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#503210 - 04/10/15 11:52 AM Today's Belize News: April 10, 2015
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

United FC places second in Sarteneja Football Marathon
San Pedro’s United FC participated in a football marathon on Saturday, April 4th in Sarteneja Village, Corozal. The full day marathon saw football teams from across the northern region competing to win the championship trophy and prizes. After a long, but fun day of football, United FC fell a little short, but placed a respectable second place in the marathon. The team would like to thank all those that made their trip possible, including Sandbar, Councilor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, and Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr.

U.S. Embassy Invites Americans to Town Hall Meeting
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: Monday April 20, 2015 Place: Blue Water Grill (SunBreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff that provides assistance to U.S citizens in Belize will discuss public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and answer your general questions on our services. Limited consular public services will be offered - accepting adult U.S. passport renewal and additional visa pages applications (applicants or authorized representatives will need to be able to pick up their passports at the U.S. Embassy later), limited notary services (no real estate closings or certified copies).

Authorities defy the law and lift No-Liquor ban on Good Friday
The decision to lift the law at the eleventh hour goes contrary to the two-week campaign that San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) had launched in the local media. In various ads, the SPTC warned business establishments and the general public about the prohibition of the sale of liquor from Thursday, April 2nd at midnight to Friday, April 3rd at midnight. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero said that he was made aware of the decision to lift the ban when he began receiving calls from businesses who were not notified of the sudden amendment. The Mayor will be hosting a meeting with the Liquor License Board to gather all the details that led to the lifting of the law. He did say that he stood by the decision to uphold the law and will continue to promote a “dry Good Friday” as mandated by law. “I will stand on the side of the law, and if the law does not change by next year, I will continue to push for a dry Good Friday,” stated Guerrero. The Mayor also stated that he received multiple complaints of the sale of alcohol during the day on Good Friday, which he passed on to the police. He added that the police did report back indicating that inspections were carried out to ensure that the law was upheld.

BWG donates to SPRC
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRC) was the recipient of Blue Water Grill’s (BWG) second monthly donation. The donation was in the form of a check of $2,428BZ that will be used to replace the rotten floor in a classroom and fix broken windows at the main school building. The money was raised during the month of March as part of BWG’s monthly donation program, where patrons donate money for charities across the island. The total amount donated throughout the month is then matched by BWG. In March, BWG customers donated $1,214 which was matched 100%. The check was presented on Wednesday, April 1st to Teacher Rosela Guerrero. The school is very appreciative of the donation, as it will help to improve the children’s learning environment.

SPTC and SPVA organize two-day Beach Volleyball Tournament
San Pedro is a sport loving community and is always finding ways to promote different physical activities to athletes of all ages. As such, the San Pedro Volleyball Association (SPVA) partnered with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) to organize a two day beach volleyball tournament in front of Luna Loca Bar. The event coincided with the Easter holidays and encouraged both residents and visitors to participate. The two-day tournament saw female volleyball teams competing on the first game day and male volleyball teams competing on the second day. Cash, gifts and trophies where awarded to the top teams in each category. Sunday, April 5th saw seven male volleyball team competing in the beach volleyball tournament. Unlike the female category, the male teams only consisted of two members. It was a tight tournament with point differences being very narrow. But in the end it was the team made up of Jason Garay and Gustavo Morataya who faced off against the team made up of Ronnie Sosa and Badyr Sajia in the final match. After a long battle on the sandy court, the win went to Garay and Morataya. Sosa and Sajia had to settle for a close second.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro to Join Belize Sailing Association at International Sailing Clinic
BzSA Youth to attend a World Class Laser Sailing Clinic on Antigua, West Indies - The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) will hold a 5-day Laser Sailing Clinic at the National Sailing Academy on Antigua, West Indies - 14 to 21 July. This clinic and four others like it in other regions of the world launch the 2015 Youth Worlds Emerging Nations Program. “Belize has been invited to attend,” commented Forrest Jones, Public Relations Officer, Belize Sailing Association. “The ease and the joy with which the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) is able to accept the stunning and quite unexpected invitation are made possible in no small part by ISAF's generosity. ISAF is underwriting virtually all significant expenses of those who participate.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

New time for power interruption affecting portion of Corozal, Friday April 10
UPDATE: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m: Vivas Layout, Santa Rita Layout, San Antonio, Paraiso, Chula Vista & Altamira. 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m: all areas along Consejo Road and Consejo Village. BEL to replace pin insulators and conduct development works on the power distribution system in the area.

Belize Zoo Slogan Competition
The Belize Zoo is having a slogan competition in honor of Tapir Day. It'll be Fuego's 2nd birthday on April 29th, and they are having a big bash to celebrate. It's open to primary school students, so pass it along to all the bright, future leaders of Belize. "The winning entries will receive a 'tapir gift-package' and will be special guests of honour, along with their classmates, at Fuego’s 2nd Birthday Bash and National Tapir Day celebrations on Wednesday April 29th at The Belize Zoo. Deadline for submission is APRIL 16TH and should be submitted to:education@belizezoo.org." In related news, they are looking for a bright, energetic Belizean to join their Animal Management team.

Cayo Easter Fair 2015
This year's Easter Fair was set up at Macal River Park. 2 crazy fast ferris wheels, and all the normal rides and games were there. Miss Deb's set up her meals on wheels truck, and it was delicious.

Read Prime Minister Barrow's Presentation to the II CEO Summit in Panama here
Hon. Dean Barrow’s Remarks at the Second CEO Summit of the Americas Panama, 8-10th April, 2015. Bridging the Americas: Productive Integration for Inclusive Development The topic we are dealing with is a large one. But the organizers have tried to be helpful by identifying the sub-areas on which they want to focus. These have been described as "opportunities for promoting investment, facilitating trade and fostering development, in particular in agribusiness, finance, information technology and public infrastructural sectors, as well as active participation of the private sector in the social development of our nations". Now that is a mouthful. And I am not sure that it does not in fact further expand rather than compress the subject. I shall nevertheless try both to follow its markers and remain within the allotted time. But to do that I have had to further distill the theme. I will therefore be concentrating principally on the modalities and strategies necessary to optimize our efforts at the level of regional economic groupings, which groupings are the precursor to Hemispheric integration.

Corozal House of Culture (NICH) News
As the Corozal House of Culture (NICH) begins a new fiscal year we would like to take a moment and look back on a few of our achievements during 2014/2015. Some of our special moments were: Coordinator Debra Wilkes being awarded 'Employee of the Year'; International Museum Day brought three Corozal museums together under one roof; Flavours of the Garifuna event entertained visitors while they sampled Garifuna culinary dishes; the Battle of St. Georges Caye Exhibit saw over 800 persons on opening day; the Restoration, Preservation and Promotion Project of Manuel Villamor's magnificent Historical Mural at Corozal Town Hall; and nearing the end of our year, the revival of Juan Carnaval.

Paint Up A Storm 2015
Paint Up A Storm is this Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. The Winsom Foundation has teamed up with the SISE House of Culture to bring the free event back to town. It all revolves around art, and iIt's great for everyone of all ages. It starts at 9:00am, and goes until 2:00pm. Feel the Heartbeat will happen Saturday night at the Soul Project. There will be live music and poetry through the night.

