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#491275 - 05/23/14 11:46 AM Today's Belize News: May 23, 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

Crime and Violence on Ambergris can be deterred by COP program
On Saturday May 17th Retired Police Superintendent and former Officer in Charge of San Pedro Town Rudolph Orio was on the island for a special meeting. Held in collaboration with the San Pedro Police Department, the meeting addressed the issues and possible solutions to the rising crime and violence on Ambergris Caye. Mr. Orio highlighted the fact that combating crime should be a community effort, not just a matter to be left to the police. In addition to strong laws and enforcement, the residents and the business community must work along with the police to succeed in deterring crime. Thus, the COP program seeks to create such a partnership whereby the police and the community work together, assessing the needs of an area and together work on appropriate plans and solutions.

Look out San Pedro, there’s a new Doc in town
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce the community to the newest doctor on the island, Dr. Renae M. Sersland! As for her short term future plans, Dr. Sersland hopes that she will be able to provide emergency on-call services starting in July. To contact Dr. Sersland or to make and appointment, please do so at 226-2197. We congratulate Dr. Sersland and thank her for persevering and adding to our health-care community.

Tigersharks heads to NEBL playoffs as the number one seed
The 14-week regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) came to an end and the San Pedro Tigersharks lead the league! On Saturday May 17th, the mighty Tigersharks champed on the Orange Walk Running Rebels, holding on to the top spot in the NEBL regular season. They ended their regular season with 12 wins and two losses, having fallen to Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats, both who are out of the league. Schedule for the playoffs are as follows:

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Visit Belize and Enjoy Glorious Scenery
Francisco Sandoval of the professional aerial video and photography company SkyCam from Guatemala just recently visited Belize with a couple of his remote controlled helicopter drones and compiled this great video of Belize’s natural beauty. In the video you can see amazing images of Goff’s Caye located offshore Belize City, Cayo Espanto in Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and of the Maya Temples at Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize. The video is very professionally done and speaks of the great services of SkyCam Guatemala.

Dr. Renae Sersland is Ambergris Caye’s Newest Doctor
“I never did my residency in the US after I graduated from medical school and I began working on getting my exams and license to become a doctor here in Belize in 2009,” stated Dr. Renae Sersland. After a year and a half of internship at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, Dr. Sersland finally completed all her exams and is now a registered and licensed doctor in Belize. “I believe it is imperative that San Pedro has good primary care and it is very difficult to have doctors here on the island because the cost of living is very high and since this is my home I would like to serve the community of San Pedro and hopefully can offer my services at the Poly Clinic in the near future,” stated Dr. Sersland, who has submitted her application for a position at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clionic II to the Ministry of Health.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize’s Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (% of GDP
Belize and the economic Freedom of the World Index – So, if there is this consensus that poor-quality institutions and low levels of human capital, which is directly related to education policies, we have to ask this question: where is Belize in all of this? Well, one quick way to get a general understanding of where Belize is in this regard is to refer to the Economic Freedom of the World Index (EFW). The index, which measures the degree to which policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom, rates countries annually according to five BROAD categories, that are further broken down into 42 variables: Size of Government Legal System and Property Rights, Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally and regulations. Belize scores such as 6.54 in 2000, 6.96 in 2003 (the highest since the year 2000), 6.93 in 2005 and 6.69 in 2011, falls within the range of countries that have EFW scores above 6 but less than 7.5. Countries within this range have FDI to GDP ratios of less than 20 percent. In a EFW study 64 countries were represented but does the results hold true for Belize?

CAYE CAULKER LOBSTER FEST 2014 PRE FLYER!!

PRESS RELEASE - Harmonyville Subdivision
Government of Belize Press Office. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to share the following facts on the Harmonyville Subdivision:- 1. In 2010 Cabinet approved the acquisition of 1,327.139 acres of land located between miles 41 and 42 on the George Price Highway- the area now known as Harmonyville Subdivision. 2. Acquisition cost- BZ$1,990,708.50 plus 3% interest. 3. Cabinet subsequently approved the subdivision design for the development that includes over 1000 one acre plots, open areas (parks, cemetery, and school) and the buffer strip (reserve) along the highway. 4. Cabinet further approved for the distribution of lots to be done based on the recommendation of BGYEA. 5. Cabinet also agreed that the purchase price for each one acre plot be at a social rate of $1000/ one acre plot.

Belize launches its first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey
In December 2013, Belize became a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a consortium of academic researchers engaged in the largest ongoing study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world. It explores the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth, unveiling detailed national features and characteristics associated with entrepreneurial activities across member countries. It studies at the grassroots level, the behavior of individuals with respect to starting and managing a business.

Yorke school addition in final stages; principal enthusiastic for completion
The Edward P. Yorke school in Belize City, Belize, is receiving a 1,372 square-foot addition for use by senior classes at the school. The school is one of five projects being completed by New Horizons Belize 2014 engineers from the Belize Defence Force, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. New Horizons is an annual exercise providing mutual training opportunities for civil engineers in each of the military services. For Yorke Principal Rodrick Cardinez the addition to the school is momentous. Cardinez began teaching at the school in 1987, was the vice principal from 1992 to 2001 and has been the principal since 2001. In nearly 30 years, to his recollection, this is the first time the school has received a new building since it became a full-fledged secondary school in 1990. "Definitely, it is a most welcome project," Cardinez said. "We have always wanted a permanent structure to house specifically our senior students. ... Getting these two classrooms means we'll be able to house all seniors in one general area."

TEACHER'S DAY 2014 (103 photos)
On Thursday, May 15, The San Pedro Town Council a long with Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation held their annual Teacher's Day Party. Teachers were treated to gourmet turkey dinner, snacks and dessert. The teachers participated in various games and raffles in which they won great prizes such as catamaran trips, round trip tickets to Belize City, gift certificates, cash prizes and more. Some games included: stacking apples, crackers and whistle, dance competition, musical chairs and more. Teachers had the opportunity to win great prizes. We would like to thank all our sponsors who made this Teacher's Day Party a success! Special thanks to Skynet Soundz for providing musical entertainment for the teachers.

Benque International Museum Day
They celebrated International Museum Day in style at the Benque House of Culture Wednesday. They had archaeological treasures presented by NICH, musical treasures presented by Stonetree Records, and delicious treasures from Che'il Mayan Chocolate.

Cahal Pech History with Dr. Jaime Awe
Archaeological podcast of the week. Dr. Jaime Awe talks about the tombs and burials of Cahal Pech. Learn something new about Cahal Pech. Thanks, Cruz Cambranes, for the audio editing. "This is the audio presentation of Tombs and burials free for you to use in any way. Forgive me but the presentation was recorded in a non controled environment lots of background noise. I have edited it for your listening pleasure. Lots of great info here. "

Cornerstone Annual Fair
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their annual fair fundraiser this Saturday, May 24th, at Falcon Field. There will be tons of food for sale, along with fun and games, like tambola, the greasy pole, and a basketball competition. They'll also have live music. The fun starts at 9:00am.

SI United Win Cruzadero Triangular
Congratulations to the San Ignacio United on their win in Guatemala at the Cruzadero Triangular tournament. Well done! "San Ignacio United FC participated and won the 2014 Cruzadero Triangular Tournament in Guatemala last Sunday. Keep up the good work Guys!!"

Preserving The Rich Gra Gra Lagoon National Park
Gra Gra Lagoon National Park is located near the coast just below the seaside town of Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District. In Belize, national parks are areas designed for the protection and preservation of natural and aesthetic features of national significance for the people. Therefore, these are areas of recreation and tourism, as well as environmental protection. They are administered by the Forest Department and managed through partnership agreements with community-based non-governmental organizations. Gra Gra Lagoon National Park Covers 1,200 Hectares The park was established back in 2002 and covers almost 1,200 hectares. The very shallow brackish lagoon of 300 meters is the centerpiece of the park but the protected area also includes the greater part of the surrounding mangrove system, excepting that on the seaward shore. The mangrove grades into swamp forest and lowland forest on the inland side. These are patches of tall herbaceous swamp behind the beach-crest close and entering the park boundary and large areas of freshwater reed swamps in the forested swamplands.

