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#501506 - 02/25/15 01:11 PM Today's Belize News: February 25, 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

Melonie Gillett releases new single!
The super talented Belizean songstress, Melonie Gillett has released a new song and it definitely one to party too. Titled “Soca Mode”, the single was released on Friday, February 20th and embraces the party culture of Belize. It makes for the perfect song to dance the night away!

Late night shooting in San Pedrito: toddler killed, mother in critical condition
A toddler is dead, while his mother remains in a critical but stable condition, after they were shot while sleeping inside their apartment building. The victims are two-year-old Charlie Daniel “Danny” Espat and 33-year-old Aleyda Sandoval, both of an unnamed street in the San Pedrito Area of San Pedro Town. The two were at home sleeping when at least 10 shots were fired toward the direction of their apartment around 1:45AM on Tuesday February 24th. According to Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation, Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos, Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law- husband Rolando “Roli” Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the ground level of a two storey wooden structure. Sometime around 1:45AM, they woke up to the sound of several loud bangs after which Sandoval realized she and her baby had been shot.

San Pedrito shooting leaves toddler dead and mother injured
Initial investigation revealed that earlier at about 1:45AM, Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law-husband Rolando Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the lower flat of a two storey wooden structure in the San Pedrito Area when they heard several loud bangs after which she realized that she and her baby had been injured. They were both rushed to the clinic where the toddler was pronounced dead at 2:25AM. Sandoval was given primary medical care and later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospiatl in a stable condition.The body of Daniel Espat was also transported to the morgue in Belize City. Police have since detained a 16-year-old male of San Pedrito area pending investigations.

Tiburon Rum officially launched in Belize
The newest award winning rum, Tiburon Rum, was officially launched in Belize on Wednesday, February 18th. Created from a collaboration between Basil Destefano and Traveller’s Rums Limited, Tiburon is a hand crafted, aged, premium rum that originated in Belizean soil. Since its inception, Tiburon Rum has captured several international awards and is quickly becoming a top seller in the liquor market. At their fabulous launch party, invited guests got the opportunity to taste the award winning rum.

Ambergris Today

Castillo's Hardware Gives Away $15,000 on 15th Anniversary
Celebrating a great milestone in the town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize last week was Castillo’s Hardware that his the BIG 15th Anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. Alfonso Castillo could not think of anything better than to celebrate along with the community that they hold dear at heart. They decided to give away $15,000 to their loyal costumers. So Castillo’s Hardware held a raffle and gave away 15 $1,000 prizes to 15 lucky winners. “It seems like just yesterday Ms. Miriam and I, along with one other worker opened our hardware store downstairs at the present Social Security building. We started out with 2,500 sq ft and a hired delivery truck and driver. Today we have 8,500 sq ft when we relocated here in August 2002. We have 15 dedicated staff members, some of whom are serving for over 10 years.

Free Specialized Clinical Services at the San Pedro Polyclinic
The Belize Medical and Dental Association will be conducting FREE specialized clinic on Saturday, 7th March, 9 am at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic. Services that will be available include: Pediatrician, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Neurologist, Urologist, ENT Specialist, Pediatric Surgery, Internist, Cardiologist, Nephrologists, Dermatologist and Orthopedic Surgery

Visiting Doctor Donates Pediatric Care Equipment to Poly Clinic
The Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II received another generous donation from a visitor of St. Pete, Florida. Dr. Mike Mazzaferro, a medical director who has volunteered at the Poly Clinic in the past during a medical trip to Belize, presented a very useful device to the doctors on Friday, February 20, 2015. This time around Dr. Mazzaferro was in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on vacation and decided to bring with him a very useful and cool donation to the polyclinic. He donated a Pedi-Sleeve (Pediatric Dosing System) which is a three-page protected sleeve worn on the forearm (like a quarterback) that displays pediatric medication dosing and equipment sizes. The sleeve contains information to provide medicinal dosage to children depending on their height. A quick measurement and the sleeve can quickly indicate the dosage needed for the child in case of emergencies and quick response situations, without the need for making calculations.

Two-Year-Old Dies in Neighborhood Shooting
Police reports state the bullets rang into the sleeping neighborhood of the San Pedrito area at around 1:40a.m. directed at the residence of Rolando Espat. Nine expended shells were discovered by the police at the crime scene as bullets pierced through the house straight into the bedroom where the family was sleeping. Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law- husband Rolando Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the lower flat of a two storey wooden structure when they heard several loud bangs after which she realized that she and her baby had been injured. In the process two-year-old Daniel Espat was fatally shot in the head and his mother 33-year-old Aleyda Espat was shot in the arm and back. The baby boy succumbed to his injuries while the mother is receiving treatment for her wounds, with a bullet still lodged in her back. Rolando Espat, who was also inside the house at the time of the shooting, did not receive any injuries. Police have since detained a 16-year-old male of San Pedrito Area and are still investigating the incident; it is believed that Roland Espat was the target of the assailants.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

From San Pedro Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council would like to make a clarification on accusations made on the Good Morning San Pedro TV Show of Mayor Daniel Guerrero by the present People’s United Party (PUP) slate contesting for election this March. Attached you will find a scanned letter of request from the Office Manager, Mr. Cervantes, requesting Central Park for the PUP’s political rally for either February 28th or March 1st of this year. Also attached is a scanned letter of response from Mayor Daniel Guerrero where he grants the PUP permission for usage of Central Park on Sunday, March 1, 2015. The San Pedro Town Council did not receive a formal request or notification in regards to the soliciting of Boca del Rio Park or the intent of relocating the rally from Central Park to the Boca del Rio Park. We take this opportunity to notify the general public that the Boca del Rio park, after the beautification project (installation of palapas, plants, re-painting of basketball court etc.), the SPTC has denied all requests to use the park for events or situations that may expose the park to any damages.

JOB OPPORTUNITY at CTV3 News
A vacancy exists at Centaur Communications Corporation Limited for the post of reporter at CTV3 News. The individual will be stationed in Corozal Town. Requirements: The applicant must be from the Corozal District, preferably male. - 6th Form Graduate - Good writing & oral skills in English and Spanish - Ambitious and outgoing - Willing to work long hours - Ability to work well in a team - Experience in journalism would be an asset Deadline for applications is March 6th 2015

New commercial center breaks ground in Chetumal Mexico
The initial investment will be to the tune of around Five Million US Dollars or 65 million pesos. "CAPITAL CENTER" will have 43 different businesses including, banking services, gymnasium, laundromat, sports bar, and more. The commercial center will be located at the corner of "Avenida Erik Paolo Martinez" and "Avenida 4 de Marzo". This announcement couldn't have come at a worse time for our Corozal Free Zone as we struggle for competitiveness with our Mexico neighbours. We hope there can be a new infusion of ideas and creativeness for our Corozal Free Zone.

