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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
Michelle Estrella Nuñez is Miss San Pedro 2014/2015
San Pedro Town has a new beauty ambassador, and she is Michelle Estrella Nuñez! Selected during the Annual Miss San Pedro Pageant on Saturday August 30th, 23-year-old Michelle captured the hearts of the public, as well as the judges as she joined five other contestants on stage. Nuñez also got the award of “Mujer Sanpedrana” as selected by the management of Los Cocos Hotel in Chetumal , Mexico. Sponsored by Ramon’s Village Resort Michelle Nuñez was joined onstage by Doris Soriano sponsored by Diamante, Elma Gonzalez sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware, Daphney Panti sponsored by Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, Illeny Aguilar sponsored by Captain Sharks and Janelli Ack sponsored by Jaguar’s Temple.
New Labor Officer assigned to San Pedro Labor Office
On Monday August 11th, Ms. joined The Labor Department-San Pedro Office as the new Labor Officer. Risella was transferred from The Labor Department (Ministry of Labor) at the Corozal Free Zone and she replaces the recently transferred San Pedro Labor Officer Ms. Tanya Peters.
The San Pedro Labor Department is here to ensure that the labor laws, legislations and acts are being adhered to by business entities, both government or privately operated. In addition to rendering advise and lodging complaints from employees and employers, Ms. Dominguez works through the department to carry out investigations, and in extreme cases where need be, seeks the persecution of culprits (whether employee or employer) through civil cases. Another major role of the department is to facilitate Belizeans who are in search of jobs through job placement opportunities. Persons seeking this service are directed to employment officer Mr. Vernon Avila.
Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize
A surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant adds to a consumer’s bill when a credit card is utilized for payment of goods or services. But in Belize, all banks offering credit card service abide by US Visa and Master Card regulations which do not allow for surcharges, with the exception of ten states in the United States of America.
According to US documents on credit cards, currently there are laws limiting surcharging to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. But because Belize falls within the Latin American and Caribbean regulation on credit cards, and because banks in Belize abide by Visa and Master Card regulations, it is prohibited to surcharge on credit card use (whether charging Visa, MasterCard, Discovery or American Express).
But what can consumers do who are victims of surcharge?
San Pedro Selects Michelle Nuñez as New Beauty Ambassador
Six beauty contestants were in full bloom as they took center stage on Saturday, August 30, 2014, at the Miss San Pedro Beauty Pageant. Michelle Estrella Nuñez, Miss Ramon’s Village, was selected as the new Miss San Pedro 2014-2015.
The pageant ignited with a group dance performed by the six contestants accompanied by outgoing Miss San Pedro 2013 Solani Graniel; the energetic performance set the mood for the show. The pageant then immediately flowed into the costume segment where the beautiful girls modeled in fantastic animal inspired costumes that included the seagull, seahorse, blue morpho butterfly, hummingbird, green iguana and the whitetail deer, all native animals to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Food Borne Diseases Amount to $6.2Mil in Burden to Belize Public Health System
The highest monthly prevalence of cases of AGI came from the Cayo District followed by the Belize District. The burden of AGI on the public health system was estimated at BZ$6.2 Million annually taking into consideration basic medical services, supplies, hospitalization as well as working days lost and the need for caregiver services.
Food borne infections are linked to a significant number of illnesses and deaths worldwide. Studies have shown that 70% of diarrheal diseases are food borne. Research also shows that cases are not reported to the health system. The results of this survey provide evidence that the estimated health burden of AGI and other food borne diseases are significantly higher than what is reported to the Ministry of Health. The results will be used for targeted interventions in food safety and improvements in underreporting at the laboratory level.
Misc Belizean Sources
Letter: Given the current state of affairs, what are we truly celebrating in Belize?
It is September in Belize and, as per usual, it is filled with excitement and lots of festivities. Yet, given the current status of matters in Belize, I am compelled to ponder, “What precisely are we celebrating?” I pose this question given the existential threat to Belize’s current reality, due to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our sovereign territory. This threat only persists, which makes it a reality, it increases with each day!
Meanwhile our so-called “Honourable Representatives” continue to pussyfoot and acquiesce to the whims of our neighbour to the west, the very same aforesaid neighbour continues its backdoor and underhanded activities by encouraging its citizens to encroach on and expand into our sovereign territory. That alone is irresponsible, but the lack of conviction by elected Belizean authorities to take effective and sustained strategic action, is an indictment of negligence from within.
