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#501308 - 02/20/15 12:58 PM Today's Belize News: February 20, 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

The colors, rhythm and sounds of Carnaval in San Pedro!
San Pedro Town ushered in the 40-day Lenten Season in grand style with the annual Carnaval festivities. Under the theme “Ritmo, Color y Cancion, Que viva nuestra Tradicion (Rhythm, Color and Music, Long live our traditions)”, this year’s celebration was full of laughter and joy as the island reveled in five days of fun activities. Both residents and visitors alike enjoyed the traditional street painting and comparsas (dance group) presentation, as well as a live concert from Belize’s Sweet Pain Band. The festivities kicked off on Friday, February 13th with a block party in Central Park. The family event saw performances from Miss San Pedro 2014/2015 Michelle Nuñez, Yaka’s Elite Dancers, Guillermo and Neslen Rivero, Rompe Raja and the Ballet Folklorico de Bacalar.

Peace Corps volunteers prepare for Camp GLOW
Peace Corps volunteers across Belize are preparing to host Camp Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) in Stann Creek, Belize. The program is designed to encourage young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, increase their self-awareness, and develop their skills in goal setting, assertiveness, career, and life planning. Among the organizers is Peace Corps volunteer stationed in San Pedro Diana Sanchez, who has been spearheading a GLOW group here on the island. The camp is schedule to take place Sunday, June 28th through Saturday, July 4th at Tumil’kin High School in Blue Creek Village, Toledo District. According to Sanchez, GLOW was launched in Romania in 1995. Since that first camp in Romania, Peace Corps has actively supported Camp GLOW in other Peace Corps countries. “Camp GLOW provides the opportunity for Peace Corps volunteers to team up with local volunteers in their host country to educate everyone on the realities of young women in their communities. Right now San Pedro has a GLOW group with about ten members from ages 10-14. Our ultimate goal is for GLOW to provide the foundation for young women to become active members of the community and contribute positively to society,” said Sanchez.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks falls to the Cayo Western Ballaz
Week two of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) saw record crowds in basketball arenas countrywide. For the Tiger Sharks, the fate was not their best as they fell to the Cayo Western Ballaz in front of a sea of support. The game took place in San Ignacio, Cayo at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium on Friday February 13th. Passions were high for the fans out west and they were eager to witness the clash of the two top teams in the league. Given that these two teams met in the finals last season, the tension was in full display at Friday night’s game. This match surely lived up to the hype and intensity, and from tip-off to the final buzzer, the game was an all out bump and grind, as the level of competition was fierce and adrenaline-saturated on the basketball court. The home team, Cayo Western Ballaz jumped out to an early lead, but the San Pedro Tiger Sharks tenacity surely did not let up, as both teams jostled for every edge, demonstrating a high level of talent, team chemistry and fundamental skills. The Ballaz narrowly won every single quarter showing the fans and the islanders, “who run things” at home. With 2 minutes 13 seconds remaining in the game, the home squad had a 10-point lead. That was until Ashton Edwards single-handedly took over the game and brought the Sharks back into the ball game, as he nailed three consecutive three point daggers into the heart of the Ballaz. This cut the lead to 1 point, with a little under 1 minute remaining in the game. However, in the last few seconds of the game, veteran Keith “Superman” Acosta was able to seal the victory for the home team when he caught two free throws down the stretch, ending the game at 74 – 71.

Thunderbolt boat captain charged for drug trafficking
The boat captain of Thunderbolt, 35-year-old Miguel Florencio Dominguez of the San Andres Area of Corozal Town has been arrested, charged and plead guilty for drug trafficking. On Thursday February 12th the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Belize Police Department conducted a search onboard Thunderbolt in Corozal Town. Police found over four pounds of compressed marijuana stashed inside the captain’s private compartment of the boat. According to the Head of the GSU, Inspector of Police Mark Flowers, they received information that a water taxi in Corozal Town was involved in the carriage of drugs between San Pedro Town and Corozal Town. Based on the information, they closed in on the vessel before its scheduled morning run to San Pedro Town, and that is when they found the drugs, along with an undisclosed amount of contraband liquor.

Ambergris Today

Autopsies Performed on Two Bodies Found in Shallow Grave, Ambergris Caye
The San Pedro Police department has its hands full today as investigations continue surrounding the discovery of two bodies in North Ambergris Caye on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. The SP Department states that there are still no leads or suspects in the case. Today, Thursday, February 19, 2015, the bodies of 23-year-old Benjamin Molina and 41-year-old Sylvin Chi are undergoing an autopsy as a forensics team arrived from Belize City to conduct the procedure on the bodies that were in a second stage of decomposition.

Death of Rare Shark Highlights Need for Gillnet Ban in Belize
The death of a rarely seen Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) in the waters off Hopkins village after it became entangled in a gillnet, highlights the need to transition away from this destructive fishing gear. According to Oceana Belize’s investigations into the incident, the approximately 8’ Hammerhead swam into a gill net placed in the shallow waters on the north end of the village. By the time the fisherman pulled up his net on Sunday, February 15, the shark had already drowned.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Mayan Pride will be in Maya Beach and Placencia this Saturday or Sunday
21 or 22 February 2015. Put in your order for plants. We have rambutan, grafted mango, grafted starfruit, breadfruit trees, nutmeg trees. Still have couple coffee trees, triangle palms, fox tail palms and big dwarf palms in drums. PM or call 665-0043 to order.

La Piñata - AIDs dance group
Carnaval de San Pedro

El Caballito - Day Two
Carnaval de San Pedro

Las Barbies - Day Two
Carnaval de San Pedro

El Caballito Comparsa - AIDs Dance Group
Carnaval de San Pedro

La Pintadera - Day Two
Carnaval de San Pedro

What do you think needs to be done to better preserve/protect the environment in Belize?
U.S. Embassy Belize: Recently the Deputy Chief of Mission hosted an environmental round table at his residence for leading environmental NGOs and government officials to collaborate on ways we can improve our efforts to preserve the environment in Belize.

Jaguar jamboree at the Zoo
It was a jaguar jamboree at the Zoo this week as we celebrated Junior Buddy's 8th birthday! 75 party guests from St. John's Anglican School in Belize City and St. Agnes Preschool in La Democracia joined us to celebrate his big day. There was a top-notch sing-along session of the Junior Buddy song, complete with 3 "jaguars" dancing through the crowd. The birthday boy received his birthday bone with delight. A bouncy house, face painting, jaguar trivia and prizes galore kept all well entertained. TBZ thanks everyone who came out to make this day a smashing success in fostering appreciation for one of Belize's most iconic wildlife species. Happy 8th Birthday, Junior Buddy!!

The Government of Belize has accused Oceana of being "sensationalist" because we say no to offshore oil in Belize
In January 2015, the Government of Belize released a draft exploration and exploitation plan that covers the majority of Belize's offshore area. If you think offshore oil in Belize is a bad idea post a selfie depicting how you feel about offshore oil being allowed in one of the world's most unique marine environments. Update from our Belize team: The Belizean government plans to open up the entire Belizean reef to offshore oil drilling. This is a big mistake. Spills could hit beautiful areas like the Great Blue Hole — historically off-limits to drilling — and risk area wildlife & local livelihoods dependent on the reef.

