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#511519 - 02/10/16 11:50 AM Today's Belize News: February 10, 2016
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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

Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico Presents Letter of Credence to Haitian President
His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace on 5th February, 2016. Recognising the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

Ambergris Today

Miss Colombia Loses Miss Universe Crown Again at San Pedro Carnaval
Parody of the Miss Universe 2015 crowning mishap, one San Pedro Carnaval Comparsa group stood out on the second day of celebrations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doña Flora Ancona’s bevy of queens from around the world took the Steve Harvey, Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines debacle to the next level of hilarious entertainment. Also providing high level of laughter was the San Pedro AIDS Commission Comparsa that poked fun at Bowen & Bowen Distributors for their shortage of Belikin Beer around the country during the holidays. Costumes adorned with Belikin bottles and beer products from outside the country, including the favorite Mexican beers made for a fun comparsa. Never failing to make an appearance was the men’s group (The Barbies) whose drag presentation and sing-along tunes kept the crowds fully entertained. Once you hear the song, you don’t stop singing for the rest of the evening and well into the following day.

CARNAVAL FLASHBACKS
Drop by the San Pedro House of Culture to enjoy a whimsical exhibit about the history of Carnaval on Ambergris Caye. There are lots of pictures show how it was celebrated long time ago when San Pedro was just a small fishing village.

Tropic Air Gives Back To Dangriga Red Cross
Tropic Air has announced the first month’s results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 will be donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. January was the chosen month for Dangriga, with Caye Caulker for February, and Belmopan for March. As part of the airline's largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and customers joined efforts and raised $500 for the Dangriga Red Cross. A check was presented to the organization on Thursday, February 4th. "Every year, our staff and customers, come together to raise much needed funds for a variety of charities with the joint goal of making a lasting impact," said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s president. "We also encourage our customers to join in giving to the causes that they are passionate about,” he went on to say. “Through the #TropicGivesBack Donation program, we are honored and privileged to support the work of the Dangriga Red Cross, and we couldn’t think of a better way to contribute to their efforts in the community,” said Steve Schulte, Tropic Air CEO. “We thank our Employees for giving their time to volunteer around Belize, and we thank our Customers for the wonderful response to this program, which made the donation possible.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize's Ambassador to Mexico Presents Letter of Credence to Haitian President
His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace on 5th February, 2016. Recognising the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

CARNAVAL 2016 - COMPARSAS DAY 2
Monday, February 8th, the second day of Comparsas and Painting. Featured on our pictures are the Comparsas of the San Pedro AIDS Commission under the theme "Quiero chupar, pero no hay cerveza", inspired by the Belikin shortage in San Pedro. Mrs. Flora's Group depicted the Miss Universe scandal where the wrong winner was announced. They danced the streets with their colorful and elegant dresses, each with their sash on. Making their appearance, were the Barbo's. The all male group danced through the streets of town, dressed in drag, celebrating the Carnaval tradition. Lastly, the Black N White Charikanari Dancers also took the streets where they uniquely fuse the Garifuna culture and the Carnaval tradition to an exciting performance. What are we to expect on the last day? Don't miss it! Go out and witness these groups!

Rotaract Club of the Year 2016
Congratulations to the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo! They won Rotaract Club of the Year for 2016. President Astrid Salazar will be the country representative. Keep up the great work! "We are PROUD to say that we WON CLUB OF THE YEAR FOR BELIZE!!! Excellent work Rotaractors!!! We will now represent Belize at the Bidistrict Conference in Panama in May. We also congratulate OUR President, ASTRID SALAZAR, for being elected as COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE (COR) for ROTARACT BELIZE for the incoming Rotary Year starting July 1, 2016."

Traditional comparsas of Carnaval de San Pedro
The San Pedro House of Culture presented all the popular traditional comparsas at the opening of the Carnaval Photographic Exhibition in San Pedro.

