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#500674 - 02/04/15 11:03 AM Today's Belize News: February 4, 2015
Marty Offline


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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

Getting CANDY-wasted on La Isla Bonita! (Part II)
Through my sugar haze, I watched them crunch on the treats as we drove down to Annie’s Pastries just a couple blocks away. They said the treats were super tasty – more sweet than sour. I believed them…they were certainly looking extra happy. Annie’s beckoned, with its window full of caprichos, sesame seed rolls stuffed with cream cheese, tarts, buns as big as my head, jam rolls…*choir angels welcomed us with song* Inside, the cooler held tiny cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes and more. But what did the girls go for? Maja Blanca. I was still feeling the marquesita, and once again waved my white flag (the fact that I don’t like maja blanca may have played a huge part in this too).

San Pedro Traffic Department receives new motorcycles
The San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) is now equipped with four new motorcycles financed by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The addition to the SPTD’s fleet is part of the SPTC initiative to upgrade the department. Currently the SPTD has a crew of ten traffic wardens, eight motorcycles, one pick-up truck and other equipment used to enforce traffic regulations and ensure the safety of the community. According to Councilor in charge of traffic, Kenrick Brackett, the addition of the new motorcycles will allow each warden to have his/her own vehicle and reduced the stress placed on them when used by more than one person. He also stated that each warden is responsible for the proper use of the motorcycles as they are property of the SPTD.

Ambergris Today

Letters To The Editor: Public Transportation: A Backward Industry in Belize
It’s a frustrating scenario on repeat with nothing being done to alleviate it. The current bus schedule and the amount of buses running are clearly not meeting the public’s demand. A herd of people waiting at the bus terminal for ONE bus that cannot accommodate all of them is the daily struggle. It becomes a situation of “Survival of the Fittest” where people run, push and curse each other just so they can get in the bus. All respect for grandma, grandpa and children is thrown out the window as they are pushed and shoved around in all the commotion. The number of standees and people that get left behind can easily fill another bus or two but no extra buses are sent. How difficult can it be for the Ministry and bus companies to solve this issue?

Quintana Roo Mexico Changes Time Zone, Travelers Advised
The Embassy of México informs that on January 31 the Mexican Federal Official Gazette published the amendment to the Mexican Time System Law whereby Southeast Time Zone was created, based on the 75th meridian west and which corresponds only to the State of Quintana Roo. As such, beginning at two o'clock on February the first, "the clocks were advanced one hour" in the neighboring State of Quintana Roo, this includes the cities of Chetumal, Tulum and Cancun. It is projected that this measure will save energy and promotes a growth in the tourism sector, while using the time of the Eastern US coast.

Culture Day in San Pedro
Students of Isla Bonita Elementary School celebrate the diverse cultures that make up Belize by observing Culture Day on Friday, January 30

San Pedro Mayor Makes Clarification on Statements by Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras
It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP. The Ambassador expressed that the SPTC and Mayor Guerrero, following the discovery of the decomposed body of Benitez, rendered no support to have the body decently buried. In addition, the diplomat stated that the SPTC and the Mayor allowed for the immediate burial of Benitez without notifying the Honduran Embassy. She further explained, that the Mayor of San Pedro Town refused to meet with her to facilitate the exhumation of Benitez for a proper burial. Given the circumstances, the SPTC would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation, misleading and false statements made on both forums.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

GREAT JOB OPPORTUNITY IN SAN PEDRO
Department Manager - Guest Relations Job Description: Management of Front Desk, Tours/Concierge and Housekeeping Staff; Marketing and Sales for the resort; Inventory Controls for Housekeeping department; Wedding Coordination of onsite weddings; Customer Service; Staff evaluations; Manage daily guest operations. Minimum Requirements: Age 30 to 50; Associates Degree (minimum); 5 years minimum experience in Hospitality and Tourism Industry; 3 years minimum experience in Management; Excellent Communication and Public Relation Skills; Possess great organizational, motivational and time management skills; Ability to coordinate and manage a staff of at least 25 persons or more; Must possess excellent command of the English Language; Must be computer literate; Willing to work flexible hours including holidays; Professional & personal recommendations required.

December 2014 CPI & External Trade Statistics
SIB’s most recent statistics: December 2014 Consumer Price Index and December 2014 External Trade Bulletin.

New Fleet of racing sailboats arrive
With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize's new fleet will make that 141. On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye. With the new arrivals it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club as we have boats for sailors of all ages and the focus this year will be on adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday we saw 30+ sailors on the water, ranging between 8 and 72 years old! Reasons why the Laser is so popular are its speed, fun and also the simplicity with which it can be transported and assembled. Although simple, a Laser can provide many challenges for top sailors at the Olympic level.

Dr. Marco Tulio about to be charged in court
Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has just walked into an Orange Walk court where he faces charges of molestation by two teens. At the left rear of the PUP elected Area Representative for Orange Walk East is attorney Richard 'Dickie' Bradley. Standing on Marco Tulio's left is former UDP Campaign Manager and former Associated of Concerned Belizeans (ACB representative) Karim Berges. The UDP flag flies in the background. An interesting composition indeed.

Work on Albert Hoy Street starts Feb 4th
The Ministry of Works and Transport would like to inform the general public, particularly residents and visitors to the Belama Area of Belize City, that infrastructure works will commence on Albert Hoy Street as of Wednesday, February 4, 2015. As such, Albert Hoy St. will be turned temporarily into a "One Way Street" from TV Ramos Street to Chetumal Street in that same direction.

Belizean Students to be Taught about Their Rights and Benefits as CARICOM Nationals
Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following a two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshop in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30. The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States.

Polyclinic in San Pedro Now Provides 24-hour Emergency Service
A short ceremony was held on Monday, February 2, 2015 in San Pedro Town to officially announce the extension of emergency services to 24 hours at the Dr. Otto Rodriquez San Pedro Polyclinic II.

Belizean students to be taught about their rights and benefits as CARICOM nationals
Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following two two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshops in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30. The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, February 3, 2015: 32. FANTASY 5: 35 37 11 16 31 T

Famous Belizean Artists
BLACK HISTORY MONTH :MI KUZIN ,GEORGE GABB AND MI KUZIN BELIDE BELIZE TWO GREATEST ARTIST IN THERE TIME !!!THEY WERE BOTH TAKEN TO ENGLAND BY THE LEGENDARY SHIRLEY WARD,QUEEN OF ARTS.THAT IS WHERE THEY SHARPENED THERE SKILLS IN THE ARTS!!! GEORGE GABBS "SLEEPING GIANT" LIES INSIDE THE BELIZEAN DOLLAR BILLS !!!

Jan 25, 2015 - Jan 31, 2015 Fishing Report
It is hard to believe we are fishing into 2015 – Happy New Year to all of you! It was a pretty quiet week here at the lodge with only a couple boats going out each day. Congratulations to Jennifer our most improved caster this week, she went from never holding a fly rod to double hauling in 3 days!

Channel 7

Hon. Tulio Mendez Makes History Charged For Indecent Assault
Last week Monday, 7News broke the story of complaints against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - the PUP Representative for Orange Walk East. And today - eight days later, he was criminally charged for 6 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, becoming the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to be accused of child molestation. 7News was in Orange Walk Town when he was taken in for arraignment - and Jules Vasquez has the blow by blow account:.. Jules Vasquez reporting At 1:35 pm Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez pulled up at the Orange Walk Police Station - he was flanked by two attorneys while his nephew Karim Berges walked beside him. He walked into the police station, which would also act as the courtroom today - since the Supreme Court was occupying the courthouse. The media was not allowed in - we were told it is a private matter.