Southern Belize’s Lubaantun: The Place Of Fallen Stones
The largest Maya site in Southern Belize, Lubaantun is well known for the unusual style of construction. All structures are made of limestone blocks with no visible mortar binding them together. The strength of each structure lies in every hand-cut grime, which was carefully measured and shaped to fit snuggle next to each neighboring block. Lubaantun Has An Unusual Construction Style Lubaantun is a late Classic ceremonial center dated to 700 to 900 AD. Over time, the ground on which it was built started to subsist and the mortarless blocks started to tumble. Thereafter, the site was given the name ‘Lubaantun,’ which means ‘place of the fallen rocks’ in the modern Maya language. Eleven large structures tower above give main plazas and three ball courts. Unlike most of the other Maya ceremonial sites, the existing structures are solid and have no doorways. Another unique feature not found in other sites around the region is the rounded corners on the structures. Because no corbeled arches exist at the top of these structures, it is believed that perishable materials like wood and thatch were used to build superstructures on top of these pyramids. Lubaantun is believed to have been an administrative, religious, political and commercial center, mainly used for occasional festivals, ball games and other sacred ceremonies. Although no stele was found there, the site is popular for its abundance of ceramic whistle figurines. A few burial tombs are also present.

A Star is born
Meet young Corozal student and aspiring artist of Ranchito Corozal, Morelia Pop. The Corozal Daily would like to wish Morelia all the best, not only as she competes on La Voz Karaoke in Orange Walk, but also in her future endeavors. Morelia comes from a very humble family and we regard her as a true star. Keep shining Morelia. Support her by dialing CKTV 2588 and vote #4 on your SMART phones. Don’t miss the semi-finals this Friday. Singer: Morelia Pop Dress: Ja-Da's Boutique Makeup: Flawless by Melanie Hair: Melanie Burgos-Molina Jewelry: Burgos General Store Ltd. Photographer: Hernan Perez

Many families and children enjoyed our last event at Art in the Park
Which featured Jimmy Lenz and his family who entertained the crowd with their performances. Here are some pictures of the Lenz family doing what they do best.... Being clowns! Photos courtesy of Debra Wilkes. More photos at Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art

6 Things to Do During Your Belize Getaway
Aside from its near-perfect weather and sheer beauty, Belize is blessed with a great diversity of people, landscapes and flora and fauna. With the selection of activities that you can do, it is easy for visitors to get overwhelmed. So if you are planning a Belize getaway anytime soon, here is an exhaustive list of the top things that you can (and should do).

Auditor General’s Report on Investigation into Embezzlement of BZD $366, 468.88 – Mrs, Nasley Sommerville, Administrator Southern Regional Hospital
The following file which we are sharing with you verbatim is an excerpt from recently concluded investigation by the office of the Auditor General of Belize into embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Maternal Child Health Program at the Southern Regional Hospital. Focus of this investigation is the hospital’s administrator, Nasley Sommerville. She remains on suspension and is to appear before the Public Service Commission in the near future. This file was leaked to us. NBZLive thanks and applauds the vanguards who defy the status quo of corruption in government and go the extra mile to keep our people informed! You are truly our heroes!

EXAMINATION OF SUSPECTED MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS – CENTRAL HEALTH REGION, BELIZE CITY – JANUARY 2012 – SEPTEMBER 2013
Editor’s Note: The following is full investigative report by the Auditor General Of Belize into allegations of “misuse” of public funds at the Central Health Region in the Ministry of Health.

Channel 7

Political Directorate Brings NCL to The Table For Lesson in "Realpolitik"
On Tuesday night in Independence Village, the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment organized a meeting with Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Lines. The purpose?: to get the four UDP standard bearers and their stalwarts from the south on the same page as the Cruise Line because they say they've been left out of the loop, both in terms of jobs and information. And while they are out of the loop, they believe that the four PUP area representatives have positioned themselves to get the inside track. The issue was raised at a UDP National Party Council meeting on Saturday - and by Tuesday the meeting was set up. Minister of State Mark King was there and he told us it was to open a channel of communication - and he went on to say it's a channel he has used himself: Hon. Mark King "What I know I was particularly invited in the meeting for was to engage those partners from NCL in terms of alongside BELTRAIDE ministry and the ministry of local government in terms of investment and other factors to see how we can engage them to see what it is their timeframe to roll out and how it is we can engage the elected representatives of the people down there to communicate with them, a communication barrier with them."

Octogenarian Perishes In Fire
An 82 year old woman perished in a fire in Belize City early this morning. As we found out she lived alone and in poverty - and while that's bad enough, what's far worse is that it appears someone ste the fire. Here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning at 3:45, this old wooden house at the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets was engulfed in flames. The fire department is just minutes away, but by the time they reached, it was too late: 82 year old Erceline Gabourel had perished inside: Daniel Ortiz "Was there any means which this woman could have been rescued sir?" Orin Smith, Station Officer - National Fire Service "Unless she had jump from the window. The fire originated from an area which had blocked access to the staircase. 90% of fire victims die of smoke inhalation due to carbon monoxide poisoning. I cannot say which was which. My assumption and this is my opinion: she may have died from smoke inhalation." A terrible death, made even more so by knowledge of the fact that someone set the fire:

Man Survives Shot To The Head, Speaks To 7News
Last night we opened the news with the dramatic footage of Levi Brown unconscious out on the pavement just a few hundred feet from our studio - apparently after he was shot. He did have a head injury, but when he got to the hospital, he was responsive, talking and not looking at all like someone who had been shot in the head. It took a catscan to show that he had a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and the bullet was still lodged in there. But remarkably, he is in a stable condition. Monica Bodden spoke to him on the phone today:.. Monica Bodden reporting 57 year old Levi Brown lay flat on his stomach in a pool of blood - his legs, still tangled in his bicycle frame - Meanwhile crowds of spectators gathered around - many shouting at police officers on the scene- begging them to rush the man to the hospital - but the officers informed the crowd that they are not allowed to move him unless he was dead. So Brown - who had minimal movements at the time- laid there for about 10 minutes - waiting on an ambulance to arrive. When that didn't happen, the officers in the end picked Brown up and put him in the back of a police mobile and quickly bolted off to the KHMH emergency. Levy Brown - Shooting Victim "I was supprised to still be alive."

Confirmed Homicide In Santana Village
Last night, we told you about 57 year-old Maurice Young, the resident of Santana Village on the Old Northern Highway, who was found decomposing in the bushes behind his house. Well, police have confirmed that he was murdered. Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an on-site autopsy which revealed firstly that he was dead for at as much as 72 hours. That is inconsistent with the interview from his best friend who claims that he was last seen on Monday. Another finding from Dr. Estradabran was that he died from a chop wound to the neck. This confirms the suspicions of the villagers who believed that he was the victim of foul play.

Audit Shows Multiple Cases Of Money Misfeasance In The Central Health Region
For months now, we've been reporting on the audit of the Central Health Region. It was completed from October of 2013, but all this while it has eluded the media. That is until around midday today, when it was mass mailed to the entire press. Make no mistake, the 37 page, 282 point document is loaded(!), and we've been parsing through it for hours. It will take a few days to present it all, but Jules Vasquez has a few highlights tonight. He found that it casts Regional Health Manager Melinda Guerra in a most unfortunate light: Jules Vasquez reporting The audit finds that Central Health Regional Manager Melinda Guerra, appeared to have knowingly submitted, approved and received the proceeds of four (4) reimbursement claims which totaled $3,407.50 for costs she claimed to have incurred in an official capacity. The auditors conclude we did not come across sufficient evidence to satisfy ourselves, that such claims were genuine or appropriate. They add that they were, quote, particularly concerned about the apparent intentional disguising and misrepresentation of key information on official payment documents.

Life In Jail for Killing Wife
37 year-old Jason Bruce Lawrence is spending his first night of a life sentence, after he was convicted of murder in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. In a jealous rage, he stabbed his common-wife 5 times in front of her 14 year-old son and her 18 year-old daughter. Crown Counsel Leeroy Banner led evidence in the prosecution's case that shortly after midnight on December 4, 2009, 40 year-old Mercedes Carillo, her daughter, her son and Lawrence, were all in the family home In Burrell Boom. Carrillo received a phone call, and that caused the couple to start to argue. Carillo called the police on Lawrence, who fled the house before officers responded. About an hour later, he returned, but Carillo locked him out of the house. He damaged the door to get back in, and he then went after Carillo and started to physically abuse her. He then pulled out a knife and stabbed Carillo several times, and that's when her kids tried to intervene to save her life. Her son struck him across the back with a guitar, while her daughter grabbed another knife and stabbed him. By that time, he had already stabbed Carillo 5 times in the chest and abdomen, and that's when he tried to save her life by rushing her to KHMH. She arrived there, but died shortly after.

