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#492490 - 06/19/14 11:39 AM Today's Belize News: June 19, 2014
Marty Offline


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

Jeffrey Eiley remembered on his birthday
Family and friends of the late Jeffrey Eiley gathered to celebrate him on what would have been his 31st birthday on June 13th. The gathering took place at El Embarcadero near the San Pedro Lagoon where blue balloons with personal messages were released into the skies in his honor. According to his family and friends, the balloon release took place at sunset, a time that Jeffrey often looked forward to, to be with his friends near the lagoon. Earlier in the morning a well-attended celebratory mass was hosted in his honor at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. The day continued with a food sale and lots of ‘celebrating’ (Jeffrey-style), much like what he did every year on his big day.

Travel around the world with your DigiCell PrePaid phone for less!
To activate or deactivate this feature just send the message “Roam On” or “Roam Off” to the number 777 before leaving the country and upon reentering. In either case, you will receive a confirmation text and will be prompted to reply with “C” to confirm. Please be reminded that you must be in Belize and still connected to BTL’s Network to activate or deactivate this service. The great news is, the activation and deactivation texts are free of cost and there is no subscription fee. Please note that all charges for both voice calls and text messages initiated while roaming will be deducted from your Prepaid Primary Balance.

A medley of meat and veggies, Salpicon!
Do you love ceviche but prefer something meatier than seafood? Well then a bowl of Salpicon is what you need! This Central American treat is quite similar to the ceviche we all love, but instead of using the bounties of the sea, you use your favorite red or white meat. Whether you prefer pork or beef, both will make a fine Salpicon. Here is an easy to follow Sapicon recipe you can do at home in no time at all! Wash mini steaks, then season with salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste. Either sear the mini steaks in a skillet then shallow fry, or roast in open grill or oven. Once meat is cooked, let cool then dice. Dice tomatoes and onions. Finely chop cilantro. Mix diced mini steaks, tomatoes, onions and cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt, black pepper and lime juice to taste. To add some heat, finely chop habaneros and add to taste. Enjoy salpicon with fresh fried corn tortilla chips.

New officers join the San Pedro Police Force
The San Pedro Police Department has two new officers on duty. They are Woman Police Constable Reshiela Alvarez and Corporal Royan Timmons. The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce the new officers to our community. Originally from Belize City, 27-year-old WPC 398 Reshiela Alvarez was born into the police family. “I have always wanted to be a police officer and follow in the footsteps of my father and uncle, who are dedicated members of the police force,” said Alvarez. Corporal 28 Royan Timmons is originally from Belize City. He has been in the police force for 13 years, and was previously working in the Community Policing Unit. “My goal is to foster a better relationship with the community. I enjoy working along with the youth.

Ambergris Today

Joris Hendricks Represents Belize at Caribbean Fashion Week
Belizean Designer Joris Hendrik Groenendaal applied and was accepted to represent Belize at Caribbean Fashion Week 2014 that was held in Kingston, Jamaica from June 11 to June 15, 2014. Joris was featured in one of the major designer Fashion Showcase on Saturday, June, 14 and Sunday, June 15. Joris attended the Fashion Week last year as a guest and this year he joined the ranks of participating designers! Belizean designer Joris Hendrik joined the ranks of Jahta Xtreme and Rebecca Stirm, other Belizean Designers who have been showcased in Jamaica. He featured his Belizean made designs on an international platform which will no doubt help catapult Belizean fashion to the world.

United Airlines Announces Direct Flight From Belize to Chicago
On Monday, June 16, 2014, United Airlines announced its new non-stop Saturday service between Chicago, Illinois and Belize City, Belize beginning December, 20, 2014. United Airlines plans to have this seasonal service from Chicago O'Hare to Belize City which would begin December 20 and run through early May. Pending government approval, United plans Saturday-only service. The airline already flies to Belize from Houston and Newark Liberty. As of December 2014, Belize will have nonstop service from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Charlotte, Newark, Chicago and San Salvador.

Friends to Call Family Come Together with Lobster
I have always lived by the notion that it is better to have more friends than money, because all the money in the world cannot buy you the love, lifetime experiences and happiness that comes with having amazing friends. Every day I become richer and richer by sharing with my friends. Money cannot buy the happiness that true friendship brings me. A thoughtful gift here and there just shows me how much my friends appreciate me and care for me deeply. And it’s not the gifts that make me happy -- it’s my friends’ support, love and caring actions that bring this happiness, which makes me rich in life. I have so much more in keeping so many friends around me rather than anything money can buy me. As lobster season opened in Belize this past Sunday, I wondered when I would get my hands on a delicious lobster dish. I have never been one to dine out a lot, and eating at restaurants only came when I had to do a review for Ambergris Today or iTravel Belize (believe it or not). Many of my friends can attest at how I am not a big “foodie” and most of the time call it “just food” while others are drooling over gourmet dinners, sweet desserts and pricy meals. To add to that, I was never a lobster lover until recently when I’ve had the privilege of being a judge at past Lobster Festivals.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Happy opening of Lobster Season
Enjoy the trio Lobster Fests in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - Caye Caulker - Placencia. Safe travels and plenty of fun!!!!

Los Dinamicos
Here is a rare look into the story and sounds of an outstanding band that shook your legs back in the mid-60’s, from the Corozal District. It was a time in 1964 when Belize, then British Honduras, had just attained its right to self-government from England. This meant that Belizeans would then manage all its ministries, except the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. It would seem then, a time of celebration and rejoice for the Belizean people. Los Dinamicos band from the quaint village of San Joaquin, Corozal District was founded in 1965 by a truly energetic and talented group of young Corozaleños.

Liquor Box -FIFA Special Deals!