BOLD THIEF CAUGHT ON CAMERA STEALING BIKE
at Ocean Tide Beach Resort. .. Please contact Tula Ayuso if you have any information. Phone #631-6863

Tiburon Rum Launch Party
Tiburon Rum was officially launched during a 'White Party' hosted by Red Ginger at The Phoenix. The afterparty took place at Di'Vu (formerly Wet Willy's). Looks like our reporters had quite a bit of fun with the Tiburon!! Jack Sparrow was in attendance too...way too fun!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, February 19, 2015: 66. FANTASY 5: 17 6 25 1 12 N

Cayo Travelers' Choice Awards
The 2015 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards are out, and Cayo is all over it. Mystic River and Sleeping Giant both got 3 awards each. Congratulations to all the winners! Top 25 Small Hotels – Central America #8 Mystic River Resort – San Ignacio #13 Sleeping Giant Lodge – Belmopan Top 25 Bargain Hotel – Central America #3 Amber Sunset Jungle Resort – Cayo #12 Black Rock Lodge – San Ignacio #19 Clarissa Falls Resort – San Ignacio Top 25 B&Bs and Inns – Central America #2 The Inn at Twin Palms – Belmopan #9 Vanilla Hills Lodge – San Ignacio Top 25 Hotels for Romance – Central America #16 Black Rock Lodge – San Ignacio #22 Mystic River Resort – San Ignacio #24 Sleeping Giant Lodge – Belmopan Top 25 Hotels for Service – Central America #10 Black Rock Lodge – San Ignacio #14 Mystic River Resort – San Ignacio #16 Sleeping Giant Lodge – Belmopan #24 Table Rock Jungle Lodge – San Ignacio

Neon Overdose
Cayo will get its Neon Overdose next Friday, courtesy of the SHJC Event Planning class. This promises to be as big as the Swigs party a few years back. Cloud 9 will be the main act, and DJ Mesmerize will be warming it up. It all goes down in Club Next. Have a blast, and support a great cause at the same time. "SHJC event planning class presents Neon Overdose at Club Next inside Princess Casino San Ignacio!!! Music by CLOUD NINE!!! alongside DJ Mesmorize from RAGING MASTERS & DJ Blue from CHEMISTRY FAYA. ENOUGH PRIZES AND SURPRISES!!!! FREE SHOTS FOR THE FIRST 30 PEOPLE!!!"

Midas Resort Upgrades
Midas Resort has been getting some nice upgrades lately. Their 3rd floor is almost ready.

Xate stocks in the Chiquibul Forest
Under the PACT Large Grant, FCD is conducting a reassessment of the xate stocks in the Chiquibul Forest. For this study a total of 30 plots having an area of 0.4 ha have been identified for re-measurement after the 2012 study.

3 year project that will seek to eradicate wildlife trafficking
FCD has participated on a two day event that served to launch a 3 year project that will seek to eradicate wildlife trafficking, primarily in the Chiquibul ecosystem: Belize/Guatemala. To do this the Wildlife Conservation Society has partnered with institutions from both Guatemala and Belize to lead this effort. The project is funded through the UkAid.

Channel 7

70 Year old Former Teacher Dies After Unlicensed Driver Knock Down
Yesterday afternoon at around 1:30, 70 year old Marie Knowles was knocked down on Baghdad Street by an unlicensed driver. And tonight she is dead. The former school teacher was run over by a driver who - according to reports - was driving too fast, lost control, hit a parked car, and then swerved to the other side of the road, where he plowed down a fence, struck three water mains, and ran over Marie Knowles on the street sidewalk, who was only yards away from her home. After all that, the driver still hit another vehicle. She received extensive facial and body injuries and lost her life at around 3 this afternoon. Monica Bodden spoke to her daughter in law today:.. Amelita Knowles - Daughter-In-Law of Marie Knowles "She was hit just like about 100 yards from home. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition and we lost her today." Reporter "Where was she heading to when the accident happened? It happened near your home?" Amelita Knowles - Daughter-In-Law of Marie Knowles "Yes, about 100 yards from home. She was coming back home. She went out and she was coming back home."

Police Say Man Hanged Himself Inside Station; Family Disputes Account
Last night, 18 year-old Otto Palma hung himself inside the holding cell at the Ladyville Police Station at around 6 p.m. He was being held pending charges of rape, and the official account says that police went to check on him last night, and that's when they found that he had hanged himself with his own t-shirt. Police say that he was alone in the cell, and police only found him dead on a routine check. But Palma's grieving family doesn't buy it. They believe that something else happened. His mother discussed her suspicions with us today: Lorna Bardalez "Eva Palma" - Mother of Deceased "When I went to the back, I did saw my son at the back there. My son was leaned up against the fence with the cloth, which is his shirt, wrapped around his neck and it was tied back way. It wasn't tied front way and I know someone in that station had something to do with my son's death.

Buckley, Broke and Now Behind Bars
Steven Buckley - in August of 2013, he received a hundred thousand dollars as partial compensation from government after police shot him for no reason. Well tonight, he is in jail - after he couldn't find a few hundred dollars to pay a fine for marijuana possession. The 42 year old appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser today where he was arraigned on a charge of possession of an undetermined amount of cannabis. Buckley pleaded guilty and was fined $150 dollars. He was given until March 31 to pay the fine - which seemed manageable. But it turns out that he owed the court $360 dollars for two previous convictions for marijuana possession - which he hadn't paid. With that he was sent to prison to serve three months in default of payment of the $360 dollars.

Two Found Slain On Northern Ambergris
Drug related Violence continues to plague northern Ambergris Caye - and this time, it has resulted in two more dead men. The police medical examiner had to conduct an onsite post mortem today on the bodies which were found in very shallow graves before midday yesterday at an area 11 and a half miles north of San Pedro Town. The two men, have since been identified as 41 year-old Selvin Chi and 23 year-old Benjamin Molina. They were reported missing by 51 year-old Jose Wagner who lives half a mile from where they were found. He told police that at about 5:00 a.m. yesterday, both men - who are his co-workers - left his house to go collect coconuts, for their coconut oil enterprise. They never came back and he called the police who came upon a blood trail about five hours later. Police intensified their search in the area of the blood trail, and that's when they discovered the bodies of both men.

Big Fish Resorts Caught With Small Conch
Today fisheries officers confiscated over 200 undersized conch and about 66 out of season lobster from a number of high end resorts. Fisheries officers conducted a countrywide operation focusing on marquee resorts on San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker. Fisheries officers say when big name brand resorts are involved in this kind of black market trade, it undermines the country's fishery resources. We spoke with the Supervisor of the Enforcement Unit at the Fisheries Department this evening and he discussed the significance of the bust. Michael Sabal, Supervisor, Enforcement Unit Fisheries "What is happening, we would like the general public to know that the Fisheries Department is continuing its vigilant in protecting the resources at sea, especially illegal sea food products and making sure that everybody is complying with the Belize Fisheries regulation and it's so sad to say that some well-established hotels and resorts are fueling the black market of these products and with that in mind, we are very vigilant in getting things done.

