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#500028 - 01/17/15 04:37 AM Today's Belize News: January 17, 2015
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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

Second Phase of Police Barracks Project to tentatively resume in two weeks
Two weeks into 2015, and work has not yet resumed on the second phase of the police barracks project as previously indicated. The delay is attributed to the lack of time from construction agents Gaby’s Construction who undertook the project for no charge. Owner of Gaby’s Construction and Deputy Mayor of San Pedro, Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez has stated that construction is now tentatively scheduled to resume in two weeks. Currently only the foundation and first floor walls have been constructed.

The build-your-own experience at Coconut Café
Coconut Café is one of the newer establishments around town and allows patrons the opportunity to pick what they want in their pizzas, paninis, sandwiches and even their egg platters. Sounds like my kind of joint! The Coconut Café is the perfect spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even just to take a delicious coffee break. It’s located in Coconut Drive directly across Ramon’s Village Resort, and is the brainchild of Donna Ehart and Timm Crouch who moved to the island from Kansas in 2014. Both being coffee lovers, they wanted to create a business that would give patrons the opportunity to enjoy a cup of joe and have an accompanying tasty treat in a calm and peaceful setting. They call their cooking ‘American classics with a Belizean twist’, with the added opportunity to create it yourself.

Avian Influenza in Poultry detected in Cayo District
As a result of BAHA’S active surveillance for Avian Influenza, a limited outbreak of Avian Influenza Type A in poultry has been detected in two (2) farms in Spanish Lookout. Containment measures already in effect prohibit poultry and poultry products from exiting the affected farms. There are very little clinical signs in the affected birds and this suggests a low pathogenic infection . BAHA has heightened its surveillance at all other poultry farms. Samples have been sent to a reference laboratory in the USA for confirmation and subtyping. BAHA expects to have the results in 4 days. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available. The BAHA, Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Ministry of Health and the Poultry Industry are collaborating in a coordinated response against this limited outbreak. Commercial and backyard poultry farmers across the country are encouraged to step up their biosecurity measures and to notify BAHA of any unusual occurrence in their flocks. BAHA wishes to reassure the public that poultry meat and eggs are safe for human consumption. BAHA and its partners are taking all the necessary measures to address this disease outbreak. Although it cannot be confirmed at this time, wild bird migration is the most likely source of the infection.

Sir Barry Plaque Memorial at St. John’s
Officiated by Rt. Rev. Phillip Wright, Lord Bishop of Belize, the ceremony was attended by Belize’s First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow, and many members of the political and business community of Belize. There are only 20 plaques affixed to the walls of St. John’s Cathedral, ranging from 1777 to the present, honoring pioneers and statesmen who have supported the growth from British Honduras to contemporary Belize. Sir Barry, long-time resident of San Pedro, met an untimely death in an airplane crash on February 26, 2010. He left a strong legacy of successful businesses, schools, land preserves and agriculture in the Orange Walk District, state-of-art-shrimp farming near Placencia, and loving family members and friends.

Belize Tour Operator Selected as the Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson will be receiving a letter of commendation and a plaque to commemorate this outstanding accomplishment. The letter from Carnival Cruise Lines to H2O-Tierra is quoted to read, “Your Company’s position as a leading provider for shore excursions and your reputation for first-class service are attributed to your strong leadership and the sense of direction that you provide.” Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, commented, “We are very proud of Tom and Ivette Wilson on achieving Carnival’s award of the Leading Tour Operator in the Caribbean. They work very hard to ensure that their business is compliant and offers high quality service, while providing memorable experiences to our visitors.”

MoH fails on promise to open 24-hour Polyclinic
Residents believe it is long overdue for Ambergris Caye to have a properly equipped public health facility especially because the island has been the country’s fastest growing community for the past 15 years. But despite the increase in population and being the prime tourism destination of the country while generating over $600 million in tourism revenues annually, the island remains without a proper hospital, and with a clinic that only offers limited services. The tourism sector has been very vocal about the issue in the past, fearing for a bad scenario that could be catastrophic for the island’s tourism product. Equally vocal and very frustrated are the local residents, some who have witnessed a loved one die at the locked doors of the clinic, awaiting proper medical care during closed hours. Those affected are concerned that GOB and the MoH has been delaying in addressing the seriousness of the health needs of the island. But what is the hold up? Sources at the Ministry of Health say that the department is unable to attract professional workers such as doctors and nurses to come to Ambergris Caye. According to the source, the professional workers are being offered a similar salary to those that work on the mainland, without housing allowances to compensate for the high cost of living on the island. It is a deadlock having to do with a key factor – salary.

Ambergris Today

Give Her Hope Inaugural 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.

Schneider Family Makes Donation to San Pedro Community
Many visitors come to Belize for relaxation, adventure and the perfect tan. Some mingle with the locals and fall in love with Belizean lifestyle; opening their hearts to the people of this lovely country by making a heart-warming donation. This story introduces the Schneiders, a lovely couple from Canada who has been visiting Ambergris Caye for 5 years. Clif and Patty Schneider told Ambergris Today that ever since their first vacation to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, they fell in love with the island's charm and beauty, which encourage them to keep coming back. On their recent trip they decided to make it extra special by giving out donations throughout the community. The Schneiders visited the Holy Cross Anglican School and gave out 50lbs of childrens' vitamins and bibles. Their next stop was at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic where they donated a blood pressure monitor along with some bibles for the nurses. All these donations were supplied by Costco Pharmacy Medicine Alberta and Gideons Organization.

Carnival Cruise Lines Names Caribbean's Leading Tour Operator In Belize
Carnival Cruise Lines Tour Operations has selected the Leading Tour Operator for Belize. H2O-Tierra Ltd, owned by Tom and Ivette Wilson, has been chosen as the 2014 Winner for Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator in Belize. The Belize Tourism Board sent out congratulations to H2O-Tierra Ltd on this exciting achievement. Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, commented, “We are very proud of Tom and Ivette Wilson on achieving Carnival’s award for the Leading Tour Operator in Belize. They work very hard to ensure that their business is compliant and provides the best service, while providing memorable experiences to the tourists.” Mr. Wilson commented, “The Carnival award being presented to a 100% Belizean owned and operated Tour Operator is showing the industry, Belizeans can do it too.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2014 Weather, Temperatures and Rainfall for Belmopan
The top picture is Temperatures, the Heavy Red line is the 31 day, smoothed Average Maximum Temperatures, with the actual daily variations shown by the thin Red line. . . . . . The Blue lines are the Minimum night time Temperatures. . . .. The Green line is simply the Media between the Max and Min and really has no practical significance, except may well be what so may weather information show for Belize as normal Temperatures. . . . . . There is also a dotted Red and dotted Blue lines, these are the 10 year Average temperatures. . . . So you can see that this year 2014, was very close to the normal Temperatures. . . . . Fahrenheit scales on the Left, Celsius on the Right

Effective Communication Workshop
BELIZE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - January 22nd – 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Effective Communication. This workshop teaches and offers proper practice in a systematic model for effective communication. It strengthens core communications’ skills essential to managing conflict. It also improves listening skills and helps develop your talent at communicating with people from different cultures and backgrounds. • Types of Communication Verbal Non Verbal (Email/ IM etiquette) • Effective Communication skills and tools

Time Management Workshop
Jan 16 - BELIZE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - January 22nd – 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Time Management: - This workshop offers you a variety of valuable information n and procedures for effective time management. It aids you in effectively using your time and understanding the importance of prioritizing work. It provides tips and advice on how to better manage your time, deal with stress and pinpoint time wasters. • Managing time efficiently – How well do I save time? Do I throw time away? Developing time log. • Managing resources (identifying resources, maximizing use of resources) • Managing Priorities ( how to prioritize work, developing schedules and setting time sensitive deliverables • Time Management tips

Career Management and Professional Development Workshop
This workshop delivers a comprehensive overview of the fundamental skills needed to get ahead in the workplace. It covers dressing for success; building self-confidence; maintaining a positive attitude; staying motivated; communication skills; business etiquette; loyalty; confidentiality; integrity; corporate transparency; as well as personal and business conflicts. Work Ethics and Culture As Ethics are the cornerstone of any good business, this workshop identifies core values and principles for a systematic model for legal and ethical decision-making. You will also have the option to explore the “Do’s and Don’ts” according to international professional standards, A work ethic is a valuable set of values based on the idea of hard work and discipline. Building a reliable work ethic means training yourself to follow these values, so that work becomes automatic instead of a struggle.