2014 Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition
Friday June 27th at the old Football Field

Entrepreneurship MOOC Ceremony and Gathering
Last night the Embassy hosted a Course Completion Ceremony and Gathering for the participants in the, "Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies" online course and review sessions. Participants completed the six week course, some with distinction, and collaborated at the review sessions the Embassy facilitated in partnership with the University of Belize. Congratulations to Natasha Balani, Yvette Mazariegos, Ekta Naravi, Namrita Balani, Tina Balani, Mirsy Ponce, Shanice Flowers, Elroy Franco, Sherlet Neal, Gaspari Cordova, Jamira Augustine, and Jeremiah Chiac! Job well done!

Caye Caulker First Ever Color Powder Party
It is here and wear white!!!

BCS Father's Day Gala
The Belize Cancer Society is having their 1st annual Father's Day Gala at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel this Saturday. The Jade Band will be playing at the event. "Support a worthy cause and enjoy yourself at the same time. Purchase your tickets with any of our committee member, visit the Belize Family Life Association of San Ignacio or you can call 628-3392 or 804-4511."

Western Ballaz in San Pedro
Adma Chuc got some great shots of the Western Ballaz as they played the Tiger Sharks in San Pedro. Playoff game 2 is this Friday at the SHC auditorium. Come out and support the Ballaz!

FFB Field Upgrade
The FFB Stadium in Belmopan is getting a little upgrade of its own. They are preparing the field. It gets inspected tomorrow and Friday by CONCACAF. "The preparation of the grass on the FFB field started yesterday the 24/6/2014. Inspection will be done by Concacaf officials on the 19 & 20/6/2014. Bandits FC representatives were on hand to view the works being carried out at the stadium."

Rotary Park Upgrade
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is upgrading Rotary Park in Santa Elena. Thanks, Rotary! "Our Club is upgrading the park for safety and to improve the appearance and activities."

Benque Summer Night Concert
The Benque House of Culture is having another great concert this Saturday. Ready to see the Benque Marimba Academy play in their home town? They will be playing, as will the OAS Culture of Peace Band. The concert will be in Centennial Park, and will start at 7:30pm.

Channel 7

Police Question Big-time Businessman About Rape
Last night, we told you about the allegations that a 19 year-old young woman from Belize City was making against a well-known businessman and landlord, who she says raped her. Well, we have been reliably informed that he was back in the police station today. We can confirm that he hasn't been criminally charged as yet, but police have told the media that he may be officially detained soon. We're told that the landlord and his family were at police station with his lawyer as late as this afternoon for follow-ups with the investigators. As we told you, the young lady alleges that she spoke to him and asked him if he had any available apartments to rent. She says that she gave him her number, and he called heron Friday afternoon claiming that he had rooms to rent at Mile 8 on the Western Highway. When the man picked her up, he told her that he was taking her to see those apartments, but instead he drove her to a secluded area near the Homeland Memorial Park. Once there, he forced her to have intercourse, forced her to take photos, and then showed her his firearm. She escaped from his vehicle when she got to the city.

Another Man Survives A Shot to The Face
Last night, another Belize City man was shot in the face. Around 9:30 last night, 34 year-old Kingsley Ferguson was with his girlfriend in front of her house on Jones Street in the Lake Independence Area when 2 men double-riding on the same bicycle rolled up. The man on the handle took out a handgun and shot him at close range in the right side of his face. The bullet exited the left side of his jaw, and when he collapsed, his attackers rode off. He was rushed to the KHMH, where he received emergency medical treatment. Today, Investigators from Police Precinct 2 told the media that they believe that it was a case of mistaken identity: Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 2 "Sometime around 9:20 p.m. police responded to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they met a male person suffering from gunshot injuries to the right side of the face and an apparent suspected wound to the left side of the jaw. Initial investigation in respect to this incident reveals that whilst this guy who was identified as Kingsley Ferguson, thirty-four-years-[old], citizen of Belize City was on Jones Street meeting with his girlfriend at that location and whilst there two male persons riding a bicycle, double-riding came from the direction of Administration Drive and upon passing Ferguson they discharged a firearm on him causing the said injuries."

Hon. Hulse says Ady Pacheco Never Gave Him A Letter
Last week COLA and its attorney Kareem Musa held a press conference to outline what they say are the major findings of the preliminary report from the Auditor General on irregularities in the Immigration Department. One of the most explosive allegations is their claim that Immigration officer Ady Pacheco said that she prepared a letter with a list of all the files that then Minister of State Penner had taken out of the office – and she gave that list to her Minister Godwin Hulse. Hulse says he never saw that in the report, and he got no such letter: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News "But she is saying, as I understand it, that a letter was sent to you - that she sent a letter to you with a list of the files that Elvin Penner took out of the department." Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Never sent any letter to me...absolutely not...categorically no. So if she says that that is absolutely incorrect." Mike Rudon "Sir but, you have had the file - and I'm assuming you've gone through it thoroughly."

A.G. Calls COLA Private Prosecution "A Charade"
COLA's attorney has conceded that the report still cannot be used as evidence – and they still need the sworn statements which the police investigation has gathered. But one man who remains very skeptical of any prospect of success for their private prosecution is Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Elrington, who was involved in a failed private prosecution in the killing of Sylvino Riverol in 1981 – says that from his experience, this effort has no chance:… Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Attorney General "I can tell you as a lawyer practicing for over thirty-five years that that whole charade with Mr. Musa and others wanting to take a private matter to the Magistrate Court is a waste of time and a delusion of the Belizean people because as we have said, getting proof to establish it in court is almost impossible because of the legal requirements that are needed to prove cases of that type. It is the responsibility of the D.P.P. to bring actions of that type. She hasn't done so because she knows she will lose. And I think that there are many more important issues rather than harping on a matter like the Penner matter. There is nothing more that we can do it. I am telling you from all the experience that I have Mr. Musa and his crowd are wasting time. I'm telling you that from my experience as a Lawyer. But you're saying that there are those who have information, let them give it up."