Filet Fishermen Fined
And while those big time resorts were dealing with conch and lobster, a Honduran Fisherman was only preparing fish filet when HE got in trouble. 32 year old Honduran Giovanni Murcia and 48 year old Belizean Emilio Novelo, were caught fishing at Turneffe Atol and they had the fish fillet already cut up. The problem was that only the Belizean, Novelo had a license to fish. So, they were both charged with fisheries offences. They appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where Novelo was charged with facilitating Murcia to engage in commercial fishing when he is not the holder of a fisherman's license while Murcia was charged with engaging in commercial fishing and not being the holder of a fisherman's license.

Worrying Allegations Of Child Abuse At OW Tech
There is a very disturbing report coming out of the Orange Walk Technical High School involving gross sexual improprieties by male teachers. The reports say that teachers reportedly impregnated students in first and second form. Now, it is the sort of lurid story that has the air of baseless rumour, except in this case, the Chairman of the school board acknowledges that there is something to it - and it's something very disturbing. Kevin Bernard, Mayor - Orange Walk Town "The allegation did reach the principal and he contacted me immediately and we had an emergency meeting. In fact, we met yesterday, the board met yesterday on this matter. I've heard this morning that the other media houses are talking about it, but what I want to say and make absolutely clear, is that the board met last night and there are certain processes that needs to follow. As you know due process needs to take its place and so, 1), we have made certain steps to make sure this issue is being thoroughly investigated.

Women Accused of Assaulting Police
We always hear complaints about police abusing the public, but tonight the news is about members of the public accused of assaulting four police officers - and the accused include two women! It happened yesterday at the Raccoon street police station where police were questioning 38 year old Felix Vanegas. His common-law wife, 32 year old Mexican national Reina Mayo, and his sister 28 YEAR OLD REINA VANegas got in the middle of it to defend him against police abuse they say. But the police say they were the ones abused and they charged the trio with multiple counts of assaulting a police officer. Felix Vanegas was charged with 4 counts of assaulting a police officer. Police say he assaulted sergeant Dirk Dyer, detective constable Uribe Alamina, detective constable Ronel Flowers and police constable Anthony Simpson.

UNICEF Says It's Time For "Time Out"
"Time Out:" That was the theme of UNICEF's conference on violence against Belizean children -Time out to talk about the issue and to find solutions. Today at the Radisson the coordinators presented a public awareness strategy that they believe can help reduce the rate of violence against children. They presented a communication strategy which will create awareness through videos and media. That means they aren't going into schools or homes, but according to UNICEF representative Ivan Yerovi, it is step in the right direction. "The idea of UNICEF is bringing this pieces of communications, some videos, that we want the media to broadcast, to make sure the message gets to the families in Belize and gets to the entire population about those situations that are affecting children. We know that it's not enough, one video is not going to change the entire behavior regarding violence, but for us it's a start. Today, we are presenting..."

A Traffic Trouble Spot
There was a minor accident on the Northern Highway this morning - but it highlights the hazards of a traffic trouble spot. At 11:30, 26 year old Trujillo Francisco was heading towards the city in his pickup truck when he slowed down a couple yards away from Travelers. 23 year old Ladyville resident Darien Skeen was traveling in the same direction on his motorcycle but was apparently trying to overtake the truck on the passenger side. Francisco did not see Skeen so when he drove off he hit Skeen and sent his cycle skidding into the mud. We spoke to an eyewitness on the scene. Voice of: Eyewitness "We had some tourists over that side and we were greeting them goodbye and the red pickup and this cycle, the cycle was slowing down and it looks like the red pickup didn't realize that the cycle was slowing down and it started overtake and I guess it hot the back wheel and it ran right u into this vehicle here.

A Family Affair With Firearms Allegations
Tonight, 23 year old Devon Bailey, 19 year old Brandon Bailey, 20 year old Brandon Claire and his brother, 19 year old Javan Claire, are spending their second night on remand after being taken to court for a gun police found after a shooting. Around 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 16, a group of young men were in a yard on Antelope Street when shots were fired at them. Some of them ran through a yard and exited on Iguana Street. Police were in the area, and they responded. The officers say they saw when one of the fleeing men threw a weapon over a zinc fence at 38 Iguana Street. They detained the men, retrieved the weapon, a .25 mm pistol, which contained 3 rounds of ammunition. As a result, police charged the Bailey men and the Claire brothers with the offences of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

CDB..
The Caribbean Development Bank held a press conference yesterday in Barbados to review the economic performance of all 19 of its member countries for the year 2014. 7News was at the event in Barbados and Jules Vasquez found that Belize was at the top of the list of performers:.. We'll have more form the press conference tomorrow as we ask the CDB Executives whether the Petrocaribe spending on infrastructure is a wise investment.

Prison For Touching Girl
Tonight, 46 year-old Santos Olivia, a stevedore of a Belize City address, is at prison after he was taken to court for touching a female minor. The incident occurred on November 17, 2014, and the minor reported to police that Olivia touched her on her private parts and caused grievous harm to her. Well, police investigated her report, and they charged Olivia with sexual assault and grievous harm. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Frazer, and though he pleaded not guilty to the offenses, he was remanded based on the strength of the prosecutor's objections.

Drug Runners Getting High With Air Cargo
We've heard of getting high - but now it seems weed dealers are taking their drug packages higher than ever. On Monday afternoon, at around 2:00, police received information from Special branch that a parcel was flown in on a Topic Air flight. Police searched the cargo area and found a brown box, which had been mailed from Corozal Town to San Pedro. Inside, they found police found 444.7 kilos - or just under a pound - of marijuana. Because police could not link it to anyone, the drugs were deposited as found property. Acting on Special Branch intelligence once again, police visited the Municipal Airstrip in Placencia, and they intercepted a domestic flight coming once again from Corozal Town. They searched one of the packages and found some vegetables. But a closer inspection of a bundle of cilantro yielded a bulky package. When it was opened, the police found 208 grams - or 7.3 ounces - of marijuana. Again, because no owner could be tied to the package, it was deposited as found property.

Music To Pallotti's Ears
Palotti High School today received 100 musical instruments from a Taiwanese non-profit NGO known as the CTK Cultural and Education Foundation. What makes this NGO noteworthy is that the directors were parents of a 10 year-old Taiwanese boy who lost his battle against cancer. Instead of mourning his death, they sought to celebrate his life by starting the organization to make donations of musical instruments to persons around the world. They focus on cancer survivors. The foundation visited Belize, and they heard of Pallotti High School's music program. Impressed with the high school's approach to music education, the directors made a donation of 100 soprano recorders, which were handed over today.

Praise Like Water For H2O Tierra
In January, local tour operator, H20 Tierra was chosen by Carnival Cruise Line as the leading tour operator in the Caribbean. They received great guest reviews and were commended on their creativity. Yesterday a ceremony was held aboard the 900 foot long Carnival Glory to honor the director, Tom Wilson. He said it's all about management style and team work. They were also awarded best tour operator of the year in 2007.

Whylie On Case File
So last night here at 7News, we made history - and the worst kind! For the first non-holiday weeknight in 21 years - we didn't present the news. Yes, there have been one or two all night long blackouts which stopped the show - but when the lights came back, the news was there - even if it meant having to see it at 6:00 in the morning! But last night, due to a critical equipment failure, there was no 7news - only the nightly transcript posted on our website. But, not only wasn't there any news, the bad part is that the first time event didn't even give a good rake! All those faithful viewers who rushed out to buy the numbers 7 or 21 - got left with a bad taste in their mouth when "ought-six" played! And while we can't apologize for the bad luck of the boledo draw, we apologize again for the no-show; we've taken substantial back-up measures and promise it won't happen again.

