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#507765 - 09/25/15 12:08 PM Today's Belize News: September 25, 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

Island triathletes star in Punta Gorda races
San Pedro star triathletes once again shone in national competitions, with Jordan Santos being part of the winning team for the Olympic Distance Triathlon and Kent “Bob” Gabourel winning the 2015 Annual National Beach Cruiser Cycling Race. Both races were held in Punta Gorda Town during the Independence Day weekend. Island athletes Jordan Santos, Brandon Santos, Kent Gabourel, Eric Donis, and Kian Ancona all made San Pedro exceptionally proud as they continue to perfect their skills in local races across the country. First to take place was the Olympic Distance Triathlon, which was held on Saturday, September 19th. 11 relay teams lined up for this event that had the participants swim 1,500 meters, followed by a 40 kilometer ride and a 10k run. A very difficult feat for any professional athlete, this race tested the participants’ utmost endurance and stamina. As the race kicked off, athletes took first to the water for the swimming discipline of the triathlon. First out of the water was 20-year-old Brandon Santos of team C-Ray Deadly, with a time 0:24:44 (hours:minutes:seconds), followed closely by his brother, 17-year-old Jordan Santos of team San Pedro Tri with a time of 0:28:26. The Santos brothers had veered off course on the return leg of the swim which allowed Deon Cus of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) team to make up time, ending his swimming segment in 0:28:56.

Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition deliver Independence Day Address; Barrow hints at early General Elections
The official ceremonies commemorating Belize’s 34th Independence anniversary took place on Monday, September 21st at Independence Hill in Belmopan City. The event sees the attendance of foreign dignitaries as well as members of the Belize Diplomatic Corp among other invited guests. Per tradition, both the Prime Minister of Belize and the Leader of the Opposition addressed the Belizean public during this ceremony, highlighting main issues and future plans for the country. After establishing protocol, Leader of the Peoples United Party (PUP), Francis Fonseca was first to take to the podium to deliver his address. In his speech, Fonseca emphasized the importance of unity and coming together in patriotism for a better Belize. “Indeed there are important lessons to be drawn from the past 34 years, but today for me, the more important question is what will we make of the next 34 years? What is our national vision for this next chapter of our young nation’s life? And are we, each of us, prepared to work, and sacrifice to achieve that vision and create the society we say we aspire to?” asked Fonseca.

Pepitos
Have you tried these? They’re actually pumpkin seeds that have been roasted and salted. Quite a treat, if you ask us! You can find them almost anywhere in the country for either $1-2 a bag. Be sure to try them on your next visit and tell us what you think Here in Belize we call them pepitos! What do you call them in your country?

Two Island footballers selected for the Belize National Male Under-16 Football Team
Ian Pou and Wilson Cruz have been selected to play in the Belize National Male Under-16 Football Team. The two island footballers were drafted for the national team after their participation in the 2015 Football Federation of Belize (FFB) National Male U-15 Football Championship. Pou and Cruz of the San Pedro Male U-15, who were among the ten participating teams in the championship, will be joining young footballers from across the country to represent Belize at the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Male U-16 Tournament. Scheduled to take place in Nicaragua from November 23 to the 29, 2015, the UNCAF tournament will feature selections from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize. Training for the Belize National Male Under-16 Football Team will commence on Friday, October 2nd at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. Training will be held from Friday to Sunday. Selected players are to be at FFB at 8:30AM and must bring along their passport.

San Pedro enjoys Independence Eve Celebrations
A series of activities to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Belize’s Independence took place on the Sunday evening, September 20th. This year’s September Celebrations were held under the theme “Belize Renewed, Confident, Competitive, Committed.”It all began with the official Independence Eve ceremony followed by the midnight flag raising ceremony, a grand fireworks show, and concluding with an international soca concert by Ricardo Drue at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting complex. The ceremony kicked off with the introduction and arrival of the various dignitaries. After all the invited guests were seated, the island’s beauty ambassador Miss San Pedro Iris Salguero was escorted by Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and the San Pedro High School Marching Band. There was a series of Independence Day speeches delivered that night by the town’s various leaders. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero was first to make his speech, highlighting the advancement and transformation the country is going through under the present government. He indicated the infrastructural development that is taken place around the country, including Ambergris Caye. He also mentioned the collaboration between the central government and the municipality of San Pedro. “We are currently undergoing road works on Northern Ambergris Caye. Equally, we are making advancements in the area of sports and education with the construction of a new Ambergris Stadium and a government school. On this occasion, my wish is for all residents to join the ranks of good citizens and only then will Belize feel renewed. Until we do this, we will feel confident to face the global and social challenges that we are facing today. When we have good Belizean citizens, Belize will be competitive and strong to stand before any country in our region.

Ambergris Today

Mardi Gras Party Bus Ignites Carnival Celebrations in Corozal Town
Corozal Town has always been a sleepy town, mostly concentrated in commerce and a gateway to the Mexican neighbors in Chetumal City. But lately business entrepreneurs have been working in promoting the small town by the bay as a tourist destination with fun events and interesting things to do. Now that Corozal is also promoting a Carnival Parade during the Independence Day celebrations of Belize, for the second consecutive year D Spot Lounge has been adding a Mardi Gras Party Bus to the parade. There are two double-decker buses, in fact, that are suited up for one purpose only – to PARTY!!! These party buses bring a unique experience that takes Carnival to a whole new level. They are like no other floats in the parade and bring new and higher spirits to the Carnival Road March. The buses are equipped with drinks, music, party favors and of course the party people.

$5Mil Investment Project for Sports Infrastructure on Ambergris Caye
Groundbreaking ceremony of the Ambergris Stadium Renovation Project took place on Friday, September 18, 2015, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It marked the commencement of construction of a new sporting facility that will replace the old complex that had deteriorated with time and lack of maintenance. When completed, the stadium will meet the requirements for hosting various sporting events on the island as it will also be equipped with FIFA international standards in order to host international games. “With the building of this new facility, it will address some of our sporting shortfalls on the island,” stated San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero in his address. “Nonetheless, I will be the first to acknowledge that much more needs to be invested in the area of sports on the island. Yes we need a basketball court, a track and field arena and we can go on and on, but small steps like this one we are taking today that gives us the hope that in the future we can look into investing more in the area of sports. The new facility that will be built is a collaborative effort of our local municipality working along with the central government.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Beware of predators...
This is a photo of Kenrick Alston Bowman a Belizean-American living in Reid street just off Police street, Belize city. The events surrounding how for over a year he got to sodomized and have oral sex with the little boys in the neighborhood is disgusting especially since many unsuspecting parents allowed their boys to go and hang out by his house but also because a few found out about what he did to their sons and instead hushed it. One child I spoke with explain he gave them food and that was a major attraction for them. Reliable reports are that he is now in police custody... I pray there is sufficient evidence to levy charges against him. Today he tried to move out if the house but he was captured before he could abscond. That's a picture of his home where many boys were entertained. Reports are that some of the little boys even slept over and some because their mothers went out partying and used him as a babysitter and he was all too willing. Sad story being uncovered. Let's not judge these kids but help them process this trauma.

Fashion Show at Ak'bol on Saturday
TIKI re inspired wear, MolliKultra Swimwear, Jewelry by Belizean Arts. Saturday, Sept. 26th at Ak'bol Yoga Retreat and Eco-Resort. Preshow 3pm, Show at 4pm. Free Admission

Video of San Pedro Parade route for Saturday
This is the Parade Route for Sunday, September 26, 2015!

Leader of the Opposition Independence Day Speech 2015
By Hon. Francis Fonseca. As always, we do so with a deep sense of national pride. And, as always, we recognize and acknowledge with deep gratitude the sacrifice and courage of the leaders of Belize’s Nationalist Movement who, over many years, worked tirelessly to free Belize from the oppressive chains of Colonialism. In these 34 years we have faced challenge and adversity as a nation and people but our spirit has remained strong and resilient. Belize has claimed its rightful place in the global community as a proud, sovereign nation deeply committed to justice and equality for all peoples. Indeed there are important lessons to be drawn from the past 34 years but today, for me, the more important question is: what will we make of the next 34 years? What is our national vision for this next chapter of our young nation’s history? , and are we, each of us, prepared to work and sacrifice to achieve that vision and create the society we say we aspire to?

The Nation's Youngest Sailors Best Their Eiders in Belize's Segment of the 2nd Annual Bart's Bash International Regatta
On Sunday, September 20, 2015, at 9:30 AM prompt, 26 sailing vessels manned and crewed by Belizeans were at the line when the horn sounded the start of 2015 Bart's Bash Belize in the waters off Caribbean Villas Hotel in San Pedro. The skies were murky grey, and the skippers tried to find and catch the mere puffs of wind that rose and died from varying directions here and there along the course. The fleet was so becalmed that it took a few frustrated skippers more than 10 minutes just to cross the start line. The windlessness lasted well into the race, but at long last one of the squalls approaching from the northeast arrived, and with it winds up to 25 knots. The course circuit that had taken one Hobie Wave over an hour to complete on its first lap took 14 minutes to complete the 2nd and last time around. Jorge Sanchez skippering the Hobie 18, Shalom, came screaming across the finish ahead of all others, a minute 45 seconds ahead of Jorge Olivarez' Laser Radial and 2 minutes ahead of Antonio Ricardez' Laser Radial. However, after the handicaps are applied to these and the other boats, seven of the children sailing Optimists swept the top 7 places. Kevin Velasquez of San Pedro was the first of them and won First Place overall. Second was Nashira Ricardez of Belize City.

