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#506966 - 08/28/15 11:34 AM Today's Belize News: August 28, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

New RE/MAX Island Real Estate company formed in San Pedro
E/MAX Caribbean and Central America is pleased to announce the formation of a new REMAX franchise –RE/MAX Island Real Estate – for Ambergris Caye, Belize. The former franchise, RE/MAX Southwind, LLP, owned and operated by Broker/Owner(s), John D. Turley and Daniel Hartin, has ceased operations, and John D. Turley is the owner of RE/MAX Island Real Estate for both Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, Belize. These changes are effective immediately. Despite the change in leadership, processes have been put into place to make this business transition transparent to customers and to maintain business continuity. As a result, current sales agreements and upcoming closings are unaffected by this change in business ownership.

Vessel “So Sea” removed from the sea

Five-a-side Football Tournament crowns four champions
The Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) and San Pedro High School (SPHS) Five-a-side Football Tournament has come to a most exciting end. The quarter finals took place from Thursday, August 13th to Sunday, August 16th and saw more teams being eliminated, with possible champions winning a spot in the semi-finals. But the excitement really ramped up from Thursday, August 20th to Sunday, August 23rd during the final week of games. Large crowds of football fanatics came out in full force to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium to support their favorite teams. In the end, the four teams that rose as champions in each of the divisions were FC Bayer Munich Under 10, and Los Catrachos FC. The finals started bright and early on Sunday, August 23rd with the first match being played at 11AM. The first four sets of matches were to determine the third and fourth place for each division. United FC Under 10 took on FC America in the first. The match ended in 9-4 point win for FC America, allowing them to take the third place trophy and prizes. Scoring for the winning team were Steven Almendarez with four goals, Logan Espat with four goals and Joecel Liandre Bulnez with one goal. In the Under 13 division, Manchester United FC faced off against Inter de Milan FC. Taking the third place trophy and prizes in this division was Manchester United FC who defeated Inter de Milan FC in a 3-2 point game. The next match was between the female teams of Ernie’s Warriors and Hyde’s Strikers. Ernie’s Warriors took the third place trophy and prizes through a win by default as Hyde’s Strikers were a no show. Green House FC rose as the third place champions in the senior division after defeating Varela’s Boys in an 8-5 point game. Scoring for Green House Fc were Harbin Velasquez with three goals, Jesus Lizano with two goal, Dinho Noralez with two goals and Pedro Tzul with one goal.

Road to the 2015 Miss San Pedro Pageant
The 2015 Miss San Pedro Pageant is only days away and the six lovely contestants are making final preparations for the big show. But prior to the pageant, Brianna Hope Leslie, Vivian Noralez, Ethel Villatoro, Tisane Martines, Iris Salguero and Velie Alexi Williams have been kept quite busy, as they have participated in several events and outings. The contestants’ journey to the Miss San Pedro Pageant kicked off on Tuesday, July 21st with their first social outing. The girls had the opportunity to interact and meet each other during an overnight stay at Grand Colony Island Villas. This was also the site of their first official photoshoot.

Ambergris Today

Equipment Donated to Tourism Police Unit to Improve Services Countrywide
On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) presented the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) with five (5) Yamaha XTZ125 CC trail bikes and twenty eight (28) handheld radios to assist the TPU in carrying out its mandate, which is to enforce tourism legislation and safeguard the tourism industry. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., did the handing over. The trail bikes are designated for the Tourism Police Formation in Hopkins Village, Orange Walk, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, and Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Electricity Limited is looking for external auditors
Belize Electricity Limited is seeking to appoint external auditors to review its financial and operational systems, procedures and internal control systems in accordance with internationally accepted auditing standards.

Benque Summer Camp
The 8th annual Zone 4 Benque Viejo Neighborhood Watch Group Summer Camp was held at Sams’ Community Park this past week starting Monday 17th of August and ending Friday 21nd . The camp was available to all area children and was held all week from 8:30 am to noon daily. The children received free of charge instruction and participation in various arts and crafts. The children also enjoyed football, volleyball as well as use of playground equipment including swings and slides and use of the club-house. The annual event was hosted and organized by Neighborhood Watch Captain Sam Bruce with help from volunteers, sponsors, and with the cooperation of the Benque Police Department. Guest speakers included an opening address by Deputy O/C Insp. Stanley Bowden, Cpl. McNeil on domestic violence issues, Armando Chulin on patriotism and a statement in the closing ceremony by Cpl. Joshua McKoy, which is also Belize’s first recipient of “GREAT” International Training program Certification. With an initial registration limit of 50, the ranks swelled daily until an aggregate total of more than 500 willing participates attended, with great strain on resources as all was donated by the organizer, Mr. Bruce, and community businesses based on 250 total attendances.

BUA - Press Release - Boycott Guatemala
Guatemalans are laughing all the way to the bank as innocent Belizeans continue to prop up their country with our hard earned dollars. - August 27, 2015.

Our beautiful nurse Rochelle driving the new ambulance on Caye Caulker.

IllumiNation Festival of Light
Corozal House of Culture (NICH) The Corozal House of Culture is dedicated in uplifting and inspiring residents through various creative forms. We are pleased to offer an entertaining annual event for all ages with a patriotic theme as part of the September Celebrations activities in partnership with the Corozal Town Council. IllumiNation Festival of Light is a patriotic celebration encompassing light in many forms; candle, laser, glow in the dark, as well as fireworks which will take place on September 9th at Miami Beach. Leading up to this event we are inviting the community to participate in our free lantern making workshops at the House of Culture Aug 29th, and Sept 5th. We will have on hand items to create lanterns from recycled materials, and paper-mache lanterns, if possible, we are a encouraging persons to bring in any used large plastic/glass bottles. All ages are invited to participate in the free workshops as there will be a variety of designs offered. Participants of the lantern making workshop will be encouraged to attend the IllumiNation Festival of Light event to display their lanterns. Cash prizes will be given to most patriotic and most creative lantern, bicycle and boat. Join us in this positive, creative activity Saturday August 29th beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Corozal House of Culture.

Update on Mediation Process for Negotiation of Revised Partnership Collective Agreement
Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) Management Negotiating Team has been participating in mediation sessions with the Labour Department in an effort to reach a compromise on the pending articles in the revised Partnership Collective Agreement (PCA). In June, the Company requested that the Labour Department mediate the completion of the pending PCA articles regarding salaries and benefits after BEL and the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) were unable to arrive at an agreement following several months of negotiations. As a result, these negotiations officially entered into mediation by the Labour Department. In the spirit of compromise, the Company made a second revision to its initial proposal and presented this revised proposal to the Labour Department at a meeting yesterday. As communicated before, the Company’s initial proposal was for an increase in salaries and benefits that is equivalent to a 24% increase in salary.

Restore Belize and Yata Road Tour
Restore Belize and the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association have teamed up to bring a show on issues affecting girls in Belize. They'll be performing at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, starting at 5:00pm.

Channel 7

Cola To GOB: Build The Base Now!
Last week when the Prime Minister held a press conference to say that the Guatemalan Navy was wrong for coming into Belize to bully the territorial volunteers - the government hoped it would stem the political hemorrhaging over the Sarstoon Island and River. But, the pressure just keeps building - and today the pressure group COLA tried to ramp it up a few notches with the launch of a campaign called "Build The Base Now." They're referring to the forward operating base on Sarstoon Island and today the group held a fiery press conference at the Radisson to launch their campaign:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Supporters were bussed in to the Radisson for the event where they filled up the VIP Room which was plastered with vinyl all weather banners - complete with Hollywood style logos and branding all the trappings of a political party - so we had to ask. Jules Vasquez "Will COLA be activating itself as a political party? I ask this because I see you all mobilizing like a political party. You brought a bus with supporters - that's fair. I counted 16 all-weathered banners across the room, quite sophisticated."

