Freddy Lobos, Salvadoran Juan Castellanos, Honduran 26...

San Ignacio Businessman Faces yet Another Charge for Sexual Crimes
Aaron Juan, the owner of Maya Walk Tours in San Ignacio, Cayo was arrested and charged yesterday with carnal knowledge. However this is not the first time Juan has been arraigned for an act of this nature. In 2005, it was alleged that Aaron Juan, raped two British female...

Two Charged for Shooting of 17 Year old San Pedro Girl
San Pedro police have arrested and charged two persons for the attempted murder of a 17 year old girl which occurred on Saturday. That was the shooting of 17-year-old Irma Mejia, who was shot to the right side of her abdomen, jaw and thumb. Police say that Irma Mejia...

Maya United for Cause According to SATIIM and TAA
The Machaca Outreach Center outside of Punta Gorda Town played host to the Maya communities’ latest rally for their cause to stop US Capital Energy from exploring for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National park. The Mayan communities have been extensively discussing among themselves but say their resolve has...

The Struggles Over Taxi Cooperatives
The City of Belmopan will see its first Taxi Cooperative in the coming months. It’s members are those taxi operators who are already in the official list of the 31 designated to park at the Belmopan Bus Terminal. According to Kevin Jones, Belmopan Traffic Manager, Ever since traffic management...

Taxi Man Defies City Council; Parks at Bus Terminal
Every so often there is some squabble at the Belmopan bus terminal regarding taxi operators and their parking spots. The latest problem has arisen because taxi operators not designated to the terminal feel they are being unnecessarily removed from the parking lot. Emanuel Pech has the story: Emanuel Pech-...

Teenager Murdered in Belize City
Police are investigating the murder of 15 year old Kevin Shaquille Connor which occurred last night in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. According to police a mobile patrol unit found his body sometime around 10:50 p.m. Monday, with gunshot wounds to the left temple and left cheek. Connor was in...

Belize City Man Drowns on his Birthday
24-year-old Keron Michael Jeffords drowned on his birthday. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon at Hendy’s Farm in Isabella Bank Village in the Belize District. Police say that sometime around 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, 24-year-old Keron Michael Jeffords of Raccoon Street Extension Belize City arrived at Mr. Hendy’s...

Home Burns in Belize City
There was a fire in Belize City yesterday. The home, located at the corner of Lawrence and Jones Avenue, was totally engulfed in flames. According to police reports, Michael Belisle reported that he left his house at about 7:25a.m. on the same day and about 6 hours later he...

Another Dangriga Fire Destroys Malibu Beach Restaurant
There was also another fire in Punta Gorda last night; the second in two weeks. The owners of the establishment say it was arson. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story Correspondent Harry Arzu- Another building was completely destroyed by fire last night in this municipality. This is the...

Professor Fired; Professional Opinion didn’t Line up with UNIBAM’s Agenda
Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain has been fired from his job as the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. UNIBAM and 32 other homosexual advocacy groups demanded Bain’s termination from that post because of his expert testimony in the Caleb Orozco vs Government of Belize case over...

Second Trial for Murder, but Arturo Eck Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
A man who was being tried for a second time on murder chose to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the Orange Walk session of the Supreme Court. Arturo Ek was accused and charged for the murder of his uncle, Eugenio Tzul, which occurred in November...

Two Men Acquitted of Murder in the South
Two men, believed to be Guatemalans, are tonight free from the charge of murder. They are Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez. They were both accused of the March 24, 2014 murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred in Cowpen Village, Stann Creek District, Belize. Duarte was shot and...

Taiwan Donates $10 million to Belize
Belize gets a hefty grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Yesterday in the Capital City of Belmopan the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize His Excellency David C. K. Wu, presented a check of US$5 million to Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance...

Harvest for Kids Receives Corporate Support; Needs Yours
Harvest for Kids is a unique program that takes Belize City Children and place them in planting fields in rural areas; all to foster a love for agriculture in children who may otherwise not have such an experience. The last harvest the participants did was 20 acres of corn...