PUP Suspends Hon. Mendez, Wishes Him Well
And so, what does this mean for him as a doctor and a politician? He practices as a neurologist and a pediatrician - but will his medical license be suspended? Well that is a decision for the Belize Medical Council - headed by Dr. George Goff who we could not reach for comment. As a politician, he remains the area representative for Orange Walk East - and only he can choose to resign this seat. If a member of the House is criminally charged he is not required to vacate his seat. In fact, if he is convicted - the sentence must exceed 12 months to force a member to vacate his seat. So, unless he resigns - and he is not expected to - he will continue to collect his pay as a member of the House of Representatives, and will continue to get his community vote of seven thousand dollars a month.

Hon. Briceno Will Also Be Charged
And Dr. Mendez isn't the only Orange Walk politician facing criminal charges this week. John Briceno will be charged tomorrow - but for a far different much lesser offence. Briceno is accused of driving over the foot of Gaspar Vega's driver - former footballer Chris Hendricks. He will be charged for negligent harm, failed to report an accident, and drove vehicle without due care and attention. Here's what happened. On January 22nd, Briceno was leaving a function at the School of Agriculture, when he brushed Hendricks and allegedly ran over the former footballers foot as he was driving off.

Mother And Daughters Almost Crushed By Garbage Truck
A mother and her kids were almost crushed in a road traffic accident this morning. Reyna Savala was taking her two 3 year old daughters to school on a bicycle at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street when a garbage truck hit her. It is the kind of accident that seems to always be waiting to happen: a parent juggling two kids on a too-small bicycle, in a vehicle's blind spot at the height of the rush hour. And this one could have been a terrible calamity: they were almost crushed by the garbage truck. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This now mangled red bicycle looked like it could only carry a small child. But, this morning, it was carrying a woman and her two daughters when they were knocked down by a waste control truck.

Security Guard Hacked To Death in Belmopan
Tonight, Belmopan police have one man detained, and are looking for another in connection with the savage machete murder of a security guard that was discovered early this morning. Feliciano Noralez, better known as "Mac" was a well-known and well-liked resident of Belmopan, but he met an unusually cruel end last night. This morning when his employers reported to work, they found him dead, he had been chopped multiple times in the head, and his right arm was severed. It's the kind of end not expected for a man, who by all accounts, was a quiet law-abiding citizen. So, why was he murdered? That's what our news team spent the entire day in Belmopan trying to piece together. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting This picture of 59 year-old Feliciano Noralez/McKoy, better known as "Mac", is how his loved-ones will remember him, peacefully asleep after a long day of family-filled quality time.

The Difference A Pave Will Make
The woeful condition of Frank's Eddy Road, which leads to the Nohoch Che'en archaeological reserve, has caused great inconvenience and discontent among tour operators over the years. This site is one of the leading destinations for tourists but the conditions of the route to get there …are deplorable. FECTAB along with other organizations have been pressuring the government to upgrade the road and finally a contract was signed to do so yesterday. President of FECTAB Tom Greenwood came to our studios this evening to discuss the positive impact this road project will have on the tourism sector. Tom Greenwood, President - FECTAB "We went the first time to the Prime Minister and he helped by getting the road scratched over nicely, lasted for some time, but the it went really bad and it got the point where as you know people have been kicking up a fuss and we certainly contributed to get this thing fix. Now that I know the contract has been signed for 4.8 million for 6 months of heavy work on it, we are absolutely relieve, because my goodness, some of the members of the federation operate many busses and vans and they've been paying a terrible price.

Ex-Soldier Free of Charges
37 year-old Harvey Sambula, an Ex-Soldier who was accused of aggravated assault with a firearm, was able to walk out of court today a free man after a jury acquitted him. The incident happened in the early morning hours of May 6, 2011. The complainant, Dean Smith, testified that he went outside the Princess Casino to urinate and while he was there a misunderstanding ensued between him and Sambula, who was a security guard. They got into an argument where Sambula assaulted him with a 9 millimeter pistol. Smith said Sambula struck him in his mouth with the gun and knocked out 5 of his teeth. In his defence, Sambula testified and admitted that he was at the scene. He said Smith went by the fountain to urinate and after Smith did so he told Smith not to do it again because there is a restroom inside. Sambula said Smith got angry and pushed him twice in his head and he struck in his mouth with his fist.

Help For Boy With Brain Tumor
Tonight an 11 year old boy is fighting for his life at the KHMH after he was diagnosed with a highly malignant primary brain tumor. It is called Medulloblastoma -a type of cancer that originates in the part of the brain that is at the posterior base of the skull. The cancer was first detected in September of last year when 11 year old Orlando Alvarado began complaining of headaches and pain in the shoulders. Since then he has been in and out of the hospital. His mother is asking for any assistance to help her only child get the surgery he needs. Rosalba Jimenez - Mother of Orland Alvarado "On the 1st September I notice that he had headaches and he had pains in his chest. We took him to the hospital and they told us that he has a tumor in his brain, in the heart of his brain. I am asking for help for him to take surgery. I don't have the finances to take him somewhere else and that's why I am asking for help to take him out of the country.

Getting Ready For Elections
Municipal elections are just four weeks away and today, the elections and boundaries office sat down with all political parties today to discuss the rules. The meeting was held at the Coastal Zone training office and when it was done we spoke with a cross section of participants including the chief elections officer who chaired the meeting:…. The meeting lasted all morning until the early afternoon.

24 Hour Medical Care In San Pedro
The emergency services at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic 2 in San Pedro has been extended to 24 hours. The staff has also been expanded to include two medical doctors, additional nurses and other support staff. The government funded expansion project costs 1 million dollars and it was opened yesterday. The project included the expansion of the emergency clinic, the purchase of new furniture and equipment and salary for additional staff.

OCEANA Calls On GOB For Caye Caulker Rescue
Right now, this vessel is stranded on a part of the barrier reef system just off the coast of Caye Caulker, and it has been there since New Years Eve. The conservation organization, OCEANA Belize, wants the Government of Belize to remove it immediately to stop the harm to the portion of the reef it is trapped on. A release from the organization says that based on request from residents of Caye Caulker, Marine Scientist Dr. Isani Chan led an expedition to the site. They went there to catalog the damage that this boat continues to do to the reef. According to Dr. Chan's report, quote, "The vessel sits in approximately 5' of water in low tide… While the sailboat is currently lodged on coral "rubble", increased wave action could push the vessel into living coral." End Quote.

Channel 5

Beleaguered Politician Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Is Arraigned on Six Charges
This afternoon, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez handed himself over to Orange Walk Police flanked by two of his attorneys, Dickie Bradley and Andrew Bennett.  His surrender and the wrangle which [...]

Exclusive: Dr. Mendez Speaks on Arraignment and Political Future
Following his arraignment and the glare of the media, we got an exclusive interview with the politician who announced that he won’t seek reelection last November. Obviously affected by the [...]

Mendez’s Case Could Be Heard in Orange Walk Supreme Court
As we said, six charges have been laid on Doctor Mendez. Four counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor sometime between 2006 and 2007, in November [...]

