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#491908 - 06/05/14 11:52 AM Today's Belize News: June 5, 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

Sheila Chi is Miss SPHS 2014-2015
The night of Saturday, May 31st was one of beauty, poise and elegance as four lovely young ladies competed to be the new beauty ambassador for San Pedro High School (SPHS) at the 2014-2015 Miss SPHS Pageant. The pageant started shortly after 8PM at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium with the singing of the National Anthem followed by the introduction of the three judges tasked to determine who would walk away with the crown. Judges were Councilor in charge of Community Beautification Carlos Barrientos, San Pedro AIDS Commission President Felix Ayuso and the face of Kubuli Beer in Belize, Jasmine Baiza. After the formalities, Master of Ceremonies Angel Nuñez invited the contestants, Ezra Jailene Jacobs, Erica Bodden, Sheila Chi and Marisha Jamel Thompson on to the stage. The crowd cheered for their favorite girls as they performed an opening dance and introduced themselves. It was a dynamic dance presentation to Daddy Yankee’s hit song “Limbo”. When the girls headed backstage to change, the San Pedro Dance Academy and the SPHS Band took over the entertainment.

Ambergris Today

Hurricane Season has Begun, Below Normal Activity Predicted for 2014
It’s that time of the year again when Belizeans hear over the radio the infamous jingle – “June to November, June to November”! We all know that this means its Hurricane Season and it is time to keep an eye out on the weather reports. This year meteorologists expect for the Atlantic hurricane season to be below-normal with roughly 10 named tropical storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes predicted for the Atlantic Basin this season. Forecasters believe that the onset of El Niño, a short-term phenomenon associated with above-normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, may alter weather patterns across the globe. At some point this summer, El Niño will likely increase wind shear across portions of the Atlantic basin and thus suppress the development of tropical storms this season.

100 Eye-popping Trash Bins Distributed in San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Town Council is working arduously in keeping our lovely island clean. With hundreds of workers raking the beaches and sweeping the paved roads on a daily basis, the work is never done. Just this week, hundred plastic barrels have been purchased to be used as garbage bins that will be placed throughout the island. A hundred barrels have been brightly and colorfully painted and will be strategically placed throughout the island in order for people to use them wherever they are. According to Councilor Kenrick Brackett, an extra hundred barrels should be arriving soon, of which some will be distributed to schools and a set will be sold to the public. “We would like to ask the cooperation of the public to place their trash in the proper place, in trash bins,” stated Brackett. “They are painted very brightly for everyone to see and hope everyone makes good use of the garbage bins and not vandalize them. Let us all keep our island clean.”

Dorian’s Angels Visit Chaya Café at Zen Arcade
Dorian’s Angels have found an oasis in San Pedro, a place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life to relax. Zen Arcade is a new business in town where one can have a good time, rejuvenate in a fun, easy-going, uplifting and professional environment. At Zen Arcade you can enjoy from calming yoga classes to energetic dance classes at their Tree Top Studio, plus get pampered at the Beauty Bar, pretty up from head to toe or enjoy massages from professional masseuse, get some botox work done (aesthetics), acupuncture. Mothers rejoice because they even offer child care! Dorian’s Angels were in for a treat as Tara Darrall and Noele Sutherland McLain, owners of Zen Arcade invited them over for an afternoon of pampering and rejuvenation. Zen Arcade has a lot to offer and this week Dorian’s Angels brings you their experience at the Chaya Café!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize, a lobster lover’s haven
Party like a “LOB-Star” - This year’s series of Lobster Fests to be celebrated along Belize’s Caribbean coast and cayes is set to become the biggest yet, with three main festivals taking up most of this month, according to our sources in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia. The Lobster Fests have always been something people all over Belize look forward to, and as more and more travellers discover Belize, the seasonal parties have been growing from small local celebrations to major events. Originally held in the fishing village of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to celebrate the opening of lobster season in June, the lobster fest would welcome in the first catches of the season and the long awaited return of income for many of the villages’ inhabitants or fishermen. Local musical groups would arrive and along with conspicuous consumption of seafood and drinks there would be dances and beachside barbeques.

Constitutional Rights Seminar
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio brought Kevin Arthurs to the Cayo Welcome Center to do a seminar on the Belize constitution. Thanks, Rotaract! "The Rotaract Club San Ignacio invited Attorney Kevin Arthurs to San Ignacio in an attempt to educate Belizean citizens about human rights and the Belize Constitution. We had cupcakes, cheese dip, juice and brownies for sale in order to raise funds for future community service. It was a fun educational experience."

Walk for a Green Belize
The Department of the Environment, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Belize Audubon Society are having another Walk for a Green Belize Clean-up campaign. There will be 2 in Cayo this Saturday, with the 1st starting at 6:00am in front of the Uno station and the 2nd starting at 7:00am at the Guanacaste National Park. In related news the DoE is having an essay competition.. "Department of the Environment is hosting an Essay Competition which is open to the General Public! All you have to do is write an essay consisting of no more than 400 words and explain what the Environment means to you and what you can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change on your Environment! The competition starts today and ends on June 20, 2014 and your essay will become a newspaper article on two widely circulated newspapers! As your prize you will be rewarded with a $125 gift certificate!" more...

Corozal accountant swindles $23,875.00 BCY from Corozal business woman
n Tuesday June 3rd, 2014, 31 year old Grisel Botes, cosmetologist of Libertad Village, Corozal District reported to Corozal Police that that between April 3rd, 2014 and June 3rd, 2014, she had given monies amounting to $23,875.00 Bcy to a friend whom she knows for the past 10 years as Elroy Bastarachea of Patchakan Village Corozal District in exchange for pieces of lands on San Pedro Ambergris Caye Island, Belize District and in the Cayo District. He informed her that he was employed at the Lands Department. He had told her that within a month's time from the first payment, which was done on the April 3rd, 2014, the papers for the lands were going to be ready and up to date, she has not received papers for such pieces of lands. Initial investigation reveals that he is not working on any land papers and that he cannot give account of the monies he had received from her for which he had signed several vouchers for receiving different amount of monies. 32 year old Elroy Bastarachea, Accountant of Patchakan Village Corozal District is presently detained for the crime of obtaining property by deception. Corozal Police continues with its investigation.

Branding of Belizean products exported to international markets
A two-day workshop began today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City. It focuses on branding the Belizean products that are exported to various markets around the world. Dubbed the Belize Export and Origin Consortia Workshop, the Caribbean Development Bank in partnership with the Belize Coalition of Service Providers has organized the initiative to assist service and product manufacturers and providers in sectors of tourism, agriculture and other goods to explore the possibility of exporting collectively. The idea is to see various organizations within a particular industry to share techniques and contacts in order to meet the demands, quality and standards of international markets. And so today, stakeholders gathered for a crash course addressing the benefits of grouping firms for export using the methodology of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The workshop is part of the United Kingdom’s development support initiative to CARICOM states.

Caribbean Export and EU Offers Grants to the Region’s Food Producers
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially announced the publication of the Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro- processing firms to receive financial assistance as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) on May 28, 2014. The Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety is a reimbursable grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered agro processing firms within the CARIFORUM region who are exporting or have the potential to export their products to the European Union. It is a facility for firms looking for funding to support their capacity building to meet the food production standards of the European Union (EU) market. While the challenge also exists among the large enterprises in the Region, it is very prevalent among the small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The allocation of this funding is hoped to ensure that goods of regional origin are produced under standard quality control conditions to meet the sanitary and regulatory requirements of the EU marketplace (such as HACCP, GAPs , GlobalGAP, ISO 14000, Fair Trade Certification , BRC, QF 1000, Primus GFS etc).

