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#499446 - 12/31/14 10:42 AM Today's Belize News: December 31, 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

San Pedro Lions Christmas Caroling
The San Pedro Lions Club along with the San Pedro Leos Club have definitely been good this year, helping Santa Claus spread the Christmas cheer. On Tuesday, October 23rd the Lions and Leos took to the street in their annual Christmas Caroling. With the musical styling of Rompe Raja singing classic Christmas carols they made their way from Boca del Rio Park, across town and ended at Central Park. Along the route, the Lions and Leo shared candies and treats with the children. A couple families even decided to join along the merry parade and sing the night away. The San Pedro Lions next event is their annual spectacular New Year’s Eve Party. Everyone is invited the come out on Wednesday, December 31st to the Lions Den and usher in 2015 at the best party in town!

School Cooks receive food safety and handling training
School cooks from San Pedro and Caye Caulker participated in a two day workshop on food safety and handling. The workshop was a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education with funding from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve the quality of food being offered to school children. The workshop took place on Tuesday, December 16th and Wednesday, December 17th at the Sun Breeze Hotel Conference room and saw the participation of more than 90% of food handlers from schools in both cayes. On the first day of the workshop, participants learned basic concepts on foodborne illnesses, nutrition and meal planning for children, food safety regulations, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, and potable water. Health Inspector Javier Alpuche stated that one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses in schools is children not washing their hands before and after consuming food. He also stated that school food handlers should beware of cross contamination as this can result in a number of students getting sick. Nutritionist Robyn Daly explained the importance of school children having a balanced meal with little or no junk food. Daly stated that school food handlers should substitute chips, biscuits and candies with healthier options such as fruits, cereals and yogurt.

San Pedro Dance Academy hosts Christmas Concert
On Saturday December 20th, The San Pedro Dance Academy held their annual Christmas Dance Concert at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The venue saw a gathering of family and friends who all came out for a night of creative dance and entertainment. A beautifully decorated stage brought the Christmas time feeling to life. With everything draped in white from ceiling to floor, complimented by twinkling lights, it was easy to be taken away into a winter wonderland. Dancers graced the stage with several numbers that showcased the skills of the infants, infants advanced, juniors and senior dancers. With ballet numbers such as “My Pretty Little Dance,” “ Do you Wanna Build a Snowman,” and “Say Something,” followed by upbeat dances such as “Chocolate,” and “A Little Party,” to cultural Garifuna and Creole numbers, the night displayed the versatility of the group.

San Pedro Police Cadets and Foreva Fancy spread Holiday Cheer
On Monday December 22nd, The San Pedro Police Cadets along with owners and models of San Pedro’s Foreva Fancy Boutique took to the streets to spread a little holiday cheer. Led by Cadet Instructor PC Juan Choc and Deputy of San Pedro Police Inspector Henry Jemmott, the group loaded up the police mobile and several golf carts as they made their way around town. This year, the group efforts went towards the communities of San Pedrito and the DFC Area. Loaded with gift packages, the groups made their way through the communities where families and children awaited the well received gifts. The packages consisted of food items such as flour, rice and beans, clothing items and of course toys for the children. According to PC Choc, “One of the main purposes of the cadet corps is to not only instill discipline, but to learn a lot about life skills, and through this, we teach them to care and be a part of the community. It also shows the community that the police and people care.”

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Lions Club - A Club That Truly Roars
If the San Pedro Lions Club would not exist, things would be quite different in San Pedro today. The Club was chartered in 1975 and has been roaring with power and dignity ever since. This flashback represents some of the high officials during the very first Lions Convention in San Pedro, and posing in front of the Lions Clinic. It happened in 1978 and it coincided with the inauguration of the first Lions Community Clinic as it was named. This clinic was built entirely by the Lions who provided the finances, manpower and actual labor for two years and inaugurated under the presidency of Lion Betito Marin. Lions brought the first full time doctor to San Pedro and introduced uninterrupted medical services for the first time. Added to their long list of projects, The San Pedro Lions Club is responsible for the Mosquito Coast Park, The Lions Den, Robert Raszkowski Hall upstairs of the Lions Den, completion of San Pedro High School new building, and of course the construction of the Poly Clinic, now named after Lion Otto Rodriguez, who was the very first resident doctor to San Pedro under the umbrella of the Lions.

Ambergris Today's New Year's Baby
It's that time of year again! Who will be the next Ambergris Today's New Year's Baby in San Pedro? Check out the fabulous prizes from our sponsors. If interested in sponsoring a gift, please contact us.

It’s a Slice of Heaven in Paradise – Victoria House
It’s a slice of Heaven in Paradise – Victoria House, a long-standing island resort on Ambergris Caye that has come to establish itself as a prestigious resort on the island. To my excitement, Ambergris Today was invited to enjoy an overnight stay at the famous resort where I had always visited on lazy Sunday afternoons with my friends – sipping on Bailey’s Coladas at the Admiral Nelson Bar, strolling on their white sandy beaches and enjoying a dip in the sea off their dock. As an islander I had always enjoyed Victoria House’s exceptional service and hospitality at their Admiral Nelson Bar and Palmilla Restaurant. Now I was given the prestigious opportunity to be a guest in one of their luxury rooms and experience Victoria House like hundreds of visitors and tourists do. The name “Victoria House” always carries an air of prestige wherever they are represented or in any social conversation. It has not been long since the resort was upgraded from small Plantation rooms to a ten acre private retreat with forty-two accommodations. Now it boasts additional Casitas, Suites, Villas and even complete homes to accommodate large families.

Have a Pineapple Boat at Pineapples Restaurant
You could say that Pineapples is somewhat of a themed restaurant, but it’s not tacky, by far. It blends very well with the earthy feel at Ramon’s Village, the resort in which it is located. It can be very elegant, upscale and at the same time very casual as it caters to both the resort’s guests and anybody who desires to indulge in sweet decadence. I say sweet because a lot of the restaurant’s dishes are centered around one main ingredient; you guessed it – the pineapple. The restaurant has established itself as one of the leading restaurants on the island, yet I still don’t think the local residents are aware of the goodness they are missing out on not having dined at Pinapples Restaurant. Take for example the Pineapple Boat and Pineapple Explosion on the menu. They scream originality and sweet goodness. The Pineapple Boat is the restaurants signature dish - scrumptious oriental fried rice loaded with chunks of sweet and delicious fresh pineapple and succulent grilled shrimp served in an authentic pineapple boat, topped with crispy fried rice noodles.

On Eagles Wings Ministries Launch Event
On Eagles Wings Ministries invites you to the Give Her Hope Inaugural Event featuring Dinner, Awards Ceremony, Live Auction and Fun! OEWN provides Hope, Empowerment, and a Brighter Future to girls who have been sexually exploited and those at risk. This is the launch event for OEWN Belize. Please join us Saturday, January 17, 2015 from 6pm – 8pm at Ramon’s Village Resort. Tickets are $30 BZD per person. You can pay at the door. Ticket price includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP to Michelle Nuñez by January 7, 2015 at shella.bellamn@gmail.com or call +501-630-2560

US Hands Additional $4.1Mil to Belize to Increase Security and Lower Crime
The United States Embassy in Belmopan is pleased to announce the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)/Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) additional funding of US$4.1 million to Belize for 2014-15. The funds are to help with Improved Border Inspection, Policing and Equipment, Vetted Units, Drug Demand Reduction, Regional and Maritime and Land Interdiction, Capacity Enhancement, Prison Management, Community Policing. Since 2008, CARSI has provided approximately US$20 million in assistance, including the new funding. U.S. Chargé d’affaires Matthews handed over the official notice of the increase in assistance funds to the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, and CEO of the Ministry of National Security, H.E. George Lovell, in Belmopan at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, December 24.

Christmas Soup Kitchen Comes to Life in San Pedro
Through the generous heart and efforts of one island resident, the island’s first Christmas Soup Kitchen came to life this year. The event was very successful and it showed how residents of Ambergris Caye have a huge heart during one of the busiest times of the year. Inspiration came to Findley Halliday who took it upon himself to start gearing his friends and acquaintances to assist him in putting together a soup kitchen to feed as many people and families as possible who are in need or are much less fortunate to have a great meal during Christmas Day.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Government of Belize Supports Agreement Between BSCFA and ASR/BSI
Since helping to forge, on December 8th, the historic agreement between the BSCFA and ASR/BSI, Government has been actively trying to assist in resolving the difficulties that have so far prevented the signing of that agreement. Government hopes that the second BSCFA General Assembly vote scheduled for this Sunday will, like the first vote, ratify the agreement, mandate its signing, and allow now for the crop to start.