Afro American Claims Ambergris Discrimination
An African-American is claiming that he was targeted and assaulted by San Pedro police because he is black! 33 year old New York resident Tracy Blount came to our studios yesterday and told us that he traveled to Belize for his friend's wedding last week. But on Wednesday night, when he and his friends were celebrating at Daddy Rock's Night Club on San Pedro, he claims that police escorted him outside and assaulted him. Here is his version. We spoke with the San Pedro Station Sergeant and he told us that Blount was escorted out of the night club because he was seen going in and out of the bathroom with known drug peddlers on the island; not because of his race. Blount also told us that he is missing one of his cell phones but the Station Sergeant told us that Blount authorized officers to hand over all his belongings to one of his friends. No drugs were found on Blount so he was released.

Police and Media an Uneasy Truce
And while police community relations can always be improved, what about the police and the media? In the last few months, their working relationship has improved, but, as they say, it is a work in progress, building trust between these two social actors who always find themselves on opposite sides of the crime scene tape. With that in mind, the Police High command organized a 2-day workshop for all the commanders and deputy commanders of the police formations and precincts. Here's what Police Commissioner Allen Whylie had to say to his high ranking officers about the importance of the session:

Ebanks Free and Clear
It made major news in May of last year when Christian Ebanks was picked up by police on a firearm charge. But tonight, he's out free of that charge here in Belize after he was acquitted in the Magistrate's Court On Tuesday. 7News was there in May when the Gang Suppression Unit searched his house on Teachers Street, Belize City, and found a concealed weapon. He was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and since then, he's been before the Magistrate's Court for that offence. The officer who searched his house testified that they found the weapon inside an oven. In his defence, Ebanks told the court simply that he didn't know that a gun was there.

The Diner Dilemma
Waffles for lunch anyone ? Or how about freshly fried bacon and eggs ? Well if you wouldn't mind those choices for your lunch break, the Memorial Park Dinner is the spot for you. It's a newly opened 24-hour dinner that serves breakfast all day. Yesterday we caught up with one of the owners, restaurateur Ian Lizarraga and he told us what's the idea behind it. Courtney Weatherburne reports. It opened last week. They close on Tuesdays but remain open from Thursday all the way up to Sunday night at 10.

Free Land For Citco?
For the past 10 days, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been under pressure from his opponent, PUP mayoral candidate Yolanda Schakron. He's been accused of being less than transparent and accountable. And on the tail of that, it was the perfect time for the press to find out that City Hall intends to give away land to staffers. But, before his opponent thinks to use it for political football the mayor discussed it with us yesterday. So, how will this program work? Well, Central Government has given the City Council 50 acres of land at Mile 14 on the George Price Highway. A plot will be given each staff member who has worked for the council for 2 years.

Channel 5

Rape Suspect Hangs Himself Inside Ladyville Police Station
A man who was in the custody of Ladyville Police pending charges of rape was allegedly found dead in his cell at around seven-thirty on Wednesday night. The version given [...]

Execution-style Murder In Northern Ambergris Caye: Is It Drug-related?
There is another police investigation ongoing…Two men from the Corozal District who relocated to the island of San Pedro in search of a better life were found murdered on Wednesday [...]

Coastguard Beefs Up Patrol Amid Turf War on the Island
Northern Ambergris Caye, despite a handful of high-end, luxury resorts, has become the stomping grounds for beach combers who roam the largely uninhabited expanse in search of drug deposits.  Criminal [...]

Guatemalan Fishermen and Soldiers In Belizean Waters, Coastguard Steps Up Patrol Measures
Earlier this week, we showed you images of Guatemalan soldiers purportedly on patrol in Belizean waters near the Sarstoon River.  Those images were captured by members of the Belize Territorial [...]

Elderly Woman Killed in Traffic Mishap in Belize City
A well-known Belize City educator was knocked down and killed by a teenager. On Wednesday afternoon, around one-thirty, seventy year old Maria Knowles was walking near her home at the [...]

General Legal Council Dormant. Who’s to Blame for its Inertia?
On Tuesday attorney Ernest Staine was before the Supreme Court facing committal to prison for the misappropriation of monies belonging to a client. o prison monies belonging to a client.efore [...]

Attorney General Says No Need For General Legal Council
With that explanation, it seems unlikely that the General Legal Council will be operational anytime in the near future. Elrington, in the meantime, is under fire from the Bar Association [...]

Family of Elisa Hunter Sets Record Straight on Financial Compensation
In November 2014, Elisa Hunter was involved in a terrible traffic accident as she crossed the George Price Highway to her workplace. The government vehicle which hit her was the [...]

Sedi Elrington Says Family of Accident Victim Fully Compensated
We repeat that Lesby Hunter is adamant that she doesn’t want anything from Elrington, and just wants to make a point, on principle. But for the sake of a balanced [...]

Buckley Hauled Off to Jail for Old Weed Possession Fines
Stephen Buckley came to public life when he was shot in the head by the police and he subsequently settled with the government part of a compensation package. But tonight, [...]

Santos Oliva Remanded for Sexual Assault Upon Minor
Forty-six year old Santos Oliva, a stevedore of Freedom Street in Belize City was before the court this morning to answer to one count of Sexual Assault upon a Minor [...]

Campaigners Clash in Cayo
There are thirteen days left before the March fourth municipal elections when voters will elect mayors and councilors for nine municipalities. At this time, emotions are running high between campaigners [...]

UNICEF Launches Timeout: Campaigns to End Violence Against Children
Using the common concept of TIME OUT, UNICEF today launched a campaign encouraging adults to stop and think before using violent methods against children. The idea is to prompt adults [...]

Taiwan Donates Musical Instruments to Pallotti
A ten-person delegation from a non-profit organization in Taiwan, “Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation,” is in Belize to spread its mission of love and care. Today they visited Pallotti High School to [...]

China Celebrates the Year of the Goat
And today marks the start of the Chinese New Year which runs through to March fifth. It is the “Year of the Goat,” which symbolizes good luck in the Chinese [...]

Healthy Living: Is Violence the Answer to Disciplining Children?
The debate on whether or not parents should spank their children has been raging for decades. And not just in Belize, but all over the world. For years, children rights [...]


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#501309 - 02/20/15 12:58 PM Re: Today's Belize News: February 20, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

PlusTV

Venezuela asks for regional dialogue after coup attempt
Exactly one year to the day protests began in Venezuela against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, the successor to beloved late leader Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan Government reported the arrest of seven persons in connection with a reported plan to overthrow the Government. This coup d’etat was foiled, but to prevent another attempt, President Maduro’s administration has made an attempt to reach out to its regional partners to intercede with the Venezuelan opposition and the Government of the United States to stop their efforts at removing Maduro and help to restore peace and security to the nation. Belize’s Venezuelan ambassador, His Excellency Yoel Perez Marcano, hosted the press on Thursday, to present its version of events and publicize their efforts at reconciliation. (Translation was done by Alfredo Gongora.)