Mental health workers train to support job seekers
It’s difficult enough to get a job these days, but if you have physical and especially mental disabilities, it can be even tougher. Persons who have succumbed to depression or suicidal thoughts, or those with more straightforward disorders including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and others may be discarded despite...

Belize Dry Cleaners Employees Receive Training
It’s the only business of its kind in Belize but Belize Dry Cleaners never takes a day off when it comes to the business of making Belizeans look their best. This week, employees of the dry cleaning, washing and rental company were trained by a representative of the U.S. National Cleaners Association (NCA) –...

Fund Raising Banquet for Belize Cancer Patients
Just this past weekend we saw a cancer awareness initiative to raise funds for cancer patients in Belize. Well this coming weekend another such initiative takes place this coming weekend. Mary A. Usher Swales, of Belize Chemotherapy Organization of New York, Inc, came to Belize on the latter part...

Patrick Jones

PUP to introduce amendment bills on firearms
Earlier this year the Government of Belize indicated interest in revising the gun laws after a series of controversies, including the release of public officer Reynaldo Verde from a mooted firearm charge and the release of Police Corporal Gino Peck after a little-used section of the law was implemented. But planned consultations have not taken place and the People’s United Party (PUP) proposed amendments have not been responded to. Today the party said it would initiate debate at the next session of the National Assembly by invoking its powers to present bills of its own. An official statement from the party states that twice, on February 12 and again on March 19, Minister of National Security John Saldivar was written to with regard to the promised review process.

Man pleads guilty to possession of firearm and drugs
Even as the People’s United Party was decrying the injustice of firearms laws in the country, there was an example on display at the Magistrate’s Court. 33 year old Keion Cleland pleaded guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and drug trafficking after police searched his home on North Creek Road around 4:30 a.m. today. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit, having obtained a search warrant, retrieved a 9mm pistol and extended magazine along with 12 grams of cannabis. However, they charged him and the other occupants – 42 year old school warden Daphne Grant and a 13 year old minor with the upgraded charge of drug trafficking because the drug was found near a school, Wesley Upper. The trio appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and Cleland chose to plead guilty to the charges, prompting prosecutors to drop the remainder.

Seven charged for illegally obtained certificates
The ring of illegal nationality and identification documents uncovered on the island of Caye Caulker has widened as today seven more persons went to court charged with using certificates they were not entitled to use. The seven are 24 year old Salvadoran Freddy Lobos, Salvadoran Juan Castellanos, Honduran 26 year old Jenny Castellanos Arita and Guatemalans Juana Lopez, 25; Rudy Juarez Reyes, 20; Luis Ramirez, 28; and Mario Reymundo. All pleaded guilty to two counts related to illegal usage of Belizean birth and nationality certificates except for Juana Lopez, who was charged with one count for a nationality certificate. They had turned themselves in to authorities in Caye Caulker. Magistrate Dale Cayetano assessed fines of $1,000 each on all counts, a total of 13, in default six months imprisonment on each count except for Lopez who would serve three months.

Blogs

Belize’s Chaa Creek receives thumbs up for Excellence
Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek was recently honoured with a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, according to the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners. “It’s very gratifying to be acknowledged by such a respected travel authority as Trip Advisor, and is something the entire Chaa Creek family takes pride in. The fact that Trip Advisor’s awards are based on customer reviews makes this distinction that much more valuable to us,” co-founding owner and GM Lucy Fleming said. In announcing the award, Trip Advisor wrote, “The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. “When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings,” the announcement continued.

Chili Cheese Dip
This is an easy dip to throw together for your next party. You can also use to make sloppy Joes or as a topping for chili dogs. This is spicy, but you can tone down the heat by choosing milder peppers and a mild salsa.