Rod Of Correction in support of Cane Farmers
Please find the attached press release in which the Rod of Correction (ROC) highlights the legal role of the Sugar Industry Control Board in establishing a date for the start of the grinding season. ROC asserts that the board need not and should not delay the start of the season until there is a signed agreement between ASR/BSI and BSCFA. ROC calls on the board to consult with ASR/BSI and BSCFA and to proceed to set the date for the start of grinding. ROC asserts that it will maintain its vigilance in ensuring that the sugar cane farmers of Belize do not become reduced to mere laborers working the sugar cane fields for foreign entities.

Corozal ART in the Park 2015 Calendar
Another exiting year of more Art in the Park projects and programs by COLCHA. Happy New Year and continued success to all the organizers. Big-up!

Channel 7

Sugar Saga Continues
The sugar saga - will it ever end? Well, not before Sunday. That's when the general membership of the Sugar Cane Farmers Association will hold a special meeting to review the entire agreement with BSI and vote on whether their chairman should sign it. But that's not how Chairman Ezequiel Cansino wanted it to go - he was hoping to sign the new agreement with BSI this morning before any injunction to restrain him could be activated. But, it was not to be.....his hopes were taken down by a technicality: 5 of the branch chairmen requested a special meeting - and the rules say, they have the power to do so. That decision was made this morning in Orange Walk Town and 7News was there:..

Farmers May Choose To Go It On Their Own
But regardless, Chairman Cansino believes that a majority of the chairmen want the crop to start and support singing the agreement "as is." In fact, some of them are getting so impatient that they are thinking about leaving the association behind and going ahead to sign independent agreements with BSI. Remember that's where this all started 7 weeks ago - with BSI's direct appeal to farmers - and that offer, we presume, is still out there. And it's looking attractive for some branches because as you heard Cansino say, it's a matter of economics - they stand to leave a large percentage of their crop out in the fields because there won't be enough time to grind the three plus tonnes of canes that's out there in the fields.

BSCFA Says Once Meeting Is Held Injunction Lifted
And while that is happening within the industry, the association's executive also has to keep its eyes on developments outside - principally at the Belize Supreme Court. That's where an injunction application has been filed to restrain the Chairman from signing any agreement with BSI. Cansino told the media today that with the concession to have the special meeting on Sunday, that injunction could go away:.. Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman - BSCFA "We are expecting that this application for this injunction be retract because we will be having the special general meeting because it is specifically clear that if we go to this special general meeting they will remove this application."

Matura Shepherd Says Her Client Must Instruct On Injunction
And this evening, Audrey Matura Shepherd held another of her press conferences- and she discussed where things stand with the first injunction:.. Audrey Matura-Shepherd "We got notice today from the court that the hearing for the injunction will be Friday. So it's a matter we have to discuss and see how things are going. We can actually get an injunction to stop any signing. We will discuss what we will do because the special general meeting is Sunday and we are also hoping that having sent in the application as an urgent application that we can also have the hearing for the permission for the mandamus Friday as well.

Matura Shepherd Going For New Injunction
You'll note that we said "first injunction" because - faster than you can say "tireless attention seeker", Matura Shepherd has filed another. This one seeks to compel the Sugar Industry Control Board - the SICB - to do what the law says it can: declare an open date for the crop season. She explained today:... Audrey Matura-Shepherd "Well today as Mr. Lucilo Teck had promised, he filed a mandamus at the supreme court and its a mandamus in which we are asking the court.... the application really is a leave to file a mandamus, because you have to get leave first. So, it's an application which we are asking the court to give us leave so that we can bring an order of mandamus against the sugar industry control board who really by law should have set the date for the crop a long time ago. So what we are saying is lets go to court, let's ask the court to give us permission to bring this matter before the court so that we can get the date set for crop once and for all, because lawfully, they should have done this a long time ago. We believe that with the mandamus a lot of things will be cleared up.

How Does The SICB Law Really Work?
And while that is what the law says, it contemplates declaring an open date for the season based on consultation with and consent of both the farmers and the factory. Both Ortega and Cansino discussed this today:.. Fred Ortega, Calling for Special General Meeting "We get together and we set a date and then it is the SICB that pronounce that date on the different media that crop will start in a certain day." Jules Vasquez "In practical terms who would that work for the individual property owner, whether the property is the cane or the factory?"

Will Matura Shepherd Be Allowed To Address Farmers
And so Matura-Shepherd has become a polarizing figure in this protracted sugar standoff. But will she be allowed to address the general membership on Sunday? That's usually reserved for members of the association and vested interests and so Cansino told the media: no, she won't" while Ortega was cagey on that point:.. Reporter "Will you allow the attorney Audrey Matura to address the farmers as mentioned?" Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman - BSCFA "That point was not discussed and I think that to my knowledge that will not be accepted." Mike Rudon, Ch5 "Are there any plans to bring attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd to the meeting on Sunday?" Fred Ortega "Yeah, we are looking forward to that." Mike Rudon, Ch5 "The chairman has said that it won't be accepted, that she won't be allowed to speak to the assembly."

PUP Says Politics Being Played in Run-Up To Election
The By-Election in Cayo North is only 6 days away, and since yesterday, the Opposition Party has been accusing the Ruling UDP Administration of using their Government authority to make political mischief in that constituency.??The accusation is that Jerrylyn Bruce, the Senior Registering Officer from the Cayo North Elections and Boundaries Branch, was transferred from her post on Tuesday. A letter was sent to her the day before, and it read, "Please be informed, that effective December 23, you are being re-assigned as Registering Officer for the Cayo West Electoral Division. As a result, you are being requested to officially report to the Benque Viejo Registration Office."? The one day notice is peculiar, but the PUP say that Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, must answer why it was so urgent to transfer this public officer on such short notice.??In the meantime, they're linking it to reports that a senior UDP operative went into the Cayo North Elections and Boundaries office and demanded to get access to the Binders of the registered voters in that constituency. These binders are important for the verification process of persons who want to cast their vote in the upcoming by-election. This is the copy of information which the election officers will use to determine who is registered voter in Cayo North, and who is not.

Titanic Errors In titan Case?
Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach have become infamous both locally and abroad for the allegation by the US Government that they participated with 4 others in a securities fraud scheme which defrauded the Federal Government of 1 billion Belize dollars. Well tonight, both men are closer to getting cleared of charges brought against them locally. Viewers may remember that they were detained by Belizean authorities initially on failing to declare funds over 20,000 Belize dollars when they tried to leave the country. That was believed to have been a holding charge, and the case against them for that offence continued today in the Magistrate's Court.

Manatee Man Goes For Appeal, Gets More Years in Jail
Tonight, 37 year old Edwin Bowen, a resident of Belize City who is originally of Gales Point manatee and known as "Manatee man " is starting to serve his 3 year prison term and figuring out how he will pay a $10,000 fine to the court after he lost his appeal today. A week ago, things were looking up for him when he was granted a stay of execution and offered bail which allowed him to be home free until his appeal is heard in the matter. That's because in February Bowen pleaded guilty to possession of 1.3 grams of crack cocaine. He was fined $10,000 and sentenced him to 3 years for the offense. At his appeal hearing, his attorney Anthony Sylvester tried to argue that it seemed harsh for far less than an ounce of crack for a first time offender. But Justice Shona Griffith disagreed and affirmed Bowen's sentence, ordering him to return to jail to start over his 3 year sentence and pay the $10,000 fine to the court effective today - in default serve another three years in jail.

