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#501354 - 02/21/15 05:52 AM Today's Belize News: February 21, 2015
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There will be no news report tomorrow, Sunday February 22. Sorry for the inconvience. We'll be back Monday morning....

Here is the Saturday morning news...


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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

Two critically endangered marine species fished
The environmental community in Belize has weighed in and condemned the catch of two highly vulnerable marine species that are considered critically endangered next to extinction and endangered respectively. A Goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) and a Scalloped Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) were both caught in Belize in two separate areas, but it brings into sharp focus the country’s fishing regulations. In the case of the Goliath grouper, the large fish was caught off of the Turneffe Atolls by a local tour guide from Ambergris Caye. The Scalloped Hammerhead shark was caught in shallow waters by fishermen from Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District. Pictures showing the Goliath grouper, over four feet in size, were posted on social media, in which the guide and tourists claimed that it was speared near Turneffe Atolls. According to Biologist Dr Rachael Graham of MarAlliance, the Goliath grouper population has been critically threatened, and that alone should discourage guides from fishing them. “Goliath grouper are listed as Critically Endangered to Extinction globally by the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN). Their populations have plummeted throughout their broad distributional range in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and Atlantic due to their site fidelity, predictability and curiosity – which makes them great spear fishing targets,” said Graham who has conducted long term research on these species in Belize.

Rider’s Fee on Domestic Flights could increase by 120%
Commuters on domestic flights in Belize may have to brace up for an increase in rider’s fee. The fee, which is slated to increase by 120%, should have been a temporary charge on flights. While sources within the local aviation industry say the new increase came into effect on February 17th, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., who is the Minister of Civil Aviation, has indicated that there has been no such increase. The current rider’s fee is at $5 per flight. The increase will see passengers paying $12 in rider’s fee, an astounding $7 more.

Where does Manuel Heredia stand on offshore Oil drilling?
The issue of offshore oil drilling has resurfaced once again after the Geology and Petroleum Department recently circulated a document entitled “Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines.” Oceana in Belize said that the document is a step taken to allow offshore oil exploration in Belize. To raise awareness against offshore oil drilling, Oceana in Belize launched a “selfie” photo campaign calling on Belize to say “No to offshore oil drilling.” One picture that caught the eye of the public and was shared on social media shows Tourism Minister Hon Manuel Heredia Jr posing with Director of the Belize Tourism Board Karen Bevans and Oceana in Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona.

This year The San Pedro Sun’s annual Valentine’s Poetry Contest saw a great number of entries, with over 25 submissions! Poets of all ages shared their poems of love and devotion, and we were so overwhelmed in choosing the winners we decided to put our Facebook fans to the task. Our Valentine’s poetry contest winners chosen by our Facebook fans
A handful of poems were posted each day on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SanPedroSun and readers were asked to “Like” and comment on them. Likes equaled votes and were considered up to February 17th when they were tallied. “My Beautiful Blue Pen”, composed by nine-year old Javier Gongora earned a whopping 244 Likes, making the poem dedicated to a pen the top winner. In all, the five poems that received the most Likes were chosen as the top contest winners.

Ambergris Today

Zone 5, 21st National Coca Cola Spelling Bee elimination
Winners of Zone 5, 21st National Coca Cola Spelling Bee eliminations, San Pedro. Congratulations to: 1st Place (top left ) Elias Zetina, New Horizon SDA 2nd Place (top right) Mia Cannon, Isla Bonita Elementary School. Participating schools included Ambergris Caye Elementary School,, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizon SDA, San Pedro Roman Catholic School and the Island Academy.

San Pedro UDP Feel Strong About Manifesto 2015-2018
With much confidence that the UDP team will regain the offices of the San Pedro Town Council for another three years, Mayor Guerrero and his UDP candidates proudly presented their 2015-2018 Manifesto. “We are ready for the game, we are ready to com out, the victory is already on and it is look very good for the United Democratic Party,” continued Daniel Guerrero. “The manifesto highlights a continuation of projects that have already started, but also on new projects that will kick in. It is our guideline to projects that the UDP has promised to work on for the island of Ambergris Caye. I can tell you that we are on the right track, we are working very hard and people are seeing the results and we are going to get a good passing grade on March 4th, election day.”

Belize Coastguard Steps up Patrols in Ambergris Caye
In the midst of the recent double homicide in North Ambergris Caye and recurrent drug related murders and incidents, the Belize Coast Guard has stated that it is increasing its presence on the island with additional maritime and foot patrols that extend to the Belize/Mexico border. Although the northern part of Ambergris Caye is known of its more tranquil environment and high-end luxury resorts that offer a taste of paradise, there is still crime issues that threaten this tranquility and state of paradise. It’s a situation that authorities battle on a daily basis and are working hard towards controlling. It is evident that the majority of the crime is drug related and mostly occurs beyond the hotel zone of North Ambergris; the area has become active with beachcombers who roam the largely uninhabited area in search of drug deposits. It is this increase in criminal activity related to drug trafficking and drug wars tied to Mexican counterparts that lead to the Belize Coast Guard establishing its northern Forward Operating Base on Ambergris Caye that was inaugurated in 2013. Coast Guard personnel are now permanently stationed in San Pedro and can deployed instantly on operations from the Belize-Mexico border to the northern limits of Belize’s territorial seas. The structure was funded by the US Southern Command to the cost of $1.5Mil US.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

ADO Mexico Bus Line ad depicts Belize as part of Guatemala.
ADO's Guatemala Map in Mexico. Donde es Belize? ADO is the bus company that operates in Belize and ferries passengers throughout the region. Though they hope to improve their services to Belizeans. This map of Central America, with ADO's name on it was found by a Belizean in Tulum, Mexico. Where is Belize? Because it is a company that offers a service in Belize, that company should respect our sovereignty. ADO can't say it was unaware that Belize is a country. They must pass through our borders in Benque and Corozal. ‪

Communal Livestock Holding Facility in Willows Bank was officially handed over to cattle producers
A Communal Livestock Holding Facility in Willows Bank was officially handed over to cattle producers in the Belize River Valley area at a ceremony held on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Through the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), the European Union in collaboration with the Government of Belize and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) financed a three-year project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”. The objective of the project is to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and reduce the vulnerability of the livestock industry for small and medium size livestock holders/local producers in the Belize District.

Yet another dead manatee in Belize waters
a female calf. This year's death rate for this gentle, endangered species is alarmingly high

The Noah's ark for Cattle Producers in the Belize District
Noah‬'s Ark held all life forms on earth during the great biblical flood. Climate change has made it necessary for a facility to be developed to protect livestock in times of disaster. That is why a Communal Livestock Holding Facility was built in Willows Bank and handed over to cattle producers in the Belize River Valley. The Global Climate Change Alliance, the European Union in collaboration with the Government of Belize and the United Nations Development Programme financed a three-year project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”. Of the several components of that three-year project, there is Pilot 3: MNRA-CC: Food Security: Building Resilience among Cattle Producers of the Belize District, which included the construction of the livestock holding facility. The objective of this portion of the project is to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and reduce the vulnerability of the livestock industry for small and medium size livestock holders/local producers in the Belize District. The Pliot 3 project is funded by the European Union at a cost of approximately $71, 500. It was implemented by the #UNDP and execu

Deputy Prime Minister Departs Country
Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture will be departing Belize today, February 20th, 2015.

Volunteering Symposium
The Symposium on Volunteering will be happening tomorrow at Maya Mountain Lodge, starting at 1:00pm. All the big volunteer organizations will be there: Rotary, Cornerstone, Mary Open Doors, Helpage, Pro-Belize, and the Cancer Society. They'll have informations displays and presentations. It's free, and educational.

The USA Embassy is currently accepting applications for a Security Investigator position
This vacancy is being re-advertised with an extended deadline. If you previously applied for this position via Vacancy Announcement No. 2015-02, dated January 16, 2015, you need not re-apply as your application will be considered. QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: • Completion of secondary school is required. • Two years of progressively responsible experience in investigative work with a military, police or private security organization is required. • Level IV (fluent working knowledge) speaking/reading/writing English is required. • Good working knowledge of MS applications (Word, Access, Excel, and Outlook) is required. • Must have excellent investigative and reporting skills. • A valid Belize driver’s license is required.