Southern Belize Caves For The Adventure Seeker
Belize country is not only for relaxed touring and idyllic Belize beach vacations; it is also a perfect destination for adventure lovers. Their numerous caves offer a great hiking experience that will reward you with stunning sights and wildlife in the end. Here are Belize’s most popular caves. Hokeb Ha Cave One of the most impressive natural sites in Toledo is the Hoken Ha Cave in Blue Creek. The cave is a 20-minute hike from the village. Hike a well-marked path along het creek, until a clearing appears. Pass through the research station in the clearing finding the wide trail on the other side. In a few minutes, a 10-foot waterfall and the main cave entrance appears. Long vines hang from the sheer rock wall above the cave mouth. The huge cave entrance is carved from the summit of a hill where the Blue Creek gurgles up from underground. The creek runs out the entrance of the cave, cascading over limestone boulders. Archeologists have found many Late Classic ceramics and an altar inside the cave, leading them to theorize that the Hokeb Ha Cave was specifically used for ceremonial purposes.

International Sources

Christian Professor hounded for support of Belize anti-sodomy law
A university professor is being hounded by Caribbean homosexual advocacy groups for speaking in support of the Belize anti-sodomy law. Thirty-three ‘gay’ advocacy and civil rights groups want the University of the West Indies (UWI) to fire Professor Brendan Bain from his position as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative, claiming his expert testimony in Belize represents a conflict of interest. They say his testimony in the case brought by one Caleb Orozco in an attempt to overturn Belize’s anti-sodomy law has ‘destroyed their trust in him’. The sub-text is that they all want Jamaica, Belize and other Caribbean Commonwealth members to legalise sodomy. In his testimony, Professor Bain said that the risk of contracting HIV is significantly higher among men who have sex with men (MSM). He said this was true for Belize, as well as other countries, including those that have repealed the law that criminalises ‘anal sex’.

Mayan glory days at Xunantunich ruins
It's not as famous as Mexico's Chichen Itza. It's not as tall as Guatemala's Tikal. But in western Belize, the Xunantunich Mayan ruins will make your jaw drop. And maybe your palms sweat. Pronounced shoe-NAN-to-nitch (or as some American tourists mangle it, Tuna Sandwich) its name means "stone maiden." The dominant structure, El Castillo, is notable not only for its elegant friezes of hieroglyphs depicting rulers and gods, but for the fact that visitors can still climb to the top of the 40-metre temple, if they dare. Unlike Mexico's Chichen Itza, which was closed to climbers in 2006 after a woman fell to her death, Xunantunich's climb is done in bits and pieces, with plenty of flat places to stop - and even a handrail staircase for the final descent. Still, it's not for everyone. "I'm afraid of heights," one tour guide confessed as he stood in the shade on a plaza halfway up, watching the rest of his group ascend to the very top. "The view is still good from here."

Third generation military member joined for his family, stays for himself
“Proud would be an understatement,” the Airman said about how his family felt about him joining the military. “It was the first time I’d ever seen my step-dad tear up.” He said he felt a little pushed into the military since his grandfather was Air Force, his father was a Marine and his step-father was Navy. But, ultimately it was his decision and he embraced it. That was three years ago. Senior Airman Bryan Smith, a structures engineer with the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, said that he chose the structures career field because he liked being outside, liked carpentry and was interested in making it a hobby. So far, the work aspect of structures is going really well, but the hobby portion needs a little more time to develop. “I tried to make a miniature grandfather clock, which turned into a case to shove all my golf balls in,” he quipped. Joking aside, Smith works hard.

Peterborough's own Indiana Jones receives lifetime achievement award
Dr. Paul Healy is the foremost expert in Maya culture and has made countless discoveries in Central America. Of all the significant discoveries Dr. Paul Healy has unearthed, there is one that stands out in his mind. The archaeologist was on a dig at a Maya site in Belize in the late 1980s. It was there his team found a large, eight-foot limestone monument. Carved onto its surface was an image of a Mayan king, seated with a huge headdress adorning his head. Around it was carved in text the story of the king. The monument was dated to 450 AD. This piece is just one of many Dr. Healy, a Trent University professor, has found while working in the field during his 40-year career. He is considered the foremost expert on the Maya culture and recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers at the Maya the Lago Conference in North Carolina in April. He joins the ranks of two other Maya archeologists who have received the distinguished award, one a Yale professor and the other an archeologist working for National Geographic.