Belize History Association announce winners of their logo competition
The Belize History Association announce winners of their logo competition at the House of Culture today! First place Mr. Joel Cho from San Antonio, Toledo and second was won by Jeremy Cho from Yo Creek Orange Walk. Their entries were combined to form the new BHA logo, it was selected from among 53 entries submitted. Congratulations to them and a special thank you to all those who took part in the competition.

Belize Fishing Report March 22, 2015 - March 28, 2015 Report
Another good weather week with moderate winds, fair amounts of sun with general success with all species. Jack, Jeff, Elizabeth, Charlie, William Travis, Munroe, Alec, Sled Bruce, Jim ,David and everyoone else that fished all had their fill of bonefish - the silver ghost of the flats. We have more bonefish per square mile here than anywhere else in the world! Seeing bonefish is both an art and just plain practice. A good pair of polarized amber colored sunglasses helps most people key in to the different looks a bonefish has. On a nice white sandy bottom a fish that is coming right towards you is pretty visible to most anglers. The top of their back is slightly darker as you look down along the length of their body. Once that same fish turns sideways to you it disappears! The sides of a bonefish are mirrors that reflect the bottom creating the perfect camouflage.

Update on Pierre Trudeau (Belize Bird Rescue)
For the many who have been asking for an update on Pierre Trudeau (known to BBR staff as 'Chunk' because that's how he likes his food!) He's doing well, finally integrated with the other Mealys - and the great news is that Buzz is back after a spell in solitary while his boy-hormones calmed down. Chunk's release prognosis is not great: the eye will never heal, and although that's not a deal-breaker, he does have other issues alongside. Time will tell, but for now, at least he seems contented.

Benefit for Katerin Michel Perez
There is a benefit this Sunday by Boca del rio Park

Channel 7

Killer Waylaid "Judas" Rhamdas With Wife and Child
Last night at the top of the news we told you about a murder that happened on Albert Street West, just down the street from our studio. Tonight police have a suspect detained - a suspect who was positively identified by security camera footage. He waylaid 25 year old Mark Rhamdas at his home to kill him - even if it meant doing it in front of his common law wife and young child. Daniel Ortiz has more:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Up until about 5:15 p.m., 25 year-old Mark Rhamdas and his family were socializing on the verandah of their Albert Street home, through this alley off Albert Street West. About 20 minutes later, he left the house on his motorcycle to pick up his girlfriend 21-year-old Etheline Mejia from work. He took his 4 year-old son with him, and at just a few minutes before 6:00, he was returning on the motorcycle, and he had his girlfriend and his son with him as passengers. They were halfway through the alley, just a short distance from his house, when a gunman who had been lurking around, ambushed them.

San Ignacio Dead Man Is Coast Guard Officer
An unidentified man was murdered in San Ignacio and Police need your help to identify him. But this is the only picture they have of him - and they begged us to put it on air - so that they can come up with an ID. He was apparently beaten and left for dead on Holy Saturday when he was picked up by police at around 1:27 a.m. with an injury to the head. He never regained consciousness and died yesterday at the KHMH. So now, it's another murder that police have to solve, but they need his family to come forward and identify him. This afternoon, the Deputy Commanding Officer of San Ignacio Police spoke with us today via phone about what they have been able to establish in the case so far: Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander, Cayo Formation "The information is that on Saturday 4th April, sometime around 1:27am, information was received from the San Ignacio police, of a male person laying on the ground by the Welcome Center area of San Ignacio Town. Police visited the scene and found a male person in an unconscious state with head injuries.

OW Prisoner Makes Mad Dash
A prisoner escaped from police in Orange Walk today. At around 1:45, 37 year old Angel Torres was being taken to prison after he was convicted in the Orange Walk Magistrate's court, convicted of assaulting his brother. But before he could leave Orange Walk - Torres made a run for freedom. It happened at the speed bump for the Tower Hill Bridge. Police ran after him, but he escaped into the bushes and then into a pond that connects to the New River. Reports say police fired shots at him, but Torres still escaped. Tonight, police are still looking for him - but did not have a picture to share.

Will Rawell Remain on FFB Executive?
Last night we told you about Rawell Pelayo's plea bargain in a New York Southern District Courtroom. On June 30, 2014, he pleaded guilty to "conspiring to violate the narcotics laws of the United States." In October of 2014, he was given a two-year sentence and then deported to Belize earlier this week. He cannot return to the United States but he took his plea and spent 21 months in custody. Here in Belize he faces no charge - but does have to check in with police weekly as is standard for deportees. His still holds his seat on the FFB which was supported by a four to three vote of the Football Congress, which is the highest decision making authority in the Federation. But, there is some question now as to whether Pelayo will be able to hold on to seat now that it is known that he pleaded guilty to narcotics smuggling.

Pastor Kwako Got Caught
African Pastor Wilberforce Kwako arrived in Belize with a forged passport, and tonight, he's in the custody of Belizean law enforcement. Kwako, a resident of the West African country of Ghana, arrived in the country yesterday via a flight from El Salvador, just after 9 a.m. When he arrived at the immigration check-in section, the officer on duty referred him to the Supervisor for Secondary inspection, which is standard practice with citizens coming from that country. When he was asked, he presented the immigration supervisor with a Ghanaian passport which identified him as Yaw Mensah. This person had supposedly been granted a US Visa, which would have expired last year. After closer inspection, the supervisor realized that this passport document had been altered. After it was tested using technical equipment, the supervisor realized that the original owner's photograph had been removed, and Kwako's photo was then added in. The passport was then restitched and then re-laminated.

President Luke Stays On
Luke Palacio has been re-elected president of the Belize National Teachers Union. That's the news coming out of the BNTU's 45th annual convention held in Benque Viejo at Mount Carmel High School. According to unofficial numbers, Palacio got beat out his opponent, Otilio Munoz by a count of 148 votes to 98 votes. Our records show that Palacio has been president since 2011.

PUP Talk Show Host Albert Vaughan To Make No Case Submission for Loitering
In August of 2014 when the sanitation workers did their famous garbage strike - PUP talk show host Albert Vaughan was right there on the frontline - doing what might charitably be called "media advocacy." But, police said he was loitering in a public place. And so, he joined the 41 sanitation workers who were arrested and eventually charged with taking part in an unlawful public meeting and municipal littering. Those charges were dropped by executive decree or something like that after the Prime Minister swooped in to save the situation. But Vaughan's charge was never dropped and the his trial started in the Magistrate's Court a few weeks ago. Vaughan is claiming that he was just a media workers, acting as a reporter for Vibes Radio. His attorney Kareem Musa told us they have no case to answer. Kareem Musa, Attorney for Albert Vaughan "We have had to go through the process of this legal wrangling between the police and the prosecution and Mr. Vaughan and they eventually charged him with loitering in a public place, even though he was out there carrying out his lawful business as a reporter like many of you, but none of you were charged with any offenses.