New Year New House?
A brand new house will be raffled on New Year's Eve. It's a 2-bedroom house with a furnished bathroom and kitchen. The organizers of the raffle explained to us what you can do to walk away with the keys to this house on New Year's Day. DJ Dalla "It's Flavaz Entertainment New Year's countdown at the BTL Park and this time around Flavaz wanted to give back to the community, so we decided, we sat down and we said that we need to come up with some kind of promotion. So we decided we are going to give one lucky family a house this year. So we decide that at the BTL Park, its $10 to enter. With that $10, you get a ticket. You hold on to your ticket, we are going to put it in the barrel and then at 1am right after midnight when 1am strikes, you got to be out there, we are going to turn that barrel and we are going to pick out one ticket."

Remand For Man Accused of Stabbing
26 year-old Musa Smith, a resident of Kraal Road, is spending his second night in jail after being accused of stabbing a man. The incident happened on Sunday, December 21, and according to the victim, 28 year-old Tyron Scott, he left his home on Unity Street and went to his friend's house to drop of some school books. He says that while he was there, he encountered Smith who pulled a knife and stabbed him in the middle of his back and upper shoulder for no apparent reason. Police investigated and arrested and charged Smith with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 16, 2015.

Man Alleges Gross Police Brutality
This morning, Francisco Garrido visited after reportedly being released from police custody. He wore a bloodied shirt, and had pronounced injuries to the face, head and arms. All of them, he claims, were inflicted by a police officer when he went to make a report against a man who he got into a fight with. Now, that raises immediate red flags that Garrido may be fabricating the entire story to discredit the police, and that he actually got these injuries from that fight he was in. But, he insists that a police officer did it, and that it all started when he visited the police station to report the man so that officers can intervene. He explained it to us today:

Juggling With Machetes?
Two Argentine street art performers that have been traveling around the world for 2 years are now in Belize. But this is no traditional art show, instead of being confined to the Image Factory or the Bliss center, these performers did their thing out on the street - near the Cinderella Plaza. Apart from the unorthodox setting, the nature of the performance is …just outlandish. Here is what we encountered in the city this evening. Courtney Weatherburne reporting In this neon green crocs and summer finish 29 year old Martin Bosseo stands in the middle of heavy traffic performing what he calls street art. Connecting with the wild and arrhythmic beat of the drum, he juggles 3 machetes. Many may experience piercing anxiety while watching but for Martin, this is an artistic contribution for people to enjoy.

Cycling Classic Hits "Shilling"
If part of your New Year's Day tradition is to make sure that you follow the KREM New Years' Day Cycling Classic, the promoters say that they have something special planned for the fans in the 2015 version of the race. It's the 25th running of the cycling classic, and the Kremandala Organization is calling it the Big Shilling, which should the biggest opportunity for the cyclists competing. They get a chance to ride for five different 1 thousand dollar station prizes, as well as other prize opportunities. Race promoter Kwame Scott told us today that the defending champions, including elite rider, Byron Pope, has his work cut out for him, since there are a lot of competitors who want to win the second biggest race on the cycling calendar: The elite riders take to the road on Thursday, and they must pedal approximately 92 miles from the Belize/Mexico Border to the Central American Boulevard. The juniors and the Female Elite ride only 50 miles since they start from Orange Walk Town.

Channel 5

B.S.C.F.A. Calls for AGM on Sunday
Sunday will be a pivotal day in the future of this year’s sugar-cane crop. This morning the B.S.C.F.A. met in heated session, and agreed to go back to cane-farmers on [...]

Farmer Seeks Order of Mandamus
And if you thought the situation in the sugar cane industry was complicated, an announcement late this evening makes that an understatement. At around five today Audrey Matura Shepherd, flanked [...]

Injunction Hearing Set for Friday
And while the application for the order of mandamus is one thing, there’s also the matter of the application for an interim injunction to prevent the B.S.C.F.A. from signing any [...]

Will Audrey Matura-Shepherd Be Allowed to Speak?
On Monday, firebrand attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd filed an injunction to stop the signing of an agreement between the two parties. But tonight, where does she fit into the equation? As [...]

Should farmers start sugar crop without an agreement with ASR/B.S.I.?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe farmers should start sugar crop without an agreement with ASR/B.S.I.? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

P.U.P. Speaks on Transfer of Jerrylyn Bruce
The 2015 Cayo North bye-election is less than a week away and candidates for both major parties are hitting the pavement during the final days of a rather brief political [...]

P.U.P. Sec-Gen Condemns Transfer
P.U.P. Secretary General and former Chief Elections Officer, Myrtle Palacio, says Bruce’s untimely transfer is questionable since it precedes very closely the upcoming bye-election.  The move, she says, is contrary [...]

Is U.D.P. Chairman connected to Transfer?
A huge part of the argument is an allegation that U.D.P. Chairman Alberto August was reportedly seen inside the elections office in Cayo North over the weekend.  It is suspected [...]

Chairman August Refutes Allegations
The People’s United Party says it is still awaiting confirmation on the whereabouts of U.D.P. Chairman Alberto August who they claim was seen inside the elections office in Cayo North [...]

Trial of Bahamians Continues
The trial for two Bahamian men, Kelvin Errol Leach and Rohn Michael Knowles continued today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after a month-long adjournment.  Leach and Knowles are accused of [...]

Housekeeper Accused of Theft
A nineteen year old housekeeper cleaned out her boss’ jewelry box when she allegedly stole expensive pieces of jewelry from inside her Bella Vista home. Earlier today, Jessica Beeks was [...]

Caledonia Resident Wins Big With SMART
A resident from up north has reason to celebrate on the eve of the start of the New Year. Rogelio Alcoser went back to his home in Caledonia with ten [...]

Guatemalan Died from Asphyxiation
On Monday, we reported on the sudden death of a Guatemalan laborer at his Eve Street house. The decomposing body of thirty-nine year old Walter Humberto Melendez Ortiz was discovered [...]

Women Empowering Women
A group of women from Kentucky, U.S.A., has been in the Jewel since Monday…their mission – to empower women of all ages. The group, called Building the Sisterhood for Christ [...]

“Daughters of Virtue” Revival Planned for Friday
Although there are systems in place to empower women, for Wright, some disenfranchised women have slipped through the cracks. Friday’s women conference and revival entitled “Daughters of Virtue” will be [...]

A Century of Wisdom…
As the clock ticks away to welcome 2015, we caught up with a charming centenarian. Mary Tate has lived a century and will turn one hundred and one in February. [...]

LOVE FM

American National Deported to US
Forty-seven year old American national William Turpin jr, who was picked up by the police on December 29, was handed over to immigration officers when he was unable to produce any travel document. Turpin was deemed a prohibited immigrant and he was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser today for her to make an order for his deportation to the United States. Turpin said he lost his passport. He was ordered to leave Belize forthwith. He is the second American national in 2 weeks who has been deemed a prohibited immigrant.

Individual Charged For Drug Possession in OW
Four persons were charged for possession of controlled drugs in Orange Walk Town. According to police reports, yesterday, Special Patrol Unit visited a Rio Grande Street address in the Louisiana Area where they searched the premises for unlicensed firearms and or drugs. At the location were four adults seated under a shed. The search resulted in the discovery of a small plastic package and several packages that contained marijuana which was weighed and amounted to 57 grams. As a result police then arrested and charged 33-year-old Dwight Wade, 43-year-old Ellsworth Rudan, 23-year-old Indira Peters, 59-year-old Olga Tasher all of Orange Walk Town for the offence of Possession of Controlled Drugs.

Ladyville Maintenance Worker Charged For Deception
Forty year old Albert Wright, a maintenance worker of Ladyville who allegedly “beat” Kent Dyer out of $7,800, was charged with obtaining property by deception when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Wright pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until February 3. Dyer reported to the police that between November 21 and December 8, 2014, he gave Wright the money in 3 instalments to purchase a vehicle for him. He said he gave Wright $3,800 first then he gave him $3,600 and finally he gave Wright $400. Dyer said he tried to reach Wright by phone he sent text messages but it was all to no avail.

Man Charged For Stealing a House
Twenty-nine year old Kevin Castillo, who allegedly stole a house, was charged with theft when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Castillo pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of two thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until February 16. The incident occurred between June and august 2014. The complainant, Pamela Sealy, reported to the police that she built a wooden bungalow house on a piece of land at Set Site in Lake Independence and she left it there vacant. She said one day when she went to the location she saw that her house was missing.

