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#501033 - 02/13/15 11:12 AM Today's Belize News: February 13, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Beastmode Activated: La Ruta Maya River Challenge is coming!
The most grueling canoe race in Belize is right around the corner, and paddlers are preparing to take on the 17th Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge. The four-day race is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and sees racers traveling the 180-mile river route from the Macal River in the Cayo District to the Belize River in the Belize District. This year’s race will take place from Friday, March 6th to Monday, March 9th and will test participants’ endurance and survival skills. In other words: BEAST MODE ACTIVATED!! La Ruta Maya River Challenge was founded by Richard Harrison of Big-H Enterprises for the purpose of launching Vida brand purified water. It made its official debut on March 9, 1998, and was seen as an opportunity to bring many partners with similar interests together to build an event that could allow for promotional themes of ‘natural products’ identified with sports, endurance, nutrition, and well-being. The underlying concept is one of a team of businesses and organizations interested in the environment/ecology, history/culture and the tourism potential which the Belize Old River offers as one of the great natural resources of the country.

Police Report
On Sunday, February 8th at about 4PM 21-year-old Andre Burgos of San Mateo Area reported that on Saturday, February 7th at 5PM he left his motorcycle, Honda brand, white and black with license plate number SP-M-0562 with VIN number LTMJD19A4C5326292, parked right in front of Barrier Reef Resort where he works because the rear tire was punctured and he went home in the San Mateo Area. Upon his return to work the next day, he observed that his motor cycle was burnt. The motor cycle is valued $5,500BZ. Police investigations continue. On Monday, February 9th at about 8:30PM, police visited the San Pedrito Area in the vicinity of Lopez`s Apartments where they met 32-year-old Kareem Eagan suffering from a wound to his right foot just above his ankle which appeared to be that of a gunshot injury. Initial investigation revealed that two Hispanic male persons, dressed in dark clothing with hooded jackets, ran into the yard of Lopez’s Apartments and fired several shots, injuring Eagan who was seated inside his room. During the shooting, a Green RAV-4 S.U.V License plates SP-C-647, which was parked in front of the apartment building received an apparent bullet hole to its right front fender. Police have detained two minors pending an investigation.

Tiger Sharks take first big bite out of Belmopan Red Tiagaz
The Belize National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) kicked off its 2015 season over the weekend and for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, they started on the right “fin”. On Saturday February 7th, the Tiger Sharks took their first win of the season at the Belmopan Red Tiagaz to pick up their first three points of the tournament. The game was played at the University of Belize (UB) gymnasium in the Garden City of Belmopan and did not disappoint fans who went to witness the match. Defending champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks started with Darwin Leslie, Tyrone Edwards, Ashton Edwards, Raul Rochez and James Milton. Home team Belmopan Red Taigaz featured Terrel Eskridge, Christian Rodriguez, Jarrel Velasquez, Travis Lennon and Farron Louriano on their starting lineup. San Pedro Tiger Shark’ newcomer, James Milton led the charge capturing 20 points and 8 rebounds, while Darwin “Puppy” Leslie finished the game with 18 points. Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz and Densmore Edwards chipped in with 12 points each, while Ashton Edwards netted 10 points. In a losing effort, Belmopan Red Taigaz was led by newly acquired Travis Lennen, who had 15 points and 7 carries, while their American point guard, Terrell Eskridge, finished the game with 12 points and 4 assists. Last season’s MVP, Farron Louriano had an off night, only tallying 9 points and 7 boards.

Mayor Danny donates to Heaven’s Voice Choir
The Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel “Danny” Guerrero handed a donation to the young and upcoming Heaven’s Voice Choir. At less than a year old, the choir, comprising mainly of the youth members from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, have been performing at various community events. In a show of appreciation, on Tuesday February 10th, Mayor Danny handed over a pair of drums and two pairs of maracas to choir leader Natalie Arceo. In handing the donation over to Arceo, Mayor Guerrero said that he hopes the small donation will be used for the improvement of the choir. “This is a donation for the youth choir so that they can keep busy learning new musical skills,” said Guerrero. The Mayor took the opportunity to reiterate his commitment to the local musicians on the island.

San Pedro High School Boys are 2015 Northern Regional Champions!!
The Secondary Level Northern Regional Football Competition was held in Santa Clara Village in the Corozal District on Saturday February 7th. Eight teams competed; four females and four males. At the end of the day’s competition, San Pedro High School Boys moved on in the Male division and Orange Walk Technical High School moved on in the female division. Competing teams were: Males: Belize High School of Agriculture, Bishop Martin High School, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Escuela Secundaria Mexico. In the female division were: Corozal Community College (CCC), New Hope High School, San Pedro High School SPHS and Orange Walk Technical (OWT).

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago: How San Pedro Carnabal Tradition went from Powder to Paint
During the first day of Carnabal, which was the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, painting was permitted with white powder only. Most people used body powder while others mixed powder with flour. If a guy met a young lady on the street, he would politely approach her and rub some of the body powder on her face and arms. Of course she offered no resistance; she simply covered her face because she knew they would laugh at her painted face. After being painted with powder, she would remove the excess and continued on with what she was doing. Body painting was done mostly by boys unto girls and vice versa. There were no gangs running about because nobody was trying to escape from anybody. In fact it seemed like girls were inviting to the guys to get some perfumed talc on their faces. On the second day the color blue and red were acceptable but the rule of thumb was that it had to be easily removable. Blue bleaching detergent was used for the color blue and lip stick for the red. Now on the third day it got a bit uglier as black was permitted. Most people used the soot from the pots and pans that had been in use and still on the “fogon” or fire hearth. The sooth was mixed with water and it really got you black all over. However, one dip into the sea or one bucket of water at the well, and it was off your body instantly. This was Carnabal, soft and tender, colorful and cultural.

Celebrity Spotting - Lord of the Rings Actor Films in Belize
Dominic Monaghan, best known for his ‘Hobbit’ role in the trilogy blockbuster movies The Lord of the Rings, was spotted in San Ignacio, Belize this week with a noticeable film crew tagging along with him. Ambergris Today was able to obtain a couple of pictures of the actor/tv personality while he was filming in downtown San Ignacio, Cayo, as one of his fans was able to take a picture of him with his son. Besides his Hollywood acting career, Dominic is the host of BBC America TV Show Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan. The show is described as an exhilarating travel-adventure series that follows the actor and wildlife enthusiast as he explores the remote corners of the globe in search of some of the most ‘badass’ animals in the world.

Belize Organizations Speak Out on Cases of Child Sexual Abuse
In a press release sent out by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow called on parents and guardians to put the well-being, safety and protection of their children as a top priority. Kim Simplis Barrow’s statement comes in the wake of charges being brought against the area representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez last week. Dr. Mendez was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and common assault, based upon reports from two minors. The National Committee for Families and Children stated in a press release that Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). That CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. This is testament to Belize’s recognition of the importance of caring for the country’s children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. This commitment obligated the Government of Belize to enact laws and policies that create the enabling environment for children to flourish.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Garbage everywhere!
Corozal is a sleepy seaside town, located just south of the Río Hondo (Hondo River), which forms the border between Mexico and Belize. Set on a crystal-clear bay, Corozal was an important center on the early Mayan trading routes, and the evidence remains in the ruins of Cerros and Santa Rita, and the old English Fort Barlee. During the mid-1800s the modern town was settled with a large population of refugees from Mexico’s Caste War. Today, Corozal is home to a growing expatriate community, mostly concentrated in the northern tip of the town and along the seaside in the Copper Bank and Chunox areas. While not part of the traditional tourist circuit, Corozal Town makes a good base for fishing excursions in the calm bay; bird- and wildlife-viewing tours into nearby Shipstern Nature Reserve; shopping trips to neighbouring Chetumal, Mexico; and explorations of surrounding nearby Mayan ruins. Our Corozal Bay is one of our greatest attractions for both local and foreign visitors to the area. Lately, we have seen the uncaring of the coast along the bay with many hot spots of garbage and dump being accumulated and left unattended by the local authorities.

Belize and World Bank Signs BZ $60 million Project to Improve and Strengthen Belize’s Climate Resilience & Impacts of Climate Change
The Project entitled: “Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project” (BCRIP) will improve and strengthen Belize’s climate resilience and its anticipated impacts of climate change in relation to infrastructure, in particular, to a 24km section of the Philip Goldson Highway , a primary roadway linking the cities in the North of Belize to the International Airport located on the outskirts of the greater Belize City area and if possible, other smaller sections of primary roadway on the George Price Highway nearing the Belmopan encountering similar vulnerabilities. The Government of Belize through the Belize Social Investment Fund/Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) will enable Belize to effectively implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations.

MOH to Officially Launch Services at New NHI Provider Clinics in Corozal District
The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce the official launch of services at the two newly expanded National Health Insurance (NHI) provider clinics, Corozal Polyclinic II and Patchakan Presbyterian Clinic.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture Comments on Decision Made by Some Members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture views with grave concern the continuing machinations by some members of the sugar cane farming community to try and disrupt the smooth functioning of the sugar industry. The Ministry condemns in the strongest possible terms the unethical move by some members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) to register the name of the Association without the knowledge and consent of the duly elected leadership of the BSCFA. This blatant attempt to wrestle control of the Association and its assets from the farmers is immoral and illegal as the legitimate BSCFA continued to function under the revised Sugar Industry Act as they were recognized by the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) and issued a certificate of registration. This is the first and only entity using the BSCFA name that will be recognized by the SICB as having rights to represent farmers.