Clay Art Classes with Maki
Maki, a Japanese artist, is coming back to Cayo, and he'll be giving some clay art courses. Classes start on September 13th. Check with the Soul Project for more details.
Daniel Velazquez did a documentary on Maki that was shot in Belize, Japan, and Guatemala.
"FIRST CLASSES WILL START SEPT.13 11AM, FOR MORE INFO INBOX ME, DANIEL VELAZQUEZ ARTIST, FACEBOOK, SOME HOW THE SOUL PROJECT INBOX IS NOT OPENING MESSAGES."
National Call to Action Conference on Women & Girls' Financial Health
On Friday, the Office of the Special Envoy Belize hosted the National Call to Action Conference on Women & Girls' Financial Health. The conference also featured the 20,000 Strong Marketplace where aspiring, emerging and successful female entrepreneurs from across the country got a chance to share their products with Belizeans.
Take a look at a few of our entrepreneurs and their products. Have you heard of these? Do YOU buy Belizean products? (24 photos)
SI United Tryouts
It's September, and the San Ignacio United are having training and tryouts this evening. Stop by the Broaster Stadium around 6:00pm if you are interested. Good luck!
"San Ignacio United will commence training and tryouts this Monday 1st of September 2014 in preparations for the 2014/2015 Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament. All Player and any one wanting to tryout are called for training start at 6pm at the Broaster Stadium. Go SIU!!!"
Belikin 8 Ball National Finals
Belikin had their 8 Ball National Finals at Hode's this weekend. Congratulations to team Elements, from Belize City, for winning the tournament.
Le Petit Art School Fall Program
Le Petit Art School is starting their art program on September 8th.
"Enroll your child in a fun, creative after school art program that will allow them to explore a world of art. Le Petit Art School's art program resumes September 8th. Register here => http://lepetitartschool.com/register-for-belize-art-school/ "
A sneak peek at the launch of the September Celebrations 2014
at the House of Culture on Sunday August 31st...The event was well attended (10 photos)
Pre Dawn Sunday Slaying In City
There are two weekend murders to report tonight - one of them, the kind we've seen too many times before in Belize City, the other an outlandish and savage assault in Punta Gorda. We start in the city where a man was killed early Sunday morning on Faber's Road.
Before dawn, at 4:30 am, 38 year old City resident Michael Usher was riding alone at the far end of Faber's Road when a lone gunman shot and killed him. Monica Bodden spoke to his family today.
Voice of: sister of murder victim
"I really think they chance my brother and thing because it's from the back my brother got shot. Its not like he could have defend himself."
"You know if he had just left home or if he was coming home?"
Voice of: sister of murder victim
"He had just left from home because he had come in earlier from 7pm because I went to buy food to eat. This morning we found out that the man got shot and die on Faber's Road."
Man Uses Chevy Blazer To Settle Argument In Front Of Fried Chicken Joint
And while that murder is unsolved - police have the man who they believe pulled off an outrageous assault with an SUV. It happened in front of Key Lee restaurant, which is the former Li Chee - the popular fried chicken joint in front of ITVET on Freetown Road.
At 12:45 am, there was hard talk in front of the restaurant between 47 year old Francis Stanley Gill and 33 year old Devon Jones. Gill was reportedly the aggressor while Jones was with a female. When she got her food, they jumped into his Chevy Blazer. There were about a dozen people outside the restaurant, and they all thought that was the end of it. But then, suddenly, Jones started driving unto the sidewalk towards Gill. And eyewitness who asked to appear off camera told us about the crazy and bloody scene that unfolded next:..
Voice of: Eyewitness
"One his girlfriend got the food and she got in the vehicle, I remember seeing the guy turning his vehicle from his parking position, like he turn facing Li Chee and the guy without the shirt was right in line with the vehicle and before the vehicle ran into him the driver was revving his vehicle on the guy without no shirt.
Savage Murder and Rape Of Woman In San Pedro Colombia
Tonight, the Village of San Pedro Columbia in the Toledo District continues to mourn the loss of one of their own after the body of 61 year-old Agripina Coc was found dead on Saturday night. Investigators suspect at this time that she was raped and murdered.