Government of Belize Press Office

Power interruption 7:00am to 12:00 midday, Sunday, January 18, Belize City
Gabourel Lane from North Front Street to Hudson Street junctions, North Front Street from Gabourel Lane to Eyre Street, Eyre Street, Hudson Street, Fort Street, Cork Street, Dredge Street, North Park Street, South Park Street and Marine Parade from Cork Street junction to Hudson Street junction. BEL to replace utility pole carrying high voltage lines, pin insulators and grips, adjust power lines and conduct line clearing in the area.

Reggae Festival honoring The Musical Prophet Bob Marley
There will be a two days Reggae Festival honoring The Musical Prophet Bob Marley, the show will be on the 6the and 7th of February 2015, food and drinks, arts and craft, hand made jewelry will be on sale. This will be the 6th annual, Bob Marley Tribute, it will be big, don't miss it. There will be give aways too.

U.S. Embassy Belize: The Embassy is currently accepting applications for a Security Investigator position.
The Security Investigator Position conducts security background investigations and re-certifications relating to the determination of suitability for employment with the Embassy or other U.S. Government (USG) agencies; Conducts other routine security and criminal investigations; Assist in the security of the Mission and its personnel; Processes requests for fingerprints; maintains residential security files; reviews and recommends security enhancements for offices and residences; acts as a liaison with local police and security agencies, and conducts liaison at all levels of the government and throughout the community, up to and including meetings at the Ministerial level. To learn more and apply please visit this link.

Kanantik Belize Debuts and Introduces the First Model for Affordable, Sustainable Master-Planned Community Living in Coastal Southern Belize
Residences with unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea, a commitment to low-impact design, and amenities usually found only in the most exclusive luxury developments await investors at Kanantik Belize, now offered by Mango Springs Development. This first-of-its-kind master-planned community is the ideal vacation retreat or retirement destination for buyers who want to preserve the raw beauty of Belize’s diverse ecosystem while investing in a residential and golf development that offers a superior living experience — and benefit from the surging real estate market as Belize’s profile rises internationally. “In planning Kanantik Belize, we committed to creating one of the first sustainable, eco-sensitive and low-impact designs in Belize,” said Luke Chadwick, founder, Mango Springs Development. “And the result is a stunning model, where affordability intersects luxury, and ways to protect Belize’s natural resources while enjoying its immense treasures are built into daily life.” Once completed, the private 5,800-acre gated community will offer 2,800 residential home sites, with 300 beachfront condominiums served by a private concierge. In addition to being the leading model of resort-style sustainable living in Belize, Kanantik Belize will boast the only 18-hole championship golf course in the country, designed by Casey O’Callaghan, the famed Orange County, Calif. golf course designer. It is slated to open in late 2016.

Couple in viral flash mob wedding video get surprise honeymoon
First, Brian Green surprised his fiancée with a flash mob wedding. Now he's getting a surprise of his own: a free honeymoon. Green tricked his fiancé, Christina McGinnis, into wearing her would-be wedding dress for a church "photo shoot" at the Mall of Georgia on Dec. 14. Instead, she was a treated to special wedding. Thousands of people across the world saw video of the wedding, including tourism officials in Belize. They contacted Christina and helped her arrange the surprise trip. The Belize Tourism Board offered the couple a free honeymoon to the country because "Belize loves adventurous couples,"

Bahamas-Bermuda in March as 2018 World Cup qualifying starts
Just eight months after the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, the Bahamas will play Bermuda in March in one of seven pairings as qualifying starts for the 2018 tournament in Russia. The governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean held the first draw Thursday night. The other first-round pairings are Barbados-U.S. Virgin Islands; Belize-Cayman Islands; British Virgin Islands-Dominica; Curacao-Montserrat; Turks and Caicos Islands-St. Kitts and Nevis; and Nicaragua-Anguilla. Seeking its first World Cup berth since 1986, Canada opens at home against the British Virgin Islands or Dominica in the second round from June 6-16, when Cuba faces Curacao or Montserrat, Guatemala plays Bahamas or Bermuda, Puerto Rico meets Grenada and El Salvador plays the Turks and Caicos-Islands-St. Kitts and Nevis winner. Jamaica and Haiti have byes until the third round from Aug. 21-Sept. 8, and the United States joins for the start of the semifinals in November along with Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

ANGLING: Julian Humm thrilled after claiming grand slam
North Oxford Angling Society chairman Julian Humm is on cloud nine after claiming the Caribbean’s so-called elusive ‘grand slam’ on a Christmas trip to Belize. Bonefish are quite common, but Humm, from Stadhampton, also nabbed a 25lb tarpon and a 20lb permit fish to complete the fly- fishing treble. The ‘grand slam’ involves catching one each of these three fish on the same day, which is what Humm did. “I’m over the moon,” he said. “It’s the best day I’ve had in my 60 years of fishing.”

Government of Belize Press Office

Sea Cucumber season
The Fisheries Administrator hereby informs fishermen and the general public that the Sea Cucumber season will open from April 1st to May 31st , 2015. The total allowable catch limit has been set at 300,000 pounds. If the quota is realized before May 31, 2015 fishing season will be officially declared closed. Sea cucumber license holders for 2014 are reminded that failure to submit catch data to the fisheries administrator will result in nonrenewal of the license for the upcoming season. For any further information, kindly contact the Fisheries Department at 224 – 4552 or 223– 2187.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, January 16, 2015: 26

One cannot but enjoy this video from Wildtracks.
Wildtracks Video: Today we are celebrating manatees with a short video of Khaleesi...injecting some quiet manatee moments into your busy day!

Omolewa Osain Concert
Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize January 30, 2015 at 7pm

Channel 7

Cane Farmers Cave: Special Assembly Sunday, Signing Monday
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will hold another special general assembly on Sunday January 18th. This one is to undo what the last one on January fourth did. Around 5:15 this evening in Orange Walk Town, Chairman of the Committee of Management Ezequiel Cansino told the media that the Branch Directors have met and agreed that this is the Best way forward. Again, they are having this meeting to pass a resolution which will renounce the resolution they took two weeks earlier. This is so that BSI can accept the BSCFA signing unto the agreement.

PM Says BSCFA Led Astray By Extremists
If it seems like a lot of needless back and forth, it is. Because if and when the Cane Farmers sign the agreement on Monday, it will be to the very same agreement they rejected 15 days earlier. That's when the cane farmers voted overwhelmingly to reject the cane compromise agreement. Activist and Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd convinced the gathering that they could ask the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to force the Sugar Industry Control Board to declare the season open without the new agreement. After that, the Cane Farmers Association sent BSI a letter saying it had resolved to reject the agreement. Since then, much has changed in the landscape of the industry - and the cane farmers have been forced into a position where they have no option but to sign the agreement. Except that BSI's attorneys advised the company that before the BSCFA can sign, its general assembly would first have to reject its own January fourth resolution. Now, the BSCFA was hoping to work around that. It took a survey of three thousand of its members who agreed to sign the agreement as a demonstration of clear intent. But still BSI held that it wasn't enough - which made the BSCFA members feel that they were being pushed around.