Female Manatee Drowned In Mating Frenzy
Last night we had a rare look at a manatee mating herd along the Belize City coastline: about 20 male manatees, relentless in their pursuit of a single female. The mating frenzy wasn't pretty, but that's how it happens in nature. Sadly, this morning we found out that she didn't make it. The female was found dead along the seawall about 150 feet south of where we saw the gathering yesterday. Residents say that the violent thrashing from the males continued until about 6:00 pm, which is when she started to weaken. Shortly after, she showed no signs of life – which didn't immediately stop the males either. We went out there with Jamal Galvez this morning: Jamal Galvez - Sea to Shore Manatee Pgm Coordinator "Yesterday, I left here ecstatic and an excited person, as you saw yesterday with what was happening, to see that there is a possible to see that we'd have manatee back in the population once this process was continued or finished. But, it's the nature of the beast, Jules, it's not something that we can control. That's just a way of life for them, and it's unfortunate because, as you know, their reproduction cycle, and the problem that they already have with their reproduction cycle. That hinders the population with these kind of complications that these animals have to deal with, that adds to it, and adding to it what we as human beings bring on the population, it's sad to actually witness this, or to actually see this, especially after yesterday, but it's out of our control."

Puerto Azul Just Starting Oversight Process
The Puerto Azul project…it's here, there, and everywhere, but really, so far, it's gotten nowhere – other than into a few press releases and plenty of news items. Today the Minister who heads the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment, Godwin Hulse told the media that Puerto Azul is in the very first phase of the five point approval system: Hon - Godwin Hulse - Chairman, Cabinet Sub-committee on Investment "First of all, if you want to make an investment, you make an application through BELTRAIDE to the Ministry of Investment. That preliminary application then goes to Cabinet to see if it would have a green light in the first instance for you to even begin, because there may be some things that the Government says clearly no to. In the case of Puerto Azul that has happened, where government says you can begin to take your look. But there are five criteria that are laid out clearly. Those 5 criteria are analysed by a technical committee, staffed with people from BELTRAIDE, the Department of Environment, Department of Tourism, Department of Investment - they all sit on that, including high technical people, who sit and analyse the finance.

Vital Stats Is Weakest Link In Immigration Security
The Vital Statistics Unit is the weakest link in the immigration system. Now that may sound strange – because the unit is not within the Ministry of Immigration – but you can get a passport with a birth certificate – and as the case of Marleny Castellanos recently demonstrated, getting a birth certificate, (or 17 of them) for dead strangers is not hard at all. So, while the focus has been on tightening up the Immigration Department – what's going to happen with the Vital Statics Unit? That's what we asked the Attorney General today: Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Attorney-General "Those people, apparently, would have wanted to disclose their contact person, but his suggestion was that the police acted too swiftly in charging them. If you charge people who have information to give, many times, they're not prepared to disclose it. But, if you worked out a deal with them, they probably would have been prepared to telly you what the details are. It is something that is very worrying, but I will also tell you, my dear, that that kind of behavior in the Vital Statistics office has been going on from almost time immemorial. I know people who have in fact benefit from it. It's a big racket."

Immig. Dept. Cancelled A US Visa?
And while they're digitizing the vital statistics unit – today we were reminded that there's no way to guard against human error. 7 News has confirmed that a Department of Immigration staffer seriously messed up someone's expiring passport. Here's what happened: the individual took in their Belize passport with a US Visa to be renewed. In cases such as these, the edges of the cover are clipped, and the first five pages can be stamped cancelled. But, after that no other pages should be stamped. Well, in this case, they stamped all the pages, including the one with the valid US Visa! It has caused quite a little stir in the department because that's $320 dollars down the drain. The person has asked the department for compensation, but we are told the Department is only offering a letter which they can give to the US Embassy.

A.G. Bashes Bar Assoc. Resolution
Today we also got Attorney General Elrington to comment on the June third resolution from the Bar Association alleging an appearance of bias on the bench. Now, Elrington is no fan of the Bar Association – in fact, he's on record trying to challenge their monopoly on membership in the legal profession – but he's also the titular Head Of The Bar. And so how did he feel when the Bar took out a resolution against Justice of Appeal Awich? Elrington, who is rarely pleased, was very disappointed – but not surprised: Hon. Wilfred ‘Sedi' Elrington - Attorney-General "You will know that I have had a very poor opinion of the Bar Association. I have complained about the Bar Association ceaselessly, and this particular resolution has only caused them to sink even lower in my estimation. I have had complaints about people who were appointed too, and I tried to stop some appointments. But, once that is done, that is done; the proper thing for me to do is to back off. We have a system that if the judge is incompetent and doesn't give proper judgements, you appeal it to the Caribbean Court of Justice, and that court is going to make that decision. And, if he has any other impairment which prevents him from being able to work or which makes him unsuited or unfit, you can take legal action. We had done that, that had been done in the case of Justice Mirabucks. But it not the place - to my mind - for the Bar Association to be passing resolutions of that nature. I was very disappointed."

Caught In Act With A Television
36 year-old Deon Bainton, a labourer of Frederick Street, is at prison tonight after he was accused of stealing a woman's TV and getting caught in the act. The incident occurred around 3 this morning. According to the allegation, Bainton broke into Alberta Guerra's house, located at mile 2 on Phillip Goildson Highway. Once he got inside, he stole a Samsung television, valued at $1,500 DOLLARs. Police reports are that a neighbor saw Bainton with the television and called the police. When the police arrived at the scene they caught Bainton with the television. He was then charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. When he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Bainton pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of $500 and his case was adjourned until August 19. Bainton was unable to meet bail because he owes the court and he was unable to pay, so he was escorted to prison this evening.

Big Tom Charged; Speaks In His Own Defence
On this newscast we've followed some of the life and times of Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers. He went from a legend on the streets of Belize City – to accused of murder in Salt Lake City Utah, and then back to Belize via deportation. Since then, we've come to know him as a contractor on the paving of Central American Boulevard. But police believe that he still pulls major weight in the underworld, and with the recent spike in gang warfare, a quick response team went to raid his house on Monday afternoon. He says by the time it was finished, he had been properly beaten up – for no good reason:.. Yesterday, Flowers was taken to court and charged for assault and insulting words.

