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#500218 - 01/22/15 05:01 AM Today's Belize News: January 22, 2015
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The San Pedro Sun

Musicians Invade La Isla – Pickin’ Parties Abound!
The Jerry Jeff Walker 2015 Campers were out in full force this afternoon, January 21st for a proper Pickin’ Party at Crazy Canucks. It was a beautiful day at the beachside bar, and many of the talented musicians took their turn at the microphone to entertain the crowd with great music. The festive mood had everyone tapping a toe or dancing to the upbeat music. Tomorrow’s Pickin Party is scheduled at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar. If you enjoy live music and partying with super fun folks, Runway Bar is the place to be!

The island prepares for “Life is a Carnival!”
February is right around the corner and with it comes the beautiful colors and musical fun of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro. This year the festivities are being held under the theme “La vida es un Carnaval – Life is a Carnival.” The San Pedro Town Council is working with various stakeholders and has many activities planned to spread through February 7th to the 18th. The activities kick off on Saturday February 7th with La Reina del Carnaval Pageant (the selection of a Carnival Queen). This will take place at the San Pedro High School starting at 7:30PM. Five ladies are competing to succeed reigning Queen Mrs. Leonor Rosado.

Meet your San Pedro Town Councilor Candidates
With the municipal elections right around the corner, The San Pedro Sun would like to take the opportunity to present the Councilor Candidates to the San Pedro Town public. As such, five questions have been issued to all candidates in an effort to learn more about them. In this issue, we feature responses from two candidates from The People’s United Party (PUP) and two candidates from The United Democratic Party (UDP).

Beachside Resort Reception Office Robbed
The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that a beachside resort south of San Pedro Town was robbed this afternoon, January 21st. According to the owner of the hotel, an unknown male individual came to their office in the morning looking for a job. The same individual returned to the office at approximately 4:30PM and presented himself as armed with a gun. The two receptionists working the front desk surrendered their cell phones and a substantial amount of cash, with included payroll and petty cash. The robber then made good his escape. The San Pedro Police were quick to respond to their emergency call, and using Global Positioning System (GPS) from the stolen phones police were able to apprehend one person. It is believed that up to three people may have been involved in the robbery.

Schneiders donate to Holy Cross Standard VI
Patty and Clif Schneider from Saskatchewan, Canada paid a visit to Holy Cross Anglican School and donated Bibles to the Standard VI students. They also brought 50 pounds of vitamins which were much needed. Many thanks to the Schneiders and to all of the wonderful volunteers and donors which made Holy Cross School what it is today and still continue to support our precious students and this school. Without you, there would not be a Holy Cross Anglican School! God bless you all.

Jhoshi Alexander Valencia to represent Belize once again
27-year-old San Pedro resident, Jhoshi Alexander Valencia is set to participate in the first installment of the Mister and Miss Culture International Pageant. Valencia will be joined by Vania Pat of San Ignacio, Cayo, where they will both represent Belize in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from February 16th to the 21st. The pageant was formerly known as the Dios and Diosa Maya International Pageant and aims to promote the regional Mayan culture. For the past two consecutive years, Belizean delegates have captured the title of Diosa Maya International: Grisel Rosseli Carballo in 2013 and Dalina Reyes in 2014. This year’s pageant will see the participation of a male and female contestant from El Salvador, USA, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica along with Belize.

On Eagles Wings Ministries Belize chapter officially launched
Miss San Pedro 2014-15 Michelle Nuñez hosted invited guests on Saturday, January 17th to the inaugural launch of the On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) Belize chapter. The celebration took place on the beach at Ramon’s Village Resort, and saw the attendance of over 100 invited guests. Director Emily Fitchpatrick describes OEWM as a way of providing hope, empowerment and a brighter future to girls who have been sexually exploited or are at high risk of exploitation. Miss San Pedro’s involvement in the project began when she accepted being a board member of the Belize chapter, and she even went so far as to create a club to provide a haven for young girls who may be going through difficulties.

Ambergris Today

Oceana Belize Calls Petroleum Dept. Proposed Policy on Offshore Drilling Weak on Data
Oceana Belize calls on the Government of Belize to create policies which protect Belizean livelihoods - In response to a document circulated to the NGO community on Monday, January 19, 2015, as the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines, Oceana Belize maintains that before any steps are taken to allow offshore exploration, the Government of Belize must ensure that tourism and fishing related jobs are protected; that an effective emergency response capacity is in place; that special places are safe from hazards and that it has provided a full, fair and public accounting, including the inherent risks involved with the oil industry, to the Belizean people.

Person of the Year – Miguel Perez Gives His All to San Pedro
When a fisherman goes fishing, he tests several spots until he locates one that he considers a really good spot. And so it was this year at Ambergris Today where we asked several persons for a recommendation of a good PERSON OF THE YEAR, and the name that shone the most among a few other stars was that of Miguel Alberto “Migs” Perez. Indeed it is an honor to write a citation for such an honorable man who might not have the Hon. Title of Minister, but he certainly touches a lot of lives in his own humble manner. We understand that even in his high school days, Miguel was the nucleus of his group leading in intelligent discussion and cooperative in his class projects. Miguel was not the acclaimed sportsman as many young men his age could be seen. However, even though he was not highly seen, he made his presence felt.