Farmers Say BSI/ASR Pushing Them Around
Name calling aside, as we told you earlier, there are still farmers who resent being pushed around - and that's just what they feel BSI si doing to them. That sentiment is what drove some farmers to gather in front of the BSCFA's Orange Walk headquarters today, ready to protest in front of the Tower Hill plant. Rumors of as an impending protest reached the management of the factory owners, who took immediate steps to send home employees and prepare for a possible riot. When we arrived in Orange Walk Town, the company's security personnel, were closely monitoring the entrance. We spoke with two of the branch chairmen who said that their members were very upset: Alfredo Ortega - Director, BSCFA Orange Walk Branch "Yesterday saw in the news that BSI is signing with producers and other group that named themselves association and at this point BSCFA is a legal entity that represent the farmers. Based of those points and the letter that the BSCFA sends to BSI, informing them that they have 3,088 signatures if farmers saying yes to sign the agreement and to start the crop, then they are coming with other things. I told the chairman yesterday that he needs to step up and let them respect him, because he is the chairman of the association which legally represent the 5,300 cane farmers and no letter of resignation from one single farmer have come to the association.

CITCO Makes The Big BML Switch
Yesterday, the Belize City Council's contract with Belize Maintenance Limited, which Mayor Darrell Bradley did not approve of, officially expired. This means that the sanitation company will no longer be in charge of cleaning up the city. It also marked the day when 158 of BML's sanitation staff joined City Hall as full time employees with security of tenure and job security. As we showed you 2 weeks ago, Mayor Darrell Bradley announced that he and the council would work absorb the employees, instead of resisting it, as he had been doing. Today, those new City Hall employees participated in an all-day orientation in which they met with Bradley and other key members of the council in which they discussed their rights and obligations, given that they are to be treated as full members of staff.

KHMH Position On New Mother Mess-Up
On Tuesday we reported on the young mother - Lucia Martinez who had a cotton swab left inside her after delivering her baby at the KHMH. Her husband had to take up the role of a doctor and remove it himself. According to Lucia this could have been fatal and she plans on suing the hospital. So what is the KHMH saying? Well we asked CEO Dr. Adrian Coye and he said that certain measures are being explored to address it. Dr. Adrian Coye, CEO - KHMH "The question of a retained swab is a very serious incident and we don't take this matter very likely. So, in finding out what had happened, as in the first media report, I spoke with her directly to find out how she was, how her baby was and reassured her that we will deal with this is a very serious way internally, but we also want to make sure that she is well.

55 Year old Remanded For Child Sex Assault
55 year-old Adrian Cruz, a Honduran Security Guard, is at the Belize Central Prison Tonight, after he was taken to court for allegedly molesting a 14 year-old girl. The child and her mother went to the police station and reported that on Tuesday, January 13, Cruz allegedly touched her inappropriately on her private parts. Police investigated the child's report, and they arrested and charged Cruz with the offence of sexual assault. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, who remanded him to into custody, based on the strength of the prosecution's objections.

CCJ President in Belize
The President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Denis Byron is in Belize. He's here to address the Bar Association's 2015 Law Conference which was held today in Belize City. This morning before meetings with the Governor General and the Prime Minister - he held a press conference where he gave us the news that the CCJ plans to have a sitting in Belize:... Jules Vasquez "When will the cort sit in Belize?" Sir Denis Byron, CCJ President "I thought you would never ask that question. We have in fact, plans to sit in Belize during the course this year. We haven't even selected a month, if you ask they might tell you. Just recently notified our relevant counterparts here and arrangement will have to be put in place. They are not put in place yet. They have not made an official press announcement as yet, for that reason. But I can let you know that we are planning to do it in the first half of this year."

Bar Says Membership Unfazed By Non Compulsory Membership
Sir Denis delivered the keynote address at today's Law Conference Luncheon at the Radisson. It's an annual event where the country's legal practitioners gather to discuss pressing developments in their field. Bar President Eamon Courtenay says continuing education is a priority: Courtenay also discussed the bar membership - since it is no longer mandatory for lawyers to be a member or pay fees:..

New Judge For The CCJ
And keeping it on legal news, President Justice Dennis Byron will be joined by a new sister judge at his next sitting. She's Madame Justice Maureen Rajnauth Lee, and she was selected by the eleven-member Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission. She is a Trinidadian who was serving as a Justice of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago. Included on her long list of impressive resume is that she a member of the International Association of Women Judges. She was a member of the Steering Committee and now serves as Vice-President of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges. She is Vice-President of the Trinidad and Tobago. She was selected from a list applicants coming from the Caribbean, North America and Eastern Europe.

Caring For The Horses Carrying The Carriage
The horse and carriage is a popular Belize City tour for cruise visitors. We see them rolling by on cruise ship days carting tourists around the city. But, while the tour is a winner, many times, the horses are not: they often look much the worse for wear. Well today the BTB held a horse inspection session for 4 of the companies which operate horse and carriage tours to ensure that proper standards and regulations are being followed. Compliance officer for BTB Shola Babb says the overall health of the horses does matter.

CELL Savers For Spines
Today the KHMH received 2 Cell Saver Machines from their international partners, "Spine Overseas." Through this partnership, the Belize Spine Program began in 2010 and since then the team has conducted a number of spinal surgeries. Now, more patients will be able to benefit from this donation. A short handing over ceremony was held in the KHMH conference room and co- founder of Spine Overseas John Williams discussed how these machines will play a critical role in the improvement of patient health. Dr. John Williams, Co-Founder - Spine Overseas "It's been a thrill to see patient care and patient coming to the Karl Heusner with bad spine problems and walk out with improvement in their situation. The importance here is, when a patient needs blood after they lost blood during surgery, this way they get their own blood back. It takes stress off their blood back facilities here in the country and is the more healthy option when a patient does need blood after surgery."

Belize Company Gets Propos From Carnival
On Tuesday we reported on the exceptional performance of the cruise tourism sector this year - recording an overall 43% increase compared to 2013. Well the good news doesn't end there. The Belize Tour Operator, H2O Tierra has been chosen as the leading tour operator for the entire Caribbean. The owners of H2O Tierra, Ivette and Tom Wilson will be given a letter of commendation and a plaque. The award is part of Carnival Cruise Lines Tour Operations award program that highlights tour operators in the Caribbean with the overall best performance, best customer service, best ratings and quality.

PM Says Party's Political Future Unaffected By Sugar Strife
And so as we end the news tonight - things still aren't quite settled in the sugar industry. Two new formidable grower associations have appeared and up to this evening, they claimed to have increased their membership with a combined five hundred thousand tonnes of productions form their membership. Still, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association remains the largest growers group - and they have yet to sign a contract with BSI/ASR. Until they pass a new resolution on Sunday - it's still wait and see. It's also been a rough week for the Prime Minister who was accused of abandoning the Cane farmers Association, and leaving that venerable body to splinter. So, will the PM pay a political price for it? Today he rejected that assertion:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Ultimately, the effort to change the narrative won't succeed. We are satisfied that already those that matter, those that constitute, the silent majority, perhaps know what the truth is and so we in fact feel that when all this is over, when all the said and done, we will emerge even stronger politically in the north."

GOB Will Repair Sugar Roads
But to make good on his commitment to the cane farmers, Government has to work quickly on the sugar roads. They are an annual problem - but this year the PM pledges to spend at least two million dollars on them. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Not going to spend money on sugar roads except I know there is going to be a crop. I am pretty certain now that there will be a crop and so, we can start in fact to look urgently with the Ministry of Works, the engineers from the Ministry of Works commencing Monday at the remedial, at the repairs that must be done - try to prioritize where it is more urgent and we can disburse the money immediately. I have heard some suggestion as to government giving farmers Petro Caribe money to make up for the fair trade disbursements - that's not going to happen, It can't happen under Petro Caribe and it's not even desirable, but we will be spending, I think even more than we spent last year. Don't hold me to it. I have to examine properly the state of affairs. We will be spending robustly on sugar roads. I had already determined in my own mind that not less than 2 million dollars will be spent on sugar roads."

