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#500768 - 02/06/15 05:14 AM Today's Belize News: February 6, 2015
Marty Offline

Lobster Season Is Closed
Lobster lovers will have to wait several months to consume the crustacean since the Fisheries Department announced today that the season is set to close on February 15th. The department says that any person found in possession of lobsters during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations. The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2015, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period. The Fisheries Department hereby makes a special appeal to fishers and the public to uphold the Fisheries Regulations in regards to lobster and other marine products, and urges all responsible citizens to call the Department at 224-4552 or 223-2623 to report any infractions. The season will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2015.

Corozal Sports Council And Campeche Sport Council Exchange Program
By the end of February of this year, the first sport international exchange between the Corozal Sports Council and the Campeche sports council will come to fruition. This is because an agreement between Carlos Acosta from the Corozal Sports Council, International Coordinator, David Magana, and president of the Lima Lama Association in Campeche, Candelario Ordonez Flores has been reached. Today we caught up with organizers who shared with us how it will work. “This exchange has been for a long time from 2001 that we have been doing the exchange with Campeche but this time we have met with the Federation, SAGAR, with the architect that is the President of the Federation of sports in Campeche and our planification for sports was to develop the Infantile which was the U10, college sports, karate, football, basketball, volleyball and baseball, these are the sports that we will be exchanging with Campeche in this year 2015, for the 27th and the 28th of February which is this month the Corozal Junior College will be travelling to Campeche to participate in an exchange program in football female/male, basketball female/male, volleyball female/male and baseball male and also the karate academy of Corozal will be going in this trip.”

Ministry Of Health Issues Warning On Painted Potatoes
Reports from the Cayo District today revealed that visiting guests to Western Belize are falling ill and upon an intensive investigation revealed that the cause is said to be that of contraband, dyed potatoes being consumed. A release from the owner of the Maya Mountain Lodge, Bart Mickler says he has written to the Agricultural Coordinator for the Cayo district, Fay Garnett to report the matter. He says and we quote, “ We would like to make a report to you of a serious breach of several laws in regards to produce sales in the Cayo District. We understand that you are the person in charge and able to direct our concerns to the appropriate agencies of government for action. We hope that the public can be made aware as well so that potential poisoning can be avoided” end quote.

Orange Walk Mayor In Agreement In Municipal Autonomy
For the past two Municipal Elections Great Belize Productions has held a special program where the host interviews Mayoral candidates from both major political parties. The format of the program is that both candidates are asked the same questions and given the same amount of air time. The Mayoral candidates from each municipality and political party are interviewed on the same program one after the next. A coin toss determines which candidate is interviewed first. That is how the show has been produced for the past two municipal elections but this year there was no coin toss because all mayoral candidates of the United Democratic Party including Mayoral Candidate Yvette Torres decided not to partake in this year’s rounds of interviews. But the show proceed anyway and kicked off this morning with P.U.P’s Orange Walk Mayoral Candidate and current mayor Kevin Bernard who answered a number of questions which ranged from accountability and transparency to infrastructural works.

COBEC Holds Winter Conference 2015
Over 2 dozen representatives from various universities in the United States of America gathered today at the Corozal Junior College for the annual Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) Winter Conference 2015. Every year a secondary and tertiary educational institution is responsible of hosting the conference and this year it is the turn of the Corozal Junior College to do so. But what is COBEC and what role does the organization play here in Belize? Jane Bennett, Co-Chair for Belize COBEC explains. Jane Bennett - Co-chair for Belize COBEC “The Belize co-chair of COBEC which is the Consortium of Belize Education and Cooperation, is an organization that was formed back in the 80’s to support the educational system in Belize, it was a bunch of Universities and some officials in Belize that created this collaboration between the Junior Colleges and our Universities with the US Universities and it has survived the test of time still going on.”

New Ambassador To Belize, His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez
There is a new chief in town as it pertains to taking over the reins at the Embassy of Mexico to Belize. His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, today presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize at the Belize House in Belmopan. In his presentation, Ambassador Melendez expressed his commitment to working hand in hand with local authorities to achieve the goals of the bilateral agenda, which exists between the two nations. He further stated that priority will be given to “the strengthening of our bilateral legal framework and enriching our areas of cooperation” that encompass security, education, health and culture. Ambassador Melendez also conveyed his government’s commitment to “reinforcing the positive interaction that exists especially between Belize and the southeastern states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche.”

New Show In Town, Meet The Candidates With Dr, Carl Meggs
With only weeks away from the anticipated Municipal Elections, political machines have been revving in high gear as the countdown for decision day draws near. But who are the candidates and what do they have to offer to the community? That is what you will find out if you tune in tonight our new show “Meet the Candidates” which will air live from our studios. The show promises to be educational and informative and is being hosted by Dental Surgeon by profession, Dr. Carl Meggs. We caught up with Meggs today who told us that the show will primarily be centered on real issues and finding solutions for them. Dr. Carl Meggs – HOST “The show is not going to be a raga raga morning talk show calling names and slandering and all of that, it is informative and hopefully educational because we want to show topics and we want to show real solution to issues and problems that cause these issues to come about without having to get into name calling and all that there is enough room for education and there is a lot of young people out there and older folks who honestly does not understand governance and that is basically where it is coming from we want to reach out to those people who as the introduction of the show has Bob Marley singing Emancipate yourself from mental slavery and that is basically the jest of it, give people material and discuss it openly that they can understand and make their decision based on acquired knowledge.”

Briceno Confident Of P.U.P's Victory In O/W For Municipal Elections
With Municipal Elections right around the corner, today we asked Briceno if his case and that of Doctor Mendez could affect the chances of the Orange Walk P.U.P Seven Team being sent back to town hall. Seemingly unfazed for the entire interview, Briceno stated he is confident that the people will once again put their trust into the People’s United Party to represent them in the upcoming Municipal Elections. “I want to make it abundantly clear, absolutely clear that the people of Orange Walk Town they know me, the people of Orange walk town they know they have a great Mayor by Kevin Bernard and six excellent candidates that are vying to represent the people of Orange Walk Town and that irrespective of what the UDP tries to do it will not stop the people of Orange Walk Town to come out and vote for Kevin Bernard and the other six PUP candidates...”

#500769 - 02/06/15 05:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 6, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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

Meet your San Pedro Town Councilor Candidates- Part III
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).

San Pedro Sailing Club receives new Laser Sailboat Fleet
On Friday, January 30, 2015, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center, obtained 10 factory-direct Laser sailboats. With the new arrivals, it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club, as they now have boats for sailors of all ages. As such, the focus in this year’s sailing season will be in garnering adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday saw more than 30 sailors on the water, ranging between the ages of eight and 72 years!

San Pedro Police remove significant amount of cartridges off the streets
San Pedro Police found a significant amount of firearm cartridges in an empty lot in the Boca del Rio Area. Police had received anonymous information on the location of a stash, and a search was carried out on Saturday, January 31st at around 1:30PM, where a total of 148 cartridges were recovered. Since the rounds were found in an empty area and no one was found in the immediate area, the cartridges were taken to the San Pedro Police Station where they were labeled as “Found Property”. Investigations are ongoing to determine the owner of the cartridges. According to the San Pedro Police, the cartridges found are commonly used as ammunition for rifles and shotguns. Anyone with further information on the find is to call the San Pedro Police Department at 206-2022. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers Belize at 0-800-922 –TIPS (8477).

Reef Radio and Reef TV honor local Belizean musicians
Reef Radio and Reef Television honored six local Belizean musicians during a special show on January 31st. The event took place at the Paradise Theatre and saw musicians that have graced the island over the past few years being properly recognized. Those musicians include Jose “Ralfy El Phantom” Collado, Oscar and David Aguilar, Ismael “El Buki” Chacon, Natalie Arceo and Ernestine Carballo. Each of the six local musicians took to the stage where they performed several musical presentations. First to open the show was Ralfy El Phantom. He brought reggaeton to life, setting the stage for the night. Ralfy was presented with an award from Miguel Perez of Traveller’s Liqours Limited. According to Proprietor of Reef Radio and Reef TV, the first ever Tribute to Belizean musicians hosted by his company was to show love, respect and most importantly honor musicians who have blessed the Belizean public with their talent. He explained that too often, musicians go through their careers unrecognized, and the tribute to Belizean musicians is a forum to show them appreciation.

