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#499095 - 12/17/14 10:28 AM Today's Belize News: December 17, 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

A taste of the Caribbean at Spice it Up
Dennis and I had the opportunity of being served a bit of, well—a lot- of the menu! We enjoyed refreshing pina coladas and margaritas, as we waited for our food to come out. For appetizers, an island favorite – stuffed jalapenos! These little poppers are stuffed with well-seasoned chicken and cheese and packs a bit of a kick for those who like a little spice. Being pregnant, and as such, with valid reason to pig out without awkward stares- I also got beef nachos to munch on. Man was it loaded! Packed with fresh tortilla chips, layered in beans and cheese and topped with freshly made salsa and sour cream and of course perfectly seasoned ground beef- this is enough to be a meal on its own! However with Segret’s great recipes there’s always room for more, so out came the meals.

Fishers and Vessels Licensing
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby advices fishers and the general public that due to unforeseen technical issues, the licensing of fishers and vessels that was to be carried out in various coastal communities starting Monday December 15, 2014 has been postponed until early January 2015. The new dates for licensing being conducted in these communities will be circulated on a later date, via press release and radio announcements.However, the renewal of fisher and vessel licenses in Belize City will be done as per normal at the Licensing Office of the Belize Fisheries Department starting Monday December 15, 2014.

Southwest Airlines To Begin Nonstop Service To Belize
There is exciting news to report on the international flights to/from Belize. As the tourism numbers continue to grow, international airlines have recognized the demand for increased airlifts to Belize. Southwest Airlines today announced that they have filed applications to begin service to six new destinations, including Belize. This will provide Belize with nonstop service from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas commencing October 2015. This service to Belize’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport adds a second destination in Central America, a seventh country, and the 96th city in the Southwest route map.

Ambergris Today

Isla Bonita Elementary Holds Christmas Extravaganza
Every year, the students of Isla Bonita Elementary School pull off a fantastic Christmas Show that is packed with song, dance and entertainment for the entire family. The entire student body practiced for weeks to prepare for their performances that are especially dedicated to the parents. The Christmas show was held at the Paradise Theater on Friday, December 12, 2014. Each class prepared two presentations to show off their talent and just have a great time on stage before the holiday break. The theater was buzzing with chatter, applause and laughter as the audience enjoyed the show.

25 Years Ago: Growing Stages of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
You are looking at an aerial shot of the village of San Pedro back in the 1950s. The perimeters of San Pedro were from the beach side to the lagoon side on the west. On the south side the village commenced at the present day R.C School and ended at the cemetery on the north end. That was the entire village of San Pedro with a population of about four hundred inhabitants all of Mestizo descent with the exception of one or two families. It fit the description of a laid back serene fishing community perfectly. And then the expansion began. Mr. Milo Paz Sr. was the first to build just ahead of Mr. Ramon Badillo (+) right in front of the cemetery. Just ahead of the cemetery one Mr. Roger Reid had purchased from the Blake family all that piece of land that ran all the way to the Boca del Rio. (Section A on photo). The first one to purchase a piece of land outside of the village limits was a foreigner who built the first cabaña resort- Paradise Hotel. That hotel was considered for many years to be outside of the village confines. Mr. Reid built a small family home but never developed it anymore.

Flashbacks: Santa Claus is Coming to the Village of San Pedro
Santa Claus is the same whether it is in Australia or in Belize and on this grand occasion he is at the Central Park on San Pedro. The photo shows a small white house on the right hand which is where the renowned Alijua Building is presently located. The white one on the left is the old police station that stood right next to the park. We are fascinated by the happy faces in the shot. The gentleman in blue shirt is Wilber Marin so we must assume that the small boy in red is Esteban Marin. Taken in 1975, these happy kids are in their 40’s and have changed quite a bit, so join us in the fun of identifying them as they excitedly awaited for Santa Claus to hug them and give them their Christmas gifts in 1975.

Pic of the Week: Christmas Sand Art at Cayo Espanto
We have heard that there are about two great sandcastle artists at the Ambergris Caye private island luxury resort of Cayo Espanto. Here is one of their latest sand art creations made for their guests to enjoy. The staff of the exclusive private ialsnd express Season's Greetings to their guests and friends with this awesome Christmas Tree made from sand.

New Communications Director and Marine Scientist Join Oceana Belize
Oceana Belize is rapidly growing into becoming a very strong advocate for the protection and preservation of the country’s natural resources, in particularly on ocean conservation, protecting marine ecosystems & endangered species. Just recently they have added two strong and intelligent Belizeans to its team who will surely strengthen the non-profit organization’s mission. Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation group, announced in a press release that effective January 12, 2014, Alyssa Carnegie will join their team in Belize as its Communications Director. “We are ecstatic that Alyssa has decided to join us,” enthused Oceana Belize Vice President, Janelle Chanona. “Alyssa’s ability to be simultaneously articulate and ardent will be significant assets in helping Oceana achieve policy victories that protect Belize’s amazing barrier reef and the marine resources on which so many Belizeans depend.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Town Council email sending spam
We would like to inform everyone that our email address sptb@btl.net is currently under SPAM which is an effect of BTL's server. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We have already reported the situation to the BTL office and will be fixed soon. If you get an invitation to dropbox via sptb@btl.net, it is SPAM.

elize officially taken off the Red List
by the EU Improvements in international law obligations and legal framework to fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing results in lifting of trade sanctions imposed on Belize Oceana Belize commits to supporting GoB’s efforts to support EU goal Sustainability. Accountability. Progress. Those are the themes being emphasized by the world’s biggest fish importer, the European Union, as it continues to drive towards a global goal of the sustainable use of the oceans and collaboration in address the major threats confronting marine environments. And today, as Belize is officially taken off the Red List, (the list of countries deemed non-cooperative in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing) the importance of each country’s role in ocean governance and sustainable fisheries is highlighted.

Ministry of Works & Transport Signs Contracts for More Infrastructure Project
The Minister of Works & Transport Hon. Rene Montero and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Errol Gentle, signed contracts for the several works on December 15, 2014 at the Ministry of Works Conference Room in Belmopan. M&M Engineering Consultants Limited signed a contract for the new Mullins River Bridge which was destroyed by severe flash floods during the passage of Tropical Storm Arthur in 2008. The cost of the design and construction of the bridge is BZ$4,461,172.36 with a design/build period of 12 months.

Our Eagles Wings "Give Her Hope" Inaugural Event
Saturday, January 17th, at Ramon's. 6-8pm

Barranco Village Pier
On Friday, December 12th, 2014 a contract for the repair of the Barranco Village Pier, which was damaged during a storm in early October, was signed between the Chairman of the Barranco Village Council Dr. Joseph O. Palacio and contractor, Mr. Alexander “Sonny” Garbutt. The reconstruction project, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2015, is being financed by the Office of the Prime Minister and will be supervised by the Ministry of Works. The works total a little over BZ$41,000.00 and is one of the largest recent inflows the village has received for infrastructural development. The project will be most welcomed by residents as it is expected to create employment for Barranco Village. Dr. Francis Arzu, Secretary of the Village Council, witnessed the signing.

The European Council yesterday adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
This decision was taken pursuant to a recommendation by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) to remove Belize from this list in consideration of the concrete measures taken by Belize to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the European Commission earlier this year. This decision by the EU Council shall enter into force on December 18, 2014, the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first case where a country is removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries through cooperation and on-going dialogue with the Commission; and it demonstrates that the EU system of bi-lateral cooperation and collaboration to assist third countries in fully implementing the IUU Regulation is indeed effective and bearing fruit.