P.U.P. Suspends Orange Walk East Area Rep Indefinitely Following Indictment
Doctor Mendez is tonight on bail of five thousand dollars and is due back in court on April thirteenth, but it is expected that the matter will be elevated to [...]

Another P.U.P. Area Rep to be Charged in Orange Walk Town
While Marco Tulio Mendez is out on bail, another high ranking member of the People’s United Party is to be charged on Wednesday in the Magistrate Court. Last week, former [...]

Security Guard Mutilated Overnight in Belmopan
In the capital, a vicious murder occurred overnight and one person has been detained for questioning.  A security guard was hacked to death and his body left at the premises [...]

New Leads in New Year’s Day Murder of Teakettle Resort Manager
Like we said, that brings the murder count for the Belmopan jurisdiction to three. The first occurred on New Year’s Day at the Dream Valley Resort in Teakettle. Resort manager, [...]

Belmopan Police One Step Closer to Solving Emerson Daly’s Murder
Belmopan police also believe that they are wrapping up the investigation into the murder of Roaring Creek resident, Emerson Daly. The twenty-four year old was reported missing on Monday, January [...]

Garbage Truck Knocks Down and Drags Toddlers in Belize City
There was a traffic accident early this morning in the south side of Belize City.  Maria and Reyna, three year old twins, were riding with their mom, Reyna Savala, when [...]

Floyd McNab Gets One Year in Prison for Theft
In the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, thirty year old Floyd McNab, a car washer, was today sentenced to one year imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to twenty-two counts of theft. [...]

OCEANA Assesses Damage to Reef Caused By Grounded Sailboat
For over a month now, a boat, a steel hull vessel, has been aground on the reef near the island of Caye Caulker. Word spread like wildfire in early January [...]

Potential Impact of Grounded Vessel Discussed
Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world and is considered part of a world heritage site. The steel hull sailboat measures at approximately thirty-five feet in length [...]

Founder of World Famous Hummingbird Highway Tamales Passes
Her tamales have been featured on CNN, Afar dot com, right here on Channel Five, and even have reviews on Trip Advisor. But the lady behind the famous tamales has [...]

CTV3

Corozal Community Hospital Conducts Public Relation Training
When we visit the public hospitals seeking medical attention we crave for good service but a smiling face is not what we often meet when we visit the community hospitals. The list complaints lodged aginst public hospitals across the country is huge and it varies from negligence to bad service. But In the Corozal District efforts are underway to curb the bad image created by unprofessional staff. Today over 13 members of the Corozal Community Hospital gathered at the Corozal Community College conference room to undergo training in Public Relations. Facilitaiting the training was Roger Duran.

Belize Red Cross & American Red Cross Donates Garbage Bins
Improper disposal of Garbage has always been an issue for many residents in the surrounding villages of the Orange Walk District and for that reason; today some 73 families from the Village of Santa Cruz were recipients of garbage bins on their properties. According to a release from Red Cross Belize, these were made possible through the Resilience in the Americas (RITA) Project a collaborative initiative between the Belize Red Cross and the American Red Cross. The garbage bin project was carried out at the request of villagers in an Integrated Participatory Assessment (IPA). The Garbage Bins are mounted onto wooden elevated columns embedded into a cement foundation for easy access by collectors and residents. Director General Ms Lily Bowman handed them over to the Secretary of the Village Council, Ms.Yesenia and called on villagers to use them wisely and to keep their village clean and beautiful.

PUP Town council Plans To Expand Traffic Department
Apart from property taxes, revenues collected from the Transport Department are one of the major financial boosts for the Orange Walk Town Council. Since they took office in 2012 the town council has transformed the traffic department. Motorcycles have been bought, a new driver’s license and motor vehicle system has been set in place and have even obtained new equipment to assist with the monitoring of traffic regulations. But the there is no doubt that the community is growing and it requires a comprehensive plan to address traffic related issues and that is exactly what the council intends to do. Joe Urbina- Councilor “Our rapidly expanding community requires a comprehensive plan to address traffic related issues, your PUP town council will; aim to regularize the taxi industry in Orange Walk town in order to have a more level playing field; enforce local traffic regulations to ensure orderly and safe traffic; broaden the representation of key stakeholders in the Municipal Transport Committee; identify new parking areas in down town Orange Walk; renovate the traffic department to offer more comfortable and improve services to our residents.”

Speed Bumps Place Across Orange Walk For Traffic Safety
If you have taken a drive through the Marcus Canul Area and the hospital area, you may have come across several speed bumps that have been placed over the course of a few days. And while these bumps are indicators to slow down drivers, it has caused quite a stir amongst residents of the aforesaid areas. The gist of their concerns were based on unnecessary speed bumps being implemented on streets that have no use for them, we asked Mayor Kevin Bernard about this move from his council and here is his response. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, OW Town “I will answer with one plain thing, recently with the incident for example with the child that was knocked down parents called and asked us to put up bumps in that area for the safety of the children and yes the bumps have gone up and we are actually building the signs and those signs will go up in the areas of Marcus Canul area and these are white marl street and because the streets are fixed they tend to drive hard in these areas and create a lot of dust, yesterday we were at the San Francisco Street and the same thing residents are asking for us to put up two bumps in the area because the bumps is killing them and so we are trying to address the issue with the resident but the same time yes we do need to put up the signs that a bump exist there and these are just temporarily solutions finding at least to alleviate the dust in some of these areas and that is what we are doing.”

More On PUP Orange Walk Town Council Manifesto
On Friday the P.U.P Orange Walk Town Council launched their 2015-2018 Manifesto. With the aim of continuously serving Orange Walkenos, the P.U.P team, who with the exception of Councilor Neri Ramirez is seeking re-election. As mentioned last night, the team’s social contract with the people covers the areas of financing, parks and playgrounds and even tourism culture and economic activities. Gian Vasquez- Councilor Candidate “In order for Orange Walk to prosper there must be opportunities for all the people, the citizens of our town should benefit from our many rich cultures and tourism opportunities that exist here, we should move Orange Walk in trying to be a cultural hub, your PUP town council will; continue supporting the BTIA Orange Walk and other stakeholders in the tourism industry in promoting Orange Walk as a preferred tourist destination for both local and international visitors, encourage hotel and tour operators to offer more attractive packages to tourist including more overnight stays, collaborate with other organization for the promotion of culture, support local economic activity such as Fiesta Rama, Business Expo and Carnival on 21st September and attract more tourist to our town by promoting cultural events that will showcase our local artist, crafts people an musicians.”

PUP National Executive Removes Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez As Chairman Of The Northern Caucus And Other Related Duties & Resposibilities
And as word spread like wild fire that Dr. Mendez was going to be charged today, the People’s United Party acted swiftly and issued a statement which states that Mendez has been removed as Chairman of the Northern Caucus. The release states and we quote "It has been confirmed to Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca that today, February 3rd, 2015, the Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, has been formally arrested and charged with certain criminal offences. On the basis of this development the Party Leader, in accordance with the power vested in him by the National Executive, has with immediate effect removed Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and has suspended him indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities.” End quote.

O/W Artisan Files Civil Suit Against UDP Mayoral Candidate, Yvette Torres
But Doctor Mendez is not the only person facing the long arms of the law tonight, so is UDP’s Mayoral Candidate Yvette Lui Torres who is being taken to court for the non-payment of $208.00. The civil suit was placed against her today by an artisan of the Sugar City Artisans Group which Torres Chaired up until July 15th 2014 when she allegedly resigned from her post. But even before her resignation we understand that Artisans had problems collecting payment for their art pieces sold at the Sugar City Art House located on Queen Victoria Avenue. To date there are a number of artisans who have not been paid. Reports show that one artisan is owed more than a $1000.00 while others are owed anywhere from $883.00 to $113.00. With the aim of getting his money one artisan decided to take the matter to court. Afraid of being victimized, today the individual spoke to us off camera.