Ambergris Today

Cancer Walk Raises Awareness and Engages Island Community
Upon the invitation of the San Pedro Cancer Society, Ambergris Caye, Belize, residents took time to participate in the island’s annual Cancer Awareness Walk in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day, February 4, 2015. Every year, the San Pedro Cancer Society holds the “Light the Night” event which has been very well attended. This year saw the participation of many island business groups who sent their staff to show support for the cause; this included members of the Belize Bank, St. Francis Xavier Credit Union, San Pedro Lions Club, ABC Pre School and Belize Water Services, to name a few. Also joining these business groups were cancer survivors and people whose lives have been affected by the deadly disease one way or another.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Carnaval 2015 Dates, Rules & Regulations.

The 6th Annual Bob Marley tribute in San Pedro
on Friday, Feb 6th & 7th @ Central Park

Ratafari Vision & Culture Exhibition
You are invited to come and view the exhibition on "Ratafari Vision & Culture" at the San Pedro House of Culture. Exhibition runs until Feb 7th.

Sabado de Bando: Carnaval Masquerade Ball
Prepare your masks, ball gowns and pull out your tuxedos! The San Pedro House of Culture (NICH) and Caprice Bar & Grill (Holiday Hotel) are pleased to invite you to a Masquerade Ball (Baile de Disfraz) as part of our Carnaval Celebrations. The event will be held on Saturday, February 14th, starting at 9:00 pm. We hope to see you there.

Great exhibition on Marcus Garvey at the San Pedro House of Culture.
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." -Marcus Garvey

Masquerade Ball in San Pedro
2nd Annual Masquerade Ball at Caprice Bar & Grill at the Holiday Hotel. Don't miss it.

The vessel has been inspected by an independent contractor who can lift the vessel from the sea floor and remove the sailboat from the area. That method will reportedly cost approximately $70K dollars. Precedence indicates the vessel's owner should bear costs associated with removing the sailboat. However, the sailboat is still at the site more than a month after the accident took place.

Food Safety Alert: Tainted Irish Potatoes
The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture inform the public that they have received confirmed reports of tainted Irish Potatoes being sold in San Ignacio. Investigations revealed that the potatoes are dyed a pink/fuchsia colour and are circulating on the market. Confiscation of this product has commenced and the public is advised not to purchase or consume these tainted potatoes. Attached is a photograph that shows the difference between the two potatoes. The potato labelled number one is the tainted product, and number two is the locally produced red potato.

The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2015. Any person found in possession of lobsters during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3(1)(b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003.

New Ambassador of Mexico to Belize Presents Letters of Credence to the Governor General
His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, today presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, February 5, 2015: 11. FANTASY 5: 14 23 10 11 24 N

Channel 7

Supreme Court Says GOB Does Not Have To Pay Arbitral Award
The Supreme Court today ruled that the Government of Belize does not have to pay 33.5 million dollars to the Ashcroft Alliance. It's a win for the Barrow Administration, but the Ashcroft Alliance intends to take it to the Court of Appeal, and if there is need, they are determined to appeal all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice. And Michael Ashcroft himself was right there in the courtroom to hear it! He appeared only mildly disappointed in the courtroom when the decision was handed down. Viewers may remember the origin of that 33.5 million dollars that the Alliance is trying to collect on. It dates all the way back to 2007 when then Prime Minister Said Musa and then Attorney General Francis Fonseca signed a loan note, using public funds to guarantee the debt for a private hospital, formerly known as Universal Health Services.

Both Sides of BTL/BEL Dispute Ask CCJ For Specific Relief
Another case that Ashcroft attended personally was the appeal cases of the BTL/BEL acquisitions, which was heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice in December and January at their headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It's the so called "war of worlds" where the former owners have appealed to the CCJ asking them strike down the acquisition of the utility companies. In 2011, the Barrow Administration acquired BEL and reacquired BTL and sought to legislate perpetual, public ownership using the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. The purpose of that was put it beyond legal challenge in the Courts. That case has already been argued, and the panel of judges are expected to deliver their ruling at a later date, but on January 23, the attorneys of both sides went back to Port of Spain to present to the CCJ judges what options that they have available for remedies if the acquisitions are ruled unlawful.

30g's For the George Street Three
In 2011, the George Street Three: Sheldon "Pinky" Tillett, Micah Thompson and Charles Woodeye successfully sued the Government of Belize for false imprisonment. The trio spent 11 months in supermax on the allegation that they had murdered John Paul Saldivar. But as was shown in Court, police didn't have a shred of evidence pointing to that - except for the fact that they happened to be on San Pedro on the same night when he was killed on northern Ambergris Caye. The Supreme Court found that they were entitled to twenty five thousand dollars each in general damages, far less than the two hundred thousand dollars they had asked for. From there, it should have been straightforward enough for government to pay up and put an embarrassing episode of police abuse behind them - but, quite unexpectedly, the Government appealed. And, when they went to before the Court of Appeal in June of 2014, the Panel of judges didn't seem very impressed by the acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke's arguments that no payment should be made. In fact, they ended up hearing from Agnes Segura-Gillett who represented the three men on why the award should be increased.

Hot Pink Potatoes? Bogus! Dangerous!
Not every potato you purchase at the market or eat at a restaurant or resort is safe for consumption. Resort owners in San Ignacio today showed the media that contraband potatoes are being smuggled into Belize from Mexico - and smugglers have taken an extreme and dangerous step to pass them off as the locally produced Irish potatoes: they are dying them pink! Now, you'll know the Irish potato - it's the slightly reddish potato that you see here on the right side of your screen. Well, in an effort to come off like the regular potato, these contraband potatoes are dyed to have a rosy pink and slightly bright appearance. After hearing of these reports about guests from other resorts getting sick from eating these potatoes the owner of the Maya Mountain Lodge in Cayo expressed his concern about the risks and health hazards involved for consumers.

Cleon Marage and Myeloid Leukemia
Acute Myeloid Leukemia - it is a type of cancer of the myeloid blood cells. In April of last year, 10 year old Cleon Marage was diagnosed with the deadly disease and has since been receiving Chemotherapy in Merida. The Standard four student of St John Vianney travels to Merida monthly for treatment which is costly for his family. They are in the process of raising funds so that Cleon can leave by Monday. Here is how you can assist. Clovis Matura - Mother of Cleon Marage "I am trying to raise funds for Cleon because he has Acute Myeloid Leukemia." Monica Bodden "Tell us about the treatment that he needs?" Clovis Matura - Mother of Cleon Marage "He needs to have Chemotherapy for the next 12 months. We go to Merida every three weeks, so that he can get his Chemotherapy. Every time that we go to Merida, we need to come up with $2,000. At first it was more, but now the hospital is giving him free Chemo, so we only need to pay for the hospital stay, medicine and transportation.

Hon. Marco Tulio Could Face Serious Time
Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - we've reported plentifully on the charges and allegations against him. On Tuesday he appeared in Orange Walk Magistrate's Court where he was formally arraigned on six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. So what's the maximum time in prison that he could face? Well, the law says, a person convicted of such an offence under summary jurisdiction is, quote "Liable to a fine of not less than $3000.00 dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months." But under indictment, that goes up to three years in prison - and that is 3 years per charge, and he faces six charges. So, were he to be convicted on all counts, the maximum would be 18 years in prison. Dr. Mendez hasn't told us anything, but his party leader Francis Fonseca says Tulio Mendez will vigorously fight the charges.

Would Ashcroft Alliance Force A BTL Rate Rollback?
In our last segment, we told you how the former owners of BTL and BEL want the Caribbean Court of Justice to return the companies back to them if it rules that the Government should not have nationalized. Well, while we were in our interview with Eamon Courtenay, who is one of the attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance, he told us that even if the company is returned to them, that wouldn't be enough. That's because according to the Alliance, the new management, controlled by Government, has mismanaged the companies. Now, since the Government take over of the telecommunications company in 2009, Digicell4G was launched. The company tried to make DSL internet more affordable by doubling the internet speeds 3 times for the same price, which means that it has reduced 3 times. Digicell 4G has been reduced, and GST was taken off the service. Text bundles have gone down, and International calls went down twice also.