GOB, Special Meetings Next Week
But government is moving ahead with its own business - and there's something big coming down the pike next week - but no one seems to know for sure what it is. 7News has confirmed that there will be a special House Meeting next week Tuesday - the day after a special cabinet meeting on Monday. Now - there are all kinds of rumours and speculation about what both Meetings will be about. Some say that Monday's Cabinet meeting is for a Cabinet shuffle. Well based on what we've heard from our sources we can say with almost absolute certainty, that's not going to happen. And the house meeting? Well, the rumour mill says that could even be to dissolve the house and set the date for an election. But, again, our best information says there's almost no chance of that. But, there is some major announcement that is expected - just that, right now, it's a tightly guarded secret, and no one can say for sure what it is.

FCD Says 18 Million in Hardwood Stolen From Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development or FCD as they are known, the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, released their annual report today on illegal logging activities in the protected area. Their estimate is that from 2010 to 2012 4.248 million US dollars' worth of Cedar has been illegal cut, and 5.199 million US dollars' worth of Mahogany has been illegally harvested. That's a total of $18.89 million Belizean dollars that has been lost from the Chiquibul. First off, the good news is that there have not been any visible signs of illegal logging since September of 2014. But the bad news is that's probably because all the logs close to the border have already been illegally extracted and the poachers would have to come too deep into Belize to find more. But, no doubt, it's also because there are a greater number of park rangers and security forces patrolling the Chiquibul.

BEL Says It's Willing To Compromise
Over the past two weeks - we've talked to the minister of labour, the labour commissioner, and the energy Workers Union about the ongoing dispute between BEL and its union. Well, today the company put in its five cents. The company says it has made a second revision of its initial proposal, which it presented to the Labour Department yesterday. The company says it is willing to compromise on the following: The total increase in salaries and benefits; The vesting period for employee pension; and Adjustment to the Annual Performance Increase Matrix. While the union says it is principally asking for an across the board 8% increase, the Company's maintains that its initial proposal was for an increase in salaries and benefits that is equivalent to a 24% increase in salary.

Maskall Marijuana
Eastern division rural police took down a good-sized marijuana plantation on Tuesday. It was found in the area of Maskall village - where 800 mature plants were uprooted and destroyed. Police sat on the field for two days waiting for the owner to turn up - so he or she or they could be arrested. But when no one turned up - they proceeded to destroy the field.

Belize And Mexico, Making Trade Work
One month ago, we told you about the moves that the Ministry of Trade was making to strengthen trade ties between Belize and Guatemala. They're also working on opening up trade relations with Belize's other neighbor, the one to the north: Mexico. Today, BELTRAIDE hosted a conference between the producers and exporters all around the country to meet and speak with the regulators and trade facilitators from the Mexican Government and the private sector. Both sides are working on completing a platform that allows unimpeded access to the Mexican market with all the benefits, and none of the headaches. We spoke with the CEO about the progress both countries have made, and how much further they have to go: Mike Singh, CEO - Ministry of Trade "The meeting today is a third in a series that we've been promoting for exporting Belizean products to different regions and through collaboration with the Belize Embassy in Mexico and through a lot of work put on their behalf, as well as collaboration with our group in Belize, we were able to put together a very high level team of experts from Mexico that will work with our exporters to understand market procedures, policies and hopefully help them with their quest to expand markets into Mexico."

Working Towards Zero Traffic Accidents
Within the last 2 weeks, there have been 4 traffic accidents around the country, resulting in 4 fatalities. That statistic is not lost on the Belize Road Safety Project coordinators who are still working towards reaching zero deaths and zero to traffic accidents by the year 2030. Since 2011, however, there's been an average of 56 fatalities per year. So, it's a very ambitious goal, and so the coordinators have come up with a draft National Road Safety Master Plan. This plan seeks to engage the multitudes of Government professionals - in all areas from education to enforcement - to try and work towards that goal. Today, the National Road Safety Committee gathered all the different traffic departments, Health, Education and Emergency personnel from around the country to discuss what the draft master plan currently looks like, and how it should be improved towards final implementation. 7News stopped by for the opening ceremonies of the workshop, and here's what the Leaders of the committee had to say:

Solar Powered Lights to Replace Kerosene
For those of us who live in areas with electricity - we take it for granted that we'll always have lights. But in the remote reaches of the Toledo District - electricity is a far off reality - and in villages like San Vicente and Jalacte - they use kerosene lamps. That includes school children who have to get their home work done using those same lamps but, while it has been going on for generations, a US Charity called grid earth says breathing in that kerosene smoke is toxic to children. So they give out specialized solar lights - 200 of which were donated in San Vicente and Jalacte earlier this week. Here's how it was pitched to the villagers:.. This year grid earth gave out 200 solar lights, last year they gave 400.

Southside Police Back Into Community
Community policing is one thing - but the eastern division Southside is taking it to a whole new level. The Southside cops have been holding a back to school drive for the children of Mayflower Street - and they handed over their donations today at the Berger Field. Senior Superintendent Williams told us why they are doing it:... Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South "It's a continuation of our back to school drive. We had the one last week in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and now we are doing one for the Mayflower area. Today we will be giving out a total of 100 bags to the children of this area and again like I have said before we try to reach out to the younger generation as well and not only to those who are already caught up in the criminal justice system. So it's just a good gesture from the police to give back to the community and show the community that you know we are serious about working with you.

Chester On Checkpoints
And while Senior Supe Willaims and his teams were doing their thing on the Southside - hardly a mile away at the Belcan Bridge - there's a 24 hour checkpoint waiting for everyone crossing over from Southside to north.. It's a new policing strategy where these checkpoints have been installed at all four bridged connecting the northside and the south. But it it discriminatory? Because it almost seems to suggest that criminals travel from the Southside to the north - when it's really not that clear cut. Today we asked Williams about it: Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South "The checkpoint, I must say at times are very inconvenient, but at the end of the day, we must understand that crime is everyone's business and the commander on north side do have her responsibility and the obligation to ensure that crime on her side of the city remains at the minimal. And if they believe that the checkpoint is one way of doing that, then by all means that is the way to go."

King At Work, No Truce With Kremandala
If you've been around the Lake Independence constituency, behind the CB Hyde Complex building, you may have noticed street works in an area formerly known as Junesville. It's the work of UDP Area Rep Mark King - who says nearly 100 streets will be getting much needed attention. According to King, about 1.5 million dollars will be spent on the construction upgrades of these streets: Hon. Mark King, UDP Area Rep. - Lake I "We are doing the second round of Petrocaribe powered streets. As you know the entire country is doing streets and in this area, we've picked out under the project, streets that really need develop, streets that really needs drainage and streets that really need that extra resurfacing and so we've selected like 30 streets throughout the entire constituency which is going to be brand new streets. Brand new simply meaning up to pave standard. We are going to do everything to it except tar. We are going to put the hardcore material on top of all of them. We are going to come in with the all-in, we are going to compress it and its going to be smooth and then we are going to put culverts and dig out the drains in front of everybody's home and cement it so they can have access to their drive ways. So we are looking at almost one million dollars' worth of streets. On top of that, we are going to be doing remedial work on another 30 streets and then we will be doing patching and so forth on those that aren't too bad and so that brings us to almost 100 streets being fixed between now and October."

Bobo Youth, No Foul Play
A post mortem was conducted today on the body of Theodore Parchue, formerly known as the performer "Bobo Youth". The post mortem concluded that he died of drowning and police have ruled it as an accidental death - not a homicide. The 34 year old's body was found yesterday morning in the Belize River under the Belcan Bridge by a fisherman who found Parchue when he cast his net. After being sentenced to 7 years for burglary in 2006, Parchue had fallen on hard times. He was homeless, living under the bridge and was also an epileptic. A police report says he was last treated for an epileptic seizure in April of this year.