Polling places in Corozal
All registered Voters for the Upcoming Corozal Town Council Elections on March 4th, 2015 are advised that there will be three (Polling Areas) designated to cast your votes. Depending in the area that you are registered, you will need to go to the right polling area to cast your vote. COROZAL TOWN COUNCIL ELECTION, 2015 Polling Area No. 39 (ST. FRANCIS XAVIER ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL), Polling Area No. 40. (ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN SCHOOL), and Polling Area No. 41 (OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE R.C. SCHOOL In accordance with the Town Council Act and the applicable Regulations, I Mario Tun, Returning Officer, hereby give notice that more candidates having been nominated than there are seats to be filled, the election of one (1) Mayor and six (6) other members of the Corozal Town Council will be held on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 between the hours of seven o’clock (7:00 A.M.) in the morning and six o’clock (6:00 P.M.) in the afternoon of the same day in the following Polling Stations established in the various Polling Areas described hereunder:-

"The Year of Technology: Bridging the Digital Divide"
University of Belize students in Belmopan received their tablets today. Students of the institutions listed below can look out for theirs this week. Kindly check with your school's administration for the distribution dates. Corozal Junior College St. John's Junior College University of Belize (all campuses) Galen University (all campuses) Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College Belize Adventist Junior College Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College Muffles Junior College University of the West Indies Open Campus Wesley Junior College San Pedro Junior College Sacred Heart Junior College Pope John Paul II Junior College Independence Junior College

GOB CLARIFIES EXPENDITURE FIGURE CONTAINED IN COST SAVINGS REPORT
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) of the Government of Belize makes reference to a Report on Proposed Cost-Savings Strategy for the Government of Belize dated June 2014 which was prepared by the Committee to Evaluate and Advise on the Cost Savings Measures for the Government of Belize. This Committee is comprised of members of both staff side and unions side as an offshoot of the Collective Bargaining Process. The MOF wishes to clarify that the figure of $568,453 mentioned in the Report as being GOB’s Advertisement Cost paid to Wave Radio for the Year 2013 is incorrect as it actually represents the payments to this media house for a three year period, being FY2011/12, FY 2102/2013 and part of FY2013/14. (up until the date of the Report), and not for the single year FY2012/2013. The other expenditure figures in the Report related to Advertisement Costs are also for the same three year period.

Hon. Dean Barrow Heads to Summit of Heads of Government of the CARICOM States
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow will be attending the Summit of Heads of Government of the CARICOM States in Nassau, Bahamas.

"The Year of Technology: Bridging the Digital Divide"
In his New Year's address, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow said, "So if 2014 was a year of infrastructure, 2015 will be a year of technology. Thus, Government is purchasing from the Asus company in Taiwan nine thousand tablet computers so as to be able to provide one for each tertiary level student in Belize. As a result, every student at UB and all sixth forms and junior colleges countrywide, will be gifted one of these brand new tablets as we prepare to march into technology's brave new world." Delivering on that promise, today at an official ceremony, students at the University of Belize main campus were the first group of recipients of the tablets. For the remainder of the week, tablets will be delivered to all tertiary level schools throughout the country.

San Pedro Aids Commission Thanks it's Sponsors and the Business Community of San Pedro
for supporting this year's Carnaval Comparsa

Pedro Guerra Mena Park Renovation
Rotary is celebrating 110 years this week. To celebrate, the Lin-Wood Interators are here in Cayo, and they are teaming up with the Rotaract clubs of Benque and San Ignacio to do some community service projects. The first one was a renovation of Benque's Pedro Guerra Mena park. Thanks, Rotary, and happy birthday! "The Lin-Wood Rotary Interact Club conducted their International Service Project in Belize. In Benque Viejo they sponsored the renovation of the Pedro Guerra Mena Park in the New Area. Our members donated their time today to paint and mow the grass."

Exotic Caye Fire .... Under control
At around 3:30am the southern most roadside building started fire. It spread one building towards the beach and then one building north. The SPFD did a pretty good job keeping the north building from completely burning and keeping it from spreading more towards the beach. Under control now.

NOTICE from The San Pedro Police Formation
Please be informed that you’re cordially invited to a community meeting that will be held at the San Pedrito Park on Thursday February 26, 2015 at 6:00PM. Organized by the San Pedro Police Department, this meeting is in order to discuss current social issues, and your voices will be heard. Your presence will play a vital role in the rehabilitation of the San Pedrito Community.

Exotic Caye fire
Just wanted to keep everyone updated. The resort did catch on fire early this morning (these taken at 3:30am). Everyone is safe. Three buildings towards the south side are destroyed but the bar is okay. We will be open for normal business hours today. Stay safe everyone!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, February 24, 2015: 73. FANTASY 5: 23 11 27 19 21 O

Cayo Animal Health Clinics
CAWS and HBHS are teaming up again to bring in vets to do some free spay and neuter clinics in Cayo. They will also have deworming medicine and vitamins. Saturday...the 29th??...maybe the 28th this year...the clinic will be in Santa Elena. Sunday, it will be in Bullet Tree Falls. Thanks CAWS! Thanks, HBHS!

Caribbean Tales Submissions
If you have a project you would like to submit to Caribbean Tales, please don't hesitate to do so now. NICH has partnered wtih Caribbean Tales to open more doors to Belizean film projects and our Film and Media Arts Unit within ICA stands by to assist you in preparing your application form to maximize your chances. Contact us at fmau@nichbelize.org for more info

Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, Mr. Benjamin Ho visits Chiquibul
To observe macaws along the Chalillo Reservoir.

Channel 7

The Murder Of A Toddler
Last week Thursday, police found 2 men on northern Ambergris Caye with gunshots to their head. The week before that, a 13 year-old girl was shot in San Pedro Town, and 2 days later, 32 year-old Kareem Eaghan was shot. Indeed, Belize's #1 tourist town has become ground zero for violence fuelled by the drug drops at the north of the island. But now, it has gone too far: a 2 year-old boy was killed by gunshots in the San Pedrito Area this morning - he died in the embrace of his mother: An innocent life taken by bullets meant for adults. The background to the story reveals an even greater pattern of violence - Daniel Ortiz found out more on san Pedro today: Bullets penetrated the Espat's family home early this morning, just before 2 a.m. Rolando Espat Sr., his wife, Aleyda Sandoval, and their 2 year-old baby, Daniel Espat, were all sleeping in their bed when an assailant, or assailants opened fire on their front door.

Another Jaguar Paw Junction Fatality
Last night we told you about the accident at mile 37 near the Jaguar Paw junction. It was the second serious accident at that spot in a week - and the only good news the second time around was that it was not fatal. Well, there's no good news now: 58 year old accident victim Pablo Martinez died this morning. Last night at newstime when we spoke to his family, he was in a stable condition at Medical Associates - but at 4:00 AM, he died of a heart attack. I spoke with his family members this afternoon and they are demanding justice for their loved one. Here's his son, Jose Martinez, followed by his wife, Anna Martinez: Jose Martinez, Son "This morning at 4am he got a heart attack and the doctor said that if he get another heart attack, he will pass away. So, this morning at around 11am, they call me they told me news that he passed away."

Fin. Sec. Says Petrocaribe Rolling Out
The Petrocaribe programme - it has the Barrow Administration awash in cash and freely funding multiple infrastructure programmes across the country. But what if Petrocaribe just went away? With the turmoil in Venezuela, it's a topic that's been speculated on for months, and today the Financial Secretary Joe Waight said that's just what could happen. Here's what he told the media this morning in Belmopan:.. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary "The Petro Caribe is tenuous, going forward. The world oil price has fallen and therefore the amount of money coming from the Petro Caribe has also fallen. How much longer Petro Caribe will last, we don't know. But we are not planning that it will last for perpetuity." According to the Financial Secretary, the Petrocaribe Fund has accumulated 270 million dollars - and there's 160 million currently in the account - meaning about 110 million dollars has been spent.

Joe Waight Says 500K WAVE Media Expenditure is Correct, But Not Quite
Another issue that the Financial Secretary had to address today was a report that's been in circulation from mid 2014 - but is surfacing now in the run-up to municipal elections. It is compiled by a Committee To Evaluate And Advise On Cost Saving Measures. The group, comprising senior union representatives and public officers assesses all government spending and makes recommendations to the Prime Minister on areas where costs could be cut. One such area is media advertising. According to the report, more than half a million dollars was spent on the UDP-owned WAVE Radio and TV in the year 2013. That's an awful lot of spending for a single year, but today the Financial Secretary told the media, it's about right:.. Mike Rudon, Ch5 "There is one figure which says that Wave in particular received over 500,000 in 2013 for advertisements. Again, are you aware of that?" Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary "I guess that was in the report and as far as I know it is accurate. I've ask them to substantiate it, to bring the copies of the Smart Stream invoices, but I was told by my people that the number is real."