PM Says Imer Under Review
The government is also spending plenty on the Belize Corozal road as it passes through Orange Walk Town. But, critics say they are not getting value for money - because the first mile of the road was a fiasco - and the contractor was the Deputy Prime Minister's nephew, Imer Hernandez. Today the Prime Minister told the media it is under review:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "There was a section of the Philip Goldson Highway that was clearly not properly done. Mr. Hernandez claim that some engineer made a huge mistake and that engineer has been fired. Of course, the Ministry of Works is supervising and nobody will be paid for any work that is substandard. I think that particular problem was resolved. Remedial efforts were instituted very quickly. Any contractor appears to be incapable, then that contractor will not be able in fact to get additional government work."

Avian Influenza In Belize
The Belize Agricultural and Health Authority (BAHA) is waiting tonight for the results of some poultry samples after detecting what they believe is avian influenza at two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout. A release from BAHA says that they are on Heightened, active surveillance after poultry from 2 farms showed "very little clinical signs in the affected birds". The health authorities are collaborating to coordinate a response against this limited outbreak. BAHA advises commercial and backyard poultry farmers across the country to step their surveillance and biosecurity measures, and to notify BAHA if there is any unusual occurrence in their flocks.

Channel 5

ASR Will Not Sign With B.S.C.F.A.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference just before noon stating that government is once again intervening to save the sugar industry. Actually, it wasn’t quite as simple as [...]

PM Barrow Says He will Protect the B.S.C.F.A.
Arising from ASR’s new stance, there is some speculation that the company is seeking to punish the organization for its insubordination, so to speak. And following from that, there is [...]

All Parties Must Agree on Crop Start
Now here’s the thing. News Five has been reliably informed that if ASR/B.S.I. does open its gates to those Associations with which it has signed, farmers registered with the B.S.C.F.A. [...]

PM Lashes Out At “Extremists”
For some time now, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Prime Minister Dean Barrow have been trading insults. On Thursday, Matura-Shepherd got in her shots, stating that she found it embarrassing as [...]

Sugar Act to be Amended on Monday
And so ends our coverage of the critically complicated sugar industry tonight. On Monday there will be a sitting of the House of Representatives, where the government will push through [...]

Cop Accused of Unlawful Sex Gets Bail
A cop from Independence who has been charged for having sexual intercourse with a minor appeared before the Supreme Court today. Patrick O’Brien was charged this week and while it [...]

Avian Flu Detected in Cayo
It was confirmed today that the Avian Influenza Type A has been detected in two poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout area, Cayo District. BAHA says the outbreak is limited [...]

CCJ President Byron on Death Penalty
This afternoon, Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, was a guest at our studios for an in depth interview on the work of the CCJ; that [...]

CCJ’s Role & Function Still Largely Unknown
On February fourteenth, 2001, Belize joined Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago in signing an agreement establishing the [...]

Justice Byron Says Belize Cases Significant Regionally
Again, while he could not divulge details of pending local matters, Justice Byron says that past cases from Belize have been very significant in setting legal precedence within the Caribbean [...]

Bar Association Hosts Law Conference
‘Reforms, Rights and Remedies’ is the theme for the Bar Association’s 2015 law conference.  Following the press encounter with Justice Dennis Byron, attorneys, magistrates and legal practitioners from across the [...]

Bar Seeking Assistance in Expediting Cases
The issue of inmates who have been condemned and are awaiting execution at the Belize Central Prison remains a concern for human rights activists.  In the bar association there is [...]

Near Fatal Accident on Northern Highway
There was a near-fatal traffic mishap along the Phillip Goldson Highway sometime around four-thirty this evening when a motorcycle heading towards Belize City collided into the rear of a pickup [...]

K.H.M.H. C.E.O. Speaks On Lucia Martinez Case
The case of eighteen year old Hattieville resident Lucia Martinez is distasteful and disturbing. The young girl gave birth to her first child recently at the K.H.M.H. She claims that [...]

Investigation Has Been Concluded
Coye reiterates that corrective measures to address what could have led to the event have been implemented, and they will meet with Lucia Martinez and her family as necessary to [...]

K.H.M.H. Hosts Belize Spinal Team
The words Belize Spine Program don’t immediately ring a bell, but there are Belizeans today who would not be walking without it. It was born in 2010 out of a [...]

Spine Overseas Donates Cell Savers
Earlier we told you about the donation to the K.H.M.H. of two cell-saver machines. It’s expected that they will be used in complicated spinal surgeries. But that’s only one aspect [...]

MoE Hosts Training Workshop
Approximately thirty persons from technical and vocational high school instructors as well as personnel from ITVETs across the country were engaged in a training workshop at the Biltmore Plaza. The [...]

Ministry Addressing Human Resource Needs
The training works hand in hand with the education sector strategy of the ministry, says C.E.O. David Leacock. With major industries in the south for banana and the introduction of [...]

SJC Launches Fundraising Initiative
A fundraising initiative was launched this morning by one of the oldest and largest academic institutions in Belize. Saint John’s College is hoping to raise a significant amount of money [...]

YWCA Assisting At-Risk Youths
Another well established institution, the Young Women’s Christian Association, with the assistance of the US Embassy, is rolling out a two-year program aimed at building human resources capacity for at-risk [...]


Cane farmers say they will sign, but under duress
The reports of the demise of the sugar industry in Belize and especially that of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) appear to be greatly exaggerated, in the view of at least one senior leader of the Association. But first we bring you the comments of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who maintains that the planned signing of the Commercial Agreement between multiple parties and BSI/ASR is under protest and the case for writ of mandamus to force the SICB to open the season under consultation will not be withdrawn immediately. She looks forward to Monday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, where it is expected that the Sugar Act will be amended to pave the way for de-regularization of the BSCFA as the sole growers’ representative – but how, she points out, is still not clear.

Who represents BSCFA?
Over the past few days Branch Chairman for the Orange Walk Division Alfredo Ortega, Finance Chairman of the BSCFA Javier Keme, and Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd have been hitting the air waves to discuss matters concerning the status of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. On Thursday they took it a step further and held a press conference in partnership with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), where they spoke on behalf of the farmers of the association. But, there is a problem. According to a press release signed by the Chairman of the Association Ezequiel Cansino, they are not legally authorized to represent the interest of the BSCFA, nor have they received the managements blessing to speak on their behalf.

Cane farmers not at the end of the line
The reports of the demise of the sugar industry in Belize and especially that of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) appear to be greatly exaggerated, in the view of at least one senior leader of the Association. But first we bring you the comments of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who maintains that the planned signing of the Commercial Agreement between multiple parties and BSI/ASR is under protest and the case for writ of mandamus to force the SICB to open the season under consultation will not be withdrawn immediately. She looks forward to Monday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, where it is expected that the Sugar Act will be amended to pave the way for de-regularization of the BSCFA as the sole growers’ representative – but how, she points out, is still not clear. “We don’t know what else would be on this order, but I can assure you it is not here. What’s the implication? The implication maybe they will not pass any amendment and they will be actually listening to the people, and they might go to the industry and the stakeholders, and consult before they pass an amendment. It could be that. If thta’s it, that’s very good news.

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association also ready to sign
On the backdrop of the agreements signed this morning, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is also ready to sign, even if it is under duress. According to Ezequiel Cansino, the signing of the agreement with this new association came as a complete surprise to them, since no one has submitted any letter of resignation to the BSCFA board. “None of them have sent orders that they have resigned from BSCFA. What we are doing is trying to get with the least of cane farmers that they are representing. I personally spoke with the Chairman of the SICB that I would like to see that letter. He said that he would provide me that letter.”

Murder number four for Belize City
29 year old Pedro Aldana Ayuso is Belize City’s latest murder victim, shot dead around 7:00 Tuesday evening inside a fiberglass skiff near the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. This is murder number four for 2015. According to police, the fisherman, who resides on Oleander Street in Belize City, had dropped off a skiff at a residence in Conch Shell Bay and while traveling in his own vessel approaching the Bridge, another skiff approached from behind and the shooter inside opened fire, shooting Ayuso twice in the abdomen, before fleeing toward the Belchina Bridge.