16 Year Old Charged For San Pedro Shooting
On Monday, we told you about the 2 separate shootings on San Pedro, which left 2 women with bullet injuries. Police have brought charges for both of them. The first one happened in the San Pablo area on Saturday. At around 3:15 in the morning, 2 men barged into the house of 17 year-old woman who was nursing her 1 month-old baby and they shot her in the jaw and the abdomen. Investigators believed that it was caused by a drug turf war. They've since charged 41 year-old Lincoln Robinson, a resident of Sea Grape Drive, and a minor with attempted murder, and they've been arraigned and remanded. More charges will follow for these men at a later date. Robinson is originally from North Creek in Belize City. The other incident happened in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town at around 11 o'clock on Sunday night. 45 year-old Aurora Gonzalez and her son, 23 year-old Nigel Polanco were socializing in front of their house, when a 17 year-old man pulled out a firearm and shot them. The investigators believed that this was part of a flare up of an old family feud which started to escalate 4 months ago. The young man was detained on Monday afternoon, and he's since been charged with 2 counts of grievous harm and discharging a firearm in public. He was arraigned in San Pedro Magistrate's Court, and he was remanded to prison until July 2.

The Fuss Over Prof Bain
The University of the West Indies is now coming under sustained fire from churches in Belize and Jamaica following their decision to terminate Jamaican Professor Brendon Bain. The University took the decision after the Gay Rights Organizations in the Caribbean complained that his deposition in UNIBAM's challenge to Belize's Sodomy Laws was "anti-gay" and a betrayal of trust. The Jamaican Umbrella Group of Churches released a statement saying quote, "A decision such as this…has served to concretise the view that those with a homosexual agenda are prepared to discriminate against, stigmatise and silence those who do not share their world view." End Quote. Closer to home, the local churches intend to hold a protest tomorrow afternoon to voice their displeasure at UWI. Pastor Scott Stirm, is leading the charge, and he told us this evening why it's important:

Teachers Inappropriately Involved W/ Students At Belmopan Baptist Again
7News has confirmed that 2 teachers from the Belmopan Baptist High School are being investigated because they had inappropriate sexual relationships with their female students. We've also been informed that the school is taking serious measures to make sure the story doesn't get out. It has caught the attention of police and Superintendent Howell Gillett, the commanding officer in Belmopan confirms that his investigators have learned that there was improper behaviour from these teachers. But the police might not be able to take action. That's because the female students that the teachers are being accused of having an affair with are 16 years and older, thus they have passed the age of consent.

COMPOL to COLA: Come Again
The Commissioner of Police has finally answered COLA. The activist group was requesting the Elvin Penner case file to prop up its faltering priavet prosecution. Faltering because they don't have any real evidence to back it up. Well the COMPOL wrote them two days ago saying they can't have a copy of the file. Why? Well, as he explains the Freedom of Information Act cannot be invoked for an investigation that is ongoing. COLA issued a release today saying, quote, "at this point, it is not for the Commissioner to determine what is exempt or not." They urge him to return the file to the DPP so that she can share it with COLA.

UDP Party Council Called For Meeting With NCL
At the top of the news - you saw Minister of State Mark King speaking plainly about the political realities of the meeting that the UDP Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment and its four southern standard bearers had with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It happened on Tuesday night at Independence Village High School - but the plan for the meeting was set in motion at a meeting of the UDP's National Party Council held last week Saturday. That's where the party's southern standard bearers complained that they were being kept in the dark about the details of the project, and being kept out of the loop on the job and contract opportunities for their supporters. So Minister Hulse was tasked to set up a sit down with Norwegian's Vice President of Destination and Strategic Development, Colin Murphy. Today via telephone Hulse told us that indeed there are unavoidable political realities:... Jules Vasquez "Was there any indication to NCL to say that well, here are the UDP caretakers or standard bearers, work with these guys - if you have something to turn on, these are the guys to bring it to - you channel it through these guys." Hon. Godwin Hulse, Chair - Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment "The statement to NCL was very clear, it was as long as its Belizeans get the job first.

Stole A Cycle From A Cop
18 year Delbert Alvarez is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing a motorcycle from a police constable. Officer George Ferguson reported to police that on Tuesday, May 20, he parked his red Meilun brand motorcycle in front of his yard, and went inside his house. He came back out 45 minutes later and realized that someone had stolen his motorcycle. Ferguson said that on the following day, he was at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street, when he saw Alvarez on his motorcycle, so he detained the man, and handed him over to other officers. Because of the discovery, he was charged with handling stolen goods, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of $3,000 dollars. He must return to court on July 17.

Woman Dodges Jail For Stealing Electricity
In the poor, undeveloped areas of Belize City, stealing electricity is a way of life. In most cases, it's because there are no lamp-posts in the ground, due to poor or no urban planning. And today, 1 woman almost got sent to jail because she was caught in the act. 61 year-old Honduran Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension was found guilty of stealing electricity in the Magistrate's Court. A technician for the Belize Electricity Limited testified that Nunez had rigged up an illegal connection. He visited her house on May 14 of last year in the company of a police officer and a scenes of crime technician. They found that she installed wires which ran from her connection bypassing the meter, so that there was no way to measure how much electricity she had consumed. Nunez was subsequently criminally charged for stealing electricity, and she was found guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano.

Channel 5

Elderly woman dies in fire early this morning
Sometime around three this morning an unknown person or persons deliberately lit the fire which destroyed a wooden house at the corner of Cran and Cleghorn streets in Belize City. [...]

Police confirm that a Santana resident was murdered
While police are investigating the death of Orseline Wallace Gabourel, Ladyville Police have detained one man for the death of Santana Village resident, Maurice Dennison Young. On Tuesday evening, the [...]

Security guard Levi Brown shot and robbed
Fifty-seven year old Levi Brown was shot in the head just before news time Wednesday night. The security supervisor at J and B security was riding on East Collet Canal [...]

Audit of the Central Health Region show gross misuse of public funds
On August twenty-sixth 2013 the Auditor-General of Belize was notified that there were credible reports of misuse of public funds at the Central Health Region. Four days later an audit [...]

Alfonzo Cruz detained in connection with ongoing Penner investigation
There is breaking news, just in to our studios. News Five has been able to confirm that former Mayor of San Ignacio Town, Alfonso ‘Ponchis’ Cruz, was detained by San [...]

Minister Mark King tells the media U.D.P. first, Belizeans second and P.U.P. last
The Harvest Caye Tourism Development Project off the coast of Placencia, a multimillion dollar initiative by Norwegian Cruise Line, is mired in controversy although it already has the full support [...]

Minister of State says he wants his company to provide security to NCL
King is already lobbying for the spoils. As the proprietor of Brinks Security, he has submitted a proposal to Norwegian for a security contract.  When asked if his position as [...]

Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches dismayed by UWI’s termination of Brendan Bain
On Tuesday, Professor Brendan Bain was sacked from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, following a call by various advocacy groups to have him removed from his post [...]

Belize Action organizes a peaceful demonstration in protest of Bain’s termination
Meanwhile, Belize Action has organized a peaceful demonstration for Friday at midday in protest of Professor Bain’s removal.  According to Pastor Scott Stirm, despite Bain’s stellar career as a renowned [...]

Jason Bruce Lawrence sentenced to life for murder of common-law wife
There is a conviction for murder. After several hours of deliberation by a jury of seven women and five men, the fate of thirty-seven year old Jason Bruce Lawrence was [...]

Woman charged for stealing electricity
A sixty-one year old Honduran national has been sparred jail time for abstracting electricity which is the charge for stealing electricity.  Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension in [...]

The launch of a documentary on the state of affairs of senior citizens
An eighty-three year old woman who lived alone died in an inferno when her house was set on fire. She lived alone and could not get out of harm’s way. [...]

The 2014 Crooked Tree Cashew Festival
The twenty-ninth annual cashew festival was held over the weekend in Crooked Tree under the theme, “Highlight our Magical Fruit, the Cashew.” The village has been pushing to partner with [...]

Meet the new US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno
Retired US Supreme Court Justice, Carlos Moreno, has finally received senatorial approval to proceed on diplomatic mission to Belize as US Ambassador. The Ambassador is expected to arrive in Belize [...]

Healthy Living looks at lupus
May is celebrated as Lupus Awareness month. Lupus is a lesser known disease in Belize but there are a number of persons, predominantly women, who are living with lupus. There [...]