Culture Critic Yasser Bemoans City Plan
Last night we told you about the launch of the city rejuvenation project that focuses on reconstructing the House of Culture as well as upgrading other key areas in downtown Belize City. While it has been approved and has received a resounding applause from stakeholders, one cultural critic says it stinks. Yesterday former NICH President, Yasser Musa went on a facebook rant against the project, calling it "retrograde, racist and disturbing." He continues by saying "The crowd called NICH must mark April 8th as a celebration of colonial and myopic thinking." We caught up with Musa today and he explained why he considers this project an affront to Belizean history and identity. Yasser Musa, Artist "To be pulling a very sick stunt like this is completely, in my view, retrograde, it is racist and it is something that should be thoroughly condemned. That colonial museum idea is stupid. With fifteen million dollars, that is what they are spending on a colonial museum. With that money there should be a culture fund that artists, musicians, writers, researchers, historians, teachers can access small grants to go and do their projects.

Guats With Thousands Of Xate Leaves In Chiquibul
A month ago, we showed you the new crop of FCD rangers trained and ready to protect the Chiquibul National Park from Guatemalan poachers. Well, they're already delivering results, and tonight 2 Guatemalans from the village of La Rejoya are at the San Ignacio Police Station, awaiting formal charges after they were caught poaching xate leaves. A group of rangers were on a patrol in Chiquibul yesterday in the area known as Cubetas, when they came in contact with a Guatemalan man by the name of Transito Esquivel. He had several who sacks of Fishtail Xate leaves, which is one of the desired species inside the Chiquibul. The officers detained Esquivel and he escorted them to his camp which he has been using to gather the leaves. The officers arrived and after taking coordinates, they realized that this camp was 200 kilometres in Belizean territory.

US Navy Her For Humanitarianism
The US Navy is here in Belize on a humanitarian mission. It's called the Continuing Promise mission 2015 and over 1,000 crew members arrived this morning on the U.S Naval Hospital ship - USNS COMFORT. 2 Navy helicopters brought over 100 pallets of medical supplies and sporting equipment to be distributed across the country. Today we met with the Mission Commander, Captain Sam Hancock and he told us how this visit will significantly enhance services provided to Belizeans and further build ties between the US and Belize. Captain Sam Hancock, Mission Commander, Continuing Promise "We have quite a large amount, this is just the beginning of the supplies that'll be coming in but there's medical supplies that will utilize at the medical sites. There is engineering supplies for the building sites where we will be doing some fairly small engineering projects and then there is also a lot of donated goods that came with our NGO partners that some are home-based in Belize that we've also brought their teams on board.

Surgeries On Comfort
As you heard in the interview, medical services will also be provided including treatment and surgeries. Screening for surgeries was done for over 100 patients at the KHMH today and as early as tomorrow morning these patients will be taken on the USNS COMFORT for their procedures. Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Captain William Todd told us about the process behind getting these patients ready for these medical procedures. Captain William Todd, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon "The ship is very unique, there are actually two of them and we call them National Treasures. They are converted oil tankers and they are nearly a thousand feet long and over a hundred feet wide. They are both identical and the one that we have on this coast is the USNS Comfort. It is staffed up, so we have twelve operating rooms. When the ship is at a maximum capacity for patients, we can take up to a thousand patients if we are configured for staffing for that.

Channel 5

Man Killed…Wife Shot in the City
The Berkeley Street area in Belize City has quickly become a hotspot in the Old Capital. There have been several shootings and a murder in recent days. At about six [...]

Police Need Help Identifying Murder Victim in Cayo
The second murder in the past twenty-four hours took place in the west and police needs the public’s assistance in identifying a man who was badly beaten and found at [...]

Katerin Perez Stabilized at Shriner’s Hospital
On Wednesday’s newscast we brought you the story of nine year old Katerin Michel Perez, a student in San Pedro who was badly burned in an accident in her home [...]

Why Was Managing Engineer Terminated?
A senior employee of the Belmopan City Council, in fact the head of the Engineering Section, is out of a job with absolutely no warning. Javier Novelo was a head [...]

Yasser Musa Calls Rejuvenation Project Crazy
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project – it’s been dubbed revolutionary by its creators, the Government of Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History. [...]

Musa Says Money Should Be Used on People, Not Buildings
According to Musa, any search for identity or preservation of identity will not come from renovations to structures or a museum embracing colonial days. Instead, he says the fifteen million [...]

Cop Walks on Wounding Charge
This morning, twenty-nine year old Special Constable Juan Moralez was all smiles when a charge of Wounding was withdrawn from him since his wife, the alleged victim, requested no further [...]

Pastor Charged for Immigration Offence
A Ghanian citizen who is a pastor was busted at the P.G.I.A. for attempting to enter the country with another person’s passport. Forty year old Wilberforce Sintim Kwako was found [...]

Albert Vaughan in Court for Loitering
Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart is to decide next Wednesday, April fifteenth, on a charge of loitering in a public place filed against radio personality and activist for the People’s United [...]

Lake I Families Face Eviction
At this time, thirteen families are facing eviction from a privately owned property adjacent to landfill on the Lake Independence Boulevard. These families had been evicted twice before and the [...]

NICH Announces Winners of Logo Competition
The Institute of Social and Cultural Research through NICH is in the process of gathering data on historical events. The Belize History Association was formed to engage persons from all [...]

What’s Next for the Belize History Association?
But with the official logo finally completed, what’s next for the Belize History Association?   Giovanni Pinelo, Research and Education Officer, ISCR “The input from artists, the input from oral [...]

Stakeholders Meet to Plan Second Phase of SM Belize
The Salud Mesoamerica Project is a partnership between both public and private sectors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Health Institute, Spain’s Cooperation Agency for International [...]

PM Barrow Speaks At Summit of the Americas
CNN reported a while ago that Raul Castro, the president of Cuba, has landed in Panama where the Seventh Summit of the Americas is taking place. The hemispheric meeting is [...]

Healthy Living: Avoiding Exercise Injuries
Whether you’re an active or not so active person, anyone can fall victim to exercise related injuries. Spraining an ankle, pulling a muscle or knee and shoulder injuries are the [...]

CTV3

Convict Escapes From Orange Walk Police While Being Transported To Central Prison
37 year old Angel Torres who was convicted of assaulting his brother was found guilty and sentenced to spend time at the Central Prison. And this afternoon around 1:45pm as he and other prisoners were being transported to spend day one of their sentences at the Central Prison; Torres made a break for freedom and jumped from the pan of the police mobile. Authorities have confirmed that Torres made the mad dash as the police truck was passing the Toll Bridge speed bump. After police were alerted of his escape they pursued him but he took made a mad dash into the bushes and swam across a pond that connects to the New River. It is alleged that police fired two shots in his direction as he swam across but their efforts to subdue him were futile. As of news time, police were actively engaged in a man-hunt for Torres but their efforts have been to no avail. Police could not furnish us with a picture of Torres but ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police station. The public is reminded that harbouring a wanted prisoner is illegal and punishable by law. More on this story as it develops.