No Jail For Jade Pieces
37 year-old Godwell Flores Jr., the food vendor who was charged with failing to produce a license for 2 jade figurines, got a lucky break in the Magistrate's Court when the charges were dismissed against him. On January 21, 2014, Flores was found with 2 green Mayan antiquities. One of them was Jade mask broken in 3 fragments and the other was a jade figurine that was intact. Woman police Corporal Popper testified that she received a call while she was on patrol on Freetown road and she apprehended Flores and searched a back pack he had on his shoulder, and that led to the discovery of the antiquities. Archaeologist Oscar Ramos testified that on January 22, 2014, he examined the 2 pieces and verified that they were antiquities. Scenes of Crime technician Devon Westby testified that he took photographs of the pieces and the photographs were admitted into evidence as exhibits.

The "incredibly cowardly" Murder Of Alvin Robinson
Today, the Court of Appeal handed down its written decision to affirm the murder conviction against 28 year-old Gregory August, who was found guilty of killing 73 year-old Alvin Robison at his home near mile 8. The judgment calls the murder, quote, "incredibly cowardly" because August had only one eye, stood five feet five inches and was physically challenged. But all that didn't matter to his killer who stabbed him 9 times in the face and neck. On November 21, 2012, August was convicted by a jury of murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

The Gay Man And Woman's Burden in Belize
"My Story": That is the title of the art exhibit being featured at the Image Factory. The exhibit centers on the challenges and burdens homosexuals face in a homophobic society. It is a topic that has sparked debate across different sectors of society but according to artist Briheda Haylock, her aim is not to fuel that debate or evoke sympathy or pity, but to reveal the stories that have been buried by fear and discrimination. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Many Belizeans are walking in his shoes. Feeling hopeless and alone. And artist Briheda Haylock wants to tell her story and the story of those who face this reality every day.

Museum Turns 13
A couple weeks ago we reported on the forum held at the House of Culture on devising a master plan for a national museum. Well, the existing museum celebrated its 13th anniversary today. In keeping with this proposed plan of making a visit to the museum fun and interactive for kids, the directors invited pre-school and primary school students to celebrate their anniversary. Director of the Museum, Sherilyne Jones told us why it is important for children to visit the museum. The museum catered for about 400 students today.

Crystal Came Home
Last night we told you about Crystal Faber, the 14 year old who went missing after a visit to the internet café. Well, police report that she is safe and sound last night on Central American Boulevard.

New Mexican Ambassador Talks Partnership
The new Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel Melendez, today presented his letters of credence to Governor General, Sir Colville Young. In his presentation, Ambassador Melendez expressed his commitment to working hand in hand with local authorities to develop the bilateral agenda between Belize and Mexico for security, education, health and culture. He also committed to "reinforcing the positive interaction that exists especially between Belize and the southeastern states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche."

Channel 5

Supreme Court Rules on G.O.B./Belize Bank International Arbitration Award
This morning the Supreme Court issued a ruling declining an application by the Belize Bank for enforcement of an award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration. The L.C.I.A. [...]

Attorneys Denys Barrow and Eamon Courtenay on Nationalization Cases at CCJ
While this particular piece of litigation is just the first engagement in what promises to be a complicated and protracted war, another battle in another arena is nearing its end. [...]

What Can the Damages in Nationalization of BTL Amount to?
The Court requested full submissions from all sides as to what remedies they should give in the event that they rule one way or the other. Whichever way the C.C.J. [...]

Fake Red Potatoes Discovered in San Ignacio
There is a disturbing report tonight about those red Irish potatoes. Earlier this week, a resort owner in the Cayo District purchased potatoes at a vegetable stall in San Ignacio [...]

…BAHA Issues Food Safety Alert and Commences Investigation
Late this evening, BAHA and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued a food safety alert informing the public of the troubling find of the tainted Irish potatoes.  News [...]

Is Another Passport Scandal Looming Over Immigration Department
There is a very credible report into our newsroom tonight and it is that another passport fiasco is swirling around the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse.  It involves the illegal [...]

Eamon to G.O.B., “Pay Your Debt!”
As we told you earlier in the newscast, the acquisitions of Fortis and B.T.L. by Government are on centre stage at the Caribbean Court of Justice, with a decision expected [...]

…Comments on BEL Nationalization
Courtenay also weighed in on the nationalization of B.E.L. In June 2011, government took over the utility company which it claimed was floundering and in a financial mess. But Courtenay [...]

What if BTL Returns to Private Ownership?
With the decision by the C.C.J. imminent, there are already questions about the real, on the ground situation with Belize Telemedia Limited. One scenario based on a ruling that the [...]

A look at the Petrocaribe agreement
The debt crisis that is gripping Venezuela is casting shadows on the future of the Petrocaribe agreement with Belize. While there is no clear indication that the program that extends [...]

Godswell Flores Acquitted of Unlawfully Possessing Antiquities
Belize City resident Godswell Flores was today acquitted of Failure to Produce a License for Possession of Antiquities. Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the charge against Flores because the prosecution failed [...]

New Mexican Ambassador to Belize Introduced
There is a new kid on the block, the newly appointed Mexican Ambassador to Belize is Carlos Quesnel Melendez, who arrived a few days ago and is now duly accredited [...]

Nineteen year old Loses Life in Traffic Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident in the Spanish Lookout Community in the west. On route fourteen, several miles into the community, police found the lifeless body of nineteen year [...]

What’s the Fate of Grounded Vessel Near Caye Caulker?
Earlier this week we reported that a steel hull vessel remains aground on the reef near the island of Caye Caulker. A French captain reportedly crashed into the reef near [...]

…French Boat Captain No Longer in Country
The Westerhaven, the Great Escape and the Azteca are three well-known vessels that ran aground on Belize’s barrier reef in the past six years. In the case of the Westernhaven, [...]

Dara Kicks Off 13TH Annual Tribute to Bob Marley this Weekend
The Thirteenth Annual Tribute to Bob Marley kicks off this Friday in Belize City and is set to coincide with a massive fundraising event to aide Dara Robinson’s feeding program.  [...]

Art Exhibition Sheds Light on Plight of LGBT Community
There is another event taking place in the city over the weekend. An exhibition entitled “My Story” opens at the image factory on Friday.  Not many L.G.B.T. persons are open [...]

Healthy Living takes a look at Screening for Cervical Cancer
World Cancer Day was celebrated on February fourth around the world to raise awareness on the detection, prevention as well as treatment of cancer.  Locally, cervical cancer is one of [...]


La Ruta Maya; TWCSH Participates to Raise Awareness
Together We Can Solve Hungry, a non-governmental organization that aims in helping the needy and the homeless, is participating in the Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2015. Founder and President of TWCSH, Shaheed Mai, spoke to Love News about the objective of the group in this year’s River Challenge. SHAHEED MAI “The Belize community already knows that together we can solve hunger and what we are about and we are just here basically trying to seek sponsorship as it relates to getting supplies for training and for the actual race and also any financial donations to help the organization as well because we are paddling yes, throughout the race but we are also trying to bring awareness to the organization and try to secure sponsorship. We are paddling not only for the awareness but like I said to continue bring in funds and items that the organization needs to if anybody would like to assist us they could do the same thing as usual, call us and say what they want to give whether it is their time or funds or food items and clothing. We are just paddling to continue to build the organization and get ourselves more acquainted with the public. Items like Gatoraid, Powergels, energy bars, and water.

Ashcroft Wants His 39 Million from GOB
Justice Shona Griffith handed down her decision in regards to a claim brought against the Government of Belize by the Belize Bank Limited. The case revolves around a handsome figure of 39 million dollars, a loan from the Belize Bank and the former Universal Health Services Limited. Back in September, the matter was heard in the London Court of International Arbitration which ruled in favor of the bank. Later on the claimants sought to have the arbitration award enforced in Belize through the Supreme Court. That matter ended this morning and Senior Counsel Denys Barrow who represented the Government of Belize, updated the media. SENIOR COUNSEL DENYS BARROW “The court said that the executive is basically always entitled to enter into agreements including loan agreements, the problem is that entering into an agreement, making an agreement and enforcing that agreement are two separate stages.