Stevedore remanded on sex allegations
46 year old stevedore Santos Olivia was remanded to prison after pleading not guilty to charges of sexual assault and grievous harm on a female minor. Mr Olivia is accused of inappropriately touching the minor in her private area and causing grievous harm to her person on November 17, 2014. The prosecutor successfully objected to bail before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, due to the age of the complainant and possible interference with the complainant.

Police looking into hanging death of rape suspect in Ladyville
On Thursday afternoon, police in Belize City issued a statement in respect of Wednesday night’s hanging death of 18 year old Otto Raimundo Palma of Ladyville, Belize District, who they say was found hanging with his white shirt tied around his neck, from the metal bar at the top of a holding cell. No other signs of injury were found on the body. Otto Palma has been arrested twice previously on rape charges, and was being held a third time in connection with the alleged rape of a child at 7:46 a.m. on Wednesday. A post-mortem examination on the body is scheduled for Friday but according to officer commanding Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) for Eastern Division, Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero, police are thoroughly investigating the circumstances of Mr Palma’s death. He describes how the suspect was found.

Corozal men found dead in San Pedro
As reported on Wednesday, the bodies of two men were found in shallow graves on Ambergris Caye. 41 year old Sylvin Chi and 23 year old Benjamin Molina, both originally from Corozal District, were reported missing on February 17 after leaving a colleague’s house in the morning and failing to return. The bodies of the men were found February 18 in shallow graves located about 50 yards into the bushes from the beach area some 11 1/2 miles north of San Pedro Town. Police say a trail of blood led from the side of the road to the burial spots. According to Superintendent Hilberto Romero, officer in charge of CIB, police are still investigating the circumstances of the men’s death ,which occurred in an area known to have confrontations over illicit activity such as drug drops.

Fatal Crash on the Benque Viejo Road
Reports of a traffic accident on the road to Benque Viejo on Wednesday evening prompted Benque Viejo police to visit an area between miles 69 and 70 on the George Price Highway, near the Clarissa Fall junction. According to reports, at around 7:35 pm on Wednesday February 18th, a grey Nissan Altima, driven by 29 year old Edgar Can of Corozalitos in the Cha Creek Area, drove off the highway, breaking through the fence lining. The vehicle toppled into a rocky drain, before landing on the other side. As a result, Edgar Can was crushed inside the vehicle, and is believed to have died on the spot.

Hit and Run in Corozal Leaves one man critical
A hit and run incident in the Northern District of Corozal has left one man in the hospital in a critical condition. According to reports, at around 9:10 am on Thursday February 19th, Davor Mattu was riding his bicycle on the road somewhere between the villages of Pachacan and Cristo Rey, when he was hit from behind by a grey SUV bearing green license plates. Davor Mattu, a 16 year old resident of Patchakan Village, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, suffering from severe head injuries, a broken foot and a broken hand. He was enlisted at the hospital in a critical condition.

Senior police officers trained to respond to press
At the opening ceremony, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie said that Formation Commanders and Deputy Commanders are free and invited to speak with reporters on critical issues related to crime in their respective district. Belize City’s Eastern Division already has its own community and public relations unit to address such matters, and the Commissioner urged his men and women to freely cultivate a personal and professional relationship with the media, while reminding that there are limits to what can be presented in order to protect the rights of victims and complainants.

MMR Belize Limited denies intellectual property theft over game show
The proprietors of the television game show “Mek Mi Rich” have issued a statement officially denying infringement on the intellectual property of Curtis Swasey, who is suing them and Belize Telemedia Limited in the Supreme Court. MMR Belize Limited, in a statement issued on Tuesday, says that the claims made by Curtis Swasey and attorney Kareem Musa, that they relied on Swasey’s intellectual property and concepts as provided to BTL to create their show “are completely false and baseless.” They claim not to have been served initially with a copy of the claim, and had to secure its own copy on January 27.

The Guardian

Louis Wade in Grave Danger
According to Plus TV’s morning show host, Louis Maximo Wade Jr.,44, of #17 Macaw Avenue, Belmopan City, someone has been interferring with his mobile devices in recent days. The frantic Wade was visibly disturbed on Monday morning, February 16, when he vented his frustrations on Plus TV’s morning show. Wade declared that Government should not be in charge of the telecommunications company and services because they can use the technology for illegal purposes. He says that he saw it with his own eyes when his phone was behaving weirdly over the weekend and concluded that his services were being tampered with. For weeks Wade has been talking about how his sources have been going through all kinds of extreme measures to get him information because they are afraid to talk over the phone and communicate through other traditional methods. Now it seems that Wade himself will no longer be able to conspire over the phone because his mobile devices are compromised.

Residents of Belmopan & Surrounding Communities Benefiting from Improved Road Infrastructure Project
Residents in the nation’s capital, Belmopan and surrounding communities are enjoying, and benefitting from two paved streets due to a road infrastructure project financed by the Government of Belize at a cost of BZ $417,802.00 through a loan from the World Bank under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP). Counterpart funding by the Belmopan City Council totaled $12,534.06. This means that the infrastructure road project will facilitate and provide motorists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders with a better and more pleasant street environment; thus, providing men, women and children, with easier access to traverse to, and from their homes, schools, and places of businesses in their daily lives.

More on Matura’s meeting with Michael
Why is it that the media choose to be dragging out and placing such importance on Matura's more than one week old meeting with Ashcroft? Up to yesterday Sunday, it was a main feature with Love FM. Truth is Matura got caught like a kid with her hand in the cookie Jar. If she was that innocent, why did it take three days to plan what she had to say then call a press conference? Why is she now all mushy about a man she despised 15 years ago? She was so impressed that she suggested the Unions could benefit from meeting with him. The national enemy is now a worthy ally to Matura and the Unions.

Shackron’s background in Gambling, Drinking and Pawn Shops
Shackron tried to play some kind of angel when she announced that if she were to win as mayor of Belize City she would forego her salary and use it to establish a scholarship fund for children. "Money, it's good to have money and it's good because you can get things you need, but after a while in your life when you have achieved much, money is not important anymore," she declared on February 7th at the launch of the PUP's manifesto. What Shackron failed to declare was how it was that she is so blessed to have so much money. The truth is that she has been able to amass her wealth through the poisoning of the Belizean society. She owned the Red House which was a wholesale depot for all manner of alcohol. In the past she was also married to Alfred Shackron who owned JEC pawn shop (usury), he too was the co-owner of Mega Bingo (gambling).

Ebanks Beats Gun Charge
Christian Ebanks, who is reportedly a wanted man in Ecuador, is now a completely free man in Belize after he was acquitted of firearm charges on Tuesday, February 17. Acting upon information received on May 14, 2014, police visted #122 Teacher's Street Extension and conducted a search on the house. Ebanks was at home at the time and a firearm was found on the premises. He was arrested and charged for keeping an illegal firearm. Ebanks was initially remanded since the offense is not bailable at the Magistrates’ Court. He was later released on Supreme Court bail while the case continued.

Accused of Robbing Tamales Man
According to a police report, on Saturday, February 14, Foreman and another man ambushed tamales vendor Sus Pech, knocked him out and took away $305 from his pockets. Pech reported the incident and Foreman was arrested and charged with robbery.