Documents Show Rawell Pelayo Pleaded Gulty
Tonight the former Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize and Chairman of the National Team Committee is back at home enjoying the comforts of his home here in Orange Walk after spending more than a year behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York facing charges for narcotics smuggling to the US. As mentioned last night Rawell Pelayo was deported to Belize yesterday and after his papers were processed at the Queen Street Police Station in Belize City he was released. He declined giving an interview to the media but did state that he would hold a press conference in the near future and that he was happy to be back home. Up to yesterday information indicating under which circumstances Pelayo was released was hard to come by but we have some tonight. As previously reported even before Pelayo applied and was given his Visa to accompany Belize’s National Football Team to the first round of the Gold Cup back in July of 2013 and indictment dating April 12th 2012 had already been filed against Pelayo aka “Berto”, Jesus Cortina Castillo aka “Jose” and “Don R” and Riquelio Arias aka “Kike” and “Willington”.

USNS Offers Free Medical Check Ups
A release from the Embassy of the United States in Belize indicates that the US Naval Hospital Ship, USNS COMFORT will be in Belize from April 9th to the eighteenth. During the visit, USNS COMFORT personnel with partner with the Ministries of Health and Education, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard to share and build capability through medical, dental, engineering and veterinary events and exchanges. Teams will be at the Hattieville Government School and Independence High School providing outpatient medical, dental and preventative medicine and health education services. The services are made available to the general public for one free medical or dental service each day. The release adds that the USNS Comfort works with a number of governmental and non-governmental agencies to train personnel in conducting civil-military operations that include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief providing medical, dental and veterinary care, and engineering support to local populations. The USNS will also be visiting other ports in Central and South America and the Caribbean later this year.

PlusTV

Tourism Minister unafraid of death threats
Several weeks ago it was reported that Minister Manuel Heredia Jr and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero were threatened with their lives after making a public call for greater law enforcement presence on the island after a rash of murders and other criminal activity...

Downtown Rejuvenation project opens in Belize City
The ambitious project intended to revitalize and open up the major cultural centers in the downtown area of Belize City was officially launched today at one of its focal points, the former Government House, now House of Culture...

Puerto Azul project at “standstill”
In our last segment we told you about the Blackadore Caye resort that may be in the pipelines. While Blackadore Caye appears to be off and running, a former development darling seems to have fallen out of favor...

Government favorable to Blackadore Caye project but waits for plans
Over the Easter weekend, the New York Times broke the story of plans by award-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio to invest in a mega-development on his privately-held island, Blackadore Caye...

Shortage of mental disorder medication?
Many Belizeans suffering from chronic mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, depend on medications like risperidone to function normally in society...

Floating body discovered with stab wounds
The body of a murdered man was found floating in the lagoon behind Seine Bight Village Stann Creek District on Tuesday. When the body was retrieved from the lagoon, it had obvious physical injuries...

Fire Burns down Principal’s Office
Primary schools all over the country resume classes on Monday April 13th, next week but one school located in Big Falls Village, Toledo District will have a major setback when they resume operation because the principal’s office was set on fire over the weekend...


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#503211 - 04/10/15 11:53 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 10, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

Belizean reclaims Cross Country Garland
After riding 140 miles, Belizean American Justin Williams has won the 87th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. 107 riders signed up for the 2015 race at the BTL Park on the morning of April 4, and at around 6 a.m., they took off for the ceremonial ride through the City. Just past the Faber’s Road Junction, the race began in earnest, and from about mile 18, the race started to take shape. A group of 7 elite riders separated themselves from the main peloton. Among those riders were Justin Williams, and his brother Corey, who were riding for Team Bel Cal. The way that these riders managed to escape so early was by cooperating with each other, taking turns on the pace while everyone stayed on their wheel. Just before the Belmopan Junction, 4 chasers managed to catch them, and so that group of 7 became a group of 11. They travelled all the way to Cayo and back enjoying leads of between 3 minutes and 5 minutes ahead of the main peloton. Just before Deadman’s Curve, two riders from the main group of eleven were left behind. As the miles kept going by, others started falling behind, unable to keep up with the pace and the gap increased to almost 6 minutes.

Ashcroft’s Minions attempting to derail Petro-Caribe
The Anti-Barrow regime, which calls itself the “Rod of Correction”, is a collection of self proclaimed independent thinkers who have been trying desperately to turn the Belizean people against the Dean Barrow Administration. Having been approved by Lord Michael Ashcroft, Audrey Matura Shepherd has become the Leader of this faction of society. This regime has thrown everything they could think of at the television screen hoping that something sticks in the minds of Belizean voters. Now their focus is on Government’s transformation catalyst, Petro-Caribe. Over the last week and a half, the Rod of Correction has rallied the troops to launch war on the Petro-Caribe program. The smoking gun they have pointed to is the Petro-Caribe Bill passed by the National Assembly after the budget debate. They claim that the bill gives Prime Minister Barrow dictatorial power to spend as much money as he wants without accounting for how the money was spent. This is simply not true. They also claim that the bill removes Petro-Caribe spending from being subject to the Finance and Audit Act. This also is simply not true.

Is Matura trying to oust Davis and replace him in the Senate
On Wednesday April 1, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize met to basically read the riot act to Ray Davis after he, as the union representative in the Senate, chose to abstain from voting for or against the Petro Caribe Bill. The vote nonetheless went 6 to 5 in favor of it passing. It would appear that Davis’ decision was prefaced by the fact that, by their own admission, he was never given any instruction on how to vote in the Senate. He therefore did the honorable thing and abstained after all he was neither told to vote for or against it. Now the NTUCB president, Marvin Mora and its Vice President, Audrey Matura summoned Davis for him to answer. We do not know what happened in the meeting but needless to say, there are now moves afoot to replace Davis.

Hotmixing of Jaguar Paw road commences
In February of this year the Government of Belize signed on to a contract for the paving of 9 kilometers of highway in Frank’s Eddy Village that leads to the Jaguar Paw cave system. Since the signing road works by Belize Roadway construction Ltd. have been moving expeditiously and already hotmix is being placed on With the investment of $4,864,644.92 on the road, it means that residents of the area as well as tour guides will see significant benefits. Already there are reports that a trip that would have taken 1/2 hour to make is being made in 15 minutes. Tour operators in particular are very pleased at the development as not only time is being cut in half but the wear and tear that their vehicles used to suffer is also being minimized. Additionally, the paving of the road with hot mix will open the area to new investment.

Cristina Coc, what about the other cultures?
The Q'eqchi’s claim of customary and indigenous right to Belize is wrong, especially when we consider all the evidence and history. The Q'eqchi's claim is an injustice to the Creole that came here along with the British. It is also an injustice to the Garifuna who came here in 1802, 4 years after the battle of St. George's Cay, and the East Indians who came here in southern Belize in 1870 from India. This is 7 years before the Guatemalan congress passed a decree abolishing the Q'eqchi communal land in Guatemala. Joining the two groups of Mayas under MLA is a worthless scam When Cristina Coc and others in the alliances know that truly only the Mopan can claim customary indigenous rights to Belize. Cristina Coc, your Claim for indigenous rights for the Q'eqchi can only be made in the Supreme Court of Guatemala. Stop your scam! The Q'eqchi' have a long history of political conflict. Even before the Spanish Conquest, which began in earnest in 1529, Guatemala was known as Tezulutlan, or "the land of war." The combined factors of military resistance and the dispersal of the Q'eqchi' population for agricultural reasons made centralized governmental control by the Spanish highly difficult. For this reason, Friar Bartolomé de las Casas was given permission to attempt to pacify the Q'eqchi' through religious conversion. Although the church was never able to gain complete control, its actions did have a strong influence on the Q'eqchi' people. The church's attempts to protect the Q'eqchi' led to an isolated Q'eqchi' enclave that was not part of the economic growth of Spanish-colonial Guatemala. Once the church lost its ability to govern the Q'eqchi', the people were open to exploitation from outside sources.