Missing person Brittney Galvez
The public assistance is ask to find this missing girl.

Red Taigaz Defeat Warriors
Congratulations to the Red Taigaz for their win over the Warriors. "What a night! We are so elated and thankful for the huge show of support from all our family, friends, fans and sponsors at our Opening Game last night - it was a success! YOU made the victory sweeter and even more worth it! Thank you and we look forward to the continued support and love! Thank you, Belmopan!"

Soul Project Metal Concert
The Soul Project is having a different kind of concert. Just try to read that flier. They concert is tomorrow night. The Soul Project has the best selection of Local Artisan Wines in Belize.

BNE Cancer Charity Ride
BNE Employess organized a Charity Ride to raise funds for the Belize Cancer Society as part of their Energy for Life Program. They rode from Belmopan to Dangriga. Thanks to everyone involved. "The Energy For Life Program, a BNE Employee Initiative, organized a Charity Bike Ride for the Belize Cancer Center – Dangriga. This ride took place on January 17, 2015 from Belmopan to Dangriga Town. Over 100 riders participated in the ride that left Belmopan at 6:30 AM and reached the Princess Royal BTL Park in Dangriga shortly before 11:00 AM. The highlight of the ride is that two cancer survivors participated and rode the 56 miles from Belmopan to Dangriga. The event successfully raised $20,000 for the Center to assist patients seeking treatment there. Handing over of the funds was done at BNE on February 6, 2015. We, at the Energy For Life Program extend our sincere gratitude first and foremost to Jehovah for his guidance and protection for all the riders, the donors, the police, the paramedics and everyone who in one way or the other supported this great cause."

Illegal dumping
Orange Walk license plate 17193. Dumping Garbage by Dew Drop Estates.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, February 20, 2015: 86

Channel 7

UDP's Mayoral Candidate Sued
Another Orange Walk politician had to go to the Town Courthouse today - except this time it was a UDP. Mayoral Candidate Yvette Torres was not criminally charged, but is facing a civil suit - from a craft maker who says she owes him two hundred dollars for some wooden spoons that she never paid him for back in 2012. It may sound minor, but Frederick Tillett says he just wants to get paid. He and Torres were part of the Sugar City Artisan's Group back in 2012 - when he claims she promised to sell 23 of his craft pieces at the Sugar City Artisan House. But when she left the business in 2014, he never got paid, and so now he's suing her for two hundred and eight dollars. Today, outside the courtroom she told the media she is innocent:..

Another Hilux Heist
In October of last year when police intercepted a Toyota Hilux pickup that had just been stolen - and caught the driver - they thought that might be the end of a ring which was responsible for the theft of at least four Government owned Toyota Hilux pickups in 2014. But, tonight, it seems that ring may have been resurrected - and they picked up, literally, where they left off: at the NICH Office in Belmopan. Public officer Jeovanni Pinelo told police that at around 2:00 in the afternoon he parked the grey 2010 Toyota Hilux at the NICH office - and when he went back outside at 3:30, it was gone. He alerted Belmopan police who went all the way to El Pilar near the Guatemala border - but found nothing.

Buckley Gets Free
Last night, we told you how 42 year-old Steven Buckley, who was awarded 100 thousand dollars by the state in August of 2013, ended up in jail last night for unpaid drug possession fines. Well, he won't have to be in jail for too long because a good Samaritan came to his rescue. As we told you last night, he was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on the charge of drug possession for an undetermined amount of marijuana. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $150 dollars. He would have been allowed to leave court since he had until March 31 to pay the fine, but the police checked into his background and found out that he had $360 in unpaid fines for previous convictions. So, because he hadn't paid, he was sent to jail to serve 3 months in jail in default.

He Knocked Down Ms. Knowles
Last night, we told you about 70 year-old Marie Knowles, the career educator who died after being knocked down on Wednesday on Bhagdad Street. Well, the young man who was behind the wheel of the vehicle which hit her is 19 year-old Boyd Lopez, a labourer of Regent Street. He's out on bail tonight after being taken to Magistrate's Court. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton in the charges of causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle while not being in possession of a valid driver's licenses, and driving a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance. No plea was taken from him because the offences will be treated as indictable, and he was released on bail of $5,000. He must return to court on April 17.

Banks Holdings Wants Out Of CPBL
The Barbadian company called Banks Holdings owns 46% of Citrus Products of Belize Limited and 7News has confirmed that they want to sell. Speaking off camera to Jules Vasquez in Bridgetown, Barbados earlier this week, Chairman Anthony King said that their holding in CPBL is the only losing investment in the Banks Holdings corporate portfolio. He confirmed that they are looking for a buyer for their shares, but conceded that it would not be easy to find one. And that's because CPBL has been going through tough times - only four million boxes of product were processed last year, compared to eight million boxes at the high water mark. Banks bought its shares nine years ago for 12.5 million US dollars - and informed observers say while they would want to sell, it's not at any price: they would want to make at least a 50% profit on their initial investment. But while CPBL is in a negative cash flow position, posting losses, and its shareholders aren't seeing any dividends, it's a buyers market apparently because 7News ahs learned that there are expressions of interest form foreign investors who may want to purchase controlling interests in the company.

Former President is New President At The Bar
The Bar Association has a new executive. Elections were held at the Bar's Annual General Meeting yesterday. The new president is also former president Jacqueline Marshalleck - who previously served two terms. She is joined by Denys Barrow who was chosen to be the new vice president. Oneyda Flores was elected as Secretary, and Aldo Salazar was elected as treasurer. Filling out the executive of the Bar are Edwin Flowers, Vanessa Retreage, and Melissa Balderamos Mahler, who will serve as Bar Committee Members.

Weed To Placencia By Plane
On last night's newscast, we told you how accurate police intelligence led Placencia Police to intercept a cargo of marijuana which was mailed from Corozal to the peninsula, via Tropic Air's cargo service. Well, Placencia police have kept the pressure up, and this morning, they seized almost 1.5 kilos of marijuana during an anti-drug operation. Between 5:30 and 9:00 this morning, a team of officers from Special Branch, the K-9 Unit and uniformed police went out on an operation in both Seine Bight and Placencia Villages. 3 houses were searched in Placencia, which resulted in 1 person being arrested for possession of controlled drugs. The discovery of the large stash of marijuana happened shortly after when 2 empty lots were searched in Placencia Village. In one of the lots, the officers found 1 white t-shirt, and wrapped inside it were 5 plastic bags each containing cannabis. The bags had a total of 1.156 kilograms - or 2 and a half pounds.

CDB Says Petrocaribe Money On Infrastructure Well Spent
On Wednesday on St. Michael Barbados, the CDB held its annual press conference reviewing the performance of its 19 member countries in 2014. One issue they addressed was the growing debt profile of a number of those countries - and no small part of that is owing to the PEtrocaribe programme. IT's debt on concessionary terms, but we asked the economics expert if it is sustainable:.. Jules Vasquez "It is two things; it is both extremely concessionary terms. As far as debt goes, it's the best that you can get. But at the same time, it's also debt. It has to be repaid. How do you see Belize's taking of quite significant sums, it's in the hundreds of millions, from the Petro Caribe initiative." Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, Caribbean Development Bank "Petro Caribe can have a debt burden, but if it is manage properly, I am sure the authorities in Belize can find ways to manage it so that this debt is a sustainable debt and can rebound to the benefit of Belizeans."