Lisandra Novelo Celebrates Her Quinceaños On Saturday, January 17, 2015, Lisandra Novelo celebrated her Quinceaños (15th Birthday) along with her friends and family at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium. She enetertained her guests with traditional and modern dances in a night full of laughter and joy. Lisandra Novelo, daughter of Vicky Pinelo and Sandro Novelo, was officially presented to society by her Godparents Miguel and Maria Elena Alamilla.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The FINAL 3 weekends of Basketball in Corozal
will end the COROZAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE season. GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE TEAMS PLAYING IN THE UPCOMING GAMES! Come out and enjoy the full and exciting action at the Andres Campos Civic Center.

It's Tapir Tuesday at the Zoo!
TBZ is very proud of our Operations Manager Celso Poot (left), who recently received his Master's degree in Zoology through Project Dragonfly. Celso focused his major studies on the impact of vehicular collisions on the tapir population along the Burrel Boom road in the Belize District. Our national animal is endangered due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and, now, death by vehicular impact. Celso's efforts resulted in the erection of "tapir crossing" road signs near the collision hotspots. This was to raise awareness about tapir presence in that area, and encourage motorists to drive carefully, especially at night! These giant, gentle herbivores tend to trundle across the road in search of food and water at night, and blend right in with the dark colour of the pavement. We have seen a positive impact on the speed of motorists in that area, and a noted decrease in tapir deaths by collisions, as well. Replicas of this wonderful signage can be seen when strolling through Tapir Town at the Zoo. Great job, Celso!

Belize Archives and Records closed Friday. Jan 30th
To undertake its bi-annual fumigation.

Freetown Division UDP candidate named
Carla Barnett will represent the UDP in the upcoming General Elections in the Freetown Division against the Leader of the Opposition, the PUP's Francis Fonseca.

Three new craft markets in Toledo
Our team traveled to Toledo today where three new craft markets were opened at the archaeological sites of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Blue Creek in the Toledo District. The infrastructural developments are the results of work being done under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (M-T-B-CAAS) project. The project which is funded under the EU supported Belize Rural Development Programme (BRDP) is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History.

Creating A Safe Space Agenda
The YWCA’s lauched its project titled, “Creating A Safe Space Agenda (CASSA)” last Friday! This project was selected as one of seven recipients of the 2014 Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Economic Support Funds (ESF). This year’s recipients received a total of US$1.5 million in CARSI ESF grants to implement programs that will address the root causes of violence and crime in Belize in a creative and effective way and seek to create positive cultural and social conditions.

The Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the House of Representatives on the 19th January 2015 and by the Senate on the 20th January, 2015, has been assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. The main object of this Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. It will no longer be compulsory for a cane farmer to belong to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association or any other association. The membership of an association shall be entirely voluntary.

Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Clarifies Press Release on Petroleum Exploration Zones and Guidelines
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) notes with regret a recent press release by Oceana criticizing the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines prepared by the Geology and Petroleum Department. Oceana incorrectly asserted that the zonation plan and framework were shared with the NGO community on January 19th, 2015, when in fact this was the Ministry’s second attempt to solicit feedback from the NGO community on the revised zonation plan and exploration guidelines. In September 2014, the Geology and Petroleum Department (GPD) shared the zonation plan and framework with 13 stakeholder groups, inclusive of Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, APAMO and other public and private sector entities. Subsequently, the GPD received feedback only from APAMO, the CZMAI, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and one petroleum company.

World Heritage Centre Mission
The Belize Fisheries Department through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development hereby informs the general public that the World Heritage Centre (WHC) in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is on a mission to Belize during the week of January 19-23, 2015. The objective of the mission is to provide technical assistance for the design of a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

NICH Annual Planning and Evaluation Retreat
under the theme ...."Thinking Strategically about NICH development Niche in Belize"!

Channel 7

Daly's Death A Mystery
Last night we told you about Emerson Daly Jr., a 24 year-old resident of Roaring Creek missing, and feared dead. Well at around 8 this morning, His family made the discovery they had been dreading: they found his body floating in the Belize River, about a mile and a half east of his home village. The well-known handy man had been shot to the head, and his killer or killers, then dumped him in the river. Our news team was out there a few hours after he was found, and Daniel Ortiz reports:

UDP Present Dr. Carla, The Candidate To Take On Francis In Freetown
We told you about it last night, and today, the UDP made it official: Dr. Carla Barnett is the party’s new candidate in the Freetown Division. The 56 year old who grew up in the Freetown Division as a policeman’s daughter, is one of the most qualified persons in public life. She holds a Masters degree in economics and a Ph. D in social science; she’s served as the Deputy Secretary General of CARICOM and the Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank – and that’s only the start of a long list of senior postings and accomplishments. Indeed, an impressive resume – but all that doesn’t count for much out on the streets where voters want a candidate who delivers goofs, services and, yes, political patronage. So how will Carla Barnett, the academic and administrator navigate that taxing and treacherous environment – and, moreover, how will she do it against the leader of the opposition? We had the tough questions for her today at a press conference to launch her candidacy. It was held at the UDP Headquarters in Belize city with an unusual level of hype and fanfare – we were there to find out why:….