CWU President lies about Petro-Caribe spending
Without prior authorization from its members, the Christian Workers Union issued a press release on Tuesday, March 31, condemning Governments desire to access Petro-Caribe funds without prior authorization from the National Assembly. The release was loaded with opinions, propaganda and lies. It is written like something a reader can expect out of the Belize Times, not from a labour union. The most blatant lie is in the lead sentence of the fourth paragraph of the release: “Already some Bz $286,166,698.78 dollars has been spent from September 2012 to February 2015.” The truth is that not even half of this amount has been spent. Using funds available through the Petro-Caribe Agreement, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has committed just over $160 million to development projects up to February of 2015. The National Bank of Belize opened its doors with $20 million in startup capital. Due to a great demand for affordable financing, the Government of Belize injected additional capital in the Bank in the sum of $10 million. Using Petro-Caribe funds, the Government has spent or had committed just more than $67 million to roads and streets countrywide.

Vice President of FFB returns to Belize after serving time in U.S. prison
Twenty one months after being held in custody and serving time in prison in the US, Rawell Pelayo, the Senior Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize is back in the country. Pelayo who was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency, is back after being deported. It made national headlines when he was detained before being able to follow the Belize National Team to Portland in July of 2013. At the time Pelayo was supposed to be part of the official FFB entourage which was to escort the National Team to Portland for the country’s first ever appearance in the Gold Cup. He was intercepted by immigration authorities in Houston before he could properly enter the country, and he was then escorted to the Southern District of New York to stand trial for conspiracy to import narcotics into that country. The US law enforcement personnel say that he facilitated at least 500 grams of cocaine to be imported into New York.

International Garifuna Summit in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
An International Garifuna Summit organized by the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was held on 8th-15th March, 2015 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The theme of the Summit was “The Garifuna, a Nation Displaced-Cultural Rights, Economic Survival and Reparations.” It consisted of several events including Workshops, Conferences, Tours, Cultural Extravaganza, a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer Monument on St. Vincent and Grenadines Heroes Day, March 14th. A pilgrimage to Balliceaux was done on Sunday March 15. Balliceaux is an inhospitable off-shore island where the Garinagu were sent in July 1796 before being exiled from their homeland. More than fifty percent of those sent to Balliceaux died before the exile.

The Kaibil’s First Mission – Recover Belize
In 1975, the then president of Guatemala, Kjell Eugenio Laugerud had a plan: he wanted to recover Belize which he deemed was Guatemalan territory. To that end he created a super elite military unit which he named the Kaibil. If everything went according to plan, he was to make a pronouncement on the 7th July, 1977 when his elite unit was ready that Guatemala will seek to recover 11,030 kilometers of Belizean soil which he said belonged to Guatemala as a result of the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty of 1959. The plan was to train a unit outside the scopes of conventional warfare whose sole objective was to invade Belize and claim it as Guatemalan territory. As a result on the 28th April, 1975, 24 young Cadets arrived in the village of Infierno (Hell) located close to the border line. At this exact time on the Belize side of the border line, a Battalion of 700 Gurkas had just set up camp. The Gurkas are fierce warriors belonging to the Nepalese Military which serve alongside British Soldiers in Commonwealth Countries and British Colonies.

Ninth Natural Resource Management Symposium held in Belmopan
The ninth Natural Resource Management Symposium organized by the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation MSBC was held on Wednesday March 25 at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in the Nation’s Capital. It was an opportunity for some 20 specialists to review their findings on different natural resources management areas, within just an eight hour period; offering a revealing assessment of the status of marine and terrestrial habitats in both Belize and neighboring countries. According to Roberto Pott, President of the MSBC, the one day event was intended to try and bridge the gap across borders that would facilitate the exchange of technical information as it relates to biodiversity and conservation. “The primary objective is to get our researchers to present information…a lot of times data and reports stay on desks and on shelves and this is an opportunity to at least get the abstract that is then published widely,” says Roberto Pott. Presenting information on climate and land use change on Belize’s water resources was Dr. Elma Kay, Science Director for the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize. Dr. Elma Kay referred to the 16 watersheds that exist in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico and examined the potential effects of erosion and runoff patterns.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow attends Summit of the Americas
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country on Tuesday, 7th April, 2015, for an official visit to Panama City, Panama, to attend the Summit of the Americas from 10th - 11th April, 2015. On 9th April, the Prime Minister makes a presentation to the II CEO Summit under the theme “Bridging the Americas: Productive Integration for Inclusive Development”, which precedes the actual summit. While in Panama, the Prime Minister will also be participating in a SICA-US Summit. The Office of the Prime Minister would also like to inform that the Hon. Wilfred Elrington will be representing Prime Minister Barrow in a CARICOM-US Summit in Jamaica on 8th April 2015. Thereafter, Hon. Elrington will be travelling to Panama to join Prime Minister Barrow at the Summit of the Americas.

Municipal Fair opens in San Ignacio Town
The 66th Annual Municipal Fair for San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns was officially opened on Friday night of last week at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town. Opening the three day fair was Earl Trapp, the Mayor of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Also present at this opening was the Deputy Mayor Bernadette Fernandez as well as members of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council. Thousands of Belizeans from all over Belize came to the Macal River Park to experience the mechanical rides and a variety of foods that were being offered. What makes the fair especially popular on Saturdays is that it was held just after the passing of the Cross Country Cycling Classic through San Ignacio Town, which brought even more Belizeans and tourists into Town. When the first fair was held decades ago, some $1,400.00 was raised to build the present Columbus Park; still standing in front of the San Ignacio Police Station. Funds from subsequent fairs were also used for community development and the offering of scholarships to students.

Accused of grabbing Chinese grocer’s breast
Sheffield Brown, 39, a resident of Welch Street, Belize City spent the Easter weekend at the Belize Central Prison on remand for allegedly grabbing a Chinese grocer’s breast. According to the victim, she was driving her vehicle on Antelope Street when Brown jumped in front of her causing her to stop. He then approached the vehicle and grabbed her breast. The woman reported the incident to police and Brown was later picked up and charged with sexual assault.