A Hand Up Belize Foundation donates laptop
orozal Community College says a big THANK YOU!! We would like to thank Mr. Jason Pearce and Ms. Victoria Quinn of "A Hand Up Belize Foundation" for the donation of a laptop to Corozal Community College last year. This laptop was assigned to the Communications department of our school. They have ever since been using it to integrate technology in the classroom. Thank You!

Belmopan Bandits in CONCACAF Group 7
The Belmopan Bandits were placed in group 7 at the CONCACAF Championship League drawing held in Miami last week. They are in the same group as Leon, Mexico and Isidro Metapan, El Salvador. They start playing on the 5th of August. Go Bandits! "Luis Pena got a great opportunity to take a picture beside the Concacaf Champions League trophy which is currently held by Champions Cruz Azul of Mexico. This is the coveted trophy that 24 clubs from Concacaf will battle for including the Belmopan Bandits starting the 5th August 2014."

Benque Marimba Academy at Festival of Arts
The Benque Marimba Academy represented Cayo at the launch of the 2014 Festival of Arts, which was held at Bird's Isle. The Angelus Press, one of the sponsors, got some good pictures of the event. The BMA has been everywhere lately, including SHJC's graduation, and Open Your Eyes. Great musicians!

Meluchis Wet and Wild Party
Meluchi's had their Wet and Wild Party this weekend, and Danny Chung was there to get some more great pictures. This weekend, they're having a graduation dance, and the No Fear DJ's, Mistah Geeh and the crew, will be mixing. In related news, the Raging Masters will be having an EDM/Dancehall Invasion, getting everyone ready for Tomorrow Universe, which is just over a month away.

Tumul K'in Center of Learning and Ak' Kutan Radio at Channel 5 "Open Your Eyes" Tv show in Belize City.
Although time is short, TKCL and Ak'Kutan Radio shared with Belize its wonderful work in Toledo. What it offers and plans for the future. Thanks to Channel 5, Ms. Marlene Cuellar, Happy Birthday Mr. William Neal and most of all the the great Ahau! (7 photos)

Channel 7

Yhony Rosado Turns Himself And Employees Into Police For Questioning
Last night on the news, we told you about Leon Gentle, the employee of Yhony Rosado who was charged for the coma-inducing assault on Vitalino Reyes Jr, the son of Rosdo's chief business rival, Vitalino Sr. But the police investigation doesn't end with that arrest. Police have been continuing their investigation, and according to Yhony Rosado, they're now disrupting his business, and harassing his entire staff. This afternoon, he and a number of his employees went into the Queen Street Police Station – that's after over a dozen of them were picked up this morning. This afternoon in front of the Queen Street Police station, Rosado told us why he's going to the police before they come for him: Yhony Rosado - Owner, Cavetubing.com "This is the very beauty about this country. The media put out a story and pressured the department to do their job, and the department is doing a hell of a job. The problem is why should I be coming for all my - if somebody or a group from BTL commit, should they lock up everybody? That's exactly what's happening, everybody, even for the ones who are not - I have to bring everybody. If I don't bring them, they will start to investigate them or I don't know, charge them." Geovannie Brackett - Plus TV "When did the call come to you? How were you notified to bring in your employees?" Yhony Rosado "Right at the tourism village, as the workers came in, they picked them up in truck."

Bias On The Bench? Bar Association Alleges Appearances Against Awich
There is discord in judicial circles after the Bar Association endorsed an unprecedented resolution, suggesting the appearance of bias in the timing of the appointment of a Justice of Appeal. The resolution was proposed at a Bar Association meeting on Monday – and it was agreed to by a consensus position. It speaks about the lead majority decision penned by Justice Samuel Awich for the BTL second acquisition, a pivotal constitutional case. That judgment was delivered on May 15th., the same day Awich's contract expired, and then, the resolution notes, on the 19th May, Prime Minister Dean Barrow wrote to the Leader of the Opposition advising him Justice Awich would be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal until the age of retirement. The Bar resolution says, quote, "the Association is very concerned that the above sequence of events gives rise to a real likelihood of an appearance of bias which tends to undermine confidence in the independence of the Judiciary in Belize." End quote.

Three City High Schools Will Pool Resources
The rumored amalgamation of three Belize City High Schools has created quite a stir amongst teachers, students and parents at those three schools. And those rumours emerged because the Secondary School Unit from the Ministry of Education has been busy in consultations with stakeholders for the past five months. Thing is they never proposed amalgamation, but the rumor mill probably turned it into that, because there's no word, or precedent for the model they're trying to create, where all three schools would pool resources but retain their separate identities. We found out more at a marathon two hour press conference today in Belize City: Jules Vasquez Reporting Sadie Vernon, Maude Williams and Excelsior are open schools... meaning they accept all applicants, regardless of PSE grades, but they are also struggling schools... with a declining number of students: Dr. Neulin Villanueva - Researcher/Planner, Ministry of Education "Whereas in the rest of the Belize district the majority of schools have seen an increase in enrollment over the last 5 years, in these three schools there has been a decline" And while enrollment has dropped, failure and drop out rates have gone up: Sr. Mary Caritas-Lawrence, RSM - Secondary Supervision Unit, MOE "We found there was a common thread that ran through the three schools, that with the three schools there was a loss in population, there was a problem with dropouts, there was a problem with failure rate, there was a problem with curriculum."

High School Says Teachers Bad Judgment Caused Drowning
2 months ago, Anahi Zepeda and Egar Puck, both 4th Form students from Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico, drowned on a class trip to the Cayo District. Today, after the completion of their internal inquiry, the school announced that the teachers who were in charge of the trip have been suspended. A release from the School Board of Management says, quote, "An intensive investigation was conducted, and the Board has unanimously agreed that the four teachers who accompanied the students erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip to Che Chem Ha Caves on 4th. April, 2014." The release continues to say that the Board has recommended that the teachers be suspended and fined in accordance with the rules governing the conduct and behaviour of the teachers. The statement closes by saying that all relevant materials to this matter has been forwarded to the Teaching Services Commission.

Danini Does PAHO Meeting, Causes Controversy
This morning at 9:00, Director of the Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras showed up at the PAHO Office in Belize City for a meeting. Now, we know that a hailstorm of controversy has attended Contreras's ascension to that post – but a meeting at PAHO couldn't have been so unusual, right? After all, the meeting was to discuss PAHO's technical assistance for the setting of a Drug Inspectorate Unit and the establishment of a mini lab – which would seem to be within her area of responsibility. But, it's not that simple – indeed, these days with the Ministry of Health it never is. That's because our information says that PAHO's Dr. Alfonso Ayala first opened the communication about the meeting with Sharon Anderson, the Chief Pharmacist. He thought she was in charge of the proposed Drug Inspectorate unit – and, so, he communicated with her about the meeting. But then, he got the memo and the ministry informed him that Contreras was in charge – and he then ceased communication with Anderson and started communicating with Contreras – leading to her presence at today's meeting.