Extended time: Power Interruption, entire Caye Caulker Village
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

48 inch height limit for cave tubing now 40 inches

Channel 7

Fatal Shooting Happened During A "Wet Drop" Crack Down
Tonight 6 men are detained as the result of a police sweep of Northern Ambergris Caye. This is part of an operation that was launched over the weekend to crack down on illegal narcotics activity on the north end of the island - due to increased "wet-drop" activity. Yesterday the law enforcement operation resulted in the fatal shooting of Peter Castillo. He was shot by the Coast Guard who say they were forced to fire after he pointed this pump action shot gun at them - as seen in the san Pedro Sun. Today his family came from Punta Gorda to Belize city for the post mortem and his aunt spoke to Daniel Ortiz:.. Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased "Listening to the news last night when they said Peter Castillo, I immediately call his father in PG who is my cousin and I ask him if it's true and he said yes my sister, that is how we greet each other because we are old. So he said yes my sister, its Peter. So I ask what was Peter doing in San Pedro and he replied that he went to look for a job."

Guatemalan President Arriving In Belize For SICA Summit
The President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina arrives in Belize tomorrow morning at 7:00 am via helicopter for the 44th Summit of the SICA Heads of State. He joins the Presidents of Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Panama along with heads of delegations for Costa Rica and El Salvador. The one-day Summit commences at 8:45 am at the Belize Ocean Club in Placencia where Belize will hand over the pro-tem presidency of SICA to Guatemala. Matters to be dealt with in the summit include the migration of unaccompanied minors to the United States, regional security, and climate change, among other topics.

Thyrel Hyde: Burglary Suspect?
Thyrell Hyde - in late 2013 after he produced security camera footage showing police shaking him down in an Atlantic Bank ATM. But tonight Belmopan police say he is a key person of interest in their investigation of a major heist at an electronics store in the capital. The burglary of Cellular World Belmopan happened between the eighth and ninth December when thieves got in through a window, turned the security camera away from them and stole 13 cell phones and other electronic accessories to a total value of twenty one thousand dollars.

Ambergris Cop Caught Red-Handed In Extortion Sting
On Friday, we told you about the cop who was caught red handed in an extortion sting. Well, Police Constable John Arana has been arrested and charged for extortion. Arana told a San Pedro businessman that he could fix a civil matter that was pending against him in court. Apparently the businessman had some unpaid grocery bills - and Arana allegedly said he could make it go away - for a fee. He asked for 1,200 dollars, and the businessman gave him seven hundred. But when he got the second payment, of five hundred dollars, the bills had been marked and photocopied and police were waiting to pick him up as soon as he had collected it at Mamacita's Bar on Friday morning. Today, Deputy Commander for Eastern Division Edward Broaster, was asked about him at a press conference held today by Police. He couldn't give us any specifics on the corrupt cop, but he said that this should put police on notice that even though the Department cannot control their actions while their out in the field, they will be dealt with harshly:..

The Perils Of Unprofessional Police Behavior
And while, we had the chance, we asked him about another bad cop who continues to do time in Prison. He's Police Constable Randolph Scott, the officer we told you about who was sentenced to 2 months in prison for sexual assault which he committed against one of his colleagues, a woman constable. Now, that is embarrassing enough, but during the course of the trial, reports emerged that drinking on the job, and drinking while on the Belama Police Station Premises was a contributing factor of the assault. Broaster responded to that as well: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division "I think that case speaks for itself. A lot of times people would say that we cover for each other, but that in itself is another case where we are very transparent and above board in discharging our responsibilities and not because it is a police officer we would not do a proper investigation or cover up any sort of wrong doing whether its against a member of the department or member of the public.

Police Christmas Patrol In Operation
But, to ensure that the spike in criminal activity that inevitably accompanies the holiday season is contained, the Eastern Division has stepped up their presence by putting more officers on the ground, especially in the business areas of the city. Broaster told us that they're doing all they can to stop thieves from operating, but you need to do your part too: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division "From the 15th November, we have stepped up the security for the anti-Christmas crime campaign. If you drive around the city you will notice that we have officers almost at every corner of the city. The rapid response of the police to any reports of crime and so forth has been significantly increased. And we want to encourage the citizenry to do their part in securing their belongings. Just yesterday, a lady was texting walking with her purse under her arm and someone came and grabbed it. We need to pay attention when we are about the city walking and don't present the opportunity for the criminals who are lurking around at the very opportunity to rob or thief anyone. We want to encourage the community to do their part. We are doing our part."

UDP Vs PUP In Cayo North: Round 1
Yesterday San Ignacio was the stage for much political scenery - when the UDP and the PUP turned things up for nomination day. Both sides brought out crowds, and both of them relied on out of towners to populate the parades. But tonight the PUP is crying foul: they say that UDP Candidate Omar Figueroa brought in support not only from out of town, but out of the country. The PUP campaign today sent us these pictures, which show persons wearing Omar Figueroa shirts coming across the border for the rally. You could say they were caught red-shirted, but seasoned political observers will tell you that as odious as it may seem, bringing in supporters, and, yes, even registered voters, from across all borders happens a lot during elections. It's just one issue springing out a local campaign that's garnering national attention because on the verge of a municipal election season, the Cayo North by-election is seen as an important heat-check for both parties. As we showed you yesterday, the contrast in political cultures was very distinct: the PUP supporters were more reserved, while the UDP loyalists were dancing in the street.

Emmanuel Willoughby Still On The Run
Police have several leads on the location of Emmanuel Willoughby but none have proven successful. As we reported last night Willoughby cut a hole in his cell door and escaped from the Belize Central Prison early Saturday morning. He is still on the run and has relatives in Libertad village in Corozal, Belize City and Georgeville village in Cayo. Police advise the public to be vigilant and to call 225 6229 or 610 4805 if Willoughby is seen.

Family Protests Against KHMH
A protest was held in front of the KHMH today. It involved the family of 19 year old Flory Palacio - who died on the 27th of September - after being hospitalized for 7 days at the KHMH where she was being treated for Tuberculosis. Her family told us today that numerous tests were conducted on the young woman for TB and all came back negative. When a medical letter was requested from the hospital in order for Palacio to get medical treatment abroad, the family claims they were denied. Palacio died shortly after and her death certificate stated that the cause of death was Hodgkin's lymphoma - a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer originating from white blood cells. Today her family came together to demand her medical file to do their own investigation. Lylette Barkley Waight - Grandmother of Flory Palacio "I came in and I had concerns and questions even of her treatment while she was undergoing treatment. I was out of the country. So, when I came in, I decided I would come in and request a copy of her medical records. I did that on November 17th, a written request. At that point, I was told to come back in a week. When I came back, I was told that the report was being prepared and I said I did not request a report, I requested a copy of the medical files. I was sent upstairs.

Westline Purchased D&E
Commuters along the western corridor can expect some changes with D and E Bus Line out of Benque Viejo. That's because it has been bought by Westline Bus out of San Ignacio. The owner of Westline Sergio Chuc told us how it will benefit commuters:.. Sergio Chuc, owner - Westline "It means improvement in the services because we know that D&E was going through a little crisis. You could see equipment was deteriorating. I am at liberty to discuss the details of their financials, but they needed to get out of the business and I think we have an excellent management crew that can take it over. We took over the operations on Saturday and we already introduced a new bus to the government workers; the ones that were complaining the most. So we had a nice bus that was put out for them this morning.

Omar's Camp Were All Belizeans
Before we could say "Belice es Guatemala" - we got a call from UDP candidate Omar Figueroa's camp saying that the persons we showed wearing his shirts and crossing the Belize Guatemala border were crossing the border to the Melchor side were a combination of Cayo North voters who work in the Benque Free Zone and UDP's from Belmopan who used the outing to Cayo to take a trip to Melchor.