The reserve that's not a reserve.
The Mexico Rocks Reserve still has no rangers and fishing continues. The night security on that boat permanently anchored in the reserve takes fish out of the reserve. (Sea Trek site at Mexico Rocks) It seems no one cares.

SAN PEDRO INDEPENDENCE EVE 2015
Lots of photos!

PM Flirting with early elections
Leader of United Democratic Party (UDP) and Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow seems to be making preparations for general elections, credible sources say. UDP standard bearers were called to Belize City on Wednesday, reportedly to pose for campaign photographs in preparation for the launch of the UDP’s manifesto. Our sources also say that a meeting of their Central Party council is scheduled for this weekend. With options running out for PM Barrow where Belize’s ailing economy is concerned and members of his cabinet mired in major scandals, observers say that Barrow has no choice but to seek a new mandate.

Cane farmers to benefit from IDB Grant
Over five thousand cane farmers will benefit from technical assistance to improve productivity, reduce costs, and remove bottlenecks to competitiveness in the sugar cane industry, through a grant of $2.6 million from the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank). This is part of a Strategic Development Plan that people in the industry will engage in to upgrade the quantity and quality of their product, stated (SIRDI) the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, which is implementing the project. “The proposed technical assistance will centre on building a sustainable farming model that strengthens capabilities at the farm level and increases coordination with key stakeholders. The intervention model is based on two keys elements: strengthening the technical and managerial capacities of farmers through a dedicated extension service, and integrating technology and information systems to enhance decision making and coordination”, a

The Perspectives of our Past
The Corozal House of Culture is dedicated in preserving the history of Belize's north. The Perspectives of our Past is an annual lecture series which offers a venue for students and the general public to learn about Corozal and northern Belize's history through the words of our elders. This year we are delighted to be partnering with the Corozal Junior College by presenting the series at their campus. You are kindly invited to join us Tuesday September 29th for the first lecture commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Janet at the Corozal Junior College's Education Building, beginning at 10:00 A.M.

A Night of Marimba
If you love marimba music, A Night of Marimba is for you. It's happening on Saturday, October 3rd, at the Octavia Waight Centre. It's a fundraiser for the center, and the Benque Marimba Youth Academy will be playing. Leonard Mangar will be there with his witty humor too. "Support the University of Belize Small Business Students!"

A BLESSED EID & HAJJ TO ALL MUSLIMS GLOBALLY!
When we reflect on the song, The World Is A Ghetto, by the band called War, there comes a time when we as human beings on this earth must make sacrifices in some way or the other to make others live peacefully, happily, and safely. This is what today is for Muslims like those like yours truly. To make a symbol, or a gesture of sacrifice for something worth sacrificing for in your life, and the most important thing in ones life is to make sacrifices for others less fortunate than ourselves. Today hundreds of Muslims lost their lives in Saudi Arabia making that ultimate pilgrimage of sacrifice to leave their native homes as a sacrifice of their love for the Most High. And as we think about all the starving people in this world, the refugees among the people of the world regardless of their race, and just the plain human suffering of people we may not even know, we have to at least reflect on the fact that there is at least something that we can do to make this life better for someone. Be good to somebody today people, it could the ultimate sacrifice that would save your life. Have a blessed day, and appreciate your life. It's a gift. Peace!

Channel 7

Police Will Charge Alleged Predator
Last night police detained the alleged sexual predator who's been preying on young boys in the Lake Independence Area. He remains in police lockdown tonight, and police expect to charge him tomorrow for as yet unspecified offences. But, based on that solid expectation, we are tonight releasing the name of Kenrick Alston Bowman, a convicted sex offender in the state of California. According to public records, three years ago, he was convicted of "oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age or by force or fear" in San Diego, California. The 42 year old has been living alone in the area of Police Street for at least two years, where - according to neighbors - a steady stream of boys regularly visit his house. On Saturday night, an alert neighbor says he heard distressed screams from the house and later saw a disoriented young boy walking from the house. He claims the boy told him he had performed oral sex for two packs of Ramen noodles.

Ministry Searching For Western Regional Solution
On Tuesday we told you about the Western Regional hospital vendors who were removed from the compound by police and forced to sell food outside the hospital gate - as a part of the rat eradication campaign. Well, that's where they are today but that's not where they want to stay. When they spoke to us on Tuesday they told us they want answers because their livelihoods and safety are at risk. Today we asked Health CEO Peter Allen what they are doing to accommodate these vendors. Courtney Weatherburne "Looking at the vendors first of all, we are aware that you said in an interview before with CTV3, that removing the vendors from the hospital is a part of the entire system or approach to dealing with the rat population at the hospital. But the vendors are saying that it's unfair to them because they believe they are not a part pf the problem and that it will affect their livelihood. How do you respond to that?"

CEO Rejects Minister's Suggestion That Rat Was Planted In Incubator
Now this issue with the vendors happened as a result of the rat that was found in the incubator. Since that appalling incident the hospital management and the Ministry have been on a full court press to get rats out of the hospital and its environs. But while the management is handling the situation with the vendors - it is still baffling how the rat got in the incubator in the first place. One week ago, when our colleagues at CTV3 interviewed Health Minister Pablo Marin - he made the very unsettling suggestion that someone might have put the rat in the incubator. Today we asked CEO Peter Allen about this, and he told us that's just unthinkable. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "I certainly have heard the rumors of sabotage. I certainly have heard the rumors that there is some kind of campaign. From my perspective, let me say that we will focus on the issues. We will focus on the issues of the development of plans within the 30 million dollar grant. We will focus on the issues of correcting challenges that address the institution right now, because honestly I cannot comprehend that there is any patriotic Belizean who would so, shall we say bitter and twisted, as to possibly engaged in such slander and activities against the public hospital and against other care providers who do their best under difficult circumstances to provide care and treatment for our people."

New Western Hospital Coming, But When?
And focusing on what needs to be done to provide better health care for patients, CEO Allen told us about the EU grant that will be used to build a new energy efficient hospital for the Western Region. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "The budget is never enough I would suggest and so our role has been principally to support the initial efforts. I know that there have been ongoing with all of these different efforts, but I am not sure exactly what the current is in terms of what they spent. But I know is that the recommendations from the technical body and the recommendations from the administration and management of the facility is that really the building is old and dilapidated. I'm sure it's older than you, but perhaps not as old as me. But certainly it's been there a for a long time and it needs replacing and that's why we have been working so hard with the European Union and you know we have to thank the Minister and the Prime Minister for pushing so hard for us to win that grant of 30 million dollars from the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund, to construct what will be an essentially a new hospital."

Who Will Be Held To Account At Western Regional
And while the management and the Ministry are already working on trying to solve the rodent problem at the hospital, what about disciplinary action? Will any one be held responsible? As we have shown you, the blame has been loosely thrown around from the Health Minister to the Administrator, to the vendors, but no punitive measures have been taken against anyone. It is extremely embarrassing since now the rat story has been featured in international news including The UK Daily Mail, Irish Mirror, Fox News, Primer Impacto, Fox News and even CNN International. We asked CEO Allen how he and the Ministry are handling all this bad publicity and if anyone will be held to account. He told us it's all part of a process. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "It's outrageous and there is a process and we follow that process. The first step of the process is to write what we called in the public service "show cause" letters. Those have already been written and delivered, where people in administrative responsibility are ask to give us reasons why disciplinary actions should not be taken and what is their explanation for the events as they untold."

Health Ministry Braces For Wrongful Death Suit
And the rat found in the incubator after biting a newborn's toe is only one of a series of mishaps that have plagued the Western Regional Hospital. 29 year old Big Falls resident Nolberta Sanchez died after giving birth to her 4th child on the 10th of September. She was transferred from the Southern Regional Hospital to the Western Regional Hospital where she got a C-section and also had to get her womb removed because of complications. Sanchez's husband John Romero told us that the doctors did not ask for his consent before they started the 2nd operation - removing her womb. After that operation Sanchez was still not feeling well and complained of stomach pain. So from there she had to be transferred to the KHMH where another operation was done to remove 3 pints of blood from her stomach. But Sanchez didn't make it and died in the ICU at the KHMH. We asked CEO Allen for an update on this case but he couldn't provide much details because of a pending lawsuit.

35 Year Old crushed In Early Morning Traffic Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident at mile 2 on the Phillip Goldson Highway - around 4:30 this morning. A Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV was travelling towards Belize City when the driver lost control and rammed into the cement fence at Jose Shoman's residence. Trapped inside the extensively damaged vehicle was the driver 35 year old John Gordon - who appeared to have died on impact - and his passenger Jamilia Arnold - who was trapped in her seatbelt and screaming for help. It took the help of neighbors, police officers and the fire department to rescue Arnold in just a matter of minutes. Her injuries are classified as minor. Gordon sustained severe head and body injuries and died on the spot when the SUV was actually enfolded unto itself.