Cayo Cops Must Face ID Parade
We've confirmed with San Ignacio Police that investigators want to put 4 of their officers in an identification parade in an effort to move forward with their inquiry into who shot 19 year-old Elston Arnold. But the suspect cops seem to be dodging, and getting them together has proven difficult, our reports suggest. Inspector Reymundo Reyes told us this evening that a request has been made to the Director of Public Prosecutions to inform these officers of the intent to put them in the parade. That's where it's at tonight, and to ensure that there is no mishandling of the investigation, police are moving very cautiously. As to that issue with the pellets not being retrieved yet for ballistics testing, Reyes told us that he will be personally visiting the Western Regional Hospital to find out from the doctor who attended to Arnold where those pellets are. As we've told you, Arnold's family claims that he and several other men were heading home to Unitedville early last week Monday when they were stopped by a police mobile. One his cousins exchanged words with one of the 4 officers, and when Arnold attempted to walk away, one of the officers reportedly shot him in the back with a shotgun.

Minister Cautious About Suspect Baptist Teachers
Two weeks ago, we told you about the 2 teachers from Belmopan Baptist High School who are being investigated because they are accused of having inappropriate sexual relationships with their female students. This time the Ministry of Education is taking a back seat after being burned on previous occasions in other schools when it tried to intervene and go over the head of the schools Board. This time, the Minister explained, it's strictly hands off, and eyes-on: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "The managing authority of the school is the decision makers when it comes to any kind of action that needs to be taken in that regard, but that due process must also take place. I know that the case is being tried - if you will - and that they are taking action to give due process to the people who are involved." Jules Vasquez "So, once due process is given, if these persons are found to have indeed exploited their students, is it the express wish of the Ministry of Education that these persons not be teaching again, and be stripped of their licenses?" Hon. Patrick Faber "Well, I don't know the circumstances. I don't know what they will find, and we cannot just go on our feeling if it cannot be proven and things are not there."

What Does Belize's Energy Future Look Like?
The request went out in October of last year and after 8 months of accepting offers, 20 bids were officially tendered for consideration. The interested companies were invited to send representatives to witness the PUC's announcement of the proposals which will be considered. 7News attended at BEL's headquarters today, and we asked Chairman John Avery about those bids which have come forward: John Avery - Chairman. PUC "Between the PUC, the Ministry, and BEL, we're conducting what we dub as RFPEG Belize 2013, that is a request for proposal for electricity generation. We started that process in October of last year, and now, we are at the stages where we are opening bids receive. We receive a total of 20 bids, to satisfy our request for 60 megawatts of firm capacity to be added to the system, and some 15 megawatts of renewable energy from intermittent sources, being solar. We received twenty bids, a couple for hydro projects, a couple for biomass projects, a few of them for thermal projects, burning gas or diesel or heavy fuel oil and of course the rest then were mainly for solar. The 60 megawatts is the total capacity we intend to add to the system, but that is over a period of about 10 years. Some of these projects take years to get off the ground. So, we're doing this thing ahead of time. We're not just looking at what we need immediately, but perhaps what will satisfy us for the next 10 or 15 years. So, we intend not to add all 60 megawatts at once. We intend to add them in increments of 20 megawatts in 2 or 3 year intervals. The fifteen megawatts for solar, we intend to start adding that immediately, starting off with perhaps eight or ten and then gradually going up to fifteen. But certainly the amount we ask for is intended to satisfy our needs for at least the next fifteen years. While we want to be self-sufficient, in term of energy generation we rely on Mexico for more than that. So the idea is not to rid ourselves of Mexico per se, but strictly to become more self-sufficient, get better prices but we still believe there is benefit and there is value in being inter-connected to Mexico."

Alleged Car Thief Jason Jeffries Says They Lied About Him
A week ago, we told you about Jason Jeffries who was charged for allegedly stealing a man's car, but apparently forgetting to take out his bicycle from the trunk. According to the owner, Carlos Aquino, he reportedly parked his car in front of his house at around midnight on Tuesday, and that he forgot to take out the key from the ignition He said that at about 5 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of his car starting and when he went outside he saw Jeffries behind the steering wheel. He said he pursued Jeffries as he drove off and caught up with him. He yanked Jeffries out of the car and went to make a report. Well, Jefferies visited 7News to clear his name, saying that the entire story that Aquino reported to police was one big lie. Today, he gave us his version of the events, in which he is a good Samaritan who chose to help the wrong person: Jason Jeffries - Claims Innocence "I saw this gentleman passed out in his vehicle. He was leaning on his steering wheel with the door open. I thought to myself that I should stop and help the man, see what was happening with him. The first thing that came to my mind was to leave him alone and go about my business. But, I thought about the lots of people getting robbed, car break-ins and taxi drivers getting killed. So, I decided to wake him up. That's what I did. I went to vehicle. I woke up the gentleman.

Cops and Pitbulls Clash On Cran
Tonight a family residing on Crann Street in Belize City is furious after police officers fired a shot at their dog in front of many young children. Just before 4 this afternoon, the search team stormed into the yard to conduct a search for drugs and ammunition. Inside the yard were 8 unleashed pitbulls. Family members say that the officers gave them no time to put away the dogs - before they barged in and started behaving inappropriately. "Well, the police - two vehicle came with an attitude. They know that we have an amount of pitbulls in the yard. The first word that he uttered, 'hold those mother effing dogs because he will shot them. My sister told him that we can't hold all the dogs because the owner isn't here. He said that he doesn't care just hold dogs with more bad words. We were trying to hold them, but we couldn't so we got a man to come and help us to try and tie the dogs. When the man was coming in, he was finding all kinds of fault on the man who had tools in his back pocket that he does farming with. So, he cursed the man and ordered him to put the tools on the table. He couldn't hold them all, and he insist to come and bring his dog in to search.

Minister Of Education Warns Unlicensed Teachers
At the top of tonight's news – we told you about the proposed resource sharing between three government managed city schools. A still unknown number of the 61 teachers at the three schools will get declared redundant and then become eligible for lifetime pension. The 19 trained teachers will probably get first option at keeping their jobs – but when only 19 of 61 teachers – about 30% - are trained – that helps to explain why the schools have high numbers of students who drop out or repeat. Of course, there are so many other factors that go into that….but teachers who don't have a background in pedagogy is surely a large part of it. And that's why today Education Minister Faber warned teachers who are not fully certified – to do so as soon as possible: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "Because we've now made a decision in this ministry to say to all of those teachers who hold a provisional license in the classroom - I think the starting point where they were given those provisional licenses may have been 2011 - and you were told that within that 5-year period, you are to get your pedagogical or professional development, and there are many who have not. Even at this point now, where we are 3 years later, even if a teacher who is in that situation, now enrols for the start of this upcoming school year, that teacher might find himself/herself caught with the deadline, and we're saying that those teachers need to leave the teaching profession. It is not something that is pleasant.

Lessons Learned From Gang Resistance Education and Training
145 primary and high school students graduated today from the Gang Resistance Education and Training program. They join the other 5,000 who have passed through the course in the last 4 years. GREAT, as it is better known, is a 13-week program funded by the US Embassy in which the police department is trying teach kids important life skills and why they should avoid gang life. We stopped by today and got a chance to speak with a few of the kids who passed through the program, and here's what they told us: The 145 kids came from the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School, Trinity Methodist, and the Muslim Community College. This is just 1 of several graduations taking place this month.

Channel 5

4 cops in detention for shooting a youth in Unitedville
There is a development tonight in respect of a shooting in Unitedville, Cayo District in which a young man was injured when he was shot by police officers on patrol. [...]

Employees of Yhony Rosado rounded up by police
Belize City Police have detained five men in connection with the altercation which left twenty-three year old Vitalino Reyes Junior comatose for days at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. That [...]