New Associations Sign Agreement
BSI/ASR called an impromptu press briefing on Thursday, where they signed what BSI’s Belizario Carballo categorized as a historical agreement. The agreement was signed with the United Cane Farmers Association and the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association. Belizario Carballo was one of the key signatories for ASR. “Indeed it is a historic occasion. I think it marks the start of what we hope and expect to be a very productive, constructive partnership with the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association as a recognized player, new stakeholder in the sugar industry of Belize. This process, in fact, was initiated by the gentleman here to my left, Mr Wilfredo Magaña, who heads the United Cane Farmers Association, which we understand has partnered with the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association in this current initiative. Mr Magaña had, in fact, initiated the process with the United Cane Farmers Association, along with Mr Vincente Canul from Corozal, in challenging the exclusivity of the just one association at the time.”

#500029 - 01/17/15 04:38 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Death came in a skiff!
Pedro Aldana Ayuso, 29, a well-known fisherman and a father of three children, with a baby on the way, was gunned down while traveling home in a boat on the Haulover Creek near BelCan Bridge at about 7:00 Tuesday evening. His family cannot understand why. Police say that Ayuso had just dropped off a friend, the owner of the boat he was using, at Conch Shell Bay and was heading back home on the Haulover Creek, upon reaching the BelCan Bridge area, a boat came from behind and someone in the boat fired at him. Ayuso was shot in the arm and abdomen. The other boat that contained his shooter reportedly circled and travelled back towards the BelChina Bridge and disappeared.

$2.4 million heroin bust in Corozal
The Police Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) has busted four men with over $2 million dollars’ worth of heroin, which was found in a vehicle in which they were travelling. The men were busted on the outskirts of Corozal Town near a restaurant in front of which their vehicle was parked, at about 7:00 Tuesday evening. The ADU reported that they had been conducting an operation in Corozal Town and were also looking for a stolen vehicle. While driving around town to find the stolen vehicle, they passed a restaurant in the south end of town and saw a man carrying a gun, and three other men were standing near a vehicle that was parked outside the restaurant, which matched the description of the stolen vehicle they were looking for.

Cotton swab left inside woman after childbirth almost kills her
Lucia Martinez, 18, the mother of a 1-month-old baby, is lucky to be alive after a cotton swab was left in her body after childbirth at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on Friday, December 12. When the cotton was taken out by her husband about three days later, the smell was so horrible, that the whole house was filled with the stench, said Martinez, who described the odor as being similar to that of a dead rat. Martinez, who lives in Hattieville, said that three days after childbirth, she went home, but began to feel ill, and began smelling a foul odor. At first, she did not believe the foul odor was coming from her, but when she rode the passenger bus, people became offended by the smell and believed it came from her.

Breakaway cañeros sign with BSI — “radicals” cry foul!
Tensions stemming from a long-standing disagreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) continue to linger since a majority of the cane farmers have hesitantly yielded to what some have referred to as a “one-sided” deal that was brokered between the two major stakeholders in the interest of a time-sensitive crop season that has been delayed by six weeks, but mainly due to the fact that 99% of those cañeros are immersed in overwhelming financial obligations which have negatively impacted their bargaining position. As it presently stands, two cane farmers associations which broke away from the BSCFA and are now scheduled to also be registered as legitimate business partners with the factory owners, reportedly signed their own commercial agreements with BSI/ASR earlier today.

Central Belize is country’s killing zone
The latest crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department confirm that 2014 saw 24% more homicides occurring in the country than in 2013. The stats indicate that 24 more persons were killed in Belize than in 2013, when the country reported 99 murders. The final count for 2014, according to police, is 123 murders. Our mapping of the data by district demonstrates that the murders showed the same geographic pattern in 2014 as they did in 2013, with central Belize – the Belize and the Cayo Districts – reporting the vast majority of cases. The data show that consistently over the past two years, roughly 6 in 10 murders happened in the Belize District, with the second highest number of homicides occurring in the Cayo District. However, Cayo did see a reprieve in the number of slayings, with the homicide count for 2014 falling 24% over the previous year.

Attorney says the “Anti-social Behavior Order” issued against George McKenzie, Jr., is unconstitutional
A court-issued “Anti-social Behavior Order” was served on George McKenzie, Jr., 20, a resident of Majestic Alley, who is the son of the slain gang leader George “Junie Balls” McKenzie. The order, dated December 15, 2014, was signed by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and is based upon a complaint made by Senior Superintendent of Police, Alford Grinage. The order, however, has been questioned by the McKenzie family’s attorney, Kareem Musa, who has characterized it as unconstitutional. “We intend to take two legal challenges in regard to this case — namely, an application to discharge this order at the Magistrate’s Court level and a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court,” Musa told Amandala today, Wednesday.

Stubborn rumors about Norman Broaster
For the past few weeks, repeated reports from various concerned individuals in Cayo have come to this sports desk, to the effect that secret moves are afoot to convert the Norman Broaster Stadium into a parking lot. Yes, football fans, you heard right; a PARKING LOT. We also thought at first it must be a mistake, or someone running a serious joke. But the reports continued, and this morning it was repeated on the airwaves, on Positive Vibes Radio, by former Minister of Government and Mayor of San Ignacio, who was also a football star in his days, Hon. Hector Silva. Mr. Silva was beside himself in expressing his outrage at this most shocking and heartbreaking idea. Who could conceive of such a plan, and who encouraged it and gave support to it? He vowed that footballers of San Ignacio, and especially the veterans of the Avengers Football Club would never allow it. Football sacrilege is the thought that comes to our mind. The historic Norman Broaster, home of The Mighty Avengers, how dare anyone even think about it!

Cricket Corner
I say to all cricket fans, a very Happy New Year to all. I pray this year will be one of the very best years of cricket ever being played in the River Valley. Over the weekend, the AGM for the Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition was held in Bermudian Landing. The executive body that held the official posts for the last two years was dissolved, and a new body was elected to serve for the next two years. They are: Mr. Jeremy McCulloch (President); Mr. Dirk Sutherland (Vice President); Mrs. Melonie Rivers (Secretary); Mr. Peter Young (Asst. Secretary); Mr. Leroy Banner (Treasurer); Miss Daphne McFadzean (Asst. Treasurer); and Mr. Derrick Hendy (Committee Member).

Nil-nil on Wednesday
The rain held up enough during the day to make the field playable last night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan for game 1 in the best-of-2 games series for the Premier League of Belize 2014-2015 Opening Season championship. And after 90 minutes of spirited action on a heavy and still slippery pitch, with a number of close misses on both sides, it was still a nil-nil ball game. Though both teams play out of Belmopan, and Bandits owner Hon. John Saldivar is also the Minister responsible for the Police Department, there was no “pitta patta” involved in the on field combat, as emotions flared on a number occasions, requiring referee Christopher Reid to give some stern verbal cautions as well as a couple red card ejections. After a skirmish away from the play between the Bandits’ Jerome “Jarro” James and Police’s Marlon “El Matador” Meza that left Meza lying on the ground in pain for a couple minutes before getting up, both Jarro and Meza were shown red cards. The incident happened around the 73rd minute of play. Both men will be sorely missed in game 2 of the finals. Meza has been a spark plug for the Police attack, and has had a great impact coming off the bench, either scoring or assisting on goals for his team. And Jarro, despite accusations of lackluster performances during the regular season, has fared much better in scoring goals in post season.

San Ignacio based boxers score victories in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Unknown to many, a contingent of three boxers who train in San Ignacio, Cayo – Gilbert Omier Sandino, Eduardo Esquivel and Andy Dominquez – along with their trainer Frank Martinez and corner man Santiago Ku, traveled to Chetumal, Mexico on December 20 to participate in a professional boxing event that was sanctioned by the Boxing Commission of Quintana Roo, and the main event was sanctioned by the W.B.C. Upon arriving at the weigh-in a day prior to the event, due to their historic professional boxing tradition, the Mexican teams viewed us as very “light,” as they would say, “poco tiempo;” but after the events, their views of us changed due to the efforts and performance of our boxers. There were 9 professional bouts and one exhibition bout. The main event was fought by a Cuban and a Mexican for a vacant W.B.C. belt. Our fighters were the co-features on the card. Andy Dominquez fought an exhibition bout, which was a 4 rounder. Andy clearly won 3 of 4 rounds, but was given a draw against his Mexican opponent. Eduardo Esquivel fought the first official professional bout of the night at junior welterweight. He scored a knockout of his Mexican opponent in 1 minute and 20 seconds of the first round. Gilbert Omier Sandino fought the next bout at junior middleweight. Sandino scored a second round TKO of his Mexican opponent.