Placencia Lagoon, Under Sustained Sewage Pressure
Last night, we showed you small excerpt into our coverage of a developing situation on the Placencia Peninsula. It involves what happens when residents and visitors flush their toilets. The conservationists say that there is strong evidence to suggest that the human waste is slowly polluting the lagoon. We went down to Placencia with our friends in the conservation community to examine the situation for ourselves. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting The Placencia Peninsula... It's one of those areas in the country which is experiencing rapid expansion in the number of residents, and new developments. For Placencia Village itself, this community, like the other tourism destinations, is also expanding its tourism business to try to attract as many visitors as possible. But, with all that expansion, come corresponding growing pains, one of them being the concern of just too many houses, hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses, all clamoring for limited space on the peninsula. The peninsula also has the gift and curse of being surrounded by a lagoon.

Sewage Solution Not That Simple
So, what happened with that integrated sewer system that the Belize Water Services and the Government of Belize announced in 2011? Has it been stalled, or has it been scrapped? Well, the company's representative met with us for an intensive sit-down interview, where they explained that the project is going to happen, it's just a matter of when. For context, they told us about what has been happening since 2011: Sanjay Keshwani - Technical Services Manager, BWSL "2011, the government of Belize and I think we had signed the contract for this project. 2011, after that the feasibility study was done. The Halcrow was hired as a consultant following the IDB policy and procedures. Feasibility study was done July 2012 and then again following the IDB policy and procedures, we hired HILCO as a detailed design consultant. In 2013, HILCO was hired by September 2013. The procedures have taken long. It takes about 6 months' time to hire an international consultant. The first effort was failure. So that's why from 2012 to 2013. After HILCO came on board in 2014, they did preliminary studies, preliminary design, estimate and so forth. They were designing for the location across Seine Bight. The first meeting with the Shrimp Farm Growers Association where they...they were polite but they were very forceful and objecting the location. Since then the project is in this mode. So we were trying to work with them, how we can agree on something. Finally it was decided that we need to do this study to scientifically prove that this particular location is better for every single industry in that region. So that's where we are today."

Putting Propriety In Property Tax Assessments
One month ago - the PUP Candidate in Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa challenged his UDP opponent, Mayor Darrell Bradley by saying that Caribbean Shores residents were disproportionately burdened by paying an unfair share of the city's property tax. Mayor Darrell Bradley chose not to engage at the time, but when we caught him today - he said that those property taxes are going down:.. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I have always maintained that the trade license regime is something that has been broken. This is something that we really raised since I became mayor and we have been working with the chamber of commerce on a task force that meets on average every 2 weeks to try to see if we could put in place a better regime. During the period when we have this task force in place 2 years, we have issued a moratorium on the increase of property taxes and trade license, so that we have not made any adjustment for the last 2 years and we do not anticipate making any adjustment unless we reach agreement with the chamber of commerce but there is nothing afoot in relation to increasing anybody's trade license and have documentation in the form of a letter that we issued to the chamber of commerce every year to indicate that for the period in which we are negotiating with this task force there will be no increases and we have held good for that for 2 years."

Dean Street Drain's Deficiency
And, in a much lower tax bracket on the southside in the Mesopotamia division, we remain concerned about our neighbors on lower Dean Street where it just has to drizzle - and the streets get flooded for days. The chronic and acute drainage problem is a nuisance to residents, and a serious inconvenience to the many pedestrians and school children who have to wade through the waters to get to work and school. It's a problem that's been going on for years, and it only got worse when they cemented the street. Today we asked the mayor what can be done for the denizens of Dean Street and he gave us a lesson in hydraulics:.. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "Well in relation to one of things that we are seeing not only on Dean Street is that our perennial problem and this is kind of a city council issue is one that we have not and this is over the years, put sufficient focus on effective drainage works.

Calling All Crooks
And from Dean Street Drains, to Corozal Cops and Robbers. We also asked CEO Allen about the brand new electrosurgical machine that was stolen from the newly opened surgical unit at the Corozal Polyclinic. The equipment is valued at $22,000 and the Ministry is asking for your assistance in locating this pricey and very important piece of equipment. Today CEO Allen urged the public to report if they see this equipment or if anyone is trying to sell it to them. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "It's really a shame, we would say that such a thing can happen. This is an electro surgical unit so essentially it's something like an electric scuffle and has a value of 26 thousand dollars and clearly the number of people who have use for a surgical scalpel is extremely limited. So our hope there is very few people who may be interested in procuring a surgical scalpel that has been stolen from a public hospital would be interested enough and patriotic enough to report that matter to the authorities."

BIL's Building
For months, we've been reporting on contract signings by Belize Infrastructure Limited for sports facilities in various districts. But what's happening with the actual work on the ground? Yesterday, we asked BIL's General Manager Christy Mastry about these projects, and she explained them in detail: Christy Mastry - GM, Belize Infrastructure Ltd. "Where we are now is basically, we have just about signed all of the contracts that we initially set out for the west the down south, which includes Dangriga and Punta Gorda and for the island of san Pedro. I am down south today doing visits on the football facilities for both the Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Both of those are coming along very well. They are getting concrete bleacher blocks, lockers, restrooms and the construction is moving along quite well, for most of the projects now at this point. so I think we only have maybe one other small project to sign in the San Pedro which is a semi-enclosed basketball facility, a roof facility that we are looking at right now and then of course we are in the middle of negotiations for the big project of the Belize City Center." Daniel Ortiz "What is the cost of the facilities in Dangriga and Punta Gorda? What is the cost of the football field in San Pedro?"

A Poor Farmer's Plea For Consumer Conscience
Last week we told you about the deepening drought in the grain producing areas of Orange Walk South. Well, since then, rain has fallen on the Orange Walk District, just like everywhere else. It's come too late to save thousands of acres of corn - which are planted in May, June and July, but hopefully it can moisten the soil for the vegetables and beans that will be planted in the cooler months. Still, the drought has been a major and costly set back - and it could result in higher vegetable prices later this year, when the corps are harvested. That's bad news for local farmers who have to face contraband and consumers who could care less. San Carlos Farmer Max Hernandez asked consumers to work with them:.. Max Hernandez - Farmer "The big problem for us is that we want to sell our product. They need to control the contraband or stopping the permit or special paper when we have our local produce. We need to stop the special permit to import vegetables. We have the same vegetables in Belize. When we harvest the corn, we go to the local market, we need to encourage the consumer that our vegetables in Belize is fresh and healthy." Drought conditions are expected to ease by the end of November.

Health Fair For The People
Earlier in the newscast you heard Health CEO Peter Allen address the series of incidents at the Western Regional Hospital - but in light of all that negative news, there are several positive and uplifting initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry. One is the Caribbean Health and Wellness Fair which was held at the Battlefield Park today. Health coordinators told us why this kind of public information interface is important to the lives of city residents. And while it is citizens responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle, Mayor Bradley says it is also the responsibility of the Government to keep them healthy.

US Military Builds In Hattieivlle
This morning the Military Liaison Office at the US Embassy hosted the opening of an emergency operation and community center in Hattieville. It is a part of the 2013 project that will offer villagers shelter in times of disaster. 7news was present at the ribbon cutting and we spoke to US Ambassador Carlos Moreno. The project was funded through the US department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program and totaled 820,000 Belize dollars.

Prison Staff Workshop
No visitation was allowed today at the Belize Central Prison. That is because over 20 control officers were attending a public relations and professionalism workshop on the prison compound. The training focused on topics such as communication, telephone ethics, and search and count procedures -the areas mostly complained about by the public. There will be a continuation of the training.

The End Of The Taheera Era?
And while we were at the prison we confirmed what was first reported to us last week that Superintendent Taheera Ahmad who has been a veritable institution at the prison UNDER KOLBE MANAGEMENT -is no longer at the facility. There are all kinds of stories about an acrimonious departure, but the CEO told us that she simply resigned:.. Virgilio Murillo, CEO, KOLBE Foundation "Miss Taheera sent in her resignation I think it was last Tuesday. She pretty much sent in a very short letter saying that she is resigning and it actually takes effect on the 10th October, because she is currently on sick leave. She did not say much in that letter other than to say that she resigns and that she thanks the foundation for the years that she has been with us and we accepted the resignation. Certainly, I know she is pursuing her own career, because she does have a career as far as I am aware in social work. Because that seems to be where her passion is." Taheera Ahmad's resignation becomes effective on October 10th. We were told she is currently on sick leave. We tried getting a comment from Ahmad today but we were told to ask the prison.

Getting Down At Georgetown
Head of Delegation for the European Union to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei yesterday handed over more than one million dollars' worth of technical and vocational training equipment to Georgetown Technical High School in the Stann Creek District. It's a part of a fund known as the Banana Accompanying Measures Programme, which is designed to reduce poverty in the banana belt - and has already put 8 million dollars into the school's development. Technocrats underscored the importance of the investment:.. There are approximately 600 students enrolled at Georgetown Technical. Surrounding communities encompassing 21 villages will benefit from this project.

Belize Boxers Get Help
Last night we told you about the visiting international heavyweight who's going to box this weekend in San Ignacio. But, what about Belize;s boxers? Well, they got a boost today from the National Olympic Committee which made a donation of equipment. 7News was there:.. That was Vice-President of the N-O-C, Owen "Sonny" Meighan and President of the Boxing Federation Moses Sulph..