Ministry of Education explains merger of 3 Belize City high schools
The Ministry of Education this morning finally addressed reports of the proposed merger of the resources of three high schools in the south side of Belize City. MOE confirmed that [...]

B.N.T.U. Belize District President to ensure appropriate procedures are adhered to
Following this morning’s press conference, News Five spoke with Kathleen Flowers, president of the Belize District branch of the Belize National Teachers Union.  B.N.T.U., as the representative body of the [...]

The Bar Association’s resolution on reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich
The Bar Association Executive has said it does not support the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. The objection of the executive now extends to the [...]

Suspect detained in attempted armed robbery in 8 Miles community
Police have detained one suspect following an attempted armed robbery at Mile eight on the George Price Highway. It happened at around one pm today at Del Cid’s Store. Three [...]

British national accused of unnatural sex with minor returns to court
This morning at Independence Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution was unable to provide disclosure in the trial of British national David Taylor. Taylor was arrested in 2012 based on complaints made [...]

Danini Contreras attends PAHO meeting…was Chief Pharmacist dumped?
New Director of the Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras continues to make the news. The appointment of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras has created major controversy in the Ministry of [...]

General Manager Benefits/Branch Operation, Enna Gonzalez, terminated from S.S.B.
There is confirmation tonight that after close to thirty years of employment at the Social Security Board, Enna Gonzalez has been abruptly terminated. Gonzalez, who rose to the rank of [...]

Several persons arraigned for immigration offenses
The Belize Immigration Department has made another arrest in the alleged nationality scam in which a number of persons, mostly immigrants, have been caught using fake birth and nationality certificates. [...]

Primary school students graduate from Police Department’s GREAT Program
The GREAT program is now in its fourth year. About fifty students from various high schools are the most recent to successfully conclude the program which is carried out by [...]

20 companies bid to provide energy to the national grid
Local and international representatives of prospective energy suppliers converged on the conference room at Belize Electricity Limited today. The occasion, hosted by the Public Utilities Commission, was the formal opening [...]

Businessman creates energy from cohune
One company which submitted a bid today is Cohune Energy Limited. They plan to use the very abundant cohune to provide energy to the national grid. Today company representative Rudolph [...]

Golden performances of the Festival of Arts take center stage at the Bliss
The 2014 National Festival of Arts officially opened on Tuesday and will conclude on Friday. Schools from throughout the country are participating in the cultural extravaganza. Today, at the Bliss [...]

Garifuna Collective making raves in Europe
Still on cultural performances…on the international stage, the Garifuna Collective is currently on a tour of a number of European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Amsterdam. [...]

CTV3

NEMO Monitors Roads At Corozal South East Area
Each year, villagers living in Corozal South East particularly those residing in Copper Bank, Chunox and Sarteneja, face the challenge of traveling on flooded roads that lead in and out of their village during the rainy season. With the continuous rains over the past days, reports are that the road leading to the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry is presently under several inches of water. According to Willard Levy, Coordinator for NEMO Corozal, it’s a situation that they, along with the officials of the Ministry of Works, are looking closely at. Willard Levy – NEMO Corozal “I have interviewed a few people that have been travelling from that area and they are telling me that it is starting to go under water and they are saying that is passable but in the short interim we may be facing problem on having difficulty to pass through that road so I am getting in touch with the ministry of works to address that concern and see what they have in mind to do some kind of preventative measures.”

NEMO and UNDP Conducts Assessment On Vulnerability Areas To Flooding
For the next six months Belizeans will be keeping a watchful eye on the weather monitoring Mother Natures every move. That’s because the Hurricane Season has been declared open. In order to alleviate flooding and other hurricane related problems, the United Nation Development Programme, UNDP and the Corozal National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, recently conducted an assessment in vulnerable areas to flooding and wind impact for evacuation purposes. And the results were alarming. Willard Levy - Corozal NEMO “What we did this year, this was a UNDP project that was done and what we actually did was to move within the district and visit the most vulnerable communities to try to make an assessment of how vulnerable these areas in terms of flooding and also with the impact and although we only made a random check of approximately 24% of the community throughout the district it wasn’t showing a nice picture in terms to questions asked to people, homeowners of most vulnerable areas.”

Small Hive Beetles Found Close To Our Borders
The Agriculture Department continues to closely monitor the situation as it relates to the small hive beetles which are found dangerously close. They were located in neighboring Chetumal Quintana Roo. As a result, the department conducted a full and swift diagnostic test and there was no presence of the beetle in the country yet. Honey producers are also being encouraged to practice improved husbandry to minimize the risks to their apiaries. However, the objective is to keep the bug out of the country for as long as possible since its entry can result in the complete collapse of the small agriculture sector. Margarito Leiva, Extension Officer specialized in bee keeping within the Agriculture Department in Orange Walk, says they have detected the beetle in El Salvador and are therefore doubling their efforts. Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer “We have to take two approach now even from the north or from the south or the western border from both areas they can come in.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “So far is the situation still safe and you still putting in measures to keep it that way?” Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer “Yes, in fact we have instituted some traps in most of the colonies especially those that in the border areas so as to see when the small hive will come in but so far we have not found them.”

Weather Conditions Affects Honey Production
We have told you about the challenges faced by bee keepers in 2013 after rains destroyed much of their apiaries. At that time, officials at the Agriculture Department said they would take necessary and appropriate measures to see the recovery of the honey producers to what they were. Today, the news is not so good. Dalila Ical reports. Dalila Ical – Reporting The rains have begun and with it the concerns by bee keepers as they continue to struggle against the inconsistent weather. Last year, honey producers in the north lost close to fifty percent of their colonies. Efforts were made to rebuilding these but Extension Officer in the Agriculture Department, Margarito Leiva says they have not been too successful. Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer “We didn’t achieve what we actually wanted because the rainy season didn’t stop until late march so we had a very short dry season which is only April and then the rain started in May and so what we had is a very bad honey crop for this year and in fact I can tell you that for the northern district we only produce close to 28,000 pounds which is not even a quarter of what we did last year so the production was really bad.”

OWTC Addresses The Issue With Clogged Up Culverts
The unstable weather patterns have wreaked havoc in several sectors of the society and the list continues to grow in Orange Walk. The rains over the last 48 hours caused several areas within town to flood and the Orange Walk Town Council responded to the calls. However, there is one thing that was observed in many sections where water became stagnant. Public Relations Officer at Town Hall, German Novelo says garbage played a role in clogging drains. German Novelo – PR, OWTC “Most of the problems that we encountered wasn’t that the drains were clogged because of maintenance but because of garbage that really ran from probably the residents yards into the drainage and then eventually clogging the mouth of the culverts so what we really want to bring across to the residents of Orange Walk Town is that while we keep our garbage clean is how we keep our drainage clean as well, we also want to ask them to bag their garbage properly and to keep your dogs tied, we have done a dog eradication and we alleviated most of the dog issue but one of the biggest problem right now is that the garbage of residents yards run into the drains and hence clogging the culverts.” The problem is widespread says Novelo and urges residents to heed to the call and dispose of their garbage in a more efficient manner especially since the drainage system in town is good. The public is also warned that situations like these can cause health problems for children and adults.