Unfurling The Story Behind The Acquisition Of Cotton Tree Land
The Cotton Tree Village Council is taking the Barrow Administration to court; they say that Government failed to consult – as they were required to do – when they distributed 240 lots in their village. But, government's defense is that the state acquired private property to share up amongst eight Belize City constituencies. The man who initiated it all was Wilfred Elrington. He persuaded one of his former clients, Ramon Tseng to sell some of the vast tracts of land he owns on the Western Highway. Elrington said it was imperative and overdue that he get some land for his PICKSTOCK constituents:… Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Pickstock Area Representative "We have just delivered some forty-nine lots to people in the Pickstock area from the Cotton Tree neighbourhood. And let me explain to you how that came about. I have been an area representative in Pickstock for the past six years. I have always complained bitterly to the Cabinet that the residents of Pickstock don't get lots. I need lots for the residents of Pickstock. That complaint largely fell on deaf ears. So I had a friend - a very dear friend of mine, a Taiwanese client whom I have known for twenty-five, thirty years who owned in excess of two hundred acres of land right across the highway from the village of Cotton Tree. It had nothing to do with Cotton Tree. It was private property, belonging to Ramon Tseng, whom I got the Government to purchase, so that the people in Pickstock could get lots.

Cali Cares About Boxing
And if you are wondering where we bumped into Ministers Elrington and Hulse who gave the media so much news today, well, we found Hulse at the Supreme Court where he is suing the Belize Times. And we caught Elrington at the donation of some boxing equipment. He got it from Belize's Honorary Counsel in Los Angeles, Roland Yorke who gathered it from the community. It was handed over to Smart Gym and Lion's Den Gym today. Leopold Smart says equipment helps, but more is needed:…. Smart's gym is located at the old ITVET on St. Thomas Street.

A Major Break In Court
52 year-old Robert Major, a former football player, got a rare stroke of judicial leniency when he was allowed to walk out of Magistrate's Court a free man after being charged for assaulting a police officer. Police Constable Nolbert Segura reported that around 2:15 p.m. on June 16, he was on board a bus heading to Belize City when Major boarded. The officer said that major was walking down the aisle and threw water in his face. He said that when he identified himself as a police officer, Major punched him in the right eye. That started a fight, during which Segura's civilian shirt was torn. Segura said he called the police and when they arrived they took Major into custody and charged him with wounding and damage to property. Major pleaded guilty to the charges, which would have earned him a sentence. But after he gave his version of events, he was released instead. His explanation for the altercation with the police was that when he boarded the bus he had his water bottle held over his head and some of the water dripped on the face of the officer. He said the officer punched him in his face and he retaliated. He said when the police arrived they beat him.

Occupy Belmopan Sputters, But Still Going
Yesterday, we showed you how it looked at day one of the Occupy Belmopan protest organized by Patrick Menzies. While he was reported to have a few dozen supporters yesterday, reports to our newsroom today are that only a few individual supporters came out – like 5 or 6. Still, he held his ground, sitting with the handful of supporters under a tent at the foot of the stairs leading up to the House and stayed there the entire day. And while the term "occupy" suggests uninterrupted occupation, according to our information – we'll give him a pass, because Menzies left from in front of the House until after 11 o'clock last night. He is demanding that the gender policy be withdrawn.


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#492491 - 06/19/14 11:40 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 19, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Maud William high school teachers are first on the chopping block
Maud Williams High school teachers are now on vacation; but while they are attending a school workshop, some were surprised with dismissal letters this afternoon, resulting from the merger of [...]

Godwin Hulse refutes claims that he knew Penner had taken immigration files
The Auditor-General’s report on the Won Hong Kim/Elvin Penner immigration scandal is still not available for public consumption. The result of the investigation was handed over to the Prime Minister [...]

Sedi Elrington says private prosecution of Penner is a waste of time
Belizeans are anxiously awaiting their first look at the comprehensive Auditor-General’s report, whenever it is tabled. We have been told by COLA that it is damning and implicates Elvin Penner [...]

Cotton Tree lots given to Belize City U.D.P. Area Reps – Elrington orchestrated it
Earlier this week the Cotton Tree Village Council took the government of Belize to court over two hundred and fifty four lots. Those lots, allegedly within the community, are part [...]

Felicia Chen pleads guilty to murder, but her case is traversed
  Turning to the courts…today, a well groomed and smiling Felicia Chen arrived at court extremely jovial but left crying after her case for murder was traversed to the next [...]

Attorney General defends the reappointment of Justice Awich
In May 2012, Supreme Court Judge Samuel Lungole Awich was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. That appointment was not supported by the Bar Association, and [...]

Attorney General critical of the Bar leadership
The appointment has sparked off a heated, but surgical verbal flurry between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay. Today Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington weighed in, venting [...]

Italian investors to convince officials that Puerto Azul is a good
Last Thursday, a group of conservation N.G.O.s expressed their concern via letter about a proposed mega-tourism project, the Puerto Azul development, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. That letter was sent [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister speaks on meeting with Guatemala counterparts
In early June, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington led a delegation to the forty-fourth regular session of the O.A.S. General Assembly held in Paraguay. This wasn’t a scheduled session [...]

Belize City man shot in the face in a case of mistaken identity
Thirty-four year old Kingsley Ferguson is tonight recovering from gunshot wounds following a near brush with death in what Belize City police believe to have been a case of mistaken [...]

Egbert Jones needs assistance following near death experience
During the dismantling of the Belize City Center in mid-September 2013, one of the inner walls of the structure collapsed and fell on Egbert Jones while he was working. The [...]

1 man detained in connection with the murder of Tulio Caceres
At ten this morning, a funeral service for Tulio Caceres was held at the St. Joseph Church before his casket was taken to the entrance of Taylor’s Alley on Orange [...]

16 year old arraigned for 18 pounds of marijuana
In news from the West, a sixteen-year-old male has been remanded to the Hattieville Prison following a major drug bust early this morning. Just after ten a.m. in Santa Elena, [...]