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#491276 - 05/23/14 11:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 23, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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CTV3

Foot Dragging In Penner's Case
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has received the latest response from Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie with regard to disclosure of information related to the private prosecution of Elvin Penner and the Police Department's investigation of his actions in the Citizen Kim scandal. One thing is for sure, the ‘foot dragging’ continues. CTV3 spoke with COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa, who says that this latest move is a cover up from beginning to end. Kareem Musa – Attorney for COLA “So we had received a response from the Auditor General then she cannot give us the information because the material is exempt she has turn it over to the Prime Minister. We did not receive a response from the Commissioner of Police but as you know last week the commissioner went on national television to say that he does not know where the file is when in fact the DPP had turned over everything to him already so I believe what happened to be quite frank with you, I think someone may have called the commissioner and told him you know what you are coming across as very wreck less as our Commissioner of Police to say you don’t know where the file is or somehow make people think that the file has disappeared so what I think the response was I got yesterday and he is now saying that he is in possession of the file all of a sudden but he cannot give us the evidence and he cannot turn over the material to us because he is saying that now like the Auditor General he is saying that material is exempt and the reason that he is giving, he is saying that this might somehow turn into a Public Prosecution which it involves the DPP taking over the case, so far the DPP has not indicated that she will be taking over the case and as a matter of fact just last week I receive a letter from her which she said in very clear terms that she has no problem turning over the files to us that in my mind confirms that there is not intension to have a public prosecution so I don’t know where the commissioner is coming from now saying in fact that there is some public prosecution that is about to be instituted when the DPP herself please turn over the files to COLA so I find it to be just further confirmation not that the Belizean public needed anymore confirmation so it is further confirmation that this is a cover up from the very bottom.”

Family Searches For Missing 46 Year Old
It’s been twenty seven days since 46 year old Guatemalan National, Sonia Abak, was reported missing by her common law husband. The police report states that Abak was last seen leaving her home in Nature Park Street Orange Walk, on Wednesday April 23rd en route to the Adventist School on Palmar/Boundary Road. She has not been seen or heard from since then. Since then, police have come up empty handed and public speculation is growing about her whereabouts. But while many believe that the nude female body found in a pond near Chan Chen village a few weeks ago is that of Abak, the police say that analogy has been ruled out since Jane Doe was found before Abak was reported missing.

Desperate Mother Asks For Financial Assistance
A single mother is reaching out to the public through the media for financial assistance to help get her three year old son some urgent medical attention. Leticia Eck, a resident of Trinidad Village in the Orange Walk District is hoping to get her baby to the doctor as soon as possible to obtain treatment for an infected kidney. Eck says she has been struggling to get all necessary medical attention for her son for the last six month when he was diagnosed. It all started when the baby began looking bluish in color and started vomiting. What she thought was a bad case of the flu turned out to be something far more serious and life threatening for the three year old toddler. Letica Eck “El sufre de esa enfermedad pero cuando el empezó solo tenía piedra en un ruin ion pero ahora lo tiene en los dos y uno no le está funcionando bien porque está reteniendo sangre y pues yo soy mama soltera y no me alcanza para medicarlo y ya hicieron un fundraising en el otro Morning Show y se juntó mil ocho cientos pero lo que yo necesito son tres mil dólares para ir.”

Cattles Stolen By The Banks Of The Rio Hondo
Livestock producers on the banks of the Rio Hondo River in Mexico have reported an increase in cattle rustling. The reports are that up to almost mid-May, over one hundred cattle have been stolen. The press in Quintana Roo is reporting that while authorities deem the matter serious, not much has been done. The situation has seen little attention from authorities after the modifications at the Belize Mexico Border. Commissioner Alex Interián Humberto Muñoz, says that the situation has caused anger and distrust on behalf of the residents in the affected area. One producer in Pucte said that since authorities do not conduct regular patrols in the area, thieves steal cattle at any hour of the day and night. Producers say that the few times any patrols are done, thieves always find a way of transporting the cattle whether dead or alive.

Two Men Charged For Attempted Robbery Of A Taxi Driver
Yesterday we reported on the robbery attempt of Taxi driver Lucio Oliva of Orange Walk Town. Oliva was on duty at the Taxi Association Stand when he was approached by two male persons requesting service to go to Belize City. Upon reaching the outskirt of Carmelita Village one of the male persons told him that he needed to urinate so he pulled the vehicle over to the side of the Phillip Godson Highway and said male person punched him to the right side of his face. Fearing for his life he immediately took out the keys from the ignition and ran out of the vehicle for safety and called the Police.

Lisa's Restaurant Also Robbed In Corozal
But that is not the only robbery that took place in that municipality. On Sunday evening, Lisa’s Restaurant located on 5th Avenue became the target of robbery when two male culprits, one of them armed with what is believed to be a sawed-off shot gun gained entrance to the restaurant and demanded money. Fearing for their life, the owner of the business handed over approximately $1,000 to the robber’s all proceeds from the day’s sale. Not satisfied with the cash, the criminal who was armed with the shotgun proceeded to hit the business owner on the face with the firearm before he and his companion made good their escape. Acting Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Department, Daniel Arzu, believes that both robberies are linked. Police are following several leads as the investigation on both incidences continues.

Thieves Caught On Camera At Broad Day Light Robbery
Yesterday we reported on the rapid growth of sex crimes in the country of Belize, especially in the Corozal District. Well tonight it makes us uneasy to report that robbery is the second most rapid growing crime in that municipality even though business owners are installing surveillance cameras to their establishment. This apparently does not deter criminals and a testament to that is the following robbery story. Victor Castillo – Reporting It was a little after 11:30pm on Wednesday when two masked men barged into Chang Li Bar and Game Room located on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town. The entire incident was caught on tape. As you can observe the first culprit, armed with what is believed to be a sawed off shot gun, ran towards the business owner while the second robber armed with what is believed to be a machete ran behind the counter and cashed out all the money that was in the drawer.

LOVE FM

Elderly Woman Dies in Burning House
HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Eighty two year old Erceline Gabourel lived on the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets for most of her life. She lived alone in a two story wooden structure she called home. And sometime in the morning, her home caught on fire. With no way to escape the blaze, Gabourel was trapped inside where she took her lost breath. CATHLEEN GRANT “This morning about three or a little after three, the house caught fire, we don’t know how but I believe someone set it. The lady was bawling and apparently, the two security guards in the area couldn’t leave their job and gave no assistance but the lady was right in her house and died right in there; that is just wrong. If the son was dealing with the lady in the correct way this wouldn’t happen. She is very well known to the police because she was constantly reporting that her gas was being stolen and her money and her chicken.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “According to Officials at the National Fire Services, the fire occurred at 3:44am, they got the call a minute after and by 3:45 they were on the scene. It took firefighters, fifteen minutes to extinguish the flames. The results of the investigation pointed to arson.”

Woman Arraigned for Stealing Electricity
Sixty-one year old Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension, was fined five hundred dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she was found guilty of stealing electricity. She was ordered to pay the fine by August 31. If she defaults on payment she will serve one year. Before he sentenced Nunez, Cayetano told her that the offence is a serious one and the she could have been sentenced to five years imprisonment. He advised her to desist from making illegal electrical connections. Nunez was busted on May 14, 2013, when 51 year old Lionel Canto, a distribution technician for Belize Electricity Limited, went to her house accompanied by a police officer and a scenes of crime technician. Canto explained to Nunez the purpose of his visit and when he did his inspection of the electrical installation he saw that the power was being diverted before the meter and that a connection was made through the wall which led to a switch box. Canto then instructed the scenes of crime technician to take photographs of the hook up. Canto then went to BEL office and made a report. After that he went to the police station and gave the police a statement. Based on the statement he gave, Nunez was arrested and charged with abstracting electricity.

Granted Bail for Driving Cop’s Stolen Cycle
Eighteen year old Delbert Alvarez, who allegedly assisted in the dishonest retention of a Meilun motorcycle belonging to a police officer, was charged with handling stolen goods when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Alvarez pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until July 17. Police constable George Ferguson, who resides on Mohammed Ali Street, reported to police that at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, he parked his red motorcycle in front of his yard and he went inside his house. He said that when he came back out about 45 minutes later, he discovered that his motorcycle was missing. Yesterday around 6:15 p.m. Ferguson was at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street when he saw a young man of dark complexion wearing a white t-shirt and black pants driving a blue motorcycle. Ferguson intercepted the driver and reported that although the color of the motorcycle was blue, he was able to tell that it was his property. He detained the man and called the police. Upon their arrival, the police took the man into custody and charged him. His name was later learnt to be Delbert Alvarez.