Charged for arson at Youth Hostel
Three young girls have been charged for setting the fire that destroyed the girls’ dormitory of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel on Tuesday, March 31. The alleged ring leader is 18-year-old resident, Erlene Baizar. Baizar appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court along with two accomplices, ages 12 and 13, on Thursday, April 2. The girls appeared before recently appointed Magistrate Ladonna John where they were read charges of arson and damage to property. According to a police report, just after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, the three females lit a mattress on fire which then caused the entire dormitory to be engulfed in flames. The entire female dormitory cement structure with zinc roofing measuring 30 by 54 feet is valued at $250,000 was destroyed. Also destroyed were a 42 inch Toshiba flat screen television, valued $1,200, two sofa sets, valued $2,400, 11 metal bunk beds, value $11,000, 23 twin size foam mattresses, valued $3,500, one Mahogany desk, valued $700, one wooden six seater table, valued $300, four padded chairs, valued $600, seven standing fans, valued $665, 23 assorted bed sheets, valued $700 and one BTL telephone system, valued $9,416. The total value of the structure and items destroyed is estimated to be more than $280,400.

Medical authorities find blade inside man in Cayo
Medical personnel examining a man at the San Ignacio Hospital during an X-Ray examination have found a knife blade inside of him. Melvin Budna had been rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital on Saturday night of this past weekend, after having been involved in an altercation at the Blue Angels Night Club on Hudson Street in San Ignacio Town. On finding the blade, San Ignacio hospital authorities immediately transported Melvin Budna to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan City in an unconscious state for further surgery and medical treatment. While at the Belmopan Hospital, surgeons were able to remove the blade from inside of him and he is now in stable condition.

Cayo man recovering after a hit and run
Well know sports enthusiast and self-employed Bernard McLaren remains at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after being hit by a driver on March 29th. The driver of a white vehicle had refused to render assistance and fled the scene. As he would do almost daily, the 50 year old had just visited his three kids in Santa Elena and was heading to another house when he was hit by the vehicle. His wife Dawnette Elijio tells us that Bernard McLaren was suffering from a blood clot in the brain, internal injuries and a collapsed lung. Elijio also reports that the staff and doctors at the KHMH have rendered her husband great service, with Cat Scans, X-Rays and Ultrasound having been performed so far. While earlier on McLaren had been placed on life support, he is now off the ventilator and is breathing on his own.

Brothers chop two men in Cayo
On Sunday of this past weekend, at about 10:30 am, a man of Hispanic descent identified as Steven Cruz ended with multiple machete chop wounds whist he was at the corner of Blue Bird Street and 23rd Back Street in San Igancio Town. Twenty year old Steven Cruz was socializing at the residence of Alejandro Galvez when he got into an altercation with brothers Daniel Bennet and Dean Bennet. Daniel Bennet then left the property saying “all a unu wan get it.” Both Daniel and Dean Bennet returned ten minutes later to approach Alejandro Galvez and Steven Cruz, who were sitting on the verandah of the house. Daniel Bennet then began lashing Alejandro Galvez. But Dean Bennet was more aggressive and began swinging his machete towards Steven Cruz, causing wounds to the back of his head, right wrist and right lower foot.

Female Coast Guard attempts to kill another coast guard while on duty
A veteran female Coast Guard Officer has been accused of shooting another officer in the back of the head. She is now at the Belize Central Prison, and the victim, has been hospitalized for the injury. It happened on Monday, April 6, when a joint law enforcement team consisting of police officers, Coast Guard officers, Port Authority, and Belize Defence Force Soldiers were returning from an operation at sea. About 100 yards from docking at the Belize City, base, the officers on board the Coast Guard Vessel "CG14" heard a gunshot at around 9:42 a.m. When the officers checked, they found Pettie Officer First Class Kurt Hyde, who was the captain of the vessel lying on the deck. He suffered a gunshot injury to the back of the head which exited his left cheek. The officers also observed 24 Year-old Coast Guard Officer Keyren Tzib with her service issue M4 Carbine in her hand, and a 5.56 expended shell was found on the deck.

Stepfather hacks step son to death
A Belize City man is accused of chopping his stepson to death, currently, he’s at the Belize Central Prison after being criminally charged by the police for that incident. The confrontation happened at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. Forty-two year-old Patrick Castillo Sr. was at home on Kut Avenue with his family, which included his biological children and his stepchildren. That’s when his stepson, 20 year-old Guatemalan Jose Maderos, reportedly stepped on his sister’s toe. That caused Castillo to get involved as a parent, and he started to discipline Maderos. Within familial circles, the two men were known to a have a confrontational relationship in which Maderos did not get along very well with his stepfather. Police investigations indicate that this episode between stepfather and stepson escalated to a physical altercation, and an enraged Castillo allegedly pulled a machete and chopped his stepson to death. The entire incident was witnessed by other young children in the family, and it has reportedly caused the children to suffer trauma.

Police investigate two murders
Police are investigating two very recent murders one, which happened in Seine Bight Village in the South, and another in Belize City. The latest incident happened just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. 24 year-old Mark “Judas” Rhamdas was walking in an alley near to his home when he was shot by an unknown gunman, who reportedly fired at least 5 bullets at him. He then ran out of the alley unto Albert Street West, with his hand on his abdomen, begging for assistance and informing those around that he had been shot. He collapsed right in front of Southside Meats on Albert Street, and was rushed to the KHMH shortly after. Unfortunately, he did not make it in time, and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Justin Williams captures 87th Cross Country Title
The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its 87th Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday 4 April, 2015. The 142 miles event attracted some 94 riders from the Elite, U-23 and Masters Category. The event officially started from the Fabers Road Junction with the George Price Highway at 6:00 am. The first separation in the riders came around Mile 18 when a group of 7 separated itself from the main peloton. It was not until at mile 27 that the original breakaway group of 7 merged with the chase group of 4 riders. At that point in time the lead group consisted of Shane Vasquez of Western Spirits, Scottie Weisse of Team Starlight, Erwin Middleton of Benny’s Megabytes, Richard Santiago of Team Digicell, Justin and Corey Williams of Team Bel-Cal, Mexican Yayir Jimenez-Godinez of Team Cancun, David Henderson of Smart Zoom, Leroy Cassasola of Team Santino’s, Peter Choto and Aiden Juan of Team C-Ray. The station prize at the Belmopan Junction was captured by David Henderson of Team Smart Zoom. At that point in time of the race, the lead was over some 3 minutes.

Belize Softball Federation holds Tryout for U-19 players in Independence Village
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding Open Tryouts for softball players 19 years and under in both the female and male categories on Saturday 11 April, 2015, in Independence Village in the Stann Creek District. The National Training Team will be at the Independence High School in Independence Village at 10:15 to conduct the Open Try-outs for the players. The Belize Softball Federation is asking all players to bring along an identification that can be used for age verifications. The National Junior Female and National Junior Male teams will represent Belize at the Central American Junior Championships in El Salvador and Nicaragua respectively.