Belize Work Force Mostly Uneducated
Yesterday we told you about the labour force survey - which showed that unemployment was down. But the survey does much more than determine the unemployment rate - it also monitors work trends, who's entering the work force and who is leaving. The survey found that more females than ever are entering the work force, and the more educated a female is - the more likely she is to find work. Now, overall far more men are employed, but women with tertiary education - have almost exactly the same employment rate as men. And because more women have tertiary education than men, in this sector of the workforce, there are actually more women employed than men - fifteen thousand compared to 11 thousand. Keeping it on education, perhaps the most alarming finding in the labour force survey is that 55% of the workforce has completed primary educator or less. That means that more than half of the workforce would be considered un-educated.

Channel 5

COLA Renews Call for F.M. Elrington’s Head
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow at a press conference threw his Foreign Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, under the bus for comments that have inflamed Belizeans on numerous issues [...]

President Says COLA is Not Pushing Opposition’s Agenda
The rollout of COLA’s anti-government campaign, complete with banners and other related propaganda, was done in grand fashion, relatively speaking.  The press conference was held at the Radisson and was [...]

COLA Depends on Public Support for Funding
And, just where is COLA getting its funding from?  According to former president, Moses Sulph, the organization is still very much dependent on the altruism of private individuals, as well [...]

FCD Commissioned Study Reveals Startling Facts
Illegal logging within the Chiquibul Forest remains one of the foremost causes of biodiversity loss within the national park.  An assessment of the problem to determine its scale was commissioned [...]

Belmopan Squatters Given Deadline to Vacate Premises
A piece of the jewel – any piece of the jewel – is as coveted as the Holy Grail. But unless you’ve got money, power, political connections or any combination [...]

Belmopan Mayor Says Land is Scarce
In his interview today, Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle maintained that the problem is land. There is a high demand for that precious commodity in Belmopan, and a long waiting list. [...]

Mayor Belisle Denies Promising Land Survey for Votes
Today, when we spoke to residents of the creek-side parcel, they maintained that they have been allowed to live there by both previous Mayors Anthony Chanona and Simeon Lopez. They [...]

Two Charged for Handling Stolen Goods
A room being rented in the city by Harold Perriott was burglarized last week Thursday.  This week, two men were charged with the offense of handling stolen goods; one took [...]

Firearm Charge Withdrawn…Drug Charge Sticks
A man reported to police that he was robbed at gunpoint, but today in court, he claimed he never told police a gun was used and when he tried to [...]

Eastern Division Holds Back to School Drive
The Eastern Division South today held a second back to school drive; this time in the Mayflower Street area of the city as part of their strategy to build relations [...]

Is the Placement of Police Checkpoints a Result of Profiling?
On August fifteen, a deadly fight took place on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. It occurred near the entrance to the MCC Grounds across from the Ramada Belize City Princess. [...]

Transport Stakeholders Evaluate Road Safety Program
Today, stakeholders across the transport industry gathered at the Biltmore to evaluate the progress of the National Road Safety Program, which started in 2014. It is the second round of [...]

$14M Invested in Road Safety Program to Date
The Road Safety Project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize. And while the program highlights the dangers resulting from drunk driving, approximately fourteen million [...]

Workshop Held to Bridge the Trade Divide
Mexico is one of Belize’s important trading partners, especially as it relates to agriculture and fisheries products. The trade and investment arm of the government, BELTRAIDE, is planning to increase [...]

Healthy Living Looks at Tips to Staying Hydrated
Belize has been experiencing below average rainfall and above average temperatures. All Belizeans can attest to the discomfort of high temperatures but one warning that we all need to take [...]

CTV3

Highway To Cancun Collapses
What some are calling a “cenote” has appeared in the middle of the Playa del Carmen-Cancun highway today at around four in the morning. The sinkhole suddenly appeared according to reports and caused the total collapse of a twelve meter section of the road in both directions. The situation reportedly caused chaos as all four lanes of the highway have been affected. The road dropped about 2.5 meters in an area of cenotes, or natural sinkholes hear the Hotel Iberostar. It is estimated that some 3.5 tons of asphalt was displaced. Reports indicate that one person sustained minor injuries. Authorities have been working to restore traffic and have suggested alternate routes.

Heritage Bank International Cut Off From Bank Of America
Another bank in Belize is cut off from the Bank of America. According to reports, Heritage Bank International is losing its correspondence with the BOA as it continues its de-risking process. This follows remarks from officials at the Central Bank and even the Prime Minister Dean Barrow who said that any other banking institution would be cut off following termination of corresponding ties with the Belize Bank and Atlantic International Bank. Central Bank Governor Glen Ysaguirre conceded that financial institutions are under constant review and said that while he could not say if any other banks were at risk to lose their corresponding ties, there is always a possibility. He also said that some banks do business with more than one corresponding bank.

Closeness Of Bush Fire Scares Residence
Shortly after the lunch hour today, a small brush fire gave some homeowners on and around Poinsetta Street a big scare even though fire officials contained the fire from growing out of control. Residents in the area say that an individual intentionally set the property ablaze and instead of monitoring the burning, he vacated the premises. The flame came dangerously close to some homes in the area. Fire fighters shuttled in water from the truck’s hydrants to help put out the relatively small fire but caused some discomfort with the inhalation of smoke. Recent dry conditions and wind have increased the risk of brush fires and so officials are discouraging residents from lighting fires in residential areas which pose the highest risk.

LOVE FM

COLA calls for immediate construction of FOB
Under the theme, “Build the base now”, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, held a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City this morning. The general topic was the Belize/Guatemala dispute and Belize Territorial Volunteers’ recent trip to Sarstoon Island. During the press conference, COLA made three demands. […]

Millions lost as a result of illegal logging
Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, issued a release in regards to the state of Illegal Logging in the Chiquibul Rainforest. According to the FCD, “Illegal logging is one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss in the Chiquibul Forest”. In order to determine the extent of the problem, FCD, carried out an assessment between […]

Belmopan City Council deals with squatters
The Belmopan City Council met with a group of squatters that have erected structures in the Maya Mopan Area in that municipality. Earlier in the week, three wooden houses were destroyed by orders of the Belmopan City Council. On Wednesday, Belmopan City Council Ralston Fraser met with a group of more than 50 squatters. Ralston […]

Another Association gets certified by FAIRTRADE
On Monday the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers’ Association received confirmation that it had been certified to sell its sugar with the Fairtrade Logo. This morning the second largest of the three associations, Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association, got word that they too were certified and will be benefiting from the premium price upon the sale […]

Businesses target Mexican market
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRADE) is collaborating with the Embassy of Belize in Mexico in keeping with its objective to promote realistic export-ready products to reachable markets. The initiative is being conducted through ExportBelize, BELTRADE which highlights business opportunities from both trade markets that complement each other. Michael Singh CEO, in the […]

Solar lights distributed to rural communities in Toledo District
The Ministry of Rural Development teamed up with the Grid Earth Project to issue out 200 hundred solar lights to Belizeans living in rural areas. The grid earth project is a charity dedicated to saving lives, improving health, and increasing educational and economic opportunities by providing solar powered LED lighting to those in need. Coordinator […]

UN Resident Coordinator presents credentials
Last week, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for El Salvador and Belize, Christian Salazar, presented his letter of introduction to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He was also received by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington. Before this appointment, Salazar was Deputy Director, Programme Division with UNICEF in New York. He also served with […]

Road safety project on track
Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Road Safety Project has engaged consultant Mavis Johnson to coordinate the development of Belize’s Road Safety Master Plan 2030 with the vision of zero deaths on Belize’s roads and highways. Love News spoke with Crispin Jefferies, Co-Chair of the Road Safety Committee. Crispin Jefferies […]

Man charged with cattle theft
Fem Cruz reporting… “Based on a stressful call of pig rustling in progress, Belmopan police quickly responded to William Swan’s farm on the Valley of Peace road Cayo District. Love News spoke to Inspector Stephanie Grinage officer in command of the Belmopan branch who shared with us some more information. Inspector Stephanie Grinage “On 26th […]

Four ladies vie for title of PG Queen of the Bay
Paul Mahung reporting… “The Queen of the Bay pageant is one of the major events held in connection with September Celebration activities. All preparations are in place for the annual exciting event as explained by pageant coordinator Sherlyn Cassimiro.” Sherlyn Cassimiro “The four delegates vying for this year’s Queen of the Bay pageant here in […]


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#506967 - 08/28/15 11:35 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 28, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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The Guardian

Big payday for BWS shareholders - $6.765 Million in Profit at BWS
Shareholders of the Belize Water Services Limited are receiving a 5 percent return on their investment this year as Alberto August, Chairman of BWSL, has announced that dividend to minority shareholders will be paid out at a rate of 7.5 cents per share. This rate of return is greater than is available at the commercial banks in the country and has been made possible due to Government’s decision to forgo collection of its share on the agreement that it be paid out to minority shareholders. The handsome dividend share was not the only good news shareholders received at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Friday, August 21, at the Biltmore. August pointed out that there is “a significant improvement” in the company’s key performance indicators: Water Coverage, Non-Revenue Water, Staff Efficiency, Collection Efficiency, Working Ratio and Profitability.