Unicorn International Sues GOB
Viewers may remember that infamous fraud case which shoved Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach into the glare of the public lens. That's after they were accused with 4 others by the US Government of participating in a billion dollar scheme to defraud the government of taxes they should have received for securities trading. During the initial stages of the operation to indict this men, Law enforcement from Belize conducted an extensive raid of their offices at the Matalon Building which resulted in the officers removing all the documents and items. That happened right around the time when the Financial Intelligence Unit went to the Supreme Court to freeze the monies that these men and their companies had in Belizean Banks. At the end, the Chief Justice unfroze the finances after ruling that there was not enough evidence against them to substantiate it.

Treaty Energy Workers Criminally Charged
Treaty Energy - it's a licensed oil exploration operation in Belize, but we caught their drift very early on when they started sending out fantastical claims about bogus oil discoveries in early 2012. There was no truth to it, but the press releases were apparently calculated to drive up Treaty's share price. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission has come down on the company. News reports out of New Orleans Louisiana say that Federal regulators on Monday charged five officers at a New Orleans oil and gas exploration company with lying about striking oil in Belize in order to drive up the price of the company's stock, which was then illegally sold to investors. The company's Houston attorney was also charged with helping facilitate the stock-trading scheme.

Will The Petrocaribe Initiative Survive?
Keeping the focus on oil - what is the future of Petrocaribe? There's bene a lot of speculation that the programme will come to an end soon because with plummeting world oil prices, the Venezuelans just can't afford to keep it going. Last week we asked the Deputy Chairman of APBEL - which handles Petrocaribe in Belize - what the future looks like:.. Jules Vasquez "Are they giving any indication at the official level that the program is under review or the program may have to be terminated because they can no longer sustained it?" John Mencias, Dep. Chmn - APBEL (Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited) "No, not terminated at all." Jules Vasquez "Downscaled?" John Mencias "Neither downscale. I have said before that if people are expecting the PetroCaribe program to last from now until eternity under the same terms and conditions, that doesn't make sense, because conditions are changing around. It will have to adjust to realities around it. But the commitment to a program like this that is reaching out to the region - that will continue in some form or the other.

Fuel Prices Are Lowest In 12 Months
And the new fuel prices reflecting that low world price for a barrel of oil went into effect at midnight last night. It's not quite as low as our advance intel said it would be, but it is lower than it has been this year. A gallon of diesel is now seven dollars and eighty eight cents down from eight dollars and sixty nine cents, while regular is down to eight dollars and thirty seven cents from nine dollars and twenty cents, and the non PetroCaribe premium is actually up, from 9.57 to 9.63.

Feeding The Needy And Spreading X-Mas Cheer
There is a one dimensional Christmas story that is mostly celebrated - that's the story about family gatherings and mass, decorations and gifts to spread that Christmas spirit. But how about the story of those who may not be able to experience all that? Today the St. John's Cathedral Soup Kitchen hosted a Christmas lunch for the needy and the coordinators catered for 450 people. Tanisha Camal, a resident of Pen Road told us how for her and many others, this lunch is Christmas. Lillith Parks Sobernanis, Coordinator "Well as you can see we are here with our soup kitchen. This is the soup kitchen from St. John's Cathedral. We have been operating since 2010, and so this is our 5th Christmas dinner, the turkey dinner which is very popular."

Vehicles Donated to Inspiration Center
On Wednesday we reported on the launch of the 2015 Inspiration Center Calendar that features the drawings of 12 children. And today the center is making news again. They received two wheelchair accessible vehicles from Taiwan. Kendra Griffith, Executive Director of the Inspiration Center tells us how this donation will assist them to reach out to more children with diverse abilities. David Lin, Foreign Minister, Taiwan "I'm very happy to be here to witness the handing over of these two special vehicles. As I mentioned earlier, we are really supportive of this project to help the children, women here in Belize especially in cooperation with Mrs. Barrow." Kendra Griffith, Executive Director, Inspiration Center "These vehicles that were handed over today really contribute to the provision of our services because you would find that often the families of these children face severe financial constraints and these financial constraints don't allow them many times to access the basic services that they need. Sometimes healthcare services and even therapy services."

Belize Among The Happiest Place To Live
Is Belize a happy country? Now if your answer is 'no' it might be because - based on a 2014 Global Report on Violence Prevention- Belize's homicide rates are listed among the highest in the America's along with Honduras, Venezuela and Jamaica. Also, add to that the fact that over 40% of the population is below the poverty line - and the overall profile seems pretty grim. But turn that frown into a smile, people! According to a World Happy Planet Index, Belize is one of the happiest nations in the world, ranking 4th on the list. The Index does not focus on crime rates or affluence but on the ecological foot print. This has to do with the level of human impact on the environment and according to this index Belize is doing a great job in reducing the negative impact on the environment. Other very happy countries include Costa Rica as the happiest nation in the world - which is plausible given that they renounced their military in 1948 deterring war and social unrest - followed by Vietnam, Columbia then Belize.

Police Put On COPS Play
When you think of police officers, the first thing that usually comes to mind is strict discipline and enforcement. Well, they're relaxing that image to put on a Christmas play in which they want to entertain you. They're going to dramatize the different cultures they experience on a regular basis while putting a comical twist on it. The play is called Commissioner of Police Offering Peace to the Society, or COPS for short, and the officers put on their first production last year. It's back again, and the Deputy Commander of the Eastern Division told us why you should come out to see these officers perform: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division "The Eastern Division is hosting its second Christmas Cop Show and the cops stands for Commissioner of Police Offering Peace to the Society. Tis show will be hosted at the BTL Park. It will be free of cost to the general public and we will be having some giveaways, drama, dance and what have you.

Fire Victim Gets A New House
A Hattieville fire victim received a brand new house yesterday from the Hattieville Resource Center. 54 year old Eloise Hyde lost $50,000 worth of items when her house was burnt down on July 9th of this year. Her 8-year-old grandson was playing with a lighter and he lit a curtain on fire and it spread, destroying the structure. They have been living in a shelter for the past 5 months but now they have an opportunity to a new start with their 3 bedroom cement bungalow house. The house costs about 70 thousand dollars.

Channel 5

Court Orders FIU to Return Confiscated Documents
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana today ordered the Financial Intelligence Unit to return documents belonging to Unicorn International Securities by Thursday of this week. UIS is one of several companies [...]

Unicorn International Case Proceeds
With the order handed down, the Financial Intelligence Unit now has two days to return the documents to Unicorn International Securities. That’s a victory for the company, at least on [...]

Cane farmers to Share $2.5Million
It is unlikely that the sugar cane crop will be able to start on Friday as anticipated. That’s because B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A. have yet to sign the agreement which [...]

Belize Taken off EU Red List
Belize has been taken off the European Union Red List, a position it had been given because it was deemed, “non-cooperative in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.” The announcement [...]

Eastern Division Speaks on Police Misconduct
On Monday, a police officer was hauled off to jail after being found guilty of committing a lewd act upon a fellow constable at a substation in Belize City back [...]

SICA Foreign Ministers in Placencia; Guatemala to Assume Pro-Tem Chair
Regional Security is among several key issues being discussed at a gathering of SICA member states in Placencia.  On Tuesday, foreign ministers from the respective countries belonging to the regional [...]

William and Marleni on the Ground in Placencia
While presentations were made earlier today concerning issues affecting all SICA member countries, there are ongoing developments in Placencia where rounds of discussions on various matters continue.  On Wednesday morning, [...]

Epileptic Patient Arraigned for Mahogany Heights Shooting
An epileptic of Mahogany Heights has been charged for the late-evening shooting of Joel Seawell. Twenty-six year old Erwin Ramsey was arraigned late Monday evening for attempted murder, dangerous harm [...]

Police preparedness for the Christmas Season
There has been an increase in police presence on the streets of the Old Capital since mid-November in preparation for the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season.  Traditionally, it [...]

Area Representative Says No Dialysis for PG Patients
Even as the Petrocaribe money continues to roll, the initiative continues to generate criticism. Actually it’s not the initiative, per se, but the priorities of the government which controls the [...]