Channel 5

Did Child Predator Offer Noodles for Sex With Underage Boys?
Kenrick Bowman, who is a sex offender registered in San Diego, U.S.A. is in police detention tonight and it is expected that he will charged for allegations of sexually abusing [...]

Police Deny Any Development in Case of Missing Fishermen
One month ago three Belize City fishermen – Donovan Usher, Giovanni Murillo and Jerome Bowen – went out to Turneffe for a day. They never returned and are presumed dead. [...]

Health CEO Speaks on Eviction of Food Vendors
The recent eviction of vendors from the Western Regional Hospital, as part of an effort to rid the facility of a grave rodent infestation, has raised the ire of sellers [...]

No Timeline Given for Return of Vendors
While there is no timeline for the re-positioning of the vendors, Doctor Allen told the media earlier today that while the Belmopan City Council empathizes with them, the mayor and his councilors also [...]

One Man Dies in Early Morning RTA on Phillip Goldson Highway
There was a fatal collision early this morning at Mile Two on the Philip Goldson Highway. One of two persons travelling in a S.U.V. was killed instantly in the crash [...]

MoH Will Not Comment on Nolberta Sanchez Investigation
Nolberta Sanchez died at the K.H.M.H. on September tenth after undergoing surgery several hours earlier in Belmopan, where she gave birth to a child via caesarian section.  When doctors at [...]

Fate of Lucia Cal Investigation Mired in Bureaucracy
The proverbial buck, the outcome of all the scandals that have besieged the Western Regional Hospital since the beginning of the year, stops at the Minister of Health.  He, in [...]

Boxing Match Scheduled for Friday Already Creating Controversy
An international heavyweight bout featuring Mexican boxers Fres Oquendo and Pablo Gibran is scheduled for Friday night in San Ignacio.  The much advertised event is being coordinated by the Belize [...]

Belize Boxing Federation Receives Donation from the Olympic Association
The Belize Boxing Federation is the recipient of a major donation from the Belize Olympic Association.  Today, the organization received several thousand dollars in equipment, including gloves and title belts.  [...]

Police Say Violent Crimes in the City Have Decreased
There was another shooting in the city on Wednesday night, and with it come concerns that violence in the old capital is flaring up. It’s a valid concern because it [...]

Efforts Continue to Crack Down on Belize City Gangs
Most of the violence in the city has been linked to gang rivalries. Strictly speaking gang affiliation is illegal, but gang members apparently haven’t gotten the memo. Williams told us [...]

Southside Gets $37M for Poverty Alleviation
During his Independence address on Monday, the Prime Minister touched on various issues, but few as important as citizen security crime. Where that critical component is concerned, the news is [...]

Triston Popper Shot on Pickstock Street
Back to the shooting on Wednesday night, eighteen-year-old Triston Popper remains in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, following an attempt on his life in the wee [...]

Six Months for Yohannah Lourdes Quixote for Harm
A Salvadoran woman, who is the mother of two young boys, is serving her first night of a six-month sentence imposed upon her by Magistrate Ladonna John this morning. On [...]

Uncle and Nephew Arraigned on Aggravated Assault Charges
Today, a pair of relatives was arraigned for a shooting at the house of Brian Davis, a Sand hill resident, on Monday, September fourteenth, 2015.  A youth, who turns eighteen [...]

Healthy Living looks at Caribbean Wellness Week
Caribbean Wellness Week is being celebrated under the theme: Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Aging. Several activities have been scheduled for this week to encourage Belizeans to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Today, [...]


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#507766 - 09/25/15 12:08 PM Re: Today's Belize News: September 25, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

BAHA Remains Tight Lip About Poultry Situation In Fire Burn
In last night’s newscast we told you about the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority quarantining a farm located between Shipyard and Fireburn Village in the Orange Walk District. Villagers we spoke with said that BAHA officials met with them, around midday on Tuesday of this week and said that they performed tests on poultry on the farm and found traces of a virus. Villagers were informed that their chickens would be removed from the village that very night. The officials followed through with that and removed one final brood of chickens by midday on Wednesday. The situation, said the villagers, caught them unprepared and some we found were still distraught about having their chickens taken away. We have yet to verify where they were taken. Many villagers received a reported eight dollars per head of chicken by a Mennonite from Shipyard but others claim that they did not get any payment. We attempted to get official comment from BAHA officials in Belmopan but were once again unable to reach anyone who could give an official comment. We will keep following this story.

Who Tampared With George Price Monument?
There is more political bicker to report tonight as another Facebook post triggered another flurry of comments from both PUP and UDP supporters. A Facebook user posted a picture of the George Price monument located at the George Price Avenue and Stadium Street with the caption, “A monument dedicated to the Rt. HON GEORGE PRICE. It’s a shame that this has been there for such a long time and no one has bothered to fix it. CAN ANYONE PLEASE FIND ALL THE MISTAKES? This monument is found at the entrance of the Boulevard that is in front of San Francisco school. Whoever the person in charge of this atrocious doing, what a shame. Hope someone fixes it up soon,” unquote. The post soon caught the attention of several, including Mayor Kevin Bernard who is of the firm belief that this is yet another attempt of the UDP and its supporters trying to cause mischief. We spoke with him over the phone today to find out what happened to the monument and to clarify if it was indeed a mistake by the artist or a photo shopped picture. This is what he said happened.

Carmelita Resident Says Her Land Is Been Taken Away
A single mother is fighting for her rights over a parcel of land she says she has been living on for four years in Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. According to the woman, Amalia Flowers, a man she did not name applied for the land about a year ago. Flowers says he knew she has been living there for some years and the only reason she had not applied for her papers was because she was preoccupied with her son who had suffered an accident. “I clean it up for four years right now and I planted up and follow it up and I paid his own brother the follow it down and then he passed one day by my house and he asked me what is my number for my land and I told him it is 171 and then went behind me and applied for the land and then I went to Mr. Aragon and he gave me a recommendation letter make them cancel it and they didn’t want to cancel it at lands and then I went to Gasper one day a Thursday and I explained myself to him and then he told me that I have to leave the land because I only went to squat in the man land and he has it clean but it is not him who had it clean but he doesn’t owned it he has one beside mines but he sold it already but he wants to claim my one where I am living in and so I have been living there for four years and I went to lands and they treat me like nobody and they never gave me any opportunity to explain.”

Belize Police Detains US Sex Offender
Belize City Police have detained a registered US sex offender that has been residing in the Lake Independence pending an investigation on allegations of sexual misconduct upon minor boys. The serious allegation stems from a complaint made by a neighbor who has for a while been observing that several boys visit the offender’s home. Reports indicate that the predator has been luring neighborhood boys with Ramen noodles in exchange for sex acts. The neighbor reported the matter to the police after he witnessed a young boy emerging from the man’s residence in a disoriented state. The neighbor says when he asked the boy what the matter was, the boy explained that he had been forced to perform oral sex with the man in exchange for two packs of noodles. The police acted swiftly to detain the man but because not enough evidence was gathered and the mother of the child refusing to make a complaint he was set free.

LOVE FM

Sabotage at the Western Regional ?
The public was outraged after it was reported that a rat bit the feet of a newborn baby at the Western Regional Hospital. That outrage grew when a video of the nurses removing the rat from the incubator and killing it with a broom […]

Still no arrest in child molestation allegation
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: The house on Reid Street is empty and looks abandoned. Before this past weekend, young boys described to be under the age of 14 from the neighborhood frequented the house. Neighbors believed that the man living in the house was a registered sex offender. The man is described as being […]

Traffic accident claims one life
This morning the Phillip Goldson Highway was the scene of a fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of one John Gordon. The accident occurred at mile two on the Phillip Goldson Highway, across from the Puma gas station, sometime around 4am. It was a solid impact which caused extensive damage to the vehicle, almost […]

KHMH staff receives 14% increase on salary
Last week, the Chair of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority and the staff successfully managed to negotiate on the way forward. The staff members will receive a fourteen percent increase after committing to be more participatory and efficient. The increase will cost the KHMH one point six million dollars more per year but for […]

Ministry of Agriculture prepares for next drought to prevent another 80 million dollar lost
Last week the Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche told us that about twenty eight million dollars in crop has been lost due to the drought affecting the region. Alpuche told us that the drought is expected to be over with in November but what has been lost cannot be recovered. […]

Western Regional Vendors are being blamed for rat issue in hospital, vendors says no.
In order to deal with the rat problem at the Western Regional Hospital, several measures are being taken. One of those measures is to remove the vendors from the hospital’s vicinity. But the vendors, say that they are not the problem. They say that their livelihoods have now become threatened and refuse to get out […]

Police Seeks Shooters
Police are looking for two suspects following a shooting incident that left a man hospitalized. Police say just after midnight they went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 18-year-old Triston Popper of Pickstock Street suffering from gunshot wound to the left side of the chest, left side of the back, left thigh […]

Wear Orange and End Violence Against Women and Girls
The United Nations Women are taking the campaign to end violence against women a bit further and longer. Rather than observing Orange Day on November 25 of each year as a day to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls, a proclamation was made to have it observed on the 25th of each […]

UB Aims to Assist Students at Kuxlin Primary
There is a partnership between the University of Belize and the University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services whereby both entities are seeking ways to assist children in their home country who are having problems keeping up in school. A team from the Ministry of Education in Belize traveled to Florida recently […]

PlusTV

Fatal early morning accident caused by speeding and wet roads
There was a deadly accident early this morning on the Philip Goldson Highway which claimed the life of one man. It happened sometime after 4 o’clock this morning at Mile 2 on the highway across from the Puma Gas Station. Police say when they arrived on the scene, they were able to remove 27 year o...