Traffic Related Charge Filed Against Hon John Briceno, By DPM Driver
And in other court matters, today Attorney Dickie Bradley conveyed to the media that another political figure will have to face a judge to answer to charges. That is because Christopher Hendricks, driver for Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Gaspar Vega has filed a complaint to police against Honourable John Briceno for a traffic violation. According to Hendricks, the incident occurred on January 22nd, 2015 at the Belize High School of Agriculture Compound where it was alleged that Briceno negligently and unlawfully caused harm to Hendricks with his Prado Vehicle. Briceno has been summoned to answer to the charge of “Negligent Harm” tomorrow at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court.


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#500675 - 02/04/15 11:03 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 4, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

LOVE FM

BSI/ASR Speaks on Process of Sugar Production
The new sugar cane crop season began last week Monday, and today, BSI/ASR has release it latest information when it comes to the amount of cane ground to the quantity and quality of sugar produce. (VO STARTS) According to the release, this past week, more than 41 thousand tons of cane was ground producing 4 thousand and 4 hundred tons of sugar. The factory ground close to 6 thousand tons per day. The total tons cane per ton sugar, TC/TS was 9.37. According to BSI/ASR, the cane quality is excellent which has resulted in the very best TC/TS for the first week of all times. The factory is planned to take temporary paused on grinding o Monday February 9, from 7am to 1pm. The reason for this was not specified.

Security Guard Meets Gruesome Death Whilst On Duty
The wee hours of this morning saw the brutal murder of an on-duty security guard attached to Anchor Security Services in Belmopan. Renee Trujillo travelled to Belmopan today to see what answers could be had from this latest homicide. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “It was a gruesome scene that the supervisor on duty for Anchor Security, Mr Munnings, encountered at around four o’clock this morning when he returned to the office after making his rounds within Belmopan. His colleague, Richard Noralez, who also goes by the name of Richard McKoy, was lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the office with tresses of his dreadlocks scattered around him, his hand almost severed, the top of his head bearing a chop wound so deep that the crown of his head was evident and his face was disfigured. Munnings, had only been away from the office an estimated forty five minutes and when he left, Noralez was alive and well. Love News went to the crime scene and spoke to the Managing Director for Anchor Security, Gary Gentle.”

Police Updates on Dream Valley Murder
It was reported as the first murder for the year 2015 when the manager of the Dream Valley Resort, 30-year-old, Yaima Duany Ledesma was shot to death at the establishment on New Year’s Day. There were many speculations at the time surrounding this incident including that it was a hit placed on the Cuban national but according to the Officer in Charge of the Belmopan Police Station, Superintendent Howell Gillett the investigation turned out to be a sophisticated one; albeit brief, he did give our reporter, Renee Trujillo, an update on that investigation. SUPT. HOWELL GILLETT “Well I can tell you that we are much closer to bringing this matter to closure. The investigation has proven to be a bit sophisticated but we are dealing with it and we are awaiting forensic results. Following those results I believe we could come closer to having an arrest in that case.”

Garbage Truck Knocks Mother and Twin Girls off Bicycle
Prime time traffic and pedestrians were halted and delayed this morning just after eight o’clock at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City when a mother and her two children were knocked off a bicycle by a garbage truck belonging to Belize Waste Control. For those familiar with the area, you would know that the flow of traffic and pedestrians is at its height between the hours of seven and nine in the mornings ….. but all that came to a halt as the girls, three year old twins, Maria and Reyna, fell to the pavement and the bicycle they were on laid some feet away, broken in two. According to police reports, the driver of the truck was 48-year-old, Orlando Antonio Pech of a Belize City and the garbage truck collided into the bicycle, injuring the children and their mother, Reyna Savala of a Holy Emmanuel Street address in Belize City.

Vasquez’ Death Ruled as Case of Self Defense
On January 5, 2015, our Belmopan correspondent reported that Belmopan police officers were investigating what had preliminarily been categorized as a murder when 19-year-old, Kevin Vasquez was killed on January 4 inside a house in Belmopan. But as the investigations evolved, it turned out that the case went from a murder to one of self-defense. According to the officer in charge of Belmopan Police Station, Superintendent Howell Gillett, directives came from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to not levy charges against the accused, 31-year-old, Mark Conorquie, as it had clearly been a case of self-defense. The incident occurred on the Sunday evening when neighbors reported the sounds of gunshots coming from inside the house. Police indicate that Vasquez had gone to the house with the intent to kill Conorquie and was subsequently shot in his leg where a main artery was ruptured, leading to his death. The case was closed and labelled as self-defense. Vasquez was a Honduran national who had taken up the welding trade in Belmopan. He had faced charges prior to his death for kidnapping and attempted murder and was a person of interest in a burglary incident in Belmopan.

Vessel Lodged in the Reef Causes Major Concerns
On January 19 of this year, we told you about the concerns raised by residents of Caye Caulker about a boat that had crashed in the reef. Approximately a month has passed since this incident has occurred on December 31, 2014 and the vessel can still be seen lodged in the reef. Belize having the second Barrier Reef in the World, it may be one of the last countries in the world to have extensive areas of pristine reed, however, having such fragile ecosystems, the reef is constantly at risk of being damaged from both mother nature and mankind. Due to the delicacy of the reef, there have been repeated request from residents of Caye Caulker to Oceana Belize regarding the stranded vessel near Caye Caulker, which lead to an expedition on January 29 2015 by Marine Scientist Dr. Isani Chan with Oceana’s Videographer Alexander Ellis and Project Assistant Alain Alexis to the site of the incident to conduct an assessment on the damage of the reef. According to Dr. Chan, the Steel hull for the sailboat measures approximately 35’ in length, the vessel sits in approximately 5’ of water in low tide, while the sailboat is currently lodged on coral “rubble”, increased wave action enables the vessel to move inward into living coral, and Subsequent efforts for an independent contractor to safely remove the vessel without causing further damage to the reef, from the site have so far proved unsuccessful.

PUP Swiftly Strips Tulio Mendez of Chairmanship
We contacted PUP Leader Francis Fonseca and asked for a comment about the entire situation involving Marco Tulio Mendez. Fonseca told Love News that the party had sent out a release and he had nothing to add because now the matter is before the court. The release that the PUP sent makes two major declarations against Mendez. The first one was that with immediate effect, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been removed from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus. The second was that he has been suspended indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The release makes no mention of who will take up Mendez post as the Chairman of the Northern Caucus. Before the scandal, Mendez had already made the decision not to contest the next general election. His replacement is Josue Carballo.

PlusTV

Independence girl says father sexually molested her
In Independence Village, on Monday 2nd February, a minor along with her mother visited the Bella Vista Village Police Station accompanied by a Social Worker. The child reported that during the Month of October 2014, while at home along with her father, he grabbed her and touched her private part. Police investigations continue.

Belmopan police investigate possible sexual abuse of 7 year old
In another report of alleged sexual misconduct against a minor, there is another disturbing report coming out of Belmopan. According to police sources, a 7 year old had to undergo surgery on Monday night in the capital city, after her hymen was ruptured. Police have not released any other detail at this time as to how that occurred, but say they are investigating the circumstances.