Orange Walk Five-A-Side results for Tuesday, January 13
As the regular season of the Orange Walk Five-A-Side tournament is coming to an end, teams are battling for playoff positions. Tonight’s Match Day #13 games were intense from the beginning, with the experienced teams keeping their composure and proving to be contenders. 1st game (Interoffice) – Centaur 2:1 BSI. Centaur came into the game looking to lock up the #3 position in the Interoffice Division; while BSI had already sealed the #2 position, but was looking to continue with their hot streak heading into the playoffs. The first goal came from Centaur’s George Rodriguez (1), but BSI’s Enrique Castillo (1) quickly tied the game. As the first half was ending, Ladrick “Mad Bull” Sheppard managed to get his shot past the BSI goalkeeper, taking the 2-1 lead into intermission. Early in second half, Centaur’s Ladrick Sheppard’s emotions got to him, earning a red card and leaving Centaur with one man less. But Centaur’s defense stepped up, and some incredible saves by goalkeeper Omar Mendez allowed them to come up with the big win.

“Self-induced duress”
In Belize, as a majority Christian nation, we say that all men are created in the image and likeness of God. We say that all men are created equal. It should be the case, therefore, that we consider an order of things wherein some men overpower and dictate to other men, as an unnatural order of things. It should then follow, if we believe in the Holy Scriptures, that we resist such an unnatural order of things, that we fight for a more just order. In the words of the late Jim Carney, S. J.: to be a Christian is to be a revolutionary. At this newspaper, we have said to you over and over again that we Belizeans began our territorial reality in this settlement of Belize as Africans and Maya who were being enslaved and crushed by Europeans – mostly British, but also Spanish. In the beginning of this settlement, then, there was an unjust, unnatural order of things, and our African and Maya ancestors fought in different ways for a more just and natural order in this Belize. It was our human right to resist injustice: it was our human duty to fight oppression.

From the Publisher
I have a friend, a Hispanic businessman, who visits me every Christmas. This has been going on for the last 35 years or more. This last Christmas, I drove him home after his visit, and spent some time at his home. My friend lives in a residential area southeast of the Municipal Airport. The houses are pretty expensive in this part of town. I think some ambassadors live out there. My friend has been married to his wife for 40 years or so. She is from Costa Rica, as was Lady Araceli Hunter, the widow of Sir Alexander “Sandy” Hunter. While my friend was visiting me last year, he mentioned that Mrs. Hunter had died and was buried. The news had been kept quiet, he said, no announcements, but even so, he said, St. Joseph Church in Belize City had been packed for her funeral services on December 1, 2014. Sir Hunter and Lady Araceli had been his neighbors to the west.

Open letter to SICB and GoB
Dear Editor, I must write on the fact that it is clear that at no time the Sugar Industry Board (SICB) has intended to act in good faith and do what the law requires it to do, that is, fix the grinding season. Sadly, when we talk about SICB, they have become synonymous with the government, although the Act says they are to be an autonomous body. This is because of the pronouncements made by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, that ASR/BSI will not open its gates until there are agreements signed. Now, effective Thursday, January 15, 2015, there are agreements signed with Producers and United Cane Farmers Association of Corozal and still, neither has SICB declared the grinding season open nor has ASR/BSI even opened its gates.

Parliament to pass changes to Sugar Act next week
Parliament is scheduled to meet early next week to pass an amendment to Belize’s sugar laws which Government sources say is intended to acknowledge new cane farmers’ associations which have emerged in the north of the country as rival groups to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) – the only association which is named in law as the representative agency of almost 5,500 cañeros. A communiqué issued by the National Assembly yesterday announced a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives that will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 19, 2015 in the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan. The amendments should next be tabled at the Senate, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, January 20. A week ago, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance told the press that Government would not rush to Parliament this Monday to pass emergency laws to facilitate splinter groups of cañeros forming new organizations, who intend to sign with the Belize Sugar Industries. At least two organizations exist apart from the BSCFA: the United Cane Farmers Association and Corozal Cane Farmers Producers Association.

Caribbean experts warn region overdue for devastating earthquake
You may not have known that earthquakes are more common in the Caribbean than tropical storms. The Seismic Research Centre reported 28 earthquakes in various Caribbean countries in 2014, including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe and Anguilla, and since 2015 began, two earthquakes have already been reported in the Caribbean: a 4.4 magnitude earthquake on January 10 in Trinidad and Tobago and a 4.0 magnitude earthquake east of Barbuda. UWI’s Seismic Research Centre warns that “…the region is capable of generating an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or larger every 3-5 years.” It said that “…we are long overdue for a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, which has 32 times more energy than the Haiti event” – a catastrophe which occurred on January 12, 2010 and is described as the most devastating Caribbean earthquake in recent history.

Professor Bain loses UWI job over Belize testimony in UNIBAM case
Professor Brendan Bain, the Jamaican medical professional who gave an expert report to the Supreme Court of Belize in the constitutional challenge to Belize’s sodomy laws, lost his bid this week to get the Supreme Court of Jamaica to extend the June 2014 injunction which barred the University of the West Indies (UWI) from proceeding to fire him from his post as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network. Since Monday, the constitutional claim, originally set for hearing for 5 days but now extended to 15 days, has been ongoing before a three-judge panel comprised of Lennox Campbell, Paulette Williams and Frank Williams. Hugh Small, QC, argued successfully against the application by Bain’s attorney, Georgia Gibson-Henlin, to have the injunction extended beyond its expiration date of January 13. It means that his termination letter of May 2014, which was barred by the June 2014 injunction granted by Justice Carol Edwards, takes full effect.

The Reporter

Spine Overseas concludes week long surgical clinic
Seven Belizeans have benefitted from having complex spinal surgery done at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital through the international organization Spine Overseas. The team from SOS conducted a week long clinic at the KHMH, where they performed two surgeries on patients with degenerated spines, four cases of spine trauma and one complex multiple pathology case. Dr. John Williams of SOS told The Reporter that SOS has had an expanding relationship with the Belize Spine Program of the KHMH for five years, and have been able to provide surgeries that would have been otherwise inaccessible to some patients. “We make trips twice a year and when we do we see patients that have been referred by Belizean physicians,” Williams said, “after we treat them surgically Dr. Javier Dupui and the rest of the KHMH staff are here caring for those patients they recover from surgery.”