Resident of Esperanza Village Charged With Murder
A resident of Esperanza Village in the Cayo District, 24-year-old, Wendell Trapp is facing a murder charge following investigations carried out by San Ignacio police. The investigation was launched during Christmas week when 32-year-old, Germaine Francis Pagett was murdered on Second Street in that municipality. The incident happened on December 21 when a group of men, namely, 24-year-old, Trevor Lamb; 19-year-old, Carlos Juarez; 25-year-old, Irvin Tillett and Melvin Budna, were socializing at a house when Budna, who was on the veranda with Pagett, alerted the other men of a gunman at the house. The men sought cover by jumping through a window but Pagett remained on the veranda where he was shot in the abdomen with the bullet exiting through his upper back. According to police, they responded to a call at around ten o’clock when they came across the body of a Creole man lying face down and bearing an apparent gunshot wound to the upper left side of the back. Investigators recovered a 45mm slug and expended shell from the scene. A post mortem examination revealed that Pagett died from exsanguination due to the gunshot injury to the heart and left lung.

ROC Addresses Current Sugar Impasse
Since its formation we have not heard much from the Rod of Correction, ROC however today the Association sent out a press release. The release addresses the current sugar impasse. ROC says that quote, “it is definitively possible for the sugar cane delivery season to be declared open, even in the absence of a signed agreement,” end of quote. ROC is encouraging the cane farmers to take heed while reiterating the reasoning of the National Trade Congress of Belize, in which in its last release stated that the Sugar Industry Control Board, SICB, under the Sugar Industry Act , is legally able to set a date for the start of the crop season. In the release, the ROC calls on the SICB to obey the law and proceed to consult ASR /BSI and BSCFA and, thereafter, make its decision to set the date for the grinding season. ROC’s release ends by the group pledging their support for the cane farmers.

Sugar Crisis Arises Again in Northern Belize
Following the meeting and the intervention of the Prime Minister in the sugar crisis in northern Belize, talks of agreed amendments and a finalized commercial agreement were buzzing and many had breathed a sigh of relief at the idea of a solution, but the relief was short lived and the minority directors had ideas of their own. So much so, that come Sunday there will be another general assembly meeting of the cane farmers. In a release issued by the Government of Belize, it was expressed that they hope that in this second meeting, there will be a majority vote for the ratification of the agreement as well as a mandate for its signing and the green light for the crop season to begin. The Government said that since their assistance in forging an agreement between both parties, they have been actively trying to assist in resolving the difficulties that have, so far, prevented the signing of the agreement.

Teck Applied For Interm Injunction; Application File For Writ of Mandamus
Yesterday we told you about the application for an interim injunction that was filed by Lucilo Teck, a veteran in the Sugar Industry. Teck’s injunction seeks to stop the signing of any agreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR unless a Special General Meeting is held whereby the proposal is fully explained to the farmers and a resolution is passed. The meeting is scheduled to take place on January 4. But today, Teck took it to another level. He filed an application for leave for a writ of mandamus. This mandamus seeks to order the Sugar Industry Control Board to set a date for the crop season to begin. Teck’s Attorney, Audrey Matura Shepherd, explained: AUDREY MATURA-SHEPHERD “That our recent action for having an injunction it is simply to give them the last opportunity to understand fully the full content of the agreement which was not presented in the last AGM. So that is why I believe that there is a rumor that someone said that they will not allow Ms. Matura to address the membership I believe that it is premature that that decision will prevail because I will stand there as a cane farmer I have the full right to call the chairman and ask him to allow Ms. Matura to address the membership and to explain to the membership the complicated agreement as it stands that people have not yet been fully informed of the current context of the agreement and not only to the chairman I address him to allow Ms. Matura but I ask to the general floor and the floor is the supreme authority and I hope and I think that my request will prevail, she will be allowed to address the general membership on our behalf.”

PUP Reacts To PM’s Message And Promises
As is tradition, a new year’s message is delivered by the Prime Minister, revealing plans for the upcoming year and reflecting on all that has been achieved at the close of the year. Just over three months ago, Prime Minister Barrow had announced several incentives for the Belizean people during his Independence Day speech including the December payment on mortgage loans taken out for new homes. While that promise is in the process of being fulfilled via the necessary paperwork, Barrow has made additional commitments to Belizeans in this year’s New Year’s message which states that 2015 will be a year for technology. According to the Prime Minister’s message, plans for a Technology University are well underway and implementation of that idea should commence in 2015 with the assistance of the Koreans. Abiding with the theme of technology, the Prime Minister has also committed to give a tablet to every student enrolled in the tertiary level and to assist high schools countrywide in the upgrading of their computer labs.

Officials Host Meeting on Roaming Horses
A meeting on how to control horses roaming around Belmopan was held last night. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “An important meeting was held late yesterday evening at the Belmopan City Hall conference room. At that meeting were officials from the Belmopan City Council, The Police Department, and The Traffic Department, Representatives from the Cowboys and Cowgirls association. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways of how to stop stray horses from roaming around the city and to help young horse owners how to better manage their horses. Love News spoke to the city administrator Dr.Heraldo Flowers who shared with us the outcome of that meeting.” HERALDO FLOWERS “Well the main purpose of the meeting was to create from what is now a negative issue a positive opportunity, an opportunity for our young people who love horses to be able to learn how to better take care of their horses and by so doing create for themselves perhaps employment and other types of economic opportunities using their animals in a way that is secure, safe and friendly to the animals themselves.

Technical Difficulties in SMART Services
This weekend, several SMART Customers complained about not being able to send or receive text messages and adding credit to their account. Public relations officer, Linette Canto, Spoke to Love News and explained what transpired. LINETTE CANTO “We did experience some issues over the holiday weekend; we were having technical difficulties without Gimmie Dalla service. We are having intermittent interruptions in service which was causing failure of certain Gimmie Dalla transactions and in some cases while the transaction went through the customer did not get the confirmation text message. We were made aware there was a problem and since then we have been working diligently to get to the heart of the matter.

Team From Kentucky Held Gathering at Nazarene Church
Building the Sisterhood for Christ Mission Team from Kentucky, held a gathering where they help educate, inform, share, inspire and encourage the gospel to young women from the ages ten to seventeen about self –worth and God. Love News journalist Leigh-Andra Gentle, and cameraman, Myles Gillett, was on the scene and spoke to Louise Caldwell-Edmonds, Team Member of Sisterhood for Christ Mission, spoke to Love News more about the information they shared with the youths. Here’s what she had to say: LOUISE CALDWELL-EDMONDS “What we talked about today and what I tried to instill in them is that there were sisters in the bible that had purpose and I wanted them to know that they have purpose in their lives. Even though some people may tell you that you are nothing you don’t have to believe what they say. If there is something inside of you the lord brings it out and you walk in it. To have Jesus in your life is a wonderful thing and we just wanted to spread the good news.


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PlusTV

Commercial agreement held up by interim injunction
The, Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) are closer to signing the Commercial Agreement and opening the crop season for 2014-2015 than they have ever been...

Christmas Day stabbing
A man was stabbed on Christmas Day. 28-year-old Fernando Madrill, a Belizean Fisherman of Belize City, was stabbed to the right side of the back. According to police reports, their initial investigations revealed that at 11:00a.m...

Student accused of stabbing friend
Police have laid charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against 20 year old student Musa Smith of Kraal Road, Belize City. According to 28 year old Tyrone Scott, on December 21, around 4:15 p.m., he went to Musa Smith’s house to drop off some school books...

Two men sought in robbery
Police say they are looking for two men who robbed a 23 year old man. The victim told police that on Boxing Day he was walking alone on New Road, Belize City, just pass Rhaburn’s Alley, when he was approached by two men on bicycles, whom he immediately recognized as his previous Dean Street neighbor...

17 year old robbed and threatened with death
A 17 years old Belizean cane cutter of Patchakan Village reported that on Thursday December 25, 2014, about 9:10pm, he was going home when he was approached by two men whom he knows. One had a knife and they held him up and took away a silver chain valued at BZ$150 and BZ$100 cash from him. The two ...

13 year old reported missing
Santos Moralez, a Naturalized Belizean of San Roman Village, Corozal District, reported that on December 18 at about 8:30pm, her 13 year old daughter Alice Rodriquez, went to visit her older sister in San Narciso Village, Corozal District. The following day, the mother was informed by her older daug...