Deon and Darrell Make Up
On Monday, we told you how Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley had stripped two-term councilor Deon Leslie of his sanitation portfolio with just weeks left in the council’s term. The portfolio was re-assigned to BQ Pitts Jr and Phillip Willoughby. But, since then, things have changed again. The Prime Minister today told us that from what he’s heard – the portfolio has been re-assigned to Leslie. We asked Leslie about it at today’s UDP Press conference where he refused to comment on camera – and only told us that all is well between he and the Mayo

The Law Straightening Sugar
On Monday we had extensive coverage of the end of the sugar standoff when BSI finally signed with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, or the BSCFA. Also on that day, the government took the Sugar Industry Amendment Bill to the House of Representatives to make legal provisions for all the smaller farming associations and reaping groups which have emerged in wake of the splintered BSCFA. Well, with uncommon speed, that Amendment Bill is now a new law known as the Sugar Industry Amendment Act of January 2015. After a senate meeting in which it did receive social partner support, Governor General Sir Colville Young assented to the law yesterday, and the process for its passage is now completed.

Buckley, 100K Later, Busted and Disgusted With GOB
Tonight Steven Buckley is broke – and he wants the government to pay up the remainder of his compensation money. Yesterday Buckley showed up in Court for his case against the government of Belize after he was wrongfully shot in the head in 2010 by a police officer on duty. The case has been adjourned until next month – and Buckley say he is getting frustrated because he is broke and cannot work to provide for his family. You will recall that police shot Buckley in the head for no reason in 2010 – and in August of 2013, Government paid him a preliminary figure of a hundred thousand dollars – with the rest of his money to be settled in court. But in the 17 months since then, he explained to 7news that he has been paying the bills and taking care of his family and is now down to nothing.

Under Audrey, CWU Membership Increased
In December of 2013, Audrey Matura Shepherd took over the helm of the Christian Workers Union. That’s after a push from the Stevedores who more or less forced President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary James McFoy out of the union headquarters. Since then, we’ve seen Matura Shepherd in many other milieus, but not very often in the on the frontlines for the CWU. But, today she held a press conference to give a sort of state of her union address. She told the media that the last 13 months have been challenging – mainly because she took over union head office with no records:… Audrey Matura-Shepherd - President, CWU "It was amazing after one decade of not having any election at this union, what we inherited. What we inherited was an office with very limited records of it's members and work, with no workable equipment and it's account being empty and being in debt. We could not believe what was happening. They actually had to go back to the institutions, to the employers and ask them to help us with certain records and literally the executive members come in here extra days and sometimes weekends to input that record, so we build back our own records. Sadly, some records we'll never get back."

Bureau Of Standards Moving On Up
For years the Bureau of standards has struggled to meet international standards on measurements. Presently, the department can only operate using scales that measure fuel, sugar and products shelved in supermarkets. But, work on a new Metrology laboratory has commenced in Belmopan. A ground breaking ceremony was held yesterday at the Ministry of Works compound in Belmopan. This new laboratory will include equipment to measure mass, volume, temperature and pressure. Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras discussed how important this lab will be for the economy.

Angry About Oil Exploration
Last night we told you about the Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines. The 32 page document has been the subject of heavy criticism from Oceana and COLA – both sounding the alarm on what they believe is a lack of proper emergency planning and management of oil operations to ensure the protection of Belize’s ecosystems. The document is only a draft but these organisations are putting pressure on the government to make a critical changes. Today another organisation spoke out against the document. That is the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage. Executive Director, Tanya Williams, came to our studios to discuss the implications the approval of this document may have on the economy and environment.

Aragon Unfazed By Large PUP Numbers
Earlier on in the news we talked about how difficult and rare it is to beat a leader of the opposition in his constituency. Well, that pretty much holds true for any opposition representative. History shows that very few have been beaten – and that’s because with little or no resources – it’s very hard for them to let down their voters. But in Orange Walk East – where the elected PUP Representative Marco Tulio Mendez has indicated that he’s not going to run again – the UDP Standard Bearer Elodio Aragon Jr does have a chance. But, on Sunday the PUP had a strong turnout at its convention to replace Tulio Mendez. Still, Aragon says he is unfazed:…

Craft Markets At 3 Mayan Sites
Under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites project, first time craft vendors will now be able to sell their wares at 3 of the 9 archaeological sites in Belize. These new sites include Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek, all in the Toledo District. The infrastructural developments necessary to place these craft vendors was made possible through the European Union, which is funding the Belize Rural Development Program. The entire project is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and NICH, and the finished structures were handed over. Also, the program allowed for 250 feet of gravel trail to be built at Nim Li Punit. At Lubantun, a concrete and gravel stairway with safety rails was also constructed. At all 3 sites, funding from the program allowed for warning and notice signs, benches, and rest areas.