Cops Cleaning Up The Hood
Police officers from Precinct 2 in Belize City, were today in Lake Independence on a cleanup campaign to help residents living on Jasmine Street. It's community policing initiative - to try and help residents meet their community needs. Today, they took on the task of trying to clean up an abandoned lot and building which has become a dump site and an eyesore. The residents say that this unsanitary mess has been plaguing them for years, and so, they were eager for the help from the police.: Sgt. Brent Hamilton - Commander, Community Policing Precinct 2 "We try to meet with the people of the community. What we are witnessing here today is one of our programs that is mandated by us. We go out and we talk to the residents of the community and they sometimes suggest certain things to us and we look at it. This property you see here at the corner of Poinsettia and Jasmine Street, is a property that is abandoned a long time ago. And we have several incidents that happened around the property. So, as a result of that we decide to team up with City Council, Community Policing officers from Precinct 2 and we decide to do something today, to try to assist the residents of this neighborhood here."

Mental Healing For Community
Emotional trauma is a topic not openly discussed and because of the stigma associated with visiting a counselor or a psychiatrist, many people repress and simply endure the pain. But American practitioner Jean Abbott says there are practical ways take control of your emotions and responses to triggers - and one way is through thought field therapy - which centers on self-healing and development. A therapy workshop was held today to guide mental health professionals through their own process of healing so that they are able to do the same for others. We found out more when we visited today. Courtney Weatherburne Reporting It's lunch time in the city and Belizeans are going about their day quite normally. Buying lunch, going home from school or simply walking and chatting with friends and co- workers.

Jury Deliberates: Did Douglas Do It?
A Jury of 4 men and 4 women are deliberating the fate of 26 year-old Douglas Rodriguez, who stood trial before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez for the charge of Negligent Grievous Harm. He was accused of knocking down Liston Myers who was driving his motorcycle. Myers took the stand and testified for the prosecution, led by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, that at about 6:45 p.m. on December 12, 2009, he was riding his motorcycle between miles 6 and 7 on the George Price Highway. He testified that he was heading toward Gales Point, Manatee, when he ended up in a head-on collision with Rodriguez's Honda Car. He suffered severe injuries, and because of the accident, he ended up losing his left hand, which had to be amputated at the wrist. A police officer who was at the scene also testified for the prosecution that on that day on the scene, Rodriguez accepted responsibility for the accident.

No More Weeping For Cattlemen 'Cause of Willows Bank
Flooding in the Belize River Valley is not just an emergency for rural residents - it's also a huge problem for their livestock, mainly cattle which have to be moved out of the area - but with rising water all around, where can they be taken to? It's a confounding problem which has resulted in major monetary losses for cattle ranchers. But now there's a solution. The Ministry of Agriculture in concert with the Global Climate Change Alliance and the European Union have set up a communal livestock holding facility. It's 50 acres of high, dry land in Willow's Bank and it can be used for 90 days in the year in flood or drought. IT was opened on Wednesday. An official release says it will be open to all farmers for them to weigh, fatten, and sell their animals. All services provided through the facility are expected to have a minimum cost.

Lighting The Way For Youths
It is called 'Guide Light Production'- a non-governmental organization for youths from all different backgrounds. The newly formed organization has over 80 peer helpers who have taken on the task of working along with young people to help them make a successful transition into adulthood. A first of its kind car breaking opening ceremony was done today out at the Battlefield Park and it was well attended by youths. 7news was there. The organization's first meeting will be held on March 4th at 1pm at the Nazarene High School in Belize City. For those interested in volunteering, you are invited to be a part of the meeting.

Remembering The Referendum
On February 29, 2012, Oceana Belize, under the then Vice-President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, held what the organization called the "People's Referendum" on offshore drilling. It was an independent attempt to GET A POPULAR MANDATE on what should be the policy on drilling in the country's offshore AREAS. At the end of the exercise, OCEANA reported back to the public that just over 29,000 voters participated, and 96% said "no" to offshore oil drilling. Though, it was not an official exercise, it drove the message home, emphatically. At the time it forced Prime Minister Dean Barrow - who was campaigning for a second term - to promise that if elected he would hold an official referendum - which hasn't happened. And so, on the verge of another election, OCEANA's new management is holding a free concert to commemorate the 2012 event, while still keeping it current. They have a lineup of popular local artists who have signed on to perform.

When A Classic Is A Tour
The 20th. Digicell Valentine's Classic will be held this weekend. But it's not your regular classic - this one is a stage race, or a mini tour as they're calling it. President of the Cycling Federation Dion Leslie told us more:.. Dion Leslie, President - Belize Cycling Federation "This year we are doing it differently. We are having a mini tour, being that we will have two days of events with 3 separate races." Jules Vasquez "Do you think having it in a tour format gives you a better preparation, gives the cyclists a better preparation, for the cross country is that? Or is it just marketing?"

OW Bugged Out
On Tuesday we confirmed that the icicle formation found on a cotton tree in Ladyville was in fact spittle mass - which is secreted from spittlebugs and acts as a safety shield. Well, according to CTV3 news another formation was spotted on a fig tree in Orange Walk. A resident reported that she was hanging out clothes in her yard when she felt water drops on her forehead. When she looked up at the fig tree she saw the limb dripping. Based on the report, it could be a formation called "cuckoo spit" which is formed by the frog hopper.

Channel 5

The Misfortunes of Steven Buckley
Steven Buckley – he’s the man who became the poster boy of police brutality in 2010 after he was shot to the head by a cop while he was sitting [...]

OW Mayoral Candidate in Court
Here at News Five we can’t remember any time when so many politicians have seen the inside of a Courtroom on such a variety of charges…serious and frivolous. In Orange [...]

Examining a GOB Report on Cost-Cutting
A government-commissioned report which has suddenly become public information has been making the rounds of social media since Thursday. We can tell you that it has unleashed a storm of [...]

Grocery Shop Consumed by Fire
A small wooden structure went up in flames at about two o’clock this morning.  Thirty-nine year old Darrel McClaren was asleep when he heard the crackling sounds of the fire [...]

Belize City Youth Gets Bail for Traffic Fatality
A Belize City resident got bail today for charges relating to the traffic fatality that took the life of seventy year old well know educator, Maria Knowles. At around one-thirty [...]

Haitian Immigrant to be Sent Home
After living in Belize for five years, Haitian national, twenty-five year old Obed Lewis, was found without valid documents to ascertain his status in the country. He was today before [...]

Hol Chan Reserve Expansion Approved
Shark Ray Alley, Cangrejo Caye, Bacalar Chico and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve have been designated as protected areas on Ambergris Caye. This past Tuesday, cabinet finally moved to approve [...]

Southern Cops Crack Down on Drugs
Earlier this week we told you about a drug bust in Placencia. The drugs were discovered in a package sent from Maria Chan in Corozal to one Diego Moralez in [...]

Community Policing Cleans Up the City
Earlier this week, the top brass of the police department met with the media to build on relations and to improve the flow of information. And today, officers rolled up [...]

OW Mayoral Candidate on the Campaign Trail
U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate Yvette Lui Torres says that she is the victim of a political attack, timed to affect her run up to municipal elections in just two weeks. Torres [...]

Living Positive Lives
There is a group of young people that is busy doing good works and actively seeking to influence other youths to lead positive lives. The group is made up of [...]

Entrpreneurs Graduate from six week training
Today, six business entrepreneurs graduated from a six-week intensive training program in San Ignacio. The initiative is one aspect of annual programs delivered by the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation, and [...]

OCEANA Rocks the Vote on March 1st
OCEANA will be celebrating three years since The People’s Referendum. It made history back in 2012 and this year they will celebrate in grand style with a free concert called [...]


Strange Formation Observed In Orange Walk
There was a report made on one of the Belize City media last night about an icicle like formation on a tree branch in Ladyville Village which probably sent many Belizeans looking up their trees. Today, we report another strange looking formation on a tree in a family’s backyard that resembles the one featured in the media last night. This time though, that was found in Orange Walk. The family did not want to comment on camera but they did say that they came across this white substance by accident. Someone was pinning some clothes out and felt water drops on her forehead and looked up. Upon closer inspection of the branches on this very tall fig tree, the woman spotted the limb which was dripping. Below, on the lawn, the drips have dampened bricks.