Heavyweight boxer Fres Oquendo to fight in Belize
He has fought many boxing champions and legends – from Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz and Chris Byrd to David Tua, James Toney and Ruslan Chagaev. But while he has never held a world title, contender Fres Oquendo is recognized as a durable and experienced challenger. The 42 year old from Chicago...

Caribbean Wellness Day promotes healthy aging
A Health and Wellness Open Day was held in Belize City as part of activities under Caribbean Wellness Week. Using the slogan “Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Aging,” the Ministry of Health is promoting overall personal health. We hear more from Dr. Jorge Polanco, liaison with PAHO on non-com...

Health Ministry hunts missing hospital equipment
The Ministry of Health has turned to an unusual source to locate surgical equipment stolen from the community hospital in Corozal two weeks ago. We hear more from CEO Dr. Peter Allen. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO Ministry of Health: It’s really a shame you would say that such a thing can happen. This ...

[CEO Allen addresses woes of Western Regional Hospital]
Belmopan’s Western Regional Hospital has been in the center of a firestorm with revelation upon revelation coming from the crumbling structure – the deaths of two women attending the hospital and the discovery of rats and snakes attacking a baby in an incubator and a nurse respectively. ...

75 year old man missing; family suspects foul play
A man in his mid 70’s has gone missing and the family says they suspect foul play. 75 year old Francisco Reyes, a resident of Salvapan, Belmopan, is a farmer. He spends most of his days at his farm near the community of Springfield Village, Cayo. When he was not farming he would be at the Tues...

Child Molester Closely Monitored by Police
On Tuesday we told you about an explosive allegation against a US National living in Police Street Extension in Lake Independence, Belize City, who, according to several online sources, happens to be a registered sex offender in the US. The police were called to the location on Saturday when a neigh...

The Guardian

$11 Million in hospital debts written off
In last year’s Independence Day address, Prime Minister Barrow announced that Government would cover the December mortgage payments for all Belizean home owners whose mortgage was originally less than $100,000. Such announcements on Independence Day have become a tradition of the Barrow Administration and that is why Belizeans across the country were glued to their radio and television sets to hear what gift he had for his people this year. Prime Minister Barrow did not disappoint. Prime Minister Barrow announced that Government will find the funds to provide KHMH employees with the salary increase that was agreed with the KHMH Board and the Cabinet sub-committee; however, “as a matter of principle, GOB does not want simply to hand over the monies for the salary increase as a gift. We will therefore treat it as a buyout of the debt owed by consumers, by the Belizean public, to the KHMH.” He went on to say that in order for Belizeans across the jewel to feel the benefit of the debt forgiveness, “we will also forgive all monies currently owing by patients to all Government hospitals throughout the country.”

A third raise for teachers and public officers
Teachers, police officers, fire fighters, soldiers and other public officers now know that they will be receiving a third salary increase in as many years – three years, three raises. “Because we expect continued economic and revenue growth, next year should see a third salary raise for Government workers and this is really quite extraordinary,” Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on the 34th anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Under the Framework Agreement between the negotiating teams of Government and the unions (Public Service Union, Belize National Teachers Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers) signed in February of 2014, one half of the increase in actual recurrent revenue from one year to the next (in a three year span) will be allocated to salary increases for public officers and teachers. Based on this formula, $29 million was allocated to salary increases for fiscal year 2014/2015 and $38 million for 2015/2016. In fiscal year 2014/2015, the Government spent $368 million for personal emoluments and $60 million for pensions. Therefore, the $38 million represented an almost 9 percent salary increase for public officers. With a third raise coming to public officers, those in the rest of the region are watching Belize in amazement. In a time when governments in the Caribbean region are raising taxes, freezing wages and laying off workers, the Government of Belize is getting ready to grant public officers a third straight raise.

Verdes make Belize proud in CONCACAF Champions League
Verdes Football Club, Belize’s representative in the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League, have managed to pull off a major victory against their second opponents in the tournament’s Group C match ups. It’s a major feat for a Belizean team who has scored the most points in this tournament to date, very much like Belize’s historical 3rd Round appearance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Championships. In their first match against Mexico’s Queretaro, Verdes was soundly defeated in two matches by 8 goals to zero. Some football fans, and the tough critics of the sport, suspected that Team Belize would have been demoralized to the point where the next match was basically going to favor San Francisco FC from Panama. Well, on Tuesday night, September 22, Verdes redeemed themselves and reignited hope at home. San Francisco scored first in the 12th minute, but Belize’s premier striker, Deon McCaulay, equalized with a goal in the 18th minute. He had an opportunity to give Verdes a one goal lead, when he took a penalty shot in the 39th minute, but his shot hit the crossbar and rebounded back in his direction. Even though that put it back in play, the San Francisco defenders managed to keep him from scoring another goal.

Cabinet approves Belmopan City’s Municipal Bond
Belize’s Cabinet approved last Monday the floating of a Municipal Bond by the Belmopan City Council to the tune of some six point five million Belize Dollars. The municipal bond is patterned similarly to what was done in Belize City by Mayor Darrell Bradley. A paper on the bond was presented during a cabinet meeting on September 14th after which measures towards passage of the legislation for that municipal bond bill is expected to begin shortly. It is now hoped that from the floating of this six point five million in municipal bond, the Belmopan City Council can use at least half a million dollars to improve its ageing equipment and vehicles. One million of that six point five million should go towards retiring a loan that the Belmopan City Council has with the Holy Redeemer Credit Union. While some 40 streets have either been cemented or chip sealed paved over the past three years, the Belmopan City Council is now looking forward to pave another 30 streets and simultaneously work on drains from the remaining five million of the municipal bond.

Belize’s Tribute to 21 Patriots
On Thursday, September 17, 21 distinguished men and women were honoured at the 2015 Tribute to Belizean Patriots at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The National Honours and Awards Act was passed on August 16th, 1991. It says that each year honours and awards may be conferred to individuals, living or dead, who may have rendered outstanding and meritorious service to Belize. This year, 19 individuals received Meritorious Service Awards and two received Orders of Distinction. The Order of Distinction was bestowed upon the late great Senior Counsel Gian Chand Ghandi and the beloved Emma Boiton. Ghandi was honoured posthumously for his contribution to the Belize Judicial system and his tireless service to the Government and people of Belize. He was born in India but his family had to leave all their belongings behind at the age of 14 when they fled from their home during the formation of the new state of Pakistan. The family spent almost four months in refugee camps in Pakistan before settling in modern day India. Ghandi studied political science at Punjab University; received his Masters of Law degree at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law in London. In 1973 he was called to the Bar in London. Ghandi then went on to serve in the public service in England briefly before a short stint as a university lecturer in Guyana.

Belmopan City Council braving various challenges
The Belmopan City Council is braving several challenges at the same time as it seeks to manage the City sustainably. Sitting now at the helm is Mayor Khalid Belisle, who says that the transition from the previous council has continued smoothly, but now being in office is different than from looking from the outside. One of the major challenges now confronting the Belmopan City Council is that its rate of collection of property taxes hovers around 50%. In terms of its garbage fee the Belmopan City Council is not doing much better. The Belmopan City Council has a garbage fee in place of five dollars per month for residential and about three hundred dollars a year for commercial garbage. However; the Belmopan City Council’s residential collection rate for garbage is about 4%. “I must admit, [that it] has been the apparent failure of the Council to inform the people that there is a garbage fee in place…we have never or we have seldom if ever sent out garbage fee bills the way we send out property fee bills every year,” says Khalid Belisle, the Mayor of Belmopan.

Who put the rat in the incubator?
The images of a rat running around (for his life) in a baby incubator invokes emotions of the worst kind in any reasonable human being. Add to that the idea of it being in there along with a newborn whom it reportedly bit and you have the script for a horror movie. No one would have their child, a newborn at that, cohabitating with an animal such as a rat even for a second. These however are the reports coming from the Western Regional Hospital in the city of Belmopan. These reports have dominated the media and morning talk shows for several weeks. They have even been reported in the international media by way of Univision’s very popular ‘Primer Impacto’. There are a few issues however with what has been reported and with the question of how the rat ended up inside the incubator. Until an in depth investigation is carried out all we have are speculations. In that same light I would like to share my belief of how it got there. The rat was placed inside the incubator by someone with an ulterior motive albeit an evil one. Now, there are many reasons a person would do something as unthinkable as that, including idleness, to attract attention, to embarrass someone in authority, to create mischief for the staff and the list goes on. There are some pretty twisted people out there and whatever the reason for that person or persons to have placed that animal in there the act is a sick one.