Requeña Condemns Government for Dilapidated Roads in PG
According to Requeña, he has raised many issues in the National Assembly, but apparently nobody on the government side is listening. So he’s using the media in an attempt to [...]

Cayo Ambulance Breaks Down…No Petrocaribe Money to Assist
Monday was nomination day, and newscasts focused on the shows put on by both camps as their candidates did the deed. We’ve shown the highlights, but there’s another one which [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says PM Barrow Negligent in Filing declarations
Last week, the Vision Inspired by the People protested in Belmopan to draw attention to perceived corruption in government, and the need for the Integrity Commission to become a real [...]

P.U.P. Says They Are Ready for Municipal Elections
Will Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley be a part of the U.D.P. team when municipal elections roll around in March? That’s the question everybody’s asking, including the U.D.P.  The P.U.P. [...]

GO Wireless Opens Revolutionary Outlet
Christmas time is a popular time for buying gifts for family, friends, co-workers and even for your KK. Gadgets of all shapes, sizes and functions are on the market this [...]

Taiwan Donates 2 Vehicles to the Inspiration Center
Since its opening, the Inspiration Center has conducted a hundred and forty-four assessments of children with disabilities. The facility is currently actively seeing sixty-five children for speech and physical therapy [...]

CTV3

Robbery In Caye Caulker, One Man Placed Behind Bars
The quick response from Officers at the Caye Caulker formation yielded a perpetrator behind bars. On Sunday at about 5:50 a.m., police responded to a robbery in Caye Caulker on Avenida Hicaco where they met 22-year-old Armina Brendalee Choc who reported that upon opening her coffee shop she was held up at knife point by a dark complexion male person. She reportedly gave him all the money from the cash register but still he attacked Choc with the knife where she sustained cut wounds to neck and head. Quick police response led to the apprehension of the culprit who was identified as 22-year-old Elroy Flores of Dangriga. He was detained pending charges. Choc has since been treated and released.

Double Murder In Corozal, Was Jealousy The Motive?
Over the weekend the District of Corozal recorded probably one of the most horrendous crimes to be committed for the year 2014 as a love triangle led to double murder in that rural community. Both victims were chopped to death early yesterday morning inside their home in the Village of Paraiso. What was left behind can only be descried ad a horrendous scene as both 49 year old Fernando Pineda Rivas and his 21 year old girlfriend Hidey Atherly suffered a bloody death. As investigators continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together, reporter Victor Castillo also went looking for clues. Here’s his report. Victor Castillo – Reporting On Sunday the silence that accompanies the break of dawn was shattered by the screams of agony in the peaceful community of Paraiso Village in Corozal as the district witnessed its 8th and 9th murder for the year 2014, just five days after the brutal murder of Mark Massam.

Traditional Christmas Parties Kept Alive In O/W Central
‘Tis the season to be jolly” goes the old saying and this is exactly how hundreds of children were this weekend as Orange Walk Central Area Representative held three children’s parties in his constituency. Here is a look at what transpired at the three events. Dalila Ical- Reporting Honorable John Briceno – Orange Walk Central Area Representative “For every Christmas we try to make it special for the children in Orange Walk Central and so we are here over in San Estevan and yesterday we were in San Lorenzo housing site and tomorrow we will be at the Phillip Alvares park, as we said Christmas is for children and we believe that by having a party for them, having all of them coming out here as a community along with their parents play games with them and give them gifts and give them goodies bags I think it is a small way where we can put a smile in the faces of these children.” And the joy could be felt indeed as children played and screamed in excitement at each gathering. Even Santa Claus had his hands full with children flocking around him seeking one hug or a picture with him.

Richard Harrison Officially Nominated As PUP Standard Bearer For Cayo North
This morning among a crowd of supporters at the Columbus Park, Richard Harrison was officially nominated as the People’s United Party’s Standard Bearer for the Cayo North Constituency. Harrison received the support from political candidates and elected officials from around the country and when asked about his aspirations for that area, Harrison explained his youthful economic revolution and delved into special interest policies including lack of jobs and lack of quality health care. Here is that excerpt thanks to our friends at 7news! Richard Harrison – Standard Bearer, Cayo North “I have noticed that there are three principal issues; first and foremost is that dollar for the families is not stretching far enough, too many people are finding it hard enough to make ends meet and that has a reason behind it, the second one is the high rate of unemployment, there are a few people in a house hold that are working and having to feed, clothe and shelter a number of people other than themselves so that is a burden caused by unemployment, and it leads to the first problem which is the stretching of the family budget and then the third one and very significant so is the infrastructure problem, the UDP has develop a small percentage of the division infrastructure and we are happy for it but the vast majority, 90% of the areas infrastructure is left dilapidated especially in the extremes, San Ignacio has grown three to four times over the last ten years so those new areas they are pretty much left abandoned and in really dilapidated state especially Bullet Tree as well which is our only village so those are the only three principals problems that I find.”

BTB Has New Acting Director Of Marketing And Industry Relations
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has a new acting Director of Marketing and Industry Relations and he is other than Clive Myers who takes up the position as of today. Up until his appointment, Myers, who holds a Master’s Degree in Project Management from Drexel University Online, served as the BTB’s Destination Planning and Development Coordinator. Myers has also received certification in the Urban Development Rejuvenation Project, Cultural Tourism Project and has received training in the Global Sustainable Tourism Plan for Destinations. As BTB’s Destination Planning and Development Coordinator, Myers was instrumental in commissioning tourism strategies and economic impact studies for implementation as outlined in the National Sustainable Master Plan, as well as in the development and execution of the annual Village Arts Expo. Myers replaces Alyssa Carnegie who is now Oceana Belize’s Communications Director Carnegie to start in January 2015. Myers will be acting as Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for a six months period, after which he may fully take on the position.

Massam’s Accused Murderer Remains Hospitalized
Twenty nine year old Mark Massam was brutally chopped to death on the night of Tuesday December 9th by 22 year old Carlos Cassanova. During the press briefing today Deputy Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Peter Serrano, updated the media on the case. Insp. Peter Serrano – Corozal Dpt. OC “At present the investigation is still ongoing, statements was recorded and reports were also received and the person who allegedly who did the chopping is still hospitalized and police security, whenever a person is released he will be escorted back to this formation of course we need to do certain checks as his medical condition and that is where we are right now.” As previously reported, it is said that the Massam’s arrived at the Casanova’s residence breaking bottles and threating the family causing them to fear for their life. According to Inspector Serrano he has spoken to the family of the murdered victim in or der to appease the situation.

Another Burglary For Corozal
A spate in burglaries is on the rise and over the weekend thieves targeted a business place in the Corozal District. Businessman Sunil Talreja reported to police that sometime between 10:00am on the Monday December 8th and 11:30am on the Tuesday December 9th his business place namely Shivam Restaurant and Pool place located on the South side of Progresso village was burglarized. Stolen from within were; (1) Flat Screen TCL brand television, 1 Sonivox DVD player, 2 white pool balls, alcoholic drinks, brand cigarettes and also damages caused to the building amounting to a total loss of $5,614.75. Police have since recovered most of the items and have since detained a relative of the businessman and are looking for the other brother both from the same village of Progresso. Police investigation continues.

Shoot Out In San Pedro Town Between Authorities and Playadores, One Man Is Dead
One man is killed in a morning shootout between the Belize Coast Guard officials and civilians. Authorities report that the incident took place between 10:30 and 10:45 this morning 21 and a half miles north of San Pedro Town. The six Coast Guards were on a joint special operation on foot and were patrolling the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve beach when they came under gun fire. Reports are that the officials returned fire and wounded one of the three men that shot at them. The men it is believed are beach combers. Authorities believe that a second man may have been injured but managed to flee the scene along with the other. The man that was killed was shot to both his hands and once in the chest and police have not released any identity on the individual who is described only and a Creole male. Authorities also recovered a pump action shot gun with six live rounds about ten feet from the body. At a distance police found a bag containing seven more 12 gauge cartridges.