Supreme Court declines to enforce Belize Bank arbitral award
A $39 million BZ arbitration award granted to the Belize Bank Limited by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in January of 2013 cannot be enforced because, according to Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith, it would be contrary to public policy, specifically the need for parliamentary approval to enter into a loan guarantee with the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of Belize Healthcare Partners Limited. Belize Healthcare Partners Limited bought the assets of the former Universal Health Services in 2008 under a settlement agreement. The Bank was gifted $40 million from the Government, consisting of separate US$10 million amounts from Venezuela and Taiwan, but the Venezuelan money was ordered to be returned by the Central Bank as it was intended for a different purpose. Additionally, Belizeans greatly disliked the notion of public funds being used for private ventures such as BHPL/UHS.

Shane Bennett: Caught and Charged for Rape
Shane Bennett, a rape suspect, was apprehended on Wednesday in the village of Independence, Stann Creek District. The incident is related to a report made on Tuesday last week, where a 25 year old woman of Dangriga reported to police that on Sunday January 25th., at about 8 pm, she was along with a friend in his vehicle, whom she had asked to take her to the Benguche Area in Dangriga. While he was driving on Front Street, Dangriga Town, he reportedly made a left turn driving in a Western direction on an unknown street leading to Casa Bridge, and while travelling on the street she heard a banging sound of a rock hitting underneath the vehicle.

19 year old dies after crashing motorbike into truck
There was a fatal traffic accident in Spanish Lookout Wednesday evening. On Route 40, Spanish Lookout, a white Ford truck collided into a motorcycle, killing the motorbike driver, 19 year old Josue Gilberto Garrido. Jouse Garrido, a Belizean laborer of Duck Run II, on was driving his red and black Meilun motorcycle sometime around 3:30 p.m. Gladimir Cano was driving the white Ford truck on Route 40, and when he reached in front of Country Meats Farm, the motorcycle collided into the left portion of the truck.

Murder appeal case dismissed
On Thursday he Court of Appeal handed down its first decision for 2015, deciding to dismiss an appeal against a conviction of murder and sentence of life imprisonment against 28 year old Gregory August, convicted of the murder of 73 year old Western Paradise Village resident Alvin Robinson. Gregory August’s conviction and sentence of life imprisonment were affirmed. Alvin Robinson, who was physically disabled and blind in one eye, was stabbed 9 times in his face and neck. He was found on his bed clinging to life and died while on his way to the hospital.

Tourists fined for cocaine possession
A trio of visitors to Belize is out $500 each after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 0.6 grams of cocaine, while on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District. American nationals John Conner and Chelsea Fitch, and Swedish national Johanna Holst were at the dock on Caye Caulker while a special constable and some police officers were patrolling the area. The special constable saw a member of the group containing Conner, Fitch and Holst kick away a transparent plastic bag. On retrieving the bag the cocaine was discovered, but the person who kicked the bag escaped before he could be detained.

7 year old Belmopan girl raped on way to store
On Tuesday we told you about the 7 year old child who had to undergo surgery after her hymen was violently torn. That’s because the child was raped on Monday night in Belmopan. According to police reports, on Monday 2nd February, sometime after 6:00p.m., the child’s mother sent her 7 year old daughter to the nearby store to buy an exercise book. While on her way, a man of dark complexion, who the child does not know, grabbed her from behind and put his hand on her mouth, and took the five dollars from her. He then pulled her off to an area and raped her.

COLA asks Marco Tulio Mendez to make public statement on allegations
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action also weighed in on the allegations and charges against the Orange Walk East Representative. Via a press release on Wednesday, COLA says it, “views with concern the news of the arrest and arraignment of the Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez,” It says that, “Assault on a child is especially loathsome because of the child’s inability to understand what is happening to them, often from an adult or authority figure that they trust. Medical practitioners have an especially important role as the guardians of our country’s health and must be held to a greater standard. In this light the allegations raised against Dr. Mendez are especially serious and damning and no amount of hiding away and calls for privacy is going to change that. As a representative of the people of Belize and particularly Orange Walk East, Dr. Mendez answers to his constituents even if he no longer wishes to serve them. COLA therefore calls on Dr. Mendez to make a public statement to the media on these allegations and begin the process of accountability and transparency so often advocated by his party, the People’s United Party”

Is the PUP ready for another bi-election?
A few weeks ago the people of Orange Walk East elected the new PUP standard bearer for that constituency, where Josue Carballo beat Dave Burgos by a very slim margin. This is after Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez , current Area Representative, announced last year November that he is stepping down due to medical reasons. Since being charged for aggravated assault upon a minor and common assault upon another minor, the Senior politician and professional pediatrician has been removed from his position as the chairman of the Northern Caucus, and has been suspended from all other party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The case resumes on April 13th. In the mean time, Dr. Mendez remains as the Area Representative for Orange Walk East. On Wednesday we asked Josue Carballo if his team is ready in the event that there should be another bi-election in the near future.

Prison escapee formally charged
Police have brought 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, accused of escape from lawful custody, to court in relation to his alleged breakout from the Central Prison at Hattieville on New Year’s Eve...

Placencia Food Vendor Complains
50 year old Brenda Muscham, was born in the community of Placencia, and for over 15 years has worked as a food vendor, selling Caribbean style delicacies to locals and tourists alike for Brenda’s Kitchen, a business she started...

How Excelsior student was motivated to Do The Right Thing
The Police Department’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ Initiative was started in 2011, through the Community Policing Unit, as a means of reaching young people starved for role models in society. Four years later the program is still going strong and finding young people who have turned their lives around and...

Ontario Village man robbed at gunpoint in Dangriga
A 28-year-old Belizean Collector for Neutralize Belize of Ontario Village, Cayo, reported that he visited A Cool Spot in the Backa Town area, Dangriga, in order to do business. However, the bar was closed. He then began to ride his motorcycle to the Backa Town Basketball Court, when he was accosted ...

Police looking for missing 83 year old man
Police are asking the public’s assistance in locating a missing man. 83 year old Cayetano Nah has been reported missing since Tuesday, February 3. According to 43-year-old Alexander Sheppard , on 2nd February, at around 9:00 a.m...

Teenager faces gun charges again
19 year old Malik Stuart pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, for which he was re-arrested this week. The original charges were dismissed, but police elected to bring them back. Malik Stuart was seen by police on April 23, 2014, handing over a 9 millimete...

Jury acquits security guard of aggravated assault
37 year old Harvey Sambula was acquitted of aggravated assault with a firearm and common assault, on Tuesday afternoon before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. After nearly three hours, the jury voted seven to two to acquit Mr Sambula of the first charge, and took another 30 minutes to reac...

Watchman charged for boss’s bullet
The .22 caliber bullet he was charged for is not technically his property, but 51 year old Luis Rodriguez, a watchman at a farm at Mile 12, George Price Highway, Belize District, is in prison nonetheless. Luis Rodriguez appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Herbert Panton, and attempted to plead gui...

Handyman pleads guilty to theft with ATM card
32 year old Floyd McNab could not avoid jail time on 22 counts of theft related to use of an ATM card he said he happened to find on the street, even though he plans to pay back what he used. The father of two, employed by the University of Belize as a handyman, entered a guilty plea, and was senten...

#500770 - 02/06/15 05:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 6, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

Non-Custodial sentence for accused rapist
Records show that horse and carriage businessman, Dennis Gabourel, 57, has faced over 50 charges and has been convicted of a crime at least 10 times since 1997. His latest conviction is for grevious harm upon a woman who accused him of rape and for that conviction he may not serve a minute in prison. Gabourel has been charged multiple times for charges such as theft, harm, assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape but Justice Troadio John Gonzalez decided that he is the type of individual deserving of a non-custodial sentence for being convicted of grevious harm upon a woman who claims he raped her.

Men to Stand Trial for Murder of Jorge Blanco
A Preliminary Inquiry (PI) for the case against four men linked to the murder of Jorge Blanco, 57, concluded on Tuesday, February 3, with a decision to commit the case to the April 2015 session of the Supreme Court. In October of 2013, police arrested and charged four men for their part in the robbery of three shipyard farmers and the murder of their employee. On Friday, October 25th, Shipyard farmers John, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were returning home along with their truck driver, 57-year-old Jorge Blanco, when they were ambushed on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The robbery took place sometime around 12 noon. The cargo truck was passing the speed bump at mile 19 in Sandhill Village when a gunman approached and fired a shot at the driver.