Under Influence of Crack, Campari and Weed Led to Murder
A jury of 12 is deliberating in the court of Justice John Gonzalez to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 37 year old Jason Bruce Lawrence, charged with the murder of his common-law wife, 40 year old Mercedes Carrillo. Carrillo, a nurse and businesswoman, was fatally stabbed shortly after midnight on December 4, 2009, while she was at her apartment in Burrell Boom. Her daughter, who was 18 at the time and her son, who was 14, testified that their step-father and their mother began arguing after their mother received a phone call and said that she told the man to stop calling her. They said their mother called the police and Lawrence left only to return about an hour later. According to the evidence, the door was locked and Lawrence stoned the door with a concrete block which caused one of the panels to fall out. Lawrence then entered the apartment and he began to curse Carrillo. Lawrence then took out a knife and he began to stab Carrillo. Carrillo’s son intervened and struck Lawrence on his back with a guitar. But that did not stop Lawrence. It was only when Carrillo’s daughter stabbed Lawrence in his back with a knife that he discontinued his assault. By that time Carrillo had already received five stab wounds to her chest and abdomen. Carrillo was taken to the hospital by Lawrence and her children. She died shortly after she arrived. Lawrence gave a statement from the dock in which he admitted that he stabbed Carrillo. He said that his intention was not to kill her and he acted in that manner because he was under the influence of crack, Campari and marijuana. Lawrence is being represented by attorney Oscar Selgado while Crown Counsel Leroy Banner is representing the prosecution.

Security Supervisor Survives Bullet to the Head
57-year-old, Levi Brown is lucky to be alive today after he was shot in the head. It happened yesterday evening, a few minutes past 6 o’clock, while Brown was riding his bicycle on East Collet Canal heading in the direction of King Street in Belize City. Upon reaching the corner of Dean Street, he heard a loud bang and a second later, he fell to the ground unconscious. Brown was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where doctors found a bullet lodge to the back of his head. He is in a stable condition at the hospital. Young, who is a Security Supervisor of J&B Security Firm, was carrying, a blue deposit bag which had in assorted cheques and one .38 pistol with one magazine containing seven .38 live rounds. Those items have been reported missing. Police investigations continue.

PlusTV

Elderly Man Shot and Robbed
Another elderly person was the victim of a crime yesterday. 57-year-old Levi Brown, a Belizean Security Supervisor of J&B Security Firm and a resident of Belize City, was shot to the back of the head yesterday evening at about 6:30. Police reports are that Brown was riding his bicycle...

Guatemalans Busted for Drug Trafficking in Belize
A taxi man was busted with weed on Wednesday, May 20th. Five persons, three men and two women, were inside the taxi at the time of the bust and were arrested and charged for drug trafficking. According to San Ignacio Police, the arrest was as a result of a...

Jason Lawrence Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder
From the very beginning, he has admitted his guilt. But today, a jury of 12 formally found 37 year old Jason Bruce Lawrence, guilty of murder. ‘Justice Troadio Gonzalez duly sentenced him to life in prison. He was charged with the murder of nurse Mercedes Carrillo at their home...

Belize Action Plans Protest in Solidarity with Fired Professor Brendan Bain
Professor Brendan Bain was officially terminated from the University of the West Indies on Tuesday May 20th as a result of LGBT pressures. The backlash has been loud as cries of “foul” have been heard across the Caribbean. Students and other concerned persons, had silently protested in front of...

The Guardian

Cayo North East Convention Set
June 8 has been set as the date during which the United Democratic Party will be holding a convention to identify a new Standard Bearer for the Cayo North East constituency. Party Chairman, Alberto August, says that all preparations are ready for that convention to take place. He explains that there are three candidates who are seeking the position. Those persons are, current mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August; well known UDP stalwarts Eduardo Juan and Anthony McNab. The convention has become necessary after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in October of 2013 invited Hon. Elvin Penner to resign from the United Democratic Party as he would no longer be able to represent the people of Cayo North East as a member of the U.D.P. Prime Minister Barrow asked for the resignation after irregularities involving Hon. Penner in the immigration department came to his attention. While the opposition PUP is making a whole lot of racket over the Elvin Penner issue using Cola as its main instrument, the United Democratic Party has long moved on. The convention will secure UDP representation in the constituency. Unlike the manner in which the PUP conducts business, the UDP is not afraid to point out wrong doing and in fact takes swift and decisive action whenever these are discovered.

$10 Million from Taiwan to Belize
The Government of the Republic of China-Taiwan is now comfortable when making contributions intended to benefit the people of Belize. On Monday, May 19th, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, handed over a cheque for US$5 million to the Prime Minister of Belize for support in key infrastructural projects. Ambassador Wu says, “We have seen the apparent progress for your beautiful country in terms of the infrastructure development.” He says that everywhere he travels in the beautiful country of Belize he sees huge progress. Ambassador Wu says he has confidence in this administration and “really admire the capable leadership of the Government”. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, accepted the cheque on behalf of the Government and people of Belize. He says the funds will be used to cover a part of the expenditures on key infrastructure projects. It will be used to partially finance Phase II of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project in Belize City. A portion of the US$5 million will be used as support finance for the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District. The money will also be spread to the West of the country as a portion will be used on the new crossing of the Macal River in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

Belize Times thief?
Collecting money on behalf of the General Sales Tax department and not paying it into that department is tantamount to theft. That is where the People’s United Party’s Belize Times finds itself these days. On Wednesday, May 14, it was summoned at the Magistrate’s Court to answer to two counts of failure to file GST returns. The summons as we understand it, are fore the months of January and February. When it was originally called up, Marion Marsden was the respondent, however, she did not show up in court. Anthony Sylvester was the one who showed up but no plea could be taken and the matter was adjourned until Thursday May 15. At that time the matter had to once again be adjourned because nobody could come up to represent the Times. Things have gotten so lean on that side that the attorney Kareem Musa claimed that there were only two employees working at the newspaper. He said however that their were directors that could be summoned since Marsden was no longer employed at the newspaper since 2008. By our investigations the Belize Times owes in the region of $4,500 in GST. It means that they have been collecting these monies on behalf of the government and have not been paying it into the department. Seems like theft to us.

Castro challenge crushed
On Monday, May 19, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the claim brought by Trevor Vernon against Hon. Edmond Castro, the Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, and area representative of Belize Rural North. Vernon was seeking declaratory relief against Castro that his actions while as the Minister responsible for the Belize Airport Authority, was against the code of conduct given to Ministers of Government by the Constitution. On Monday, May 5, Castro’s attorney, Denys Barrow, made an application before Chief Justice Benjamin that Vernon’s claim be struck out of court because the laws that he was asking to be invoked against Castro could not apply. He was trying to move the court using administrative law applications, constitutional relief, and judicial review proceedings. These all come under public law which is only available to be brought against a state or a tribunal, but not against Castro who is a public official, but not a public body.

Lake-I keeps moving
The work of Hon. Mark King in Lake-Independence continues, and as he had promised more streets are being upgraded in the constituency. He had taken the division from one where there was not a single street which did not have pot holes to one where a significant number of streets have been concreted. The work is currently underway where numerous streets are being brought up to just before paved standard. Among the streets that will see upgrades are Alisa, Sunflower, Ordonez and Riverside streets. Included in the works will be culverts and driveways. According to Hon. King, "I will not stop until all is fixed and Lake I people can be proud to have good streets to walk and drive on".

Fourth Former does the right thing at Eden High in Cayo
A young man has been recognized by his peers at a High School in the Cayo District. Juan Gregorio Tuyel was, on Wednesday, officially recognized for ‘doing the right thing’ at the Eden Adventist High School in Santa Elena Town. The young man is a fourth form student and received a certificate and T-Shirt from the Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing Program” as well as a letter from Belize’s Police Commissioner, Alen Whylie Doing the presentation of certificate and giving recognition to the model student, for the month of January 2014, was ranking Police Officer Reymundo Reyes. The “Do the Right Thing Program” is an ongoing program of the Belize Police Department to motivate reformed youths.

Nigel Petillo changing his tune
We at the Guardian were taken aback on Wednesday morning when Nigel Petillo made pleas to government to rethink its position and allow him to lease out or rent out or let out government property for the benefit of a few. Petillo had entered into some arrangement with a private company for it to bulldoze and plow the buffer area of Harmonyville and plant corn thereafter. Petillo had taken on the position that if the government did not allow for the planting to take place, members of BGYEA would themselves do the planting and government would have to burn it down to stop the crop. Well BGYEA or any of its members were not serious about their threat and their confrontational position dwindled to one of begging on Wednesday.