16 year old sexually abused by stepfather
There is a disturbing report of rape coming from the southern District of Stann Creek, where a 37 year old stepfather is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with his 16 year old stepdaughter against her will. Often when disparaging reports of rape reach our desk we do well to expose these perpetrators. However, in this case, for the sake of the victim, we cannot reveal the perpetrator’s particulars.

Security Guard chopped to death in Belmopan
60 year old Feliciano Richard Noralez/McKoy, a security guard for Anchor’s security, was hacked to death in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. According to reports, Mr Noralez was alone on the second floor of the office of Anchor’s security, situated on Entrepreneur Street, just off Forest Drive, Belmopan, when at around 3:00 a.m. a man armed with a machete went up the steps to the second floor where Feliciano Noralez was brutally chopped to death. The perpetrator escaped, but not before taking several items from the office. An eyewitness claims to have seen a man in a hooded shirt running away from the building in a northerly direction with a long sharp object in his hand resembling a machete. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez formally charged for sexual offences
In a high profile allegation of sexual misconduct at one of the highest levels in the country, the House of Representatives, Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez was officially charged on Tuesday. Dr. Mendez has been accused of inappropriate relations with two minors, and calls have been coming hard and fast for his resignation from the House of Representatives. But Dr. Mendez has been on record insisting that he will fight the charges and clear his name, and has no intention of resigning. Even before the charges were officially made on Tuesday, we spoke to Mr Mendez’ attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, who addressed the nature of the charges, which he says concerned incidents that reportedly took place several years ago, and are now only possibly being resurrected to tarnish his client’s name, character and reputation.

New land leases for Caribbean Shores residents
On Saturday, 30 residents of Caribbean Shores became proud owners of leases for land in the Cotton Tree area. It is part of the same parcel of land that was subject to contention from the village’s council, because they claim they were not consulted. The matter is still in litigation, but that did not stop Area Representative Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr. from handing out the leases, the first four of which went to loyal precinct captains, who also happened not to be landowners. “Many months ago, the Prime Minister in Cabinet issued to all Ministers 30 parcels of land in Cotton Tree, to give out. It was very hard to share so many fish among so many residents, but we did the best we could. I’m going to start by calling out on my four captains. Without them I would not be where I am. They worked very hard with me.

Mediation proceeds in Harmonyville dispute
Last July, Nigel Petillo and executive members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) were hauled to court by the Government, over alleged violation of the road reserve, in a plan to plant and harvest corn in the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision at Mile 41, George Price Highway. Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ordered mediation between the sides thereafter, but actual sessions did not get underway because of an objection by the Government to the chosen mediator. On Monday both sides were back before Justice Abel in chambers for a pre-trial review, which was intended to update the court on the mediation process. The two sides have finally met in mediation, and while exact details are not available, attorney for BGYEA and Nigel Petillo, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, expressed relief that it has finally begun.

New president promises NTUCB will be “powerhouse”
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) held its Annual General Meeting on the island of Caye Caulker this past weekend, highlighted by the election of a new executive. Former vice-president Marvin Mora stepped up to the post of president, replacing Dylan Reneau, after running unopposed. The representative of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU) is eager to begin the process of turning the NTUCB into a “powerhouse” in Belizean politics and society. In an interview on Monday afternoon he expounded on his plans.

Prisoners pepper-sprayed by police?
The bus coming from the Central Prison at Hattieville to Belize City’s Magistrate and Supreme Courts is a well-known sight, and so too are the family members who come to court to encourage their imprisoned loved ones and offer them some of the comforts of home, whether money, clothes or even food. There are strict rules instituted by the courts and Police Department to regulate such deliveries. But on Monday morning, one family alleges, their loved ones were targeted with pepper spray, after a police officer refused to allow them access to give the prisoners money.

Accused thief free after complainants drop out of trial
On Monday, Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed charges of theft and attempted suppression of evidence against 49 year old Carl Gordon, a laborer of Partridge Street in Belize City, at the start of trial. On February 21, 2014, Carl Gordon was accused of stealing a small black purse containing $70 from a table in the living room in the home of 81 year old Effie Pollard of Corner Tigris and Basra Streets in Belize City. Effie Pollard told police that a dark-skinned man visited her home claiming to represent Belize Water Services, asking to check her premises for leaks. She agreed to allow the man to inspect the water meter and then inside her home, but her purse went missing after the man left.

Chinese shop vendor pleads guilty to illegal lottery selling
The phenomenon of illegal selling of lottery continues under the radar in some areas, but a rare victory was scored on Monday when a Chinese shop vendor pleaded guilty to the charge, after changing her original plea. 47 year old Jia Bi Wang, owner of Kim’s Shop on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City, was fined $5,000 for the offense by Magistrate Herbert Panton. On July 13, 2014, a police constable reported personally seeing Jai Wang at her establishment sell a dark-skinned man lottery numbers on a white paper that did not match the official tickets printed by official lottery proprietors Brads Gaming Company. The officer intervened and retrieved the paper as well as the money the man had paid over, then informed Ms Wang of the offence committed and escorted her to Racoon Street Police Station.

Amandala

6 men attack elders, 57 and 75, in their home
Police have reportedly detained three of six young men who allegedly attempted to rob an elderly homeowner at his two-storey home on the Old Northern Highway in the early hours of yesterday, Sunday. Just after midnight on February 1, the attention of Marilene Rufenucht, 57, a caretaker and resident of Mile 20 on the Old Northern Highway, was drawn to six dark-complexioned men, armed with sticks, entering the property. She told police that one of the men walked upstairs and stated that he was a police officer; however, she became skeptical, and refused to open the door when he told her to do so. At that time, the assailants then decided to forcibly enter the home by breaking down one of the doors of the lower flat using a cement block.

Ashcroft Alliance and Fortis ask CCJ for BTL and BEL
Belizean attorneys Eamon Courtenay, SC, Denys Barrow, SC, and his daughter Naima Barrow traveled to Trinidad recently for the conclusion of the hearing by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) into the nationalization of two utility companies – Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) – in a landmark case for the region emanating from 6 consolidated claims filed by the Ashcroft Alliance, Fortis International and the Government of Belize. Initial hearings were held last year, and the parties had to return in late January to make final submissions before the court. The former owners of the utility companies contend that the nationalization of the companies was illegal and they have argued before the CCJ for the return of the shares, which had been compulsorily acquired by the Barrow administration through constitutional amendments.

S/Pedro Town Council vs Honduran Ambassador
The San Pedro Town Council, on Friday, January 30, issued a release condemning allegations made by the Honduran Ambassador, Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella, that a Honduran national, Sylvia Benitez, a single mother of three whose body was discovered about 15 feet off the Mata Grande Road, 3½ miles north of San Pedro Town, had not been “decently” buried. On January 17, after San Pedro police reported that they found Benitez’s partially nude and decomposing body, police coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran and his team from the police’s forensic unit conducted a post-mortem exam at the scene of the discovery of the corpse, and found that the body had bruises to the face, neck and back, and that there were multiple blunt force injuries to the right side of Benitez’s face, as well as to her neck and back, and injuries to her shoulders and inner thigh that seemed to have been caused by restraint by force.