Upgraded Charge Of Murder For The Death Of Giovanny Borland
Tonight, 24 four year old Joseph West is expected to face an upgraded charge of Murder for the death of 34 year old Giovanni Borland, who passed away on Friday due to the severe head injuries that he sustained on the night of May 11th. As we’ve reported, West is accused of attacking Giovanni Borland after 11:00pm at ‘Mil Amores’ bar in Libertad where both men got into an argument. And while their seems to be many conflicting reports from police and the media, Borland’s uncle, Carl Borland spoke on the sequence of events that night with our colleagues at 7News! Here is that insert… Carl Borland– Uncle of Deceased On the eleventh of May, I think approximately around eleven-thirty or thereabout, he was at a bar in Libertad socializing when he had a misunderstanding with about five members of a particular family—all of them are family members—of that said village. He was chased from the bar and he retreated and ran towards the house that he was staying and upon reaching in front of that, apparently he tripped and fell on his face. When he fell on his face, he was chopped from behind, back of the head. A very large chop wound that caused piece of his head to dislocate, to come off and his brains was exposed. He was assisted by some members of the village and was rushed to the Corozal Hospital and from there to the K.H.M.H.”

ESTM Suspends Four Teachers In Drowning Incident
Exactly two months ago on today’s date, two teenaged high school students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar Puck drowned in the Macal River. The forth formers were on a class trip to the Che Chem Ha Maya Ruin in Benque Viejo del Carmen and upon their return that Friday evening, the bus made an unscheduled stop near the low-lying bridge in San Ignacio. Reports say that Anahi, Edgar and other students were in the water when Anahi was swept away by the current. Edgar, who could not swim, went to her aid and they both drowned. Since then, an intensive investigation into the matter was launched by the Board of Management of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico and today the results of that investigation was released to the media. The release states and we quote “An intensive investigation was conducted, and the Board has unanimously agreed that the four teachers who accompanied the students erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip.” End of quote.

Heavy Rains Affects Onion Production
Onion producers in the north have not been having much success in the business since last year. As we have reported, farmers had received some seeds for their second planting to bridge the gap on losses sustained in 2013 due to rains. In this second round, farmers in the Orange Walk District planted a total of eight point five acres of onion but the crop was not as productive as farmers had hoped. Extension Officer working the productive area of Orange Walk, Leonardo Eck says the rains have once again affected the production. Leonardo Eck - Extension Officer “In the late planting we normally receive between 50 to 20,000 pounds per acre but still what happened is that the weather also affected this year also for the second planting and what we manage to get from the farmers is 5,500 pounds per acre which is low but what helped the farmers was actually the price that the farmers were getting was $45 per 50lbs. and that is the minimum up to $75 for a 50lbs. bag. It did help, the price actually it did help them but production wise is not that we failed but due to Mother Nature again the production was low.”

Public Service Day Culminates In Orange Walk Town
Public Service Information Day is held countrywide, and today it culminated in Orange Walk Town. The officers from government departments in all sectors made an appearance today at the La Inmaculada Credit Union Parking lot where the event was held. We took a walk through the open day and here is a look at what transpired. Dalila Ical – Reporting Public service Information Day has evolved from the first time it was held in 2006. Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries Charles Gibson says there have been many achievements within this sector and the event serves three important purposes. Charles Gibson - Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries “First, for ministries and departments to have an opportunity to showcase the work that they are doing, to show the public what services are being offered and then of course secondly for the public officers themselves to get an opportunity to network and to build partnerships and I am one who feels very strongly in an environment like this is a very small environment you can go around and meet your fellow public officers so rather than been knowing someone else like Mr. Chan or Mr. Brown or Mr. Gibson you probably get to know that person by first name so if you need to get that service you can pick up that phone and you are calling your colleague or even your friend to get something done and so we are hoping that this activity also helps to build network and to build partnerships and then thirdly for me which I think it is so important if for the public officer for the people who are manning the booths to get some feedback from the public as to what services that are needed or what services can be improved.”

Puck And Tuz Family Submits Legal Action Letters To ESTM
And While the Board of Management is recommending that the four teachers who quote unquote “erred in modifying the itinerary during the educational trip to Che Chem Ha Maya Ruin in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, be suspended without pay, not everyone is in agreement with the outcome of the investigation. This past Sunday Students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico celebrated their annual Graduation Ceremonies. Fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar Puck were scheduled to be among the graduating class of 2014, but their untimely death snatched that proud moment from them and their loved ones. While the family of both of the deceased continues to deal with the fact that their loved is not among them anymore, the family of 18 year old Roggery Tuz, who also sustained injuries while swimming in the Macal River, is facing the rapid growing doctor bills.


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#491909 - 06/05/14 11:53 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 5, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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Synergy Among Three Schools Announced by Education Ministry
Changes for third form students from three secondary schools in Belize City are on the horizon as members and administrators of the Ministry of Education presented some findings and solutions that they are preparing to carry out for the upcoming school year beginning August 2014. These changes came about following a process that began January this year with the initiation of an assessment of nine secondary schools.…while the assessments for six of the nine schools are still incomplete; three of the high schools whose assessments were concluded are now embarking on a project that will see the synergy of some classes particularly for third form students of Maud Williams, Excelsior and Sadie Vernon High Schools. Brenda Armstrong, who has been on the team from the onset, explained the progress that has been made since the process began. BRENDA ARMSTRONG “We started on January 22 of this year; that was the first time that the three administrators got together and the computer lab upstairs of Sadie Vernon was our think tank. That’s when we shared the schools’ self-assessment findings and the principals got a chance to say what the areas were that they would like to address out of their findings. We then met with the Boards of the three high schools, the entire board, not just the Board Chairs and received and got a chance to answer all the questions that they would raise as well.

PAHO and New Drug Inspectorate Unit Meet on Strengthening Unit
This morning, just before nine o’clock, the newly appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate, Danini Contreras and Drug Inspector, Mariata Enriquez, walked into the PAHO office on Coney drive to meet with PAHO representatives. Contreras, who has been in the middle of contentions between the Ministry of Health and the Pharmacists Association of Belize over her appointment, is the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras. Before the meeting, rumors circulating suggested that the meeting would be concerns PAHO had over the Drug Inspectorate Unit and the importation of pharmaceuticals. We were also told that the Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson was blocked from forming part of the meeting. We contacted PAHO representative in Belize, Dr. Carlos Ayala and he told us that he is unable to comment on the meeting. We got a comment from the Ministry of Health and we were told that the meeting was an information gathering session with focus of upgrading and strengthening the drug inspectorate unit.

Vitalino Jr Remains in Coma; Gentle Out on Bail
23-year-old Vitalino Reyes Junior remains hospitalized in a critical condition and the man accused of putting him there appeared in court yesterday. Thirty year old Leon Gentle, an employee of Cave Tubing.com was charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gentle’s attorney, Audrey Shepherd, said he was beaten by the police while he was in custody and he was forced to participate in an identification parade. Gentle said that a police officer punched him on his jaw while another one choked him. He said that he was also stamped on his chest by a police officer. The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on May 29 at Long Island Bar on Coney Drive. Twenty-one year old Yhony Vega, a tour guide who was with the victim, Vitalino Reyes Jr, reported to the police that they were sitting at the bar drinking when Yhony Rosado, the owner of Cave Tubing.com, and some of his employees walked in.

Charge Against West Upgraded to Murder
24-year-old Joseph West of Libertad Village has been charged with murder. As we reported on Monday, the charges were expected to be upgraded to murder after the victim, Giovanni Borland died. Borland received machete wounds to the head during a fight in Libertad Village on May 11. Borland was seriously injured and taken to the Corozal hospital for medical treatment and later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he passed away on Friday, May 30.