Labor Commissioner mediates in CWU and First Caribbean workers issues
The Labour Commissioner has intervened in the dispute between the employees of First Caribbean International Bank and the international managers who are trying to make their way out of Belize. Their union’s president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, on her usual anti-government rant, has been trying to suggest in the press that the Barrow Administration used the might of parliament to fast-track the transfer of assets between First Caribbean and Heritage Bank. That is furthest from the truth, and all the Government has done is to make the transfer smooth, to ensure that all goes well and that the asset ownership is not compromised. Since the passage of the First Caribbean International Bank Vesting Bill, the Christian Workers Union had been having difficulty with the breakdown of communication between them and the Bank’s management. The Commissioner of Labour, Ivan Williams, and his team managed to chair a mediation meeting between both sides, and they agreed on the best path forward for these negotiations.

Monchie faces the music for playing libelous
Ramon Cervantes Jr., the PUP politician, better known as “Monchie”, was the last to take the witness stand in the libel and slander lawsuits that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega brought against him. Readers are very well aware that DPM Vega asserts that Cervantes, who is his political opponent in Orange Walk North, severely injured his character and public image when he and his family broadcasted a phone call on national radio. That phone call, you will remember, featured a man, who claimed to be Manuel Castillo, who remains wanted by Orange Walk Police in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr., who is the father of Monchie. This man, in the phone call, made the grave and somewhat unbelievable allegation that the Deputy Prime Minister - who deserves the benefit of the doubt for his unblemished criminal record - was the main player who set up the plot to kill Ramon Sr., in a very gruesome and terrible way. Another party to this lawsuit was the Briceño Family’s radio station, Fiesta FM, which the Deputy Prime Minister asserts was one of the broadcasting partners who aired these spurious allegations.

Students of Faith Nazarene still not in classes
Teachers and parents at the Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio Town remain faithful that issues with Principal Policarpia Pech will be resolved just in time for students to continue attending school; as the number of students attending has increased over the last few days. But those hopes almost disappeared today after the Teaching Service Commission refused to approve proposals for Policarpia Pech to get a long leave and transfer; after a three week long standoff between her and a vocal group of parents and teachers. In a release by the Ministry of Education it states the while it supports the rights of parents to pursue quality education for their children and also supports that teachers be treated fairly and justly by their administrators and management, those rights ought not to be gained by resorting to measures that do not recognize the rights of others to be afforded due process and to be heard in their own defense.

H.E. Pat Andrews presents credentials to President of the United States of America, Barack Obama
H.E. Patrick Andrews presented credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the White House in Washington, D.C. as Belize’s Ambassador to the United States of American States. Ambassador Andrews in his message to President Obama conveyed warm greetings from the Governor General Sir Colville Young and Lady Young as well as on behalf of Prime Minister Barrow and Mrs. Barrow. He underscored the cordial relationship Belize and the USA have always enjoyed; based on mutual respect and on shared values. He also expressed the need for a deepening of understanding and continued relations in a variety of areas of common interest to Belize and the region. He expressed Belize’s commitment to the role as the link between the two sub regions of Central America and the Caribbean with the aim of advancing the common agenda. President Obama in his reply welcomed Ambassador Andrews to Washington and said, “Belize and the United States share a strong partnership based on mutual commitment to strengthen democracy and regional security. We value the collaboration between our governments to strengthen the rule of law and promote citizen security.”

Public Sector Worker’s Trust meeting legal battles
A group calling themselves the 'Public Service Retirees Ad Hoc Committee' has retained the services of attorney Hubert Elrington & Company. The group is attempting to settle a dispute over the use of moneys which has accumulated in the Public Sector Worker's Trust. At this point in time members of the committee along with their attorney are negotiating with trustees of the trust and their attorney. The background to this story is that in July of last year the Government of Belize handed over 3.6 million dollars to the Trustees of the Public Sector Workers' Trust. This is money that has accumulated since 1995 when public officers were given shares in BTL in lieu of an increment freeze between April1, 1995 and March 31, 1997. Since then the shares have been earning dividends which were held in a separate savings account in trust for the public officers and teachers.

17 villages receive supplies from Ministry of Rural Development
A Department of Rural Development handing over ceremony of riding mowers, pipes, pump and electrical supplies was held at the National Emergency Management Organization NEMO warehouse on Thursday of last week in the City of Belmopan. On hand to make the deliveries were the Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport as well as the Hon. Gowin Hulse, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration & Nationality. Also present were Village Chairpersons, Standard Bearers and officials from the Ministry of Local Government. A total of 17 villages are benefiting from the supplies to improve their access to potable water as well as from riding mowers to assist in the maintenance of public areas; to a total cost of $33,000.00 About 2,307 households or 13,479 persons obtained benefits from the distributions last Thursday. The community of Caledonia has now obtained a submersible pump, motor and electrical materials for their pump house. Santa Clara, Old Northern Road and the Belize River Valley, which consists of nine villages, get a riding mower each, while Ladyville, Duck Run and Alta Vista get pipes and fittings.

New bridge for Trinidad Village
Trinidad is a quaint little village of about 1500 residents situated in the Orange Walk district. The village falls in the Orange Walk South constituency where the Standard Bearer is Mrs. Guadalupe Magana Dyck. She has been the standard bearer for this area for a mere three months and the work she has done is exemplary. She has been tirelessly working for the residents of this area in everything that affects them including streets, water systems, electrification, etc.… Her latest project is the replacement of a bridge in Trinidad village. This bridge is an important link between two parts of the village as there is a creek which cuts the village in two. There has been a bridge across this creek on a main street from time immemorial but the last time it was replaced was 22 years ago by the then area representative Ruben Campos in 1993. Since then it has serviced hundreds of residents including school children and farmers who use it daily. It is also used by cane farmers who have to cross over it with trucks during the cane season. It is indeed an indispensable piece of infrastructure in the village.

Children’s school rally held in Benque Viejo
A colorful children’s school rally was held in Benque Viejo on Friday of last week. The rally began at 9:00 am from the much renovated Centennial Park, where a brief ceremony was held to celebrate a Belize Renewed, Confident, Competitive and Committed. At the ceremony, the invocation was given by Father Beau Shwaeitzer and welcome address by the Mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen Heraldo Ramcharan. The guest speaker at this occasion was the Hon. Marconi Sosa, who gave words of inspiration to our youths. Thereafter; some eight educational institutions filed for the parade follows: BVO Community Pre-School, Victorious Nazarene, Mount Carmel Primary School, Mount Carmel High School, Howard Smith Nazarene, Hills of Promise SDA and the Mopan Technical High School. The parade proceeded through the streets of Benque, mainly George Street, to the George Price Boulevard, Diaz and Kennedy Street and thereon to the Cancha Marchalleck.

Boxing revived with visit from heavyweight contender
Boxing is a dying sport in Belize. Boxing matches are a rarity today. Older folks talk about a time when the sport was very much alive in Belize. In fact Belize has produced a few remarkable boxers who turned professional and had spectacular careers. Two such boxers were Selvin(Lefty ‘Satan’ Flynn) Campbell and Verno Jeremias Phillips. Lefty ‘Satan’ Flynn born in Belize in 1917 and his name was Selvin Campbell. He became a professional boxer and later changed his name to Lefty Flynn. Flynn was also known as “His Satanic Majesty” and eventually fought out of Jamaica becoming Jamaican featherweight and later welterweight champion. He then moved to England in late 1936. Flynn was a successful opponent in British boxing circles and fought many of the up-and-coming fighters of his age. In 1954 he made an unsuccessful attempt at the British Honduras welterweight title in Belize City.

Bail granted to four Charged for PG gang rape
The two sisters and their common-law-husbands charged in relation to the gang rape of an 18-year-old girl in the Indian Creek area of Punta Gorda have been granted Supreme Court bail. On Monday, September 7, Santa and Zita Shol were arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrates Court along with Zita’s common-law-husband, Albert Kanti, for the crime of abetment to rape. Santa’s common-law-husband, Wilhelm Garbutt, was arraigned for the crime of rape upon the 18-year-old girl. The 18-year-old girl reported to police that she was walking in the Indian Creek area when two females ambushed and beat her up. They then threw her into a nearby bushy area where two men held her down and one raped her.

BDF Camp Coordinator in Trouble for Hotel Stay with Camper, 14
BDF Private and 2015 Camp Coordinator, Kenneth Gary Swazo, 29, is out on bail after he was remanded for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old camper in August of this year. On Friday, September 18, Swazo appeared before Justice Traodio Gonzalez where he was granted bail in the sum of $10,000 plus two sureties of $5,000 each. Conditions to his bail is that he report to the Dangriga Police Station every Friday until the case is disposed of and he is not to interfere with the victim. According to reports, Swazo met the girl at the 2015 BDF Summer Camp and kept in touch after the camp was over. According to reliable sources and police report, on August 20, 2015, Swazo took the girl to a hotel located on the Phillip Goldson Highway, formerly known as Gulf Hotel, where they had sexual intercourse. The girl’s parents learned of the incident when someone alerted the mother and she confronted the child. The girl admitted to her mother that she went to the hotel with Swazo where they had sex. The parents then took the girl to the police station where they reported the matter. The girl was taken to a doctor who confirmed that she had been carnally known and classified her injuries as grievous harm.