Amandala

Patrick JonesPJ

Albert Vaughan loitering case draws to close
Last August, PUP activist and reporter Albert Vaughan was charged with loitering in a public place during the riots by then-workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) against the Belize City Council. The workers stood against reports that some 50 of them would be temporarily terminated due to “hard […]

Belize History Association unveils logo; awards winners
It was established last year to promote the gathering and preservation of Belize’s history, and the Belize History Association (BHA) is moving full steam ahead in that goal. Today it presented its new logo, the combined creation of the two winners of its logo design competition held earlier […]

BREAKING: Murder Victim Found in San Ignacio is Aurelio Montero
The murder victim who was found around 1:27am on Holy Saturday in San Ignacio Town has been identified as Aurelio Montero from Bullet Tree Village. Belize Media Group has been informed that Montero is an officer at the Belize Coast Guard and was known by many people as “Nene”. More […]

Belize City man murdered in front of family
25 year old Mark Anthony Rhamdas Jr., also known as “Judas,” became the latest target of murder in Belize City. In the last two weeks there have been three shooting incidents in the general vicinity of Albert Street West, Berkeley Street and East Canal, centered around an alley […]

BREAKING: Prisoner Escapes from Police
Authorities in Orange Walk are currently actively seeking a wanted prisoner who escaped from their grasp as they were being transported to the Central Prison this afternoon. The escapee has been identified as 37 year old Angel Torres of a Cabbage Street address in the Louisiana Area of Orange Walk […]

Belize Bank BullDogs Win Second Place in the Sittee River Canoe Race
The Belize Bank BullDogs Canoe team, sponsored by Belize Bank Limited, finished a close second in the recent Sittee River Easter Monday Race held on April 6, 2015. The BullDogs came in just behind an excellent Guydis Canoes Team who finished the race in 1:19:21 with the BullDogs finishing with […]

Bush fires break out in August Pine Ridge Villag
Chairman of the August Pine Ridge Village, Ismael Blanco has been receiving calls since Sunday about bush fires that are rampaging through acres upon acres of land in that rural area. According to Blanco, bush fires are a natural phenomena during this time every year but this year, he believes […]

This Heritage Reshape, Not Just Hold
By Valentino Shal “The State is nothing other than the effect, the outline, the moving cross section of a perpetual process of State formation, or perpetual processes of State formation … The State is nothing other than the changing effect of a multiple regime of governmentalities” – Michel Foucault, French Philosopher. The Caribbean Court of […]

Belize: Warm, Dry Weather with Isolated Showers Will Continue Through the Weekend
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting, fair, warm, and dry conditions with isolated showers dominating our weather for the rest of the weekend. Winds will blow to the East at 10 to 20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures are expected to be around […]

We Should Re-Think Our Education System
In May 2013 the Inter-American Development Bank released a report named – “Challenges and Opportunities in the Belize Education Sector”. The report stated – “Belize is paying a lot for education but getting little. More youth are outside the school system than in it and many fail to make the transition to […]

Blogs

An Update: Mahogany Bay Village Really IS The Largest Development on Ambergris Caye
Almost a year ago now, I followed the signs just south of town to Rum+Bean coffee shop and the beginning development called Mahogany Bay Village. (You can see exactly what I saw here – it was June 2014.) The coffee shop was open but not much else. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing pictures on Facebook…of delicious coffee drinks and Key Lime Pie in a mason jar and I decided to go down there again. And I found changes…LOTS of changes. And impressive ones. Overwhelming plans. I think I was more shocked by this progress than by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore plans. And that’s saying something. Perhaps because it is in “my backyard”. Here’s what I saw and what I learned. The entrance is just past this sign. Let’s just say that this population number is about to change.

Positive thoughts...Gia provides her thoughts on working with manatee calves
Hi, I’m Georgia and I work with the two manatee calves here at Wildtracks. I have always desired to be a helpful person, to make a true and definitive difference with my life. Being at Wildtracks for the past two months I have felt the impacts of my work in a more real way than I ever have before. Yesterday we weighed Mitch and Lucky, the two youngest manatees at Wildtracks, and over the past two months they have both gained over 30 pounds. When the numbers appeared on the screen I cannot explain the joy that I felt. Every day my good friend Julie and I wake up before the sunrise and go to bed long after it has set, in order to feed these two calves. Their care, along with Elliot and Athena – a pair of howler monkeys that I feed, consumes all of my energy both physical and mental every day. Yet every day I wake up refreshed. When my alarm goes off I think about Mitch, Lucky, Elliot, and Athena and about what today has in store for us, what challenges, triumphs, and whatever may come. The responsibility entrusted to me to safeguard these animals inspires me to do my absolute best for them, and in turn this experience has been immensely rewarding. From having Lucky sleep on my chest after finishing his bottle, to playing with Elliot and hearing his chuckle for the first time, rehabilitating these animals replenishes my soul, washes away all of the minor and superficial stresses that nag me, and reminds me of what is truly important.

International Sourcesizz

Updated 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecasts Have Been Released By Tropical Storm Risk & Colorado State – My Thoughts On Both Forecasts
Updated forecasts for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season have been issued by Colorado State University and Tropical Storm Risk. I want to briefly go over both forecasts with you and then give you my latest thoughts on what the 2015 Hurricane Season may have in store. Before I get into everything, PLEASE PREPARE for this hurricane season the same way you would for any other season, no matter how many storms are forecast. It only takes one tropical storm or hurricane to make a season very bad for any one person. Find out about your evacuation zone, go out and get shutters to protect your home, go out and go shopping to get hurricane supplies, go to your insurance agent and make sure you are insured properly. So, let’s take a look briefly at both forecasts: Colorado State University’s Updated April 9th Forecast: http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2015/apr2015/apr2015.pdf – The biggest item of note in their forecast is that they are expecting one of the least active seasons in quite some time and that at least a moderate El Niño will be in place during much of the hurricane season. As for numbers, the forecast from Colorado State University is calling for 7 named storms, 3 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 1 of those hurricanes becoming a major hurricane. One item of important note is that a El Niño does not impact the Gulf of Mexico storms and is mainly a impact for the Caribbean and the part of the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the western coast of Africa. This is important and will be discussed more later on in this update.

Faculty and Students Travel to Belize to Study Tropical Environments
The 12 students enrolled in this year’s Coasts in Transition 360° joined Bryn Mawr faculty members Thomas Mozdzer (Biology), Maja Šešelj (Anthropology), and Don Barber (Geology) on a spring break trip to Belize where they examined tropical environments and conducted marine ecology research. While in Belize, the group was immersed in two distinct tropical ecosystems – a rain forest and a barrier reef – as they studied each region’s flora, fauna, geology, history, and culture. First, in the remote village of Blue Creek in the Belizean rain forest, students learned about the flora and fauna from local guides who provided lessons in ethnobotany (the relationships between plants and people). Students also toured the tropical rainforest canopy, swam through a cave to learn about carbonate geology, made hot chocolate and tortillas with local villagers, and encountered iguanas and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. En route to South Water Caye, a tropical marine reserve about 20 kilometers off the coast of Belize in the world’s second largest barrier reef, students visited the Late Classic Maya site of Lubaantun, where they learned about Mayan history and civilization. This was followed by drumming lessons to experience the local Garifuna culture.

Investors Sue Over Belizean Property Dispute
Investors claim a Florida lawyer-turned-felon and his cohorts bilked them out of their savings twice over using a Belizean real estate scheme. The investors, sixteen all told, sued ex-attorney Kenneth Dunn and his associates in Palm Beach County Court for allegedly duping them into financing Dreamscapes, a residential development project in Belize. They claim the money they contributed to the project was siphoned off to "fund [the] personal lifestyles" of Dunn, project head Cliff Goodrich, and Dreamscapes officer Colm King, all of whom are named as defendants. According to the lawsuit, the grift began after the investors requested information about Dreamscapes on a website and were contacted by Dreamscapes' agents. The Dreamscapes marketing team, at the direction of Dunn and Goodrich, told the investors the project would turn Goodrich's plot of undeveloped Belizean land into a residential complex with a police and fire station, marina, club house and golf course, the lawsuit claims.