Weed In Conch Shell, Again
The GSU made another bust yesterday near the Conch Shell Bay area – which is a main trafficking area for marijuana. Officers spotted 25 year old Cassian Young walking down Vernon street from the direction of East Collet Canal. He was holding a transparent bag and when he saw the GSU he threw the bag down and attempted to run away. But he was caught shortly after and taken to the area where he threw the bag. Inside the bag officers found 436 grams of weed or 15 ounces. Young was arrested and charged with the offense of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply another.

Norman Broaster A Stadium Still, Not A Parking Lot
The Norman Broaster stadium in downtown San Ignacio sits right next to the increasingly popular Cayo Welcome Center. And there’s been talk that Norman Broaster could become a parking lot in the transformed downtown area. Well, today the sports council sent out a press release saying that the Norman Broaster Stadium located in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, which is owned by the Government of Belize and administered by the National Sports Council (NSC) has not been designated or approved to be used as a parking lot despite rumours to the contrary in the media.

Channel 5

Emerson Daly’s Body Found in the River
A search for Emerson Daly, a Roaring Creek resident, concluded this morning when his body was pulled out from the river behind Banana Bank in the Cow Run area. The [...]

Dr. Carla Barnett Endorsed as U.D.P. Freetown Candidate
With much pomp and ceremony, this morning the United Democratic Party announced its new choice for the Freetown constituency, replacing caretaker Lee Mark Chang. Doctor Carla Barnett has worked under [...]

Barnett to Take On Francis Fonseca
As we mentioned, Barnett will be butting heads against a seasoned politician, a three-time winner in Freetown, a former Minister of Education and Attorney- General as well as the leader [...]

Barnett Joins Beverly Castillo on the U.D.P. Slate
Currently, there are only two women in the House of Representatives on the U.D.P. side. Both of them were brought in through the Senate, and not elected. The U.D.P. doesn’t [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd Defends Her First Year as CWU President
Today, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, flanked by the executive of the Christian Workers Union, called a press conference to give a status report after one year as President. Matura-Shepherd has come under [...]

An Update on the Collective Bargaining Agreements of the CWU Members
Matura-Shepherd provided an update on the status of collective bargaining agreements with all entities whose workers are represented by the Christian Workers Union, including the Belize Port Authority and the [...]

G.O.B. Clarifies Petroleum Exploration Zones
On Tuesday we told you about OCEANA’s position on the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines prepared by the Geology and Petroleum Department. Today, the Ministry of Energy, Science [...]

Former UB Student Convicted of Forgery
Kenroy Young, a former UB student, was convicted of Forgery. Young was accused of cashing over ten thousand dollars in cheques from Regent Insurance Co. Ltd., where he worked.  He [...]

Mother and Daughter Arraigned for Possession of Controlled Drug
Also in court this morning, a forty-eight year old mother and her thirty year old daughter, both employed as school wardens in Belize City, were arraigned on a charge of [...]

Aragon Versus Carballo – Who Will Win Orange Walk East?
The P.U.P. convention for the Orange Walk East division was held over the weekend, and when the votes were counted, Josue Carballo had edged out Dave Burgos by twelve votes. [...]

Amended Sugar Act is Now Law
The amended Sugar Industry Act which was rammed through the House of Representatives on Monday, ratified by the Senate on Tuesday and penned into law. With that formality out of [...]

Stakeholders Meet on Thursday to Decide the Start of the Crop
Senator Shoman made the point that the amendments to the Sugar Act will hurt the farmers and benefit the miller, American Sugar Refinery/Belize Sugar Industries. But Senator for Government Business, [...]

32 Officers Become Instructors of GREAT Program
A group of police officers have successfully completed an intensive eight day training program. It is part of the community policy strategy of the police department that is carried out [...]

Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Metrology Lab
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in the Capital on Tuesday evening for new Belize Bureau of Standards Metrology Laboratory. The building, which will be constructed by the Ministry of Works, [...]

#500219 - 01/22/15 05:01 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 22, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Medical Teams Arrive In Belize To Offer Free Clinics
Two medical teams hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio are scheduled to hold clinics, surgeries and screenings to ailing residents of Orange Walk Town and neighbouring villages. The first group, Partners for Belize, is expected to arrive in Belize end of January and Coordinator of the mission Teams, Nurse Lupe Ack says an array of professionals in Ear, Nose, throat and dental health will provide the free service. “The first team consist of about 40 persons they will be doing E.N.T.S’s(ears, nose and throats) we will be having dental and hand surgery, also we will be doing village clinics at four villages.”

EU Upgrades Archaeological Sites
Visitors to three southern Belize archaeological sites will have better access to newly improved and enhanced commodities at the sites. A release from the European Union states that for the first time craft vendors at three of the nine archaeological sites in Belize, namely Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Blue Creek can display their products at these designated areas. The infrastructural developments are the results of work being done under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (M-T-B-CAAS) project. The project which is funded under the EU supported Belize Rural Development Programme (BRDP) is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History.