San Ignacio cop wanted for assaulting his wife
San Ignacio Police are also investigating one of its own in connection with reports of a domestic assault in that western town. Police Constable Fermin Choco is wanted by police [...]

New preschool building handed over in Hattieville
New Horizon 2014 moved to Hattieville today where the administration of the government school was officially handed over a new pre-school facility. The building was constructed along with the Belize [...]

Minister speaks on the corruption in the Vital Statistics Department
Marleny Castellanos, a woman accused of being the mastermind in a long-standing and very lucrative hustle, has been slapped with more than twenty charges for immigration offences. It is alleged [...]

High quality boxing gear handed over to Leopold Smart
Boxing is a longstanding sport discipline in Belize, but like with so many other disciplines, it is on life support because of a lack of resources. So a donation handed [...]

CTV3

Strangers Sharing Candy At School Area Raises Suspicion
In Belize reports of a suspicious vehicle circulating school zones is not often hear of but that does not mean we are free from it. Fortunately the few incidents that have been reported have not escalated to any child being kidnapped which is the worst case scenario in these cases. But as mentioned the incident does occur and tonight we report on one. On Monday, a suspicious vehicle occupied by three individuals was spotted near the San Joaquin R.C School in the Corozal District. The occupants were seen giving away sweets to students during the morning break. And it’s not the first time that the vehicle is seen in the area. What has drawn more suspicion is the fact that whenever a teacher approaches the vehicle, the person behind the wheel drives off. Victor Castillo reports.

Thieves Burglarize Home While Family Sleeps
Home is the one place most people feel safe and free but for one family this privacy was invaded in the wee hours of the morning. The daunting incident occurred between eleven yesterday night and three this morning in the residence of Carlos Umania. Today he told us how the incident played out. Carlos Umania – House burglarized “Mi esposa fue la última que se fue a dormir y como a las tres de la mañana dice ella que se escuchó unas bullas entonces ella comenzó a toser porque sufre una tos entonces se levantó y cuando salió a la sala vio que la puerta de vidrio estaba abierta entonces ella no quiso salir solo vio la puerta y regreso hablarme y me comento, Carlos levántate porque alguien entro a la casa y cuando yo me levante si la puerta estaba abierta entonces comenzamos a chequear que es lo que se había perdido, fue ahí adónde un dinero que había en la meza y otro que había en el TV stand creo como un total de cómo ciento ochenta dólares que se habían llevado junto con mi celular, había más dinero pero no estaba a la vista entonces nosotros sospechamos de que cuando ella tocio creo que la persona tal vez escucho y entonces él se dio de irse porque no registro nada más.”

Performing Animals At The Circus, What Do You think?
By now, you may have heard that the Circus Hermanos Ponce is in Town and for many youngsters it’s a rite of passage. The very word "circus" brings to mind vivid images of amazing acrobats, comedic clowns ... and exotic animals. But unlike the human entertainers, animals do not choose the circus life; they are kept in captivity and forced to take part in the show. Circuses that use animals are aggressively promoted by the circus industry as safe, fun, wholesome family entertainment. This couldn't be farther from the truth. After the circus industry's glitter and glamour has settled, the animals remain involuntary participants in a degrading spectacle, performing not because they want to, but because they are forced to. With this in mind, we posed a question on our social media Facebook page where we asked our followers opinions and their take on the issue. The comments we received were along the same sentiments;

Fourht Estimate Shows An Increase In Value Of Sugar
The fourth estimated average cane price for the 2014 crop has been issued to cane farmers. The estimation stands at $61.06 per ton cane. Today we spoke with Vice Chair of the Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega who told us more about the fourth estimated price. Alfredo Ortega: “Hay un aumento de noventa y tres centavos por tonelada en esta cuarta estimación, la tercera estimación salió a $60.13, esta cuarta estimación salió a un $61.06 pero hay una diferencia también que muestra de que subió punto uno porque el TC/TS que estaban utilizando anterior era de nueve punto cinco y hoy el punto que están usando es de nueve punto cincuenta y uno así es de que subió con un punto y aun así tenemos un alce de noventa y tres centavos en esta cuarta estimación, y es muy importante este precio y también es muy importante de que cuidemos la calidad de cana que estamos entregando el ingenio.” Ortega says that this will positively impact sugar cane farmers especially at a time where their cost of production is heightened. These costs are compounded by the need to hire more hands and machinery to harvest cane in low lying areas that are flooded after the recent rains. And speaking of the rains, Ortega says the quality of the cane is already being affect.

Police Constable Charged For Burglar and Wounding
In mid-April we reported on a Special Constable who got in trouble for assaulting a Chinese store owner and its worker for failing to sell him a beer after hours at their store. Since then, Special Constable Eldo Itza was charged with burglary, wounding, and harm and he pleaded not guilty to all charges, and so, he was released on bail of $500 dollars. His next court date was set for July 1st. Well tonight, Ben Wong, the store owner in San Jose Village, says that the normal ‘cop culture’ to shield a fellow cop once criminally charged is being applied to him. But all indications are that Itza will not appear in court on July 1st because according to what Wong told our colleagues at 7News the case has been thrown out and to add insult to injury they did not even receive a summons to appear in court on July 1st. Wong added that attempts made to check with police on the court proceedings have been met with great apprehension. We understand that apart from Wong, seven other persons have laid charges upon Itza for assault.

Corozal Police Investigates Burglary Incident
Corozal Police are investigating a burglary that has left a Naturalized Belizean out of more than $800.00 worth in items. Thirty eight year old Waseem Khan, the owner of Corocell Repairs and Services located on 5th Avenue, Corozal Town, told authorities that between the hours of 6:30pm on Friday June 13th and 8:35am on Saturday June 14th his business establishment was broken into. Burglars gained access to the building through a hole in the roof and stole one Surround Sound System valued at $650.00, one cell Phone worth $187.00, one phone chip valued at $54.00 and one 4GB SD Card valued at $35.00. No one has been detained for this latest burglary and investigations continue.