Couple Knocked Down On Yo Creek Road, Woman Dies On The Spot
It is a fact that one of the leading causes of death in Belize is significantly contributed by road traffic accidents and many families have been left displaced in the process. One such incident was recorded on Friday night where a couple from Black Water Creek area of Orange Walk Town was on their way home on foot when tragedy struck. The impact caused both persons to receive varying degrees of injuries but Anair Canchan died at the scene. Officer in Charge of the Police Traffic Department is WPC Marilyn Pate who gave us an account of the incident which occurred 3 miles on the Yo Creek Road. WPC Marilyn Pate – OIC, Police Traffic Department “The lifeless body of female learnt her name to be Anair Canchan, 34 years old, domestic of Black Water with injuries to both of her legs and she was on the edge of the road about five feet away from her common law husband one Germais Hernandez, 37 years also from Black Water, he had a fractured left leg and scratches on his left side of his face, swollen upper and lower lips and he complained of pain in the chest and he was the driver of a 1996 white Geo Prism 4dr wagon with license plate OWC-00750 was driven by one Charles Houston Platter, 88 years American of #8 Fonseca Street was driving from the same direction coming from Yo Creek coming towards Orange Walk and the exact location is in the vicinity of Cuellos Distillery where the wife and the husband were walking along the side of the road when a vehicle coming on the opposite direction coming from Orange Walk towards Yo Creek blinded the elderly driver and hit both persons.”

Not All Cane Farmers Happy With New Agreement
As we mentioned before, the negotiations may have finally reached a resolution but for some members of the negotiating team, there is no reason for celebration. For his part, Alfredo Ortega expressed disappointment in the way the negotiations ended. Alfredo Ortega “Personally no, I am not happy with this because I think we have gone through two years trying to negotiate better for the farmers and then we reach to this point where we are back to square one and I personally I am not in agreement with this but as I said before the majority have spoken and we have to respect the decision of the majority.” And while he received harsh criticisms, BSCFA CEO Oscar Alonzo explained that the new terms were not endorsed by him either. “La primera junta que se tuvo cuando se empezó a presentar estas tres condiciones de la cual se concluye ayer entonces yo no puedo explicar de haya sino solo puedo dar los resultados porque como yo indique en la junta el viernes en frente de ellos yo no estaba de acuerdo pero se les pregunto y ellos si estaban de acuerdo en frente del Primer Ministro entonces como el Primer Ministro dijo los directores son los que están aceptando estas condiciones lo único que yo puedo hacer es presentar y lo que yo he tratado de hacer es salvar la situación.”


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#499096 - 12/17/14 10:29 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 17, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

Greenwood Speaks On Importance Of Port
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize has planned a protest for Wednesday. FECTAB is pushing that the proposed Stake Bank project becomes a reality. President of the Association Tom Greenwood says with the changes to come within the industry, a port is of extreme importance. TOM GREENWOOD ”A solid rock hard contract which I ran by several legal agencies not least of which I ran by the Prime Minister himself because when we were lobbying to get the whole thing of the ground and going the Prime Minister said to me personally, ”Tom I don’t want you all to end up in the same mess that you are in at FSTB how can you guarantee that you people will have access?” We got a contract from the Stake Bank project.”

Mahogany Heights Resident Charged With Attempted Murder
Twenty-six year old Ervin Ramsey, an epileptic of #4 Q Street, Mahogany Heights, was charged with the attempted murder of Joel Winston Seawell when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Ramsey was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until January 30, 2015.Ramsey was represented by attorney Audrey Matura shepherd, who told the court that her client was wrongly charged by the police who did not do any kind of investigation and who did not hold an id parade.

Police Constable Charged With Aggravated Assault
Police constable Randolph Scott was sentenced to 2 months today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a female police officer. Scott was also charged with harm but that charge was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The incident occurred on October 26, 2013, at Belama Police Station. The female officer, a constable, testified that Scott touched her legs, pulled up her skirt and pushed his hand inside her skirt.

BTB Selects Acting Director, Marketing And Industry Relations
Clive Myers will be acting in the post of Director, Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board for the next six months. Previous to this post, Myers was the BTB’s Destination Planning and Development Coordinator. According to a release from the BTB, during his tenure in that post, Myers was instrumental in commissioning tourism strategies and economic impact studies for implementation as outlined in the National Sustainable Master Plan, as well as in the development and execution of the annual Village Arts Expo.

Minor Knocked Down
A young child was knocked down around five thirty this evening in the City of Belmopan on the stretch of Rio Grande near the junction with Xunantunich Street in the Piccini area. The condition of the child is unknown but Love News has learnt that the child, who resides on Macal Street in Belmopan, was hit by a gold F150 truck being driven at the time by the son of a senior police officer attached to Belmopan Police Station. Witnesses say that the child, who is the granddaughter of a police woman, seems to have received severe injuries to the face and jaw and was taken to the Belmopan Hospital for treatment. Love News will keep following this story.

PlusTV

Taiwan hands over vehicles to Inspiration Center
Opened in March of this year, the Inspiration Center at Mile 1 1/2 on the George Price Highway is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with special needs, and making them an integral part of Belizean society. For those who are unable to walk, the Center provides transport with two...

Belize removed from European Council’s list of non-cooperating countries in illegal fishing
On Monday, The European Council adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing...

Ervin Ramsey charged for attempted murder
26 year old Ervin Ramsey of Mahogany Heights, Belize District, faces attempted murder charges in relation to the shooting of Joel Winston Seawell on December 11, 2014. Ervin Ramsey is accused of opening fire on Winston Seawell and four other persons, whom he allegedly attempted to rob as they came o...

34 year old Football player charged with carnal knowledge of 15 year old girl
34 year old Cristobal Gilharry played defense for the National A team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament last year. The young football star is now on the defense again, but for an entirely different ball game, after having been charged for unlawful carnal knowledge. On Monday December 15th, acting...

Coast Guard shot and killed armed man in San Pedro
A man was shot and killed by Coast Guard officers on Monday December 15, in the area of Bacalar Chico about 21 ½ miles North of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. According to police reports, about 75 meters from the beach side in the bushes, a sawed off 12 gauge pump action shotgun and (6) 12 gau...

Girl knocked down in Belmopan
There was a road traffic accident on Monday evening on the corner of Lubantun Street and Rio Grande Avenue, in Belmopan, involving the daughter of a Police Constable attached to the Belmopan police Station. Sources tell Plus News that sometime around 5:30 pm on Monday December 15th...

Murder acquittal for Honduran national
44 year old Honduran National Rosendo Gabarette was acquitted for the murder of Juan Cardona, on Monday. In November 2010, fifty six year old Honduran Juan Cardona was discovered dead in an area in the Village of Bella Vista, Stann Creek District...

FECTAB supports Stake Bank Project
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) is ramping up the pressure on authorities responsible for the management of the cruise tourism sector, to intervene in the ongoing dispute between the co-owners of Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) and the proprietors of the Stake Ban...

New Building for Government Ministry courtesy Taiwan
Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been borrowing space at different Government headquarters, without having a building assigned solely for Foreign affairs duties. Recently it has been housing at the NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan . However that is all about to change as the Government is prepa...

Cane farmers agree with BSI despite misgivings
When we left you on Friday, it was with news that a tentative deal had been cut between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries, Limited (BSI) and international partner American Sugar Refining (ASR) with the Government of Belize playing honest broker. The BSC...

Farmers to receive Fairtrade money for Christmas
Also at Sunday’s meeting in San Roman, the question of compensation for farmers waiting for payment for this year’s cane crop came up. It was decided as a stopgap measure by the membership to vote $2.5 million from Fairtrade funds to be equally shared with all farmers...