Western Ballaz Host Tiger Sharks
Friday is Western Ballaz night here in Cayo as they host the Tigersharks. The game starts at 9:00pm at the SHC auditorium. They'll have tons of food and drinks, along with some quality entertainment from Mistah Geeh. They dominated over the Belize Hurricanes last week. The Tigersharks narrowly won the finals last year, so this is the big rematch. Go, Ballaz!

Southwest and American Adding Belize Flights
Southwest Airlines has announced that it plans on starting flights between Houston and Belize in October, and American Airlines will be adding a direct flight to and from Los Angeles in June. Sounds like flying to and from Belize might be getting a little cheaper, allowing more people to visit family in both locations. Should also help with the tourism sector. Tour guides, get ready.

House of Culture in San Pedro needs volunteers
Are you looking for an opportunity to serve the youths and promote culture in our island? We welcome your time and talent! Volunteers need at the new House of Culture.

The San Ignacio Map project
The San Ignacio Map project is an effort to make a simple and readable map for tourists as well as locals to find their way around the heart of San Ignacio. The map also features well known, top and reliable businesses around San Ignacio; which both locals and tourists may be looking for, want information of, or simply want their phone number, Facebook page, trip advisor page for reviews, etc. If your business is not currently featured in the hard copy or the website you can simply inbox us through this Facebook page or email us at: info@sanignaciomap.com for details on how this project works. We will gladly assist you in promoting your business. This page will also share updates that businesses featured on the map put on their Facebook page. Thank you very much for all the recent likes! We hope to serve you all with equality and quality!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, February 12, 2015: 76. FANTASY 5: 27 5 28 34 33 C

Channel 7

Belizean Passport Holders Control 17 Million Dollars? Who Are These People?
A list of leaked Swiss bank accounts is making news in Belize tonight. And that's because the list shows that 97 Belizean bank accounts holding 54.8 million US dollars are hidden away in these accounts. Now, in a country like Belize with an active offshore banking sector, that's not too unusual, but what jumped out at us is the disclosure that nine of the accounts are held not by offshore companies, but by persons with Belizean passports. Information released by a group of journalists called Swiss Leaks says that about 17 million dollars is controlled by those 9 Belizean passport holders, and the largest single account is for one Belizean with 8.9 million US dollars. All the accounts on the list were formed between 1999 and 2006. Now, to put it in context, this list has been dominating headlines in Europe for the past week -the accounts linked to Belize rank the holdings of this country at #115 out of over 200 countries.

Alleged Succotz Rioters Went Back To Court
In August of last year, the villagers of Succotz staged an angry, impromptu protest to demand the Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura be criminally charged like any other person. Segura was driving under the influence when he crashed into a taxi and killed the passenger, 54 year-old Yolanda Consuela Valencia - a Succotz resident. The driver, 28 year Yannie Evan Cu, was seriously injured. The villagers were standing up for their own, and believed that they had just cause, but the protest devolved into a riot where stones were thrown at the police who trying to put out roadblocks of burning tires. 15 persons were later charged in November for the offence of rioting and participating in an unlawful assembly, and they were initially arraigned. The sitting Magistrate, Herbert Panton, scheduled today as the start date for the trial against all of the accused. They reported dutifully to court as they were supposed to, and after 3 hours of waiting, they were told by the Chief Magistrate that they needed to come back for another adjournment in April.

More On BSCFA Limited
Last night, at the end of a very full news package, we told you about the dispute over a newly registered company called the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Now, that is also the name of the real Cane Farmers Association - the BSCFA in Orange Walk. The suggestion made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow is that those who incorporated the company were trying to basically steal the BSCFA's assets and identity. That points to Fred Ortega, the Director for Orange Walk. With legal advice from Audrey Matura Shepherd, he was supposedly the moving hand behind the whole maneuver. Today - speaking with CTV-3 in Orange Walk in Spanish - he defended his actions as completely benign and said the Prime Minister's plan to strike out the company is what's wrong:.. Fred Ortega, Director - BSCFA (translated) "The certificate is in favour of the caneros, in favour of the association, to clearly establish it, equal to the other associates within the Companies and Corporate act. This is all we were trying to do with the BSCFA. This is not a case of anyone trying to hijack BSCFA. Because this is not a new institution or new members, it is the same membership that would be covered within this name. For me, it is a pity that the prime minister wants to make this move, because for me what was done was to protect or to give validity to the association under the laws of Belize."

GSU Caught A Water Taxi Captain Who Was Trafficking Weed
We all know about the GSU's movements in Belize City, but this morning they hunkered down in Corozal Town waiting for the Thunderbolt Water Taxi to depart to san Pedro. The GSU had intelligence that the water taxi was involved in the carriage of drugs. So, they searched the passengers and the vessel and found the boat captain with a stash of high grade marijuana. The Commander of the GSU told CTV-3 more:.. Insp. Mark Flowers, COMMANDER - GSU "A total of four and a half pounds of hydro marijuana was found onboard the boat in the captain's private compartment. He has since been arrested and charged for drug trafficking. In facts two counts of drug trafficking."

13 Year-old Girl Shot In San Pedro
A 13 year old girl was shot in San Pedro last night. It happened at around 9:20 in the San Pedrito area. Two men reportedly opened fire on a room in the Espat Apartment building. 13 year old Meredith Escalante was closing the door at the same time and one of the shots grazed her chest. She was taken to the polyclinic where she did not require treatment because it was only a superficial wound. Police believe the shooting is retaliatory and drug related.

GSU Seized Big Weed
WE already told you about the water taxi weed bust in Corozal, but the GSU was also active in the city where they found 27 pounds of weed today. The first seizure happened this morning at around 10. The GSU searched an empty lot on Iguana Street Extension and found a black plastic bag with 6 pounds of weed. No one was in the area and it was labeled as found property. Later on today at 3:00 another bust was made this time in an empty lot on Pelican Street. A black plastic bag was found with 21 pounds of cannabis. Again, no one was found in the area so it was labeled as found property.

Ladyville Teacher's Phone Sent Inappropriate Messages To A Female Student
A Ladyville teacher is under scrutiny after an underaged female student blasted him on Facebook. The girl - who has been expelled from the school reportedly for missing classes posted a bunch of very inappropriate text messages from the teacher's cell phone on her Facebook page. In these messages sent between September 9th and October 15th, the male teacher is openly flirting with the under-aged girl - telling her to stay after school and eventually inviting her to have sex with him. We spoke with the teacher by phone and he said that someone else was using his phone without his knowledge or consent. We note that they would have had to have been doing that for at least 6 weeks. He also said he reported the matter to police - but they told us they have no such report.

The Men Who Want to Be Mayor Of Benque Viejo Town
Last night, we showed you how nomination day looked in Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize City for both the PUP and UDP. We didn't get a chance to speak with all of the candidates from other municipalities, and so, today our news team went west, starting in Benque Viejo Town. Present UDP councilor, Heraldo Ramcharan Jr., is offering himself as mayor. He told us why Benque will choose him: Heraldo Ramcharan Jr. - UDP Mayoral Candidate, Benque Viejo Town "My 6 years at Traffic Department motivated me to serve the people and I have been there for 6 years working with the people in Benque and its one of the main point why I decided to run, apart from my friends and my family who had me pushed and supporting me. Yesterday, we had almost over 300 people. We had a big crowd compared to the opponent. I think our crowd was much larger than what they had."

The Mayoral Hopefuls Of SISE
Another municipality in the west which is being governed by a UDP Council is the twin towns of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena. The PUP wants to change that, and they've chosen another politician with the nickname "Monchie" to lead that team. He's Ramon "Monchi" Quiroz, and he told us today that based on his showing in the last municipal election he has the hope that he can be mayor this time around: Ramon "Monchi" Quiroz - PUP Mayoral Candidate, Cayo's Twin Towns "This is my second time around. I ran in the last election and the margin of lost was very minimal. So, I decided to run again and I've been working ever since. I've been walking the streets of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and I can tell you, the reception is really good. A couple did not know me in Santa Elena. I was born and raised in San Ignacio, but I can tell you, from the campaign started, we've been doing excellent and I can say we will deliver for the 4th March."

Belmopan's Would Be Mayors
And also from the west, the City of Belmopan is has also been led by Mayor Simeon Lopez and his UDP council for the past 9 years. But, in 2012, residents of the capital voted for a split council 5 UDP candidates, including Lopez, and 2 PUP candidates. The Opposition Party's Mayoral Candidate, Jose Chacon, spoke with us this afternoon, and he told us that from his visits with the residents of Belmopan, they want to increase that number from 2 to an entire PUP slate of 7: Jose Chacon - PUP Mayoral Candidate, Belmopan "I have been contemplating this decision for many years now. My first experience to politics was when I was 20 years old. I was elected the chairperson for the community where I grew up in Las Flores. That's went of Belmopan and I've always been involved in my community since then, so it's something that I felt I had to do. I enjoy serving people."

Hon. Boots Speak Candidly About Why Mayor Bradley Is Likely To Win
And Belisle is being mentored closely by the Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar. Like all the UDP municipal candidates, he hopes that Saldivar's Ministerial pull can help propel him into office. That;s true even in Belize City where Darrell Bradely's council has spent tens of millions of dollar son infrastructure, but will still look to the UDP strongholds of Port Loyola, Collett, Mesopotamia and Queen Square to deliver the voters which will send them into office. PORT LOYOLA REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY BOOTS MARTINEZ SAID IT'S A SIMPLE FORMULA:.. Jules Vasquez "With the strength of those 4 divisions on the southside; the UDP strong holds, anybody is electable who gulves on a UDP municipal ticket, because you all will bring them in." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "That is a fact, yes. That is a political fact."