O/W Town Council Update On Infrastructure Taking Place And BWS
One of the biggest concerns that each and every Orange Walkeno has griped about is the conditions of the street networks for Orange Walk Town. And we all know that Central Government has neglected the Town, it was only till recently that Government announced that help would be rendered. And while that work is yet to commence since BWS are laying down pipes to accommodate the road repairs, the Town Council is working arduously to address streets under their jurisdiction with the little resources/revenues they have. And if you take a drive around town, you may have spotted ‘men at work’ on several streets and areas that are in dire need of attention. We sat down with Mayor Kevin Bernard who updated us on the remedial works being carried out by the council.

O/W Town Council Awaiting The Completion Of Santa Familia Street
And when it comes to the on-going works of the Social Investment Fund on Santa Familia Street, the work has still not been completed. Bernard says once the street is paved, they will step in and do some additional works to that area. “The council is waiting for the works to be completed on the paving side for us to be able to go in and do the actual vehicle entrances because we have committed to build the ten vehicle entrances, we actually did on recently and then we are going to be working on the others, we’ve gotten the necessary support in terms of personnel that will be able to do that in house and then just take them over to the locations and place them to the area, there was one also issue on that same street that has to do where the shop it where the contractor had to get in and broke the entrance that they had already constructed, we manage to arrange that through the contractor and through SIF now the contractor will now take full responsibility to replace that entrance that was there so I was hoping from what I was told that work should have already been completed, I think they are in the few more days left but I am hoping that it could be solved as quick as possible as it relates to the SIF update from the Municipal Development Project that they are doing there. Santa Familia on the opposite side now, was addressed by the municipality ad we intend to do some further work on Santa Familia street as part of our rehabilitation process because it requires a lot of more materials and we are working on getting that done as soon as we complete a thorough fair within the town that needs to be address but we will be addressing that other portion of Santa Familia Street, I cannot guaranteed to be paved but we want to at least leave the street in a passable condition that people can drive easily through that area.”

Case Against Special Constable Eldo Itza Allegedly Thrown Out
In mid-April we reported on a Special Constable who got in trouble for assaulting a Chinese store owner and its worker for failing to sell him a beer after hours at their store. Since then, Special Constable Eldo Itza was charged with burglary, wounding, and harm and he pleaded not guilty to all charges, and so, he was released on bail of $500 dollars. His next court date was set for July 1st. Well tonight, Ben Wong, the store owner in San Jose Village, says that the normal ‘cop culture’ to shield a fellow cop once criminally charged is being applied to him. But all indications are that Itza will not appear in court on July 1st because according to what Wong told our colleagues at 7News the case has been thrown out and to add insult to injury they did not even receive a summons to appear in court on July 1st. Wong added that attempts made to check with police on the court proceedings have been met with great apprehension. We understand that apart from Wong, seven other persons have laid charges upon Itza for assault.

District Education Manager Speaks On Challenges Faced Which Affects Students
The Primary School Examination results have been issued and we have taken a look at the best performers and even some inconsistencies sighted by one primary institution. We have also reported on the district’s overall performance which has been recorded as the best of all six districts. Year after year, however, there is continuous concern over the performance of the students countrywide. The results have not seen much significant improvement in the recent year and tonight we take a look at some of the challenges faced in schools here in the Orange Walk District and which have been found to affect the students’ performance considerably. According to District Education Manager Carla Alvarez, Orange Walk is the district that submits the highest number of children who need special accommodation for the exams. This year alone, there was an increase of referrals so the Bishop Martin High School building was used as a testing center for these students. The staff there was trained specifically as readers and scribes for the students. But even before these arrangements are made, the Special Education Officer does an assessment to see if the children referred have a learning impediment and the findings are alarming.

MOE Sets Stage To Increase Number Of Qualified Teachers
There is no doubt that the relationship between Minister of Education Patrick Faber and the teachers of Belize is navigating in turbulent waters. Faber is often outspoken when criticizing teachers and holds no remorse to what he says. In fact, he has stated several times that the country needs more qualified teachers in the education system. And apparently Faber plans increase the numbers of qualified teachers in Belize through a Program which is expected to enhance the quality of primary education and the governance of the education system. The program will be funded by a 10 million dollar loan approved by the Inter Development Bank. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers. The program will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management, which will benefit all of the country's primary and secondary schools.

Infrastructure Work Supposed To Have Started In Corozal Town
During his three hour press conference held on June 11th Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed a number of issues including infrastructure. Belize City alone received a whopping 10 million dollars and as for out-districts, the Prime Minister outlined additional spending programs for Dangriga, Punta Gorda and Corozal. As it pertains to the Corozal District, CTV3 News understands that Government has allocated $4.4 million dollars to commence road works and to “concrete” the Philip Goldson Highway from the beginning of the Social Security Building right up to the Santa Rita Hill. Government has also requested that Mayor Hilberto Campos identify additional streets, starting with two that need to be upgraded. The upgrade will be funded by the Government. While it was expected that works should have commenced yesterday we were informed by Mayor Hilberto Campos that discussions are currently under way which streets need urgent attention. So, just as Corozal residents, we will wait patiently for works to commence and keep you informed.

O/W Mayor Congratulates Elected Winner Of O/W North Consituency
Sundays Orange Walk North Convention saw the election of Ramon Monchie Cervantes as the PUP’s new Standard Bearer for Orange Walk. He will go up against Gaspar Vega in the upcoming General Elections. And while all three candidates had their group of supporters and would have represented the PUP well, party supporters of Orange Walk North will now relying on Cervantes to unseat Gaspar Vega. So, does he make a good match up against the now Deputy Prime Minister? We asked Mayor Kevin Bernard for his sentiments. “I did not support any specific candidate for obvious reasons that I have, I believe that all of them had the opportunity and anyone of them would have represented us well, the people spoke in Orange Walk North and I want to congratulate Mr. Cervantes on his victory and I want to only say that what needs to be done is that they need to unite as a team, unite behind Mr. Ortega, unite behind Mr. Castillo and his followers and make sure that we can bring a victory for Orange Walk North, I have all confidence that Mr. Cervantes can do so for the People’s United Party and all would take that they all join forces together because at the end of the day we are not enemies we are one party and we need to ensure that we need to bring down this government and we need to get rid of the person that we know needs to get out of government and that is the only person that we know and that person is Gapi Vega.”