Amandala

Coast Guard kill “playadores;” two others escape
The elite Coast Guard fighting unit, who were conducting an operation in the Bacalar Chico area of Northern San Pedro, about half mile from the Bacalar Chico Border with Mexico, was engaged in a shootout which ended with the death of a man who had allegedly fired at the officers at about 10:30 this morning, about 21 miles north of San Pedro. Police say that when the Coast Guard returned fire at three men, one man was killed and one of the other two men was believed to be hit, but they both escaped. The Coast Guard did not sustain any casualty. The dead man has been identified as Peter Castillo, Jr., 21, of the Water Reservoir area of Punta Gorda. He was shot in the heart and both arms, and died on the scene. His body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem.

Sexual misbehavior in office by cop gets him 2 months in jail
An interdicted police constable who was facing charges of harm and aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a woman police constable was sentenced to two months in prison this afternoon when he was convicted in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. “No credible evidence has been put forward that PC Randolph Scott caused harm to WPC Ruby Martinez,” Smith said as she acquitted him of the harm charge. Scott, however, was found guilty of the aggravated assault of an indecent nature charge, and in imposing the custodial sentence, Smith remarked, “I do believe that a message has to be sent to police officers at police stations that their ‘hanky-panky’ behavior must stop.”

3rd San Pedro cop busted for alleged extortion
In just over four months, three San Pedro police constables have been interdicted from duty on a charge of extortion. On July 24, Constable Elvin Nah of San Pedro police was arrested and charged with extortion and released on bail of $2,000 in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court. On November 18, Constable Oscar Ramirez, also of San Pedro police, was charged and arraigned for extortion. Now Constable John Arana, another cop from San Pedro police, has been arrested and charged with extortion, for accepting $500 in extortion money from a businessman in San Pedro. Arana was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court today, Monday, where he was arraigned on a charge of extortion. He was offered bail of $3,000 and ordered to return to court on January 27, 2015.

Crazy chopping in Paraiso!
A jealous relationship that went terribly wrong has led to the death of a man and a woman who were both mutilated in a jealous rage early yesterday morning on a secluded farmhouse in Paraiso Village, Corozal. Corozal police said they visited a farm situated about 3/4 miles northeast of Paraiso, where they initially saw the lifeless body of Heidy Atherly, 21, the mother of a 4-year old child, clothed with a black 3/4 jeans pants and sky-blue blouse, lying face up on the ground next to some plantain trees with multiple cut wounds to the head, neck and upper limbs. A further search inside a small 15′ x 12′ concrete house, which is located nearby, led to the discovery of the lifeless body of Salvadoran cane cutter Fernando Pineda Rivas, 49, who was clothed in a red shirt, long green pants and rubber boots, lying face up next to a bed with multiple chop wounds to his head, neck and upper limbs.

Treaty Energy faces fine in US for faking oil find in Belize
Treaty Energy, a New Orleans-based oil-and-gas company, is in big trouble in the US after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that company and five of its executives with running a stock trading scheme through which they garnered US$3.5 million in illicit gains after they falsely announced a commercial oil find in Belize—only to scam people into buying stock in the company. According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Treaty Energy Company issued “deceptive press releases,” in which it touted drilling successes in Belize and Texas to induce investor demand for its unregistered stock, which was then illegally distributed to the public.

GOB nationalization of BEL and BTL – CCJ decision in January
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) expects to hand down a landmark decision in January 2015 in the 6-suit challenge which stems from the Government of Belize’s nationalization of two public utility companies: the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). On December 10-12, 2014, the CCJ held hearings at its headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago, on consolidated claims filed by the Ashcroft group of companies and Fortis Inc. against the Attorney General of Belize and the Minister of Public Utilities. Lord Peter Goldsmith of the UK appeared for Dean Boyce and the BTL Employees Trust. His co-counsel, Godfrey Smith, SC, of Belize was not present for the hearings.

Man busted with .38 Special revolver on Sibun Street
Jose David Funez, 33, of a Sibun Street address, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 12, 2015, on charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license. Police reported that that at about 9:00 Wednesday night, they were on mobile patrol on Sibun Street when they saw a man throw a shiny object in the bushes when he saw them coming.

Boat attendant remanded to prison for allegedly sexually assaulting 7-year-old girl
A Biscayne resident was arraigned on two counts of sexual assault upon a 7-year-old girl and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this afternoon, after the court prosecutor objected to granting him bail on the ground that he might interfere with the virtual complainant or other prosecution witnesses. Randy Dion Dominguez, 24, a boat attendant, pleaded not guilty when Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith read the two charges of sexual assault to him. Smith upheld an objection to bail from the court prosecutor, Corporal Noel Muschamp, and remanded Dominguez to prison until his next court appearance on February 4, 2015.

The dilemma of poor people
It is Christmas time, and a time of “good cheer.” But already it is a season filled with the hope and excitement of elections. The Cayo North by-election is near, and soon, after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, it will be “full metal jacket” into the swing of municipal, and there’s even talk of possible simultaneous general elections in March 2015. But these days, few people, especially poor people, whose lives are a day-to-day struggle to put bread on the table for their hungry children, have the time or the inclination to seriously reflect on what role their elected government leaders can and should play to improve their daily lives in tangible ways. The situation is what it is, and for anything perceived as done by the government of the day that looks good, they are fair to give them their kudos. The cemented streets and some jobs for roots people are seen as very good things being done by the UDP government.

From the Publisher
The Maritime Areas Act (MAA), which was introduced in the Belize House of Representatives in August of 1991, was a very complex document, very difficult to understand. There is an area of the sea, which Belizean fishermen have known as the Gulf of Honduras, where the maritime rights of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras overlap. Apparently these are areas which are very rich in petrocarbons and minerals, and it was in the interests of some huge corporate concerns to get the matter of the three nations’ rights sorted out so that exploration and exploitation of the specific maritime areas could be facilitated. The Maritime Areas Act was such a big deal that the two most powerful leaders of the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) at the time, Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel and Hon. Dean Barrow, supported the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), led by the Rt. Hon. George Price, when the Maritime Areas Act was introduced.

Belize’s cybersecurity culture and sensitive data – worrying things
Dear Editor, There were two stories aired on Channel 7’s evening news on Dec. 2 which caught my attention and urged some great concerns about our personal data and the use of technology to conduct business in Belize. By extension, I am also worried about Belize’s cybersecurity culture. In the first instance, I reference a news story titled, “Major police security breach via lost Special Branch flash drive”. This story informs that the police department, through what could be deemed negligence, lost a USB flash drive which contained sensitive data.

Family pulls plug on brain-dead son, 8, victim of Chetumal road accident
Kiran Moguel, 8, a student of Corozal Town who suffered massive head and body injuries in a traffic collision that occurred in Chetumal, Mexico, was allowed to die at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Thursday after doctors declared him brain dead. When Moguel was transferred from the Chetumal General Hospital to the KHMH, doctors rushed him to the Intensive Care Unit, where he was put on life support. After he was examined, doctors declared that he was brain dead, and that nothing more could be done to help him. After a consultation with Moguel’s family, the life support unit was unplugged and Moguel was allowed to pass away. His body was taken to the morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem to certify the cause of his death.

LPG prices lowest for 2014
The lowest prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the most common cooking fuel, which is also called “butane”, came into effect on Friday, December 12, 2014, when the Belize Bureau of Standards announced that the Government had decided to shave $5 off the price of a 100-pound cylinder of LPG. This means that a cylinder of LPG imported from Mexico via Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited, will now cost $104 for the 100-pound tank in Belize. Imported LPG, with a lower percentage of butane and higher percentage of propane, imported by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice/Zeta Gas, or Gas Tomza Ltd. will cost $101 a tank in Belize City.