National Bank to open Belize City Branch
Preparations are well underway as the National Bank of Belize is readying itself to open another branch office in Belize City. After almost two years in existence, there has been a growing need for the bank to expand its operations and it is now doing so in Belize City. The new offices will be located on Regent Street and will feature regular banking services including ATM services, as well as night deposit capabilities. Located at #53 Regent Street in Belize City, the bank will see official opening ceremonies take place on Thursday, September 3. At the opening Prime Minister Dean Barrow will declare the second branch of the bank officially opened.

Conspiracy to get rid of Ray Davis as Labor Senator
Ray Davis, a prominent labor unionist, and a career member of the National Assembly, has been kicked out his position as Senator for the Labor Unions. That’s the decision that the General Council of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize took on Saturday, August 22. The Council held a tribunal prior to this decision meeting, where they gave Davis an opportunity to explain himself. Readers may know that the former senator’s problems began back on March 30, when he abstained from the voting process in the Senate on whether the original Petrocaribe Loans Act was passed into law. First to take aim from the firing squad was Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who publicly called for his resignation. She condemned that abstention when in actuality, the NTUCB did not give the Senator any instructions as to what his position should be on this loan. Documents have emerged in which Davis explained via email the reason he did not vote for or against the bill since the Unions enjoyed some benefits of the Petrocaribe Funds indirectly. Things quieted down, even though there was some internal rifts created over Matura-Shepherd’s rocking the boat. Then, on July 1, the day of the Senate Debate over the Petrocaribe Loans Amendment Act, Davis was out of the country, and so that’s when members of the NTUCB had to come together last minute to decide on First Vice President Adelaida Guerra to fill in as an interim Senator.

Where is SATIIM? It is no longer co-managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park!
A group of individuals once again made a trip to the southernmost point of Belize in the hopes of raising awareness of what was taking place in the area. A 7 News report singled out fishing as a major concern and there was even mud waddling too by the media hound Audrey Matura (we were actually pleased to have seen her in an environment in which she was quite comfortable in). But back to the matter at hand, the report stated that fishing was a serious issue which was threatening the area. The images of small dories alongside the mangrove patches irritated even the most nonchalant Belizean. The reality in this whole situation is that the southern waters have been plagued by illegal fishing from neighboring Guatemala, Honduras and even other nationalities who exploit the lack of fisheries enforcement in the area for decades now. As it relates to the fishing which was seen on 7 News, this was being done within what is called the Sarstoon Temash National Park. This park is co-managed by an organization called SATIIM- the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. The last time we heard about them they were battling a scandal where a quarter of a million dollars was misappropriated from its coffers and it was not until months after the theft took place that the managers noticed.

Summer Camp held in Benque
The 8th Annual Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch Group Summer Camp was held at Sams’ Community Park in Benque Viejo del Carmen last week, from Monday 17th to Friday 21nd of August. The camp was available to all area children and was held all week from 8:30 am to noon daily. All children received free of charge instruction and participated in various arts and crafts. The children also enjoyed football, volleyball as well as use of playground equipment including swings and slides and use of the club-house. The annual event was hosted and organized by Neighborhood Watch Captain Sam Bruce with help from volunteers, sponsors, and with the cooperation of the Benque Police Department. Guest speakers to the event included an opening address by Deputy Officer in Charge, Stanley Bowden, who spoke on domestic issues. An address was also given by Armando Chulin, who based his talk on the importance of patriotism. Also speaking at the Summer Camp was Corporal Joshua McKoy, who is also Belize’s first recipient of “GREAT’s ” International Training program Certification.

Chicken Little in journalism
In Belize it appears to be a new fad for some people to be always on Social Media and even mainstream media via the morning talkshow circuit to spread rumors, half truths and in some cases outright lies. You see some of these are attention seekers or highlight grabbers, then there are those who are just plain LIARS. Every so often they would come up with stories that make one pause and ask did he or she really say that? Some of the notables who like the spotlight are, but are not limited to: Don Hecto, Ernesto Torres, Arthur Saldivar, Audrey Matura- Shepherd, Wil Meheia, Moses Sulph, Paco Smith and Sandra Coye. Most of them are serial callers to the talkshows. Then there are those talkshow hosts who are equally as guilty as the callers. Some of those hosts are Mose Hyde, Yaya Marin, Louis Wade, Albert Vaughan, Marshall Nunez and Vaughan Gill. The last three will get a pass because they work for a political party whose mantra is to spread lies and nobody takes them seriously. The other host will get a temporary pass for now but we plan to give them special attention at a later date.

CITCO promotes hurricane preparedness on exercise books
The Belize City Council has published exercise books in an effort to raise awareness about hurricanes within school children. Wayne Usher, City Emergency Management Organization’s liaison officer, explained to the Guardian that the rationale behind the print is to always keep hurricane preparedness in the minds of students. They in turn, will take the message to their parents. On the cover, the exercise book features the Hurricane Warning Flags along with the shelters that are available in Belize City. On the reverse side of the cover there is the hurricane tracking chart and on the inside of the back cover are a number of hurricane safety tips.

Community policing strategy adopted to combat crime
Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander of Management Services, Robert Mariano, officially declared open a “Basic Community Policing Training” for 32 Community Policing Officers from across Belize at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan on Monday morning of this week. During these five days, Police Officers will be undergoing training in how to interface with the community. Community policing has now been the adopted strategy of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to reduce crime in Belize. As confirmed by Robert Mariano in his main address on Monday, and from his experience as Police Commander in both Orange Walk and the Stann Creek Districts, the strategy of community policing can reduce crime. On arrival in the Orange Walk District, Robert Mariano observed that from the 50 police officers at the police station some were on sick leave, attending court, and as a result only two or three police officers were able to work at any given time. But by adopting a community policing strategy, Robert Mariano was able to get 100 additional persons to assist and as a result ten persons were able to work at a time at the Orange Walk Police Station. He also revealed to the police officers now on training that he did the same in Dangriga, where crime plummeted as a result of getting the community involved in the fight against crime.

Dr. Barnett will win in Freetown
I had not known Dr. Carla Barnett personally until after she declared her intent to be the Standard Bearer for Freetown, before then all I had known of Dr. Barnett was as the consummate economists who had attempted to advise the Musa administration into the right economic path but was unable to do so and instead of bucking heads with the stubborn, chose to walk away as the Financial Secretary of Belize to expand on her professional career outside of this country. During those times, Dr. Barnett stood aloof of the everyday fray of politics, it would have appeared if I had been asked at the time, that she was unapproachable. That however is the furthest thing from the truth when it comes to the good doctor. When I had first contact with the her, I must admit, I was a bit sheepish about the encounter but surprisingly enough, it was a pleasant one. From her numerous accolades my initial reaction was that she would have been someone very difficult to communicate with, but she was anything but. After a few encounters with Dr. Barnett I'd say that I rather enjoy them. She is a straight forward individual who has now turned into quite the politician. She is always pleasant on contact and at times surprisingly funny during interactions.