Fined for Selling PUP Boledo
Chinese grocer, Jia Bi Wang, 46, is facing a possible prison term of six months for selling illegal boledo at her establishment. Wang pleaded guilty to one count of selling illegal lottery when she appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, January 30. According to police report, on July 13, 2014 PC Hyde saw Wang sell lottery to a customer on a white paper at her shop, Kim’s Store, on Iguana Street Extension. According to PC Hyde, when he saw the transaction he approached the counter and informed Wang that he was a police officer. Hyde took the paper from the customer and took the money from Wang. He informed her of the offense and made the arrest.

Carjacking and rape in Griga
Police continue an intense manhunt for Dangriga Resident Shane Bennett who is believed to have been involved in a carjacking, which led to anal rape of a young woman, and a police shoot out. It’s compounding a heinous act to a deadly crime. It all happened Sunday January 25, at about 8 p.m. when a 25 year-old woman was with her male friend in his vehicle. She asked him to take her to the Benguche Area of Dangriga Town. While on the way there, the friends heard a rock hitting the chassis at the vehicle. When the man stopped the vehicle, and stepped out to check what happened, 2 men, one armed with a knife, and the other with a gun, held him up and ordered him to get back into the vehicle.

Laboratory technician accused of bad touch
Lab technician Albert Genity is out on bail after he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Thursday, January 29, to answer to a single charge of sexual assault. A woman reported to police that she visted the Matron Roberts Health Center on Friday, January 23, to get a lab report. While she was there she went into an office to see Genity and while conducting a test he touched her vagina in a sexual nature without her consent. The woman was offended and reported the matter to police. Genity was arrested and charged.

Upliftment for Lakeview and Trenchtown!
Any investment in infrastructure is an investment in job creation and long term upliftment for people who depend on them. Across the length and breadth of Belize the Government is investing in meaningful infrastructure projects which have created thousands of jobs for residents and transformed communities. The infrastructure of major highways, main roads, tourist sites access roads, main streets and development zones have seen major upgrades but also have minor streets, village roads and unplanned communities. For every part of the country there is an infrastructure project ongoing right now. The most recent project is the concrete lining of Lakeview, Prisoner Creek & Trenchtown Canals in Southside Belize City.

Agric changes show dates
The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture hereby informs the general public that the dates for the 2015 show has been changed to May 1, 2 and 3. The theme of the show remains as “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public Private Partnership”. The grounds are currently being prepared and concessioners and food vendors are advised that sale of booths will begin February 23, 2015.

Belmopan Market has been improved
The residents of Belmopan are now happy that their market on market square is finally operational. Just recently opened, the market in Belmopan now covers the Civic Center parking area beside the Post Office, Civic Centre Verandah and the new Gazebo surrounding. The much improved Belmopan market opens on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Existing at the Belmopan Market are stalls dedicated for vegetable and fruit (38), food (12), meat (4), clothing (59) and dry good products (17). Both a market manager from the Belmopan City Council and a vendor’s committee has been assigned to ensure that the market is highly organized and sanitary. Indeed; for those heading to Belmopan, the market now stands out as a place to go. Today, Belmopan market vendors and residents can enjoy green areas lined with flowering plants, a renovated Belmopan Civic Center and a renovated market.

Clarification on statements made against the SPTC and Mayor 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.

Normal Course of Business Paving of Hopkins Road Full Speed Ahead
With the Municipal Elections approaching, infrastructure works in the cities and towns have understandably been receiving a disproportionate amount of attention these days. But as Prime Minister Dean Barrow once put it, such works under this administration occur as part of the normal course of business. Indeed, countrywide, not just in the municipalities, these works have been proceeding as per normal. In Hopkins, for example, the long-anticipated paving of the access road has been moving full speed ahead. Some portions have already been fully paved and others are in progress. In accordance with the design which takes into account the seasonal flooding that occurs in the wet-land area at the entrance of the village, a 300 foot long structure is being incorporated to permit water to effectively roll off without causing structural damage to the pavement.

PUP can’t get anything right!
There is nothing that gets past the eyes of those engaged in the social media, and in particular Facebook. Our attention was drawn by one such posting where an observant member of Facebook posted a picture of a PUP poster in San Pedro. We have no idea how the fact that the sign was posted upside down could have gotten past those who were organizing the work but what we can surmise is that if they can’t get a simple task as putting a sign up right then they stand not a ghost of a chance of being able to run a municipality.

Santi Inaugurates Drainage Project for Buttonwood Bay
Hon. Santiago Santino Castillo pledged to the residents of Caribbean Shores when he was on the campaign trail in 2011 that he would lobby tirelessly to see that the infrastructure in the area is improved. He says, “The two most common concerns are street infrastructure and drainage.” Central Government has worked with the Belize City Council to keep Santi’s promise with the Council’s extensive street rehabilitation program very visible in Caribbean Shores. The drainage component has been lagging behind; however, on Saturday, January 31, Castillo and residents of Caribbean shores celebrated the completion of a million dollar comprehensive drainage project for the Buttonwood Bay area.

Sexual assault has serious consequences
On Tuesday December 23, 2014, 41 year old Carlos Perez Sanchez pleaded guilty of sexual assault of a 39 year old woman and her 11 year old daughter. For his crime he was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The crime that Sanchez had committed was to touch both of the females on their buttocks while they passed in front of him.

Deafening silence from the Noise Makers!!!
Dr. Tulio Mendez is going down in history as the first sitting Area Representative in Belize to be charged for child sexual molestation. On Tuesday, January 3, the Area Representative of Orange Walk East was charged with aggravated sexual assault upon two very young children. It is the most shameful allegations ever brought up against a member of the House of Representatives; it was the headline story of all independent media houses and it was the most discussed topic on social media in Belize on Tuesday evening. However, it seems as if no morning talk show host or producer in Belize was aware that a Member of Parliament is being labeled a child predator. No women rights group, children rights activist, church organization, union or any other social partner representative issued a single statement. Compare that to the treatment of UDP officials.

Attorney gets paid $250,000 and does not deliver to his client
On July 8, 2013, a property located at 12B Douglas Jones Street in Belize City was put up for sale by the owner, Rita Mcfield. It was not two days later that a church group, Forward in Faith Ministries, approached the seller expressing interest to purchase the land and the legal transactions began. The prospective new owners were so eager to seal the deal that they would soon deposit $250,000 under the care of attorney Ernest Staine. While the land documentation was proceeding, the money was held in escrow, meanwhile an agreement was reached where, to prevent the property being sold to anyone else, $10,000 was given to the owner with a monthly payment of $1,000 being paid while the paper works were completed. A year later the paperwork is all completed but at this point in time the owner is refusing to sign over the ownership since the payment has not yet been made.

VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament set for February 8
The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to announce that it has rescheduled the VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Invitational Tournament for Sunday 8 February, 2015, at Rogers Stadium. The tournament was originally scheduled for 26 October, 2014, and had to be postponed because of the weather. The VII Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will feature the Belize Bank Bulldogs the national softball champions of Belize, Beacon from Belize City, Lord’s Bank Sunrise, Camalote United, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the champions from the Orange Walk Association. The tournament is scheduled to commence at 9:00 am and will utilise an abbreviated Double Elimination format.

OW’s New Mayor
It has become glaringly obvious even to the casual bystander that the People’s United Party is in crisis mode. A succession of recent events has rocked the Party to its core, and is even threatening to weaken the Party’s viability to mount a credible challenge in any election. The most recent event surrounds the Doctor from the East. This man is in an unenviable position, and is facing serious criminal charges and a dark future as a professional. Now, because of the protracted outrage levied against Penner by its covert apologists, the PUP leadership has had to react with drastic measures against one of their own. Hon. Mendez has been suspended indefinitely from the Party and from any of its activities, and is now a political pariah.