95 pounds of weed, gun and ammo get man 5 years in jail
Casey Fitzgerald Smith, 35, of Bishop Street, Belize City, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of drug trafficking. Smith was additionally fined $10,000 and if he defaults on payment, he will spend an additional 3 years in jail. Smith was sentenced to an additional 5 years in jail for keeping an unlicensed gun and another 5 years for keeping eight 9mm live rounds without a gun license. He was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Friday for the drug trafficking and gun and ammunition possession charges, and he pleaded guilty to the offenses.

BWS terminated employees’ lawsuit concludes in the Supreme Court
A lawsuit that was filed against Belize Water Services (BWS) by six of its former employees who were terminated from their posts at the company, purportedly as part of a redundancy exercise, concluded in the Supreme Court of Justice Michelle Arana late this evening. The six claimants are suing BWS for their outstanding benefits and packages. Attorneys in the case are expected to submit written submissions by January 23, after which Justice Arana will issue a ruling. No date has been set for Arana’s ruling in the civil claims, which began about six months ago. At today’s hearing, the court heard from the BWS Workers Union vice president Lorelei Westby, who was the union’s president in February 2012, when the six workers were given their walking papers following an internal investigation that BWS launched after a series of “salacious letters” had surfaced.

BSCFA yields; tentative sugar agreement reached
Cañeros are scheduled to meet this Sunday, December 14, and, if all goes well, they will accept a 7-year commercial sugar agreement that was brokered today between principals of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) in the presence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, and other government representatives at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The concord, of sorts, among the sugar partners emerged after ASR’s representatives acknowledged the final proposals of the BSCFA, which, some have opined, has bent over backwards to hammer out an agreement in the best interest of not only the fractured sugar industry, but the 5,500 plus cane farmers who are uncertain about the prospects of the currently delayed 2014/2015 sugar cane crop season. When he came out of the meeting flanked by his deputy about an hour later, PM Barrow told us that he negotiated to get BSI/ASR to accept the BSCFA’s final proposals which, according to Barrow, reflected a great deal of maturity and compromise on the association’s part.

Leon Garcia, 27, shot on Victoria Street
Police are investigating a broad daylight shooting that took place at around 9:30 a.m. today, in which a pair of gunmen made a brazen attempt on the life of Leon Garcia, 27, a construction worker, as he made his way down Victoria Street in the northside of Belize City, on which he lives. Area residents said that they heard about five shots rang out as the two assailants, who were reportedly wearing hooded sweatshirts and armed with nine millimeter handguns, unleashed a barrage of shots at Garcia. Garcia, who we understand is no stranger to the law, was chased on foot by his attackers as he ran in the direction of Barrack Road, dashing into a nearby alley upon reaching the intersection with York Street, where the gunmen reportedly sprayed yet another fusillade in his direction.

Assassins out, BDF in
After the last regular season games ended in a draw yesterday at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, BDF clinched the final spot in the 4-team playoffs of the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2014-2015. Despite their 6-2 victory the previous night over Wagiya in Independence, Placencia’s Texmar Assassins saw their playoff hopes dashed when the final whistle blew at the Norman Broaster Stadium with BDF gaining the extra point from a 0-0 draw against Verdes FC, who finished at the top of the standings. Three games were scheduled for Saturday night. At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk, a convergence of unfortunate circumstances resulted in FC Belize losing their second consecutive game by default. As the home team playing out of Orange Walk, the small FC Belize contingent reportedly got caught in the traffic jam caused by the annual Love FM parade in Belize City, and were therefore late in arriving for their 7:30 appointment with Belmopan Bandits, who won the game by default, thus securing the third playoff spot.

Belizeans sweep, Leon O’Brien is Placencia Half Marathon 2014 Champion
Placencia Half Marathon, 13.1 miles Mexican Andy Gonzalez did not return on Sunday, December 7, to defend his “End of the World” Placencia Half Marathon crown, which he won last year in 1:15:09; but he probably “smelled the rat,” for Belize’s premier half-marathon runner, Leon O’Brien, who was second to Gonzalez last year in 1:16:54, returned with a vengeance to take the championship in this his second time contesting the event. Despite running without close competition this year, O’Brien, 28 yrs, still managed to shave some 43 seconds off his time from last year, to come in alone in first place with a time of 1:16:11, almost 4 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor, fellow Belizean Kenrick Duncan, 30 yrs, who completed the run in 1:20:28 for 2nd place. He was followed in 3rd place by another Belizean, Amed Figueroa, 23 yrs, who clocked 1:35:46. Some 122 runners, 77 males and 45 females from various age categories and nationalities completed this year’s event. The oldest finisher was Belize’s Sebastian “Sabe” Nunez, 61 yrs, who did it in 2:38:52.

SJC, SCA are NSSSA/Bowen & Bowen Basketball Champions
It was an action packed two days of national high school basketball at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Friday and Saturday, December 12 &13, and when it was all over on Saturday afternoon, St. Catherine Academy girls of Central Zone (Belize City) and St. John’s College boys, also of Central Zone (Belize City) were both crowned champions of the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) Bowen & Bowen 2014-2015 high schools basketball tournament. The 4 female and 4 male teams, champions of their respective country zones – North, Central, West and South – were matched up in pairs on Friday, with the losers then playing for third place on Saturday, while Friday’s winners would play for the championship on Saturday. In the opener on Friday afternoon, Muffles College females earned a close victory over Sacred Heart College, 29-25. Yazel Sutherland top scored with 21 pts for Muffles, while Oniesha Burns had 10 pts for Sacred Heart.

Patrick JonesPJ

Political parties nominate candidates for Cayo North bye-election
On Monday, December 15, the major mass parties nominated candidates to contest the bye-election in the Cayo North division. The seat became vacant when Joseph Mahmud abruptly resigned, triggering the bye-election. The PUP’s Richard Harrison was nominated around 10 am while the UDP’s Omar Figueroa was nominated […]

Taiwan donates wheelchair accessible vehicles to Belize
The Inspiration Center today took receipt of a donation of two wheelchair accessible vehicles for use in its ongoing work with special needs children. Taiwan’s minister of foreign affairs David Lin who is on a visit to Belize, handed over the vehicles to the Chairperson of The […]

Misunderstanding ends with chopping
There is another report of a chopping incident in the Corozal district; but fortunately this time it was not fatal. The victim has been identified as 20 year old Jonathan Myvett. Police in Corozal have confirmed that Myvette was viciously chopped to the side of his neck, the […]

Gulisi Dancers win Habinahan Wanaragua Junior competition
Gulisi Community Primary School Dancers are the Back to Back Champions for the Annual Habinahan Wanaragua Junior Competition. This Annual Competition is organized by the Habinahan Wanaragua Committee in an effort bring dignity to the skillful Dance of Wanaragua. The exciting competition was started 4 years ago […]

Hungarian couple is biking around the world
Meet Zita and Arpi from Hungary. This couple is one of a kind. For the past three years they have been on an adventure where their ultimate goal is to have the time of their lives. Arpi describes it as an adventure honeymoon around the world. Since the adventure began, Zita and Arpi have been to 32 countries stretching from the Americas to Asia to the Middle East. Now they are heading for South America and we caught up witht he adventuring couple as they were wrapping up their journey through Belize heading to Guatemala.

Blogs

Heading Home To Belize
These is something about freezing cold mornings and a true NJ Christmas shopping frenzy that made me happy to come back to Belize to celebrate the holidays. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t dislike visiting the States – at all. Things were looking lovely in the old neighborhood (even with light snow)… I just prefer to do it when things are a bit…warmer. And things are a little less hectic.

Great post by Joe Awe.....