Hon. Longsworth Supports Phillouby For Now ...
But in the Albert division, it's not so clear cut. UDP representative Herman Longsworth is benign challenged by a UDP City councilor Phillip Willoughby. We asked him how he will play it:.. Jules Vasquez "I spoke to Phillip Willoughby and he says, you see the crowd I bring out from Albert. Who bring out the crowd from Albert?" Hon. Herman Longsworth "The UDP brought out the people from Albert. Today, is not about either me... well, to some extent, it's about Phillip Willoughby, because he is a part of the city council slate. But for me, today is about the UDP. Today is about bringing out our people to show the strength that the UDP has."

When Will Sports Minister Longsworth Deliver on Marion Jones And Berger Field?
And while Longsworth is playing a balancing act in the Albert Division, as Minister of State with Responsibility for sports, he can't be so cautious, he has a much promised much delayed stadium to deliver. We're talking about Marion Jones and he told us it will be ready for Cross Country... Hon. Herman Longsworth "Marion Jones will definitely be ready for Cross Country, but we are hoping that we can have a little soft opening prior to that, but certainly, definitely, it will be ready for Cross Country." Jules Vasquez "Cross Country 2015?" Hon. Herman Longsworth "It will finish there."

Hon. Finnegan Unapologetic About His Vehicle Use Yesterday
And finishing up with politics for tonight - the media also used yesterday's political feeding frenzy at nomination day to ask Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan about his ministerial vehicle's role in the nomination day parade. The vehicle led the way for the contingent from his division - and he told us he has no apologies to make:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan "Asking if my government vehicle is in a party activity, man, that is trivial. I don't that bother the people of Mesopotamia Division or the people of the country. The people of the country wants a politician who works hard for them and who doesn't thief. I think that is what is important, but a government vehicle that is given to me for 7 years, run-down vehicle - I need to get a new one... left from the UDP office right to the administration building. You all let that bother you. That is petty. That is small. That is narrow mind-ness. There are more bigger and more important things to do."

Florists Flourish On Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is coming up - for lovers it's cause for excitement and love-struck butterflies, while the single and un-attached may find themselves feeling the other kind of butterflies, the kind that comes with anxious worry…that the phone just won't ring, and that bouquet of roses will never arrive. But while the lovers and the lonely have the next 48 hours to count their blessings or curse their bad luck, florists are counting their money, and the only thing they are cursing is the calendar: which only has one valentine day per year. Today we visited two flower shops where the owners were busier than cupid in a crowded restaurant on Valentine's night. Courtney Weatherbune reports: Courtney Weatherbune reporting These white orchids, freshly cut gingers and flowers are transformed into these lovely valentines flower arrangements and orders for these arrangements have been pouring in from last month.

Reggae Royalty In Belize, Ky-Mani Marley Will Perform For you
The 9th son of reggae icon Bob Marley is in Belize City tonight. Ky-Mani Marley will be the second Marley to perform in the jewel - he will do so at his Valentine's Night concert at the Riverside Tavern. 7news caught up with the international superstar and actor this afternoon at the Radisson -where he told us what his fans can expect on Saturday. The concert will be happening at the Riverside Tavern in Belize City. Ky-Mani's older brother Julian, who is Bob's eighth son, was the first Marley to perform in Belize and that was in the early 90's. Bob's 10th, and last child, Damian performs here in March.

El Jai To Perform For CitCo's Concert
And while Ky-Mani will be on the riverside on Saturday - on Friday night there will be a concert for the people at the BTL park. It's an event organized by the City Council to celebrate the one year anniversary of the park that has re-defined the social scene in Belize City. It will be free to all and the main attraction will be Eljai - the Belizean born reggae crooner who had his name all over the world - and has come back home to share his talent:.. The concert starts at 6:00 on Friday night at the BTL Park. And featuring an all-Belizean lineup, it promises to be good, actually better than you might expect and that's because the promoter has brought in a musical director who is home grown but internationally known. He is Michael Hyde, keyboardist for countless international reggae acts from Ziggy Marley through Burning Spear to Inner Circle. Today he told us what he will bring to this show:..

Honoring Belize Zoo's Tony Garel
Every so often, the Management of the Belize Zoo invites 7NEWS go behind the scenes and see the conservation work that they are doing to rescue wild animals, or just keeping the Zoo going. And now, one of their very unassuming professionals, has managed to capture a prestigious award for conservation from the Belize Audubon Society. Tony Garel, one of the senior members of staff at the Zoo, told us today that it was a surprise to have been chosen for the honor:

Channel 5

Minor Shot in San Pedro
A thirteen year old student of the Ambergris Caye Elementary School has been shot at her home while she prepared for dinner. Tonight, Meredith Escalante is lucky to be alive [...]

Shooting in the City
There was another shooting, but in the city. Thirty-year-old Mark Alamilla, known to friends and family as Chabo, remains hospitalized tonight, following a near-fatal shooting a stone’s throw away from [...]

Boat Intercepted With Drugs and Contraband
A boat belonging to the water taxi, Thunderbolt, and carrying a number of passengers, was intercepted this morning at the Corozal pier before its scheduled departure to San Pedro. Unofficially, [...]

Rumble at the B.S.C.F.A.
On Wednesday’s newscast, we showed you the Prime Minister’s take on a situation which is bubbling in the B.S.C.F.A., the much embattled cane farmers association. To break it down, a [...]

Ortega Says Same Association…Different Rules
But while there is little doubt it is the same association, the move is seen as an attempted coup because of the way it was done. The B.S.C.F.A. company has [...]

SICB Says Move Is a Bad One
With all that said, the B.S.C.F.A.’s Committee of Management isn’t budging, and has written to the subscribers of the new company to back off. The Prime Minister has announced his [...]

Swiss-leaks Reveal Belize Millions Stashed
There is a report that surfaced earlier today in Caribbean news outlets, about billions of dollars being stashed away in Swiss Banks. The report claims that the funds were deposited [...]

PM Barrow Reveals Identity of Allegedly Abused Minors
The protection of minor’s identity in sensitive cases, such as molestation and rape, has long been priority for agencies concerned about the rights of children. In the recent, highly publicized [...]

Foundation to be Instituted in Memory of Fallen Officer
Danny Conorquie was twenty years old when he was shot and killed whilst on duty at the Caracol Archaeological Site last year. The killing of the special constable, who was [...]

Lord Ashcroft Says Matura-Shepherd is “Charming”
As we reported on Wednesday night, a photograph of a casual breakfast between Audrey Matura Shepherd and Lord Michael Ashcroft was plastered all over social media last Friday even before [...]

No Break in S.S.B./N.T.U.C.B. Impasse
Even as the protracted impasse between the B.S.C.F.A. and ASR/B.S.I. has been resolved, there is another between the S.S.B. and the N.T.U.C.B.  It revolves around the proposed appointment of CWU [...]

Hard Time for Stealing a House
Rupert Avila was sentenced to three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to theft for stealing a woman’s house. When he appeared in court today before Magistrate Herbert Panton, [...]

Fugitive Surrenders to GSU Boss
Today a man who was the subject of an intense manhunt is on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Jermaine Sanker went on a mini-crime spree in Corozal late last [...]

San Pedro Gears Up for Elections 2015
In San Pedro, twenty one candidates, including three mayoral, are running in the upcoming March fourth elections. It is the first time on the island that three slates have been [...]

Five Mayoral Candidates in Belmopan
While San Pedro has three mayoral candidates, the battle for mayorship of Belmopan is between five candidates, including two independent nominees.  On Wednesday, those candidates officially signed up to participate [...]

Faber Says Collet Secure
While Nomination Day is theoretically an official event, in reality it’s just a big show…and in Belize City that show in the south-side is run by the U.D.P. which controls [...]

Finnegan Defends Use of G.O.B. Vehicle in U.D.P. Parade
On Wednesday when the United Democratic Party flexed its muscles for Nomination Day, it was an ocean of red. Well, except for one spot of blue – the government license [...]

Belizean Wins a Grammy
The 2015 Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Sunday before a packed audience of A-list celebrities.  Kanye West’s now infamous post-show rant [...]

Taiwan Host Cultural Festival
The Embassy of the Republic of China/Taiwan has been successfully promoting the cultural exchange between Belize and Taiwan for many years. In an effort to continue to educate locals about [...]

B.T.L. Park Turns One
There is another activity to look forward to this weekend as the B.T.L. Park celebrates its one-year anniversary since it was renovated by the Belize City Council.  The recreational space [...]

McAfee Settles in Tennessee
Software magnate John McAfee fled Belize in 2012 after being named a person of interest in the murder of Greg Faull in San Pedro.  Since then the sixty-nine-year-old, who claims [...]

Healthy Living: Diabetes and Vision
Globally, it is estimated that half the people living with type two diabetes don’t know it.  Even though type-two diabetes may remain undetected for years, it still poses a great [...]