Davd Vega Hits The Campaign Trail
With just 43 days more to go for Municipal Elections, candidates vying for a spot at the various municipalities across the country are out in full swing, campaigning around the clock. In Corozal Town, David “Dido” Vega, from the People’s United Party, is aspiring for the Mayoral seat. Today reporter Victor Castillo caught up with Vega on the campaign trail who beamed with confidence as he claimed victory. “I am confident that on March 4th the people will make a change and they will vote for a new dynamic town council which will be represented by myself as Mayor, and the rest of the councilors, I have no doubt the people are yearning for a change and that will serve the needs of all, I want to say for the record that this government is about UDP’s first, Belizean second and PUP last but I want to remind the people that there is a time for politics, there is time for debate there is time to be critical but after elections are finished we must represent all Belizeans more importantly in my case we must represent all people from Corozal town.”

Sugar Act Passes Into Law
Even with strong opposition and stern criticism from the opposition People’s United Party, the government proceeded to amend the Sugar Industry Act in the House of Representatives on January 19th and in the Senate the day after. Today the government informed the public that, that bill, was assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. As explained by the Prime Minister, the Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. This means that sugar cane farmers will choose freely whether to join an association or not. It also clears the way for the formation of any association and the Sugar Industry Control Board now has full power to register these associations. The manufacturers will also be free to accept cane from any association or from individual cane farmers or groups of cane farmers.

Dido Vega Speaks On Missing Funds At Corozal Town Hall
To date we are yet to find out if the Corozal Town Council’s revenue manager has made any payment to the council towards some $13,495.00 that went missing from the council’s coffers at the beginning of 2014. While we tried to get an update on the situation last week, the Town Administrator Estela Castillo was unable to take our calls because she was quote unquote “Busy” and would get back to us which she never did. The last time Mayor Hilberto Campos spoke about the missing funds he stated that the former revenue manager had signed an affidavit confessing that he was practically involved in the outcome of the investigation. According to the Mayor the former manager also committed to pay back the council despite him being abroad. The next move for the council was to meet and decided if the matter would be handed over to the authorities for prosecution or if they would permit the former manager to pay back the council. The last time we checked with authorities the case had not been handed over to them. So, either the former manager has begun paying the council, something which we have been unable to confirm or the fact that $13,495.00 of tax payers’ money went missing from the council was simply placed under the rug.

Orange Walk's Very Own Receives Prestigious Scholarship
Congratulations are in order for Orange Walk resident, Khendis Ellis. A release from the National Association for Developmental Education recently awarded Grambling State University’s own Rudolph Ellis, a graduate student from Belize, a scholarship to complete his Developmental Education with Concentration in Curriculum and instructional design. This scholarship is in honour of the late Dr. William G. White Jr. who is remembered for his lifetime of hard work and dedication to prepare students to further their ranks in his or hers’ education. White was a former professor at Grambling State University and he had a great influence on the students.

UDP Selects Dr. Carla Barnett For Freetown Pending Convention
The ruling United Democratic Party hosted a press conference this morning in Belize City where Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that Dr. Carla Barnett is the candidate in waiting for the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the Freetown Division. Pending a convention, which the Prime Minister says he hopes will be an endorsement, Dr. Barnett will face off against the Honourable Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca in the next General Elections slated for 2017.

SCPC Meet To Plan Crop 2014/2015 With Multiple Associations
After close to two months of delay, the 2014/2015 crop season is just days away from opening. Testament to that statement is the fact that the Sugar Cane Production Committee met today to commence planning for the upcoming crop. This year, for the first time in the history of the Sugar Industry, the SCPC will be working with more than one association of cane farmers. There were no major decisions taken in today’s meeting but all stakeholders present discussed the cane quality program that the SCPC seeks to implement this crop.


G.R.E.A.T Graduation; Will Gang Recruitment Be Reduced?
A week ago we told you about a group of thirty-six police officers from throughout the country who embarked on two week training course in the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (G.R.E.A.T). Officials from the International Police Trainers in the United States of America, facilitated the two weeks training program. Today marked the closing of the program and Love News was present at the graduation ceremony. Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, spoke of the training the officers received. “Today the officers have completed 80 hours of intense training which no doubt was filled with intense challenges. This training required classroom participation, included the officers conducting research as well as being involved in preparing written and oral presentations in order to enhance and improve their presentation skills whenever they undertake these training in the various schools.

Ground Breaking Ceremony For BBS in The Capital
Yesterday, the construction of the Belize Bureau of Standards’ New Meteorology Laboratory began. A special ground breaking ceremony was held in Belmopan at the Ministry of Works Compound. It is expected that laboratory will expand the BBS Meteorology Services. The laboratory will feature various magnitudes in Meteorology covering grand mass, fine mass, volume, temperature, pressure and dimensional. The installation of the laboratory will allow the BBS to now develop Industrial and Scientific Meteorology across various magnitudes. At the ceremony, Minister of Trade Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Erwin Contreras, gave the keynote address.