Four Charged for Illegal Firearm
Brothers Gavon, 20, and Burton Claire, 21, and cousins Devon Bailey, 23, and Brandon Bailey, 19, are at the Belize central Prison on remand for charges of keeping unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Allegations are that on Monday, February 16, the men were socializing near the corner of Iguana Street and Central American Boulevard when a shooter(s) passed and opened fire in their direction. Police responded to the shooting and whilst on patrol in the area they noticed one of the men throwing an object in a nearby yard. Police apprehended the men and took them to the area where the object was thrown and found a .25 S and B firearm with three live rounds. Police believe the men went for the gun in an effort to retaliate for the previous shooting. All four in the area were arrested and charged with keeing illegal firearm and ammunition.

Denver Jones lured to his death
Ladyville police are investigating the execution-style slaying of 29 year-old Denver Jones Jr., in which he may have been lured to his death and killed in an area that he is unfamiliar with. The information that police have released at this time is that they received information of a shooting on Marage Road in Ladyville Village. When they arrived, at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, they found a brown Toyota Camry parked near the roadside pointing into an open lot which leads to a dirt road. This road connects Ladyville with the community of Lake Garden.

Attorney seemed senile in court after owing $230,000 to a client
The case against attorney Ernest Staine continued on Tuesday at the Supreme Court before justice Courtenay Abel where yet another extension was given to him to pay $230,000 which he owes to Rita Mcfield. Observers in the courtroom report that Staine sat through the entire matter against him with a smile on his face as if either, caring less for what was taking place or oblivious to the seriousness of the matter before the court. He had to be reminded by Justice Courtenay Abel of the severity of the allegations against him where he could end up in jail. After the reprimand he was given yet another month to come up with the money which he owes to Mcfield.

Cayo Western Ballaz clip San Pedro Tigersharks
The 2015 National Elite Basketball League Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Friday 13 February at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the host team the Cayo Western Ballaz defeated the defending champions the San Pedro Tigersharks by the score of 74-71. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Marlon Andrewin with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist, Ivan Flowers with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals and Kurt Burgess with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the defending champions the San Pedro Tigersharks were Ashton Edwards with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal, James Milton with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrew Ortiz with 12 points, and 5 rebounds.

Beverly Castillo Football Cup Tournament opens
The 2015 Beverly Castillo Football Cup Tournament which is for the teams from Belize Rural Central opened on Sunday 15 February, at the football pitch in Ladyville Village, Belize District. There are eight teams participating in this year’s competition and the teams are Hattieville Showtime, Mahogany Heights, Lord’s Bank Strikers, Rockville FC, Perez Hardware, Largos FC, La Democracia FC and Williams FC. There were three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Mahogany Heights and Hattieville Showtime played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Mahogany Heights was scored by Jerson Grinage while the goal for Hattieville Showtime was scored by Kendall Esquilliano.

Football Federation calls National A Team to training
The Belize National A Team continues its preparation for the FIFA2018 World Cup Qualifiers.Our Jaguars will be going up against Grand Cayman Island at the FFB Stadium on 25 March, 2015 at 8pm. The following players have been selected for full camp:

Police United edge out Verdes FC
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued on Sunday 15 February, 2015, with three games on the schedule. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Belize Defence Force defeated San Ignacio United by the score of 5-0. The Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard when Ricky Ricketts scored the 1st goal of the game in the 14th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further extended when James Flores scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 15th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. An own goal by the San Ignacio United’s Gilbert Carillo in the 40th minute of play gave the Belize Defence Force a commanding 3-0 lead to end the first half of the game.

Health Hookup
Health - Helmets - Motorcycle I don’t mean to ruin anyone’s fun but this week’s topic is in regards to road safety. This week Belize will see itself hosting an annual motorcycle rally in Belize City. This week’s topic is the use of motorcycle helmets. While it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell you this, the use of helmets helps saves lives. The chances of survival in a motorcycle accident significantly increases with the use of a helmet. There are several issues I wanted to briefly discuss. As noted earlier, the use of a helmet does help improve survival rates, however I must emphasize it is the PROPER use of helmets that makes the difference. As a daily commuter in the city there are certain observations I’ve noted about some motorcycle riders.

Significant Upgrade for Prisoner Creek, Lakeview and Trenchtown
More young men and women from Belize City are busy making an honest living now that a massive drainage infrastructure project has commenced in the Prisoner Creek, Lakeview and Trenchtown Canal area. Men and women are currently clearing the vegetation that stretches along the canals and heavy equipment will be moved in shortly. Government signed contracts with CISCO Construction Limited on Monday, February 2, for the dredging and concrete lining of Lakeview, Prisoner Creek & Trenchtown Canals. According to Francisco Woods of CISCO Construction, the project will be similar to the concrete lining of East Collet Canal and North Creek Canal. The adjacent streets like Lakeview, Sittee, Lavender & Partridge Street extension will be paved and widened; piles of rock will be dumped to make the canal narrower and the street wider. The retaining walls will stretch all the way to the Haulover Creek to channel waterflow, reduce erosion and support adjacent streets. According to the Ministry of Works, it is anticipated that these civil infrastructure upgrades will be done within the next 15 months.

Venezuela Foils Coup Plot
One calendar year after opposition extremist incited street riots and attacks that left 43 people dead and hundreds injured, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro alerted the world of another plot to overthrow his constitutionally elected government. On Thursday, February 12, 2015 President Maduro announced, “We have foiled a coup attempt against democracy and the stability of our homeland.” The Government announced that an ex-air force general and ten soldiers were arrested along with two opposition leaders and a businessman involved in a plot to attack the presidential palace, defense ministry headquarters and other government buildings. President Maduro also claims that the United States was involved in trying to buy the loyalty of air force officers with large sums of cash. He called out President Obama to stop interfering in Venezuelan affairs, saying: “In your name, they are organizing coup plots against a democratically elected government…”

Shackron’s financial advisors need advice themselves
When asked how many people the PUP brought out in Belize City to participate in the nomination day parade Yolanda Schakron stated as follows: "I'm not good with numbers. You have to ask Jules!" Schakron admitted that she could not count up to 300 and her inability to deal with numbers has her now scrambling for financial advisors. She is so desperate that she ended up dragging Jose Coye from the rock where he had been hibernating and made him her financial guru. But when you drag mummies out of their tombs you petrify people and Belizeans took non too kindly to the fact that Joe Coye was hauled up. The memories of malfeasance in public office, 56 parcels of prime land that belonged to the University of Belize, the Putt Putt land fiasco and many others came rushing into the forefront of the memories of many Belizeans. When he began to speak those who knew Coye as 'Rambling Rose' were quick to refresh their memories as to why he was given that moniker. The man rambled on and on on the financial affairs of the Belize City Council and at the end of it all even Schakron was left more confused than when the conference had started. You see, Coye, purports to be some kind of philosopher but by the time he is finished talking even he is confused.