CTV3

PUP Responds To Comments Made On Marco Tulio Mendez By Prime Minister
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s comments in reference to the allegation made against Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez did not sit too well with the People’s United Party. In a release issued today the P.U.P states that the PM’s comment was quote “very irresponsible”. We spoke with Dolores Balderamos Garcia who elaborated on the PUP’s sentiments on what the PM told the media. “When you are dealing with very sensitive cases involving children and he allege abuse of children we all need to be very sensitive and we believe as the Prime Minister bothered to check with his wife, the Special Envoy for Children, she and her advisors could have said to him that we should never publicly identify the type of family relationship so that minor can be readily identified, we believe that it is not correct and as a matter of fact the media and all concerned especially...”

PM Weighs On Registration Certification Of BSCFA
We have been reporting on the latest matter that came up within the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. That surrounds the registration of the association under the companies act by, what we know so far, at least six members of the Committee of management of the BSCFA. Alfredo Ortega has spoken on the matter sating that it was not done to hurt the association but rather to protect it and all its assets. Others don’t take the move to mean this however, and one of those is the Prime Minister Dean Barrow who commented on the matter. Here is a clip from his statement to the media yesterday, provided to us by our colleagues at KREM News. “I don’t know, I can guess, I don’t know which lawyer or so called lawyer advised those that subscribed to this new company. I don’t know how there could ever have been any sense that to find this new company would automatically mean that that company can step into the shoes of the B.S.C.F.A., the real B.S.C.F.A., the association that is recognised by the Act.”

Ortega Questions Where Was PM When Cane Farmers Needed Him Most
And while the Prime Minister has responded to the situation within the BSCFA, today Alfredo Ortega who has been named as the person behind the registration of the association under the companies act responded to the Prime Minister’s statement without holding back any punches. “Realmente es una lástima de que el Primer Ministro salga hablando de esa manera cuando realmente no ha hecho un análisis de la situación y yo creo que el movimiento es más para frustrar a los caneros para dar un sentimiento de que el movimiento que se ha hecho va en contra del mejoramiento de los caneros en la cual eso no es el propósito sino es mejorar la vida de los caneros y darle más fuerza dentro de los marcos de ley a BSCFA, realmente me lastimo a mi bastante al escuchar de que él está promoviendo inmediatamente de que se haga revoke...”

PM Say PUP Tiptoeing On Mendez's Case
The accusations against Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez for alleged sexual misconduct have received national attention. This is obviously due to his position not only as a doctor of medicine but probably even more so because he is the duly elected PUP Area Representative of the Orange Walk East division. Dr. Mendez has been charged and the matter is now before the court. As word of the allegations spread, supporters of the United Democratic Party from Orange Walk East held a small protest in front of the Orange Walk Town Hall demanding that Dr. Mendez step down as the Area Representative of that constituency. In an interview with the media yesterday, the Prime Minister for the first time spoke on the matter and criticized the PUP for what he deems is a reluctance to promptly react against the doctor under the allegations. “I am absolutely astonished over the fact that people generally don’t seem to have focused on the clear difference between the way the U.D.P. handled the situation with Penner and the way the P.U.P. is handling the situation with Marco Tulio Mendez. We in effect constructively expelled Penner.

Ministry Of Natural Resources & Agriculture Comes Out Swinging At Registration Certification Of BSCFA
The Prime Minister of Belize is not the only one who has come out swinging at members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for registering the association under the Companies Act. Today the Ministry of Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture also weighed in on the issue via a press release and they had no kind words. The release states and we quote “The Ministry condemns in the strongest possible terms the unethical move by some members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) to register the name of the Association without the knowledge and consent of the duly elected leadership of the BSCFA. This blatant attempt to wrestle control of the Association and its assets from the farmers is immoral and illegal as the legitimate BSCFA continued to function under the revised Sugar Industry Act as they were recognized by the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) and issued a certificate of registration.” end of quote.

Corozal Poly Clinic & Patchakan Prebyterian Clinic To Offer NHI Services
The National Health Insurance Project was piloted in 2001 and legally established in 2003 by the Peoples United Party following the first pilot project in the Southside of Belize City. Under the scheme, Government subsidizes health care for registered patients at both private and public medical facilities. And tonight we have some good news for the residents of the northern part of the country as the Corozal District now joins the Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts in this program. The announcement was made today by the Ministry of Health. According to the Ministry the Corozal Polyclinic II and Patchakan Presbyterian Clinic will be offering similar services as other NHI clinics across the country. These services includes clinical management for persons with Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma and acute respiratory infections; pre-natal and post-natal care, including lab tests for pregnant women; early detection of HIV and Tuberculosis and detection and referrals for some types of Cancers; eye care services; immunization clinics; nutrition programs and minor surgery procedures.

Report Reveals Nine Belizean Stashed Million In Bank Accounts
A report released this week by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed billions of dollars held in nearly 60,000 internal Swiss bank documents from 2006 to 2007. The report disclosed that HSBC maintained accounts for customers connected with 30 countries in the wider Caribbean and among them is Belize. The report shows that when it comes to Belize 29 persons put 54.8 million US translating to 109 million Belize dollars in Swiss Accounts in which billions were hidden by HSBC accounts. The report shows that 9 Belizean citizens or passport holders were associated with accounts at HSBC. Also noteworthy is that one Suriname national held an account with HSBC in Switzerland, five customers from the US Virgin Islands, four from Dominica, one from the Dominican Republic, three from Haiti, one from Grenada and two from Jamaica.

Belize Signs On 60 Million Dollars Project For Climate Change
Last week Belize and the World Bank signed on, on a $60 million dollar project to improve and strengthen Belize’s climate resilience and impacts of climate change. The project entitled: “Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project” (BCRIP) will improve and strengthen Belize’s climate resilience and its anticipated impacts of climate change in relation to infrastructure, in particular, to a 24km section of the Philip Goldson Highway. The Government of Belize through the Belize Social Investment Fund/Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) will enable Belize to effectively implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against climate change considered a global threat.

Helpage Members Gathered For Games And Some Tea
There are two days left to February fourteenth, a date for which quite a few Belizeans are making some big plans. Today however, a few celebrated the occasion a couple days early. We are talking about the members of the Orange Walk Help Age Center who were invited to an afternoon of games and some tea. Well over twenty elderly men and women joined in the fun afternoon and President of the Help Age Arcelia Leiva says the afternoon was definitely for the member to have some fun and a bit more. Arcelia Leiva – President, OW Help Age “The evening we had much fun, we had games, we had pin the heart on an elderly and we had some musical arms and pass the ball and these games it helps them to make movements to participate and to be active not to just sit and it is healthy that they can move around and we try to find games that are not harmful to them but at the same time they do some movement and exercise and at the same time they have fun, they interact with one another and that helps them and the comments they give is that they enjoy coming because they meet their friends whom they don’t see every day, I would want to take the opportunity to wish all those elderly who are not here with us we wish them well and we hope that the next time we have something that they are able to come.”


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#501034 - 02/13/15 11:12 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 13, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

Spelling Bee Zone Elimination in Orange Walk
The Coca Cola Spelling Bee zone elimination for the Orange Walk district concluded today. The last zone elimination was held this morning in Blue Creek village for the southwest division. Lisa Carrillo of the district education department is coordinating the competition at the district level. LISA CARILLO “We have five different zones and this morning we had the East Zone and this afternoon we had the North Zone. For the East Zone we had both schools from Progresso being the winners and this afternoon we had Trial Farm and San Pablo. We are very proud of the students because they are winners already in their schools but we can see that students are preparing more and more every year, it is becoming very competitive because the prizes are very encouraging so our students are really preparing and the teachers and schools are putting a lot of effort in preparing the students. We can see that they really have this background in spelling and phonics that they are preparing.”

Will Mayoral Candidates Engage in Debate?
During yesterday’s Nomination Day for the upcoming municipal elections, there were a lot of issues that were brought to the forefront by opposition candidates, who feel that enough works were not being done in the municipality and that monies were not being accounted for or spent wisely. In the course of our interviews, the media did ask the two main mayoral candidates it they would consider a debate. Little did we know that PUP’s candidate, Yolanda Schakron had already proposed one to the current Mayor, Darrell Bradley but now she is not so sure if the invitation is still opened. Yolanda Schakron: “I did call for a debate but Mr. Bradley did not answer so right now he has decided that he called me that I am stupid to give up my salary for scholarship he wants a debate now we had called that from a long time so now to me what the problem seems to be with Darrel is that he wants things at his timing and his way. I have a lot of things to do, I have to pound the pavement I have to reach every resident of this city to tell them what our plan is. On the debate we have not decided yet because it is either his way or the highway ‘I noh deh pan dat’.” But Mayor Bradley told the media that this is the first he is hearing of this proposed debate from Schakron and that he would be more than willing.

Independent Candidate Confident of Victory
While the two candidates from the major political parties spoke of debating or not debating issues, the independent candidate, Ernesto Torres, told Love News yesterday that he believes that this is the time for his victory. ERNESTO TORRES “I don’t ask people to vote for me, they call me and meet me on the street and they stop me whenever they see me and they promise and tell me they will vote for me so if it is true then that means this is the time for Mr.Torress. I am not against the concreting of streets, I have never been and never will but the mode of concreting was not in the best interest of the $40 million dollars that was spent. Belize City does not only need the streets concreted, from when they started the concreting of streets I was making noise to deal with drainage first and open drainage and separate the side walk from the drainage because of the rats and the roaches.”

PlusTV

Minor shot in the chest in San Pedro
According to reports, on February 11 at about 9:30 p.m., shots were fired in the San Pedrtito are of Ambergris Caye at Espat’s Apartment. 38-year-old Maria Escalante of San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, and her 13-year-old daughter Meredith, occupy one of the rooms at the facility. Police say that Meredith Escalante was closing the door to their apartment when three loud sounds were heard, and she realized that she had been shot in the chest area.