Return $230,000, or go to jail!
An attorney who has failed to hand over to his client $230,000 – proceeds of a land transaction which were being held in an escrow account – is at risk of being cited for contempt of court and could be sent to prison if he fails again to meet the court-ordered deadline of February 13, 2015, to hand over the money. Attorney Ernest Staine, 77, who has been practicing law as a member of the Bar since the early 1970s, has found himself in contempt of court for failure to obey a court order to pay the remaining $230,000 from a $250,000 land transaction. He had promised on two separate occasions that he would pay his client, but has failed to do so. The matter came up today before Justice Courtenay Abel, but Staine was a no-show. Staine cited ill health as the reason for not attending the hearing this afternoon.

Arthur and Melonie “kiss and make up”
After battling the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)’s money laundering charge against his clients from January 2009 up to March 2014, in a legal saga that turned out to be downright acrimonious at times, attorney Arthur Saldivar and one of his clients ended right back where it all started—in court. Melonie Coye, after regaining her freedom and being cleared at the Court of Appeal of the money laundering charge brought against her and her family, not long after accused her attorney, Arthur Saldivar, the former People’s United Party (PUP) Belize Rural North standard bearer, of making off with almost one million dollars of her money. Coye’s allegation set in motion events that would later prove to be Saldivar’s political unraveling, as the PUP removed him from his post as Belize Rural North standard bearer, following an internal party “investigation.”

Belize receives last shipment of premium from Venezuela
Venezuela has formally suspended shipments of premium fuel to Belize, with the last shipment of premium fuel having arrived last week via Curaçao, on Monday, January 26, 2015. John Mencias, deputy chairman of Alba PetroCaribe Belize, the joint venture company which Belize and Venezuela had established to manage the PetroCaribe program, told Amandala that the shipment left port on January 22 and arrived in Belize 4 days later, on January 26. Belize had ordered 9,000 barrels of premium gasoline, as well as gasoil (diesel), regular fuel and kerosene from the refinery Isla, a subsidiary of the state-owned Pedevesa (Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.).

Fonseca installs Michel Chebat as the PUP’s man for Cayo North
Michel Chebat, the attorney who had stepped down last November to make way for businessman Richard Harrison to run against the UDP’s Dr. Omar Figueroa in Cayo North on January 5, has now been installed by the Opposition People’s United Party as their man in that division for the next general elections, due in 2017. Harrison took a two-to-one beating in the recent by-election, and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had indicated that they would open the candidacy to other persons. Amandala was informed today that Chebat was endorsed as the PUP’s Cayo North candidate after a decision by the party’s executive to authorize Fonseca to execute the installation.

Rocky start, 1 victory only in Week 1 of PLB Closing Season 2014-2015
The Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2014-2015 tournament picked up right where the Opening Season had left off, with unbelievable parity amongst the competing teams, and only one of the four Week-1 games produced a winner, and that in injury time. Week 1 of the Closing Season opened on Saturday night, January 31, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, where the finals had been played a couple weeks earlier; and the same two teams, defending 3-peat champion Belmopan Bandits and sub-champion Police United squared off for ninety minutes, with neither team able to score in this one, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The other 3 games were played on Sunday, all scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. At the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga, it was another nil-nil affair, as neither home-standing Wagiya or visiting King Energy/Freedom Fighters from Punta Gorda could find the back of the net.

Weekend Warriors race results
Here are the results from Race #2 of the current Weekend Warriors (WW) series of races held yesterday. The “A” & “B” rode from Cotton Tree Village to finish in front of Cisco Construction on the George Price (Western) Highway, for 38 miles; while the “C” class rode from La Democracia junction to finish in front of Cisco Construction on the George Price Highway, for 28 miles. “A” – 1st place Kent Gabourel (Megabytes, 1:50:20); 2nd Colin Maheia (FT Williams/Refretech, st); 3rd Mike Lewis (Smart, st); 4th Robert Mariano (Digicell-4G, 1:51:39); 5th Mark Gentle (FT Williams/Refretech, st); 6th Ray Cattouse (C-Ray, st); and 7th Warren Coye (Santino’s).

Rurals completed, Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Finals tomorrow, Tuesday, at Bird’s Isle
The Belize Rural Zone 5 Primary Schools Basketball Tournament was played on Friday, January 30, at the San Pedro Basketball Court. Participating in the double-elimination Rural Zone 5 Finals were the female (F) and male (M) teams of San Pedro RC School and Holy Cross Anglican School (San Pedro). In the female category, San Pedro RC won two straight games, 4-2 and 6-2, over Holy Cross Anglican School. In the male category, San Pedro RC won, 13-8, over Holy Cross Anglican in game 1; but Holy Cross Anglican bounced back to take game 2 by an 8-6 score, thus forcing the deciding game 3. The male game 3 for the championship saw Holy Cross Anglican again prevailing, this time by a 20-10 score. Christian Orellana led Holy Cross scoring with 10 points.

Launching soon in Belize – BelCare Football Youth Academy
Making its mark on the local sporting landscape in a few weeks’ time will be a new Belizean football organization, BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare), which has Grassroots Football Festivals scheduled in two districts – Cayo and Stann Creek, on the weekend of February 21-22. On Saturday, February 21, BelCare will host its 2015 Festival in San Ignacio, Cayo, with Adventures Football Club; and on Sunday, February 22, it will host the 2015 Festival in Dangriga, Stann Creek, with Umadagu Football Club. At the festivals, footballs and other football equipment, secured through BelCare’s various international donors, will be distributed to youth clubs and teams in the two districts; and there are plans to expand the program to all other districts in the future.

Editorial: Some pre-UDP history
The political parties of Belize, of which the only two national such are the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), are professional organizations which are in the business of competing in the various nationwide elections held in the country of Belize. These include village council elections, municipal elections, and general elections. The most important of these elections are general elections, scheduled to be held every five years. Municipal elections are held every three years. The general elections are the most important, because the most money is at stake: the national tax base is the prize. The political party which wins the majority of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives, forms a government which is sworn in by the Governor-General, who is the local representative of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the head of the Belizean state. Governments have the power to levy and collect taxes from the citizens of Belize. If the citizens for any reason(s) refuse to pay, the governments have permanent, organized bodies, such as the various courts of Belize, supported by the police and the army, to force citizens to do the will of the government, in other words, pay.

Public transportation: a backward industry
Dear Editor, It’s a frustrating scenario on repeat with nothing being done to alleviate it. The current bus schedule and the amount of buses running are clearly not meeting the public’s demand. A herd of people waiting at the bus terminal for ONE bus that cannot accommodate all of them is the daily struggle. It becomes a situation of “survival of the fittest” where people run, push and curse each other just so they can get in the bus. All respect for grandma, grandpa and children is thrown out the window as they are pushed and shoved around in all the commotion. The number of standees and people that get left behind can easily fill another bus or two but no extra buses are sent. How difficult can it be for the Ministry and bus companies to solve this issue?

Ombudsman’s vehicle stolen in broad daylight
At about 9:30 a.m. today, a brazen crook made a failed attempt to make off with a government-issued grey Nissan X-Terra SUV belonging to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu. The incident occurred in front of Fair Brothers Pawn Shop at the corner of Mahogany Street and Central American Boulevard. An employee of the Ombudsman’s Office had reportedly been using the vehicle at the time. According to police, the employee left the engine running with the keys in the ignition and asked the security guard at the pawn shop to keep an eye on it, but an opportunistic thief who was apparently lurking in the area jumped into the SUV and took off.