LOVE FM

Attorney General Disillusioned by Belize Bar Association
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich has recently been reappointed to the Belize Court of Appeals; a move that has led to the President of the Belize Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay accusing the Prime Minister of lying during a press conference in Belize City on Thursday, June 12 when he spoke of a historical problem between elements of the leadership of the Bar and Justice Awich. The matter has been one that began unfolding after the Prime Minster sent a letter, dated May 19, 2014 to the main Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca informing him, as is obligated, that he proposes to advise the Governor General to re-appoint Justice Awich to the Belize Court of Appeals. A few days later, Fonseca responded to the Prime Minister, saying that after consultations with the Belize Bar Association, his party (People’s United Party) is not in agreement with the re-appointment as the Bar is saying that it is reflecting a bias considering that Awich’s decision on the case regarding Belize Telemedia’s second acquisition was handed down on the day his contract expired……but despite their feedback, Justice Awich was re-appointed to serve until the 67-year-old judge reaches the age of seventy five. Earlier this week, Courtenay spoke with the media and did not mince his words. Courtenay said when the Bar Association passed a resolution against Awich’s reappointment; it was a unanimous vote with the exception of one member who abstained. It is an interesting statement as the Executive of the Bar Association includes the Prime Minister’s brother, Denys Barrow as well as his law partner, Rodwell Williams. Today, the media met up with Attorney General, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, who says that he is disillusioned with the Belize Bar Association and gave his comments regarding the reappointment of the Justice Samuel Awich.

Puerto Azul Has To Meet Criteria For Approval
Six key players in the Puerto Azul project arrived in the country yesterday and are currently staying on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for the next ten days to meet with various individuals to discuss the project further. It is an elaborate plan that will cost in the millions to realize and is being promoted as an investment that will boost the country’s economy….but the idea has been meeting much opposition, particularly by some NGOs and environmental agencies, saying that the development poses a risk to Belize’s reef and other natural resources. Last night we reported to you that these agencies teamed up and sent a letter to Minister Godwin Hulse requesting information on the Puerto Azul proposal. We asked Hulse to comment on the Puerto Azul project. HON. GODWIN HULSE “For years when people wanted to make investments in Belize they sought particular ministers, particularly the minister responsible for investments and then their project would be put to Cabinet and there would be a development concession or some sort of thing and Cabinet would discuss it and then a green light would be given and fundamentally I think people expected that if you spoke to the minister before then you would probably have a green light just having that meeting.

Sugar Production A Success
The Sugar Cane Season is in its 21 week and according to the latest number, the factory at BSI has produced over 109 thousand tons of sugar. Statistics released by the factory show that from June 9 to the 15, the factory ground more than forty seven thousand tons of cane producing a little over four thousand tons of sugar. So far for this cane season, the factory has ground 1.04 million tons – one hundred and fifty six thousand tons more than last year during this period. Last year, in its twenty first week, the factory produced ninety five thousand tons of sugar. This year, during the same period, the factory has produced one hundred and nine thousand tons of sugar; fourteen thousands tons more. The ton cane per ton sugar ratio is at a high of 9.57. So far for this year, the factory has proved to be ninety five percent time efficient.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man caught red-handed with stolen TV
36 year old Deon Bainton is accused of stealing a television set from a residence on the Philip Goldson Highway, but he was apparently caught in the act. He pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and handling stolen goods before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today and was […]

Ex-footballer discharged after misunderstanding with police officer
An off-duty police officer got into a dispute with a retired footballer aboard a village bus on Monday, but Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith avoided a criminal record for 52 year old Robert “Crane” Major, choosing today to discharge him from charges of wounding and damage to property. Major […]

Minister Hulse offers reassurances on Puerto Azul
Local environmentalists are determined not to be shut out of the consultative process leading to a possible green light for the investors in the proposed Puerto Azul project in the Lighthouse Atoll Range. A group of environmental organizations have written to Senator Godwin Hulse, who chairs the Cabinet’s […]

Minister brings suit agains Belize Times
This morning Senator Godwin Hulse and the editor of the People’s United Party organ the Belize Times were before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in chambers prior to the intended trial of a suit brought by the Minister. After the discussions the two sides were limited in their comments […]

Chain of custody broke down with Won Hong Kim file
The preliminary report of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley continues to be a talking point for those insisting that the the Ministry of Immigration is actively trying to prevent former Minister of State Elvin Penner from being criminally charged. Concurrent investigations are ongoing by the Police, Financial Intelligence Unit, […]

Trio charged for keeping unlicensed firarm with homemade silencer
Three men from Trinidad Village have been arrested and charged for the crime of keeping a prohibited firearm. They are Julio Rene Amador, 54; Nayef Khodr Agha, 31; and Joel Armando Moh, 31. The firearm, with a homemade silencer made out of an oil filter, was found […]

GREAT program graduates over a hundred students in San Ignacio
The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program today held graduation for over one hundred boys and girls from the Bishop O.P. Martin Roman Catholic primary school in San Ignacio town. The Standard 3 and Standard 6 students underwent weeks of training on how to say no to gangs and how to protect themselves, including anger management classes. At this morning’s graduation, the deputy commander of the San Ignacio/Santa Elena police Inspector Reymundo Reyes congratulated the boys and girls for completing the training program, and he encouraged them to now use that knowledge to make positive contributions to their community.