Coc reportedly went to the shop to buy in the evening, and after being missing for hours, her family got very worried. They went out looking for her, and at around 7:30, they discovered her nude body beside the main road at the southern entrance of the village. She had a large chop wound to the center of her head. A search around the area also led the officers to find pieces of clothing and blood stains, which they believe must belong to her. Her family also claims that they found a bag of rice and her hair clip near to her body.
Unlicensed, Drunk Driver Implicated In Double Fatality Western Hwy
A teenager was killed in a massive collision on Friday night outside Belmopan - and it was all caused by a drunk driver who didn't even have a license. It happened between miles 46 and 47 on the Western Highway where a red Mitsubishi pickup with Belize City plates collided into a Grey Chevy Tracker from Stann Creek. The pickup was reportedly travelling to the city when the Tracker which was heading to Belmopan, crashed into it, and spun off the road, flipping several times. As this footage shows, it was extensively damaged. Three persons were trapped inside the Tracker, including Indian Medical student 20-year-old Lenin Mayavan, and his passengers 17-year-old Jose Manuel Castellanos of Salvapan and 22-year-old Maritza Cruz Rodriguez, a Honduran Waitress. Mayavan survived with only minor injuries while his passengers were crushed inside and died. They were reportedly coming from M and S bar at mile 37, and we saw signs of beer bottles in the Tracker.
Two Teenagers, One Adult Shot In Foiled Ice Cream Parlour Robbery
Two teenagers and an adult were shot in Friday's failed attempted robbery at the Western Dairy Ice Cream Parlor on Freetown Road. The two 17 year olds were shot - one to the back, and the other to the shoulder when they tried to rob four men who were loading a truck at the back of the building on Heusner Street.
Here's how it happened: at 4:30, four men were riding on bicycles when they pulled up behind Western Dairies on Heusner Street. That's where four men were loading up a cargo truck. Two of them pulled out pistols and ordered the men to lie on the floor. But, very suddenly, the predators became the prey, as someone inside the store opened fire shooting the two teenaged robbers, while their partners in crime dashed off, dropping a small .25 pistol in the process - as well as leaving their bicycles behind. Police found seven 9 millimeter expended shells on the scene, while the robber's .25 pistol had two live rounds.
Day One At School Is Special
Last week we told you about the financial burden of back to school expenses on the parents, but tonight we have another side of the back to school story and we got it from the very enthused students and teachers. I visited St. Joseph Primary School this afternoon to find out how the first day of school is going for the students and teachers.
Cordel Calls It A Comeback In Lake-I
And while those kids were coming back to school, on Saturday Cordel Hyde came back to the PUP. We first told you about it 4 months ago. It was news because he'd had had a less than amicable departure from the PUP in March of 2012.
Viewers may remember that in February, 2012 - right before the general election, Hyde announced to his party and the public that after 3 consecutive terms as Area Rep, he was resigning because his son's battle with cancer had worsened, and that he needed to focus on his family.
That happened days before his political colleague, Mark Espat's, decision not to run for the Albert Division in the 2012 Elections. You may recall that in last few years of both of these men's political careers in the PUP, they became infamous for their attacks on their own party, the so-called Old Guard of the PUP, which had departed from the Party's social justice roots.
Can Cordel Take Down Hon. King?
And while Hyde got love from many of his former PUP foes, he finds himself in an unfamiliar position: that of the challenger. The incumbent is now the UDP's Mark King.
As we told you, after Hyde stepped down, King won as Area Rep in Lake Independence. Many have speculated that if King had faced the former 3 term Area Rep, he might have lost. So now that Hyde is back in as standard bearer, those "what if" scenarios are becoming a real possibility.
That's exactly what we asked King about this weekend when we caught up with him at another event. He says that Hyde's return changes nothing about the way he operates in Lake I. Here's how that conversation went:
Hon. Mark King
"As you know I've been doing my work as an area rep. and as the minister of gangs and the responsibility also for conscious youths - that is my job. I am always in this community. You guys have don't many interviews with me. Politics is nowhere around the corner for us, no elections. But if we ought to look at it about the return of the PUP's candidate, he has just become basically a name in this area and we have no fear for that kind of thing."
PUP Leader Remains Firm On Saldivar Suspension
And while PUP is riding the wave of Hyde's come back, they're also trying to put out the fires in the wake of the political intrigue developing in Belize Rural North.