Road Traffic Accident on Burrell Boom Road
There was a road traffic accident on the Burrell Boom Road on Boxing Day. The incident happened after 8 p.m. when a red Saturn Vue overturned in some bushes on the left- hand side of the road and received extensive damages to its front portion. The vehicle was being driven by 19-year-old Adeline Ros...

Lovers’ quarrel leads to crack cocaine charge
Police were called to respond to a domestic dispute on New Road on Boxing Day, but ended up arresting the two disputants and a friend of theirs for a different offense. 21 year old Elmarose Cabral called police after a dispute with her boyfriend, 39 year old Kevin Pandy, at their address. Upon arriv...

Teenage maid accused of stealing from employer
While the victim says she does not want to pursue the matter further, police have charged a Belize City teenager with theft of over $11,000 in jewelry from her employer, discovered on Boxing Day. The accused is now in jail after being unable to meet bail, due to outstanding court fines. 19 year old ...

Visiting uncle detained for sexually molesting niece
A 27 year Belizean of Corozal Town reported that she was talking to her 7 year old daughter when she began to cry...

Orange Walk business burglarized on Christmas
42-year-old Liqun Quin, a Chinese businesswoman of San Andres Street, Orange Walk Town, reported that between the hours of 11:30p.m. on December 25  and 8:30a.m. on December 26, her business place.  Le Chen Restaurant, was burglarized. The culprits  stole two television sets and $4,000...

Visiting uncle detained for sexually molesting niece
A 27 year Belizean of Corozal Town reported that she was talking to her 7 year old daughter when she began to cry...

Orange Walk business burglarized on Christmas
42-year-old Liqun Quin, a Chinese businesswoman of San Andres Street, Orange Walk Town, reported that between the hours of 11:30p.m. on December 25  and 8:30a.m. on December 26, her business place.  Le Chen Restaurant, was burglarized. The culprits  stole two television sets and $4,000...

American took his own life
Police say that American National Timothy McNamara was not murdered but took his own life. According to police, the incident happened on Christmas Day at a farm in Boston Village on the Old Maskall Road. On the verandah of a house was the motionless body of 66-year-old American retiree Timothy Patri...

The Guardian

A Tablet for All - PM Barrow’s New Year’s message guarantees a tablet for all tertiary level students
My fellow Belizeans, 2014 was, by any measure, an extraordinarily successful year. Our economy grew in the first three quarters by 4.2%, which is more than double what was forecast by the IMF. This was impressive, and several sectors led the way. Chief among them was Tourism, which continued its multi-year run of annual growth with almost unbelievable numbers. Thus, overnight visitors for the first time in history surpassed the 300 thousand mark, and this represented a 10% spike over 2013. The jump in cruise calls to Belize was even more phenomenal, with 62 more ships bringing 45% more passengers. Together, then, overnight and cruise exceeded 1 million visitors from as early as October, and by November had combined for a 31.5% increase over 2013. It was, indeed, a star turn. Buoyed by the increase in revenue from the assumption of control of the IBC and Ships Registries, Government was able to give Teachers and Public Officers the first installment of what is expected to be three successive years of salary raises. And Government's overall people-empowerment programs scaled new heights. We paid for up to six CXC subjects for every High School student that applied; we rolled out NHI to the Corozal District; we increased the numbers of those being helped by the BOOST and Food Pantry Initiatives; we reimbursed, or committed to reimburse, December's mortgage payments for all homeowners with original loans of 100 thousand dollars or less; and Government's National Bank offered Christmas and New Year consumer loans at unbeatable rates. Indeed, there was a burst of good news in December, headlined by the Mexican investor purchase of Caye Chapel; by the Southwest Airlines announcement of its Belize destination; and by the agreement that Government helped to forge between the BSCFA and BSI.

Monkey Wrench
A Tablet for All - PM Barrow’s New Year’s message guarantees a tablet for all tertiary level students

CARSI-funds increased for combating drug trafficking in Belize
U.S. Chargé d’affaires Matthews handed over the official notice of the increase in assistance funds to the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, and CEO of the Ministry of National Security, Col. George Lovell, in Belmopan at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday of last week. In a press release issued last week, The United States Embassy in Belmopan announced that the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)/Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) would give an additional funding of US $4.1 million for 2014-15. The funds are to help with Improved Border Inspection, Policing and Equipment, Vetted Units, Drug Demand Reduction, Regional and Maritime and Land Interdiction, Capacity Enhancement, Prison Management and Community Policing. Since 2008, CARSI has provided approximately US $20 million in assistance, including the new funding.

Year in Review 2014
The Year 2014 was one that saw significant achievements made for the Belizean people, driven primarily by the government’s focus on pro-people initiatives geared at improving quality and standard of living whilst fostering growth and development in all corners of the country. The first initiative made to ease the pockets of Belizeans country wide in 2014 came by way of a reduction in electricity rates. B.E.L in negotiating with Mexico’s Commision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) was successful in granting the country a 10% reduction on its energy consumption. Along with the CFE Mexico reduction, P.U.C took the increase in hydroelectric production as a result of heavy rainfall in latter 2013 into consideration and decided to grant customers a fair decrease of four cents per kilowatt hour. The reduction from 48.65 cents to 44.65 cents per kilowatt hour in terms of percentage was decreased 8.22% and was effective on January 1st.

How much is enough?
One of the components of The Southside Poverty Alleviation Project which was implemented in 2012 was the improvement on the East and West Collet Canal Streets. Everyone can remember the unsightly state of these streets and the canal which ran in the center. At the completion of the project there was no denying the practical and aesthetical improvement in these areas. It was like day and night, the difference was almost palpable. The section most transformed was the area that spans the length of the West Collet Canal from Cemetery Road to Dean Street. This section was used by taxi drivers in front of the Novelo's bus terminal and by produce vendors in front of the Michael Finnegan Market. The project allowed for taxi and private motor vehicle parking and in an innovative move the construction of business booths over the canal which has been lined with concrete.

PUP Secretary General endorses the use of WITCHCRAFT in Politics
Where politics is concerned in Belize, it’s an ever evolving process. In the recent years we’ve seen numerous political vehicles come to shape. As recent as mid 2014 we’ve seen the advent of a religious political group. Belizeans however, have always maintained that politics and religion should never be combined. Most fair minded persons figure that the mixing of politics and religion could never be a good mix, because politics would require compromising certain morals and sacred values. This is evident as is the case with the host of PLUS TV who try as he may, cannot help but compromise his values in an attempt to be anti-government. This gentleman has become very pro PUP which should be playing havoc with his conscience. His past co-host Patrick Andrews has chosen to run on a PUP ticket, and he is clearly supported by PLUS TV. In order to do this it stands to reason that both Wade and Andrews at some point had to endorse and support the core values of the PUP. There is no significant change in the leadership and membership from the PUP that ran Belize from 1998 to 2008, the same warped and corrupt players are still inherent. These gentlemen therefore will find it difficult to convince the public that while being PUP they are different from the normal PUP by virtue of their religious conviction.

Researcher Deported to the U.S.
American Researcher, Timonthy Joseph Eales, 32, will be deported to the United States after he failed to produce his nationality documents when requested by immigration officer, Roberto Gursney. Eales was picked up by police on Friday, December 19. When he could not provide any documents to show his nationality or permission to remain in Belize, Eales was handed over to the Belize Immigration Department. Eales was charged with failure to produce documents and was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He told the court that he lost his passport and failed to report it to police. The Immigration Department did not request that Eales be fined for the offence but asked for a removal order which was granted by Fraser.

Murder during the Christmas weekend
Felix Castillo Carranza, a 72 year-old senior citizen who was well known for his hotdog business, was found on Saturday, December 27, dead inside his house with his throat slashed. His murder is puzzling Dangriga police investigators. He was found at his house in the Lakeland Area of Dangriga Town at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. That’s after he was last seen at his business place selling hotdogs well in into the evening of Boxing Day. He is not known to have any enemies. Described as a sweet and kind old man, his friends and family are shocked to find out that he died so violently.