Blogs

Lobsterfest Volunteers wanted
The San Pedro Branch needs 12 volunteers to receive health education training and participate in a core activity the next day at the annual Lobsterfest block party. For all volunteers, food will be taken care of and if necessary travel expenses. If you can help us or know anyone that might be interested, please send a group email right away to Shirlee Arnould shirlee.spbrc@gmail.com and Laurie Norton tacogirlbelize@gmail.com The fun begins coming Friday June 20th as volunteers get trained in HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health education. The following afternoon (and early evening) they will go out in groups and provide the information to the public at the big celebration in town. Friday: June 20th Training will be held from 9:00am – 4:00pm at El Divino Restaurant, Banana Beach Resort. Meals provided for volunteers during training include Light breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.

Summer’s Here in Belize: Lobsterfest, World Cup Action, Flowers and Heat
Despite what many imagine before visiting, there are more than two seasons in Belize. Not just wet and dry. We have summer, we have winter, we have Easter winds, we have Hurricane Season (read all about my read on the distinct seasons here)…summer is HOT. Summer brings tons of fruits and flowering trees. Summer brings rain showers at night and summer brings LOBSTERFEST. Check, check, check, check. Here are some pictures of what is going on around town – summer, the World Cup and Lobsterfest. This is a GOOD time to be in San Pedro. I SO love the flamboyant trees. Nothing summery-er than these jagged worn trees with their neon bursts of color. This gorgeous one is at Banyan Bay.

New Flights to Belize from Chicago!
Yes, United Airlines recently announced that it is expanding its air service from Chicago to Belize with new direct flights opening on December 20 2014. The company said it is adding flights from Chicago’s O Hare airport to Philip Goldson International in Belize City, with a Saturday service scheduled to run through to May 2015, depending on government approval. Great news for visitors from the Windy City, as well as the substantial Belizean diaspora living in the Chicago area. With Delta Airline’s direct Los Angeles to Belize City flights that began last year, and joining American and Continental Airlines as well as USAir ways and TACA servicing Belize from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York and Los Angeles, and given the close proximity of Belize to major North American hubs, paradise keeps getting closer for our American friends.

“The Girl from Ipanema” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Do you ever feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven? Found your nirvana? No? I can understand that. I mean, I’m sure not too many people feel like they have found that magical state. If I’m honest , and there’s no point being otherwise, I never thought that I would. But that’s how I feel now. I’ve had some good times in my life. I had great parents. A happy childhood. Some fantastic teen years. I loved my job and looked forward every day to going to work. In fact many were the days when Rose had to ‘phone me to get me to go home! And, of course, I met, fell in love with, and eventually married Rose. The love of my life AND my best friend ( some of you will now be thinking “How delightful”, others ? Looking for the sick bag!). So with all this why do I suddenly feel like I reached heaven? Well for the first time in my life I’m able to watch every single game in the World Cup. Now the fact that I haven’t watched every game – I’ve missed watching three and a half (only saw one half of the France v Honduras game) up to yesterday- has been my choice. My World Cup viewing has not been dictated by being at work as it has been for previous competitions.

Kaj Expressions Raises Awareness and Hairs at Design Caribbean
Belizean jewellery designer Khadija Assales may have raised a few eyebrows with her collection crafted from the tails of the notoriously ravenous Pterois or Lionfish but she was also successful in raising awareness about the devastating effect that the carnivorous species have been having on the aquatic ecosystems of Belize and the rest of the Caribbean region. Assales launched her line of Lionfish jewellery as part of the Design Caribbean pavilion during the Calabash Literary Festival in Treasure Beach , St. Elizabeth , Jamaica from May 30th to June 1st. The Design Caribbean project was the brainchild of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in sponsorship of the Calabash Festival. It was conceptualized as a means of showcasing the rich and varied talent which the region has to offer while opening up a new market for the creative entrepreneurs who may not otherwise been able to take advantage of the opportunity which Calabash provides.

International Sourcesizz

Christina Hendricks: A Letter to Men
some good advice here gentlemen…. The star of Mad Men has a few things she'd like to get off her chest.

Videos

Video: Caye Caulker-Belize 2014, 4min.
Vacation

Video: Belize Resort - Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia Belize 2014, 5.5min.
Belize Resort: Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia, Belize is well known for customer service and comfort. Everything you need is just steps from your hammock! 3 restaurants, 3 pools, bakery/deli, marina, PADI 5 Star Dive Center for all your tour needs, the beach, the sea and so much more... Vacation in comfort at Robert's Grove.

Video: Poetry from Chino in Placencia, Belize, 5min.
Francis Eiley, Placencia

Video: Frank Connelly - Sustainability Overview Part 2-Island, 12min.
from Sanctuary Belize

Video: Denise Castillo Watch Ova Wi, 4min.

Video: Welcome to Belize!, 1.5min.
Presenting Sotheby's

Video: Signs on the Ground: Navy EOD in Belize, 1.5min.
Here's a short piece about Navy EOD guys showing the Belize Coast Guard SEALs how to watch the ground for signs of IEDs. I'm sticking with the black and white look for the time being -- no real reason. I'm on a deployment, and I'll be visiting 4 different countries. I'm going to try to develop a distinctive look for each country. We'll see how that goes.

Video: Aaron + Anny: a surprise proposal, 6min.
Video by: Island Films Location: Azul Resort & Rojo Lounge, Ambergris Caye, Belize Photographer: Olivera Rusu

Video: Belize Cancer Walk 2014, 15min.

Video: Pelican Beach Resort, Belize. April 2014, 10min.
South Water Caye, Belize. Pelican Beach resort. Paradise Island.

Video: cave tubing Belize and Belize Zoo, 18min.

Video: Vinny & Moraima Wedding in Belize, 5min.
Vincent Truchsess & Moraima Cordon Wedding.

Video: Belize Adventure aboard Sun Dancer II, 7min.
I just returned from an amazing trip aboard the Sun Dancer II with fleet Chairman and CEO Wayne Brown and his wife Dana on one of their Owner Trip Wine Appreciation weeks.

Video: Stalactite Xylophone in Belize, 1min.

Video: Vu sur Terre Belize, 26min.


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