Inmates busted with weed inside prison cell
Two prison inmates who were busted with weed inside their cell were slapped with three additional years to their sentence after they pleaded guilty to the offense of drug trafficking on Wednesday, September 23. Ernest Billary, 23, and Jevon Slusher, 27 were busted inside their cell at around 1:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, September 18. Prison officer Ricardo Castillo found the drugs wrapped up in four black plastic bags that were sealed with transparent tape. Billary was already serving a ten year sentence for firearm related offenses and Slusher had already served two years of a five year sentence also for firearm related offenses.

Accused of Damaging Bermudian Landing Police Station Window
Bermudian Landing Village resident, Sherwin Rocka, is out on bail of $2,000 after he appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John to face charges of escape from lawful custody, damage to property and harm. Allegations made against Rocka is that on August 30, 2015, he caused harm to Harrison Sutherland in Willows Bank Village. Rocka was arrested and taken to the Bermudian Landing Police Station. It is there that, according to police, he caused damages to the station’s windows while escaping from the lawful custody of Sgt. Aaron Zuniga. The damage to the windows have been estimated at $700. Rocka was unrepresented when he appeared in court on Wednesday, September 23, and pleaded not guilty to all three charges. There was no objection to bail which Magistrate John granted in the sum of $2,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Magistrate John ordered Rocka to report to the Ladyville Police Station every Friday of the week until the case is disposed of. He is due back in court on November 23.

Tyron King remanded for burglary
Tyrone King, 19, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was denied bail for allegedly burglarizing a construction site on Chetumal Street, Belize City. Allegations are that on Friday, September 18, he and others forced themselves into RJB’s construction site on Chetumal Street and stole $2,511.14 worth of construction material belonging to Romel Berges. King was unrepresented on Tuesday, September 22, when he was arraigned before Magistrate Ladonna John. He pleaded not guilty to a single charge of burglary. Before leaving the courtroom, King asked to speak and told the magistrate that officers of the Gang Suppression Unit visited him at his work site on Chetumal Street and hit him so hard that he went unconscious. He said that when he gained consciousness and was asked about the burglary he told the officers that he had seen when the men ran up the street from the construction site and hid the items. King said the officers arrested him because they could not locate the men who took the items.

Son stabs father for patting his girlfriend’s butt
Kyson Graham, 39, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was accused of stabbing his father. Graham claims that he retaliated after his father slapped his girlfriend’s butt but the explanation was not good enough to get him bail. Wayne Welch reported to police that on Tuesday, September 15, his son stabbed him at their home. Graham was arrested and charged with grievous harm since the injury to his father was serious. Graham was unrepresented when he was arraigned before Magistrate Ladonnna John on Friday, September 18. He was read a single charge and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutor Christopher Smith had heavy objection to bail. The objections were on the grounds that releasing Graham would jeopardize the safety of the victim since he lives at the same residence as the accused. He also based it on the severity of the injury; Welch was still hospitalized at the time of arraignment. Prosecutor Smith also asked the court to take into consideration the fact that police investigations are still in progress as additional charges may be levied upon Graham. Magistrate John took Smith’s objection into consideration and denied bail to Graham. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 18, 2015.

Tour Guide Accused of Threatening to Kill Police Officer
Louigie Turton, 38, a tour guide of the Ladyville area is out on bail after he was accused of assaulting a police officer, using indecent words and threatening to kill him. In court on Wednesday, September 23, Turton was unrepresented when he was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers but he told the court his attorney is Leroy Banner. Turton pleaded not guilty to one count of using indecent words, one count of aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument (beer can), one count of common assault and one count of using threatening words towards tourism police officer Rufert Leslie. Those words are, “Ah wah frig yuh up now.” The incident is allege to have occurred on July 24, 2015 in Belize City.

Verdes FC clips San Francisco FC in Scotia Bank CONCACAF play
The ScotiaBank CONCACAF Champions League competition continued on Tuesday 22 September, 2015, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan between the San Francisco FC from Panama and Verdes FC the National Football Champions of Belize. The visiting San Francisco FC was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Daniel Moran scored the 1st goal of the game in the 13th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, that lead was short lived as Deon McCauley converts a headed goal to tie the score at 1-1 in the 19th minute of play. The first half ended in a 1-1 tie. In the second half of the game started out with the San Francisco FC on the prowl but denied the opportunity to score in the 66th minute of play on a goal attempt that went wide. Verdes FC in the 67th minute of play also had a chance at the goal when Rodney Torres shoots that was saved by Alex Rodriguez.

C-Ray captures Olympic distance Triathlon
The Belize Triathlon Association sponsored its first ever Olympic distance Traithlon event in Belize and it was held in Punta Gorda Town on Saturday September 19, 2015. Eleven relay teams lined up for this event that had the participants swim 1,500 meters followed by a 40k ride and a 10k run. First out of the water was 20 year old Brandon Santos 0:24:44, followed closely by his brother 17 year old Jordan Santos 0:28:26. The Santos brothers had veered off course on the return leg of the swim which allowed Deon Cus 0:28:56 of the Coast Guard to make up time. On the bike, the three riders namely Brandon Cattouse, Joel Borland and Kent Gabourel started working together to keep any other teams from catching them. They worked well together until 7 miles from the transition area. Borland started attacking Brandon and Kent on all the rolling hills leading into Town. On one of the last rolling hills Borland was able to create a separation between himself on Kent. Only Brandon was able to follow him and they came into the transition at the same time. Kent followed in two minutes later.

Minister Herman Longsworth launched Jump Rope for Health Campaign in Belize
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports on Thursday 17 September 2015, officially launched the Jump Rope for Health Campaign at an Official presentation of Jump Rope Kits to schools in the Belize District that have participated in the training that was held in May. The Jump Rope for Health Programme originated in the United States of American and was first implemented in Trinidad and Tobago in 2004. Today, 11 territories within the CARICOM Region, which includes Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The goals of the Jump Rope for Health Programme are to facilitate the development of healthy habits among primary school aged children. To help reduce NCD risk factors among primary school age children; to increase parental and teacher support towards the promotion of healthy habits within school environments, and to inspire the development of healthy lifestyle school policy and guide.

Peace Cup Football competition continues at the MCC
The CYDP Peace Cup Football Competition resumed on Saturday 19 September with 4 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Westlake United defeated Tut Bay FC by the score of 4-3. The goals for Westlake United were scored by Michael Hernandez, Denroy NcCord, and Wayne Miller (2). For Tut Bay FC, the goals were scored by Gilroy Thurton, Dalton Cayetano and Kevin Rowland. In game two, Kelly Street FC won handily over The New Revolution by the score of 5-2. The scorers for Kelly Street FC were Francis Andrews, Whitfield Fisher, Christopher Guild and Tyrone Muschamp (2). Meanwhile, the two goals for The New Revolution were scored by Ernest Flores. In the third game of the day, Uprising Stars blanked Los Lagos FC by the score of 6-0. The goals for Uprising Stars were scored by an autogoal, Jermaine Foster, James Bowman, Harold Thompson and Kadeem Myers (2).

Police United FC blanked Placencia Assassins FC
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season for 2015-2016 continued on Saturday 19 September, 2015, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village. The only game played was a back match on the schedule. In the game played between the host team Placencia Assassins FC and the visiting Police United FC, it was the latter that blanked the Placencia Assassins FC by the score of 1-0. Police United’s FC only goal of the game was scored by Devon Makin in the 15th minute of play that gave his team the victory. The competition will continue this coming weekend.

Prime Minister’s Independence Day Message
Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, and other Justices of the Supreme Court Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs Fonseca, Hon. Ministers of Government and Members of the National Assembly, Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr. Khalid Belisle. My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize, Bishop of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District, President of the Evangelical Association of Churches, other members of the Clergy, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the Consular Corps, Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans. September 21 this year arrives to the accompaniment of an even greater than usual celebratory chorus. And the multiple positive developments occurring during the first three quarters of 2015, have appeared to reach a flood just in time for Independence Day. Thus it is that we have now procured vindication in what was an ongoing battle to win final acceptance of our decision to take back the Belizean patrimony constituted by our nation’s essential public utilities. For my Administration, It is almost impossible to overstate the significance of the BEL and BTL settlements. After all, this has been for us a kind of second sovereignty campaign.