BSCFA Limited?
Earlier this week it was reported that on January 27th, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) was registered as a company. This caused major concerns within the members and directors of the association because there is a clause, specifically article 2 of the Companies Act of Belize, that says that once a company is registered an interim group takes over until a general meeting decides who they want as their leaders. The argument on one side is that Alfredo Ortega, and a few others who were behind this move, are attempting to seize control of the BSCFA by registering it as a Company. We spoke to Alfredo Ortega, via phone on Thursday, who categorically rejected that assumption.

Belmopan Nomination Day
Municipal Nominations were held on Wednesday countrywide. The Belmopan Civic Centre was the place of nomination for the City of Belmopan, where candidates running for Mayoral and councillor offices had to present receipts  showing they have paid their fee of $50 dollars to participate in the municip...

Nomination Day for Municipals in Belize City
Three Mayoral candidates and twenty councilor candidates  were nominated on Wednesday in Belize City. The People’s United party candidates and about 400 supporters made their way to the nomination center at Charles Bartlett Hyde building  Wednesday morning...

Municipal Elections in the Twin Towns
In the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, UDP Earl Trapp is the new face as a mayoral candidate while Ramon Quiros was nominated for the PUP’s mayoral candidate. PlusNews spoke first to Ramon Monchi Quiros as the PUP made their way first to the nomination center on Wednesday morning...

Island Town Municipal Nominations
In San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, La Isla Bonita, Nomination Day began with the People’s United Party Town Council Candidates parading to the San Pedro Town council facility, where Election Officer, Miriam Codd-Pott and Returning Officer, Colin Griffith logged them into the system. The PUP Mayo...

Man found guilty ex parte for handling stolen laptop
He was not present in court, but 33 year old Vincente Vernon Jr. was found guilty of handling stolen goods in a trial held ex parte,that is, without his presence in court. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith issued a fine of $3,000 to be paid immediately, in default three years’ imprisonment. Peter Cu...

Trafficked weed and offered bribe
A Belize City man, who attempted to get rid of marijuana he had in his possession and then attempted to induce police officers not to charge him, still faced charges of drug trafficking, tacked on to another pending charge. 30 year old Everal Gray pleaded not guilty and met bail of $3,000. On Tuesda...

The Guardian

Countrywide nominations prove that UDP will win
Massive crowds of residents came out on Wednesday February 11 to support the United Democratic Party as mayoral and councilor candidates made their way to the various nomination centers to officially be signed on as candidates for the upcoming municipal elections on March 4, 2015. The energy of all the UDP supporters was evident across the country where, by measure of numbers, easily outdid each and every one of the PUP slates seeking office. The UDP election machinery is now in full gear and the nomination day proved that in each and every municipality the party is ready for the elections which is 4 weeks away. In Belize City, at least two thousand party supporters came out from early in front of the headquarters on Youth for the Future Drive where the contagious rhythms of party songs, both new and vintage, blared out from earlier on in the morning. As soon as the clock struck 1 the motorcade was off making its way down Vernon Street, Central American Boulevard culminating at the Charles Bartlett Hyde building where the 10 councilor candidates along with Mayoral candidate Darrell Bradley were nominated.

NTUCB executive in bed with Ashcroft???
One of the first meetings the new Vice-President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize took after being elected to the post is one with British billionaire ventriloquist, Lord Michael Ashcroft. Audrey Matura-Shepherd was elected as 2nd Vice-President of the most powerful union umbrella group in Belize on February 2nd and five days later she was summoned by the dark lord to a breakfast meeting at his Radisson palace. The meeting with Ashcroft and Matura-Shepherd was not meant to be a secret. There was no slip in them being caught on camera. Ashcroft’s sole purpose was to showcase the “unofficial Leader of the Opposition” as his choice to replace the oficial Leader of the Opposition. Belizeans believe that Lord Ashcroft is a businessman more than he is a human being. Therefore, any meeting with him is a business meeting. The question on everyone’s mind is “what business does Matura-Shepherd have with Lord Ashcroft?”. He surely does not need Matura-Shepherd on his legal team since he already has half the Bar; including the current and past Presidents.

Shackron isn’t good with numbers
On the local news Yolanda Shackron was asked how many people were in her nomination parade. Her answer was that 'I am not good with numbers." Really, this lady wants to run as the mayor of Belize City and she says she isn't good with numbers? Just last week she was attempting to take Mayor Darrell Bradley to task over the finances of the council, which we might add, is not as paltry a figure as 400 people, which came out to support her, it is in the millions of dollars and we see her admitting she is not good with numbers. If she cannot add up to a few hundred, then we can surely say that she will definitely not be able to manage millions.

Francis’ Double Standards
Now let’s be very clear Mr. Fonseca, that sounds like a huge pile of Bulls**t to everyone with half a brain. Tulio Mendez, he can no longer be referred to as Honorable and neither can you, has been fingered by children as their abuser. That is a very serious allegation made against someone who should have been at all times beyond reproach. He has been charged by the Police so there is a legal proceeding against him. The legal aspects cannot be discussed in this forum but what we can discuss is the moral implications that such an allegation has. First and foremost is the fact that Tulio had sworn to serve his people in Orange Walk; that includes providing a safe environment for his people. Secondly he is a licensed pediatrician charged with the sacred responsibility of making children well not making them uncomfortable. When a child for whatever reason makes an allegation, that child is somehow not comfortable. The courts will eventually make a determination as to the validity of these allegations in the meantime Tulio should exercise good judgment and suspend his practice as a pediatrician and resign as an area representative.

Caribbean Court of Justice to rule on BTL and BEL Nationalization
The former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) have gone to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) requesting that if the Government of Belize should lose the appeal, the court should order that both companies should be given back. Part of their argument is the Government has somehow mismanaged BTL and BEL. Readers may be aware that the CCJ has heard the final cross appeals from both the Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Alliance, which owned BTL, and Fortis Energy International, which owned BEL. That case happened on December 10 – 12 of 2014 at the seat of the CCJ in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. An appropriate reminder of the events which have led to this point in the life of the two utility companies is to recall how and why the Government nationalized them both. Up until 2009, the Ashcroft Group of Companies owned BTL, but by that time, the Barrow Administration and the rest of the country had learned about all the questionable contracts and business decisions that the Musa Administration made with businessman Michael Ashcroft.

DOE responds to grounding of sailboat “Termaji”
At about 7:00pm on 30th December, 2014, personnel from the Department of Environment (DOE) were informed of a vessel grounding that occurred on the Belize Barrier Reef just south of the access channel in front of Caye Caulker Village, Belize District. Based on the information received, the DOE contacted the relevant agencies, including Belize Fisheries Department and the Belize Port Authority, to respond to the incident in accordance with the National Standard Operating Procedure for Marine Casualties. During the response to the reported area by the team on 31st December, 2014, the DOE personnel observed a stationary 40-foot, blue and red steel hull sail boat named “Termaji,” with Flag State as France. Upon investigations, it was learnt that the owner and captain of the vessel, a French National, was attempting to access the channel in front of Caye Caulker Village when the vessel grounded on the reef. The 100 gallons of diesel that was in the storage tank of the vessel was immediately removed to prevent any spill or contamination of the exposed reef crest. In the implementation of the National Standard Operating Procedure for Marine Casualties, the DOE and other relevant agencies has since made several attempts to remove the vessel from its grounded position, but because of inclement weather, the team had to postpone the removal of the vessel for safety reasons on more than one occasion.

Eamon Courtenay confirms that Ashcroft will bleed Belizeans
"Somebody and it can only mean the people of Belize, will be called upon to pay the cost for the loss that arises from the gross mismanagement by the current management of Telemedia".- Eamon Courtenay. Courtenay has been appearing on just about every legal matter that Lord Michael Ashcroft has against the government and by extension the people of Belize. During an interview with Channel 7 on February 5, his agenda became scarily clear. He indicated that if BTL were to ever revert back to Ashcroft, "somebody and it can only mean the people of Belize will be called upon to pay the cost..." To have an attorney, actually fighting for this to take place really makes us wonder what his motivation is.

Punta Gorda – A Bright Star in the Toledo Sky
How can anyone forget the phrase “the forgotten district” which was coined and survived for decades when the PUP was the government? That phrase has been put to pasture by this United Democratic Party government which has directed a significant amount of attention to Toledo. In keeping with its transformation agenda the UDP government, under the competent leadership of the Honorable Dean Barrow, has focused its sights on Punta Gorda. Apart from the cementing and upgrading of major streets, opening of new ones, electrification of new areas, job creation, granting of land titles and a myriad of other amenities, the GOB is now investing over 5 million dollars for the upgrade and construction of sporting facilities. The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) - the government vehicle which has the responsibility to provide each district with signature sporting facilities, is currently addressing Punta Gorda’s sporting needs. The plans and drawing for a new state of the art Multi-purpose sporting facility is currently under design by Sheldon Mahung and partners.