Accountant Accused of Obtaining Property by Deception
An accountant of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District is being detained by police in that municipality pending a charge of obtaining property by deception. The complainant, 31-yer-old Grisel Botes of Libertad Village told Police that between April 3 and June 3 she handed over almost 24 thousand dollars to the man she knows for the past ten years in exchange for parcels of land in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; the Belize and Cayo Districts. According to Botes, the man told her he was employed at the Lands Department and within a month of the first payment she would receive the land papers, which has not occurred. As a result of the man being unable to give account of the monies he had received, he was detained.

Bad Weather For Sugar Industry
The start of the rainy season has cane farmers concerned. We hear more in this report from Arturo Cantun. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “The sky over Orange Walk and Corozal was still overcast this morning and the Belize Met Office is forecasting more rain up until the weekend. This does not favor the hundreds of cane farmers who still have a total of two hundred and forty thousand ton of sugar cane left in the fields. The weekend rains was surely a major impact on the industry that was running smoothly up until its eighteenth week.” ALFREDO ORTEGA Vice Chairman Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association “Yes it has negative impact in regards to the harvesting of our cane at this point in time and we just hope that God blesses us in stopping a little bit of the rain, so that the many farmers that has not delivered anything as yet can have that opportunity to deliver part of the material they have for this crop. We are asking the group leaders to give that opportunity to the farmers that they have under their care, to take out a percentage of their cane so that they can give opportunity to all the members they have under their care to deliver a certain percentage of their cane; so, whatsoever will stay in the field, wouldn’t stay in the burden of a little few farmers but rather it can be spread out upon most, if not all farmers so that the weight don’t be felt in one farmer and all of us bear the burden of that amount of percentage of cane that cannot be delivered to the mill.”

Education Ministry Looks at Amalgamation of Schools in Northern Belize
The 2013 – 2014 school year is winding down and as students get ready for the summer break, the Ministry of Education is getting ready for the upcoming year. According to Minister of Education Patrick Faber, there has been discussion of amalgamating certain primary schools across the country in order for the school system to be more efficient. Two of the schools that are being considered to be merged are San Pablo Roman Catholic and San Pablo Community School in the Orange Walk district. Faber believes the amalgamation of these two schools should not be problematic. HON. PATRICK FABER Minister of Education, Youth and Sports “We had talked about an amalgamation between San Pablo R.C and San Pablo Community. I think that is as far as we actually had gone and that amalgamation, in my opinion, is not going to problematic particularly because as the government, we are not going to resist, so to speak, giving it to the Roman Catholic management when the two schools are brought together and so, I don’t see that as a problematic kind of amalgamation.

Gang Resistance Training Graduates 145
Today 145 students from three primary schools graduated from the Gang Resistance Education and Training, GREAT, Program. According to both the Acting Commander for Community Policing, Inspector Dehanne Augustine and Ministry of Education representative, the GREAT Program has positively impacted families across the country. INSPECTOR DEHANNE AUGUSTINE Acting Commander for Community Policing Belize Police Department “The program has four components. It has the elementary component which is from standard one to standard three. We have the middle component, which is from standard four and we pushed it as far as 1st form. We also have the summer component, which is where we do our summer program and we have the GREAT family component and so far Belize hasn’t done the GREAT family’s component due to finance restraint. We’re also looking at what the school gains; what do families gain? What does the community gain? All these people gain a productive citizen because this program teaches students at the end of the day, it’s not about fighting and it’s not about violence; it’s about letting us see how we can adjust the situation. It teaches them life skills, it teaches them goals, because one of the things that we have right now with our country is that some of the children have no idea of what they want to be and this program it teaches them goals, it teaches them to do decision making, anger management.”

End of Week Meeting Set to Talk Bagasse
BSI /ASR and Sugar Cane Farmers met on March 28 to discuss payment for bagasse. Since then there has not been any other discussion on the matter; that is until this Friday June 6, when both parties along with the Sugar Industry Control Board, acting as mediator, should resume talks. We asked Alfredo Ortega for an update on the discussion as they get ready to meet. ALFRED ORTEGA Vice Chairman Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association “Well we are looking forward to a just payment for our cane. It is true that BSI had jumped from a no to 0.51 cents but we are seeing that there is room for improvement in that and we had a letter from them last week which they said that they remained with 0.51 cents on which they have placed before. They also mentioned that they want to have a meeting on Friday to see how best we can find methods or a solution to the situation. Yes that is what we are getting from the expert that our price should be in the vicinity of 4 dollars, as a base and that is why we ask from them 10 dollars so that we can meet at a certain point that will be just for the farmers. What we are asking for is for a just payment on the use of bagasse and asking nothing more than that. What we want is something just for the cane produced by the farmers.”

Twenty Bids Submitted for Electricity Generation
This morning, the Public Utilities Commission and the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) presented bids submitted for electricity Generation. Interested persons were asked to submit proposals to establish electricity generation that will be connected to the National Electricity System of Belize in order to satisfy public demand for electricity services within the country for the next 15 years. We spoke to the Chairman of the PUC, John Avery about the bids and Rudolph Castillo about his cohune idea. JOHN AVERY Chairman Public Utilities Commission “As you may be aware right now between the PUC, the Ministry and BEL, we’re conducting what we dub as RFPG Belize 2013 that is a request for proposal for electricity generation. So we started that process in October of last year and now we’re at the stage of where we are opening bids received. We received a total 20 bids to satisfy our request for 60 megawatts of firm capacity to be added to the system and 15 megawatts of renewable energy from intermittent sources, being solar and wind. So we received 20 bids; a couple for hydro projects, a couple for bio-mass projects, a few of them for thermal projects, which is burning gas, diesel or heavy fueled oil and then the rest was mostly for solar.

PlusTV

Secret Training Meeting Held for Danini Contreras
This morning there was a training for employees of the Ministry of Health, hosted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) at their Coney Drive headquarters. The special guest was controversially-appointed Inspector of the Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras, who remains at her post despite repeated efforts by the Pharmacy...

Police Officers Detained for Shooting of 19 Year Old
On Monday, May 26th, 19 year old Elston Arnold, resident of Unitedville, Cayo, was reportedly shot in the back by police for no apparent reason. 19 year old Elston has since been recovering from a surgery to remove the pellet from his back. Cayo Police launched an internal investigation,...

City High Schools to Work Together to Deliver Content
It has been bubbling under the surface for a while, but it is now official: at the start of the 2014-2015 school year, three Southside Belize City high schools – Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Maud Williams High School and Excelsior High School - are entering a unique partnership to...

Teachers to be Shuffled, some may lose their jobs
There were concerns raised about whether teachers would be fired as a result of the plan. The response from the pannel to this question showed just how uncertain the job security of several of the teachers really is. According to Sister Caritas Lawrence there remain some decisions to be...

Ministry of Education Waits for Belmopan School’s Decision on Teachers
We have told you about developments here in Belmopan where one teacher is accused of having sexual intercourse with a student at Belmopan Comprehensive School. That teacher, Michael Guzman, now faces criminal charges as the student’s educational life has been cut short. Minister of Education Patrick Faber is not...

GREAT Program Graduates 145 Students
While the Belize Police Department’s main task is to fight crime and criminals, it has increasingly come to recognize that crime is a societal and generational problem. This year’s mischievous and rude little boys and girls often grow up, if they survive, into disillusioned and desperate young men and...