Musa Smith Charged for Attempted Murder
Belize City student Musa Smith, 20, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand for allegedly attempting to kill Tyron Scott, 28, on Sunday, December 21. According to PC Wilbert Cob, he was on patrol in the Kraal Road area when he received information from Control Room of a stabbing incident in the area. Cob says he visited #26 Kraal Road and upon his arrival he saw Scott on the ground beneath the stairs of a wooden house. Scott was suffering from apparent stab wounds to the center of his back and left shoulder. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for the injuries.

Honduran Guilty of Sexual Assault upon mother and daughter
Honduran national Carlos Peres Sanchez, 41, will spend the next three years at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault. According to police reports made by two individuals, a 39-year-old woman and her 11-year-old daughter, on Monday, December 22, they were walking together on Orange Street heading towards Albert Street when upon reaching in front of a Panades Shop, Sanchez approached them, stretched out his left hand and slap both of them on the buttocks. They reported the matter to police and Sanchez was apprehended and charged.

Charged for gang tattoo and held for old fines
Deportee Kevin Faber, 25, was sent to jail after he appeared in court for displaying gang signs on his body. Police say they met Faber on Central American Boulevard on Sunday, December 21, and saw a “20’s” tattoo on his upper left arm, sign of the Bloods gang. He was arrested and charged with displaying gang insignia. Faber appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart and pleaded guilty to the offenses. He says he went to buy for his mother on Central American Boulevard when he was approached by police. He said the police first saw a tattoo on his neck then they lifted up his shirt and saw the tattooo on his upper arm.

Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo gives again
As part of their first Christmas project, the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo del Carmen have embarked on its first ever Christmas Food Drive, from the 20th to the 23rd of December. The objective of this Christmas Project was to provide the basic food necessities to deserving families and to ensure that they had meals on their table during this Christmas Season. As stated in a press release from the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo, on Saturday, December 20, 2014, five food baskets were provided to the elderly and single mothers in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The food baskets given out consisted of rice, flour, sugar, beans, salt, cooking oil, canned sausage, ramen, coffee, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Rotaractors were also able to include powdered milk, oats, choco kiwi and laundry detergent in some baskets as a result of donations received from the community and business persons in Benque Viejo.

Party held at Sam’s Community Park in Benque Viejo
As part of the Boxing Day cheer, some 350 adults and children from Benque Viejo del Carmen attended a party at Sam’s Bruce Community Park on Phillip Goldson Street this past Friday. Proprietor of the Park, Sam Bruce, who is also the Zone Captain for the Zone Four Neighborhood Watch Group, was present to organize games and give out gifts to the children. Also present at the party last Friday was Corporal Josh McKoy and his team of cadets. McKoy is attached to the Community Policing Program at the Benque Viejo Police Sub Station. “As Zone Captain; without the participation of my volunteers and sponsors, I could not accomplish these events alone over all these years”, explains Sam Bruce, who has been holding a party at his park since 2008.

Bloo-Konkas attorney
The fly we know as the Bloo-Konkas has as its scientific name - Calliphora vomitoria. Google states that the Bloo-Konkas or “The blue bottle fly is sometimes called the blue housefly. It earns its name as a result of its shiny, blue-green carapace. Blue houseflies are commonly referred to as bottle flies, blowflies or blue bottles. They are attracted to garbage, rotting animal carcasses, animal poop and open animal wounds. These flies can be found in barnyards, restaurant trash areas and garbage dumps. They may also be found within homes when small, dead animals such as mice or birds are present. These flies are more than a nuisance because they have been shown to transmit diseases. These flies tend to be slightly larger than common house flies and produce a loud, droning buzz. Adults can sometimes be seen gathering on window and door screens.” An old proverb states: “Bloo-konkas spail weh ih kyaahn eet.” (The Blue Fly spoils what it can’t eat.) What has just been described above sounds a lot like a certain female attorney, who flies around the country of Belize, with her loud droning buzz, looking for anything which in her demented mind needs her special “vomitoria” expertise. She trawls around Belize “fixing problems” and championing lost causes. In effect what this attention deprived lady is doing is just that – seeking attention. She jumps at every opportunity to create mischief and has the gall to call others mischief makers on national television.

Strange Laws of Belize
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Burnaby’s Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don’t even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws… CHAPTER 27 of the Laws of Belize is known as the NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE ACT and it states: 1. This Act may be cited as the Notification of Absence Act. 2. In this Act, “officer” means any person appointed by the Governor General, Prime Minister or a Minister to be- (a) a member of any committee or board; (b) a commissioner of any kind; or (c) a visiting justice of any prison. 3. Every officer intending to go beyond the limits of Belize shall give written notice of such intention to the Governor-General, the Prime Minister or Minister, as the case may be.

Arbitration Tribunal Issues Telemedia Loan Decision
A three member panel of international arbitrators today, 19th December 2014, issued its decision in a dispute between the British Caribbean Bank Ltd (BCB) and the Government of Belize (GOB), declaring that GOB must pay to BCB the money that Belize Telemedia Ltd (Telemedia) had borrowed from BCB back in 2007, together with interest and costs. The total award in favour of BCB is US$41,773,096.04. When the present Government acquired the shares in Telemedia owned by various Lord Ashcroft related companies in 2009, BCB demanded payment of the loan and threatened to wind up Telemedia. In reaction, GOB compulsorily acquired the loan from BCB. This meant that GOB now owned the loan, preventing BCB from undermining the acquisition and winding up Telemedia. In turn, it meant that GOB now became liable to pay BCB, and that Telemedia now became liable to pay GOB.

Police claim he was caught raping a woman
Alexander Nunez, 24, of Maskall Street, Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly raping a 43-year-old woman. According to police, on the night of Friday, December 19, a police mobile unit passed a yard on Racoon Street and officers realized that a woman was being sexually assaulted. They stepped in to assist and the attacker was identified as Alexander Nunez. He was arrested and charged with rape.

Bones cannot be determined as those of Marvin Bul
Antonia Cal, the mother of 23 year-old Marvin Bul, continues to be distraught after being unable to get a death certificate issued for him. That’s because even though she is convinced that police found his remains in an unauthorized dumping area, the medical examiner has his doubts. On Thursday, December 18, a resident moving through the Dew Drops area of Ladyville, near miles 11 and a half on the Northern Highway discovered a skull, other bones and other clothing lying in an abandoned area. Scavengers had already picked most of the bones clean. To identify the body, the responding officers looked to the contents of the pants pocket, which revealed that Bul’s identification credentials were inside. That, including the clothes found on the scene, led Antonia Cal to determine the man whose bones were all that was left, were her son’s.

Busted smuggling weed into prison
Rufus Castillo, 24, went to visit his cousin at the Belize Central Prison on Tuesday, December 23, and was busted with 21 grams of marijuana hidden inside a deodorant container. According to police report, Castillo visited the prison and when he approached the searching area a prison officer searched a black plastic bag he had in his possession. The prison officer found a Gillett deodorant inside. He screwed off the bottom and found an amount of weed inside. As a result, Hattieville Police were called and Castillo was taken into custody along with the drug.

Byron Pope to defend his KREM New Year’s Day Title
The 25th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is scheduled for Thursday 1 January, 2015. The Open Elite, U-23 and Masters’ (including the 4/5) race will start from the Belize-Mexico Border and will travel the full length of the Philip Goldson Highway, where it will conclude on the Central American Boulevard with its junction with Mahogany Street. The Elite race will start at 9:00 am. For the female, juniors and youth riders, they will start from in front of the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town and will also conclude the ride on the Central American Boulevard with its junction with Mahogany Street. The event will commence at 9:00 am and 9:30 am respectively.

Elodio Aragon Jr. Christmas Cup comes to an end
The Aragon Christmas Cup football competition came to an end with a bang on Sunday December 21 at the newly renovated Louisiana Football field. The competition which started on the first week of October saw 16 teams compete fiercely for the number one spot. For three months the competition saw the weaker teams eliminated one by one. In the end after hundreds of goals scored in its nets, the Louisiana field hosted the top four teams. These were San Felipe Diablos, San Felipe Warriors, Guinea Grass and Progresso. The first game played on this final day was between San Felipe Diablos and San Felipe Warriors in which the Warriors were sent home and Diablos took the third place prize of one thousand dollars plus trophies. This game went to extra time after they tied in regular time with a score of 3 - 3.