Just 2 percent of Latin Americans are rated as having free media
Independent journalism in the Americas is backsliding again, Freedom House says. According to Freedom House, last year just four of this region’s nations — Belize, Costa Rica, Guyana and Uruguay — had “free” media. Even with democracy often fragile here, the idea that just 2 percent of the Latin America's population — the share found in those four countries — can access independent local journalism seems shockingly puny. Arguably, that figure doesn’t reflect the vibrancy of the commercial media in much of the Americas, or journalists’ willingness to criticize authorities — including sometimes without getting the facts straight. Meanwhile, Freedom House rated Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela “not free.” The rest, including Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, fell into the broad 'tweener category of “partly free.”

Towards new development in the Caribbean
WITH the untimely passing of Norman Girvan, the last Caribbean political economist of the earlier critical tradition, a major gap in radical ideas needs to be filled. These ideas must come from a new generation of researchers willing to take the lead, and who have the practical problems of the region at the heart of their concerns, drawing on Girvan’s and others’ very rich insights. Indeed, the history of the English-speaking Caribbean has been punctuated by several important opportunities for learning and transformation. One of these most recent experiences should indeed have been the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), yet to be fully implemented in some jurisdictions. The end of preferential access to European markets had several precursors for which it seemed Caribbean policymakers, institutions and the private sector were ill-prepared.

THE MOST POSITIVE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD ARE LATINAMERICANS
A new report from Gallup shows that nine out of the top 10 countries with the highest percentages of residents experiencing positive emotions are located in Latin America. Paraguay came in No. 1, followed by Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia. Denmark was the only country in the top 10 not located in Latin America. Experiencing positive emotions was defined as smiling or laughing, experiencing enjoyment, being treated with respect, feeling well-rested, and learning or doing something interesting in the previous day. Survey data from about 1,000 residents in each of 138 countries was used for the report.

Colorado man brings botflies back from Belize
Most travelers bring a bottle of One Barrel Rum back from their vacation to Belize, or perhaps some Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce. Aaron Dallas picked up an infestation of botfly worms under his scalp. As reported in the “weird” news section of a UK newspaper (”Man surprised by face bug infestation“), Dallas first thought the bleeding bumps in his head might have been gnat bites. “A specialist thought it was shingles, though both doctors held out the possibility that it was something far more disturbing. Then the bumps started moving…” Botflies are “large, stout bodied, hairy flies that resemble bumblebees,” whose eggs are sometimes deposited under mammalian skin by mosquitoes. Botflies are usually nothing more than an urban legend among Belize tourists, i.e. everyone knows someone who knows someone who’s been infested, but I’ve never seen one in all my years of traveling to Belize. It usually takes going pretty deep into the jungle to get so lucky. I wonder where Mr. Dallas picked up his hitchhikers—perhaps in the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve?

Videos

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 1, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 2, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 3, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Trip 2014, 12min.
Family Trip to Belize - May, 2014

Video: Mexico and Belize 2014, 10min.
Our Spring trip to Mexico and Belize

Video: Garifuna drum session in Hopkins, Belize, 5min.

Video: Barrier Reef belize eels, sharks, rays and more., 8min.
Reef filled with all sorts of sea life!

Video: Madonna - The Beautiful Island - Subtitles English, 4min.
"La Isla Bonita" (English: The Beautiful Island) is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released as the fifth and final single from her third studio album, True Blue, on February 25, 1987, by Sire Records. The instrumental version of the song was first offered to Michael Jackson before Madonna both accepted it and wrote the lyrics and melody. "La Isla Bonita" is noted for being the first Madonna song to have a Latino influence in it, with arrangements of Cuban drums and Spanish guitar, maracas, harmonicas and a mix of synthesized and real drumming. The lyrics of the song tell about a beautiful island and was a tribute to the beauty of the Latin people according to Madonna. "La Isla Bonita" was written by Patrick Leonard and Bruce Gaitsch. The song was previously written as a lament for the mythical city of San Pedro in the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize and was offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album, who, according to Gaitsch, turned it down.


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