Man Claims GSU Beatdown
There is another allegation of brutality against the GSU tonight. This time it comes from the Port Loyola Area of Belize City. A teenager says police brutalized him for no reason - and left him badly banged up. Monica Bodden found out more when she visited the family today:.. Monica Bodden reporting On Friday night GSU officers conducted a search here at this address on Rivero Street on the Southside of Belize City. 18 year old Shaquille Patnett was home at the time, inside the yard in one of the bungalow houses. He soon became another victim of police brutality. Shaquille Patnett - Alleging police brutality "I was sitting down in my chair and I heard the GSU outside and so I opened the door a little bit because the door was closed. I didn't want them to run in here and see me, like I was hiding them and so I opened the door. They ran inside and they ask who and I lives here and I told them only my mom and I."

GOB Delivers ASUS Tablets To UB Students
Over 500 tablets were distributed to university students today. It's a follow up on a promise that Prime Minister Dean Barrow made in his New Year's Address. Today - just in time for municipal elections - a ceremony was held at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan to hand out the first set of ASUS tablets. The gym was packed with eager students and I spoke with some of them today about their new gadgets. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "It's not necessarily only that we wish for you to use it as a tool for your education advances, it is especially to be used however to bridge the digital divide to make sure that those of you who are still outside the loop, in terms of the use of the technology." Courtney Weatherburne Reporting In order to bridge that divide, university students were each given an ASUS tablet today. Hundreds of students waited patiently in line with their ID's and application forms to get their device. When they did, some began to initialize their devices to browse through some of the features.

Faber Says Teacher Misconduct Sometimes Covered Up
In the past few weeks - multiple reports of gross sexual misconduct by teachers have emerged in the North, Central and West of the country at the primary, secondary and now tertiary level. Today, at the UB event we asked the Minister of Education about it and he said that the reports had not reached his desk - but there are instances of professional misconduct in the teaching ranks, and a culture of covering it up: Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "But let's say for instance, somebody gets into the classroom, puts on the proverbial sheep skin on the wolf, for instance. What we do then is very important and that is where I cannot find a fault with our system. If we don't know about something then, there is not much that we can do and there are many players out there who help to cover what is going on and when I say that, I mean the schools themselves, sometimes the parents refuse to make the complaints, sometimes the school want to embarrass or they protect, sometimes the churches are involved, sometimes there is politics involved, I will tell you. And there can be no excuse or that and I want to place on the record certainly my position and our ministry's position, that that should not be tolerated. These kinds of cover-ups should never be tolerated and any person, especially those that are given the kind of sacred trust to take care of our children. This ministry does not condone that kind of behavior and those persons should be dealt with according to the law."

Principal-Hate At Arms Of Love School
At the Arms of Love Primary School in San Ignacio Town - the charge is of maladministration not sexual misconduct. The parents say the Principal is deliberately difficult and they want her removed. A month ago, parents kept their kids home in protest. Since then, the ministry has gotten involved and the District Education officer discussed it today:.. Luis Carballo, Principal Education Officer - Cayo District "The allegations against her is the way that she has been treating parents and teachers. And parents are concern because of the way she has been treating their children, that she shouts at them, sometimes pull them or argues with them or in a way that they feel it's not necessary and with some of the teachers, they believe that she treats them unfairly and sometimes shouts at them in the presence of other parents and things like that. Because of their frustration, it led to about 50% of the students not attending school for a period of time. The management side saw it fit at the time to put on administrative leave the principal, so that they can carry out an investigation with the parents and the teachers and the students, as to the way they have been treated and things like that."

The Case Of Compensation For Conorquie
Tourism Police Officer Danny Conorquie was killed in September of last year - while on duty at Caracol. And while the lawman was likely killed by Guatemalan bandits in the line of duty, his family says it has not gotten promised compensation. We asked the financial secretary about it today:.. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary "We did make some payment. I don't have the figures. Again, it's a goodwill gesture. He was a tourism police as I understand it, there are certain benefits that should have been paid due to the death and above that. I think the government paid $10,000, I am not sure. I think the government paid something towards the family, with more to come. I really don't have the figures in front of me. The legal payments when somebody dies, in harness is very small, depending on your category."

15 K For Elisa
The Financial secretary also had to answer on the compensation for Elisa Hunter. She's the 31 year old woman who was knocked down by the Minister Wilfred Elrington's driver on November. The mother of one, died days later. Government paid five thousand dollars for the family to fly her body back to her home country of Nicaragua but will they pay more -w e asked the Fin Sec:.. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary "There was a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ex gratia payment which my instructions were to hold on the payment pending clarification as to what the insurance company would actually pay. Having said that, we had already paid about almost $5,700 for funeral expenses. The government gave an ex gratia payment. But since yesterday, I spoke to my minister, the Prime Minister, who said the insurance company is taking too long, let us go ahead and make the payment. So the payment is in train, the $10,000 ex gratia - a few more days, it should be paid."

PM to Caricom
And while his financial secretary was in Belize fending off the media, Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to attend the Summit of Heads of Government of the CARICOM States in Nassau, Bahamas. The meeting, which will be held on February 26 and 27 is to continue the CARICOM Mandate. That mandate includes working together to improve standards of living and work of the people of the region; the full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States; and enhanced levels of international competitiveness.

The ATC Dispute: Both Sides Now
Today, Air Traffic Controllers returned to work as normal at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. This is after a sick out on Saturday that immobilized operations at the country's only international airport for five hours. Since then, operations have been normalized and the controllers have met with the Civil Aviation Department bosses to air some grievances. We don't know what was said behind closed doors - but we do know that the most cogent list of grievances was circulated by COLA - which seemed to act as a sort of spokesperson for the group of 18 Air Traffic Controllers. Here's what COLA had to say and how the Director of Civil Aviation rebutted it:.. Geovannie Brackett, President - COLA "Is that they have made it very clear to the management that one of the biggest problem that they have is a shortage of professional qualified controllers and what has frustrated the members of the control, the controllers, is that some of them have not been able to take their vacation adequately. Some of them have had to work for more than 12 hours, and in some extreme cases, 18 hours and yet have to return back in a morning shift after leaving work at 2 in the morning - that is pretty much frustrating. I can only as president of COLA relay after I have done my research, to relay what has been told to me and I could only understand their plight."

Women Out Of The Shadows
As a part of women's month, every year in the month of March female artists from around the country take part in an exhibit called Women in Art. Curator for this year's project is Belizean Painter Rachel Huesner who has teamed up with the Institute of Creative Arts. The exhibit theme for this year is "Shadows" and Huesner is calling for all female artists who are interested in submitting art work to be featured in the upcoming exhibit. Pieces can be submitted to the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts and deadline of submission will be March 6th. Interested Artists who need more information can contact Rachel Heusner at 2-2-7-2-1-1-0 or - 6-2-2-9-5-5-1.

Street Art Bigger This Year
It's the fifth year for the annual Street Art Festival and this year is expected to be bigger. On Saturday afternoon downtown Albert Street all the way down to South Street will be lined with booths showcasing live art, fashion and a wide selection of entertainment. The festival offers artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and artwork in a dynamic public setting. 7news spoke to one of the organizers today. The Festival starts at 2pm on Saturday afternoon and is being celebrated under the theme "Street Art Festival, come party with us".