Dumb and Dumber, who is to blame?
Two failed PUP candidates, attorneys both, unsuccessfully tried to discredit Hon. Edmund Castro using the court system. The two attorneys, Arthur Saldivar and Phillip Palacio with the aid of Trevor Vernon sought to have the court declare that Hon. Castro acted inappropriately when he assisted his constituents using resources from the Airports Authority. It seems that their claim ended before it started because of the caliber of attorney which was sought. It seems that the junior is less than a junior and a deserving candidate for the classroom dunce. When the case was brought to the Supreme Court, the learned attorney, Denys Barrow, pointed out that really, the case needed to wheel and come again. Phillip who in the last general election asked the voters of Mesopotamia to give him 'a run' actually could barely make it up the steps of the Supreme Court (we will not say he is obese) with a half baked, half hearted effort to have the Supreme Court deem that Hon. Castro acted inappropriately.

Education Week brings the Maya Forest garden to Santa Familia Students
Principal Donicio Escobar was enthusiastic about the annual Forest Garden presentation bringing the school teachers and students closer to their valuable asset in the school forest garden, making Monday May 12th a special day for all the primary school students from Infant 1 to Std 6. They had a chance to spend a class period with traditional Maya forest gardeners at their school garden Känan K’aax, “well tended garden” in Mayan. Initiated in 2008 with the vision of the late Alcario Cano who cherished the Maya forest garden, the acre plot is in the northeast corner of the school property. Only a short five minute walk from the school classrooms. There, children find a new world of plants useful for food and medicine, providing shade to cool the earth, and resources for the animals. This is their garden, the Känan K’aax.


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#491277 - 05/23/14 11:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 23, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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Nationalization Acts Ruled Constitutional
On Thursday, May 15th, President Manuel Sosa of the Belize Court of Appeals delivered the Court’s judgment on challenges to the nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). In a two to one split decision the Court of Appeals ruled that the nationalization of both BTL and BEL were lawfully done and the Eight Amendment Bill is constitutionally in order. The Court also ruled that compensation for the companies will be set at market value at the time of nationalization. Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, says the decision is “a blowout for Government and at this point in time the people of Belize has every right to feel good about this decision.” Eamon Courtenay who argued that the nationalizations were unconstitutional took solace in the fact that one judge ruled in their favour and says the Caribbean Court of Justice will have the final say in the matter.

Professor Bain Booted - Freedom of Expression Dead!
Professor Brendon Bain who is considered a leading medical authority on the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean region has been fired by the University of the West Indies for his expert testimony in the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Government of Belize. Bain was the Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative when he was called as an expert witness in August of 2012. In his testimony, Bain said that though 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 men having sex with men, to date there has been no published data to substantiate that hypothesis. Bain also said that removing the anti-sodomy laws off the books could have a negative effect on the country’s economy.

Inauguration of the Headquarters Building for the Sugar Industry Research And Development Institute
The Government of Belize (GOB), the European Union (EU), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) conducted an “Inauguration Ceremony” for the Building which will serve as the Headquarters for SIRDI on Monday May 19, 2014 at the SIRDI building site located between miles 66 and 67 along the Phillip Goldson Highway, near the village of Buena Vista in the Corozal District. The construction of the building was financed with grant funds contributed by the EU through its Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Program and financial support from the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) at an estimated cost of BZ $655,000.00 (six hundred fifty five thousand Belize dollars). The construction was managed by IICA within the framework of the project “Institutional Support for Strengthening of SIRDI” being implemented by IICA through Contribution Agreement #DCI-SUCRE-2011/275984 signed between IICA and the EU in May 2012.

Special Envoy Recognizes Late Great Beverly Smith Lopez
This week’s Trailblazer Tuesday features a woman we all have fond memories of, an icon in Belizean culture! Mrs. Beverly Smith Lopez (1957-2002) At the tender age of nineteen, Beverly Smith Lopez diversified Belize’s artistic scope by becoming the “First lady of Comedy”, the first National Drama Coordinator. In 1957, Beverly was born to Earl and Hazel Smith. She attended Belize Pallotti High School. She later attained a scholarship to Santa Clara University in Northern California and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors degree in Theatre. Beverly’s acting debut was her performance of her hit monologue – BELIZEAN GOSSIP at the Square Peg Players at Carifesta 1976 in Jamaica, which quickly raised her popularity.

Prison Officer Caught Smuggling Weed inside Central Prison
Prison Officer of the Belize Central Prison, Ajani Smith Sr., was convicted of drug trafficking on Monday May 19th. According to Hattieville police, they received a call from the Belize Central Prison on August 25th, 2013. When they arrived at the prison, was turned over to them by prison officials. They explained that Smith had complained to his superior officer that he was not feeling well and he wanted to visit the medic center on the compound. He was given permission to go ahead and do so. On his way to the medic center, Prison Officer Silvino Cal conducted a search on Smith. During the search, Cal found a black plastic bag strapped to his right leg inside his pants. Inside the black bag were two other bags. Those bags were opened and they contained what proved to be cannabis. The drug was weighed at the police station and amounted to a total of 54.6 grams. Smith was arrested and charged with drug possession and drug trafficking.

Jamil Meighan and Wilfred Stanley Charged for West Landivar Burglary
Jamil Meighan, 25-year-old Construction Worker of Ivory Street in Belize City, and Wilfred Javier Stanley, 30-year-old Stevedore of Neal’s Pen Road, have been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of Janelle Reyes’ West Landivar home. According to police, Janelle Reyes reported that sometime between the hours of 8:30 p.m., on April 9, 2014 and 10:30 a.m. on April 12, 2014 her home located at #6017 Freshman Lane, West Landivar Area, was burglarized and an assortment of jewelry was stolen. Police in investigation led them to pick up Jamil Meighan for the burglary. While no one linked Meighan to the scene of the burglary, he allegedly confessed to the crime and informed police that he had given the items to his friend, Wilfred Stanley. Stanley was later tracked down and detained.

Two Men Acquitted of Murder in Stann Creek
Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez have been acquitted of the murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred on March 19, 2010 in Cowpen Village, Stann Creek District. Duarte was shot on March 19, 2010, and later succumbed to his injuries on March 24, 2010. Rodriguez and Valdez were later arrested and charged for his murder. In court, Senior Crown Counsel Linbert Willis prosecuted the case before Justice Denis S. Hanonmansingh in a trial by judge without jury. Willis called 8 witnesses to testify in the murder trial. The main testimony in the trial was that of the deceased’s wife, who was the only eye witness to the murder. Duarte’s wife did not give the police a proper description of the men she claimed killed her husband.

Drugs seized in Cayo
On Tuesday of this week a vigilant team of Police Officers, ADU, Canine and Customs netted in a good catch of drugs and traffickers in the Cayo District. At precisely 3:30 am, a search was conducted at mile 68 on the George Price Highway on a Gold colored Geo Prism Taxi car with license plate L/P BVO D 00416, where five persons were observed to be relaxing inside. Also found in the car was a white ‘crocus’ sack containing a black plastic bag with 11 parcels of green leafy substances suspected to be cannabis. Those persons arrested on Tuesday in the Taxi have been identified as Anna Galvez, 23 year old, Guatemalan Domestic of Cotton Tree Village and Francisco Martinez, 35 year old, Guatemalan laborer of Melchor de Mencos. Also arrested were Vicente Rosales, 23 years old, Guatemalan laborer; Maria Trinidad, 61 year old Guatemalan Domestic and Jose Roca, 63 year old, Naturalized Belizean Taxi driver, all who come from Arenal Village.

15-year-old lured to his death
The Connor family continues to grieve the loss of 15 year-old Kevin Connor after he was gunned down and left to die in the secluded area of the abandoned Port Free Zone, which is adjacent to the Jane Usher Boulevard. It is believed that Connor’s death is a form of direct retaliation for the murder of 22 year-old Patrick Bevans. Police from Precinct 2 were on mobile patrol on Monday, May 19, when at around 10:50p.m. they decided to check parts of the abandoned Free Zone known to attract residents, of the Jane Usher Boulevard. About a mile or so into the property, they found Connor’s body in the middle of the road with 2 gunshot wounds to the head: one to the left temple, and one to the left cheek. The body was removed and taken to the KHMH where it awaits a post-mortem examination.

Kevin Alvarez and Minor Convicted of Robbery
Police responded to report of a robbery in progress at the corner of Fairweather and Waight Streets on September 2, 2013. They met 32-year-old librarian, Roderick Matura, who told them he was riding his bicycle when he was approached by two men riding on a single bicycle. The men attacked him and took away his bicycle. Before riding off with his bicycle, they beat him up and took away his wallet which contained personal identification documents and $40 cash. Residents in the area called police immediately as the robbery was taking place. Police took Matura in the mobile and they went looking for the attackers.