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. Opening remarks were delivered by His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero. He spoke on the many discussions held to ensure this reality, and on his commitment to continue to guarantee that healthcare services remain a priority for the people. Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts was also in attendance. He expressed his honour to be a part of the team focused on improving and expanding the services at the Polyclinic. He also committed to continuing the work to provide necessary additional healthcare services to the island.

Ground breaking at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio
There was a ground breaking ceremony for a kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town on Sunday evening of this past weekend. Present for the ceremony was Evan Dakers, the Director of Help Age Belize, who thanked the Gobie Foundation for its ongoing efforts to raise funds towards the building of the kitchen. Alan Gobie, the representative from the Gobie Foundation, reports that from the bike ride held in November of last year, some $50,000.00 was raised, which will now go towards the kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center. Additionally, the Gobie Foundation and its many partners will be having a Valentine’s Day dance on February 14th at the Octavia Waight Center. The event has been programmed to start at 8:00 pm and will feature a live auction of prizes. Tickets are now going for $75.00 each and can be obtained from any of the Octavia Waight Board members. From this effort and others, it is hoped that an additional $30,000.00 can be raised, which will also be going towards the new kitchen.

How long did PUP know of the molestation allegations?
Even if, when and after Dr. Tulio Mendez is tried for child molestation charges there will be more questions than answers about the series of events that led to him being charged on Tuesday, January 4. These questions have been pouring in to Wave Radio’s “Fus Ting Da Mawnin” and to the Guardian Newspaper. Belizeans have a list of questions they want answers to. - How long was the children’s guardian who made the report aware of the act committed upon the girls? - When was the PUP Executive made aware of the allegations of child molestation against Hon. Tulio Mendez? - Did the guardian of Mendez’s accusers use the children’s allegations to hold Mendez at ransom for some time? - Did Mendez really resign for health issues or was his resignation as Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East forced because of this bombshell?

Jaguar Paw road paving to start
A contract was signed between the Ministry of Works & Transport and Belize Roadway construction Ltd, for the paving of the Frank’s Eddy/Jaguar Paw Road. The paving of the road will be done at a cost of $4,864,644.92 and is expected to be complete in six months. The project entails the Paving of 9 km of roadway ; the rehabilitation of base course to remove undesirable soft material; the Placing of culverts and crossings into properties adjacent to roadway improvement drainage alongside road; establishing of drains to evacuate water from alongside roadway throughout the length of road; the placing of road furniture throughout the length of roadway (signs, guardrails, etc); painting of road to define carriageway; Placing of speed bumps for the traffic control; and the widening of the existing carriageway.

Tulio Mendez’s wife subject of attacks
In the wake of the child molestation scandal that has emerged against the good Doctor from Orange Walk East, Marco Tulio Mendez, his family has been taking some of the blowback from the political consequences of the accusation. On Friday, Dr. Lesly Mendez, Marco Tulio’s wife, granted an interview to Channel 7 News in which she discussed that her family is being targeted by residents of Orange Walk Town. Those residents are sending her threatening messages, phone calls and remarks which are demeaning, disrespectful, and full of hate.

PUP’s feeble attempt to boot out Marco Tulio Mendez
On Tuesday February 3, the People's United Party made the most feeble attempt to get on the right side of history in the whole debacle surrounding Marco Tulio Mendez and the charges he is now facing of Aggravated Assault against two young girls. The PUP statement said that the Party Leader, Francis Fonseca was with immediate effect removing Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and suspended him indefinitely from all of their party related duties, responsibilities and activities. What we can say about this is that the PUP needs to wheel and come again, it should be remembered that for all intents and purposes Marco Tulio Mendez had already told his party that he no longer wanted anything to do with them. He in fact had told them that he would no longer represent them in the next general elections. In effect he was withdrawing from the PUP. The lame declaration by the PUP yesterday was in fact moot and pointless.

PG Magistrate’s Court remodeled
The Magistrate's Court in Punta Gorda has been fully retrofitted and on Friday January 30th it was officially opened. U.S. Ambassador, H.E. Carlos Moreno along with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Solicitor General, Anita Johnston, did the honors of ribbon cutting. For years the court had fallen into disrepair and there was an urgent need for attention to be given to the building to bring it up to standard. After much seeking assistance it came by way of the U.S' Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) which invested in the renovation of the building both inside and outside. The court is now fully air conditioned with internet and wifi access as well as wheel chair access. The court will also be doubling to accommodate Supreme Court hearings. Aside from the renovations at the magistrate's court building, work is also currently underway through financing from UNICEF for the construction of a child friendly court to accommodate the family court in PG.

The nuts take over NTUCB
Belizeans will be seeing some very extreme positions taken by the unions in the weeks and months ahead because the crazies have taken control of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB held elections for officers on Sunday, February 2, and Marvin Mora was elected President with Audrey Matura-Shepherd as 2nd Vice-President. Mora and Matura-Shepherd have been the union leaders most hostile towards government in the last 14 months and they seem to have formed a mutual relationship. Since the two have started making appearance together, Matura-Shepherd’s most trusted associate, Floyd Neal, has been appointed by the NTUCB’s Mora alliance as a Director of the Social Security Board. Then Marvin Mora received the support of the largest union, Christian Workers Union, for Presidency of the National Trade Union Congress. In turn, Matura-Shepherd received the Mora alliance bump and was elected to the position vacated by Mora, 2nd Vice-President.

Attorney gets paid $250,000 and does not deliver to his client
On July 8, 2013, a property located at 12B Douglas Jones Street in Belize City was put up for sale by the owner, Rita Mcfield. It was not two days later that a church group, Forward in Faith Ministries, approached the seller expressing interest to purchase the land and the legal transactions began. The prospective new owners were so eager to seal the deal that they would soon deposit $250,000 under the care of attorney Ernest Staine. While the land documentation was proceeding, the money was held in escrow, meanwhile an agreement was reached where, to prevent the property being sold to anyone else, $10,000 was given to the owner with a monthly payment of $1,000 being paid while the paper works were completed. A year later the paperwork is all completed but at this point in time the owner is refusing to sign over the ownership since the payment has not yet been made.

American nurse in jail for overstaying her time
American nurse, Tessa Kenny, 38, is serving the first days of a one year prison sentence for failure to comply with a visitor’s permit. Kenny appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, January 30, and pleaded guilty to the offense. According to immigration records, Kenny arrived in Belize sometime in 2013 and after spending the time granted to her she received extensions up until October 2014. According to immigration officer Roberto Gurnsey, though Kenny has been granted extensions when requested, she has not visited the Immigration Department since October, 2014. On Thursday, January 29, police on patrol in the Belama area had a run in with Kenny and requested that she provide her immigration documents. She could not produce any documents; therefore, she was handed over to the Immigration Department and it was discovered that her visitor’s permit had expired.

Floyd McNab Pleads Guilty to 22 Counts of Theft
Monica Santos, 27, left a purse in her dad’s DMAX pickup truck on January 16 and before she could go back to get it the purse vanished. Police investigation led to Tow Tow store on Mahogany Street where surveillance cameras showed Floyd McNab, 30, making purchases with Santos’ ATM card. According to police, McNab swiped the woman’s card 22 times from January 16 to January 20. The most he spent at one time was $302. The total amount he spent over the period is $2,912.70. Floyd McNab is a handyman familiar to the Santos family. He was arrested and charged with 22 counts of theft. On Tuesday, January 3, McNab appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton where he pleaded not guilty to the 22 counts.

Tattoo Artist Out on Bail
After seven nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a sexual assault charge, Estevan Mossiah, 45, businessman of Barracks Road is out on bail. Mossiah is in trouble for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl twice in January of this year. According to a report to police by a minor, 15, Mossiah engaged in sexual intercourse with her on two separate occasions, January 6 and January 9, 2015. Mossiah was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault upon a minor under the age of 16. He was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Friday, January 23. Since the charge is a matter that will be dealt with on indictment, no plea was taken and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 24, 2015. However, attorney Oscar Selgado filed a bail application on his behalf at the Supreme Court.