Mangrove Planting in Placencia
33 year old Adrian Vernon, the program director for PCSD (Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development) died in the early weeks of February 2014. Vernon was described by his colleagues as a “passionate environmentalist” committed to protecting Belize’s resources, particularly those of the Placencia Lagoon, and an all around the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Support the Sailing Club
June 8 BBQ Fundraiser

7 players from Caye Caulker to represent Belize in Tampa dart tournament
Seven professional darts players from Team Caye Caulker will be representing Belize at the 20th Caribbean Cup dart tournament in Tampa, Florida in July. The tournament is set to run from July 12 – 20, 2014. Caye Caulker players chosen to represent Belize at the tournament are Marie Osman, Emerita Marin, Elias Castillo, Wilbur Perez, Jorge Requena, Sr., Valentino Marin, and Cecilia Joseph. We wish Team Belize and especially the Caye Caulker players the best of luck!

Belize Association of Houston fundraises for Ocean Academy
The Belize Association of Houston and Belize Freight have teamed up with Ocean Academy to help raise funds for their Summer 2014 school supplies drive. Please contact the Belize Association of Houston if you would like to help. Contact information is provided on the flyer below.

Patrick Jones

Will You Run for the End of the World Marathon?
The End of the World Marathon is a 26.2 mile marathon that is held every year on the Placencia Peninsula. The first marathon was held in December 2012 to commemorate the end of the 13th Baktun in the Maya Long Count Calendar which was a significant time to the Maya people since it was the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. Because many people thought that the world would end on that day (December 21th 2012) and it didn’t, the organizers of the marathon decided to retain the name “The End of the World Marathon” in honor of the distinguished writer Aldous Huxley who wrote in 1934, “If the world had any ends, British Honduras (now Belize) would certainly be one of them.” The End of the World Marathon is now held every year since 2012 and this year, the competition is scheduled for December 7, 2014 and will begin at the football field at the bottom of the Placencia Peninsula in Placencia Village and will pass through Seine Bight Village and Maya Beach, then return and end in Placencia Village.

GREAT program graduates 145 students
The Belize Police Department’s main task is to fight crime and criminals, but it has increasingly come to recognize that crime is a societal and generational problem. For the past four years it has instituted a program called GREAT, for Gang Resistance Education and Training, that addresses the often difficult family life and personal issues affecting today’s youth, from as young as Standard I. Today the Belize City cohort of three schools – Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Trinity Methodist and Muslim Community Primary – graduated 145 students from the program. So is GREAT living up to its acronym? P.C. Morris Martinez says that for thirteen weeks – after themselves being trained – officers taught conflict resolution, anger management, and anti-drugs and gangs messages to very attentive classes.

City high schools to work together to deliver content
It is now official: at the start of the 2014-2015 school year, three Southside Belize City high schools – Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Maud Williams High School and Excelsior High School - are entering a unique partnership to deliver quality education to over 500 students between them. It was born out of a need to address crippling issues at each school, including dropout and repetition rates that combined were more than double the national average. Retired Wesley College principal Brenda Armstrong is a member of the transition team directing the development of this educational triumvirate, and she explained at a press conference today that the school will remain separate administratively, but pool their resources together in certain cases, so that the students can learn together from the best of the educators on staff.

MOE waits on Belmopan school’s decision on teachers
A Belmopan teacher has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a student at Belmopan Comprehensive School. That teacher, Michael Guzman, now faces criminal charges as the student’s educational life has been cut short. Minister of Education Patrick Faber is not possessed of the actual details, and says he does not need them, because the decision on how to discipline Guzman and other culprits falls to the school’s board. Faber noted that while the Ministry has representatives on the school board, there are others involved and they must collectively come to a decision. But he also made it clear that the Ministry will not condone illicit behavior in schools and repeated his plea for those with important information to step forward.

PUC to review bids for more electricity
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC), along with the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities has completed its Request for Proposals for Energy Generation, 2013. It asked for firms to provide up to 60 megawatts of firm capacity electricity and 15 megawatts of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass. A total of 20 bids were submitted and they were formally opened today at the BEL office. But the hard work now begins. PUC Chairman John Avery says they must work with an eye to Belize’s energy future, as the projects will be implemented over the next fifteen years, beginning with 15 megawatts due next year.

Case of committing an unnatural crime against David Taylor continues
The attorney representing David Taylor, the man accused of having sex with a teenage old boy in Placencia a couple of years ago, is asking the Magistrate’s Court to throw out the case. Taylor, a British national appeared in the Independence Magistrate’s Court today; but the prosecution was not in a position to present full disclosure. That prompted defence attorney Ellis Arnold to ask the Magistrate to strike out the case against Taylor due to the length of time which has passed since he was arrested and charged and still the prosecution is unable to provide disclosure. Taylor was arrested in 2012 on two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and a single count of committing an unnatural act. Magistrate de Moya chose instead to grant one final adjournment and Taylor, who has been out on bail since January of 2014, is to return to court in August.

Blogs

Eating and drinking my way around San Pedro
It was time to stop being sidetracked by eating food and get to my other main errand aside from trying to track down Brazilian money – groceries. I headed to the lagoon side and did not see anything that caught my eye at the Tuesday produce stands. I was ok with that because I was walking and I knew pickings would be slim as it was already afternoon, the best selection is early morning around 7:00am. you can see pictures of what shopping is like in my post: A trip to the Tuesday morning produce market and Yancey de Veer singing Lyin’ Mayans. Note: Sometimes people are out selling fruits and vegetables n that area other days of the week but there is no guarantee. Next stop onto Super Buy, within 3 minutes of being in te store I was wishing I had bought more of the things I was not finding today the last last time I had shopped there – a common occurrence here. Thankfully it was not long before I was able to find one item I was looking for, roasted seaweed. Much to my dismay the stock had gone down from several rows to 6 packages, I decided to buy half after checking the expiry date and seeing it was the end of June 2014.

Belize hosts US Navy Ship: Anchors Aweigh!
Belize’s deep water Port of Big Creek down in the Toledo District hosts US Navy Ship; has seen a lot of maritime activity over the years, from the large Maya seagoing canoes that plied the coastal trade routes, to Spanish Galleons, the odd pirate (or to be more polite, privateer or buccaneer) ship, WWII vessels and, as the port grew, larger container ships to carry sugar and other produce. But the USNS Spearhead still managed to turn heads when it arrived in Big Creek the first week of June this year, with some locals wondering what it’s all about. Don’t worry, this nautical wonder is here to use its powers for good, marking the start of the US “Southern Partnership Program” in Belize, which is a US Naval deployment working with Belizean counterparts in port security, technical and medical support, patrol operations, operational risk management and other areas.

“A Bird In The Hand” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In an edition or so ago I mentioned that Rose and I were approaching our second anniversary of residing on Ambergris Caye. Well the big day arrived last Saturday and we celebrated it in style with a bottle of champagne that I’d set aside for the occasion. You’re probably wondering why we didn’t ‘pop the cork’ on the first anniversary. Logical thought. But we decided that the second anniversary would have more significance for us: We thought that by then the build of our house would be completed and we would be living it in. It was and we are. We assumed that by then we would have gained acceptance in to the Qualified Retirement Programme. We did. We also reckoned that we would have got our Belize Drivers Licences and bought our own golf cart (and dispensing with the costly rental fee in the process). We did and we have.