COMPOL Not Too Concern About Penner's Appeal Case
The case against Cayo Northeast area representative and former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner has been appealed in court. The rare inferior court appeal was heard on February thirteenth but was adjourned to later this month. The appeal is being brought by Geovannie Brackett, president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and advisor Nedal ‘Jihad’ McLaren, against Penner. According to Brackett and McLaren’s attorney Kareem Musa the appeal surrounds the analysis of section thirty of the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act under which they had applied to the Magistrate for the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to be summoned to court and deliver all evidence in his possession relating to the Penner and Kim scandal. Today the media asked the commissioner of police if he is prepared should the previous decision to not summon him to court is reversed. Here is a clip of what he responded, provided to us by our colleagues at KREM News.

Murders Gone Unsolved In Orange Walk
One year ago today, the decayed remains of Luis Moreno better known as “Patch” was found approximately half a mile in on a farm at Richman Hill, off the Guinea Grass Road. This was after he was reported missing fourteen days before he was found. As we’ve reported, Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradaband conducted the post mortem examination which concluded that the cause of death was chest trauma with a sharp instrument. Viewers may recall that at the scene where the human remains were found, Moreno’s sweater was riddled with slashes and from what the Estradaband could establish, Moreno was brutally beaten before he was fatally stabbed. Today, one year later that case has gone “cold” and no leads or arrests have been made since. Patch Moreno was the second homicide recorded in Orange Walk Town for 2014.

OWTC Officially Adopts Municipal Development Plan
The Orange Walk Town Council held an open council meeting last night during which they officially adopted the Municipal Development Plan for Orange Walk. The adoption of the plan is the last leg of the work that begun in 2013 through the Belize Municipal Development Project under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Keisha Rodriguez is the Urban Planning Officer and told us more about the project. Keisha Rodriguez – Urban Planning Officer, BMDP “We prepared the plan with the collaboration with the local planning working group here in Orange Walk as well as a consultant team, Institute for International Development, and us working at the ministry as well and really it was a of work and a lot of meetings and so forth so it is really Orange Walk’s plan and the people prepared the plan where the residence of Orange Walk town, we had stakeholders meetings and we meet with different sectors of the society here in Orange Walk and all of that contributed to what is in the development plan.”

Belize Ranked Among Top Foreign Retirement Haven For 2015
In the international scene, Belize was ranked among the top twenty “Foreign Retirement Havens for 2015” by Forbes Magazine. According to the travel and business publication, the list is non-ranked and the places named were chosen by considering factors such taxes and the cost of living. Other countries on the list include Philippines, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, and Uruguay. Earlier this year, Frommer’s Travel Guide picked Belize as one of 15 Most Tantalizing Travel Destinations for 2015!

BFD Releases Statistics For 2014/2015
Following the closure of the Lobster Season on Sunday, the Belize Fisheries Department issued statistics from the 2014-2015 Season. BFD figures reveal a 0.45% decline in the total production when compared to that of the 2013-2014 season. The Spiny Lobster remains as one of the top marine exports for Belize, with earnings for the 2014-2015 season amounting to an estimated $15.2 Million Belize dollars. Fisheries recorded a total of 484,891 pounds of lobster being caught out of Belizean waters during this season. The 2014/2015 lobster fishing season is considered a good one and the fishery has remained relatively stable over the past 28 years within the production range of 400,000 – 600,000 pounds. In 2014, lobster catch landings amounted to 484,891 pounds, which represents a decline of merely 0.45% when compared to the 2013/2014 season when 487,066 pounds was produced.

PM Accompany His Wife For Medical Treatment
Prime Minister of Belize, Honourable Dean Barrow, departed the country today to accompany his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow for her medical visit, announced a release from his office today. The release states that in his absence, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will take over the reins of the country’s affairs. Barrow is scheduled to return to the country on Saturday, February 21st.

Belize Met Service Conducts National Climate Outlook Forum
Variation in climate influence directly or indirectly affects human activities in either experiencing losses or benefits. Understanding and making effective use available of climate information is therefore critical to ensure efficiency and sustainability. Without a doubt Climate Change is an important topic and with that in mind, today the Belize National Meteorological Service, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and Environment Canada, hosted the Second National Climate Outlook Forum at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town.

River Hills Christian Church Empowers Women In Corozal District
A group of professional health care providers and missionaries are in Belize providing much needed assistance to Belizeans in the north. The missionary group from River Hills Christian Church from Ohio, USA are offering medical assistance and empowering women from the village of San Pedro in the Corozal District. Nancy Brokamp – Missionary Leader: “Our mission trip is from River Hills Christian Church, Cincinnati Ohio, and we come down every year as a medical mission trip basically, the sowing was an off shoot of that trip, we started here about three or four years ago with one women and now we have a group of fifteen and we invited women from Louisville to come in and also learn how to sow, so they are here with us today we have a group of about twenty three.”

Bodies Of Two Corozalenos Found Buried In Shallow Grave
The bodies of two Corozal residents were found shortly before midday today in a shallow grave 11 miles north of Ambergris Caye, according to the San Pedro Sun. The newspaper reports that police have identified the bodies. Benjamin Molina and Selvino Chi were found sometime around 11:40 this morning about 11 miles north of San Pedro Town.

#501355 - 02/21/15 05:52 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 21, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Did Accused UB Lecturer Resign After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct???
Some days ago the disturbing report of two lecturers and an Acting Dean sexually harassing students at the University of Belize began surfacing, primarily from some flyers that were posted around the Belmopan campus. The flyer was an obvious attempt at exposing the allegations against these three men. It is a story that Love News sought several avenues in following up including contacting UB for an official comment. While they did submit a release expressing how seriously they take allegations made against faculty, particularly of this nature, nowhere in their release did they confirm or deny an official report being made to the institution’s administration. Today, we got news of the resignation of one of the accused and so, we contacted him to get a comment on the situation.

Suicide or Murder? – A Mother’s Appeal for Answers
A teenager is dead and Police believe he took his own life while inside the Ladyville Police Station. The family however is questioning the report. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Eighteen year old Otto Raymundo Palma was found dead inside a cell block at the Ladyville Police Station last night. Police say that he committed suicide.” SUPT. HILBERTO ROMERO “Upon information received, the CIB personnel visited the Ladyville Police Station cell block area where they observed the lifeless body of Otto Palma, 18 years, of a Ladyville Address in the Belize District, hanging from one of the iron bars within the cell block area of the Ladyville Police Station hanging with T-shirt around his neck apparently dead. The scene was processed, the body was viewed; no signs of any violence was observed on the body.”

Motorcycle Accident Leaves Trio Injured
Two persons are in serious condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City while another is recuperating at home following a motorcycle accident. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story. “On Wednesday evening, February 18, just before 6 o clock, Love News was called out to an area on the Hummingbird Highway between miles 53 and 54. Upon arrival, a red scooter was observed on the right hand side of the highway when traveling from a north to south direction with damages, about ten feet away. A Hispanic man was seen lying face up in the middle of the highway bleeding profusely. According to the passenger of the scooter, 19-year-old, Arturo Leiva, a resident of Las Flores, he was traveling along with his girlfriend from work to Belmopan. Upon reaching in front of E & L Sports Bar in the Las Flores Area of Belmopan, a Hispanic man who was in front of them suddenly ran across the highway.

Agronomist Loses Life After Losing Control of Vehicle
Just before eight o’clock last night there was a traffic incident between the towns of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen that left a 29-year-old man dead and a Nissan sedan extensively damaged. Officer commanding the Benque Viejo del Carmen police station, Superintendent Daniel Arzu told Love News what the preliminary investigations have revealed. SUPT. DANIEL ARZU “We were called out to mile 69 and 70 on the George Price Highway. There, the officers saw a four door Nissan Altima with license plate CYC27846. This vehicle was in a pasture off the road. Investigation suggested that the vehicle was traveling from San Ignacio in the direction of Benque Viejo. Reaching at the location mentioned the driver lost control and overturned several times and as a result the police found him at the scene, the vehicle extensively damaged and he was seen motionless. The person was later identified as Edgar Caan, 29 years, an agronomist of Corozalito Area, Cayo District. Following our investigation of the scene, the body was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where it is currently awaiting a post mortem examination. That is the information that we gathered.”