10 Small Reasons Belize Is For You
1. Because hammocks and thatched roofs.Yes, imagine deciding today that you will do absolutely nothing but lie in a hammock with a book or your iPod with your dreams… 2. Because you are celebrities who are riding on horses walking unto a ferry to visit an ancient Maya City. Just saying… 3. Because…BOKETTO! A Japanese word which means staring into the distance without thinking. Yes, a place where theres only you…

Sometimes All You Need Is A Chair…
Sometimes the pressure we feel come from us. We demand so much of ourselves that we tend to exhaust our energies and sometimes even make blame. No problem, theres a chair on a beach in Belize for you. You don’t have to say anything. That chair is yours. Feel free to add a book, a journal, and certainly a beer or a drink or two. That chair our friend, is all yours! Sometimes we need to make some huge decision and we need some time where we can gather ourselves; we need a place where we can either be alone or with someone we trust. We need a place where we can just let go; let out; make way. We all need a place and a time where we can be so very honest with ourselves, most importantly. Well, we have a place for you.

International Sourcesizz

Where Could You Afford to Retire Overseas?
Your retirement income will determine what type of lifestyle you are able to lead. But how much more would your retirement income buy you if you were to retire overseas? Your cost of living anywhere is highly controllable and depends not only on where you live, but also how you live. This means that choosing where to live isn't as easy as picking a country. Life in Panama City is nothing like life in Las Tablas on this country's Pacific coast or in Boquete in Panama's highlands. Living in Paris bears little resemblance, in terms of cost or almost anything else, to living in France's rural southwest. Ambergris Caye, Belize, isn't Cayo, Belize. Chiang Mai, Thailand, isn't Bangkok. To decide whether you can afford to live in a specific overseas haven, you need to thin-slice your options. A budget for living in Uruguay, Malaysia or Croatia is only a starting point. You need to refine your budget depending on the city or region within a country where you're interested in settling. Some costs can be comparable countrywide, such as the cost of cable or phone service. Other costs, notably rent and transportation, which typically amount to the biggest share of overall monthly expenses living anywhere in the world, can differ dramatically.

Sustaining aquaculture as ASC continues to grow
The aquaculture industry is moving towards a sustainable future with the help of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) which has seen the number of certified farms in its programme double in the last year alone. Since 2012, when Regal Springs’ Toba and Kedung Ombo tilapia farms were the first to gain ASC certification globally, the programme has grown significantly, with a total of 57 farms at the end of 2013. And, over the last year, the programme has seen a 10% growth, bringing the total number of farms to 116. And, this year, the Belize Shrimp Growers Association has been preparing member farms, representing 67% of Belizean shrimp farms and 90% of total farmed shrimp production in Belize, to enter assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard. The first farm audits took place recently and draft reports are expected in January.

SEC Says Felon Is Up to Old Tricks
A felon and his "hand-selected team of associates" sold millions of dollars of "virtually worthless" stock after making up a major oil strike in Belize, the SEC claims in court. The SEC sued defendant Ronald L. Blackburn et al. on Monday in Federal Court. The SEC describes Blackburn as a "convicted felon," and claims he controlled, and may still control, co-defendant Treaty Energy Corp. It accuses Blackburn and five others of manipulating the price of Treaty stock in a fraudulent campaign that included the announcement of a bogus oil strike in Belize. Blackburn et al. raised $4.9 million through their shenanigans, the SEC says.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. Declares First Quarter Cash Dividend
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO), which develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent, today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share. The cash dividend is payable January 31, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business January 1, 2015.

EU-inspired amendments to fisheries code likely to ‘kill’ industry, boat operators claim
COMMERCIAL fishing boat operators asked Malacañang to further review the proposed amendments to the Philippine Fisheries Code, claiming that the steep penalties for violations and the new-equipment requirements could “kill” the industry. In an appeal submitted to the Office of the President, the Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations, Inc. -- composed of operators of commercial fishing vessels -- tagged the 2014 Amendments to the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as “oppressive, confiscatory, cruel and unusual.” The EU estimates that IUU fishing nets €10 billion a year. The 11 million to 26 million tons of fish caught illegally each year is equivalent to around 15% of the world’s catch. It most recently listed in November 2013 the countries of Belize, Cambodia and Guinea as non-cooperative countries in the fight against IUU fishing.

13 of the World’s Most Secluded Beaches
Robles Point, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Most beaches on Ambergris Caye aren’t named but the secluded Robles Point, which is only accessible by boat, is special enough to warrant one. Not only is Robles Point virtually tourist-free, but it’s one of just two spots on the island where the coral reef meets land.

Belize's 10 Best Jungle Lodges
by Lan Sluder. After a day of high adventure in Belize’s rain forest — caving, hiking, canoeing, zip-lining, birding, wildlife-spotting, horseback riding, climbing Maya ruins or mountain biking — at one of the country’s jungle lodges, you can look forward to a delicious meal, good company, Wi-Fi and a comfy bed. Here are our picks for Belize’s best lodges in all price ranges.

Luxury Hotels in Belize
One of the smallest, least populated, and newest countries in the hemisphere, Belize is home to luxury tourism offerings that offer a laid-back escape with plenty of person attention. Belize's luxury travel market is in its own elegantly rustic class within the Caribbean and Central American regions. For one thing, resorts in Belize are small (70 percent of the country's licensed hotels have ten rooms or less). International hotel chains are almost completely missing in Belize, mainly because of the small size of the market and labor pool. In addition, most Belize hotels are independently owned and managed, resulting in each property being a truly creative expression of its owners' dreams and visions. Finally, Belize is an active destination and guests at even the most luxurious resorts invariably come to dive one of the world's largest barrier reefs, explore some of the Maya world's most fascinating ruins, and paddle and hike Belize's enormous swaths of wildlife–choked protected areas. All these things translate to a uniquely intimate and nature–heavy experience. Don't expect swift efficiency though in Belize, where the unofficial motto is "Go Slow, Mon!"

Videos

Reefs, Ruins & Revivals - Belize's Melting Pot, 27min. Belize has a decidedly different history and culture from the rest of Central America. English is the first language of this small nation, reflecting the its British ancestry, yet Belize retains deep historic connections among its many residents of Maya ancestry, and is proud of its strong African roots among the Garifuna people. Belize also has world-class archaeological sites, vast tracts of intact rain forest, and some of the world’s richest marine treasures.

Snorkelling Silk Caye, 4min. Nurse sharks, sting rays, turtles and an eagle ray.

Belize Police Department Commercial 2014, Security Begins With You!, 1min. Produced at Bel-Caribe Communications Services

Dennis Magee's Belize Adventure 2014, 15min.

WFCC 2014, 4min. Rather than exchanging gifts, we went on our first family vacation in years. Sailed the Norwegian Dawn from New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan Honduras and Costa Maya. Failed to take many videos of everything we did but we had a great time!! 1. Cozumel - Mr Sanchos Beach Resort 2. Belize City Au Huta Mayan Ruins 3. Roatan, Honduras, Anthony Key Resport (Dolphin Encounter) 4. Costa Maya - Port beach

Cruise Ship Tender Boat to Belize City, 2min. Belize City was the lone port that required tendering from the ship during our December 2014 cruise aboard the Emerald Princes. The entire ride took about 15 minutes, and this was the first 2 minutes of it. Note the beautiful view from the second deck of the tender- it could get very windy, however.

Roasting Cocoa Beans at Moho Chocolate in Belize City, 2min. The aroma and the sizzling sound attracted us to this chocolatier called Moho Chocolate at the Belize City cruise port area. We were there on a Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Emerald Princess in December 2014.

Boat Cruise to Lamanai Mayan Ruins in Belize, 3min.

Belize, 20min. by Tommy Stewart

Круиз день шестой - Белиз руины Майя - Belize Mayan Ruins 11.12.2014, 60min.

Spanish Lookout, Belize, 5min. A day with a Mennonite legend. We worked on this farm for 25 days. Muy tranquillo!

GALEN UNIVERSITY GRADUATION 2014, 4min. Adam Carswell comments on his MBA program experience at Galen University. Congratulations to all the graduates.


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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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