In Small Dose - Killer Statements
Evan X Hyde In the Amandala “from the Publisher” Sunday January 18, 2015: “My friend lives in a residential area southeast of the municipal airport. The houses are pretty expensive in this part of town. I think some ambassadors live out there.” What???? ..it is like saying……”My friend lives on Seashore Drive. All the properties are pretty expensive in this part of city, these are all seafront lots. The owners, from one end to the other, start with Julius Espat and ends with the Arnold’s house with Evan X Hyde [the publisher] in between” Cordel Hyde Amandala, Sunday January 25, 2015: Article: In commemoration of George Price birthday PUP launches Education Reform Agenda Statement by Cordel: “It is absolutely unacceptable that 60 years after it was first introduced in Barbados there is no free secondary education in this country. That cannot continue and it must not continue in a country as rich as ours” What???

Special Envoy for Women and Children on Child Sexual Abuse
In light of the grave allegations recently made against a Belizean public figure, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, urges all persons involved to ensure that this highly sensitive issue is handled with the best interests of the affected children as the priority. This is an opportunity to rise above political lines and raise awareness on a serious issue that continues to be seen as taboo.

Supreme Court rules that GOB does not need to pay $33.5Million UHS guarantee
Once again, the Government and people of Belize have to be worried about whether or not the courts will enforce a multi-million dollar debt which the Musa Administration saddled the country with illegally. The Government on February 6, 2015, won at the Supreme Court Level when Justice Shona Griffith ruled that Belize does not have to pay a judgment debt of 33.5 million dollars plus interest to the Ashcroft Alliance. If our readers will remember, this legal battle is over an illegal and immoral money transaction that the then Prime Minister Said Musa made for a private hospital, known then as Universal Health Services. That happened in 2007 when Musa and the then Attorney General, Francis Fonseca, signed a loan note, using public funds to guarantee a private debt.

Busted with weed and offered gun for release
Everal Gray, 30, was busted by police on Tuesday, February 10, as officers were on mobile patrol on Jones Street in Belize City. Their attention was drawn to a man riding a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction and when the man saw them he jumped off his cycle and ran into a nearby yard where police said they saw him throw a bag into the canal on Lacroix Boulevard then a second bag close to the area. Police caught up with the man identified as Everal Gray, apprehended him and took him back to the area where the two bags were thrown. Both bags were retrieved from the canal and opened in his presence.

Belize is set to benefit from more European Union funded projects to 2020
The number of European Union EU projects that have been taken to full completion around Belize, mostly without much fanfare, seems in-exhaustible. Belize is set, yet again, to benefit from more European Union outlays in the coming years. From the records of the EU, 2014 was the best year in terms of EU disbursements to Belize, which amounted to 36 million Belize dollars. In keeping with this trend, the EU has recently signed a new contract with Belize for the same amount, which will translate eventually to more disbursements. Indeed; there is much cause for celebration for 2015 was the first time there was political dialogue between Belize and the EU. For just a few examples of these projects, the EU is supporting the Organization of American States Office located near the Benque Viejo del Carmen Border. Under the OAS programs, cultural groups are supported in Melchor de Mencos and Benque Viejo to foster brotherly relations on both sides of the border. One project that the EU-Belize Program is especially proud of is the cattle sweep for tuberculosis and brucellosis, for which two sweeps have already been conducted; resulting in the doubling of profits for the sellers of cattle.

Belmopan FFB pitch certified by FIFA
Belize was unable to be represented in the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament in August of last year as the field had ‘brown spots.’ At the time 1.8 million dollars had been spent on bringing the pitch and the facilities up to FIFA standards. Even with that amount of money spent, the field was not certified by FIFA and Belize lost out on the opportunity to be showcased on the international arena. Six months after that fiasco, the Football Federation of Belize sought the professional assistance of a Costa Rican expert and with the infusion of 75 thousand dollars more into the field, the grass is now, litterally, looking a lot greener.

Galen University vehicle crashes into Government property
Sometime after midnight on Sunday of this past weekend, a driver of a Galen University vehicle crashed into the fence of a property, occupied by Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo Police, Daniel Arzu. According to Arzu, the “Gentleman” was driving away from an ATM machine and on nearing the intersection of George Street in Benque Viejo del Carmen, accelerated his vehicle, crashing into Government property without major injury to himself or others. The driver has been dealt with according to the law and has agreed to repair the fence.

Only Floyd Neal is Capable?
Of all the professionals that fall under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), is Floyd Neal of the Christian Workers Union the only individual capable of representing workers on the Social Security Board of Directors? The Social Security Board of Directors have been unable to meet for weeks because the NTUCB has refused to let its Directors attend meetings. The law requires at least one Director from NTUCB and one Director from the business community for there to be quorum. The umbrella union is holding out due to the Board’s objection to its appointment of Floyd Neal, Secretary General of CWU, as one of its two Directors. The Christian Workers Union represents the workers of Social Security who are currently engaged in collective bargaining with the Board.

Orange Walk Town Council Guilty of Mismanagement
Two years and 11 months into the fiscal year, The Orange Walk PUP Town Council led by Mayor Kevin Bernard has received more than $9,000,000.00 in revenue since they came into office in 2012. Based on figures extracted from their own financial reports posted on their webpage, the Council confirms having received $8,353,443.74 up to the end of November last year for the same period. December and January have now passed and these are the big revenue earning months. February and March figures are yet to be seen. However, based on their own expected revenue for the 4 months, they expect to receive an additional $ 1,731.714.78 in revenue and if that happens, then the total revenue for the 3 year period would be a whopping believe it or not figure of $10,085,158.12.

The Countdown Begins
Excitement, confusion, doubtfulness and joy are all bundled in one package to be delivered to students this time of the year. It’s the second half of the school year, and for most of us students, the countdown towards the end begins. Knowing well by now the work we’ve done in the first half and how much more we need to put in next- preparations for examinations, schools, work or whatever the next level may hold- all have us on our toes. All the tedious nights of “burning the midnight oil”, the harsh remarks from teachers and the rush to get to classes on time were all that was needed to get us to where we are now; but it doesn’t stop there. Many times we feel the need to “take a break” from life because of how great the work load may be, but not even the hardest workers take breaks. Just take a look around, not as far as the Prime Minister of Belize, but at our parents, and even their parents too, who all kept going until they reached where they wanted to go. And for those of us with our enthusiasm down in the dumps, let’s not wait until forever to continue a path of our very own success. Whether you are a standard six student preparing for PSE in March, or a college student gathering transcripts for scholarships, if by now you haven’t started preparing, it might just be too late.

Sexual Abuse against Children is a no no…
Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). That CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. This is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. This commitment obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that create the enabling environment for children to flourish.

Opening old wounds
My attention was brought to an article in the Amandala, dated Sunday, April 3rd 2011, by a good friend who recognized that a story being told therein, did not coincide with her recollection of the facts. Titled “When fish come from River bottom….”, the article was the narrative of a drama in which I was a main player. Let me first of all pledge to my readers, that I will in no way be engaging in any back and forth on this subject and will subject none to the rehashing of this story, long told and grown old. There are just too many fallacies and inconsistencies however and too blatant an attempt to defame my character for me to not at least try to set this record straight.

The $10M Question
It has been a long time since I have had so many issues to comment on, which has me undecided as to where to begin this discourse. There are four competing topics; these being Matura/Ashcroft, Courtenay/Ashcroft, Chebat, and Bernard. Of course with the municipals right around the bend, I will certainly want to use more ink on Bernard and his bowtie set here in OW. But first let me comment on the “street smarts” of the recently appointed candidate for Cayo North, Chebat. This gentleman was interviewed last week by Channel Fox, and he said that he was looking at the numbers in the recent by-election, and these give him high hopes of victory in the next Generals. Chebat says that the UDP candidate only received 40% of the total votes, and he sees this low performance as a positive development for him. He also said that Hon. Figueroa has been elected one month now and has done nothing for the people of Cayo North.

Verdes FC maintains lead in Closing Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games being played across the country. On Saturday 7 February, 2015, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Police United and the visiting Placencia Texmar Assassins played to a 3-3 draw. The visiting Placencia Texmar Assassins were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Luis Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 12th minute of play to give his team an early lead. The Police United responded when Harrison Roaches scored his team’s equalising goal in the 15th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1.

Double fatality in Belmopan
Two families in Belmopan continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones after two men were knocked down and killed by a vehicle being driven by a man who police believe was drunk at the time. The victims, 26 year-old Leonardo Ramos and 17 year-old Rigoberto Cabrera, were both travelling on Ramos’ motorcycle on the morning of Saturday, February 7, at around 1:50 a.m. Their families believe that they were heading to a house that they were looking after.

Senior citizen murdered in Roaring Creek
The community of Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District, is morning the loss of one of their well-known senior citizens who became a victim of gun violence. 61 year-old John Alexander Smith was shot in the head by a gunman who had no apparent reason to kill him. It happened just before 7 p.m. on Monday, February 9, on Young Street. Smith was walking home, and he was only yards away from his house when an unknown shooter ambushed him. That assailant, who was wearing a mask, needed only one shot, which he fired at Smith. The bullet struck Smith in the left side of his face, and he went down immediately.

Perfilio Rodriguez Free from Aggravated Assault Charge
Perfilio Rodriguez, 19, who prefers to be called Vanessa Paris Champagne is a free from a charge of aggravated assault upon Golda Orosco. The case stems from an incident that occurred on June 29, 2014 at Kaleb Orosco’s home in which Kaleb’s sister, Golda, claims that Rodriguez pulled a knife at her. Golda Orosco reported the incident and Rodriguez was charged with aggravated assault with a knife.