Maria Knowles Dies Following Road Accident
The family of a 70-year old woman is mourning her passing as authorities confirmed to Love News that Maria Knowles passed away this evening at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Knowles was the victim of a traffic incident when she was swooped off a sidewalk on Bagdad Street in Belize City by an SUV, reportedly traveling above city speed limits. It was a traffic incident that brought out residents from their homes and drew the attention of passersby just before two o’clock yesterday afternoon.


Driver charged in fatal Belize City accident
On Wednesday we reported a grave traffic accident on Baghdad Street, Belize City, in which 19 year old Boyd Lopez of Regent Street West was accused of gravely injuring 70 year old retired educator Marie Knowles, when he knocked her down after losing control of a Toyota Highlander SUV around 1:30 in the afternoon. Mrs. Knowles was taken to the hospital with head trauma and other injuries, and police confirmed on Friday that Marie Knowles died around 3:30 Thursday afternoon, from her injuries.

Rehabilitated streets inaugurated in Belmopan
The infrastructure drive continues in Belmopan. As a result on Thursday, at a special ceremony, Almond Boulevard and Chiquibul Street were officially inaugurated and handed over to the Belmopan City Council ,who will oversee its maintenance. The rehabilitation project covered 1 thousand 7 hundred feet of carriage way and included a double lane and double chip dressing. It was also inclusive of drainage systems, street signs, speed bumps, and pedestrian crossing. The paving of these two streets was the first part of phase two of an infrastructure drive to rehabilitate streets in Belmopan and was done in a collaborative effort between Central Government, the Belize Social Investment Fund, and the Belmopan City Council.

Freedom House; a safe place for ex prisoners
Freedom House, a nonprofit program operating under the umbrella organization Prison Fellowship Belize, is a Christ-centered facility that ministers to former prisoners, assisting them with opening bank accounts and teaching them how to walk with Christ, so that they can return as productive citizens of society. Since its inception in 2008, Freedom House has ministered to over a hundred people. But like all nonprofit organizations, money is always an issue. To help with the organizations financial endeavors, Freedom House is having a barbeque and garage sale on Saturday 21st and is asking for the public’s support.

Elderly man knocked down by motorcycle in Belmopan
On Wednesday we told you about an accident on the Hummingbird Highway, a couple of yards before La Cabana in Las Flores, Belmopan. The incident happened just before our newscast at around 5:30 pm. It was reported that a motorcyclist and his passenger crashed into an Hispanic man, who was attempting to cross the street. The man has since been identified as 72 year old Ramon Escobar, who suffered head and body injuries, and his left foot was almost amputated as a result of the collision.


Did accused rapist commit suicide in police station?
Police say that Otto Raimundo Palma, an 18-year-old man from the Milpa area of Ladyville, who had been detained for the rape of a 13-year-old girl, was found hanging from the metal bar of the Ladyville Police Station’s holding cell, to which he was tied by a T-shirt which was wound around his neck, at about 7:43 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18. There were no signs of injury on his body, said a police report. Palma had been detained in connection with a report made by a 13-year-old girl, who had told police that at about 12:30 Sunday afternoon, she was on the seashore behind Vista Del Mar in Ladyville, where she had gone swimming, and had gone to a secluded area to change into her bathing clothes, when a man came out of the bushes, held her mouth and raped her. The girl told police that the man was unknown to her.

New billion-dollar budget to be read on Friday, March 13
Amandala was informed by an official of the Ministry of Finance this morning that the new national budget for the fiscal year 2015-2016 is due to be read on Friday, March 13 – that’s the week after the municipal elections are held. Deputy Financial Secretary Marion Palacio said that their team is still working on putting together the numbers for the budget that will exceed a billion dollars. The performance for the current budget year is being impacted by a number of factors, including large capital outlays from Central Government for works in the various towns and cities, as well as the salary adjustments implemented for teachers and public officers during the course of the budget year.

Two men executed – bodies buried in shallow grave
Police say that they have found the bodies of two men – Benjamin Molina, 23, and Sylvin Chi, 41 – buried in a single shallow grave about 50 feet from the seaside in some bushes in an area about 11 1/2 miles north of San Pedro Town. Both men had been shot. Chi had been blasted in the head with a shotgun, and Molina had been shot in the head with a 9mm pistol. The gruesome discovery was made at about 11:30 yesterday morning, Wednesday, by police and a search team that had been formed to find them after they were reported missing and were last seen in the area by the caretaker of a house at which they had been staying.

Unlicensed driver, 19, kills woman, 70
A teenager in whom his employer had full confidence, so much so that he allowed him to drive his Toyota Highlander even though the teenager did not have a driver’s license, is in major trouble with the law, and was arrested, along with his boss, yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, pending charges for a high-drama accident that has claimed the life of a retired 70-year-old educator. Family members of the woman, Maria Knowles, 70, confirmed to Amandala this afternoon, Thursday, that she died today while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Maria Knowles has spent all her life as an educator, who taught at St. Mary’s Primary School for many of her teaching years; she also taught at All Saints Primary School. During her retirement years, up to the time of her untimely death today, she was still involved in education, teaching classes at the YWCA. Maria Knowles was the wife of retired public officer Gordon Knowles..

1 dead, 3 injured after 18-wheeler slams SUV near Jaguar Paw
The Jaguar Paw Road junction was the scene of a dreadful road traffic accident that occurred shortly before noon today when an 18-wheeler delivery truck rear-ended an SUV with three passengers between Miles 36 and 37 on the George Price Highway. The high-impact collision sent the blue late-model Suzuki SUV careening into a ditch, while the cargo truck ended belly up in the middle of the highway, which became strewn with thousands of oranges that spilled from its mangled container during the deadly crash. At the time of the incident, Leon Rodriguez, 30, a tour guide of a Belize City address, was heading west in the SUV towards Frank’s Eddy Village, Cayo District, along with American nationals Samuel Douglas Schulte, 66, and Teresa Lin Meuers, 56, who were both in the country on a Valentine’s weekend cruise and decided to take a day trip to Jaguar Paw, a popular tourist destination located off the George Price Highway.

Epidemiologist defends vaccination amid charges that vaccines don’t always work and actually may cause irreversible harm or even death
The United States, including states like California to which Belizeans travel often, is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles, a rash associated with fever which mostly affects children, reigniting calls from some factions for the more liberals states in the US to tighten laws that would force more people to vaccinate their children. The Belize government provides cash incentives for families under the Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation initiative (BOOST) program based on whether children are immunized and attending school; and also for pregnant mothers who seek early prenatal care.

Life in prison for Justin Jones’ killer
Godwin Santos, 43, a construction worker of Ontario, Cayo District, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of Justin Jones, 22, who was killed in the said village in late 2010. The case went to trial two weeks ago, and climaxed last Friday in the Belmopan Supreme Court with the conviction of Santos, who was given a life sentence by Justice Antoinette Moore. After the ruling, the victim’s family was relieved at the notion that justice, in their eyes, was served, and Jones’ mother-in-law, Joan Sutherland, expressed gratitude that they have gotten some sort of closure in the matter at a time when “we hardly get justice in Belize.”

Belize karatecas medal in El Salvador Open
Members of the Cayo Shotokan Karate Club, Belmopan and San Ignacio branches, including four members of the Belize Karate National Team, successfully competed last weekend in the El Salvador Open Championship held in San Salvador. Nine countries, ranging from the USA, Mexico and Argentina to all of the countries of Central America, took part in the event. At the end of the two days of seminars and competition, the Belizean athletes came away with seven medals: one gold by Kaylon Dyck in the Male Advance Category, age 12-15; 3 silver – Kaylon Dyck in Kumite, Cesar Dyck in Kata, and Asha Pastor in Kumite; and 3 bronze medals – 2 by Briane Guzman in both Kata and Kumite, and 1 by Basil Brown in Kumite.