As we've told you, the Party has suspended Arthur Saldivar as Standard Bearer for that division following the allegations that he made off with almost a million dollars of his former client, Melonie Coye's, money. As we showed you on Friday the Rural North Executive Committee protested that decision saying that the Leader and the Executive overstepped their authority when they suspended Saldivar.
We couldn't get any comment from the Opposition Leader on Friday when our story aired, so after Hyde's endorsement we took the opportunity. He told us that he respects their position, but he remains firm: Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader
"We respect their right to obviously voice their dissent - that is absolutely an important right within the People's United Party.
Police Cop A .38
Good intelligence led police to a weapons bust. This morning at about 11:00, a police strike team searched a yard in the Victoria St area and found.38 special revolver with no serial number.
National Football Team Leaves For Copa Centroamericana
Remember the Gold Cup 14 months ago? And all the hype and hysteria that accompanied it? Well, tonight Belize's National Football Team is in Washington DC for the first game of the Copa Centroamericana, or Nation's Cup - and the event has received very little hype.
That's because it's a smaller event, and really only a qualifier for the Gold Cup - but also because the FFB is going through its own internal problems - and only brought players into camp a few weeks ago - whereas, for the Gold Cup, they were there for months.
But, no matter, the players will still be wearing that flag on their chests when they take the field at RFK Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. What was their state of mind as they took wing..? 7News was at the airport.
Jules Vasquez reporting
There was no great fanfare when the national team arrived at the airport. With veteran leadership, the team was calm and ready for Wednesday's game at the 50 thousand seat RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
Outrage About Murder From Toledo
At the top of the newscast, we told you about the two murders, one in Punta Gorda and another in Belize City.
Well, the Chamber of Commerce, says the crime wave has gotten out of hand. The organization sent a release today saying, quote, "This steady growth in violent crime raises major red flags for Belize's future." It adds with a call on the Government…quote, "to ensure that updated and effective measures be put in place to restore law and order."
And while many regular folks are upset about the enforcement of quality of life crimes, that's the one thing the Chamber congratulated police on.
And while that release kind of came out of the blue, another release in response to crime was more direct. The Toledo Maya Women's Council expressed its deepest condolences to the family of murder and rape victim Agripina Coc. The release says, quote, "The news of her brutal murder is deeply saddening and brings into focus the appalling levels of violence in our society, but more importantly to our women." End quote.
Who Is This Year's Iron Lions?
The 15TH annual Lionman triathlon was held on Sunday morning on Marine Parade in Belize City.
The lionmen and women competed in a 1,500 meter swim, then 40 kilometer ride, and finally, a 10 kilometer run - which are the international parameters for a full triathlon.
7News was there to see the competitors in action. Here's how it looked:
Defending champions Kent "Bob" Gabourel Jr. and Shalini Zabaneh were the winners in the male and female categories and are the 2014 Lionman and Woman, respectively. By our count, this is Shalni's eight first place finish in the event. Team Coast Guard was first in the team event. That team consisted of swimmer, Alma Pinelo, cyclist Joel Borland, and runner James McFoy.
Celebration Season Opens, Officially
And though it is not a celebration, per se, the lionman event is part of the September Calendar. The official launch of the Celebrations Season took place on Sunday at the official opening ceremony. It is usually held on Saint Georges Caye but due to bad weather it was held this year at the House of Culture.
Here's what the Co-Chair of the National Celebration's Commission told the gathering:
Diane Haylock - Co-Chairperson, September Celebrations Committee
"On behalf of the government of Belize and as co-chair of the national celebration commission I extend to you a warm welcome to the launch of this year's national 2014 September Celebrations. Today marks the start of a month of patriotic events being held under the theme "Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize."
Prison For Purse Snatcher
21 year-old Kenrick Longsworth, a Castle Street resident, is spending his first night of a 6-month sentence after he was convicted of theft in a trial before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.
The complainant, Sherlett Lamb, testified that on September 23, 2013, she was at a shop on Freetown Road, and she noticed Longsworth monitoring her. She said that she took her purse out of a plastic bag, placed into the basket on her bike, and rode off. Lamb said that while she was on her way, she noticed Longsworth following her. Before she could react, Longsworth snatched her bag out of the basket and ran off.
In his defence, he denied that he committed the offence.
Went To Unlock Phone, Got Locked Up
23 year-old Michael Usher is also spending a 6-month prison sentence after he was convicted of theft. The Complainant, Shawn White, accused him of promising to run an errand for her, but instead he stole her money and property.