Police United maintains lead in Premier League Opening Season
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Playoff Round continued over the weekend with two games on the schedule. On Sunday 28 December, 2014, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Verdes FC blanked the league leading Police United by the score of 1-0. Gilbert Thurton scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute of play to give his team the victory. On Saturday 27 December 2014, also at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending National Football Champions, the Belmopan Bandits won over the Belize Defence Force by the score of 1-0. Elroy Kuylen scored the only goal of the game in the 46th minute of play that gave the Belmopan Bandits the win.

Belize Softball Federation extends condolence to the family of ISF 2nd Vice President
The President of the Belize Softball Federation on Sunday 28 December, 2014, dispatch a note of condolence to the family of the late Jesus A. Suniaga, 2nd Vice President of the International Softball Federation, President of the Pan American Softball Confederation and also President of the Venezuelan Softball Federation. Suniaga passed away on Saturday 27 December, 2014, after a long struggle with cancer. Jesus Suniaga was elected in March of 2012 as the President of the Pan American Softball Confederation where he succeeded the 1st President of the Confederation Clovis Lodewijks of the Netherland Antilles.

Amandala

Man, 20, victim of Southern Highway hit-and-run
The family of Juan Daniel Young Menjivar, 20, of Independence, is in mourning after Menjivar was found dead lying on the road in a pool of blood, with a large wound on his head, at the junction of Monkey River Road and the Southern Highway at around 2:40 on Tuesday morning, December 23. Menjivar was rushed to the Independence Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival. A post-mortem exam conducted on his body certified that his death was caused by a severe head injury due to a massive skull fracture.

PUP and UDP battle for Cayo North
The battle for Cayo North will reach its climax in exactly 7 days, when roughly 6,000 voters are expected to go to the polls in Bullet Tree and San Ignacio to decide who will replace Joseph Mahmud, the Cayo North area representative of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) who resigned his seat in Parliament last month. The PUP has nominated Richard Harrison, a San Ignacio businessman, in their bid to keep control of the constituency, but the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is confident that its man, Omar Figueroa, will reclaim the seat in what they deem to be a UDP stronghold. Albert August, UDP chairman, told Amandala today that things are looking “very good,” and they are working hard to win the elections on Monday, January 5, 2015.

KREM’s “Big Shilling” New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
Cycling fans across the country are presently anticipating the 25th running of the KREM “Big Shilling” New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, held annually on New Year’s Day, January 1, which is now only three days away. The race has gained significant prestige on the Belizean cycling calendar over the years, but still, the organizers have pledged that this year’s edition will the biggest ever, based on the bounty of station prizes that will be awarded to participants along the route of the race. The Elite, U-23 and Master’s groups of cyclists will start off from near the Belize/Mexico border at 9:00 a.m., while the female and junior riders will leave from the Orange Walk Town Hall, with the females taking off at 9:30 a.m., and the juniors at 9:35 a.m.

YaYa and Emerson elected to CABO’s new executive
The Central American Black Organization (CABO), which is Organización Negra Centroamericana (ONECA) in Spanish, held its 20th General Assembly in the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, Tela, Honduras, on Sunday, December 14, at which two Belizeans were elected to serve in the 2014-2016 executive. YaYa Marin-Coleman of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) will serve as CABO’s Secretary of Communications, while Emerson Guild of Emergent Corp will serve as CABO’s treasurer. Marin-Coleman said that as CABO’s new communications person, she will be proposing that there should be a correspondent in every CABO member country, so that there can be a consistent flow of community news which, she said, do not generally make it to the mainstream media.

Amandala chats with CEO Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell
Major crimes are up by 6% and murders up by over 20%, almost erasing the gains which Belize made in 2013 in reducing the murder rate below triple-digit figures. However, Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, says that they are still hopeful that they could achieve their plan to reduce the murder rate to 8 per 100,000 which, he said, is the global average. Today, Belize’s murder rate is 34, and reducing that figure to 8 would mean reducing the murders to roughly 40 a year by 2020. According to Lovell, the upsurge in homicides is partly due to an increase in crimes of passion. He said that it does not matter how many police officers there are, since these crimes happen in private areas where friends sometimes are involved.

Police crime stats say rapes up a whopping 62%. Murders up 22%, but burglaries down 7.8%
Belize was reportedly the only country in Central America which experienced a decline in murders in 2013, but the preliminary statistical report released today by the Belize Police Department indicates that 2014 has seen a substantial increase in murders, with data up to December 19, 2014 showing a 22% increase in murders over 2013. This translates to a murder rate of 34 per 100,000, the third lowest rate since 2008. Our historical chart dating back to 1993 indicates that the lowest murder count of 32 was recorded in 2003, when the per capita rate was only 14 per 100,000. The Ministry of National Security says that it aims to reduce the figure to 8% by 2020. Whereas murder incidences were up 22%, the arrest rate was 24% lower than it was in 2013, with 34 arrests being made so far this year compared to 45 in 2013.

Then, and now
In early 1968, the American mediator, a New York attorney named Betheul Webster, formally released his Seventeen Proposals for the end of the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute over the territory of British Honduras. In 1966, the people of British Honduras had been given a preview of Webster’s Proposals when the National Independence Party (NIP) Leader, Hon. Philip Goldson, rushed home to reveal what he could remember of the proposals being put to a bipartisan delegation of Belizeans led by representatives of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). Because he had been sworn to secrecy before the conference, Goldson was risking jail to expose what he remembered, and what became known as the Thirteen Proposals. Both the Thirteen Proposals and the Seventeen Proposals sparked rioting in the streets of Belize, then the capital city and population center of British Honduras, then a self-governing colony. The Government of British Honduras, led by Premier George Price, was forced to reject the Seventeen Proposals, under the terms of which Belize would have moved on to political independence.

From the Publisher
There were important differences between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the National Independence Party (NIP), which the UDP absorbed at its founding in September of 1973. Perhaps the most important difference was, the UDP immediately declared that it would de-emphasize the Guatemalan claim to Belize, which had been the focus during the Goldson era of NIP propaganda attacks against the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), and announced that the UDP would concentrate on the economic development of Belize. The UDP quickly became more wealthy and more successful than the NIP had ever been, winning six seats in the October 1974 general election and coming within seventeen (17) votes of winning three more seats and throwing the House of Representatives into a 9-9 deadlock. (The NIP had never won more than two seats in a general election.)

PM says sugar dispute should be resolved “before the year is out”
The mills at the Tower Hill sugar factory remain dormant today since the disagreement between the local cane farmers’ association and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) is yet to be resolved, but in an interview with reporters today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in continuing his role as mediator between the two parties, indicated that he believes that the long-running, sometimes acrimonious dispute might be quite close to a resolution. The sticking point surrounds the thorny language in the most recent version of the agreement in reference to the role of the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC), which is chaired by the Government and which can reject cane based on the quality. Tensions rose when the cañeros found out that BSI/ASR wanted to replace that body with a Harvesting, Delivery and Control Unit (HDCU), which, the farmers contend, would have limited government oversight, and which would presumably be controlled by the factory owners.

Barrow asserts that GOB will pay Janae’s $2 mil award
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow confirmed via the media today that the Government of Belize will make good on the payment of the $2 million award handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to Janae Matute and her mom, Georgia Matute. Last week, we told you that since the CCJ handed down its decision in April 2014, the family had not received any funds from Government, despite assurances from the Government that the family would be paid. Fred Lumor, SC, the family’s attorney, last wrote Financial Secretary Joseph Waight in October, but did not receive a reply.

Two children escape death in St. Matthews traffic accident
In an incident that took place on Sunday, December 21, Esmeralda Can, 10, of Roaring River Village on the Hummingbird Highway, was injured after she was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle as she was running across the highway after getting out of a bus. Just a few days later, on Boxing Day, December 26, two children, Diana Yacab, 10, and her brother Herbert Yacab, 7, both of St. Matthews Village on the George Price Highway, were similarly knocked down when they ran across the road after getting out of a bus. The children were hit by an SUV which was travelling to Belize City from Belmopan at about 3:30 p.m. Boxing Day evening in the village. As a result, Diana suffered a cut wound to the head and abrasions to her feet, while her brother suffered head and body injuries.