Brutal Murder in Belmopan
Feliciano Richard Noralez McKoy, better known as “Mac”, met an unusually violent death on Tuesday, February 3, while he was on the job in the City of Belmopan. The 59 year-old Anchor Security Guard was mutilated by his killer(s) and left dead inside the building belonging to the company he worked for. Noralez, who had been employed with Anchor Security for almost a year, was posted at the Company’s Belmopan Headquarters, and he reported promptly for work on Monday at 6 p.m., and he was supposed to work a 12 hour shift until 6 a.m. The first 8 hours of his shift passed without incident, and at around 2:30 he was with Mr. Munnings, his supervisor, who had to go around checking on the security guards posted at different locations in the City. When he returned an hour and a half later, he found Noralez lying on the floor of the office area in a pool of blood. He had been killed, chopped multiple times to the head and arms – his right hand severed.

Gregory Lovell wins C-Ray’s 4th Test Race
The C-Ray Cycling Club held its 4th Test Race on Saturday 31st January, 2015. The race started from in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway to the Hattieville Round-About, making a left turn onto the Burrell Boom Road unto the Boom Bridge making a turn back to the George Price Highway and then to Leslie’s Imports for the finish. In the Junior Category, first place went to Anthony Marin, second place went to Yan Cattouse of C-Ray and third place went to Brian Sutherland. In the Female Category, first place went to Kaya Cattouse with second place going to Alicia Thompson.

Belize Elementary girls and Holy Cross Anglican boys are the Belize District primary schools basketball champions
The Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Championship came to an end on Tuesday 3 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing Belize City defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 10-5 to capture the Belize District Basketball Title. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 8 points, while the top scorers for Holy Redeemer School were Wareyni Gillett and Yu Ting Li with 2 points. In the first game in the girls’ competition played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist School by the score of 8-6. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Yu Ting Li with 4 points and the top scorers for Burrell Boom Methodist were Ivana Baptist, Lorraine Stephen and Amber Arnold with 2 points each.

Elite Basketball Competition opens this weekend
The 2015 National Elite Basketball League Competition is scheduled to open this Friday 6 February at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town between Belize Hurricanes from Belize City and the Cayo Western Ballaz. The official Opening Ceremony is set to commence at 8:30 pm and this will be followed by tip-off at 9:00 pm. The competition will then continue on Saturday 7 February, 2015 with three more games on the schedule.

Verdes FC early leaders in the Premier League of Belize Closing Season
The Premier League of Belize Closing Tournament commenced on Saturday 31 January, 2015, with a single game on the schedule. The game was played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, between the national football champions of Belize, the Belmopan Bandits and the sub-champions the Police United. At the end of the long whistle, which signalled the end of play, the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits and the Police United played to a 0-0 draw. The tournament then continued on Sunday 1 February, 2015, with three games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Verdes FC edged out the San Ignacio United Team by the score of 2-1 to take an early lead in the Closing Tournament. The visiting Verdes FC got on the scoreboard first when Ryan Gill scored the 1st goal of the game in the 7th minute of play to give Verdes FC an early lead.

National Primary Schools Basketball Championship this Friday
The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Basketball Competition will come to an end on Friday 6 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle here in Belize City. The Opening Ceremony will commence at 8:45 am and it will include all the champions of the six districts of Belize. The girls’ competition will be played at the Bird’s Isle while the boys’ competition will be played at the YWCA Court with both championship games being played at Bird’s Isle. The schools that will participate in the championship includes from Belize District- Belize Elementary School (girls) and Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro (boys); from the Corozal District- Libertad Methodist School (girls and boys); from Orange Walk District- Louisiana Government School (girls and boys); from the Cayo District – St. Jude Roman Catholic School from Camalote Village (girls) and Mount Carmel Roman Catholic from Benque (boys); from the Stann Creek District- Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School from Dangriga Town (girls) and Holy Family Roman Catholic from Hopkins Village (boys) and from the Toledo District- St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic School (girls) and Punta Gorda Methodist (boys).

Patrick JonesPJ

Dyed potatoes spark public health advisory
We’ve heard of counterfeiting money; but fake local potatoes? That’s a first and tonight there is a public health advisory about what is being described as tainted potatoes. The local Irish potatoes harvest just started last week, and the variety being produced by farmers in San Antonio, Cayo and in […]

Supreme Court declines to enforce arbitration award
The former administration of Prime Minister Said Musa should have gone to the House of Representatives for approval of a settlement agreement and loan note guaranteeing BZ$39 million in funds to the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of the Belize Healthcare Partners Trust, which bought out the assets […]

Tourists fined for cocaine possession
A trio of visitors to Belize is out $500 each after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 0.6 grams of cocaine, while on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District. American nationals Johnny Conner and Chelsea Fitch and Swedish national Johanna Holst were at the dock […]

Belize City man beats charge over jade
A Belize City man was brought to court over possession of Mayan antiquities found on him on January 21, 2014. But he was acquitted of a charge of failing to produce a license to possess antiquities, because he was never actually asked whether he had one. 37 year […]

Murder appeal case dismissed
The Court of Appeal today handed down its first decision for 2015, deciding to dismiss an appeal against a conviction of murder and sentence of life imprisonment against 28 year old Gregory August. August is convicted of the murder of 73 year old Western Paradise Village resident Alvin […]

Cold front will bring changes in the weather
A change in the weather is expected heading into the weekend as a cold front crosses the country tonight. As a result skies will become cloudy to overcast and a few showers, periods of rain will affect the country tonight and on Friday. Winds will be gusty tonight but generally […]

Supreme Court declines to enforce Belize Bank arbitration award
This morning Supreme Court Justice Shonna Griffith declined to enforce the BZ$39 million arbitration award granted to the Belize Bank Limited by the London Court of International Arbitration on the basis to do so would be contrary to public policy. The Court held that there was no evidence that the administration of former Prime Minister Said Musa had sought parliamentary approval to enter into a loan guarantee with the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of Universal Healthcare Partners which bought the assets of the former Universal Health Services in 2007. The Court said that without such approval there was no way to enforce payment of the monies granted under the arbitral award. This is because the Finance and Audit Reform Act legislates that such approval is needed for any over BZ$10 million.


Belize: A Must See Destination for 2015!
“Inside Toronto” agrees that Belize is the place to go… There’s no doubt that Belize’s reputation as the “must go to” destination is spreading – East, West, South and especially North, where major airlines are continually expanding services to accommodate the growing number of people who want to see for themselves why Belize is becoming so popular. Then, of course, there’s all those travellers who are returning after seeing just how much there is to do in a little country with such a huge diversity of scenery, cultures and activities. Let’s face it, with vast rainforests, the world’s second largest barrier reef, a wealth of ancient Maya temples and cities, a stunning Caribbean coastline with hundreds of islands and so much more, Belize is the sort of country that just keeps calling you back. But we were talking about Belize’s growing reputation with our northern neighbours…

San Pedro’s Wonderful House of Culture Celebrates Rastafarianism & World Icon Bob Marley
Yesterday I stopped by San Pedro’s relatively new House of Culture – to me the highlight of the new Sacas Chispas/Old Football field/Boardwalk project on the back side of town – to check out a display about Bob Marley and the Rastafari culture. Mito Paz has been doing a wonderful job putting together interesting exhibitions. All around Belize, you meet Rastas but this was a great chance to see and learn a bit more…and to send me home to get googlin’…to find out about the movement and the culture. The San Pedro House of Culture is celebrating Rastfari culture. And there are no bigger icon of Rastafarianism than Bob Marley. His music and image is recognized world wide.

Belize Images
Belize is home to one of the best relaxed island lifestyles you will find anywhere in the world. From its many beautiful Cayes—like Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker—to the stunning Placencia peninsula…Belize is full of breathtaking scenery. Picture miles of virtually unspoiled coast, Maya ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, and exotic wildlife—they’re all part of Belize. If it’s a Caribbean lifestyle on a budget that you are looking for—you’ll find it in Belize. Below you can enjoy a selection of images and slideshows from the different parts of Belize.

Police get new motorcycles in San Pedro
Just in case you haven't read the local media...that's right! The San Pedro Transport has upgraded its fleet of motorcycles to four (4) brand new motorcycles. Each warden will now have his/her own motorcycle. These motorcycles will help the SPTD monitor the traffic on the island.

Juan Carnaval
The Corozal House of Culture in Association with the Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art(COLCHA) present the lost tradition of Juan Carnaval. On Sunday February 15th at 6 p.m. our stage presentation will entertain and educate attendees as we reintroduce components of the cultural celebration, Juan Carnaval. You are cordially invited to our presentation as we continue to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Corozal.

Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrates his birthday, island-style
No sooner did saltwater-veined Texas singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker blow town than another popular salt-water singer-songwriter from Texas strode in to take his place, Kelly McGuire. The pattern is similar. Texan McGuire will be showing up at venues around town to sing some of the popular stuff from his Belieze-inspired songbook, like “A Boat in Belize, ” “Daddys & Daughters,” “King of the Island,” “Blame It On Buffett,” and “Girls of the Island.” Wednesday afternoon was given over to celebrating McGuire’s birthday at the perfect haunt, The Palapa Bar, about a half-mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge (if you believe the signs).

International Sourcesizz

The Big Number That Shows Just How Much Cruise Ships Are Polluting the World’s Oceans
A new report reveals that the “floating cities” dump a billion gallons of sewage a year—and it’s all perfectly legal. They say cruise ship passengers put on a pound a day while sailing, but that’s not nearly as much as they’re leaving behind. Those all-you-can-eat buffets and open bars add up to a lot of waste, and when you’re out at sea, it has to go somewhere. For cruise ship operators, that usually means dumping sewage in the open ocean—which is legal. Cruise ships dump about 1 billion gallons of sewage overboard every year, and much of it is raw or poorly treated, according to federal data acquired by the environmental group Friends of the Earth. The watchdog group released a report card looking at the 16 biggest cruise line companies, giving each one letter grades for sewage treatment, air pollution reductions, and water quality compliance. FOE also assigned individual grades to each of the 167 cruise ships in operation. The 2014 report found a steady improvement for cruise lines sailing newer, energy-efficient ships. But 40 percent of the global cruise ship fleet is outfitted with waste-treatment technology more than 35 years old. “Such antiquated treatment systems leave harmful levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals, and other contaminants in the water,” the report stated.

Commentary: Belize on drug trafficking
Currently, Belize is struggling with an onslaught of drug trafficking, a common theme experienced by many Latin American countries, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. You can now add Belize to the list that is now caught up in the “War on Drugs.” Geographically, Belize shares a northern border with Mexico, a western one with Guatemala, and access to the Gulf and several Caribbean countries. Its physical location and the increasing violence in Mexico and Guatemala make Belize an ideal transshipment point to the US market. To counter the drug trafficking threat, Belize has followed the US’s policy by adopting a hardline approach and cracking-down on drugs. Belize has looked to its allies – the US, Canada and the UK – to help strengthen its military, called the Belize Defence Force, and the country’s police force. The question is whether this militaristic approach is the best option for tiny Belize because the same approach has arguably failed in Mexico and Guatemala. After laying out the facts, Belize may want to look at other options, like marijuana legalization and investing in new social programs, to combat the drug problem into which it has fallen.

Fish expert sounds off on seismic surveys
This week, the federal government decided to exclude waters off Florida from the next five-year plan for oil and gas drilling leases along the Outer Continental Shelf. But offshore oil exploration is still on the table. Nine companies have applied for permits to use seismic air guns to survey for oil and gas from Cape Canaveral to Delaware. For days, weeks or months at a time, the surveys shoot pulses of compressed air from the ocean’s surface in 10 to 15 second intervals. The sound reflects back information to create 3-D images of the ocean floor. The impact of the surveys on whales and other marine life has been hotly debated. In August, William Yancey Brown, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s chief environmental officer, asserted in an agency newsletter that there’s no documented scientific evidence of noise from air guns used in seismic surveys “adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities” or commercial fishing. But Grant Gilmore, a senior scientist with Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Science, Inc. in Vero Beach, says the impacts to fish could be significant but haven’t been sufficiently studied. He’s studied Florida and Caribbean fish and the sounds they make for four decades, working at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce and Dynamac Corp. at the Kennedy Space Center. FLORIDA TODAY asked Gilmore to weigh in on the potential impacts of seismic surveys on migratory fish.

Caldwell students serve the poor in Belize
A group of Caldwell University students spent nine days of their winter break in a remote village in Belize rebuilding a church, making friends with villagers and sharing food and games with children. The students did service work in Santa Cruz replacing the wall of a church with cinder blocks and making mortar from scratch with limited tools. "They have so little and are so happy," sophomore Sean Puzzo said. "Yet in America, people have so much (materially) and are often so sad." Students Jessica Marco, Crista Cattano, Kaitlin Rodio, Catherine Ringhoff, Debra Pellegrino, Virginia Johnson, Emma Clarke and alumnus Patrick Lehosky took the trip. They were chaperoned by Tim Kessler-Cleary, director of student engagement, Meghan Moran, assistant director of student engagement, and Amy Rizzo, athletic administrator and women's lacrosse coach.


  • Assessing Data-Limited Fisheries: the Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE), 60min. This webinar originally aired on 5 February 2015. It was presented by Rod Fujita, Kendra Karr, and Willow Batista of Environmental Defense Fund. Thousands of commercial and recreational fisheries exist worldwide, representing an important component of many countries' economies and supporting billions of people around the world who rely on healthy oceans for food and income. Yet the health and status of most fish stocks remain unknown due to the high cost and complex nature of stock assessments. Stock assessment information is vital as it informs important decisions on how fisheries are managed, impacting species’ ability to recover, fishermen’s ability to make a living and the availability of fish which billions of people around the world rely on as a source of protein. The Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE) equips fishery managers with a low-cost and highly effective online resource to assess and sustainably manage their data-limited fishery. FISHE simplifies the intricate fishery assessment process by walking users through a structured step-by-step framework that combines multiple methods. This webinar will walk users through the FISHE framework and describe how EDF has worked in Belize to implement this data-limited approach.
  • Belize City Harbour Timelapse, 1min. A Timelapse of the Belize City Harbour on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Caye Caulker Belize Snorkel Sailing Trip Raggamuffin Tours, 2min. Beautiful Caye Caulker Belize. Took a tour out on a sailboat and explored the reef. Rays, Turtles, Sharks and more.
  • "I'm All Into You" - First Live Performance Kelly McGuire in Belize, 1min. Kelly plays a song from his new album (to be released April 1st 2015) on a palapa over the water in Belize. Ambergris Caye's famous Palapa Bar.
  • "Boat in Belize" Performed in Belize by Kelly McGuire, 1min. February 5th, 2015 at the Palapa Bar, Ambergris Caye Belize.
  • Belize City, 2min. City tour 2015.
  • My Body Is Precious, 4min. As part of the efforts of the Belize government to fight sexual violence against children, this video makes the book My Body Is Precious available to children and parents in indigenous communities. This video is the result of a collaboration between the Belize Special Envoy for Women and Children, the IDB and Maya and Garifuna communities in Belize.
  • My Body Is Precious - Maya, 5min.
  • My Body Is Precious - Garifuna, 6min.
  • A Raggamuffin Birthday... in Belize, 2min. Highlights from my three-day overnight sail from Caye Caulker to Placencia with Raggamufin Tours– and one of my most memorable birthdays in Belize.
  • Boa Belize's Jungle, 1min.
  • JHU Carey Students Lead the Pack in Belize - Experiential Learning 2015, 3.5min. Twelve JHU Carey students journey through the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, paddling from caye to caye and setting up camp to build an All Star Team! Seeing the big picture, challenging the process, modeling the way, empowering others to act, and encouraging the heart!
  • Caribbean Cruise Holiday- Belize Rainforest Howler Monkeys -Carnival Splendor- The Marketers Cruise, 1.5min. During the Annual Marketers Cruise January we landed for one day in Belize, and set off along the Belize River for the Rain Forest Sanctuary at Big Falls, St Pauls Bank.Here the local mcommunities have banded together in a bid to save the Howler Monkeys, or Baboons by preserving their habitat alongside the river banks...After much searching our guide was able to attract the attention of a Howler monkey family high in the Caribbean rain forest tree tops, and persuade them to come and eat some leaves.
  • Belize, 2.5min. Clips from my trip to Belize in April, 2014. The snorkel is near Bread and Butter Caye and the Jungle footage is from our farm off the Hummingbird Highway.
  • Belize 2014, 9min.

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