Is The Deputy Mayor Striped of His Portfolio?
The social media has become a forum where many news stories emerge. Recently, there was a posting that had raised curiosity about the happenings within City Hall. The posting had indicated some rift between the Mayor Darrell Bradley and former Deputy Mayor, Dion Leslie that had led to Leslie being stripped of his portfolio. Today, after much pleading, we got Leslie to comment on the matter, albeit a brief response. Here is how that went today. DEPUTY MAYOR, DION LESLIE “All is perfect. All is well. Me and the mayor campaigned yesterday, today we are having meetings, everything is perfect in city hall.” RENEE TRUJILLO “So there was no truth to you being stripped of your portfolio.” DEPUTY MAYOR, DION LESLIE “Nothing. We’re good.”

UDP Candidacy; Will There Be Change in Freetown Division?
Having four thousand one hundred and sixty one registered voters in the Freetown Division in Belize City, Dr. Carla Barnett has threw in her hat in the political arena to go head to head with the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca. The area has been a blue territory through ten general elections with a notably slim victory margin in 2008 when Fonseca was almost thrown out by newcomer, Michael Peyrefitte; holding on to the division with a mere 16 votes. Today the United Democratic Party held a press conference to announce Dr Barnett’s candidacy for the area and in a presentation done by the Party Leader, himself, Dean Barrow, the delivery of a swing against the opposition party was expected if not inevitable as Barrow praised Barnett’s talents and experiences.


Body of Missing Roaring Creek man found with multiple stab wounds
The search for 24 year old Emerson Daly, from the Village of Roaring Creek, came to a tragic end when his lifeless body was found floating on the Belize River, approximately one and half miles in an easterly direction from the Roaring Creek Village. According to reports, on Sunday January 18th, Emerson left his house in Roaring Creek village in his uncle’s blue Nissan pathfinder enroute to Belmopan. Accompanying him was another man, whom the family could not identify. What happened after that is what CIB personnel are still trying to determine. After failing to arrive home that same night and the following morning, Emerson’s mother filed a missing person’s report on Tuesday January 20th., which launched the police into investigation.

New Business Senator Sworn In
On Wednesday the Senate members met at the National Assembly ihn Belmopan and passed a bill to amend the Sugar Act, in conformity with a Consent Order issued in 2010. While the passing of the bill was the main highlight of the day, it is also worth mentioning that at Wednesday’s Senate Meeting a new Senator was sworn in. David Guttierez, the current Market and Communications Manager for Belize Natural Energy (BNE), recited the Senator’s Oath as the new Senator for Private Business.

US Fugitive Captured In Dangriga
A US fugitive was captured in Dangriga. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent “54 year old U.S. national, Robert Andrew Ragin, is wanted by the United States Marshalls Service, to answer sexual offences charges. A warrant was issued for his arreston August 12, 2014. Regin is wanted by U.S. authorities to answer charges on twelve counts on promoting sexual performance by a child.. According to reports, while Ragin was living in the state of Florida, he was found with pornographic videos of minors, and before he could have been arrested, he fled the country to Belize. Regin, who has property in Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District, has been living in the said community for six months. Moreover, officers from Special Branch (CIB) and other uniformed Police Officers captured Ragin last Friday, at about 2:30 p.m. here in Dangriga. Regin was also charged for immigration offences, and was taken to the Dangriga Magistrates Court on Monday 19th., where he was issued a removal order for his extradition.”

PM and Minister deny involvement in Nuri Muhammad’s release from Love FM
On Sunday, on Krem’s Sunday Review, Love FM’s talk show host, Nuri Muhammad was a guest and mentioned that he was no longer a host of the Love FM talk show, because two Ministers of Government were to be guests on the Love FM show, but Government demanded that Nuri be removed as a talk show host if the Ministers were to make an appearance on the show. After Monday’s House Meeting in Belmopan, the Prime Minister was asked about Nuri’s allegation, and whether there was any truth to the matter. “That’s not true. Unless somebody else would have done that sort of thing. I know that’s so, because I didn’t do any such thing. [I] certainly did not ask for Mr Muhammad to be pulled from hosting the show. No, the two Ministers in particular, who were the guests that morning, are more than equal to Mr Muhammad, so that would have been pointless. It really would have been counterproductive. What does he claim, that Government asked that he be removed?

Brothers charged for BDF soldier’s murder
Two brothers, 38 year old Orlando Staine and 41 year old Phil Staine, were charged with the murder of 22 year old BDF private Denver Villafranco, when they appeared on Tuesday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They were remanded into custody until February 25. The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 17. According to reports, Denver Villafranco was attacked by 4 men while he was at the corner Sunflower Street and Complex Lane in Belize City, about 150 yards from his home. Private Villafranco was hit on his head with a crowbar, his abdomen was slashed with a knife, he received multiple stab wounds to his chest, and he was punched and left lying in a drain.

Josue Carballo is new PUP standard bearer for Orange Walk East
The PUP held a convention in the Orange Walk East constituency on Sunday, to choose a candidate to replace Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez. Dr,. Mendez is the current Area Representative of Orange Walk East, but will not be seeking another term due to health reasons. Vying for the Standard Bearer position for the next general election were newcomer Josue Carballo, and former two term area representative David Burgos. 2,151 persons turned out for voting in the convention, but in the end the newcomer won by a slim margin of 14 votes. In total, Josue Carballo received 1,069 votes, while David Burgos received 1,055 of the votes.