Ex-Cop Gets 10 Years for Killing Detainee
Police Constable Alpheus Parham has been on remand at the Belize Central prison since 2010 for killing prison detainee Alex Goff in a holding cell and on Friday, February 13, he was convicted of manslaughter for that vicious act. Justice Tradio Gonzalez ruled on Monday, February 16, that he will spend five more years in jail. In mitigation on Monday, Parham’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, asked the court to take into consideration that his client has been on remand since 2010 and that he had no prior history of crime and violence. Justice Gonzalez took that into consideration and Parham’s plea for leniency in a sentence of ten years imprisonment. The five years spent was deducted; therefore Parham will serve only five more years at the Belize Central prison.

Busted with 20 bullets for small arms and high powered rifles
Oscar Avilez, 24, construction worker of Albert Street, and Oliver Sutherland, 23, fisherman of East Collect Canal, were busted with 20 live rounds of ammunition in a vehicle parked on East Collect Canal on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14. According to police, while conducting mobile patrol in the East Collect Canal area their attention was drawn to a blue 4-door Ford pickup truck that was heavily tinted. The officers approached the vehicle just as the driver had exited and informed him that they would conduct a search on the vehicle for drugs and firearms. The driver identified himself as Oscar Avilez and the officers proceeded with the search. There was another occupant in the vehicle at the time, Oliver Sutherland. Sgt. Santiago Gongora led the search and the officers found eleven .38 Aguila brand ammunition, two 9 mm GFL Lugar brand ammunition, two 9 mm S and B brand ammunition, three 9 mm Aguila brand ammunition and two .223 Winchester brand ammunition, all under the back seat of the vehicle. Avilez and Sutherland were charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Chinese businesswoman shot in Corozal
Oscar Avilez, 24, construction worker of Albert Street, and Oliver Sutherland, 23, fisherman of East Collect Canal, were busted with 20 live rounds of ammunition in a vehicle parked on East Collect Canal on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14. According to police, while conducting mobile patrol in the East Collect Canal area their attention was drawn to a blue 4-door Ford pickup truck that was heavily tinted. The officers approached the vehicle just as the driver had exited and informed him that they would conduct a search on the vehicle for drugs and firearms. The driver identified himself as Oscar Avilez and the officers proceeded with the search.

Clyde Morris accused of attacking co-worker with scissors
Clyde Anthony Morris, 19, is facing charges of aggravated assault and wounding for allegedly attacking his co-worker, Alfonso Assi, with a scissors after work on Wednesday, February 11. Assi reported to police that at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, he was waiting for a bus in front of a restaurant located at 8 1/2 miles on the Phillip Goldson Highway when Morris attacked him with a scissors. The attack resulted in a cut wound to Assi’s left index finger. The incident was reported to police and Morris was arrested and charged.

Accused Rapist hangs himself
The Guardian Newspaper has confirmed with police sources that 18 year-old detainee Otto Palma committed suicide inside the Ladyville Police Station at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18. He was being held pending charges for rape. Police picked him up after he allegedly raped a 13 year-old female behind Vista Del Mar. The 13 year-old student reported that on Sunday, February 15, at around 12:30 p.m. she went along with some friends to go swim at the sea behind Vista Del Mar. The child reported that while she was out of the water, a young man came out of the bushes and forced her to have sexual intercourse.

Three Charged for Unlicensed and Prohibited Ammunition
Darryl Rowland, 39, a real estate agent of Ladyville; Angela Burns, 37, a second class clerk at the Prosecution Branch of Sunset Park and Belizean-American nurse, Jessie Stephenson, 45, of Mitchelle Estate were busted with seven rounds of ammunition on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14. According to a police report, police visited the home of real estate agent Darryl Rowland and found two Aguila .38 rounds of ammunition, three Winchester hallow point 40 S and W rounds of ammunition and two Speer 40 S and W hallow point rounds of ammunition. The trio were arrested and charged jointly with keeping unlicensed ammunition for the .38 rounds and keeping prohibited ammunition for the hallow point rounds.

15 Years for Bashing Man’s Head in Front of Witnesses
Marvin Lennen Stevens, 22, took a deal and pleaded guilty to manslaughter for bashing in the head of Roberto Cal in September of 2009. According to reports, on September 13, 2009, Stevens was at Ludi’s Bar in Guinnea Grass Village when he got into an argument with Cal. Roberto Cal reportedly said something to Stevens then broke a pint bottle and advanced towards him. Stevens punched Cal in the face and he fell to the ground. According to the prosecution’s witnesses, Stevens then took a cement block and dropped it on Cal’s head. He then took Cal’s bicycle and threw it down on him multiple times. Cal was eventually rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital where died an hour later from injuries sustained.

Trinity Methodist boys upset St. Luke Methodist boys
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continues on a daily basis at Rogers Stadium. On Tuesday 17 February, in the boys’ game played, Salvation Army School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School by the score of 14-8. The winning pitcher was Cassian Billary and the losing pitcher was Roger Estell. In the game played on Monday 16 February, Trinity Methodist School boys’ team upended St. Luke Methodist School boys by the score of 9-7. The winning pitcher for Trinity Methodist was Mark Balie and the losing pitcher was Justin Menzies.

Patrick JonesPJ

Pallotti High School gets donation of recorders
Pallotti High School in Belize City is the recipient of a donation of musical instruments. Specifically the donation comprises one hundred soprano recorders and is a gift from the CTK Foundation. A ten-member delegation from the Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation is currently on a three-day visit to Belize, […]

Police find and destroy marijuana plantation
An early-morning search conducted by Ladyville police today resulted in the discovery of a small amount of marijuana and the arrest of one man. Police say that between 4:30 and 6:30 this morning, a search was conducted at the residence of thirty three year old Rodwell Conorquie. During the search […]

Twenty nine year old perishes in road traffic accident
A road traffic accident last night on the George Price Highway in San Ignacio has left one man dead. The victim has been identified as 29 year old Edgar Can, a resident of Corozalito, a community just outside of San Ignacio town on the Chaa Creek road. According to police […]

Stevedore remanded on sex allegations
46 year old stevedore Santos Olivia was remanded to prison after pleading not guilty to charges of sexual assault and grievous harm on a female minor. Olivia is accused of inappropriately touching the minor in her private area and causing grievous harm to her person on November 17, […]

Blogs

Launch Party for Belize’s Tiburon Rum Has Everyone Dressed in White and A Surprise Guest
Yesterday I dressed all in white. No, I was not going to hang at P. Diddy’s Hamptons Crib. And no, I was not attending a San Pedro High School get-together (poor kids’ uniforms are all white!)…I was invited to the Tiburon Rum Launch Party at the lovely Red Ginger Restaurant at the even lovelier Phoenix Resort. Dress code (a term you see very rarely in Belize): All White. I made my way back to the Phoenix and ran into…JOHNNY DEPP!?!?! and some Mayan ladies. Okay…yes…OBVIOUSLY false alarm but this guy was good. Not only the costume, wig, make-up but the accent and mannerisms. I knew I would be taking many many pictures of Captain Jack. And that I would be eating many of the beautiful party chocolate made by my favorite chocolatiers in Belize – Kakaw/Belize Chocolate Company. Amazing Captain Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp impersonator. Tiburon brought him down from Chicago to play the part.