Handed himself in for Mother’s Day murder
Kenner Gomez Trapp, the 20 year-old man from Punta Gorda Town who police are looking at as the main suspect in the murder of 26 year-old Janice Vargas, has been criminally charged for the suspected murder weapon. On Friday, 5 days after the 26 year-old Mother was gunned down and killed, police detained Trapp and interrogated him. He eventually led them to a bushy area in the Town’s cemetery where they retrieved a .38 pistol. He told them that he buried it there after he shot Janice Vargas. He was subsequently charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Santana Villager may have been killed
The body of Maurice “Tuko” Young, a 57 year-old resident of Santana Village on the Old Northern Highway was found on Tuesday, May 20, in a patch of grass behind his house. There is the strong suspicion that he didn’t die of natural causes; in fact, his family and friends suspect that he was killed. Young was expected to have been on the bus to Maskall on Monday, and when the residents found his bicycle unsecured and his radio inside his house, they suspected that something was wrong. When he was not seen for the entire day on Monday, they began to actively search for him, and that’s when they found Young’s body decomposing the next day.

Shalini Zabaneh captures fifth Cross Country title
The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its 25th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday May 18, 2014 and the results of the race have now been recorded in the sports pages. The race started from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio town and concluded in front of Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway. At the end of some 3:12:54, Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun was the first female rider to cross the finish line to capture her fifth cross country title. Zabaneh received for her prize $1500.00 in cash from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; $1500.00 from the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children; 6 ft trophy in memory of Kevin and Phillip Brannon; a round trip ticket to anywhere in Belize courtesy of Maya Island Air and a trophy from Jex Trophy. The second rider to cross the finish line was Patricia Chavarria of Team BECOL and she received for her prizes $500.00 from the Belize City Council; $300.00 in cash from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; one round trip ticket to anywhere in Belize courtesy of Maya Island Air and a trophy from Jex Trophy.

San Pedro Tigersharks number one seed into basketball playoffs
The 2014 National Elite Basketball Competition is fast winding up with the commencement of the playoffs set for this Friday May 23, 2014. The regular season came to an end over the last weekend with a number of games across the country that was of very high importance as they related to the playoffs picture. On Thursday May 15, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Belmopan Point Bandits defeated the Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 81- 78 to secure its place into the playoff round. The top scorers for the Belmopan Point Bandits were Stephen Williams with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist, Dorian Jones with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Christian Rodriguez with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Johan Bermudez with 21 points, 9 rebounds, Farron Louriano with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Travis Lennan also with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Patrick Jones

Maya communities vow to keep up fight against pre-drilling activities
Maya communities in Toledo district that are fighting to halt pre-drilling activities by US Capital Energy Limited inside of the Sarstoon Temash National Park have been doing consultations of their own. And on Tuesday, they held meeting of leaders of the buffer communities at the Machaca Outreach Center in Jacintoville village. Following that consultation and rally, a press conference was held during which the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, Greg Ch’oc told reporters that the resolve of the Maya communities is to stand strong and press on. It is understood that SATIIM and the buffer communities have gone back to the Supreme Court to seek a post judgment injunction to force US Capital Energy to halt its pre-drilling activities.

Woman dies in early morning fire
An elderly woman perished in an early morning fire in Belize City today. 84 year old Isoline Gabourel was trapped in the flames when her house at the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets caught on fire around 3 o’clock this morning. Gabourel, according to her neighbors, lived alone and kept to herself.

Ousted Alcalde says he was wronged
Since his abrupt removal as Alcalde of Conejo village in the Toledo district in April of this year, Valentin Makin has faded from the public spotlight. But that does not mean that he is going quietly into the sunset. Makin says he feels “much disrespected” by the series of events that led to his ouster as Alcalde and furthermore that since the story broke in such dramatic fashion that “my reputation and my honor has been torn up” especially in his community. In a sit-down interview with our Toledo Correspondent Juan Caal, Makin went to great lengths to explain that due process in his removal was not followed. “I was just informed that I was removed,” says Makin.

AARP says Belize is World’s Best Honeymoon Destination for 2014
The travel section of AARP.com, a popular website on the internet has selected Belize as one of the world’s best honeymoon destination for 2014. The writer, Andrea M Rotondo described Belize as follows: Located in Central America, Belize is an incredibly compelling honeymoon destination for three simple reasons: its close proximity to the United States (a two-hour flight from Miami), its weather (around 84 degrees daily year-round), and the 190-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, which is easily accessible along the coast and a wildly popular spot for snorkeling and scuba trips, fishing excursions and romantic sunset cruises. Belize attracts a variety of honeymooners, from nature lovers, history buffs and diving fanatics to zip-liners, cave (river) tubers and those who simply prefer to sit on the beach at a resort with drink in hand. Belize was the only country in Central America that made it on the list.

Early morning fire kills elderly woman
There was a fire in Belize City this morning at the corner of Cleghorn and Douglas Jones Streets. Fire, while often sudden and destructive, is fairly uncommon these days as the City grows and develops. But what makes this fire different is that it appears to have been deliberately set – and the victim is an 84 year old woman who lived alone and largely kept to herself. Isoline Gabourel was apparently trapped inside her house and possibly succumbed to the smoke, unable to get to either exit. Station Manager for the National Fire Service in Belize City, Orin Smith, told reporters this afternoon that their investigations uncovered no trace of either combustible material or a source of ignition such as gas, electricity or others. The pattern of the fire led to the logical conclusion that it was “incendiary,” that is, deliberately set.

Jason Lawrence guilty of partner’s murder
From the very beginning, he admitted his guilt. But today, a jury of 12 formally found Jason Bruce Lawrence, 37, a truck driver, guilty of murder. Justice Troadio Gonzalez duly sentenced him to life in prison. He was charged with the murder of nurse Mercedes Carrillo at their home in Burrell Boom on December 4, 2009. The couple had argued earlier in the night and Lawrence left the premises around midnight after Carrillo called police. He would return an hour later, break a panel in the front door with a brick, and go up to the apartment where Carrillo lived. In front of their stepchildren, a teenage daughter and a younger son, he began to curse their mother, then produced a knife and stabbed her five times. The children testified that they intervened and the daughter managed to stab Lawrence in his back near the shoulder.

COLA demands Penner file from Police Commissioner
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has written back to president of COLA Giovanni Brackett, regretfully declining his request for disclosure of information gathered by Police during their investigation of former Immigration Minister of State Elvin Penner. COLA is accusing Penner of making false statements that allowed South Korean businessman Won-Hong Kim to falsely secure a Belizean passport and nationality certificate despite never having set foot here. But the organization in a press release claims the Commissioner is “flipping and flopping,” citing his interview last week in which he said the investigation was closed. He was not clear on whether the file was with him or DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, but the DPP has said she sent it to him and expects it back so that she can share it with COLA as part of their bundle of disclosure expected for Penner when he returns to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court next Thursday, May 29.

Man charged for handling policeman’s stolen motorcycle
18 year old Delbert Alvarez has been charged with handling stolen goods after a police constable said he found him with his stolen motorcycle. George Ferguson of Muhammad Ali Street in Port Loyola parked the red Meilun motorcycle in front of his home on Tuesday evening, May 20 but when he went back outside 45 minutes later it was gone. The next day, he saw Alvarez riding a blue motorcycle on Central American Boulevard near Racoon Street and stopped him. Upon checking the vehicle he found that it matched his missing motorcycle except for the differing paint color. P.C. Ferguson called in his fellow officers and made a statement which lead to Alvarez’s arrest.

Woman guilty of “abstracting electricity”
Antelope Street Extension resident Dominga Nunez must pay the courts $500 in fines on a charge of “abstracting electricity.” She is accused of allowing alterations to connections for Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) such that the power company’s distribution technician, Lionel Canto, found on inspection that the BEL meter was not registering power. Instead, it was being diverted into a switchbox inside the residence. The beneficiary of the collection would be paying the flat rate for electricity usage instead of what they really should pay. According to Nunez she just returned home from Honduras and did not know of the illegal collection. But Canto told Magistrate Dale Cayetano that he personally spoke to Nunez in the presence of a police constable and Scenes of Crime Technician at the residence.

Belize Action plans lunch hour demonstration on Friday in Belize City
The group Belize Action, an advocacy group on morality, righteousness and legislation will stage a lunch hour demonstration on Friday afternoon in Belize City. The demonstration according to the invitation sent out via social media and text message, is calling on supporters to “stand in support for Dr. Brendan Bain” who was terminated this week as head of the regional CHART program at the University of the West Indies. Professor Bain provided expert testimony last year in the challenge to Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, and because of that testimony he was targeted. Thirty five regional advocacy groups, including the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, sent a letter to the University of the West Indies notifying the regional institution that they had lost confidence in Professor Bain as the head of CHART. He was subsequently fired by the UWI.