Belize claims two top prizes in FCCA poster and essay competition
The Belize Tourism Board on Wednesday August 26, announced the winners of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) poster competition which was held earlier this year. Held under the theme My Caribbean, Your Caribbean to protect and preserve, the FCCA invited participants from the Caribbean region to submit a poster depicting the theme. After holding a local competition, one poster was selected in the junior category and another for the senior category which was then submitted as the country’s entries. The junior category featured works from children 12 years and under while the senior category depicted works from children 13 to 16 years of age. At the end of the competition, Belize’s entry by Nissa Sanchez placed overall second place earning her and her school U.S. $1,500 and Homira Sarah from St. Joseph took third place in the junior category winning U.S. $1000 for herself and her school, St. Joseph Primary School.

Media whores masquerade as territorial volunteers
On Tuesday, August 25, the Belize Territorial Volunteers went back to the Sarstoon River, for yet another attempt at “asserting sovereignty” over the Belizean territorial waters in that area. It is becoming abundantly clear, however, that the more of these trips that these people take, the more the mask of patriotism slips. Are they really acting patriotic, or are they simply instigating circumstances for an international incident to occur? If it’s the latter, then it simply means that they are posturing simply because they want the fame and the rush from being on camera. Fortunately, once again, the Tuesday trip went without incident, most likely because the Guatemalan Navy boat that is usually in the area of Sarstoon Island was shadowing the Belize Defence Force change over vessel for the entire length of the trip from the mouth of the Sarstoon, all the way to the Cadenas Conservation Post. Because there was no Guatemalan Naval officials to stop them, Maheia and others went to the Sarstoon Island and erected the Belize Flag to fly on that territory. Now, that does nothing to change the minds of the Guatemalans who are in the area, and neither does it help Belize’s position in trying to keep Belizean territories.

Queen of the West selected
Samantha Harrison was crowned Cayo’s Queen of the West for 2015--2016 on Saturday night of this past weekend at the Octavia Waight Convention Centre in San Ignacio Town. Samantha Harrison was crowned to an admiring crowd by outgoing Queen of the West Arianie Lara. This followed a full night of entertainment that involved trumpet playing, dance, singing and a question and answer session with participants. The curtsy presentation was done by all participants with a smooth grace to a cheering crowd. In gracefully receiving her new title, Samantha Harrison told the Guardian that “…there are strong Belizean people working at the back of our talented girls.” She also said that her effort on stage takes a lot of time, tears and strength. Her message to her peers was that “…we need Belizean girls to come out of their cage, to be outstanding, to show who they are.” In her presentation on stage, Samantha Harrison reviewed the life of Victor August as well as provided a colorful review of Belize’s rise to Nationhood. Second runner-up was Alexis Del Valle, who was sponsored by the Hon. Erwin Contreras. Alexis Del Valle is a graduate of the San Pedro High School and spoke briefly about the contributions that Seferino Coleman had on broadcasting.

Road Safety Demonstration Corridor saving lives
Road traffic injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in Belize regardless of age and sex. According to the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, this year alone, up to August there have been 38 deaths across the country. The break down is as follows: 7 on the Southern Highway, 7 on the Hummingbird Highway, 9 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, 5 on the George Price Highway between Belmopan and Benque, 7 on other offroads and 3 on the George Price Highway from Belize City to Belmopan. The latter section of road is what is deemed to be the Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project under the Ministry of Transport. The project is a BZ$14,495,000 one which is funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank which began to be implemented in March of 2013. Government is putting in counterpart funding of $3,191,000. Under the project the stretch of road from Belize City to Belmopan has undergone major improvements including the widening of the road, resurfacing dangerous areas, placing of cat eyes, reflectors, painting of the road lines, signage, installation of guardrails among other safety features.

San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council and UDP reps working for a better municipality
Mayor Earl Trapp Junior and his team of councilors from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council have recently been busy working on several initiatives as part of their work plan. Mayor Earl Trapp took a working tour of San Ignacio this weekend and came up with more plans for the Towns. According to Mayor Earl Trapp, the paving of Salazar, Carmelita, Martin Galvez, Bishop Desmond and Cahal Pech Streets within the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena will commence on August 31st 2015. As the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council continues to improve the streets and drains of the Twin Towns, it is being done with the participation of the Hon. Rene Montero, Representative for the Cayo Central Division, Hon. Omar Figueroa, the Representative for Cayo North Division as well as John August, Standard Bearer for Cayo North East; given that the jobs ahead are large-scale and challenging in nature.

Daniel Bradley faces new charges of sexual assault
Junior college student, Daniel Bradley, 19, who only two months ago was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old minor, is in trouble again for allegedly engaging in sexual activities with another female minor. Bradley appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John on Tuesday, August 25, where he was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse for carnally knowing a female under the age of 16. According to reports, between May 1 and May 31, 2015, Bradley had sex with a girl who is now 14 years and 4 months. In court, Bradley was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold. No plea was taken since the matter will be dealt with on indictment. Magistrate John asked Bradley if he understands the charge and he said yes. The magistrate then allowed him to leave freely but ordered that he return to court in October.

Jayear Flores accused of jacking church’s money
Saint Joseph Parish was robbed as one man targeted an employee on his way to the bank. At around 11 a.m. on Monday, August 24, retired teacher Eric Neal, 76, was at the Saint Joseph Parish compound to collect money for deposit at the bank when he was ambushed. According to Neal, he was just about to reach his vehicle when a man wearing a white shirt and camouflage pants approached him and grabbed a laptop bag from him which contained $2,188.11 in cash and cheques.

Was Mark Phillips shot by mistake?
Mark Phillips, 16, a Belize City resident, continues to recover from a gunshot injury he suffered on Thursday evening, August 20. Police are saying that an armed friend of his shot him by mistake while they were trying to ambush another young man, but Phillips and his family are refuting that. They say that Phillips and his friends were targeted by a gunman who shot him while he was trying to run away. Because of this incident, Lloyd Leslie and Dwayne Evelyn, are at the Belize Central Prison after being charged and arraigned on the offences of aggravated assault with a firearm. Police say that they threatened Belize City youth Delbert Palacio with a weapon the day before and on the day of the shooting. Police say that they believe that one of these young men were the ones who shot Mark Phillips but no criminal charges can be brought if there is no complainant.

Pregnant waitress of Long Island Bar pleads guilty to immigration offense
A pregnant undocumented woman who was caught working at a bar in Belize City has pleaded guilty to failure to produce immigration documents when requested by the authorities. On Friday, August 21, immigration officers visited Long Island bar, located on Blue Marlin Drive in Belize City, and detained four women for immigration offenses. The owner of the bar, Rixie Mejia, 34, was detained for employing people who were not in possession of employment permits. Three waitresses were detained because they could not produce immigration documents. On Monday, August 23, Honduran nationals, Mariella Nohely Murillo and Irma Isabella Arita Portillo appeared in court along with Salvadoran Jessica Maribel Diaz to face immigration charges before Magistrate Ladonna John.

Soldier claims fire destroyed Courts items, not so says police
BDF soldier, Rigo Francis Zuniga, 28, recently made a report to police claiming that there was a fire at his residence on June 3 in which all of his household items were destroyed. The report caused police to open an investigation into the fire but that investigation produced no evidence or signs that a fire ever did occur. Checks were then made into the items allegedly destroyed by the fire. This led police to a female who reported that Zuniga gave her a flat screen television he got from Courts Belize and a stereo to pawn at Fair Brothers Pawn Shop in Belize City. Police visited the pawn shop and located the two items Zuniga claimed were destroyed in the fire. Zuniga was arrested by police and charged for committing a mischievous act.