Jeremiah Pott pleads guilty to killing older brother
Jeremiah Pott, 54, was charged with the murder of his older brother Fidencio Pott, 57, in September of 2013. According to reports, the brothers were drinking extra strong rum at a friend’s home in Bermudian Landing on March 21, 2011. They then got into an argument over a bottle of rum and a fight started between the two. Fidencio reportedly dragged Jeremiah out of the house by his shirt and the two engaged in a brawl. It was duing this exchange that Jeremiah picked up a shovel and hit Fidencio in the head. Fidencio fell to the ground and Jeremiah hit him multiple times to the head until he was unconscious. Fidencio was then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he received treatment until he succumbed to the injuries on March 26, five days later.

Man dies in Spanish Lookout
A resident from August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District has died as a result of being involved in an accident in Spanish Lookout this past Friday morning. Sometime after 9:45 am, San Ignacio Police received information of a death at the Mid-West Steel Company, located in the Spanish Lookout Community. At that location, Henry Reimer 64 year old businessman reported that he was driving a forklift loaded with three cases of metal plates when one of those plates fell and hit 38 year old Belizean laborer Ramon Ku.

Shaquan Almendarez gets break on guilty plea for weed possession
Shaquan Almendarez pleaded guilty to drug possession simplicitor on on Monday, February 9, and was sentenced to serve one year in prison. This was a huge break for the 22-year-old who has one year left on a three year sentence he is currently serving for another drug related charge. Almendarez was hanging out in front of a gate on Electric Avenue in December of 2012 when officers spotted him and he ran into a nearby yard. The officers said that when Almendarez ran he threw a bag away but it got caught up unto a fence. The officers caught up with Almendarez and took him back to the area were he threw the bag. It was opened in Almendarez’s presence and inside was 154 grams of weed. He was charged with drug traficking since it amounted to more than 60 grams.

$100 for Possession of Weed
Keenan Kenyon Brown, 19, was busted with 27 grams of weed by the Gang Suppression Unit on 6th Street in Kings Park in February of 2014 and was charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug. He initially pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned. However, on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, on the advice of his attorney Edwin Flowers, Brown changed his plea to guilty.

Brandon Tillett walks from aggravated assault charge
Brandon Tillett, 29, the George Street associate known as BT, was cleared by Magistrate Dale Cayetano from a charge of assault upon a police officer. In August of 2004, PC Abner Itza accused Tillett of headbutting him in the face causing his nose to burst. He was arrested and charged with wounding, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. The trial against Tillett began on Wednesday of last week in the Belize City Magistrates’ Court. The case was prosecuted by Cpl. Noel Muschamp who called PC Abner Itza and PC Gian Young to testify. However, on Friday, February 6, Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the charge against Tillett because he did not believe the officers’ version of the story.

Traffic accident claims life of young woman
A family from San Roman Village in the Corozal District is taking steps to bury one of their own after a fatal traffic accident near the Belize Mexico Border claimed the life of 23 year-old Iris Mabel Chicas. At around 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, Chicas was driving, a grey 2006 Ford Fusion, which belongs to her boyfriend, 28 year-old Ahmad Shah Amini, who was in the passenger seat at the time. At an area between miles 85 and 86 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, she made an attempt to over-take a van which was in front of her.

Victim of Attempted Murder Wants No Action
Albert Clother and Tareef Westby are now free men after shooting victim, Samuel Halliday, told the court that he wants no further action against the men accused of trying to kill him. Just after 6 p.m. on the evening of Friday, March 22, 2013, gunmen ambushed Halliday as he was standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Vernon Street near the stop light. The men opened fire on him and at least five bullets were sent in his direction. One struck him in the lower back but Halliday lived to tell the tale. After two months of investigation, on May 14, 2013, police arrested Clother and Westby, who was 17 at the time. They were arraigned for the attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and conspircy to commit murder upon Halliday and a Preliminary Inquiry was scheduled to commence on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.

Louisiana Government School girls are the National Primary Schools Basketball champions
The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Girls’ Basketball competition came to an end on Friday 6 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the championship game played, Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District defeated St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic School representing the Toledo District by the score of 37-5 to claim the National Primary Schools Basketball Championship. The top scorer for Louisiana Government School was Eloisa Moreno with 14 points and the top scorer for St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic School was Normalee Gomez with 3 points. In the consolation game, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School representing the Stann Creek District defeated Belize Elementary School representing the Belize District by the score of 10-5. The top scorer for Sacred Heart Primary School was Shannel Thomas with 6 points, while the top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 5 points.

San Pedro Tigersharks open on the right footing
The National Elite Basketball League 2015 season opened on Friday 6 February, 2015 out at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town between the Belize Hurricanes and the Cayo Western Ballaz. The Cayo Western Ballaz in its first game of the 2015 campaign defeated the newly formed Belize Hurricanes by the score or 85-52. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Richard Troyer with 21 points and 12 rebounds, Ivan Flowers with 19 points, 3 assists and 2 steals and Keith Acosta with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize Hurricanes were Winston Pratt with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Jermaine Small with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 1 assist and Earl Johnson with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Brandon Cattouse wins third Saturday Test Race
The C-Ray Cycling Club held its 5th Saturday Test Race on Saturday 7 February, 2015. The race started from in front of Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway, then travelled to the Hattieville Round-About, where the riders made a right turn onto the Boom Road, turned at the half way point at Bisset Service Station and then back to the George Price Highway where the race concluded at Leslie’s Imports. In the junior category, first place went to Anthony Marin of Cabral/Marin Racing while second place went to Marin’s teammate Brian Sutherland. In the female category, first place went to Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray with second place going to Alicia Thompson of Belize Bank Swoosh.

Belizean Sporting Fraternity mourns the passing of Mario Vázquez Raña
It is with great sadness that the Sporting Fraternity in Belize has learnt of the death of President of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) long-time IOC member and former President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Mario Vázquez Raña, aged 82. “Mario Vázquez Raña dedicated a great part of his life to Olympic sport”, said IOC President Thomas Bach. “He served over decades with great commitment as President of PASO, even until his last moments. He had outstanding merit within the Olympic Movement and we will always remember him as a great Olympic leader. The Olympic flag at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne will be flown at half-mast in his honour”, he added. Mario Vazquez Rana was President of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) from 1975 until his death and he also headed the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) from 1979 to 2012.

Mount Carmel Primary School boys are national basketball champions
The National Primary Schools Basketball Championship came to an end on Friday 6 February, 2015. The first round of the championship and the semi-final round were played at the YWCA Court here in Belize City. In the championship game, Mount Carmel Primary School representing the Cayo District defeated Holy Cross Anglican School representing the Belize District by the score of 38-36. The top scorer for Mount Carmel Primary School was Kenneth Sarceno with 14 points while the top scorer for Holy Cross Anglican School was Christian Orellana with 19 points. In the third place game, Holy Family Roman Catholic School from Hopkins Village representing the Stann Creek District defeated Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District by the score of 20-17. The top scorer for Holy Family RC School was Kyle Maximo with 12 points and the top scorer for Louisiana Government School was David Smith with 11 points.

Verdes FC maintains lead in Closing Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games being played across the country. On Saturday 7 February, 2015, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Police United and the visiting Placencia Texmar Assassins played to a 3-3 draw. The visiting Placencia Texmar Assassins were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Luis Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 12th minute of play to give his team an early lead. The Police United responded when Harrison Roaches scored his team’s equalising goal in the 15th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1.

Patrick JonesPJ

Punta Gorda man detained pending rape charge
Police have detained a man from Punta Gorda town pending a charge of rape. This follows a report that he raped a fourteen year old girl on Thursday night. Police say the girl told them that she was at a computer lab on Main Street in Punta Gorda town, when […]

Early morning shooting in Belize City leaves man hospitalized
In Belize City, an early-morning shooting incident has left one man hospitalized. Thirty year old Mark Alamilla, Junior, a resident of Majestic Alley was shot in the lower back and abdomen around one o’clock this morning. Police say Alamilla, Junior was walking through Brides Alley on his way home, when […]

Teenage girl shot in the chest in San Pedro town
A thirteen year old girl was the victim of a shooting incident on Wednesday night in the San Pedrito area of San Ignacio town. According to police reports the shooting happened around 9:25 last night and the teenager was shot in the chest. The mother of the teenager, Maria Escalante […]

P.M., Government question new BSCFA
The Government of Belize has vowed to investigate and strike out the entity known as the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) – not the giant association of cane farmers so recently splintered in the wake of a bruising battle with sugar producers Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), […]

NTUCB says Audrey made “error of judgment” over Ashcroft meeting
National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB)’s recently elected second vice president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, raised eyebrows in the public after a published photograph of her breakfast meeting with Lord Michael Ashcroft, older son William in tow, brought up questions of what she was seeking from him, or what […]

NTUCB, SSB continue sparring over Floyd Neal appointment
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and Social Security Board (SSB) remain at odds over the appointment of Floyd Neal, General Secretary of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU), to the Board as a union representative. The Board, led by chairman Doug Singh, maintains that this is […]

Kuxlin Ha Government School Inaugurates School Library
Parents, Teachers, Students, School Leaders, Volunteers and donors gathered at Kuxlin Ha Government School on Monday, February 9th, to inaugurate its well deserved and needed Library. The building was constructed by parents with donation from community members, parents, and volunteers. Mr. David LeBlanc, chairman of the Volunteer […]

Trafficked weed and offered bribe
A Belize City man who attempted to get rid of marijuana he had in his possession and then attempted to induce police officers not to charge him, still faced charges of drug trafficking, tacked on to another pending charge. 30 year old Everal Gray pleaded not guilty and […]