Bigabite is the New Restaurant in San Ignacio Town
Bigabite is a sweet little restaurant in San Ignacio Town that just opened its doors to the public on Sunday. The restaurant is located up the hill from the San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Board and is adjacent to Dr Sanchez Office. The restaurant is a great place to grab a quick lunch and the menu consists of a variety of burgers, chicken wings, pulled pork and fries.They also have combo meals with a variety of burgers, fries and drinks for $10 – 16. Check out their Facebook Page for more information.

11 Photos that will convince you to visit Victoria House Resort in Ambergris Caye
Victoria House is an award winning and upscale resort in Ambergris Caye that is considered one of the top luxury resorts in Belize. The romantic resort is literally one mile from the world’s second largest barrier reef and the term “Barefoot elegance” is the self-described vibe of this plantation-style 42-room hotel. Its sleeping quarters include thatch-roof casitas, suites, and villa which are chic with cream-on-white palettes accented with blonde Belizean-wood dressers, bamboo four-poster beds, rich mahogany trim, and framed prints of tropical plants. Their profile on Travel & Leisure website reads: Sea views abound, and even the thatch-roof casitas, which are set further back in the gardens, come with a semi-covered deck from which the [turquoise Caribbean] sea can be seen. Because the 20-odd buildings fan out around a central lawn, with two pools on opposite ends of the grounds, Victoria House never feels full, even when it’s at capacity; there’s always an empty poolside lounge chair, plenty of room on the powder-white beach, and an unharried, always-smiling staff. There’s also an on-site dive shop if the urge to scuba or snorkel strikes.

International Sources

Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico to Manage Mesoamerican Reef With GEF Support
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council Meeting approved a US$10 million grant for the ‘Integrated Transboundary Ridges-to-Reef Management of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR2R)' project. The project aims to ensure the reef's ecological integrity by scaling up a ridge to reef management approach and enhancing regional collaboration for its management. The Mesoamerican Reef, which is found along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, is the largest transboundary reef in the world and is a highly biodiverse coastal-marine ecosystem, according to the GEF. The region also contains 400 hydrological systems and watersheds. The project includes four main components. First, it will strengthen regional governance by harmonizing national legislation and developing regional strategies to address invasive lion fish, among other activities. Second, it will address integrated water resources management (IWRM), including integrated management of hydrological systems and the establishment of public-private mechanisms for integrated watershed management. Third, the project will strengthen national capacities for marine spatial planning and integrated coastal management. Finally, the project is expected to conduct monitoring and learning exercises to share lessons learned with the global GEF International Waters community.

White House Chief of Staff to Speak at Radio & TV Dinner
Hopefully this thing won’t be a snoozefest. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he can give a good dinner speech. Some fun facts about him: According to The Daily Beast he has been known to be “ornery” and “caustic” with journalists, he taught high school in Belize, he’s one of 11 kids, and he was born in Stillwater, Minn. He was also in the monitoring room when the Navy SEALS were taking out Osama Bin Laden. The other thing? He really bizarrely looks just like TV’s Herman Munster. The Mirror has learned that McDonough has been asked to include jokes as well as substance. So not just roasting the press, as has been the norm, but some real meaty morsels, too.

Dallas to host group stage of Central American Cup 2014 at historic Cotton Bowl
The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) today announced that the Cotton Bowl will be among the venues for the Central American Cup USA 2014, when Dallas, TX plays host to Central America’s national soccer teams on Sunday, September 7. The Central American Cup is the region’s national team championship, which also serves as a qualifying competition for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and, on this occasion, the Centennial Cup America 2016. The historic Cotton Bowl served as a venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup as well as the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993. The stadium was once home to the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer, as well as numerous international soccer events. UNCAF’s seven member associations – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama – will dispute the 13th edition of the Central American Cup in cities across the United States from September 3-13, 2014.

Adventure By Day, Luxury By Night In Belize
The Central American destination continues to lure adventurous travelers seeking sophisticatio. Belize is known for its beautiful coastline, bordered by the world’s second-largest barrier reef (and its famous Blue Hole), but while diving and relaxing along its white sand beaches make for an easy escape from workaday worries, this welcoming, English-friendly country has something more exciting that can cement a new couple’s bond: pyramids. Travel across the Mopan River on a hand-cranked chain ferry to the 1,400-year old Xunantunich pyramid, one of the region’s most legendary and popular archaeological sites. Or make time to join an outdoor yoga class at the Mayan ruins before climbing above the tree canopy for stunning views from the top. Then, take a horseback ride along the banks of the Mopan and head into the small town of San Ignacio for handcrafts and local fare, such as the cheesy chalupas. Luckily, after so much exertion, luxury accommodation awaits, so you can wash it all away and rest up for another day of exploits.

Videos

Video: Snorkeling in Belize, 8min.
An excursion from the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship to Rendezvous Caye. This was a poorly operated excursion, cramming too many snorkelers into too little space and too little time. Not enough freedom to explore. Only 30 minutes of snorkeling was permitted beyond the sandy area. But we enjoyed what we could. This was a very enjoyable snorkeling experience, but just could have been so much better if they would have let us have some freedom.

Video: Our Cruise to Mexico, Belize and Honduras!, 8min.

Video: Ryan's trip to belize, 6min.

Video: Belize 2K14, 6min.
This is what happens when you have an opportunity to take a travel course to Belize. Thank you Mom and Dad.

Video: blue hole Belize 130 feet, 3min.
Belize May 2014 The Blue Hole

Video: Belize It or Not, 5min.
Very nice travel video of Ambergris Caye and and a bit from the mainland....

Video: Caracol from Above - DJI Phantom - Gopro 3 +, 6min.
Aerial footage of Caracol using a quadcopter. Caracol is majestic. "Caracol from above what could be better, shot from the dji phantom with a gopro 3 plus on a gimbal .. just incredible .. had a great time was pretty much the only time it didn't blow a gale"

Video: Snorkeling - Shark & Ray Alley, Caye Caulker, Belize., 22min.
Snorkeling with sting ray, shark in Shark & Ray Alley, Caye Caulker, Belize.

Video: Driving in BELIZE CITY, 4min.

Video: day 4 Belize pt1, 10min.
Belize City

Video: day 4 Belize pt2, 13min.
Off the cruise ship and into Belize City

Video: Guatemala & Belize 2014, 7min.

Video: Emmc school singing at Bliss Center in Belize City, 3min.

Video: Diving The Great Blue Hole, Belize, 14min.

Video: Belize Jungle Lodge - Caves Branch, 6min.
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch is located in the heart of the jungle which are also home to many jungle creatures. Check out this video to see if we are just what you are looking for.

Video: Belize 2013, 3min.
San Pedro, Half Moon Caye, Caye Caulker, Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia Belize 2013

Video: The Lodge at Big Falls, Southern Belize, 54min.
The Lodge at Big Falls is situated on the banks of the Rio Grande river in Belize's unspoiled southern Toledo District. With a mile of river-front and views of the Maya Mountains in the distance, the Lodge is a highlight for any adventurer looking to experience a lesser-traveled region of Belize. Our excellent on-site restaurant serves gourmet food - local specialties complemented with Asian influences - and our full bar pours local favorites, classic cocktails, beer and wine. We are a licensed tour operator offering a variety of tours and activities within the district, including a mix of natural history (birds, butterflies, and wildlife), adventure (kayaking, snorkeling, caving and hiking) and cultural interactions with our Toledo residents (musicians, dancers, Maya artisans).

Video: Belize (British Honduras) Old Postcards, 7min.

Video: Leaf Cutter Ants - Belize, 1/2min.
Leaf cutter ants in action


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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