Of Heroes and Patriots
Five major Opposition media outlets; Krem, Times, Plus, Vibes, and Channel Fox, are daily representing themselves as not only supporters of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, but also as co-organizers of the events that has gripped the headlines in recent weeks. Their bursting excitement is palpable that maybe at last, just maybe, something has come along that can swing the pendulum their way to the Promised Land, and they may soon get to feed from the trough once more. The main players in the above news conduits have gone to all lengths to glorify the principals of Territorial Volunteers as “heroes” and “patriots”, not minding to explain to the Belizean public the true definition of those venerable terms. Even the Executive of the People’s United Party has hopped on the bandwagon and laid claim to the purported heroism of the BTV; refusing to be elbowed away from the shining limelight of the cameras.

Should pageants still be held on a pedestal, even with all value being lost?
Today, television is peppered with reality shows that feature pint-sized beauty queens decked out in pricy gowns, full make up and big hair. Pageants aren’t the “dress up” play we knew as little children. And it’s not just a beauty pageant. This world of glitz and glamour is built around a sadly superficial, limited concept of beauty, and ultimately enforces internal ugliness. In fact, the whole founding basis of pageants is that people are measurably better than each other, and that looks triumph over all other qualities in importance. For all of the fame, winnings, and titles, nothing can justify the hurts inflicted on these participants, and the pageant system is in serious need of restructuring. Beauty pageants are ridiculously costly to parents, females are programmed into being ultra conscious about physical appearance, and it leads to unnecessary mayhem in society. A common claim is that pageant participants can win money and scholarships, which is indeed true. However, this is not a logical incentive, because the cost of competing often equals or outweighs the value of the potential winnings. We hardly ever hear of our Mom wanting to enter a beauty pageant at her mature age; it’s always in the childhood and teenage years that we become eager to participate in pageants. Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem for Mom to prepare for a pageant, since she will be able to fund the fantasies that are believed as pageant standards- the big, sparkling gowns, flashy outfits for each segment, extravagant hair and make-up by the ‘best’ stylist in the country, and so on. While some pageants don’t have entry fees, there’s no escaping all the investment that’s required. Whether unemployable or unemployed, children force their parents into spending sometimes thousands of dollars for something that might not even be worth it.

Singing the Blues...
like Joe Tex, Rufus Thomas, Otis Redding, Millie Jackson, Carla Thomas, Gladys Knight, BB King, Percy Sledge and Clarence Thomas would have a lot of catching up to do in order to sing about all the troubles PUP are experiencing right now. It seems the PUP is SINKING TO RISE NO MORE. Two Sundays ago PUP had created an ARTIFICIAL GROWTH by renting on credit and busing in a crowd to Bigfalls. That same Sunday some Belizeans had gone to the Sarstoon island to express to Guatemala that the island was ours. On that visit those persons were met with resistance from the Guatemalan military. The PUP were quick to try and piggyback on that. In Belize the age old Unfounded Guatemalan claim strikes a sour note amongst Belizeans, so Belizeans would side with whomever is expressing Anti - Guatemalan sentiments at the time. One would have expected their Hopkins outing that followed the Bigfalls operation would have been bigger. However the PUP have not cashed in on that. People don’t trust them, their word is not their bond. They did not pay those persons they rented on credit for Bigfalls.

The biggest PUP rogue won’t come back
On every occasion the PUP get they try to capture one of Johnny’s crew. They have now postponed the PUP RALLY that was scheduled for the North where Johnny is KING and holds the real power amongst the PUP faithfull. The PUP old guards are now trying to isolate him in order to bring him back into the fold. Johnny cannot be threatened or blackmailed into submission because he has dirt on everybody. They also cannot use the pressure of not giving him any of the party’s dwindling finance either. Johnny has his own money. Some would go as far as saying he is better off financially than his party. One would have to be a super idiot not to remember it was Johnny who single handedly financed the party’s day to day operations during the time he was the leader. He had gone as far as to lend the party money to run its newspaper and then radio station during that time when their electricity, water and telephone were disconnected for nonpayment.

Workers and employers meet to discuss labour
Leaders of labour unions, the business community and Government had the opportunity to share their positions and concerns on social and economic policy development with each other and their regional counterparts at a tripartite workshop on Monday, August 24. The International Labour Organization is collaborating with the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) to host workshops in each member states in an effort to review the challenges, concerns and opportunities present during the regional integration process. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Labour Department of Belize made presentations on their experiences and concerns with the movement of labour in the region.

Major equipment and infrastructure
The Government of Belize and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed, on Friday August 21, a Loan Agreement for the Belize Integral Security Program. The overall objective of the Belize Integral Security Program (BISP) is to contribute to improving the quality of life of Belizeans and to support regional efforts that seek to combat crime. The key goal of the BISP is to strengthen citizen security by providing support to those institutions directly engaged in maintaining national security. The BISP consists of a US$30 million (BZ$60 million) loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Funds will be used for the improvement of infrastructure and the provision of equipment for the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Belize Police Department (BPD), Belize Coast Guard (BCG) and the National Forensic Sciences Service (NFSS). Infrastructure works will include new construction as well as refurbishment and improvement of existing buildings. Surveillance and monitoring, mobilization, and specialized technical equipment will also be supplied to these institutions.

10 million more for streets in Belize City
Last week infrastructure work started off once again in Belize City after having gone on a bit of a lull. The first street where work commenced was on King Street where residents had been experiencing some inconveniences after BWS completed its works on that street and the paving had not started. Well on Tuesday of last week the work crews moved in and in just over a week significant work has been done on the street with it being paved with cement. The Guardian Newspaper is reliably informed that this type of work will continue in the city with Amara being the next street to be concreted all the way to Z town. Paving will also be done on Plues Street, Seashore Drive, University Drive and Tanoomah Street. By the beginning of next month work will also be done on secondary streets in Port Loyola, Lake I, Collett, Pickstock and Queen Square. This will be in addition to the concreting of the approach to the Chetumal Street Bridge from its intersection with the George Price Highway. All told, central government will be investing an additional 10 million dollars in streets across the city in the coming months.

Tourism Police Unit gets equipment boost to improve law enforcement
The Tourism Police Unit (TPU)is better equipped after the Belize Tourism Board handed over 5 off road motorcycles and 28 handheld radios to the police unit on Wednesday August 26. According to Valdemar Andrade, Director of destination planning and cruise, safety and security is paramount in an industry that contributes to 25% of the country's GDP which translates to 700 million dollars annually and employs 1 in 7 persons who are employed. He says that it is the industry's responsibility to ensure that the Tourism Police Unit is properly equipped as they play their role in law enforcement and in particular in the tourism sector. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia explained that the industry needs to give back to the community and this time around it is through law enforcement. He added that for crime to be prevented there is a need to place resources and equipment in the TPU for them to be able to perform their duties. In this instance the BTB invested over 44 thousand dollars in the motorcycles and radios. The radios will be deployed countrywide to improve communication between the unit and other areas of operation while the motorcycles will be deployed in key tourist areas including Belize City, Hopkins, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Cayo.

15 year old killed by robbers in Stann Creek
The Polanco Family, which resides in the Stann Creek District, is mourning the loss of their loved one, 15 year-old Briaton Tharique Polanco, who was shot and killed by a robber who targeted his grandfather’s farm and shot him with his grandfather’s gun. The tragic incident happened on Friday, August 26, sometime after 8:30 a.m. at the Polanco Family farm situated on Mile 26 on the Hummingbird Highway. 64 year-old Bernard Usher, caretaker of the farm, and friend to the Polanco family, told police that he was inside his room when 3 masked Hispanic men, armed with machetes, tied him up. They ransacked his room, and stole a Samsung cellular phone, and his machete. The men then went into the main house, and that’s where they tied up the rest of the Polanco grandchildren, except Briaton Polanco. He was out in the fields, and he heard the commotion of the robbery in progress. He went to check what the noises were, and as soon as he arrived close to the side of the house, one of the 3 men pulled his grandfather’s shotgun and shot him once to the neck. That injury proved to be fatal, and shortly after that incident, the men fled from the house with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and $3,000 cash from the main house.