Blogs

The Trip From Ambergris Caye To Placencia, Yoli’s Bar and The Lovely Sea Glass Inn
I’ve taken this bus ride quite a few times from North to South (or mid to lower South) in Belize. San Pedro to Belize City via the 7:30am San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. 1.25 hours. $44bzd round-trip IF you have a membership card. 9:15am – Bus from Belize City to Belmopan and then down to Independence (over the Maya Mountains). Here is much of my trip. That which is not shown in photographs was spent sleeping…I could not keep my eyes open on this bus. Each time I was jostled awake, someone new was sitting next to me.

Huge Maya City found near Belize and Mexico border line: Noh Kah
According to Mexican Newspapers the Archaeologists from the National Institue of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (INAH) confirmed today that there is an Ancient Mayan City approximated to be about 84 acres and is located in the jungles around the border line of Quintana Roo and Belize. The Ancient Mayan City was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City, and is believed to have existed more than one thousand five hundred years ago. In a statement released, INAH claim that with the assistance of members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa, specialists were able to perform a topographic survey of the Ancient Mayan City, which is covered by the forest on the bank of the Rio Hondo. Noh Kah is located about 7 miles from the Belize / Mexican Border line and about 37 miles away from the city of Chetumal.

“The Gambler” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With a forty-five thousand gallon rainwater collection tank under our house I really shouldn’t have been concerning myself with thoughts (concerns?) over whether there was enough water to last until the rainy season begins. I think its a general trait though that the older you get the more you think (worry) about whether you have enough of ‘this’ or ‘that’. Whatever ‘this’ or ‘that’ might be. Now when you’re young? Well I don’t know about you but when I was young I rarely expended much more thought or effort thinking about the future than what I was going to do that day or night. Or, if I was really in a forward thinking mood (rare by the way), I might have given some thought to what I could do at the weekend or where I might like to go for my summer holiday. But that was about the full extent of my contemplation.

International Sources

World's Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2014
Located in Central America, Belize is an incredibly compelling honeymoon destination for three simple reasons: its close proximity to the United States (a two-hour flight from Miami), its weather (around 84 degrees daily year-round), and the 190-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, which is easily accessible along the coast and a wildly popular spot for snorkeling and scuba trips, fishing excursions and romantic sunset cruises. Belize attracts a variety of honeymooners, from nature lovers, history buffs and diving fanatics to zip-liners, cave (river) tubers and those who simply prefer to sit on the beach at a resort with drink in hand.

Snorkeling Just Got A Major Makeover Thanks To The Tribord Easybreath
There's a beautiful world just waiting to be discovered under the sea. There's just one problem: It's under the sea. In lieu of the invention of human gills, Tribord, a water sports company based in France, has designed the Easybreath mask, which claims to make it as easy for people to see and breathe underwater as they would on land. And it might just be the coolest development in snorkel tech since the dolphin jet pack. Judging by the focus group in Tribord's video, it seems the snorkel is the main hurdle in traditional snorkeling. "We naturally disassociate mouth from nose," says Olivier, a diving center manager. "In other words, we breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, so when we put on a mask, we can only breathe through the mouth." The Easybreath mask allows you to breathe more naturally through your nose and mouth, without fogging up the goggle, while giving you a bonus 180-degree field of vision. They also fitted the pipe above the head with a bright stopper that prohibits water from entering when submerged and is noticeable to other swimmers and boaters.

Gallup: Central America is the world’s happiest region, despite sky-high homicide rates in some countries
Despite high crime, murder rates, persistent poverty and income inequality, Latin America and one of its most troubled regions, Central America, reported the highest levels of satisfaction in the world. The results came in an annual poll of 138 countries published by Gallup on Wednesday. Costa Rica reported the sixth highest level of happiness in the world, with 82 percent of respondents saying they were happy. Paraguay led the world with a score of 87 percent. All surveyed Central American countries ranked in the top 11 worldwide, with Panama being second. Belize was not included in the survey. The overwhelming majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries ranked high, with Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela also in the top 10. The lowest countries in the region were Jamaica and Haiti at 64th and 121st respectively. The United States ranked 24th, with 78 percent saying they were happy.

Consolidated Water Completes Land Purchases for Mexico Project
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO:US), the Caribbean water provider that’s expanded to Bali, Indonesia, completed the purchase of two parcels of land for its proposed desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, Baja California. The Georgetown, Cayman Islands-based company said today that the 20.1 hectares (50 acres) of property bought for $20 million is needed for the construction and operation of a 100 million gallon a day seawater reverse-osmosis plant. If its NSC Agua SA unit secures water purchase and other required agreements and approvals, the plan is for the plant to purify seawater for drinking and feed it to a pipeline to deliver water to the Mexican system and the U.S. border, said the company whose operations include the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Belize.

Celebrities and Ministers Erwin Contreras and Manuel Heredia show support at the Cannes Film Festival in France for the Puerto Azul Project.
Remove all the mangrove on a caye? On top of the highest density of nesting turtles in Belize AND a large Nassau Grouper spawning aggregation?? And THEN add 3000 people???? After you dredge?????!? You might as well put an oil well and a landfill and a nuclear waste dump on it too. This all sounds too awful to believe.

Rio On Pools on Best Swimming Holes List
Rio On Pools was listed as one of the top 20 Best Natural Swimming Holes in the World on MSN's list. It's number 17 on the list, even though it's number 1. "Whether you're looking to cool off from the summer heat or want to soak up the warmth of mineral hot springs, these natural swimming holes fit the bill. Here are 20 of nature's most inviting places to take a dip."

Unusual Travel: The Great Blue Hole in Belize
Found on both land and in the ocean throughout the Bahamas and the national waters of Belize are deep circular cavities known as Blue Holes which are often the entrances to cave networks, some of them up to 14 kilometres in length. Divers have reported a vast number of aquatic creatures some of which are still new to science. In addition, they’ve recorded chambers filled with stalactites and stalagmites which only form in dry caves. For the explorers this was proof that at one time, nearly 65,000 years ago, when the world was in the grip of the last major ice age, the sea level of the Bahamas was up to 150 metres lower than it is today. Over time the limestone of the islands was eroded by water and vast cave networks created. When sea levels rose again about 10,000 years ago some of these collapsed inwards and the Blue Holes were formed.

Videos

Video: Visit Belize v 1.2, 3min.
Spend a few days in Belize, incredible views!!! Made some new friends, (this is to you guys) while working !!!! We will be filming again soon in Belize!!! wait for more amazing videos.. Francisco Sandoval of the professional aerial video and photography company SkyCam from Guatemala just recently visited Belize with a couple of his remote controlled helicopter drones and compiled this great video of Belize’s natural beauty.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 4, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 5, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 6, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: May 7th, 2014 - Mayan Princess Canyon, Belize (#16), 7min.
This dive was all about the nurse sharks. They followed us around the whole dive and really wanted us to give them some food. We saw some groupers, a moray, and some excellent coral formations, but the nurse sharks stole the show.

Video: Belize News 5 Interview with Belize Country Director Antoinette Moore, 1hr2min.
Following the release of ABA ROLI's "Prosecutorial Reform Index" for Belize, Belize News 5 talk show, "Open Your Eyes" interviewed Country Director Antoinette Moore and University of Notre Dame Law Professor Jimmy Gurulé about the publication.

Video: Wildlife of Belize, 4min.
An ETE ambassador talks through the various wildlife that inhabits the rainforests of Belize.

Video: Tombs and burials of Cahal Pech, 1hr1min.
Dr. Jaime Awe talks about the tombs and burials of Cahal Pech. Learn something new about Cahal Pech. Thanks, Cruz Cambranes, for the audio editing. "This is the audio presentation of Tombs and burials free for you to use in any way. Forgive me but the presentation was recorded in a non controled environment lots of background noise. I have edited it for your listening pleasure. Lots of great info here. "

Video: Belize is home to one of the largest limestone cave systems in the world, 2min.
Discovery Channel

Video: Belize Childrens Ministry, 4min.
The Childrens Ministry team shares their memories and thoughts on serving in Belize

Video: BELIZE EXTREME ~ FISHING, HUNTING & ADVENTURE, 4min.
Extreme Fishing, Hunting and Adventure at Spiritwind Sportsman International in Belize

Video: Corozal Town Belize, 5min.

Video: Costa "Currents of Belize" Trailer, 3min.

Video: Jeets' & Stache's mildly outrageous Central American adventures, 4min.
May 2014 trip to Central America from our holiday lifestyle in Whistler over dead season


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