Senate Discusses Sugar Bill
As reported the amendment bill was rammed through the House of Representatives on Monday, while the opposition cried that not enough time was given for proper consultation. On Tuesday the bill was passed in the Senate in like fashion, where during the debate of the bill, Senators raised some similar points that we have noticed. First, Senator Lisa Shoman spoke about the structure of the Sugar Industry Control Board, which seems to be skewed in favour of Government Ministers. “I don’t know why semantic games are played. I really wish we had just come out and called this thing ‘The Sugar Minister Control Board,’ because that’s what it really will end up being. This thing already had a balance that was too skewed in favour of Ministers and Ministers’ power, and this is, Mr President, in complete contravention of what is the modern reality, which is decentralization of Government power on private industry. On the one hand this Government trumpets that it’s for private industry, private investment, partnership with the private sector, letting people run their own business, and on the second hand it seeks to control it by giving more Ministerial power.” Senator Godwin Hulse – Government Business “First of all it was two for the millers, two for the association. It’s gone up to three for the millers and three for the association. So that is first of all wrong. It still keeps the balance and the equity. In addition to that, we have to understand that Government has a responsibility to govern. When you get dischord or you can’t get agreement, Government steps in, but Government steps in as an equitable partner in the growth process. That is what Governments do.

Patrick JonesPJ

Dr. Carla Barnett announces candidacy for UDP in Freetown division
After a long career in the Public Service of Belize and work in the Caribbean region, reaching the rank of vice-president at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Carla Barnett is entering electoral politics. The native of the fishing village of Sarteneja, Corozal District and resident of Freetown today announced her candidacy in the Freetown division, which is currently held by Leader of the parliamentary Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca.

CWU executive report on successful first year
In December of 2013 president of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy stood down after calls by workers to answer to charges of poor performance and mismanagement in their time on the job. The Union’s membership elected a new executive headed by Audrey Matura-Shepherd, a newly-minted attorney who came to the post with no labour experience. But what a difference a year makes, as the Union has turned around its performance and collected several victories on behalf of its membership, which has swelled to over 1,000 in various establishments around the country from Orange Walk to Stann Creek.

Body of Roaring Creek man found
The search Emerson Daly, 24, the Roaring Creek man who has been missing since Sunday has ended. Daly’s body was found this morning in the river about a mile away from the Banana Bank Resort. Reports are that the family has identified the body and arrangements are now being made to retrieve it from the water.


Belize Tourism 2014: A Very Good Year!
The data is in and, as expected, 2014 was as record breaking year for Belize, with 1,207,386 tourist arrivals recorded by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Last year also saw Belize break the long sought after but heretofore elusive figure of 300,000 overnight visitors, a tourism goal akin to a runner breaking the four minute mile, with the BTB figures showing a record 321,220 overnight visitors. This represents a very impressive 9.2 percent increase from the year before. And, with new flights from a growing number of destinations continually being added to the travel roster, the future continues to look bright for “the little country that could”.

By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. If you study the trend You will understand that it is our patrimony we fi defend PUDP di protect fi deh ends They are extraordinary Belizeans, selling out their citizens and friends Unu still think unu and the US Southern Command are your friends? The power elite specialized in divide and conquer The easiest trick is to use the political divider Restricting individual property rights and hiding under the law Their interpretation of their parliamentary rights is truly flawed Ensuring that GOB is the common denominator To date we have a PUP and a UDP Bench and Bar To date we have a PUP and a UDP Police Association To date we have a PUP and a UDP Alcalde Association To date we have a PUP and a UDP Citrus Growers Association To date we have a PUP and a UDP Cane Farmer Association Before them it was BML workers Before them it was the Teacher union

The cheapest way to get to Belize
Flights to Belize aren’t cheap but if you’re traveling from the US or Canada there is an option that will save you some money. What you must do is fly into Cancun, Mexico and catch the overnight ADO Bus to Belize City. It is also possible to rent a car at the airport (don’t forget to get vehicle documents to cross the border) or hire a private transfer but at $616 pesos/ $48 USD, the bus is so much more economical. When I went in December 2014, with $200 I flew from Toronto to Cancun on Air Canada and when it was time to come back, I had to pay $605 from Belize City to Toronto with a 5 hour delay in Atlanta. As you can see there’s a huge difference. I’ve flown into Cancun a few times and usually take a bus to Playa del Carmen and spend a couple days there before heading to Belize but this time I decided not to take the regular detour because I wanted to be in San Ignacio for Christmas.

21 Jaw Dropping Hotels Around Belize
Belize has many incredible jaw dropping hotels that you should make plans to visit. Listed below are 21 of these hotels:

Some tropical pictures to lighten the winter!
Look, I don't want to be smug, but it has been GORGEOUS here recently. The weather has cleared up, it has been really warm and comfortable, and the beach and water have been pretty sea grass free!! So why not a positive post with a few pictures? OK! Let's start with a real stunner, I stole this from Lee Nyhus :)...this was taken from Tipsy Tuna today, they built a new second story eating area overlooking the beach...if this doesn't cause you to make your plane reservations I don't know what will!! Although I have spent 90% of my days in the last two weeks painting/urethaning/cleaning/etc the casita, to get it ready for its first guests....Sue and Sharon showed up this past sunny Friday and convinced me to go to the Mariposa pool with them....look how upset I look!