Government agrees to a $200,000 settlement for Crooked Tree boat accident
Exactly one year after a terrible collision between two Belize Coast Guard boats in the Crooked Tree Lagoon claimed the life of a promising young man, the government has agreed to a $200,000 settlement in a wrongful death suit, attorney Kareem Musa confirmed to Amandala yesterday, Thursday. Government has agreed to settle the claim brought by the father of Benjamin Jerome Gentle, 20, the student who lost his life when the two Coast Guard vessels collided on January 31, while ferrying villagers, due to the flooding of the Crooked Tree Causeway. The government has agreed to pay to the estate of Gentle $200,000 in two installments of $100,000, with the first payment being made on January 30, 2015 and the balance being disbursed in a second payment on April 2, 2015, Musa disclosed.

Passenger bus slams tour bus at airport junction
Major tragedy was averted this morning when a sky-blue passenger bus traveling from Sarteneja, Corozal, collided with a white, empty 30-seater tour bus which was about to make its way from the Philip Goldson International Airport junction onto the Philip Goldson Highway. The incident occurred shortly after 10:00 a.m., and while the front ends of both buses were badly damaged, luckily, no one was seriously injured as a result of the collision. Upon arriving at the scene, Amandala spoke to Mario Chan, the driver of the tour bus, who said that he was already turning onto the highway when he noticed the bus traveling at a high speed, and that by the time he tried to avoid the collision, the bus had already hit him.

Opposition Leader speaks about the troubling allegations against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
Members of the Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), held a meeting yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, to discuss the very troubling reports coming out of the Orange Walk District that Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, the area representative for the Orange Walk East constituency, is being accused of child molestation. It has been reported in the media that two teenaged girls have made a report to the Department of Human Services that Dr. Mendez has had inappropriate contact with them. Earlier this year, Dr. Mendez cited health reasons for his decision not to seek re-election to his Orange Walk East seat in the next General Elections, scheduled for 2017. If criminal charges are brought against Dr. Mendez, there is a possibility he could prematurely resign from his seat in the House of Representatives, which would trigger a by-election right on the heels of the by-election that was held in the Cayo North constituency that resulted in a massive win for the governing United Democratic Party.

Bar owner defends himself with a baseball bat
Antonio Segura, 53, a resident of Frank’s Eddy, is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a bar owner hit him in the head with a baseball bat in the yard of a bar in Frank’s Eddy at about 1:00 Sunday morning. Bar owner Julio Reyes told police that Segura began aggressively demanding rum from him, and when he refused to give him any, Segura took out a knife and came at him, and that was when he took out his bat and hit Segura in the head, causing him to become unconscious. Segura was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was admitted in an unconscious state. He has since been declared to be in a critical condition.

Patrick JonesPJ

Political parties meet with Elections Department ahead of elections
The countdown to municipal elections slated for March 4, 2015 is on and the Elections and Boundaries Department which is in charge of overseeing the process to a smooth, free and fair election met with representatives of political parties large and small in Belize City today. grey Political parties meet with Elections Department ahead of elections Josephine Tamai Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai said that it was important for the Department to get the input and cooperation of the political parties and public officers who will oversee and participate in the election on important issues ranging from care of ballots to the all-important ban on campaigning in the 100-yard line surrounding all polling stations.

Garbage bins for Santa Cruz village, Orange Walk
Some 73 families in the Village of Santa Cruz in the Orange Walk District are recipients of garbage bins on their properties. According to a press release issued today, the garbage bins were made possible through the Resilience in the Americas Project a collaborative initiative between the Belize Red Cross and the American Red Cross. The garbage bin project was carried out at the request of villagers in what the Red Cross calls an Integrated Participatory Assessment. These garbage bins were installed by women, men and youth of the village.

Belmopan Methodist School Inaugurates Second Floor
elmopan Methodist High School held inauguration ceremonies today for the second floor of its first school building. The school started August 2013 with its first cohort of 1st form students with one floor and those students got promoted to second form and had to work in a semi-complete 2nd floor for their classes. Many groups of Methodist Missions from abroad, including the United Methodist Circuit Kentucky Conference, came to assist with the construction plus donated financially to the cause.

Marco Tulio Mendez arraigned on criminal charges
The People’s United Party (PUP) has suspended Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez from all “party related duties, responsibilities and activities.” This follows formal charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature being brought against the retiring politician today in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Dr. Mendez was arraigned on six counts, four of the offence allegedly committed against one of the underage girls and two counts allegedly committed against the other.

Marco Tulio Mendez arrives at Orange Walk police station
Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has arrived at the Orange Walk police station. It is expected that formal criminal charges will be brought against him. We wait to see what those charges will be.

Mother and daughters knocked down in Belize City
Police say that a mother and twin 3-year old girls were knocked down this morning as they rode on a bicycle at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City. Police say that around 8:16 am, Reyna Savala was transporting the girls on a bicycle when a sanitation truck collided into them.

Charges imminent against Orange Walk East area representative
It is quiet this morning at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Indications are that charges may be brought against Orange Walk East are representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez during the course of the coming hours.

Blogs

What’s New In Placencia, Belize and Fantastic Meals at Maya Beach Bistro: Part One
It feels like AGES since I’ve been in Placencia, Belize – the peninsula that I must have visited 6…maybe 8 times during 2014? I love it down there. But like San Pedro, Placencia is constantly changing. So here are a few updates and…some pictures of the fabulous food I ate at Maya Beach Bistro. Sigh…I love this spot. And for those who aren’t familiar with Placencia – it really is a long, very narrow peninsula with Placencia Village at the very tip. Ocean on one side… and lagoon to Maya Mountains on the other. Though they do have the only regulation bowling alley in Belize. Jaguar Lanes.

6 Books To Collect About The Ancient Maya
There are volumes of books and informational material that will enlighten anyone wishes to learn and who intends to visit the ancient Maya area . Here at Nine we have a rich library. Going through our library today, we came up with a nice “6 pack” reading options for February on the ancient Maya. This is especially important if you are deciding to come visit an ancient Maya Site in Belize or somewhere in the Maya World.

Belize Tourism and Hospitality Management Leadership conference
Management and Leadership for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Inspiring peak performance through exceptional leadership and management skills. Dates: March, 24nd, 25th and 26th 2015. Location: Roberts Grove Beach Resort, Placencia Peninsula Cost: $300 BZD $150 USD. Getting Work Done Through Others Hosted By Roberts Grove Beach Resort Belize This Management and Leadership Conference is a program for the tour and hospitality industry that will provide the enhancement of leadership excellence and services capacity sharing for Belize and Caribbean regions.

Wolverine Slept at My House
I'm not sure where to go with this blog post - it was a pretty busy week and weekend; plenty of blog worthy bits and at different times thought about going so many different ways with it. So I think I'll just start on the adventures of life on Ambergris Caye side of things and see where it takes me. First I would like the humbly apologize to the lady in the back row of that picture on the left there - see she's picky something out of her teeth...or maybe getting ready to eat a booger...not sure (she's not eating a booger!! That was a joke people!!). Either way - I had to roll with this picture as it's the only one I took. David and Linda were kind enough to invite us on their catamaran (the Cas Cat) for a Sunset Sail. It was a nice little trip. I really enjoy being on the water and the great thing about their boat is being much closer to the water, you can hear and feel it (though once the sun goes away you really don't want to feel it). Fantastic Rum Punch as well!! It was a great time with great friends. Very happy to have them as friends, neighbors and business colleagues.