National Cricket Competition starts with a bang!
The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2015 started out with a bang and some exciting games. To start, the most exciting one was the game between Police and last year’s champs, Easy Does It. Police took them down on Saturday in Belmopan. But for those who were not there, a couple of players for Police this year were a part of Easy Does It last year. Anyway, congrats to Police Team on their big win! Scores for that game went this way. Police took to bat first and scored 96 runs. Sylbert Martinez, a veteran that played with Excellence last year, top scored for Police with 35 runs. Orlando Banner, who played for Police last year, took 5 wickets for Easy Does It. Warren Anthony scored 34 for Easy Does It, and Brandon Lewis took 5 wickets for Police. Easy Does It lost with a score of 70 runs.

Elements Team of Belize City leads 8-Ball
The results of the 12 matches played in the Mike’s 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan on Sunday, February 15, at Mike’s Cue Club are as follows: Match 1: Las Flores won Pelayo’s Electrical by default, 3-0. On the line-up for Las Flores were: Salvador Orellana, Oscar Avelar and Julio Hernandez, who were credited with the points. Match 2: Twin Stars won Capital Sales, 2-1. Twin Stars’ Ernest Turner won David Mejia, 3-2; and Manuel Barientos won Elmer Rodas, 3-2. For Capital Sales, it was Jose Alvarenga over Sam Yam, 3-1. Match 3: Set-Up won Special Effects, 3-0. For Set-Up, Floyd Thimbrel won Thomas Myers, who both play each other at Charishma frequently, 3-2; Sheridan Lemoth won Edmund Guy, 3-2 (This is after Edmund could have won, but tried to delay the game for his teammate to show-up; but Lemoth made him pay, surprising him with some crucial shots to win overall); and Ruben Ruiz got the “W” over David Fernandez by default, 3-0. David stayed to play a tournament in Cayo, hoping he would have been victorious; but, as they say, he swam far to drown.

Editorial: Mortal bodies, eternal souls
In a speech on Wednesday, United States president, Barack Obama, said that the United States was not at war with Islam, but rather was fighting against “people who have perverted Islam.” He was referring to groups known as “ISIS” and “ISIL.” The acronyms stand for the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” and the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” respectively. Mr. Obama’s Republican Party opponents are pressuring him to single out Islam and attack “Islamic extremism.” The Republicans are criticizing Mr. Obama for being too careful in his rhetoric. The mainstream American media have focused for months on atrocities being committed by ISIS and ISIL in the Middle East, and also by the Boko Haram group in Nigeria, Boko Haram being described as a Muslim group. There were two world wars fought in the twentieth century. These were World War I between 1914 and 1918, and World War II between 1939 and 1945. In both cases, the principal antagonists were Great Britain and Germany, and what they were fighting each other for was control of the rest of the world, which is to say, control of the raw materials/natural resources which they required for their industries and factories. France was an ally of Great Britain’s in World War I, as were Russia and the United States to a lesser extent. In World War II, Russia and the United States were again British allies, while Japan and Italy were German allies. France was again a British ally, but the Germans wiped out the French early in World War II.

From the Publisher
No doubt In response to all the rising black consciousness in the United States in 1966, Dartmouth College admitted a larger amount of black students than usual in its “Class of 1970.” I believe that class included Wallace L. Ford III, who helped our UBAD organization establish the Amandala newspaper in August of 1969. Wallace Ford solicited a donation from a Dartmouth professor named Mirsky, whose check completed our fund-raising, which we had begun in May of that year. We purchased a Gestetner stenciling machine from British Honduras Distributors (remember them at the foot of the Swing Bridge on North Front Street?) for $534.00. Today, Wallace Ford is a very wealthy attorney in the United States. He writes an online column called “Point of View.” A couple years ago I made contact with Wally, Bob Bennett, and Dennis Young through the e-mail technology. This was after more than forty years. Wally started sending me his column, and the latest one featured Malcolm X. February 21 is the fiftieth anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan.

In search of Estella Goodley
Dear Editor, Please help me. I am searching for my mother’s cousin, Estella Goodley, formerly Estella Mcgallon; her name could be Kituna. She went to live in Belize in the 1930s and returned to Jamaica in the 30s with her young daughter. My mom says the little girl looked Indian. Estella Goodley’s father was John Mcgallon and her mother’s name was Ann Mcgallon. She also had a sister, Maud Mcgallon. They all came from Negril, Jamaica.

Setting the record straight
Dear Editor, This letter is written in regards to an article posted by The Reporter newspaper on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 8:24 am, with the caption “CitCo and Canadian Legion honor veterans.” The Belize City Council was not in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Legion. It was I, the former National Executive Secretary/present Office Manager of the Belize Ex-Services League who was in constant collaboration with the Royal Canadian Legion and its representative since October of 2014 pertaining to the cruise ship visit. Accompanied by the former President of the Belize Ex-Services League we met with Mayor Darrell Bradley on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 and informed him of the visit of the President of the Royal Canadian Legion and other Legion members.

Zane and Julie Smith donate to 6 institutions of learning
Dangriga natives Zane and Julie Smith have donated desks and chairs to six learning institutions in Dangriga — Delille Academy, Kids First, Coastland Methodist School, Gulisi Primary School, Garifuna Pre-school and the Pablo Lambey Cultural Center. The total value of the donations is about $52,000. The chairs range in sizes from those suitable for preschool students to those which can seat high school students, and the desks and tables are adjustable to fit students ranging from the preschool to the high school level. The donation was made possible through a collaboration with the Naperville School District of Chicago in the United States, and Zane and Julie Smith, who are from Dangriga, but who are now living in Chicago. Julie Smith said that on Friday morning, there was a brief ceremony at the Gulisi Primary School, during which the items were handed over to the respective schools. .

Attorney Ernest Staine “escapes” jail
Attorney Ernest Staine was spared a prison sentence this morning when Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel vacated a suspended committal order this morning, because Staine has provided disclosure of his assets, in compliance with the order of the court. The 77-year-old Staine, one of the most senior lawyers in Belize’s Bar Association, has been accused of not paying to his client, Rita McField, $230,000.00 that he was holding in an escrow account for her, despite a court order that he do so. Staine, who was previously representing himself, is now being represented by attorneys Denys Barrow, S.C., his former law partner, and attorney Naima Barrow. This morning he was present in court for the hearing. Justice Abel remarked that the suspended order had been lifted because “there has been substantial compliance”.

The Reporter

Oceana to hold Rock the Vote concert
Oceana Belize will hold a Rock the Vote concert on Sunday March 1st at the Memorial Park, to commemorate the third anniversary of the People’s referendum. Alyssa Carnegie, Oceana Belize communications director said the purpose of the concert is to commemorate the importance of the people’s referendum held in 2012. Carnegie said it was a sinificant showing of people who voiced their opinion on the critical issue of offshore drilling and it deserves to be highlighted. According to Carnegie, the referendum revealed the public’s overwhelming position against offshore drilling and that position is still relevant and of concern today. Carnegie added it was a celebration of the democratic process and people’s right to be heard. Carnegie said those who attend the concert are sure to be fully entertained as the line-up includes Tanya Carter, the Garifuna Collective, Melonie Gillet, TR Shine, Nello Playa, Verge of Umbra, Positive Vibes, Jackie Castillo, among others.

Youths destroy car to uplift Belize
Guide Light Productions, a youth organization, in collaboration with Belize Peer Helpers and the Department of Youth Services, held the first ever symbolic car demolition ceremony at the Battlefield Park Friday morning after honoring youths helping their communities. Andrew Munnings, Guide Light executive director, said the ceremony was organized to honor the youths who have been contributing to the society in a positive way. Over 70 peer helpers received awards for their efforts during the ceremony, which ended with the demolition of a donated vehicle.