Brazil: Rio announces 2016 Olympics ticket sales programme
Organisers of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics have announced details of its ticket programme for the 2016 Games. Seventy percent of tickets will be reserved for residents of Brazil, said the Rio Committee. Fans can register online now, but sales will begin in March. The first results of the draw will be announced in June. The opening ceremony for the first Olympics hosted by a South American city will be held at the Maracana stadium on 5 August 2016. Seven-point-five million tickets will be available and more than half of them will cost $27 (£18; 70 reais) or less. The cheapest tickets will cost $15 (£10; 40 reais)

Nurse’s aid from Belize accused of killing elderly man in New York
Bronx police in New York have arrested Cherylee Young, 41, a Belize-born nurse’s aide who worked at the University Nursing Home in the Bronx, and charged her with negligent homicide for the death of a 77-year-old patient. Young is accused of assaulting Frank Mercado […]

Teacher under investigation! Penalties can be harsh
Sr. Barbara Flores, General Manager of Catholic Schools in Belize, this week confirmed with this newspaper reports of a thorough investigation currently under way over an allegation of inappropriate behaviour against a male teacher at Saint Ignatius Primary School in Belize City. The Reporter […]

Young Belizean woman to receive honor from Queen
Eighteen-year-old Denielle Neal will be just one of 60 persons being recognized for her community activism and the only Belizean receiving the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Award in London, England this June. Neal, a Business Science major enrolled at the University of Belize, […]

GOB makes first payment to child who suffered permanent injury caused by doctor
The Government of Belize, through the Attorney General’s Ministry, has made its first payment to Georgia Matute, the mother of Janae Matute, 14, who suffered a permanent and debilitating birth injury due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her gestational age, causing her birth one […]

Education sector signs tripartite agreement
This week a first of its kind tripartite agreement was signed between the Ministry of Education, the University of Belize, and Bridgewater State University. The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, President of the University of Belize, Allan Slusher, and Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, President, Bridgewater State […]

Belize records 1.2 million tourist arrivals in 2014
Final tourism numbers are in for 2014 and as expected, Belize set a new record for tourist arrivals with a total of 1,207,386 visitors to the country as the prospects continue to look bright for 2015 with additional flights adding Belize to their routes. […]

New Supreme Court rules to speed up delivery of justice in Belize – Chief Justice Benjamin

The Supreme Court will enact numerous legal reforms to improve the delivery of justice this year, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin announced this week. Justice Benjamin, speaking at the commencement of the 2015 legal year, announced that areas such as criminal procedure rules, regulations for police […]

US OK with idea of visa-free Colombians

The United States says it respects the decision that Belize has taken to allow Colombians to visit the country without visas – a move that took effect at the start of this year. The US, which has long assisted countries like Belize where drug […]

VIP calls out PUP and UDP on secrecy in campaign financing

The Vision Inspired by the People (Party) has called out the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) on what it describes their hypocrisy on the issue of campaign financing reform. VIP Public Relations Officer and current San Pedro Mayoral candidate, […]

Professor Bain says pressure applied to prevent his testimony in UNIBAM case

Professor Brendan Bain, former Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network Director, whose contract was abruptly terminated after pressure from advocacy groups in Belize and the Caribbean, said he had been warned against testifying in Belize. Under cross-examination in Jamaica in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Bain said he was warned about […]


It is unjust to blame the Prime Minister for what has happened to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Mr. Barrow did not pressure the company last year into starting the grinding season without a delivery contract. That was the work of the Cane Farmers Association. Mr. Barrow did not […]

Cops seize heroin worth $10,000,000 Drugs have suspicious links to Nigeria; destined for North America

Heroin, worth more than $10 million, was confiscated during an Anti Drug Unit (ADU) operation on Monday night in Corozal Town. Four men have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking of 43 pounds of the highly addictive stuff. The men, Lennon Tillett, 30, a […]

Mom claims KHMH negligence!

Christopher Petillo and his 18 year-old common-law wife, Lucia Martinez are preparing, through an attorney, to file a law suit against the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for gross negligence that they say almost resulted in Martinez’ death after she gave birth to a baby […]

Farmers Fold and NTUCB fires up!

The future of the BSCFA is looking increasingly bleak, after ASR/BSI signed cane purchase agreements with associations who have committed to commence the delivery of cane as soon as the mill says it is ready. The factory has stated that upon receipt of guarantees of at least five hundred thousand […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Bar Association hosts law conference
The annual Law Conference of the Belize Bar Association took place today, featuring a wide variety of topics. It is a chance for local attorneys to get up to speed on critical issues affecting their profession and the wider society. President of the Bar Association Senior Counsel Eamon […]

President of the Caribbean Court of Justice on working visit to Belize
President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Sir Dennis Byron is on a working visit to Belize. He is being hosted by the Bar Association of Belize. On Thursday he met with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Opposition Leader and attorney Francis Fonseca, and was scheduled to […]

Consumers to start paying less for butane
A huge drop in butane prices was announced today by government. A press release from the Ministry of Trade announced that effective January 17, the new price structure will see Belizean consumers paying $12 less to purchase a one hundred pound cylinder of butane imported from Mexico and sold locally […]

Belize to play Cayman Islands in World Cup qualifying game
Belize will play the Cayman Islands national football team in the first leg of the qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup. 27 of member associations of CONCACAF took part in the World Cup draw for Rounds 1 and 2 today in Miami, Florida which resulted in the pairing of […]

Avian Influenza detected at a couple of farms in Spanish Lookout
A coordinated effort is now underway in the Cayo district to contain what has been described as a “limited outbreak” of Type ‘A’ Avian Influenza in poultry at two farms in Spanish Lookout. According to a press release from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, immediate steps were taken to […]

Police and community group work for safer Orange Walk
The partnership between the police and the People’s Coalition of Orange Walk is being renewed in an effort to create a safer environment for residents of the municipality. On Thursday, police officers and members of the Coalition were beating the pavement meeting and greeting residents of the community, particularly in […]

Belize City man injured in shooting incident
A Belize City man was shot in the presence of his 6 year old son. 33 year old George Matthews was walking home with his son around 7:50 pm on Thursday when he was accosted by a gunman on Lacroix Boulevard. Police say the gunman emerged from behind a fence […]

Book of maps of colonial Belize released
Book publisher Cubola Productions’ latest production is a collaboration with the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and others, written by geographer, cartographer and research Dr. Odile Hoffmann. Titled “British Honduras: The Invention of a Colonial Territory, Mapping and Spatial Knowledge in the 19th Century,” it is […]


Learning about the Queen Conch
The students were split up into groups and were told to pick a “station” where Julia and her daughter Tisane and friend Melissa had laid out all of the ingredients for 5 different dishes; Ceviche, Fritters Coconut Curry, Soup and Hudut. Thanks to Julia’s watchful eye and kitchen skills she made sure all our dishes turned out well. What a fun morning and an enjoyable group lunch tasting all our hard work. SGA is an organization seeking to improve the sustainability of Queen Conch. Believe it or not, eating them is a part of that sustainability. The SGA Intentional website has a wealth of information, including a presentation on the sustainability of the Queen Conch. Their current projects are: By-product collection (from the meat harvest) Habitat cleanup Sustainability (of the Queen Conch)

Belize Rural School Benefits from Pack-a-Pound Program!
Our Pack-a-Pound initiative gives Chaa Creek’s guests an opportunity to donate school supplies to classrooms in Belize by replacing one pound of their luggage space for materials (pens, pencils, erasers, etc.) to be donated to local schools. “As an Eco Sustainable Destination, we are always looking for ways in which we can give back to our communities. After reviewing different ideas, we identified a need for students of rural schools in western Belize, and we thought, why not design a program where our guests can not only enjoy a vacation, but also enjoy the gift of giving!? And so the Pack-a-Pound program was employed as an outreach agent, giving students the proper materials needed to flourish in a stimulating environment.” said Ms. Denise Duran, program coordinator. St. Peters Roman Catholic School in 7 Mls, El Progresso Village, Cayo District was carefully selected this time to receive the donations. Program coordinator, Denise Duran, visited the primary school along with Emil Bradley and Marketing assistant Lea Itzab to deliver the school supplies.