White testified in a trial before the Chief Magistrate that on May 14, 2014, she asked Usher to take her cellular phone along with $200 cash to unlock her phone for her. Instead, Usher pocketed the money and stole the phone, and after investigating, police charged him with theft and obtaining by deception.
Usher chose to remain silent, and after considering all the evidence, Chief Magistrate Smith found him guilty of the offences. She sentenced him to serve 6 months for each count, but the sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only spend 6 months in jail.
San Pedro Pol Nab Peddler
Police from San Pedro are reporting tonight that they've caught a reported drug peddler with weed.
At around 6:30 yesterday morning, acting on Special Branch Intelligence, a team of officers conducted a raid at his house in the Bayside Area. They found 117 grams - or 4.1 ounces - of cannabis.
It is expected that he will be arraigned shortly.
On The 16th Day...
In our last segment, we showed how active Lake Independence was abuzz this weekend with Cordel Hyde's return. But, there was another community event held known as the Days Of Healing.
The outreach effort, as we've shown, goes into the different embattled neighborhoods where gangs are dominant. It's lead organizer, Perry "Stikz" Smith, tries to put together a fun day for the families and children living in these areas, and this weekend Days Of Healing went to the PIV area.
We spoke to the lead personalities behind it:
This weekend's Day of Healing was the 16th in the Series.
San Pedro Columbia residents make citizen’s arrest
An elderly woman from San Pedro, Columbia was killed on Saturday, resulting in a manhunt for the alleged killer, who villagers feel is a resident of the community. We’ll have [...]
Elderly Villager Raped and Brutally Murdered in San Pedro Columbia
The brutal murder and probable rape of the elderly woman from the village of San Pedro, Columbia has sparked tremendous grief, outrage and fear. The nude body of sixty-one year [...]
Michael Usher Shot and Killed In Pre-dawn Attack
The other murder victim is thirty-eight year old Michael Usher. The Fabers Road resident, who is well known to the law, was killed at about forty-twenty on Sunday morning. Usher, [...]
3 Minors Arrested For Western Dairies Robbery
There was a late evening attempted robbery on Friday in Belize City, but it didn’t go quite as planned. In fact, two of the robbers actually ended up at the [...]
2 Perish In Deadly Car Collision Near Belmopan
A minor and a woman perished on Friday night at about nine o’clock in a traffic accident on a dangerous stretch of the George Price Highway. The two victims are [...]
Media Blackout – Eastern Division to Introduce Public Relations Buffer
It’s official – media personnel will no longer have access to Senior Police Officers from the Eastern Division when trying to access information. That bit of bad news came via [...]
Belize City Man Loses Leg After Purposely Being Crushed With A Vehicle
A man who allegedly used his vehicle as a deadly weapon was today charged with maim and aggravated assault. Police believe that thirty-three year old electrician Devon Jones deliberately reversed [...]
Police Department Issues Media Advisory for September Celebrations
The press conference at Raccoon Street this morning was actually to issue an advisory to Belizeans. September is here, and along with the celebrating and carnival, there is also, always [...]
Cordel Returns to His Political Roots in Lake-I
Former Lake-I area representative and two-time Minister of Education Cordel Hyde is officially back in the P.U.P. fold. Hyde, who is unbeaten in that constituency, stepped down from participating in [...]
P.M. Barrow on Friends of Conservation and Continued Chiquibul Incursions
Incursions along the western border continue unabated; Friends for Conservation and Development has in fact documented an increased number of incidents. Recently, nine dwellings constructed inside the Chiquibul National Park [...]
Prime Minister on Leadership of O.A.S.
Belize’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States is aspiring to succeed Surinamese national Albert Ramdin as Assistant Secretary General to the O.A.S. The seat becomes vacant, as does the [...]
Motivating Youths of Belize Organize Street Play
A group of Belize City youths are joining efforts to put off a six-month project focusing on social issues affecting teenagers. The list is long and includes teenage pregnancy, police [...]
Team Belize Heads to Washington for UNCAF Football Tournament
The national football team left Belize from the Philip Goldson International Airport today with high hopes. The team has been training for a month hoping to qualify for the Gold [...]
Sports Monday with James Adderley
Good Evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. It was a heroic effort mounted by Belize Bank Airport Friday night to crush Complex 76-61 and force the [...]