Buckley Freed
Steven Buckley, who was shot in the head by police in 2010, was freed from prison on Friday morning when supporters cleared an outstanding debt he had with the court on a drug-related conviction. Buckley was confined to prison on Thursday for failure to clear his debt when police took him to court on a new charge. People’s United Party Port Loyola standard bearer, Gilroy Usher and other anonymous supporters paid Buckley’s debt. On Thursday, Buckley appeared in court to answer to a charge of marijuana possession, plead guilty and was fined $150, but was remanded when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser discovered that he had owed the court another $360 for two previous marijuana possession charges.

19-year-old charged with retired teacher’s death
Boyd Lopez, the 19-year-old unlicensed driver that knocked down 70-year-old Marie Knowles on Wednesday, was charged on Friday for causing her death. Lopez, of a Regent Street address, faces a total of five charges: manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a vehicle not covered by third party insurance and driving without a valid driver’s license. The Toyota Highlander that Lopez was driving slammed into Knowles as she walked along the sidewalk on Baghdad Street on Wednesday afternoon. The retired teacher was reportedly flung into the air and landed face first onto the pavement while the Highlander continued on to crash into a parked Mitsubishi Montero on the other side of the street. Knowles suffered a deep gash to her head and was transported by ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she died the following day from her injuries.

Police undertake clean up campaign
Officers from the Belize Police Department, in collaboration with the Belize City Council, cleaned an abandoned lot at the corner of Jasmine Street and Poinsetta Lane on Friday as a service to the residents in that community. Brent Hamilton, community policing commander for Precinct Two, explained that this was not the first time the department has undertaken such an effort. According to Hamilton, the community policing unit regularly visits different communities to observe the needs of residents. Hamilton said in this case it became clear that residents in the area needed the abandoned lot and structure to be cleared as residents have complained that people use the lot to store all sorts of illicit substances and dump garbage and toxic waste there as well.

Colombia’s constitutional court ruled on Wednesday to keep the current limits on same-sex adoption
Colombia’s constitutional court has ruled to keep the current limits on same-sex adoption. The court said that same-sex couples could only adopt a child if it was the offspring of one of the partners. Discussion about whether to lift the current restrictions had dominated social media in the hours before the ruling. It comes almost two years after the country’s Congress voted against allowing gay marriages. Colombian media said the ruling showed great wisdom, arguing that it took the middle road between allowing same-sex couples to freely adopt children and banning same-sex adoption outright.

Belize slips a notch on press freedom
Belize has slipped a notch from last year on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, ranking 30th on this year’s index, prepared by Reporters Without Borders. Belize still ranks high, at 30th out of 180 countries, included in the index with a score of […]

Shooting suspect murdered in Ladyville
Denver Owin Jones, 29, a resident of Hattieville Village was shot dead on Marage Road, at its entrance to the Lake Garden area of Ladyville Village, on Saturday. Crimes Investigations officer in Belize City, Superintendent, Hilberto Romero, explained to reporters that Jones had apparently […]

Money changer robbed of $40,000
Two armed men brazenly robbed a money changer of 240,000 pesos, the equivalent of $40,000, in Corozal Town last Friday evening. The money changer, Mahesh Balani, 29, told police he was having a conversation with a friend in front of a store on Fourth […]

Boy, 9, and man shot outside shop
Davien Sanchez, 9, and Charles “Robin” Guy, 56, were shot on Sunday night as they stood outside Zan Chinese shop on Faber’s Road in Belize City. Sanchez suffered two gunshots wounds on the right leg as he was buying at the shop, around 7:00 […]

American woman dies in highway collision
An American woman was killed in a deadly traffic accident, involving a small SUV and an 18 wheeler truck hauling oranges near the Jaguar Paw road at mile 37 on the George Price Highway on Tuesday. Theresa Meuers, 56,and her partner, Samuel Schulte, 66, […]

Belize Audubon Society honours Tony Garel
Belizean zoologist, Tony Garel has won the prestigious James A. Waight Award, for 2015. The award is presented each year by the Belize Audubon Society to a distinguished Belizean conservationist. James Waight’s grandson, Mica James Del Margo, presented the award to Garel at a special award ceremony at the Chateau […]

Mayoral candidates dissect audit and city finances
Mayoral hopeful, Yolanda Schakron and incumbent Mayor Darrel Bradley this week disputed details of City Council audits over the past several years and the municipality’s finances. Schakron claims mismanagement on Bradley’s part while the Mayor insists he has always been transparent. At a press […]

Carnival awards Belize tour operator as best in Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Lines held a ceremony on-board one of their ships, the Carnival Glory, to present an award to the owners and staff of Belize tour operator H2O-Tierra Limited, which they voted as the Caribbean’s leading tour operator for 2014. H2O-Tierra Limited owners Tom […]

Taiwanese cultural festival shares art and cuisine with Belize
The cornucopia of gifts, which the Republic of China (R.O.C.) on Taiwan shares with Belize, grew to include its art and cuisine, when the ROC hosted the “2015 Taiwan Cultural Festival in Belize” over the weekend, to promote greater cultural exchange between the two countries. […]

ComPol says Penner investigation complete
Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie has indicated that the police investigation in the case involving former Minister of State, Elvin Penner, issuing a passport to South Korean fugitive, Wong Hong Kim, is now complete. Whylie said the investigation has followed all the directives of […]

Venezuela under attack from within and from the U.S. CARICOM nations can help, Ambassador Marcano says
The information and images coming out of Venezuela on the US media suggests that hunger is one of the the main reasons for unrest in the country. But this week Ambassador Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano declared in Belize that these reports are part […]

Fire season begins and warnings are issued
The fire season, which is observed from February 15th to June 15th in Belize, has started and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has issued a caution to citizens. With the onset of the dry weather, the Ministry cautions the general pubic […]

It is the right of every man accused of a criminal offence to protect and defend himself. He may chose to do so by saying something, or he may chose not to say anything. This right is clearly defined in both British and American systems of jurisprudence. “You have the […]

Missing men buried in shallow graves
San Pedro police have boosted their presence in the upscale north end of Ambergris Caye, where two men who were reported missing on Tuesday were discovered murdered and buried in shallow graves shortly after 11 on Wednesday morning. Sylvin Chi, 41, and Benjamin Molina, […]

Seventy-year old woman killed by unlicensed driver
A 70-year-old woman was knocked down by a car driven by an unlicensed 19-year-old driver who lost control of the vehicle. It happened on Baghdad Street around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The woman died on Thursday around 3:40 p.m. from her injuries. The victim, […]

Family claims Ladyville police killed Otto Palma
An intensive Police investigation is taking place into the death of a Ladyville youth, 18 year old Otto Palma. Palma was found dead in a police holding cell at the Ladyville Police Substation Wednesday night. Palma had been detained pending a charge of rape of a 13 year old girl […]

The Belize Times

Patrick JonesPJ

Pre-dawn operation nets bags of marijuana in Seine Bight and Placencia
Police today confiscated bags of marijuana and arrested one person during an early morning anti-drug operation carried out in Seine Bight and Placencia villages. The pre-dawn operation started at 5:30 am today and included personnel from Special Branch, K-9 Unit, and uniform Police from the Placencia Police Station. According to information received, three houses were searched in Seine Bight Village which resulted in one person being arrested for possession of controlled drug. Two separate empty lots were also searched on the north side of Placencia Village.

Fishermen charged for fishing violations
Fishermen Giovanni Murcia, 32, of Honduras, and Belizean 48 year old Emilio Novelo, were read charges related to fisheries violations when they appeared in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Novelo, who has a valid fisherman’s license, pleaded guilty to facilitating Murcia in engaging in commercial fishing in Belize without holding a fisherman’s license and Murcia pleaded guilty to engaging in commercial fishing in Belize without a license. They also each pleaded guilty to possession of 57 pieces of fish filet without the skin.