Belize and Japan sign million-dollar grant
The Governments of Belize and Japan signed an agreement by means of which Belize will receive one hundred million Japanese yen in grant funds from Japan as part of the Non-Project Grant Assistance for Industrial Products program, which is intended to assist with Belize’s economic and social development. The Japanese non-resident Ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Yasuo Takase, was in the country for the signing of the grant, which amounts to approximately BZ$1.65 million, and after the conclusion of the signing, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the media that the initiative is one of several ways in which the local economies of those areas affected during Japan’s last natural disaster are being stimulated.

Patrick JonesPJ

Cheated out of vehicle purchase
Kent Dyer accuses 40 year old maintenance worker of Ladyville, Belize District, Albert Wright, of deceptively obtaining money from him to buy a vehicle on his behalf which has not materialized. According to Dyer, between November 21 and December 8, he gave Wright $3,800, then $3,600 and finally […]

Man accused of stealing vacant house
How do you steal a house? That was the accusation leveled in Magistrate’s Court today at 29 year old Kevin Castillo, an employee of Radisson Fort George Hotel. He has been accused of, with another unnamed person, dismantling and removing a wooden bungalow house occupying a piece of […]

American without documents ordered to leave Belize
An American national unable to produce documents for his stay in Belize has been ordered to leave by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. 47 year old William Turpin, Jr., told police who picked him up that he lost his passport and has no other travel documents. He was handed […]

PUP raises concerns over transfer of Registering Officer
The People’s United Party has questioned the timing of the transfer of registering officer Jerrylyn Bruce a week before the Cayo north by-election. Bruce worked in the Cayo North and Northeast office in San Ignacio until December 22, when she was given a day’s notice to move to […]

Cane farmers stake out BCSFA office as branch chairmen meet
Sugar cane farmers will reportedly gather on Sunday for an emergency general meeting to discuss the draft final agreement with BSI/ASR. This morning, farmers staked out the offices of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in Orange Walk town as 18 branch chairman met. The cane farmers’ […]

Blogs

Ocean Academy has a secret
The Secret is a movie Ocean Academy students saw about the Law of Attraction that states that every person has the ability to attract things into their life with thoughts and intentions. Negative thinking and beliefs can attract negativity and thinking positive things all the time can attract positivity into one’s life. They challenged their students to create their own Vision Boards. You can see in the pictures below what positive things these young people hope to attract to their lives. Ocean Academy does a great job providing a unique and hands-on education for the children of Caye Caulker. The vision of the school is to create an environment where students are welcome to come and learn, regardless of their previous academic achievement or socioeconomic status. Classes include basic subjects like math, science and English, as well as interdisciplinary subjects tailored to the locale. Ocean Academy has received national and international recognition for their scuba diving, kayaking, fly-fishing, windsurfing and marine biology electives. These programs serve many purposes, including attracting and retaining non-traditional students, preparing students for high-paying local jobs, providing physical education (PE), and building student self esteem. The school also offers an apprenticeship program in photography, office skills, masonry and business.

New Year’s Eve In San Pedro, Belize – Options Galore to Celebrate 2014/2015
San Pedro is a bit of a party town, and this is one of the busiest times of the year, so it makes total sense that there is a TON going on here on New Year’s Eve. Basically anywhere you go in town – and many just party hop throughout the night – there will be something. Here are some taking place in the town center. Even the Town Council is setting up a pretty serious bash in Central Park. I don’t remember them doing this last year but then, this year IS an election year. And cheap beers and music do curry favor… And don’t forget the fireworks show at midnight. Should be a good one.

10 Photos And A Video You Won’t Belize!
Who knew that 2014 had surprises left…turns out that the highlight of my year was just last week on a last minute trip to Belize. Belize has always been on my list, but it ended up being more than I could have ever hoped for! The people, history, culture, music, wildlife, BEACHES…. How can you not be stoked when within two hours of being in a new country you are swimming with green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and nurse sharks. Belize it! Enjoy these 10 photos and a video from my unBelizeable adventure…

International Sourcesizz

The Top Caribbean and Latin America Stories of 2014
It proved to be another challenging year for destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Aruba, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos all reported tourist arrivals growth exceeding 10 percent. Meanwhile more regional destinations added new air services and expanded established networks. Amber Cove, a new themed cruise port, opened in the Dominican Republic as new cruise port projects were launched in Belize and Haiti, and Jamaica successfully renovated its Ocho Rios cruise port.

Unplugged Tropical Retreats Where You Can REALLY Escape in 2015
If complete isolation is what you're after, you'll find it at Blancaneaux Lodge. Tucked away in Belize's lush Mountain Pine Ridge forest reserve, this fabulous hideaway features rustic-luxe, thatched-roof rooms with private decks and plunge pools. With no TVs and a barely-there internet connection, you'll have no contact with the outside world (and your in-laws won't be able to contact you) during your stay. Whether you choose to spend your days lounging by the pool or enjoying a riverside spa treatment, you won't find too many places more tranquil than Blancaneaux Lodge.

2014 year in review: Caribbean rocked by Chikungunya
Three general elections and continued socio-economic problems may have made the headlines in the Caribbean in 2014, but it was the Chikungunya virus, the mosquito borne disease that really caught the attention of the region over the past 12 months. In addition, while no cases had been recorded, Caribbean countries were putting in place various measures to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that have killed more than 7,000 people in West Africa and spread also by the same mosquito responsible for the Chikungunya virus. A crippling mosquito-borne virus with a tongue twisting name, Chikungunya first appeared in the Caribbean towards the end of 2013. But by the end of 2014, every Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country had recorded cases of the virus caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito that causes a dengue-like sickness.

Now as well as Then: Sugar and its future
I was born downwind from Mount Gay. Rum was in the air I breathed and sugar was virtually all around me in fields of sugar cane. I have therefore always been passionate about these two products. There are some who will say that sugar points naturally back to the slave plantation and slavery. It would almost be criminal to deny that slavery was brutal here in Barbados as well as other European dominated territories which grew the crop. What was essentially wrong was not sugar, but the plantation and the mentality that bred it and has continued to foster it. I remember Sir Anthony Murray once pointing out that with the thin soils of Barbados we needed a grass to retain what little soil we had. I used this argument once in negotiations with the European Commission, through a reluctant Minister. I indicated at a point where they were unwilling to budge that sugar cane was the most effective grass we could use to prevent erosion. They immediately changed their position as a result of this argument on the environment. I also remember once bringing some Italian investors here. They wanted to obtain some bagasse to convert it into animal feed. They were prepared to set up a small conversion plant for that purpose right here in Barbados. The planters, at a time when we produced some three to four hundred tonnes of bagasse, simply said that they had no bagasse. They were only interested in sugar and they were unprepared to rock the European boat from which we were receiving payments for sugar.

Videos


PM on 2014, 10min. The Prime Minister reminisces on the 2014 transformation and reveals what's ahead for 2015 in his New Year's Address.
Embassy of Mexico to Belize - Embajada de México en Belice, 3min. Escuela Secundaria Técnica México
Sam + Emille Highlight, 1min. Wedding at Butterfly Falls. Waterfall Wedding at Mountain Pine Ride, Belize
Steph + Jason Highlights, 1min. Mayan Ruin Wedding at Xunantunich in Cayo, Belize
Kelly + Ronnel Highlights, 2min. Butterfly Falls, Waterfall Wedding at Mountain Pine Ride, Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), Belize, America, 2min. Abandoned places on America Creepiest places upon Earth
Man vs Wild S05E06 Belize, 44min.
Belize Vacation Video, 7min.
Glovers Reef, Belize 2014, 3min. Dive Trip to Belize 2014 Music: Under the Sea by Alan Menken and Samuel E. Wright.
First Landing at the future Placencia, Belize International Airport, 1min. On December 14th. 2014 the first aircraft, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter made the first landing at the future airport in Placencia
Scuba Diving in Belize, 2min. A compilation of GoPro footage in Belize.
THE THIRD & FINAL PART OF DAVID BUDDAN'S SHOWTIME ON BELIZE MUSIC HOUR!, 14min.

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