There’s no Apocalypse here, people, just move along . . .
It was just one of those days, you know? When the sun melted the searing white sand into fine crystal glass beads that the natives picked up and made into bracelets to sell to the tourists. Yeah, it was that kind of hot. So hot you saw your breath, only it was steam. So hot, the iguanas were complaining. So hot, the sorgassum dried up into dust as soon as it hit the shore and blew away. Just kidding. Ha! Ha! It never gets that hot on Ambergris Caye. At least as far as I know.

Happy Belizean Groundhog Day — six more months of fun and sun!
Happy Belizean Groundhog Day! Yes, this is the Belizean groundhog! After a long night of partying at local island bars, people by the thousands politely waited at sunrise along the shore’s rip-rap walls. As the sun peeked over the horizon, spreading warmth and good cheer, scores of iguanas began to climb tentatively out of their burrows and face the sunlight. Not coincidentally, Sunday marked the end of iguana hunting season in Belize — true story. The newly emboldened iguanas, breathing a little easier on MOnday, but still irritated at being called “Bamboo Chicken” by hunters, are none-the-less ready to make a statement.

International Sourcesizz

TRAVEL trends of 2015 include Panama, Belize, Poland and Havana
It’s already shaping up to be a busy year for travel. So many are looking for new travel experiences, not just a typical visit to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Although there are still traditionalists, who will visit the same spot every year, this year’s travellers want to experience something different and awe-inspiring. A fantastic destination that saw a spike in travellers last year was the beautiful country of Belize. With English as Belize’s official language and breathtaking landscapes, it’s no wonder travellers feel comfortable and at home. Belize also offers a variety of attractions – San Pedro for the travelling shopper, Caracol for the historian and the Great Blue Hole for the adventure-seeker, there’s so much to see and so much to do in Belize.

Belize Cruise Port of Call for Ships
The Belize cruise port of call is small compared to others, but it is absolutely beautiful. It’s a newer destination for ships. Be aware ahead of time that just because your cruise is scheduled to stop at this port doesn’t mean it will. The cruise lines use tenders to take their passengers aboard at this port, as it is not equipped for cruise ships to dock, which means if the seas are too choppy they will not allow you to board the tenders for your safety. It only takes the Belize City Tenders 15 minutes to get a passenger from the ship to the port. We recommend you don’t sit on the sides of the tender downstairs, or you will get wet, and that you take motion sickness medication prior to getting on the tender, if you are prone to getting motion sickness.

Spiny Lobster Abundance Shows Fishery in Good Shape
A recent study conducted in the waters of Glover's Reef Marine Reserve in Belize by the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners has revealed good news for spiny lobsters: the abundance of these commercially valuable crustaceans should support local fisheries into the future, an indication that no-take areas and other regulations are protecting the nation's marine resources. While the authors maintain that the current level of fishing is at a reasonable target level, they also note that many of the lobsters caught are on the small side. They recommend that increasing the size limit would make the fishery more sustainable. The study titled "Bayesian depletion model estimates of spiny lobster abundance at two marine protected areas in Belize with or without in-season recruitment" appears in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. "Overall, the fishery seems to be in good shape and the no-take areas seem to be protecting the species from overfishing," said Janet Gibson, Director of WCS's Belize Programme.

Lord Ashcroft basks in limelight as his polls look set to transform election
Billionaire Tory peer’s unique constituency-by-constituency polls could see unprecedented tactical voting in marginal seats in May. Lord Ashcroft is having fun. The billionaire Tory peer, who is ploughing a small fortune into the finest-grained polling ever seen at a UK general election, is revelling in his new nickname as Britain’s “Pollfather”. Since resigning from Conservative central office in 2010 where he had run polling and funded a target seats campaign for David Cameron, he doesn’t have to toe any party line. So, as well as publishing a stream of unique constituency-by-constituency polls which many believe will enable unprecedented tactical voting in May, he is enjoying publicly teasing the prime minister.

Vaginal Steaming Can Revitalise Your Body
There is an ancient herbal treatment for the uterus that is called vaginal steaming, that can help to heal "almost any aspect of uterine pathology", according to mindbodygreen.com. Also known as yoni steaming, the treatment is used to cleanse and revitalize the uterus, bringing down any discomfort associated with the seasonal cycle. Dr. Rosita Arvigo, "a naprapathic physician, herbalist, international lecturer, author and teacher of Maya medicine", who has lived and studied with ancient Mayan healers in Belize for nearly 25 years, became familiar with this amazing medicine. Dr Arvigo agrees that vaginal steaming is popular in Mayan societies, and is called a bajo in Central America. It is usually used among women.

Videos

  • Underwater world on Caye Caulker, Belize, 1.5min. The Month of Love is Here – Escape to Belize this Valentine!
  • Corozal (Belize), 13min. Jump across the border from Chetumal, Mexico to Corazol, Belize.
  • Two Months Travelling Belize, 3.5min. I spent two months in Belize, most of my time spent in the jungle up the Columbia River at the Maya Mountain Research Farm where I researched for my dissertation. I also spent a night with a Mayan Family in a village, visited the local towns and villages often, and saw Placencia.
  • Dolphin in Belize, 1/2min. Dolphin having a little fun ..:)
  • Diving Clip, Ray Alley, North Turneffe, Belize, 6.5min.
  • Dolphins Playing with Belize Diving Services Boat, 3min. On the way back from Turneffe Atoll to Caye Caulker, Belize, the captain spotted dolphins and slowed the boat to play with them on request.
  • ENTRANCE OF UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE IN HORRIBLE CONDITIONS, 4min.
  • The Corozal Community College Marching Band !! @Placencia, Belize, 3min.
  • Prime Minister of Belize 2015 Vision, 10min. Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean O. Barrow 2015 vision focused on infrastructure and technology.
  • Dolphins, Belize, Caye Caulker, 40sec. this was Sara's first real open water dive, was a pleasure to share the experience with her, and, as if it couldnt be sweeter after seeing over 7 individual nurse sharks, a few rays & a nice little hawksbill turtle, this happened on our safety stop.
  • DOCTOR MARCO TULIO MENDEZ FACES THE LONG ARMS OF THE LAW, 6min. Orange Walk East Area Representative and Chairman of the Northern Caucus, Dr Marco Tulio Mendez had his judgement day when he appeared at the Orange Walk Police station to face criminal charges on damning allegations of assault of an indecent nature. We will tell you about those charges momentarily but we will show you a timeline of the happenings at the police station today, including the bold move of a fanatical supporter who shielded Mendez from addressing the Media.
  • Underwater in Belize, 4min. Off the coast of Belize, near the Portofino Beach Resort, with Action Diver's amazing guides Roberto and Blinky, my wife learns to scuba dive. An amazing trip!
  • Snorkeling Caye Caulker, Belize, 8.5min. This was a snorkeling trip with The Spear Fishing Shaq of of Caye Cauker island, Belize. Spectacular!
  • Part 2 2015 Pageau Cruise Belize Scuba Diving Navigator of the Seas, 9min. Diving in Belize Mexico. More of the ship as well as Scuba Diving. The dive boat picks you up directly from the ship and takes you to the dive shop on a small island. After gearing up the boat takes you out into the Gulf. I got some shots of and Spotted Eagle Ray, Shark, Sand Rays.
  • Mayan ruins in Belize, 5min. Just practicing some glidecam.

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