International Sourcesizz

'Unseen Cuba': Aerial island portrait book was hard to get off ground
Even with restrictions lifting on U.S. travel to Cuba, few of us will ever see the island from the vantage point of Lithuanian photographer Marius Jovaisa. But we can look at his pictures — and marvel. Jovaisa is the first and only artist to receive permission from the Cuban government to fly over the country and photograph it. His work is collected in Unseen Cuba, published in the fall. “I put a lot of my heart into this project,” said the photographer of four other large-format books, Unseen Lithuania, Magic Cancun & Riviera Maya, Heavenly Yucatan and Heavenly Belize. “I hope to evoke the feeling I did in my home country. People just don’t have an opportunity to see things from this angle.”

Last Year America Sent Special Ops Forces Into Almost 70% of the Countries in the World
In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight. It was the second time in two weeks that elite US Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed. In March, members of Marine Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 took part in maneuvers aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens as part of Multi-Sail 2014, an annual exercise designed to support "security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region." That same month, elite soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines took part in a training exercise code-named Fused Response with members of the Belizean military. "Exercises like this build rapport and bonds between US forces and Belize," said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Heber Toro of Special Operations Command South afterward.

Photographer's 'Unseen Cuba' gives a rare view of the island
Even with restrictions lifting on U.S. travel to Cuba, few of us will ever see the island from the vantage point of Lithuanian photographer Marius Jovaisa. But we can look at his pictures - and marvel. Jovaisa is the first and only artist to receive permission from the Cuban government to fly over the country and photograph it. His work is collected in "Unseen Cuba" (Unseen Pictures, $99.95). "I put a lot of my heart into this project," says the photographer of four other large-format books, "Unseen Lithuania," "Magic Cancun & Riviera Maya," "Heavenly Yucatan" and "Heavenly Belize." "I hope to evoke the feeling I did in my home country. People just don't have an opportunity to see things from this angle." Shot from an ultralight craft, with stunning aerial views of the island from Cabo de San Antonio on the western tip to Baracoa in the east, "Unseen Cuba" is the culmination of almost five grueling years of Jovaisa's life. He came up with the idea after the success of "Unseen Lithuania," which sold 70,000 copies in a country of less than three million people.

UWI vice-chancellor admits being pressured into firing Bain
THE University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice-Chancellor Nigel Harris yesterday testified that his termination of Professor Brendan Bain as director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) was the first time he had fired anyone and that he never meant to cause the professor any embarrassment. Harris said he never meant to make Bain's termination public, but that it was already in the news that he would be firing Bain, even before he completed the letter of termination which he issued Bain on May 20, 2014.

MOOCs and meetups together make for better learning
Local meet-ups organized by Arjan and other partners around the world had a significant impact on the learning experience of Beyond Silicon Valley MOOC students in these communities. These grass-roots gatherings gave students the same opportunity to learn from one another as in a traditional classroom, as Jeff Wofford, the Facility Manager at the United States Embassy in Belmopan, Belize who facilitated MOOC-inspired meet-ups in Belize, experienced. “Students here gained a lot of insight by taking the time to sit and discuss the lessons in person,” Wofford noted. “We had a nice cross-section of attendees, from University of Belize students to Belizeans who had owned and operated businesses for decades. In several instances, a comment made by one of the students lead to one of those great ‘a-ha!’ moments with another student, and the exchanges went both ways.”

Church honors Lindsay for service
Elder Emeritus Joseph Lindsay was recently recognized with a special gathering of family and friends at First Christian church (Disciples of Christ) in Slidell. “Dr. Joe,” as he is known, was honored in his faith journey as a leader in the congregation for 50 years. Lindsay is a co-founder and leader of the Dos Amigos Medical and Dental Mission that has traveled to Belize for more than 26 years.


Study Abroad: Belize 2015, 3min. Shout out to everyone who helped make this trip happen. It was a great two weeks in paradise filled with spectacular memories!
Take-Off Placencia, Belize, Cessna Caravan, 3min.
Antillean Manatee face extinction, 5min. Protecting the environment and wildlife has never been as important as it is today across the world. The balance of nature may literally be hanging by the thread as human continue mass developments on land and sea. Here in Belize, the struggle is ever present and one fight involves saving manatees. Belize is home to one of four existing species of manatees, the Antillean Manatee, a sub species of the West Indian Manatee. More than that, Belize is home to the largest number of Antillean Manatee but even so, these animals face extinction.
Patti & Eddie Wedding in Belize 2014, 8min.
Belize Summer 2014, 10min. VMI cadets traveled to Belize to study tropical marine biology during the Summer of 2014.
Belize rough draft, 3min. Swimming with sharks...
Lina Point: San Pedro, Belize Underwater Aquarium, 3min. Overwater cabanas with glass bottom floors for your personal underwater aquarium.


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