Trio charged for assaulting police officers
A couple and their relative are accused of assaulting multiple police officers at the Racoon Street Police Station on Wednesday afternoon. The accused persons, however, tell the story in reverse, claiming that they were defending themselves against abuse by the police. 38 year old Felix Vanegas; his common-law wife, 32 year old Mexican national Reina Mayo, and his sister 28 year old Reina Vanegas Silva, were read multiple charges related to assault of a police officer before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Vanegas is accused of assaulting Sergeant of Police Dirk Dyer; Detective Constables Uribe Alamina and Ronel Flowers; and officer Anthony Simpson.


Foodie Friday: Recipe for Belize Goat Cheese Lovers!
Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor is one of the most amazing foods in the world, a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others. We have plenty of goat cheese enthusiasts visiting our restaurants daily either at our Mariposa Restaurant, Macal River Camp Restaurant or downtown San Ignacio’s Guava Limb Cafe. We also use this cheese in several of our dishes. So, we thought our food and beverage department would find a goat cheese class very informative. We invited Mrs. Collet, a longtime friend of the Flemings to give the F&B department a short but knowledgeable class on how to use and pair this delicacy. She brought some of her famous homemade goat cheese for the staff to taste and enjoy. She also gave us some helpful tips and mouthwatering recipes that our chefs will be sure to try!

10 Reasons Why You Have to Vacation in Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye, Belize is one of the top destinations for travelers worldwide. The island is rich with Mayan history and has incredible adventures and scenic views. Listed below are the Top 10 reasons why you have to vacation in Ambergris Caye.

Tiburon Rum + white = a night of flavorful fun
Many of you have heard me talk about the “new San Pedro math” before. Last nights Party was a perfect example of that ….. Tiburon Rum + white = a night of flavorful fun I am still an alcohol virgin so I was very happy that Basil said I could bring 2 plus 1’s to the event as my taste testers. I knew both professional photographer, Karen Brodie and fellow blogger, Kendall Beymer would be ready and willing to share their rum party review and a picture with you. I will share my thoughts on the event and more about Tiburon later in this post.

Carnaval in San Pedro With Fin Kardashian Means Paint and SELFIES!
Fin no longer needs any introduction and there is no one better to send out into the field when the town of San Pedro, Belize is going to come alive with color, glitter and cross-dressing. Carnaval! The final celebration before lent begins. Here’s our little monster – Fin Kardashian. HELLO WORLD! So this weekend was Carnaval in San Pedro – which means Carnival or Mardi Gras in other places – and to me FUN and VODKA. I did not miss out on it. Carnaval is celebrated all around the world but the world needs to know that WE do it in San Pedro. There is a little feather and a little glitter but there are more PAINT and EGGS…which makes it way BETTER! I mean who doesn’t like to look like the cover of Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP.

Lackadaisical Day in Paradise
I know it’s been a few days since our last post but between the slow internet and my lack of cold-weather clothing to enjoy the outdoors (it’s been quite cool here), I was a little bit pissy. Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes to upload one photo to the blog so when that happens, I slam the laptop shut, curse the internet provider and proceed to play Bubble Witch on my iPad. Yes. I mentioned it’s been cool here. A little rainy at times, as well. Some of you live in very cold, even Arctic areas of the world and I feel your pain. We are Minnesota gals and understand your desire to be out of the colder climates with your butt planted in the sand on a tropical island, so hearing me say that it’s cold here probably sounds ridiculous. (I can hear my family and friends back home cursing me out right now). However, there are Canadians down here that are freezing their tukas’ off, too! We had been hearing a lot about the breakfast and brunch items being served by Drita’s Delights at Wayo’s Bar so we called in an order to be picked up. We ordered a bagel sandwich and a “bagel overload”. Here’s a look at her menu.

International Sourcesizz

Poseidon Academy At MVHS Plans Trip To Belize
The Poseidon Academy students at Mar Vista High School will take part in a trip of a lifetime to Belize next month where they will get to experience the rainforest and the reef habitats and take advantage of what they have to offer. The Poseidon Academy which focuses on marine biology was founded 20 years ago at Mar Vista High School by science teachers Mario Olmos and John Ashley. The academy, referred to as “a school within a school,” is one of 230 California Partnership Academies funded by the state. Over the years the students of the academy have had the opportunity to take part in trips where they learn science first hand. “You can’t study marine science out of a book or lecture; you have to experience it,” said Olmos who teaches marine biology, biology and oceanography. Olmos often takes his students in the field including close by places like the beach where they collect algae and study invertebrates and the Chula Vista Nature Center. Olmos also takes his students to Catalina Island for a three day trip to the Catalina Island Marine Institute. The students have also traveled to Joshua Tree.

Ground-breaking science could help manage sharks
Can we use environmental DNA to investigate shark populations? Judith Bakker, a Ph.D. candidate at Salford University in Manchester, England, was conducting shark research in The Bahamas last week with support from the Bimini Biological Field Station, often referred to as the Sharklab. Bakker is developing methods for scientists to be able to collect environmental DNA, or eDNA, and to test it for the presence of shark species. The study is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Washington, D.C.-based non-government organization that worked closely with The Bahamas National Trust and the government to create a shark sanctuary in Bahamian waters in 2011. eDNA is made up of DNA shed by animals and anything else that lives in the sea, this DNA can be either free-floating or bound to particulate matter found in the water column.

Mother Nature stars on Caribbean trip
A trip to four ports on a seven-day cruise in the Western Caribbean is a lesson in lean versus luxury living. In Roatan, Honduras, laundry hangs to dry under the protection of stilt-built, stark-looking houses because it's always raining — 100 inches a year — and few people can afford a clothes dryer. In Cozumel, Mexico, pretty houses painted pastel colors dot the roadways while sunbathers frequent beautiful beaches. Belize is somewhere between economically, thanks to retirees flocking there for upscale homes priced around $250,000.

Petition: Direct flights from Canada to Belize
North America has 5000-7000 baby boomers retiring daily. A lot of these people are looking to retire to the warm climates of the Caribbean. Presently many Canadians are living (or looking to live) in Belize. The only options for flights right now is with US carriers, through points in the USA. Lost luggage and getting bumped from flights is a common occurence not to mention the high costs associated with these connections. Westjet presently flies direct to Cancun, so why not Belize which is now a popular destination for vacationers as well as retirees. With the help of this petition, cheaper flights and more convenience can be obtained for the Canadian traveller.

The Belizean Bruiser. She's a knockout!
There are easier ways to put together money for your child’s college tuition fund, but don’t tell that to mother, high school teacher, Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and UFC bantamweight Marion Reneau, who several years back wondered, like any other parent, how she was going to eventually afford college for her now 13-year-old son. “I was struggling,” she admits. “I was a single mother, and even as a teacher I was living paycheck to paycheck, trying to pay the bills and his daycare expense, which was a lot of money, and not only that, but I was renting at the time and paying a car note. It was very expensive.” A lifelong athlete who received college scholarship offers for soccer and track and field, opting to become a heptathlete at the University of California Long Beach, Reneau soon found something that caught her eye which could also make her some money on the side.


  • Making la isla Bonita, pilot episode, min. A behind the scenes short documentary of the making of Belize first telenovela pilot episode, featuring former Miss Italy actor and model Denny Mendez, a local San Pedro cast and crew. A longer cut will premiere at Cayo film festival later this year.

  • Ross Kemp On Gangs Belize, 45min. Full Documentary,

  • Wahoo in Belize 45 minute fight, 5min. Wahoo are distinguished from King Mackerel by their Latitudinal strips vs Longitudinal strips of the latter.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 3min. On the way back to San Pedro from the blue hole.




  • Living in Rural Belize feb 20, 11min.

  • Belize City Tour, 7min. While in Belize City, we took a city tour led by a gentleman named George, who did a very nice job.

  • Tarpon Feeding Caye Caulker Belize, 1/2min. Unsuspecting tourists feed fish the wrong way. Watch as Leon's hand gets eaten by a Tarpon.

  • A drive in downtown San Ignacio., 7min.

  • Castillos Hardware 15th Year Anniversary Raffle, 5min. Congratulations to Castillos Hardware for celebrating their 15th Anniversary. To show their gratitude they gave away $15,000 to their customers in their raffle.

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