Man found guilty ex parte for handling stolen laptop
He was not present in court earlier this week, but 33 year old Vincente Vernon Jr. was found guilty of handling stolen goods in a trial held ex parte, that is, without his presence in court. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith issued a fine of $3,000 to be paid immediately, in […]

Special report shows there was no kidnap attempt in Spanish Lookout
A widely circulated social media report of the alleged attempted kidnapping of children in Spanish Lookout is much ado about an “innocent” incident. It happened on Monday, February 9. Two days later, the chairman of Spanish Lookout Clarence Dueck assigned Justice of the Peace Harry Letkeman to investigate the situation […]

Blogs

Lip smacking good Fundraiser for Sunshine Foundation a Huge Success
Plan was to meet up around 11:30 and first man in score a choice table. When I arrived after Pilates class Shirlee had scored us a choice table on the beach away from the speakers – it was going to get loud. Kendal and Eric turned up not long after and Anna decided to join us for drinks. As I passed by the grill-masters on my way in, I noticed no females again this year, Big Shout out to the Q queens for next year. I know you are out there seen a few bad @ss grill girls on food network. Come claim your Grilling fame on Ambergris Caye. When the party filled out and the heavenly meat aromatherapy started wafting over the crowd, you could almost hear the stomach monsters growling. Some went as far as skipping breakfast in anticipation of lots of food… of course I was not one of them. I am a lucky girls these days and 3 week house guest Dennis is making my morning smoothies, breakfast and other assorted cooking – now that’s what I call a friend with benefits ;)

Spider Woman and Mesoamerican Cultures
As with most Mesoamerican ruins, archaeologists rise to the occasion of exploring and studying the ancient cultures and their remains. Many archaeologists have invested time and energy at this ancient city. One of the finds was what archaeologists originally called a piece of art depicting Tlaloc, the Mexican Rain God. Then, after further studies by Esther Pasztory and other archaeologists the art piece suddenly took on new meaning – it wasn’t Tlaloc! It was a female! Karl Taube, a great Archaeologist from University of California Riverside argued further that the goddess was more of a spider because of its fangs and palps. Taube suggests that this was the goddess that created this present universe and was the supreme diety of the people who lived in the city of Teotihucan. The most amazing thing about this find is the fact that spiders, such as this Spider woman goddess were also important to the Pueblo and Navajo creation mythology like it is with the Spider Woman idea of the Kogi people of Colombia. The Spider Woman is real. She hails from Mesoamerica.

Fish, BBQ, Boogers...er, ah, Bloggers!
Couple minor adventures have taken place since last we spoke. Went deep sea fishing for the first time, ate some BBQ at a fundraiser BBQ cook off thing, Likely some other cool stuff I'm just not remembering right now...will work on that. Fun stuff and some food porn ahead. So yeah - fishing. I'm not a big fisherman. I love going to the river, lake, or pond with my pole and chair. Though I usually cast out an empty hook so I can just sit and enjoy nature all day. I mean really, who wants a bunch of fish ruining your day by making you work? I think I've covered this in a blog already - but meals I have to work for are not meals I'm interested in. Fish is fine and all, but not interested in wrestling the bastards myself, just like I don't like to peel, though I love to eat, shrimp and I would be SO much happier if baked potatoes came out of the oven split open, insides mixed up with butter, salt, and pepper already in there. We can genetically engineer anything! I've eaten apples that taste like grapes (so good). When will my damn potato have butter, salt, and pepper pre-grown into it?! Can't be that hard.

Serious question seeks fun answers: Why fly Southwest to Belize?
Southwest Airlines is looking for a few good reasons to visit Belize. The U.S. airline will begin daily flights to Belize in October, from Houston. And anyone who knows Southwest knows this airline doesn’t do anything unless it is fun. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to land on a Southwest flight when the safety speech is given by a budding stand-up comic you’ll know what I mean. Here, sample some of these. Southwest likes creative employees. Heck, it simply likes its employees (and I think they are called team members, or something like that). My friend and neighbor in San Diego for many years was a Southwest flight attendant who rose through the ranks to become a recruiter and trainer among other duties for the airline. Wayne Toups loved the airline and loved going to work every day. Like the famous Cajun singer Wayne Toups, he was from Louisiana and he had a ball with their common name. Believe it or not, passengers would ask Wayne, handing out drinks and peanuts while clad in the khaki shorts and polo shirt uniform of Southwest, if he was the singer!

International Sourcesizz

9 Belizeans put 109 million Belize in Swiss Accounts in which billions were hidden HSBC Accounts
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a report this week revealing billions of dollars held in nearly 60,000 internal Swiss bank documents from 2006 to 2007 leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani, a former employee of HSBC in Switzerland. The report disclosed that HSBC maintained accounts for customers connected with 30 countries in the wider Caribbean -- seetable at this link.

Bank leak reveals billions from Caribbean stashed in Switzerland
Some of these come as no surprise in that territories such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands are established offshore financial centres and none of the leaked accounts were held by their citizens or passport holders although billions of dollars were held in accounts associated with those territories. However, in the case of The Bahamas, although it is also a financial centre, 55 Bahamian citizens or passport holders were associated with accounts at HSBC. Likewise, Bermuda, where 13 of its citizens or passport holders were associated with such accounts.

Area students to visit Belize
Ask people what they could consider a once-in-a-lifetime experience and many would reply with “visiting exotic places.” A select number of area students will get that opportunity — provided they can raise the money. Four students from Maxwell Public Schools hope to visit Belize as part of a trip with a company called Educational Tours. The students will join more than 30 others from Gothenburg and Valentine who are also going. The trip is planned for June 2016. “A teacher from another district told me about the opportunity and asked me if I would be interested in participating,” said Crystal Ryker, a Maxwell special education teacher. “I told her I would and spoke with students to gauge their interest level.”

Person of interest in Belize murder now lives in Lexington
The software developer who has been on the run after being named a person of interest in a Belize murder case now lives in West Tennessee. John McAfee said he only feels comfortable armed, which is why he chose to be interviewed with a loaded gun in each hand. "Very little gives me a feeling of being safe and more secure other than being armed in my bedroom with the door locked," McAfee said. McAfee said he outfitted his pickup truck with a heavy duty push guard and emergency lights. "In case I am trapped or blocked in somewhere on a remote highway they can be seen easily from the air," he said. The developer, who created the McAfee anti-virus software, said he moved to Belize in 2010. In 2012, his neighbor was killed and he has been on the run since refusing to let Belizean police question him.

Defiance students journey to Belize
Two Bryan residents were among seven Defiance College students who recently spent several days in Belize conducting community-based research through the college’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. Megan Roberts Davis, a junior majoring in early childhood studies, and Tory Savage, a sophomore majoring in digital forensic science, are McMaster Scholars who have been part of a Belize learning community for the past several months. One of the goals of the McMaster School is to work with community partners to identify challenges and then address the problem or issue. Projects were carried out in Belize during several days in December.

What We Know About the Earliest History of Chocolate
On a sunny morning in San Francisco's Mission District, half a dozen men and women scoot around a tiny chocolate factory, wrapping bars, checking temperature settings, sorting beans. Cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted, shelled, and ground tumble with sugar in a row of shiny metal mixers. After three days of gentle mixing, the buttery smooth results will be transferred to a tempering machine to shape the cacao’s natural fat molecules into stable crystal structures. This is the home of Dandelion Chocolate, a small-batch chocolate maker founded in 2010 by two former tech entrepreneurs. The tools and flavors have changed, but the work of roasting and grinding fermented cacao beans, and mixing them with a few simple ingredients to create a divine food, is a practice that goes back to early Mesoamerican civilizations.

Videos

  • Belize Dolphin Pod Swimming, 1min. Dolphins in our way to the Blue Hole.
  • Belize Missions, 7min. Peoples Baptist Church - Greenville, NC
  • MET, Cayo, and Caulker from Above, 8min. Stunning! Incredible! The best aerial footage done in Belize so far, and it all starts out, and ends, in Cayo, at Mountain Equestrian Trails. So beautiful, you'll be amazed. Big Rock Falls, San Antonio, Barton Creek Cave, and MPR are all seen in HD. Thanks, MET, for sponsoring this! "A big thanks to Mountain Equestrian Trails for accommodation and providing so much adventure.
  • Punta Gorda fish whacking, 1/2min. Doesn't seem a super efficient way to kill a fish, but what do I know!?
  • Belize diving final, 21min.
  • Ümraniye'den Meksika, Belize ve Guatemala'ya Gidiş, 13min. Hiç ispanyolca bilmeden, sadece gezerken öğrendiğim bir ingilizceyle Ümraniye'den başlayıp Meksika, Belize ve Guatemala'ya giden yolculuğumun ilk 60 gününü kapsayan hızlı bir özeti. Bu iki aylık sürede uçak bileti hariç, diğer tüm masraflar dahil harcadığım toplam tutar 4.500 TL dir.
  • Emory King's Short History of Belize, 29min. Emory King was a Belizean historian, author and journalist. He served the nation of Belize in a number of capacities, including as National Film Commissioner. In 1953, at the age of 22, King and a group of friends sailed south from the United States on a yacht and were shipwrecked off the coast of Belize, due to the barrier reef. After recovering, King elected to stay. King found work with the ruling People's United Party, becoming especially close to leader George Price, and becoming a columnist/editor for the Belize Times in the 1970s.

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