“Back to Basics” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’ve spent early morning ‘me time’ out on the veranda. The western, lagoon facing one, if you are wondering (and if you’re not it doesn’t matter because that’s still where I’ve spent it). Obviously it’s not just been me. Absolutely (doesn’t that sound terribly, terribly English) not. I’ve been joined by Mr iPad and Mr Black Coffee ( and no, I’m not a chauvinist). Oh, and Ziggy. But only only until he’s finished eating! And, of course, I’ve had to go out for breakfast. Why? What? You expect me to make it myself? You obviously have NOT (sorry to shout) paid attention to previous editions or you’ve never found this blog before! If the latter, why had it taken you so long. And if the former, you must start paying attention. On Tuesday, what with Estel’s Dine By the Sea being closed, a friend and I decided to give Di V’u a try for breakfast. If you’re not familiar with its location it’s at what was formerly Wet Willy’s dock. It benefits from a very spacious dining area. The service was exemplary ( but with only two of us in the restaurant it would have been difficult for it not to have been so) but I’m sorry to say that I’d only rate the food as OK. I’ll give it another go though because I’ve heard good reports. Next time though I’ll go for lunch or dinner.

Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival...3rd Cabana open....More fun high season images!
Placencia’s Sidewalk Arts Festival was this past Valentine’s Weekend….great job to all the artists and volunteers! It was crowded and happy, great weather, and everyone I talked to bought a lot of fun stuff. Here are some images from the sidewalk near Tipsy Tuna… This week marks one year since Dave and my first visit to Placencia. I can see why we never left….February is so pretty here! The water has been great, perfect weather….great sunrises…here are some recent pics….

International Sourcesizz

American Airlines Announces Six New Routes Including Belize
The six new flight routes will go throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. The destinations that the American Airlines are going to cover are: Belize, Grand Cayman, Guadalajara, Managua, Nicaragua and Monterrey. Starting on June 6, 2015, these routes will be available for direct flights. The greatest accent is put on Belize and its recent popularity. Finally, travelers will be able to enjoy this wonderful destination. The flight route will be from Los Angeles to Belize, every Saturday and Sunday.

Going with the flow
This has never been more important than on my current vacation. I not only was to accept changes, I was able to enjoy and embrace them. Two weeks ago I left for my third trip to Belize. This time my husband went with me and we were with friends for the beginning of the trip. As usual, we left in dark of night in the snow not knowing if our flight would leave. If you ever want to be sure exactly when a snowstorm will happen just check my flight dates for Belize. For the last three years I have left and returned in a blizzard. The first challenge we faced when we landed in Belize was trying to find transportation to the island we were going to. The ferry had already left for the last trip of the night. We were able to find a private ferry that dropped us off at our own dock and served rum punches on the ride. It was a great alternative. As I have learned in the past from visiting Belize, everyday life has so many unexpected occurrences that they become expected. Food is limited and very expensive. You eat what is available, not what you feel like.

2015 Bahamas, Caribbean pilot guides available
The thirty-sixth edition of the Bahamas and Caribbean pilot guides are now available as either spiral-bound book or iPad app. Updated annually by Pilot Publishing Inc., the guides—one for the Bahamas, and one for the Caribbean—present information culled from each country’s Civil Aviation department, local authorities, and contributing pilots. Airport pages feature information on runways, frequencies, navaids, fuel availability, fixed-base operators, Customs and Immigration, and more. The Bahamas Pilot’s Guide includes information on all of the islands of the Bahamas. The Caribbean Pilot’s Guide includes information on Caribbean islands ranging from the Turks and Caicos to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, Belize, and Barbados.

QUIZ: Can You Speak the Endangered Caribbean Language Garifuna?
Growing up, Milton Guity Jr. did not pay much attention to his father's entreaties for him to learn Garifuna, an indigenous Caribbean language. “He was always trying to teach me, but I kind of just wanted to hang out with my friends and just be a kid," he said. "An American kid.” However, as he got older, Guity Jr. started becoming more interested in learning about his roots as a Garifuna — an ethnic group made up of indigenous South American and African descendants in Central American countries like Honduras and Belize. So in 2012, he decided to belatedly accept his father's invitation and began taking classes with him to learn the Garifuna language.

Caribbean records set in number of visitors and what they spent
A record 26.3 million people travelled to the Caribbean last year and spent an unprecedented amount of money in what is considered the world's most tourism-dependent region, officials said this week. It is the fifth consecutive year that the Caribbean has reported an increase in tourists following an economic crisis that forced resorts to shut down and caused a drop in visitors and spending. Hugh Riley, the Caribbean Tourism Organization's secretary general, said Caribbean tourism rose by 5.3 per cent, while the worldwide tourism growth rate was 4.7 per cent. Officials attributed the increase in part to improvements at airports around the region, the opening of new hotel chains and an increase in direct flights and airline seat capacity.

CARICOM Summit to Discuss Creation of Marijuana Commission
The Caribbean Community announced Thursday an agenda for discussions at its 36th annual summit, scheduled for Feb. 26-27 in The Bahamas, that includes creation of a marijuana commission and seeking reparations for slavery. Leaders will also talk about the establishment of a Committee of Ambassadors and review the pay and pensions of judges on the Caribbean Court of Justice, the current CARICOM chair, Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, said in a statement. “The Community continues to work together to improve standards of living and work of our people; the full employment of labor and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States,” Christie said.

Videos

  • Permit on the Fly, 8.5min. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  • Belize Trip, January 2015, 8min. MVNU Education Department trip to Belize in January 2015
  • Ice Cold Belikin on the Boat in Belize, 30sec. There's no better way to start your day!
  • Valentines day Belizean Style @ Mar's Caribbean Restaurant with Dell -From the Sensation, 5min. At age 12, Dell Smart started singing pop and traditional caribbean music at clubs and parties. When his family moved to L.A., they left him behind in Belize. Although they planned to move him once they could afford to, Dell just couldn't wait. With his brother, he hitchhiked through Mexico on their way to L.A., playing cantinas for food and pesos. Once in L.A., Dell and his brothers formed "Dell and the Sensations". With the hit song "Tears On My Pillow", they gained recognition on the west coast and put Belize on the musical map. However, love moved him to the east coast where he formed Exit/In.
  • Belize Cave Tubing Nohoch Che'en National Park, Caves Branch Outpost. 2-11-2015, 10min. Belize Cave Tubing at Nohoch Che'en National Park, better known as Caves Branch Outpost. Video shows that a bit a walking is needed for those that may be challenged. The video does not do the experience and interior rock formations justice. A preview to do yourself or for memories.
  • Belize Zip-line Adventure 2-11-2015 near Nohoch Che'en National Park, Caves Branch Outpost, 6min. Belize Zipline Adventure tour near Nohoch Che'en National Park, Caves Branch Outpost- This was done in combination with Cave Tubing tour. 2-11-2015- See other video. (Belize Cave Tubing 2-11-2015 Nohoch Che'en) For more info. They have the longest and highest zip in the Caves Branch area, it's 1200 feet long and 200 feet high! Your hike is minimized because of our design, and they have a total of 10 platforms and 7 zips.
  • Ambergris Divers promo 2011 2, 9min. Just going thru some drives that I brought back the to the states with me. Came across this little project that I put together for Roberto Canul a few years back- Its hard to imagine that I at any time just took for granted this would always be my back yard.

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    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
    Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
    Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
    Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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