We Could Be Heroes
The House of Culture in Corozal is hosting the 6 anniversary of the exhibit called "Belize's Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors". The exhibit focuses on figures in Belizean history who were influential in changing the social or political landscape in their time so that the society provided equal opportunity for all. The 3 new heroes who were introduced to the public as part of the exhibit were Nurse Vivian Seay, Nurse Dorothy Bradley and Jesus Ken. Research Assistant Linette Sabido explained a bit about the contributions of Jesus Ken: Schools in the north stopped by to view the exhibit which opened today.

Remembering Romaldo
The funeral for Police Constable Romaldo Herrera was held this afternoon at St. Martin's De Porres in Belize City. Now, Romaldo Herrera was not a big name in Belize - in fact he only briefly flashed across the public stage - but when he did, he shined brighter than most. That was in February of the year two thousand, when he was a BDF second lieutenant in his mid 20's. Herrera was the senior officer in a 4 man BDF and Police patrol and accused of crossing into Guatemala. All four were captured by Guatemaln Armed Forces on February 24th, and put in a Guatemalan jail. Herrera was their leader and when we spoke to him 15 years ago, he was showed uncommon lucidity:..

Channel 5

San Pedro Shooting Leaves Toddler Dead
Family members and the community on San Pedro Ambergris Caye are tonight mourning the terrible loss of two year old Daniel Espat, who was shot and killed as he slept. [...]

Kareem Eagan Detained for Questioning in Deadly Shooting
Thirty-two-year-old Kareem Eagan, who is a person of interest in this morning’s bloodbath, was shot in the right foot in San Pedrito on February second, as he sat inside his [...]

Fin Sec Says Report is the Real Deal
A report allegedly commissioned by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in 2014 has been making waves in the media. It’s a white paper type document on cost-cutting measures in government, and [...]

UB Silent on Alleged Sex Scandal
The University of Belize has remained absolutely close-mouthed about reports that three faculty members are being accused of sexual misconduct with students at the facility. There are reports that at [...]

Minister of Education Wants Answers
After that roundabout answer without anything concrete, we tried to press the minister for more details. The alleged UB sex scandal is only one example of various allegations of that [...]

Teacher Suspended for Alleged Sexual Misconduct
And since we were on the subject of inappropriate sexual conduct in schools, we did some digging into another scandal, this one at the Mopan Technical School. A male teacher [...]

Moody’s Predicts Loss for Bondholders
The 2014-2015 budget speech is expected to read after the March fourth Town Council elections and while there is a three percent economic growth to boast, the rating agency Moody’s [...]

Free Tablets for UB Students
Today, the Ministry of Education invited the media to a breakfast where they discussed the road forward. But that was only a prelude to the real show – the distribution [...]

An Update on Petrocaribe
Those tablets cost about one million U.S. and reliable word is that it was paid for with Petrocaribe monies. We haven’t heard much about Petrocaribe lately on the local scene, [...]

Still No Money for Hunter Family
In November 2014, Elisa Hunter was knocked down and killed on the George Price Highway. The vehicle which hit her was government issued, and was taking Minister of Foreign Affairs [...]

The Value of the Sacrifice Made by Danny Conorquie
In October 2014, when asked about compensation which would be paid to the family of slain tourism police officer Danny Conorquie, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that it would reflect, [...]

Meighan Charged for S.S.B. Offences
A well-known Belize City businessman, Joseph Meighan of JB’s Security Firm, was hauled to court today for failure to pay three months of Social Security for his workers.  This morning, [...]

San Pedro Minor Molested by Father
There is very disturbing news tonight about a father who molested his twelve year old daughter. The minor who lives in San Pedro told police that while she was at [...]

OW Man Charged for Drug Trafficking
An Orange Walk man has been charged with drug trafficking after he was discovered with eight hundred and sixty four grams of cannabis. On Monday around six thirty in the [...]

Drug War Threatens Residents of San Pedro
A near-fatal shooting in San Pedrito on February eleventh preceded this morning’s deadly attack at the Espat apartment in which two year old Daniel was killed.  It is firmly believed [...]

Workshop on Preserving Antiquities Opens
In Belize, there are Mayan, colonial and modern artifacts from different cultures that are kept under lock and key to preserve the tangible work of art. Since Monday, representatives from [...]

Interpol Contacted in Stolen Artifacts Case
Still on the issue of stolen artifacts, which globally represents a billion-dollar industry in the parallel market. Over the weekend, the San Pedro House of Culture was burglarized and stolen [...]

Call to Artists for Women in Art Exhibition
The annual Women in Art Exhibition will open at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on March twelfth. It takes place during Women’s Month as one of the calendar [...]

Education Reference Center Launched
Have you considered studying in the United States? Well, your opportunity to do so just became easier. Today, the U.S Embassy and the Leo Bradley Library teamed up to open [...]


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#501507 - 02/25/15 01:11 PM Re: Today's Belize News: February 25, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

CTV3

BWU Not Happy With Negotiations With BSI
Representatives of the Belize Workers Union met with officials of the Belize Sugar Industry to further negotiate salary increments for about 160 hourly paid workers at the company. These workers include those from storage in Belize City and the Ship dock in Corozal. Chairman of the BWU Orange Walk Branch Ramiro Gongora says they are not too content with the outcome of the discussions. “Well the negotiations were based on the conclusion of the 2011/2014 which ended on July 1st 2014 from thereon we have to negotiate on a yearly basis or two three years as to achieving a SBA for the workers at the factory. We had targeted a fifteen percent increase on our initial basis because for the past 2011 to 2014 we receive 14% increase for those three years and we were looking a target about that but we had arguments with BSI and is something that we as employees and beneficiaries need to be aware that the European Union will be terminating the agreement with the ACP countries and that is something that we as employee need to focus as yet if the benefits for the employees is something that is reasonable and we can say that at this point we did not like the outcome but it is a negotiation process and whatever is achieved is for the members.”

Moody Says Bond Holders Will Loose When It Comes To Oil Investment In Belize
An investor service reports that falling oil output and a weakening fiscal account in Belize may hurt growth and cause losses to bondholders two and a half years after it defaulted on about $550 million of bonds, according to an article on the Bloomberg Business website. The report goes on to say that quote, “oil production in Belize declined twenty percent in January through August 2014 from a year earlier and will fall to less than 500,000 barrels this year after declining 23 percent in 2013 meaning that the country’s primary surplus, or budget balance before interest payments, will shift to a deficit in 2015,” end of quote. What this translates into, according to the report, is that the risk of losses to bondholders remains considerable especially since the country may run out of oil by 2017. “Debt sustainability is fragile. There are downside risks to fiscal performance over the next 2-3 years,” it added.

Three Men Charged With Possession of Cannabis
A search conducted by Orange Walk Police over the weekend in Trial Farm proved successful for the authorities. According to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk formation, Superintendent Dennis Arnold, the search resulted in the detention of 3 men and one female person who were found in the residence on Hummingbird Street. SUPT. DENNIS ARNOLD – Officer Commanding, OW POLICE “On the 22nd day of February 2015 at about 5:30pm police visited #26 Hummingbird Street Trial Farm Area where a search was conducted and approximately 246 grams of cannabis was found and three persons were arrested yet to b charge and they are in custody on today’s date police went up to that same yard and found approximately 684 grams of cannabis where one person was arrested and both incident the person awaiting trial for drug trafficking.”

PM Takes Part In The 36th Annual Summit Of Head Of Government Of The CARICOM
The Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Barrow, left the country today to take part in the 36th annual Summit of Heads of Government of the CARICOM States in Nassau, Bahamas scheduled to take place on the 26th and the 27th of February. During the summit Caribbean heads of state are expected to address a variety of issues including the creation of a marijuana commission, regional food security initiatives and the recent controversial court ruling by the Dominican Republic that denies the children of foreign nationals born in the country the automatic right to claim citizenship.