Hotel California
One of my neighbors, Mr. Buenavides, recently came to my little shop and pointedly asked me if I was no longer a supporter of the UDP Government since he claims he does not see my contributions in the Guardian anymore. As I explained the troubles I was having with my laptop, and the various attempts to have it repaired, I realized that people are very conscious of the present political environment and look around for any chink in the armor of the two major political parties. With that brief excuse, let me share my personal observations with you even as I try to capture the main political events of the past three weeks. Indeed there is much to write about, and I will have to be careful to keep my thoughts in order as I hit the keys this Wednesday morning, 23 September 2015.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

PG resident giving back to community with backpack drive
Kimone Flores, also known as “PG Gyal”, was born and raised in Punta Gorda before migrating to the United States (US) where she now resides, but Ms. Flores never forgot her roots as she continuously donates to education in Punta Gorda Town with her annual backpack drive and […]

Health Ministry hunts missing hospital equipment
The Ministry of Health has turned to an unusual source to locate surgical equipment stolen from the community hospital in Corozal two weeks ago. CEO Dr. Peter Allen says they have listed the equipment on the website “Belize Buy and Sell” in the view that no one will […]

Health Ministry plans renovations for Western Regional Hospital
Belmopan’s Western Regional Hospital has been in the center of a firestorm with revelation upon revelation coming from the crumbling structure – the deaths of two women attending the hospital and the discovery of rats and snakes attacking a baby in an incubator and a nurse respectively. The […]

Belmopan will get a new hospital valued approximately $30 million Bze dollars
The current Western Regional Hospital, which has served the new capital Belmopan since almost its inception, has reached its limit of usefulness. While the budget for the hospital has been well stretched, no amount of money, says CEO Peter Allen, can disguise the hospital’s many faults. And that is why Belmopan […]

Caribbean Wellness Day promotes healthy aging
A Health and Wellness Open Day was held in Belize City as part of activities under Caribbean Wellness Week. Using the slogan “Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Aging,” the Ministry of Health is promoting overall personal health. Dr. Jorge Polanco, liaison with PAHO on non-communicable diseases, says it is about […]

Faith Nazarene saga continues
Turmoil is once again stirring at Faith Nazarene Primary School after Principal Policarpia Pech’s application for long leave and a transfer were both declined by the Teaching Services Commission, voiding the agreement that was reached by the parents, teachers and education officials. The problem has now been reincarnated and the […]

Verdes makes history
A win by Verdes FC Tuesday night puts them in Belize’s football history books as the country’s first team to win a game and gain 4 points in the CONCACAF Champions League and remain undefeated at home after two matches; one ending in a draw against Queretaro and being victorious […]

Police believe speeding and wet roads caused fatal accident
While they continue to investigate, Police in Precinct 4 believe initially that a combination of high speed and rainy conditions on the road caused this morning’s fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to Superintendent of Police Linden Flowers, police responded around 4:20 to Mile 2 […]

Traffic accident claims one life
This afternoon, police are to give a briefing to the media on this morning’s traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway. BMG understands that it happened around four a.m., across from the Puma Gas Station next to the residence of Jose Shoman at Mile 2. One person is confirmed dead […]

Police and BDF destroy massive weed plantation
Belize Defense Force (BDF) personnel, in a joint effort with the police, destroyed one of the largest marijuana plantations in Belize’s recent history. The plantation was situated about five miles South of Arenal village along the Western border with Guatemala. The discovery was made on Friday, September 18th, when 70,000 […]

Authorities quiet on Fire Burn poultry raid
Authorities at the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) have yet to give an official report on the poultry situation at Fire Burn Village but have conducted several raids in farms that have left residents angered and confused. BMG understands that on Tuesday night, officials descended on the village where several farms […]

San Pedro getting its own international airport, more infrastructural works coming
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye will be the site of a new international airport to be constructed in the years to come as part of the government’s focus on infrastructure-based developments to increase economic activity and in this case, stimulate tourism on the island and in the rest of the country. Prime Minister […]

Entrepreneur fights to break cycle on Southside
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) tells the story of 24 year old car wash entrepreneur Roy Geban, who says that with hard work he has become his own boss after years of drug abuse and police trouble. Geban owns and operates Roy-O’s Car Wash on Fabers Road, started with […]

Blogs

“Don’t Rain on My Parade” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I woke up on Monday morning around 03.45 hours (I know this because I’ve got one of those clocks that project the time on to the ceiling) to the sound of rain tapping at my bathroom windows. It was coming down hard, very hard. Now back in my previous life that sound would have filled me with a degree of dread. How to keep control of the brolly (umbrella for non UK readers) on the way to work without poking someone’s eye out. Wet suit, wet shoes. A damp and depressing day ahead. But now … I love the sound of rain. The heavier the rain the better. Give me a torrential downpour over a shower any day. Why? Simple I need the rain to ‘feed’ the 45,000 gallon tank that ‘sits’ under our house. As the strength of the rain reduced my confidence that the San Pedro Independence Day Parade would go ahead increased so Rose and I got ready and headed to ‘Town to meet our friends from BATSUB who were over for the weekend to celebrate a birthday. We met at Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill after getting my lips around a bottle of Belikin I checked the San Pedro Town Council Facebook page to see if there was any news about the ‘Parade. There was but regrettably it was to announce that ‘rain had stopped play’. The ‘Parade had been cancelled until Saturday (subsequently moved to Sunday). Only one thing for it. Get another Belikin!

Exciting New Bars & Restaurants on Ambergris Caye: Stella’s Smile
New spots are popping up around Ambergris Caye. Not just change of ownership at an existing place but brand new restaurants. Yesterday I ate at two — snacks, let’s say…but more like two dinners. Please…try not to judge. I’m excited about both. Both present some new ideas…and a new look to the island. I’ll start with my first stop – Stella’s Smile. I was reminded of it right across the street from my home when I saw this new sign going up at Robin’s Kitchen. Another, and even more alluring reminder, was posted up north. About 1 mile over the bridge on the paved road in front of a newly built house…and the palapa and dock behind it that make Stella’s Smile.

International Sourcesizz

BU Students Discover Corals in Unlikely Place
The photos evoke what a stoner must see while watching Fantasia: a kaleidoscope of vibrant-hued corals in all kinds of shapes. As striking as their colors and forms—although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the photos—is their neighborhood: they’re clinging to mangrove roots, not a place you’d expect to find them. For four years, BU students have snorkeled around an atoll off Belize to study mangroves, the “flooded forests” with roots breaking the water surface that are the membrane between islands and sea. It’s not research for the squeamish. “We often saw large rays, barracudas, upside-down jellyfish,” says Zachary Bengtsson (CAS’15). The long days in the water could chill the body, and the students endured numerous stings and bites from jellyfish and bugs that didn’t appreciate intruders. Despite the discomforts, Bengtsson loved all of it. The highlight came in 2013 when the students, acting on a suggestion of their professor, Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) director John Finnerty, looked for and found corals, better known for living in magnificent reefs, not in underwater forests. “All the major reviews about how important mangroves are talk about everything but corals,” says Finnerty, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of biology and winner of a 2013 Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence. It’s unknown, for example, if corals migrate back and forth between mangroves and nearby reefs, he says. Deciding to fill in some of those blanks, his students returned to Belize for a snorkeling census last November and December. They’d paddle for three to five hours at a time around the mangroves, measuring, flagging, and photographing the coral population. They tallied about 30 species, looking hale and hearty, untouched by prolonged bleaching, the potentially lethal process corals use to expel their algae.

Feel the beat: Aurelio will share his original music at ¡Globalquerque!
Aurelio grew up as a prodigy of percussion. He’s managed to parlay all of it into a spectacular career, one that will bring him to the Duke City as part of ¡Globalquerque! this weekend. He will perform at 10:30 tonight. Aurelio performs Garifuna music – a genre found in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The music is heavy on drums. Aurelio is ready to return to the Land of Enchantment for a show. “I have performed in Santa Fe, and returning to New Mexico is a great joy for me because the public is very open to Garifuna music (my genre of music),” he says. “I hope to establish a place in the hearts of the people attending my concert and leave them with the spirit of the Garifuna people through our music.”

Little Time Left To Act On U.S. Tax Haven Legislation
The Caribbean has just 14 congressional working days from today, September 24, to try to have the US Congress or the District of Colombia address an act naming seventeen Caribbean nations as ‘tax havens.’ If passed without amendment, it could have the effect of reputationally damaging the countries concerned with unpredictable trade, financial, and economic consequences. The background is a little complicated. Under the terms of the US Constitution the District of Columbia, which of course includes that nation’s capital, is able to govern its local affairs, but has to submit its legislation for the agreement of Congress. This provision, which has its origins in events in Washington in 1788, grants the US legislature exclusive jurisdiction over the District in ‘all cases whatsoever’ in order to provide for the maintenance and safety of the capital. This means that in practice, any Act passed by the Federal District has to be sent to Congress for oversight by Committees of both houses. In the case of budgetary bills, there is a period of thirty working days during which ‘active approval’ is required.

No Hurricanes in Western Atlantic Yet for First Time Since 1914
The Atlantic tropical cyclone basin has seen several named tropical storms thus far in 2015. But when it comes to hurricanes, this season hasn't packed much of a punch, particularly in the western Atlantic. Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), commented on the lack of hurricanes west of 55 degrees longitude in the Atlantic basin so far this season. Blake said this marks the first time there have been no western Atlantic hurricanes through Sept. 22 since 1914, when there weren't any. The 1914 season was the last time no hurricanes formed anywhere in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Two factors working against hurricane development, wind shear and dry air, have been quite prevalent from the Gulf of Mexico into much of the Caribbean all summer long.

Videos

  • Stop Violence Against Women in Belize, 1min. Just Us, in an effort to help stop Violence Against Women in Belize, is creating awareness. Spread the word.

  • Join a New Belize Political Consciousness | Patrick Rogers | Wil Maheia, 1.5min. After 34 years of both parties sharing equal time in office, we have failing systems and structures. Do you want 34 more years of continued failures? Only this new party will bring the change needed through meaningful reform of our governance system, removal of Ministerial discretion, using the referendum and recall mechanisms to create real participatory democracy. Find out more and participate in our naming contest at:
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