I'm a soldier - get me out of here!
Day one: Mention Belize to anyone and the first thing they warn you of is the size of the spiders. Trust me. They are huge. Day one started with an early alarm call before checking in at London Heathrow airport. It was a chance to meet some of the team who we would be sharing camp with, battling the thick foliage alongside and watching our soldiers train in some of the most difficult conditions. Conversation on the flight was mostly about the size of the creepy crawlies, but also how young some of 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment are. Many of them left school and signed up straight away, while others moved into the regular army after passing out from Harrogate’s training college. These are 18-year-old men who quickly find themselves in a very grown up world.

Obama applauds LGBT advocate during Jamaica speech
President Obama on Thursday applauded a prominent Jamaican LGBT rights advocate as he spoke during a town hall meeting in the country’s capital. Angeline Jackson, executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, a group that advocates on behalf of lesbian and bisexual women and transgender Jamaicans, was among those in the audience at University of the West Indies in Kingston when Obama described her as one of the island’s “remarkable young leaders.” Obama during his speech noted that Jackson founded Quality of Citizenship Jamaica after she and a friend were kidnapped, held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. “As a woman and as a lesbian, justice and society weren’t always on her side,” said the president. “But instead of remaining silent she chose to speak out and started her own organization to advocate for women like her, get them treatment and get them justice and push back against stereotypes and give them some sense of their own power. And she became a global activist.”

Nacogdoches FUMC youth group putting on huge garage sale for mission trips
Spring is the traditional garage sale season, but some sales are larger than others. The First United Methodist Church, Nacogdoches Youth Garage Sale is one of those. There are enough items to fill a basketball gymnasium. It's going on through Saturday to raise money to send the youth on summer mission trips. “We've got a group that is going to Belize to serve by building onto a Christian high school,” said Jeff Campbell, FUMC's director of youth ministries. “And then we have a group of younger high school who are going down to Navasota for those that are in need. And then we have a junior high group that will just be going to Longview and working in Gregg County area for widows and single moms and older folks."

Sabra Recalls 30,000 Cases Of Hummus Over Fears Of Listeria Contamination
Belize's Ministry of Health has not released a warning yet, but we know that these products are on the shelves of local shops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Please read and be aware - Sabra Hummus products recalled. Sabra Dipping Co., which makes the country’s top-selling hummus, voluntarily recalled approximately 30,000 cases due to a possible listeria contamination, the company announced on Wednesday. The potential for contamination was discovered when a routine, random sample –collected from a retail location in Michigan on March 30 – tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The company was made aware of the possible contamination on April 7.

WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: Nuttin' but love for Obama in Jamaica
President Barack Obama's supporters often shout at him, "I love you!" But Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller didn't have to raise her voice Thursday. She had prime seating beside Obama from which to declare her and her country's love for him after they met privately during his first presidential visit to her island nation. "I just want to say to you, you might not know, but you are very loved in this country," Simpson Miller said, before describing how many Jamaicans mistakenly had lined the route they thought his motorcade would take after he arrived Wednesday evening. "So I just wanted to say you're well-loved in Jamaica," she said. "Well, first of all I can say to you publicly, 'I love you.'"

Joe Biden makes case for $1 billion investment in Central America
While President Obama focuses on domestic spending, the vice president is turning his attention to our southern neighbors. In a New York Times op-ed published late Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden explains why Obama intends to ask Congress to spend in 2015 “almost three times what we generally have provided to Central America.” “As we were reminded last summer when thousands of unaccompanied children showed up on our southwestern border,” Biden begins, “the security and prosperity of Central America are inextricably linked with our own.” Specifically, Biden says that the “economies of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras remain bogged down as the rest of the Americas surge forward. Inadequate education, institutional corruption, rampant crime and a lack of investment are holding these countries back.” “Toward that end,” Biden explains, “on Monday, President Obama will request from Congress $1 billion to help Central America’s leaders make the difficult reforms and investments required to address the region’s interlocking security, governance and economic challenges.”

PHOTO OF THE WEEK 199: BELIZE
Greetings from Belize! This post is coming out a little late this week, but I have a good excuse — I just couldn’t stand to be on my computer any more than necessary for the nine beautiful days my family was here! (All the other posts you’ve read recently were written and scheduled long before their arrival.) Exploring Belize with my mom, little sister and cousin was a highlight of my time in Central America and a trip I know we’ll cherish for years. Our first stop was the coastal Garifuna village of Hopkins, where we snorkeled, biked, and swam our way through every minute of sunshine. Next we moved inland to the beautiful jungles of San Ignacio, where we climbed ancient ruins, yoga-ed our hearts out and took a traditional Mayan cooking class. Finally, we made our way out to the Cayes, where I’ll be reporting from next week. I’m already giddy to share more about all these experiences with you in the future. But for now, a little preview in the form of Photo of the Week…

Videos

  • artWork, 3min. Made a lil music video of new painting, at Central Farm studio, Belize Central America.

  • Dual Survival - Belize, 11min. Cave diving documentary

  • Belize Sugar Industries, 8min.

  • Belize 2015 , min. COrnell College goes to San Pedro!

  • Spring Break 2015: Caye Caulker, Belize, min.

  • International Severice Learning: Belize 2015, 2.5min. hotos from my spring break medical service trip in Corozal, Belize

  • Someday is NOW!, 8min. The Mesoamerican Reef is Belize's crown jewel and a major economic engine for the country. As the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, it provides this Central American nation with thriving lobster, conch and reef fish fisheries, a strong cultural icon, and a magnet for hundreds of thousands of tourists who come each year to enjoy its outstanding diving, snorkeling and fishing opportunities. This incredible resource is in peril. Unplanned development of coastal areas -- including dredging and filling of critical mangrove forests, contamination, and overfishing -- all threaten the reef and Belizean livelihoods. In Someday is NOW!, the people of Belize speak out, demanding a coastal zone management plan and a responsible path for development.

  • 4 the World Volunteer Video, 4min. The 4 the World team that came down last month to distribute school supplies in Calla Creek, refurbish one of the Mary Open Doors houses, and give classes in female self defense and yoga, made a video of their experience here. The video shows how much fun they had while helping out. Great video. Enjoy!

  • Belize Turtle, 1.5min.

  • SAN PEDRO, BELIZE, 3.5min. VIAJE A SAN PEDRO, BELIZE, CON 4 AMIGOS.

  • MVCC Marine Bio Belize 2016, 9min.

  • Jungle Ziplining in Belize, 2min.

  • Sharks, Stingrays, and Turtles Scuba Diving Belize, 2min. Diving and snorkeling off the coast of San Pedro, Belize. Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

  • Belize Vlog Part 1, 16min. Hello Friends, So about a month ago me and my friend Sophia went on a one week vacation to my home country of BELIZE!

  • Top

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