No Arrest Made On Case Of Christian Villalobos, Investigations Continue
Last week Monday we told you about a fatal road traffic incident that claimed the life of 19 year old Christian Villalobos, a Louisiana area resident, who was hit on mile marker 61 near the mameyal curve. When we left you, police were seeking the help of the public in identifying the driver since they believed he was struck from behind and left for dead. Today, police in Orange Walk Town say they are closer to arresting the person responsible. Officer Commanding the Orange Walk formation, Superintendent Dennis Arnold gave us an update on that case file… SUPT. DENNIS ARNOLD – Officer Commanding, OW POLICE “We are still canvasing that area because apparently we are following all leads and we yet to follow a lead from the same village and we believe that soon there will be an arrest.”

Police Charges One Man For Traffic Offences
One man has been arrested and charged for the hit and run incident on February 19th that left a sixteen year old hospitalized with serious injuries. Following the incident, Corozal Police conducted an intense investigation and soon after officers located the vehicle. Police subsequently arrested and charged Ismael Mosias Gomez of San Victor Village for six traffic offences. These include failed to report an accident, failed to stop and render aid, drove without care and attention, drove unlicensed motor vehicle, drove motor vehicle without third party risk insurance and negligent grievous harm. Police report that Gomez has been fined and disqualified for the offences with exception of the negligent harm due to the fact that the victim is still hospitalized.

Another Disturbing Case Of Carnal Knowledge In Chan Chen Village
Corozal Police are tonight investigating another disturbing case of carnal knowledge and are seeking one man in connection to the report. That report was made by a fifteen year old female, a Belizean domestic of Chan Chen Village. She, along with her mother, told police that she had left her house in San Pedro Town on December 16th 2014 in the company of a male person she knows very well and headed to Chan Chen Village. The minor told authorities that she has been sexually active with the male individual since December 19th 2014 to the 16th of February this year. A medical examination concluded that the girl was carnally known and police are now looking for the accused who is also from Chan Chen Village. He is being sought for the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Gun Shots On La Isla Bonita Leaves Toddler Death
In the wee hours of this morning on La Isla Bonita, gunshots rang out in the San Pedrito Area shattering the calm of the night and injuring two persons, including a two year old toddler fatally wounding him. The area has been seeing a spate in increase of gunfire and according to police they are looking at all possible angles as to what may have led the gunman to discharge his firearm at the family. In an interview over the telephone, Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Officer Commanding the coastal zone, told us the family was targeted whilst they slept in their apartment located on the lower flat of a two storey wooden structure in the San Pedrito Area. “Police responded immediately to the residence of Mr Rolando Espat and upon the arrival they learnt that the victim had already been transported to the Poly clinic and as a result we made our way to the Poly clinic where on arrival at the Clinic we saw doctor attending to a minor, a baby toddler, a two year old, whose name we later learnt to be Daniel Espat and we observed that this toddler was suffering from some what appears to be gunshot injuries in the head, shortly afterwards that doctor pronounce the baby dead and we also at the hospital we notice that the mother was there and her name was Mrs Aleida Sandoval 33 years, Belizean housewife of San Pedrito area, San Pedro Town and she was observed to be suffering of gunshot injury from the left part of her hand by the elbow area and it is understood that the bullet was lodged in her back, at the scene we observed that the door to the apartment had about eight to nine bullet holes and at the crime scene we found five plugs and one expended shell.”

LOVE FM

Toddler Shot In Head Whilst He Sleeps
Residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are in shock at the news of the death of a two year old boy following a shooting incident that occurred on the island last night. We spoke to the Officer Commanding the San Pedro Police Station, Superintendent Luis Castellanos for the details surrounding this shooting incident. SUPERINTENDENT LUIS CASTELLANOS “At 1:40am, we received information of shots being fired in the San Pedrito Area. As a result of that, we visited the area or we visited the residence of Rolando Espat, 46-year-old fisherman of the San Pedrito Area. However, upon arrival there, we learnt that the victims had already been taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic. So, we diverted our attention and went to the clinic and there we saw the doctors on duty attending to the two year old baby boy, who apparently had gunshot injuries to the head. Shortly afterwards, the doctor on duty informed us that the baby had passed away and we learnt his name to be Daniel Espat. Also at the clinic we met Aleida Sandoval, 33-year-old Belizean housewife of the San Pedrito Area who was also suffering from what appeared to be gunshot injuries to her left hand and the doctor on duty also informed us that apparently the round has lodged in her back. We returned to the crime scene where we found that the door of the apartment had several bullet holes and on the scene we found five slugs and one expended shell. So far, we are investigating the case.”

PlusTV

BDF corporal and wife get 5 years for ammunition
On 22nd December 2011 C.I.B personnel and S.B. personnel conducted a house search at the premises of 34 year old Gerald August, Belizean BDF Corporal of Billy White Village. Present was his wife, Loida Eunice August. During the search, Police found a black Pietro beretta .9 short/380 pistol with serial number tampered with. The gun was found inside a box with clothes. Further searches led to the discovery of a number of ammunition cartridges under a sewerage bowl behind the kitchen area and inside a black plastic bag buried about 6 inches in the ground covered with two pieces of board.

17 year old gets 5 years for gun
A 17 year old was found guilty of kept firearm without a gun license and kept Ammunition without a Gun License on February 24. The minor, was arrested in December of last year after C.I.B personnel were on mobile patrol on Flamingo Avenue, San Ignacio Town. The minor walked into Kenny’s store acting suspiciously. CIB personnel then followed him and saw the minor place a firearm beside a shelf inside the store. He was escorted to that area and Police found 9 mm Smith and Wesson brand pistol loaded with 2 live rounds.

Minister Faber Responds to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct at UB
On Tuesday the Ministry of Education hosted a media breakfast to discuss strategies of the Ministry of Education going into to the year 2015. After the breakfast meeting the Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber addressed the issues surrounding the recent influx of allegations concerning misconduct of teachers and educators in three different institutions. First Minister Faber addressed the recent allegations at the University of Belize that singled out three educators accusing them of sexual misconduct. “As you know I do not interfere directly into the affairs of the University of Belize. I appoint the Board of Governors here and that is about my role. I have not gotten a formal report of what has transpired, so I think that question is best served for the officials here at the university.”

COLA discusses air traffic controllers’ claims
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued a lengthy release over the weekend discussing information it received from sources within the Department of Civil Aviation concerning the the plight of the air traffic controllers working at the International Airport. The organization claims to have spoken directly to affected workers and shared some of their concerns. President Geovannie Brackett spoke to the issue of staff complement and the feeling that the lesser-trained workers are dragging down their superiors. “They told me that Miss Tracy from the BTB attended one of the meetings. They have made several expressions to Mr Garbutt. One of the things that frustrated them is that they have already expressed over and over [for] the past couple of years to various management of their plight. What I found troublesome was that there is about six folks, they say, that are on their third probation period. Now, if you hire me for three months and I’m on probation, and I fail the first probation, and you rehire me for the next three months, and another three months, and my incompetence affects the effectiveness of your role above me. Because every time you have to leave the directing of the news now to come babysit me, at some point you get frustrated.

Two year old dies after he and his mother are shot
A two year old boy is dead after he and his mother were shot in San Pedro early Tuesday morning. According to police reports, at around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday February 24, shots were fired in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro. 2-year-old Daniel Espat was shot twice to the head, while his mother, 33-year-old Aleyda Sandoval, was shot to the left elbow. Aleyda Sandoval, Daniel Espat and her common-law- husband Rolando Espat were at home sleeping in their apartment room located on the lower flat of a two storey wooden structure, when they heard several loud bangs. Bullets entered the room and the baby was hit, as well as the mother. They were both rushed to the San Pedro Poly Clinic, where Daniel Espat was pronounced dead at 2:25 a.m. Aleyda Sandoval was transported to K.H.M.H, in a stable condition and the body of Daniel Espat was transported to the morgue.