The January 4, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The January 11, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Omar Figeroa Wins Historic Landslide:
    On Monday, 5 January, 2015 bi-elections in Cayo North, 13 ballot boxes from two polling stations were carted over to the Center for Employment Training compound. That was the counting station for only the third divisional bi-election in Belize’s history. Voting started slow that day but when polls closed at 6:00 pm, figures say the final turnout was 4023 voters or about 61% of the registered voters - that’s in line with the divisional bi-election in Freetown in 1993 where 60% came out. And while the voters were slow to come out early on - the mass parties muscled in on the division and flooded the area with supporters from all over the country.
  • Bernadette Fernandez - One Of Four To Receive Queen’s Honors:
    Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II has been graciously pleased to make the appointments of the most exelent order Brritish Empire on the occasion of the New Year honors 2015. Four Belizeans were honored under three cathegories. There are as follows: . The honor to be a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) was granted to attorney at law Michael Young, whose award is for services rendered to the legal profession and the community. The honor to be officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) are Esther Ayuso for services to the community and women’s rights and Laura Longsworth for services to nursing and the community.
  • A Time for Everything:
    As it was mention long ago There is a time for everything And if you do the very good To you the best future bring There is a time when the very strong, also becomes the weak And everyone on this here earth is designated to a friend There is a time to listen and a time to speak When you travel anywhere every road have an end There has been times that you have failed And times that you have passed all test There is a time for you to harvest After what you have invest
  • You’re Still in Process…:
    You are not who you were yesterday, You are not who you will be tomorrow. You’re in the middle of the beautiful process of becoming. We fight that as women, don’t we? We tell ourselves we have to be it all, do it all, know it all now. We deny ourselves permission to learn. And when we can’t learn, we can’t grow. I thought about this recently as I stood in the curtain section of TJ Maxx saying these words over and over to myself: You’re learning to decorate your house. You’re learning to decorate your house.
  • Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8 Ball Tournament in Cayo - Shooters Champs!!!:
    The 2nd annual Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8 ball tournament which began six weeks ago ended on Dec 21,2014, at Link-Up Bar, in Santa Elena, Cayo. The finals was truly a grand Christmas dance as if it was a national tournament with Shooters going up against the defending champs, Link-Up, whereby it was the best of two matches, meaning two teams had to win four games to become the champ. In the first match, Shooters started shooting sharply by defeating Link-up, 2-1. For Shooters, Gilbert Luna calmly won Juan Villanueva, 4-2, and David Fernandez used his sling like when David took down Goliath as he won Jimmy Rudon also, 4-2. But, Wayne Wiltshire stepped up big time for Link-Up and won Luis Usher, 4-1, to give his team hope. So, we off to the second match, and this time it was Link-up defeating Shooters, 2-1.
  • Eighth Annual Boom to Manatee Lookout Canoe Race- January 10th:
    Its time to get the season started with the “8th Annual Boom to Manatee Lookout Canoe Race” sponsored by, Belize Global Travel Services Ltd., Joseph & Taylor Ltd, Bear Mountain Boats in Canada and Architectural Accents Ltd. The race is scheduled for Saturday, 10th January and marks the first race for the season. The race is for MEMBERS ONLY and those wishing to participate who haven't submitted their membership application can do so before the race. Also, canoes that have not been registered, you will be able to get this done before the race as well. All canoes must have on a BCAnoe Racing number. Avoid the rush come early, Race starts 10 sharp, no delays! The race will have an entry fee of $50 per team and all paddlers will receive a free BBQ at Manatee Lookout.
  • Bun Up Busted With Weed:
    A well known Santa Elena man was arrested and charged for the possession of a controlled drug. San Ignacio police were conducting their usual patrol in Santa Elena when they saw Albert “Bun Up” Myvett, 45, Belizean laborer, riding a black beach cruiser bicycle on the George Price Highway. Myvett was stopped and searched. Police reportedly found on his person, a yellow plastic bag in the front part of his pants.
  • Costa Rica Boat Accident Kills Three Elderly Tourists:
    Survivors were taken to Costa Rica's Herradura beach, in Puntarenas Three elderly tourists were killed in Costa Rica when a boat carrying more than 100 people capsized in rough seas. The victims are a British man and a Canadian and an American woman, said the Costa Rican authorities The catamaran was taking tourists unidentified woman told local television. The Pura Vida Princess was carrying 99 tourists and 10 crew when it sank some 15km (nine miles) offshore.
  • Why Do I Have So Many Issues?:
    "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 (NIV) Have you ever looked at other people and thought to yourself, "How does everyone else have it all together? And why is it I seem to have so many issues?" I understand. For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my weight and committing to a healthy lifestyle. My soul was rubbed raw from years of trying and failing. I wanted something to instantly fix my issues. I wanted to stop calling myself awful names I’d never let another person call me. I wanted to be naturally thin like my sister. I wanted to stop crying when I walked into my closet to get dressed in the morning.
  • Ayala Sentenced To Twelve Years In Jail:
    Four men and a minor were arrested for the possession of a controlled drug. On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at about 8:20 am, police conducting routine patrol in the area of Stanton Street in San Ignacio Town, noticed a suspicious male person at a garage standing by a blue plastic drum. As they approached the garage the said male person went inside the storeroom, while the others waited outside. Police then informed the group that they will be conducting a search for drugs. The men were all searched and immediately after the blue drum was searched and found to contain some loose green leafy substance which was suspected to be cannabis.
  • Insomnia:
    Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. While the term is sometimes used to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic or actigraphic evidence of disturbed sleep, this sleep disorder is often practically defined as a positive response to either of two questions: "Do you experience difficulty sleeping?" or "Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?" Insomnia is most often thought of as both a medical sign and a symptom that can accompany several sleep, medical, and psychiatric disorders characterized by a persistent difficulty falling asleep and/ or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality. Insomnia is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomnia can occur at any age, but it is particularly common in the elderly. Insomnia can be short term (up to three weeks) or long term (above 3–4 weeks); it can lead to memory problems, depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease and automobile related accidents.
  • Mexico Police Held Over Abduction Of Journalist Sanchez:
    Colleagues of Moises Sanchez think the state may have colluded in his kidnapping Thirteen municipal police officers are being held in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz over the kidnapping of a journalist on 2 January. Moises Sanchez was abducted from his home by armed men on 2 January. Mr Sanchez works for a newspaper in the city of Medellin and is known for his coverage of drugrelated violence. The arrests come amid a series of horrific disappearances and murders in which the security forces are alleged to be involved.
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International Sourcesizz

Fingerprints 'breakthrough' for wildlife crime investigators
Scientists say they have made a forensic breakthrough in the fight against wildlife crime. A team from Dundee has been able to recover fingerprints from the feathers of birds of prey, which are under threat from illegal poisoning, shooting and trapping. If the birds have been handled, the incriminating marks could help police to identify the suspect. The research is published in the journal Science and Justice. The RSPB's latest figures reveal that in 2013 there were more than 120 confirmed incidents of shooting, trapping and poisoning of birds of prey in the UK. It is a problem also seen elsewhere in Europe and in other parts of the world. But scientists say that if the dead birds have been handled, possibly when they were discarded, crucial fingerprint evidence can now be gathered. A team from the University of Abertay, in Dundee, has shown for the first time that the incriminating marks can be lifted from the birds' feathers using fluorescent powders.


Mexico, Guatemala & Belize Go Pro Hero 3, 4min.
Belize - Bocawina Zip Lining - Longest and Fastest Run, 2min. This is the one you have waited for. This is a long and fast run through the jungle and down into the clearing at the end.
Belize Zip Lining - First Run, 3min. This was the first line. The place that they give you a chance to get a feel for it before you really get into it.
Belize - Bocawina Zip Lining - Second Run, 2min. This is the second run of 8.
Horizontal Drop - Bocawina Zip Lining, 1.5min. This stage you need to drop from the tree to the floor, so why bother with stairs.
2015 Belize & Guatemala Archeological Conservancy Tour, 7min. January 4-14 2015 C. Mehrl Bennett took a few videos during the Maya Belize & Guatemala archeological tour guided by Dr. John Henderson of Cornell University, Ithaca NY. This includes some of those plus a few photos, but does not include all sites visited, nor all the activities and hotels.
Belize Tourism Board Surprises Atlanta Couple With Free Honeymoon, 1.5min. On December 14, 2014, Brian surprised his fiancee, Christina, with an amazing flash mob wedding at the Mall of Georgia. The Belize Tourism Board saw the video and was inspired to help Christina surprise her husband back... with a free honeymoon to Belize. Watch as the Belize Tourism Board, Christina, and her brother-in-law surprise Brian with the news.
River Tubing in Belize, 6min. Awesome time tubing down the river in Belize after the bumpy bus ride.
Loggerhead Turtle, Tobacco Caye, Belize, 1min. A huge, 3+ foot loggerhead turtle.
Diving Belize, 3min. Den and Jons Honeymoon.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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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
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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.
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