Accused bank robbers out on bail
Supreme Court Justice, Antonette Moore, released the four men accused of robbing First Caribbean International Bank on bail of $8,000 plus two sureties of $4,000 on Friday, August 21. Patrick Jones, 22, Jermaine Belgrave, 33, Jareth Crawford, 30, and Emmerson Skyers, 24, have been ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station at least once a week, seek gainful employment and appear at each adjournment date until the case is closed. The men are accused of robbing First Caribbean International Bank on Friday, July 31, just before 9 a.m. on a crowded payday. The bank, located at the foot of the Belcan Bridge at the corner of the Phillip Goldson Highway and the Central American Boulevard, opened for business as per normal. Customers entered, and began conducting their business, but unbeknownst to them, four armed thieves were among them, well-dressed to try to masquerade as legitimate customers.

Eaton Belisle charged for death of 2 men
Bus driver Eaton Belisle, 24, has been slapped with six charges for an accident that resulted in the deaths of Shane Goff and Alden Rudolph Locke on Friday, August 14. At around 5 p.m. on Friday, August 14, Belisle was driving a white Mercedes Benz between miles 6 and 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway when he collided into a Chevy S-10 pick up truck driven at the time by Chinese businessman, Zaun Sheng He. Shane Goff and Alden Rudolph Locke sustained significant injuries on impact and perished as a result. Police’s investigation has led to the arrest and charge of Belisle. He appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John on Monday, August 23, where he was charged with two counts of manslaughter by negligence, two counts of causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and improper overtaking. Belisle was unrepresented but has sought legal advice from Attorney Hubert Elrington.

Belmopan Bandits are the early leaders in PLB Opening Season
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season for 2015-2016 continued last weekend with two games on the schedule. On Saturday 22 August at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, the home team Belmopan Bandits edged out the visiting Wagiya by the score of 2-1 to win its first game of the 2015-2016 campaign. The visiting Wagiya Team was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Eugene Martinez scored his team only goal of the game to give them a 1-0 lead. It was not until well into the first half of the game that the home team the Belmopan Bandits was able to get onto the scoreboard when Evan Mariano scored his team equalising goal. The Belmopan Bandits then took a 2-1 lead when Marlon Meza scored the go-ahead goal in the 44th minute of play for a 2-1 lead.

Belize Bank Bulldogs a win away from basketball Firms’ title
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition has now entered its championship round on Saturday 22 August, 2015, with game one in the best of three finals between the Central Bank and the Belize Bank Bulldogs. In the first game played, the Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated Central Bank by the score of 60-42. The top scorers for the Belize Bank Bulldogs team were Rupert Brown with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals; Brian White with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals and Roscoe Rhys who also scored 11 points, he also had 5 rebounds and 4 assists. For the Central Bank Team, the top scorers were Mark Swift with 11 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist; Farron Louriano also with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. The second game in the championship series will be played on Friday 28 August, 2015, at 8:00 pm and if a game three becomes necessary then that game will be played on Saturday 29 August also at 8:00 pm.

CYDP 5th Annual Football Peace Cup Tournament opens
The Conscious Youth Development Programme is sponsoring its V Annual Football Peace Cup Tournament which opened on Saturday 29 August, 2015, at the MCC Grounds. A total of 16 teams are competing in the tournament. According to the organisers of the tournament it is an Open Tournament and it is expected to conclude in January of 2016. The games are scheduled for every Saturday commencing at 9:00 am at the MCC Grounds. The champion of the tournament will receive $5000.00 cash, a team trophy and meals; 2nd place will receive $2000.00 cash, a team trophy and medals while 3rd place will receive $2000.00 cash, a team trophy and medals. There will also be individual awards given out.

Belize Bank Bulldogs to defend national softball title
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding its XXV National Women’s Softball Championship from August 28-30, 2015, at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball in Belize. According to the Constitution of the Belize Softball Federation, the National Championship is played for, between the champions and the sub-champions of the Affiliated Associations of the Federation. The teams that have earned the right to participate in the XXV National Women’s Championship are from the Belize City Association: the Belize Bank Bulldogs who are the defending National Softball Champions and Belize Telemedia (BTL); from Belize Rural: Double Head Cabbage and UB Jaguars and from the Cayo Association: Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Rebels United from Unitedville. The championship will commence on Friday 28 August at 6:30 pm with game one which will feature Belize Telemedia (BTL) against Double Head Cabbage and in game two it will be Rebels United of Unitedville against UB Jaguars.

Junior Volleyballers return home from Costa Rica
The National Junior Female Volleyball Team returned home from San Jose, Costa Rica, where they represented the country at the XI Central American Junior Championship. The team played a total of six games during the championship where it won 2 games and loss four games. After a rest day on Wednesday 18 August, 2015, the team then played against Honduras on Thursday 20 August, where it felled to Honduran in three sets by the score of 25-12, 25-23 and 25-22. On Friday 21, Team Belize went up against the defending Central American Champions Costa Rica and felled to the defending champions in three sets by the score of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-19. On the final day of competition, which was Saturday 22 August, 2015, Team Belize also felled to Guatemala in three sets by the score of 25-14, 25-10 and 25-10 to finish the championship with a 2-4 record.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Mexico and Belize speak of trade expansion
Belize continues to be an important trade partner for Mexico and vice versa, as the two friendly neighbors develop deeper economic ties. As they prepare to negotiate the partial scope agreement going into 2016, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) has reached out to exporters to […]

Youth poets operate in workshop
This afternoon a group of youths from Belize City attached to the programs of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and National Youth Cadet Service Corps completed a two-day workshop in poetry development. Long the tool for the sensitive artists among us to express themselves, Arturo Quiroz, the […]

Travel re-routed after Mexican highway collapse
The Federal Highway between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos remains closed due to the collapse of the road. A large portion of the highway has collapsed, leaving a hole of 10 meters wide and approximately one meter deep. The closure of the highway has caused massive traffic […]

Canadians get ready for Jaguars in World Cup qualifiers
The opponents of Belize’s national football team in the third round of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers have selected what they call an experience side and say they will not take Belize lightly. Canada, who advanced to this round by dispatching Dominica, are in training for their […]

Annual summer camp in Benque Viejo concludes
Captain of The Zone 4 Benque Viejo Neighborhood Watch Group Sam Bruce hosted the eighth annual Summer Camp at Sam’s Community Park from August 17-21, open to all area children and held all week from 8:30 am to noon daily. The children received free of charge instruction and participation in […]

The Secret to a Happy Life – What Belize can learn from the Rosetans
Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennines foothills of the Italian province. Centuries, the paesani of Roseto worked in the marble quarries in the surrounding hills, or cultivated the fields in the adjoining valley below, walking four and five miles down the mountain in the morning […]

COLA demands FOB and Elrington’s removal
“Build the base now!” That is the primary demand of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) as it launched its Protect Belize campaign. The Forward Operating Base remains delayed due to a myriad of issues but president Giovanni Brackett insists it is needed to secure an area […]

Heritage Bank to also lose corresponding ties with Bank of America
Heritage Bank International, like Atlantic International Bank before it, has received word that their corresponding ties with Bank of America (BOA) is also being terminated as part of the bank’s “de-risking” process. Heritage International is just the latest financial institution in Belize to face such consequences as a result of international financial institutions cutting ties with perceived high-risk jurisdictions. Interestingly though, several weeks ago after Atlantic International had its ties cut, Central Bank Governor Glen Ysaguirre denied reports that Heritage or any other institution would be facing the same outcome.