12 year old sexually assaulted by her father
A 12-year-old has reportedly been sexually assaulted by her own father. The minor, along with her mother, visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that on February 18, 2015 at 5:30 p.m., she was at her father’s house when he sexually assaulted her. A medical examination was also conducted on the 12-year-old that confirmed that she had been carnally known. Police are seeking the father pending charges.

Tourists take PGIA stress in stride
On Saturday we spoke to a few visitors heading out of Belize before normal service was resumed and for the most part they took the news of flight delays in stride. A young woman we spoke to said she hoped to get back in time for school in the U.S. Tourist : “We were told that the Air Traffic Contro...

Second truck accident in days at Jaguar Paw junction
A man is clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a towhead truck ran him over on the George Price Highway...

Supreme Court dismisses sugar farmer’s claim
Instead of allowing time for amendment of the claim of cane farmer Lucilo Teck against the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) to reflect a change in circumstances since permission was granted to file on January 23, on Monday Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith decided to dismiss the claim, on the ...

Controversial Wooden House Removed
Last three weeks, PlusNews broke the news of a controversial wooden structure that was being erected close to the National Assembly in Belmopan, purportedly in a green space area. But according to the City council,  the structure  was being built outside the designated green space area.Neverthele...

Ageing with Grace and Enthusiasm
Aging with Grace and Enthusiasm is a fairly new organization established in October of last year. The organization deals with “shut ins” or elderly people in the Belmopan area who are unable to leave their homes due to complications associated with ageing. You have probably heard of HelpAge Belm...

Unlicensed Driver who knocked down woman works for 88 Shopping Center
On Friday we reported on the charges pressed against 19 year old Boyd Lopez,  after he lost control of  a vehicle on Baghdad Street, Belize City,  and knocked down and killed 70 year old Marie Knowles. We reported that Mr Lopez was  driving a Toyota Highlander SUV which belonged to his boss...

San Ignacio Town Hall on Fire
The San Ignacio Town Hall caught fire on Monday evening. The building, right near the roundabout by the Hawksworth Bridge, houses the Town Hall on the second floor and NICH on the first floor...

Laborer admits to drug trafficking
25 year old Victor Bon Jovi Cima, a labourer of Belize City, who was charged with drug trafficking for a total of 690.4 grams of cannabis, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he appeared on Monday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He was originally charged with two counts for separ...

Inmate faces marijuana charges
He is already serving eight years’ imprisonment on a charge of manslaughter, but 50 year old Vincent “Steeno” Tillett could see more time behind bars after being charged with drug trafficking for cannabis found in his prison cell. Vincent Tillett appeared on Monday before Magistrate Herbert Panton a...

San Pedro House of Culture burglarised
56-year-old Guillermo Enrique Paz from San Pedro Town reported to police that on February 20 at 4:30 p.m. he locked up and secured the House of Culture located on Angel Coral Drive and left for the weekend. However, upon his return on February 23,  he noticed the front door was opened and some artef...

Amandala

Belize air traffic controllers strike!
Government officials are refusing to call the actions of air traffic controllers (ATC) at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) a “strike,” but there is no other way to explain the fact that six of the controllers called in “sick” on Saturday morning, causing chaos at the airport – flights could not leave, nor could flights land. Because the airport and its functions are so important to the nation, it is, by law, categorized as an essential service, and the controllers cannot take industrial action by declaring a strike. If they wish their employers to “get the message,” therefore, they must call in sick. The effect, essentially, is the same as going on strike – the airport shuts down. The tactic is well-known and used by “essential services” workers to make the government know that they are serious about their demands, without getting into trouble with the law. It is the first time, however, that an entire essential service has been forcibly shut down by this means.

Police autopsy: Otto Palma died by “hanging”
Otto Raimundo Palma, 23, of Ladyville, detained by Ladyville police on Tuesday, February 17, pending a charge of rape, was found dead in his cell at the police station at about 7:45 Wednesday evening, February 18. Police say that Palma was found suspended by a white T-shirt from the upper metal bar on the door of his cell. Police labeled his death a suicide, but Palma’s family do not believe the police. Today, Monday, Preston Reynolds, Palma’s father, visited Amandala and showed us a copy of the medical certificate which stated the cause of Palma’s death. In that certificate, police coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran listed hanging as the cause of “injury leading directly to [Palma’s] death”. The section listing “other significant conditions contributing to death” was blank, which could apparently invalidate the family’s theory that Palma was tortured and died during the ordeal.

Boyd Lopez, 19, charged for Maria Knowles’ death
A teenager who wreaked havoc in an area between Water Lane and Bagdad Street early Wednesday afternoon, when he lost control of a Toyota Highlander SUV and mowed down a retired educator a stone’s throw from her home, was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning on a slew of charges for which will be tried on indictment. After two nights in police custody, Regent Street resident Boyd Lopez was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Panton explained to the 19-year-old that he did not have to enter a plea on the charges, because they will be heard in the Supreme Court.

Déjà vu at Jaguar Paw cutoff
Tragedy struck again this morning at the Jaguar Paw Road junction when an 18-wheeler towhead truck, loaded with double containers, knocked down a village pastor after the driver of the truck lost control and veered across the highway. Belmopan police said that shortly after 10:00 a.m. today, they were alerted about a road traffic accident that had occurred between Miles 37 and 38 on the George Price Highway, near the Jaguar Paw Road junction. When they arrived at the scene, a man was seen lying on the left shoulder of the highway, while an overturned towhead with two loaded containers was observed a short distance away on the same side of the highway.

Premium gas prices up nearly 10%
Last Thursday, an official of the Ministry of Finance indicated to us that the price ease that was benefitting premium gasoline users, with the per gallon price being $8.03, while the price of regular gas was actually higher, at $8.04 a gallon, would come to an end around mid-week this week, but it turns out that later that same night, the Government of Belize, via the Ministry of Finance, implemented new controlled prices at the pumps, which has resulted in premium customers now paying nearly 10% more for a gallon of gas. The price adjustments implemented last Thursday night mean that consumers are now paying $8.80 for a gallon of premium gasoline while consumers of regular gasoline are now paying $8.13.

FIU not investigating US$54.8 mil in Swiss accounts
It’s far easier to move money from Belize via an offshore company than to deposit those funds in a local commercial bank, especially with more stringent banking requirements which have been implemented as part of the new anti-money laundering regime here in Belize. If a citizen shows up at the bank with an unusual amount of money to deposit—or any sizeable sum for that matter—that customer will most likely face a routine probe into the source of the funds and if the cash transaction is deemed suspicious, it could be cause for an immediate alert to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Less than two weeks ago, we reported on information published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) under the Swiss Leaks project, indicating that US$54.8 million had been deposited from Belize at the HSBC bank in Switzerland, and 9 Belizean citizens were included along with the clients of several offshore companies which had established accounts at the foreign bank.

BelCare showers Belizean children with footballs
In his interview last month with FIFA.com, retiring Argentinian #10 Juan Roman Riquelme said “The ball has given me everything…. The best toy I’ve ever had, or could ever have, is a football…” His passion is shared by hundreds of Belizean children. Thirty years ago, Belize, Panama and Nicaragua were called the “whipping boys of Central America.” Today, Panama is a football powerhouse, having gone to penalties in the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup against the USA. They got there, like Costa Rica, by building their program with an emphasis on the youth. And they provided the resources needed – the infrastructure and equipment, and the support and training for coaches.

Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta 2015, Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8
The Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta Committee proudly invites the general public to the BTL Park, New Town Barracks to witness the 87th Baron Bliss Regatta. The series of boat races will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8. Over 50 boats are expected in the Optimist, Laser, other “one design” classes, as well as the traditional Lighters, Sailing Dories and Seagulls. Sea Scouts’ “Bosuns” will open the course with the first race on Sunday. Last year, in the Lighter class United defeated the long standing champion, Radio. In the Optimist class, the youngest ever to sail single-handedly on the traditional course were two 8-year-olds, “CJ” from Placencia Sailing Club and Malik Jones from Caye Caulker.

Richard Troyer of Western Ballaz sets NEBL scoring record with 43 points
Week 3 of the second annual National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season continued to roll this weekend, as teams took the court on a quest to separate themselves from the pack. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by-play along with box scores are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time. The games can be accessed from our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net. Belmopan Red Taigaz handed Dangriga Warriors their first loss. Belize City No Limit scored their first win of the season. San Pedro Tiger Sharks bounces back. Western Ballaz rolls, to remain as the only undefeated team.

Editorial: Stumbling blocks
In late February of 1998 an attack was made on the KREM Radio broadcast tower on Partridge Street. It was not the first such attack which had been made on the tower, but the cold-blooded and sophisticated nature of the February 1998 attack was noteworthy. At that specific time, Kremandala was in a battle with the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP). Apart from the fact that Cordel Hyde, the second son of the Kremandala chairman, was about to contest the seat in the Lake Independence constituency as the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) candidate, in September of 1997, the UDP Minister of Housing, Hubert Elrington, had called for the KREM Radio license to be revoked because of a controversial KREM sports broadcast. Perhaps coincidentally, and perhaps not so coincidentally, Mr. Elrington was the incumbent UDP area representative and standard bearer for Lake I.

From the Publisher
Personally, I find it necessary and important to control nostalgia. Some days are gone, never to return. Sentimental wallowing in the past is, ultimately, an exercise in futility. At the same time, remembering good things and good times is a valuable aspect of our community and societal consciousness. Week before last Friday afternoon, I was driving past the MCC Garden and the gate was open. So I drove inside, got out my vehicle and walked on to the field. The “groundskeeper” was watering the grass. I am no kind of expert on fields, so I will not try to explain why I felt unhappy about the condition of what is like a football shrine to me. Just suffice to say, I’m very unhappy. When the British donated the MCC to Belize circa 1960, they brought a Jamaican by t he name of McMahon to be the first “groundskeeper.” (Belizeans called him “Mac-ma-hone.”) He was a brown-skinned, bespectacled guy, somewhat crotchety, perhaps in his early/middle fifties, still young enough to play cricket with one of the city teams. Remember now, the MCC was, in the first instance, a cricket pitch, but football slowly took it over.

Thanks from Wayne Uter
Dear Editor, This is Wayne Uter again, only this time I want to extend my gratitude for the publication of my letter that I wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, titled: “Taxation without Representation.” Because of the part you played by publishing my letter and assisting in spreading the story, I am happy to tell you all that I was contacted by someone out of the Ministry, and that my “beef” with them has now been addressed. I was informed that my wife’s passport is at the offices of the Permanent Mission here in New York and is now ready for pick-up.

Fake red potatoes were consumer rip-off
Although it was initially thought that someone had imported Mexican potatoes and dyed them in Belize – since it is not routine for Belize to allow the importation of red potatoes, which are produced locally – our newspaper was reliably informed today that a Belizean distributor bought the dyed potatoes in Chetumal, Mexico, from a supplier who died the imported Idaho potatoes specifically for the Belize market, so that higher price tag could be charged in sales to Belizean consumers. It is clearly a consumer rip-off, our official source indicates, since the purchaser could have sold the produce at a much higher profit margin. We have not received word of any move by authorities to prosecute the person or persons responsible.

Farming beautiful butterflies
Belize’s tropical forests are home to a variety of plant and animal life, including butterflies that are present in vast array. Belize has several species of butterflies, some of which are seasonal. It may take you hours to seek out the various species in their natural habitats, but several of these species can be seen at a convenient location near Belize’s western border with Guatemala. These butterflies are farmed on the premises of the Tropical Wings Nature Center, located 6 miles west of San Ignacio, Cayo, just east of San José Succotz Village. The largest of the butterflies in the extant collection are the owl butterflies, whose wings are a bright blue on the upper surface, but when they perch atop trees or feed on their favorite fruits, their wings close up to display a dark brown pattern with circles reminiscent of an owl’s eyes – which is how this butterfly got its name. The zebra butterfly, the giant swallowtail, the monarch, the red rim and the postman butterfly are also found in Belize. The morpho butterfly, which can have an impressive wingspan of nearly half a foot, is also reared at the farm.

Magistrate to rule on George McKenzie, Jr., PI for attempted murder
This morning the prosecutor in the #3 Magistrate’s Court concluded the submissions of statements in the preliminary inquiry into the attempted murder charge against George McKenzie, Jr., the son of reputed gang boss George McKenzie, Sr., deceased. After hearing submissions from McKenzie’s attorney Kareem Musa and the response of the court prosecutor, Corporal Kennard Clarke, Magistrate Herbert Panton is expected to make a ruling on Friday as to whether he will strike out the charge against McKenzie or send the case up to the Supreme Court for trial. Last year June, police charged McKenzie with the attempted murder of Paul Alvarez, Jr., who was shot by a lone gunman on Lovely Lane.

Patrick JonesPJ

Belize Education Sector Reform Project report card discussed
The achievements and accomplishments in the education sector were agenda items today for a media event in the nation’s capital, Belmopan. With a report, here is Gwen Nunez Gonzalez. Gwen Nunez Gonzalez Reporting: The Hon. Patrick Faber accompanied by the Management Team and Director of Projects, Dr. Ellajean […]

Air Traffic Controllers back at work, no penalties for Saturday’s occurrence
The air traffic controllers recently taken sick are back on the job following a Monday afternoon meeting with their bosses at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, which also featured participation from the Public Service Union (PSU). The workers claim delays in salary adjustment and increments, […]

Two year old killed, his mother injured in early morning shooting
A two year old child was fatally wounded in a shooting incident early this morning in San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye. It happened just around 1:45 this morning in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro town. According to police, two year old Daniel Espat sustained gunshot injuries to […]

PM Barrow attends CARICOM summit in the Bahamas
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today traveled to Nassau, the Bahamas to attend the Summit of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM. The terse press release from the PM’s office was short on specifics other than saying that Mr. Barrow will return to the country on Sunday and that […]

Police look for two alleged sex offenders
Police in Corozal and San Pedro towns are investigating the sexual of two minors. The first involved a 12 year old girl from San Pedro town. The girl, in the presence of her mother, told police that on Wednesday evening of last week, she was at her father’s house when he sexually assaulted her. Police say that a medical examination of the 12 year old girl confirmed that she had been carnally known. Police are now looking for the father of the 12 year old girl, pending charges.

Blogs

A Walk Over Boca Del Rio Bridge: Barrier Reef Resort (nee Reef Village) & Lina Point
And Barrier Reef Resort (nee Reef Village or “Grief Village”) along the brand new beautiful road. This resort/village has been fraught with drama for quite some time and I don’t know enough to comment on any of it. (Though I have added some notes at the end of this post…and please feel free to comment at the bottom if you know anything additional.) I followed in the sand/gravel truck to find new construction. Note: I can’t find a website for Barrier Reef Resort or the old “Reef Village”. Are my google skills failing me or is there really none? And then after the last home…Lina Point. A plan I saw on-line and was…wowed. A construction worker showed me a board with this depiction on it. I copied this clearer version from their website. The homepage of the site is not working well but click around. There is lots of information.