Melvin Hulse resigns from UDP
Former Minister and Stann Creek West area representative Melvin Hulse has parted ways with the United Democratic Party, after seemingly mending fences following the publication of his recording attacking party leader Dean Barrow and other senior party officials. Hulse now says he and the party are “on a different page” […]

Senator Shoman requests OAS report, discusses latest developments
Despite no apparent objections from the Organization of American States (OAS) or Prime Minister Dean Barrow subject to the diplomats’ consideration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize seeks approval from their counterparts in Guatemala to release the report. But according to News 5, Senator Lisa Shoman, the Opposition representative […]

Bobbo Youth found dead at Haulover Creek
Popular Belizean artist, Theodore “Bobbo Youth” Parchue, 34-years-old was found dead in the Haulover Creek near the Belcan bridge on Wednesday morning by a fisherman in the area. Herman Williams, the fisherman who found Parchue, said he had just cast his net when he saw what he thought was a […]

Blogs

Tough to Mobilize for Fall Frenzy in this HEAT!
School starts next week…the stores are selling out of notebooks, pencils, backpacks… The Roman Catholic School is getting cleaned and painted. And the September celebration gear is moving in…hurray…September celebrations in Belize! It is about 84 degrees in the morning and about 90 by mid afternoon – and the humidity is around 80-85%. Warm in the morning, HOT in the afternoon, very warm at night. As the sun was setting last night, I headed back into the DFC area to my local store for some cold soda waters. The trees along the dirt/sand road are coated in dust. I think I heard them whimpering for a bit of rain. Just a spritz…

5 Can’t Miss Ocean Experiences In Belize
Is there anything quite like the feeling of dropping into turquoise blue water and drifting slowly to the bottom of the ocean as you not only observe the world beneath the surface, but become part of it? It’s hard to think of anything more perfect. Scuba diving is one of those magical things that is both peaceful and exhilarating. I spent a month in Belize earlier this year and was in the ocean almost every day. I was able to enjoy dozens of absolutely incredible dives and encounter more large marine life than I had seen in my diving adventures. Home base for the month was San Pedro, on the gorgeous Ambergris Caye. It is the ideal spot to access the underground playground that is the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest barrier reef system. There’s a lot to experience in Belize, and I could write for hours about the vibrant culture, delicious food, breathtaking sea views, and the wonderful inhabitants of San Pedro, but to keep things concise I’ll focus on the ocean!

Updated: Seeing Belize anew through the eyes of a child
If you want to really see Ambergris Caye through fresh eyes, try walking around with a four-year-old. Recently, my grandson, Brody, and I took a walk up to Ak’Bol, the yoga resort, a 15-minute stroll along the shore. With Brody the walk stretches to an hour-plus. We play a game called “Does it float or sink?” for which the rules are quite simple: Every few feet we stop to inspect a palm tree frond, a small coconut, a piece of plastic flotsam or jetsam, a toy race car missing three wheels, a shell, or whatever. Brody then asks, “Will this float?’ “Let’s see,” I say. “Toss it in.”

International Sourcesizz

Blancaneaux Makes Worlds Sexiest Hotel List
Congratulatoins, Blancaneaux Lodge! Maxim Magazine ranked them as one of the sexiest hotels of the world for their Enchanted Cottage. Being located in Mountain Pine Ridge surely helped with the ambiance. Well done! "This is the deal: skinny dipping in a private pool in the middle of the rainforest, stars impossibly bright above you, so secluded from everything else in your life that you become the only two people who have ever existed on the planet, at least for a minute. That’s what The Enchanted Cottage at Blancaneaux offers, plus a private bath house with a Japanese tub, steam room, open fire, under-floor heating...let’s just say it’s luxe. Bonus: the cottage comes with a full-time chef and attendant, who is available at the touch of a radio button whenever you’re in the mood for a snack or cocktail. Or both."

Belize’s ‘Blue Hole’ May Hold Secret to Mayan Downfall
Everything from overhunting and a peasant uprising to deforestation and an alien invasion has been proposed to explain why the Mayan civilizationcollapsed, Smithsonian notes. But one theory has been gaining ground in recent years: extreme drought. Now more evidence has surfaced to support the drought postulation—and the proof may just lie in Belize’s most famous underwater cave. Rice University professor Andre Droxler’s team analyzed sediment found in the “Great Blue Hole,” a 410-foot-deep sinkhole in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, LiveScience reports. Not only did the chemical composition of the silt indicate periods of sparse rainfall during the Mayan decline (likely between AD800 and AD1000): It also showed that a second huge drought probably occurred between AD1000 and AD1100—right around the time the Mayans’ relocation site of Chichen Itza is said to have fallen.

Caribbean fishing industry ends meeting on food safety systems
A two-day meeting aimed at introducing a new regime for safe seafood for local and international consumption has ended here with delegates acknowledging that they were at the very early stages of introducing this new policy. The meeting is part of a European Union-funded project to help Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries introduce laws, regulations and a governance system to guarantee safe seafood for export to EU markets and beyond. The project, which is being carried out by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and supported by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), aims to improve food safety standards to enable CARIFORUM fish exporters to take up trading opportunities under the EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). "Developed countries -- the EU, United States and Canada -- all have standards that you must meet in order to export to their market," said Milton Haughton, CRFM executive director.

OLLI Travel Series
Johnny Sellers has traveled to Belize many times and has taken groups to study the eco-system as well as to do service. His breathtaking photography, and depth of understanding of its tropical paradise will make the traveler want to quickly book a ticket. Session times are 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and available to members and guests at no cost. Registration is required as sessions are limited to 50. Complimentary coffee and water will be available, soft drinks are available for purchase, and participants are welcome to bring “brown-bag” lunches. Details or to register: Contact the OLLI office at (601) 264-2780.

Videos

  • Belize Mission Trip, 11min. Church of the Incarnation

  • A Fruitful Business - Belize, 1.5min. Dwayne Murillo is a young man with big dreams. For two years, he’s been running an informal juice stand out of the home on Nargusta Street in Belize City where he lives with his mom and uncle. Last year, Dwayne enrolled in PADF’s Youth Engagement Services program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Belize. He completed a 3-month small business development and life skills training program, and received advisory services from Belize’s Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). With the help of SBDC and PADF program staff, he came up with a business plan and formally presented it to a committee, which granted him more than $700 in seed funding.

  • Diving in Belize, 17min. Slideshow of photos taken on Deep South Scuba's dive trip to Belize, aboard the Belize Aggressor, November 2002.

  • Sunset part 1- Hatchet Caye Private Island Resort Belize, 2min. The sun begins its descent off of Hatchet Caye Private Island Resort off the coast of Placencia, next to the Belize Barrier Reef, in Belize.

  • Sunset Part 2 - Hatchet Caye Private Island Resort Belize, 2min. Part 2 of a perfect sunset off of Hatchet Caye Private Island Resort off the coast of Placencia, next to the Belize Barrier Reef, in Belize.

  • Diving in Belize, 25min. Vintage VHS footage converted to digital from Deep South Scuba's dive trip to Belize, aboard the Belize Aggressor III, November 2002. Video was produced by boat videographer for our group.

  • You Better Belize It!, 4min. FPC Raleigh HS Mission Trip Summer 2015.

  • Diving in Belize - Lighthouse Reef Resort, 29min. Vintage VHS footage converted to digital on Deep South Scuba's dive trip to Lighthouse Reef Resort in Belize for the Millennium, 2000.

  • Diving In Belize 2015, 47min.

  • Belize 2015, 15min. Heidi's birthday in Belize, scuba highlights.

  • Shark Ray Alley Ambergris Caye Belize, 2min. Shark Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize 08/27/15.

  • A Week in Belize, 8.5min.

  • Heaven's Point Chetumal Bay Northern Belize 2, 4min. 'Heaven's Point Estate' is a spectacular peninsular property of more than 76 acres on the Chetumal Bay.

  • Belize Fishing Charters with Nauti by Nature, 4min. Nauti by Nature is Belize premiere fishing and boat charter company. You Captain Jermaine a.ka. Big Fish is one of the most experienced in all of Belize Territorial waters.

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