Belize Rainforest Safari ATV Tours Launched!
Late last year those imaginative folks at Chaa Creek promised some new adventures for 2015, and we’re happy to report that an exciting new Rainforest Safari has been added to the list of jungle exploits. And for us, the beauty of Chaa Creek’s Rainforest Safari is the convenience and affordability of this rather awesome motorised trek into Belizean landscapes not often visited by the casual traveller. With two safaris a day; a morning excursion leaving at 7.30am and returning at 9.30am, and an afternoon jaunt between 1.30pm to 3.30pm, intrepid travellers can experience a real bush safari guided by experienced licenced naturalist guides while still having plenty of time for, say, swimming, canoeing or taking part in any of the many other activities on offer within Chaa Creek’s 365 acre private nature reserve.

Early Morning Fire at Exotic Caye Resort in San Pedro
A fire at Exotic Caye Resort on Ambergris Caye is now under control. Reportedly starting around 2:30am at the southwest corner (farthest from Crazy Canuck’s Bar) and on the street, the fire evacuated the hotel as well as neighbors at Corona Del Mar Resort. Across the street, people helped wet the Pepperoni’s Pizza building. After a few days of high winds, tonight, THANKFULLY, the breeze died down and is currently coming from the SE at about 3-5 miles an hour. Early pictures (by Le Roi Hyde) show a large fire at the traditional wood and thatch resort.

International Sourcesizz

Bloomberg: Belize Bondholders Face Losses as Oil Output Falls, Moody’s Says
Falling oil output and a weakening fiscal account in Belize may hurt growth and cause losses to bondholders two and a half years after it defaulted on about $550 million of bonds, Moody’s Investors Service said. Oil production in the Central American nation wedged between Mexico and Guatemala declined 20 percent in January through August 2014 from a year earlier and will fall to less than 500,000 barrels this year after declining 23 percent in 2013, Moody’s said in a report distributed Tuesday. The country’s primary surplus, or budget balance before interest payments, will shift to a deficit in 2015, Moody’s said. “The risk of losses to bondholders remains considerable,” Moody’s wrote, adding that Belize may run out of oil by 2017. “Debt sustainability is fragile. There are downside risks to fiscal performance over the next 2-3 years.”

one mosquito coil equals 100 cigarettes
The smoke emitted from a coil is 100 times stronger than the cigarette, regular use of mosquito coil may lead to various lung infections and finally become an agent of cancer

The Mexican and Central American cesspool of infectious diseases
According to the Washington Post, Mexican border officials and health authorities are worried about the spread of measles out of the United States and into Mexico: As Republican lawmakers suggest that undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border may be responsible for bringing measles and other diseases into the country, Mexican health authorities are warning people traveling to the United States about the risk of infection here following an outbreak of measles at Disneyland last month that has sickened dozens of people in several states. It's a remarkable reversal that demonstrates how far public health in Latin America has advanced in the past few decades -- especially in contrast to measles's alarming return in the United States.

How To Retire Overseas In A Place With Year-Round Sunshine
Back in Omaha, Nebraska, where we're from, our adult years were spent slaving away inside. During the winter, the sun would come up after we were already firmly entrenched in our cubicle or office. And it would disappear long before we were finished working for the day. But as we grew a bit older and a bit more financially secure, we began to take vacations to some of the sun-drenched beaches and other retreats we'd always dreamed of visiting. We went diving in Belize and Mexico, to visit the Maya ruins in Guatemala, and to explore Costa Rica and Panama... Wow, we thought, what might it be like to live in a place like one of these places ... where the daily struggle wasn't about earning enough money to heat the house in the winter or to buy snow tires and anti-freeze for the car ... or heavy-duty winter survival clothes... Would it actually be possible ... some day ... to live in a place where the sun shines practically every day of the year? You're darn right it would. And here we are today -- sitting on our terrace sipping fresh-squeezed lime-aid we've made from the limes that grow year-round in our garden and looking up at an incredibly blue sky dotted with two or three puffy white clouds and, of course, that glorious sun.

Caribbean agriculture ministers meeting with FAO Director General
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) agriculture ministers will hold talks with the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) José Graziano da Silva. Agriculture Minister Alfred Gray said the meeting on Tuesday follows concerns by regional countries that their issues are being lost at meetings involving agriculture ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean. CARICOM agriculture ministers had during the Third Regional Conference with Ministers of Agriculture for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile in May last year, expressed the view that the issues facing the Caribbean were all lost in the mix of the overall conference where major producing nations such as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay were the dominant players.

Videos

  • Adventure Belize Video, 3min. Excellent little video from a Belize vacation. The mixing is unique. Cayo is in there, as is Cahal Pech, Rio On Pools, and Caracol. Definitely worth a watch. "This is a small attempt at capturing a recent trip to Belize. I went with a Gopro and a Olympus Tough camera and came back with just enough footage to put this together. As you'll see I experienced an abundance of love and friendship with some amazing people, and got into some fun trouble and saw some amazing things."

  • Belize 2015 Mission Trip Recap, 3min. Every year, Asbury Church sends a team to Orange Walk Church in Caledonia, Belize to minister to the community, help with construction projects and share Christ's love with those in the area.

  • La colère d'un jaguar vue de très près, 1min. Au zoo du Belize, il est possible d'approcher de très proche différents animaux, dont le mythique jaguar, extrêmement difficile à apercevoir dans la nature (nocturne et craintif). On pourrait même les toucher... mais ils vous mettent en garde aussitôt que vous violez leur «zone de confort».

  • Belize Sail Away, 84min.On board Carnival Splendor. Filmed ass the ship sailed from Belize. I filmed it from my balcony. Filmed on 11/13/2014.

  • Belize Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival 2015, 4min.

  • Belize Diving 2014, 4min. Turneffe Atoll

  • Arrecifes de Coral Belize, 2min. El Sistema de Reservas de la Barrera del Arrecife de Belice es una serie de arrecifes de coral que se ubican a una distancia variable de la costa de Belice, unos 300 metros de la costa en el norte y a unos 40 kilómetros en el sur

  • Belize - Shark Ray Alley, 1min. A short video taken at Shark Ray Alley in Belize with a thrilling ending :)

  • Earth Bag Home in Belize, 11min. Designed by the owners, a doctor and nurse from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Built by local Belizean builder, Jorge Rosales, this organic home emanates a sense of place at the junction of Parrot's Cove and Forest Hill Drive in our Belize Eco Village. A sublime design.

  • THE RENOVATION OF THE ORANGE WALK CENTRAL PARK IS ALMOST COMPLETE, 5.5min.

  • Exotic Caye Fire, San Pedro, Belize, 1/2min.

  • Belize, 11min.

  • Airboat Ride in Belize - Crazy Fun Excursion, 1min.

  • Belize, 15min.

  • Diving and Snorkeling In Belize and Cozumel, 11min. Cruise to Belize and Cozumel on Royal Caribbean.

  • Climbing to the top of the Temple to the Sun God at Altun Ha, Belize, 2.5min. Altun Ha is the ruins of an ancient Maya city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Belize City and about 10 kilometres (6 miles) west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The site covers an area of about 8 kilometres (5 miles) square. According to Belize's Institute of Archaeology, the site's name means "Rockstone Water," and is a Yucatec Maya approximation of the name of the nearby village of Rockstone Pond. In Yucatec Maya, haltun is a stone water deposit or cistern, and ha means water.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize 2015, 3min. Some of the adventures I got up to while i spent 8 nights in Caye Caulker.

  • Just a simple crazy biology class in Benque, Belize., 4min. Crazy Teacher..!


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