Belize Embassy in El Salvador- Avianca Airlines
Ambassador Celie Paz Marin of The Belize Embassy in Salvador in collaboration with Avianca Airlines, promoted Belize Tourism to a select group of Salvadoran Travel Agents and Travel Industry partners at the Hotel Sheraton Presidente in El Salvador today February 9, 2016. Ambassador Paz Marin stated that El Salvador has a large Market of vacationers that travel internationally especially during the months of August, December and Easter time. With the availability of quick affordable flights to Belize through Avianca, Belize can greatly benefit from this market in El Salvador. The Belize Hotel Association was called upon by the the Embassy, to assist by providing special rates for hotel rooms that could be packaged with airfare on Avianca. Several BHA members promptly forwarded their promotional rates to the Embassy, while the Belize Hotel Association sent printed copies of the 2016 Hotel Guides, the digital version in Spanish on BHA Flash drives, and a variety of promotional items for giveaways.

Close of Lobster season in Belize
The Lobster Season closes in Belize, on Monday, February 15, 2016 and reopens on Tuesday June 14, 2016. This time is given annually to allow the lobster populations to breed. During this period, it is illegal to fish, posses, buy or sell any lobster and lobster products. As a result lobster dishes will not be available, on any restaurant menus between these dates. On Valentines Day ( February 14) , indulge your loved one with a special Lobster Dinner because it will be a few months until the season reopens and the tantalizing LOBSTER FESTS commence. These open air, beach festivals are the highlights of the opening of the Lobster Season in June.

Belize Humane Symposium
In Honor of World Spay Day. Saga Humane Society invites you to spend a day of Humane conversation and learning. Topics to include Humane Education, Spay/Neuter, BAHA, permits, regulations and VAB. Tuesday, February 23, noon to 2pm at Coco Blanca at Coco Beach Resort

Press Release from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture - National Sports Council
The Honourable Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youths Sports and Culture received the visit of Her Excelllency, Ana Hazel Escrich, Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA). During the visit, Minister Aragon and H.E. Escrich discussed mutual areas of the SISCA Regional Agenda such as Regional Youth Development Programs and the proactive participation of Belize in CODICADER (Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreación). In July 2016 Belize is slated to host the CODICADER Games in fives sports disciplines: Chess, Athletics, Softball, Football and Basketball at the Primary level. SISCA has expressed its support to the Ministry in the area of sports equipment and technical expertise for the success of hosting the games.

Order your bags of compost soil now for only $15 per bag
Free delivery within San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Can deliver to other parts of the country at cost. Call 662-4577 or inbox us here at Belize Soils Ltd.

Commentary: The United Democratic Party convention in Belize will bring no change
By Wellington C. Ramos. On March 20, 2016, the United Democratic Party (UDP), which is currently governing the country of Belize, will be having a national convention for some of their leadership positions. The positions of party leader, deputy party leader, party chairman and first deputy party chairman are available to be contested. The leader of the party is the current sitting prime minister, Dean Barrow, who made it clear that he is stepping down as leader at the end of this term in 2020. The deputy leader is Gasper Vega from the Orange Walk North constituency, who has been in that position for many years now. The chairman of the party is Alberto August from Cayo District, who has been instrumental in making the party victorious in winning many elections since he assumed that office. My gut feeling is that nobody will be challenging any of these individuals for their positions and, if they were to be challenged, their challengers will lose at the convention. Why? Because most of the members of the United Democratic party are happy that their party just got elected in November for a third consecutive term, which is rare for a party in Belize’s political history. The former elected representative from Lake Independence, Mark King, who just overwhelmingly lost his seat to a popular PUP politician Cordel Hyde, has indicated that he would like to seek the post of party chairman. I would strongly advise him not to make that mistake because he will lose again and will anger many UDP, which could affect his future with his party.

COROZAL ART IN THE PARK
This Saturday February 13th, 2016. Bring out the entire family.

Western Ballaz Defeat No Limit
The Western Ballaz defeated the No Limit this weekend. The final score was 80 to 59. The Ballaz are now in 3rd place in the league. Kenny Lamb was there to get some great pictures. They have 100's of pictures from Fan Appreciation night on their page.

The Legendary Don Juan Carnaval
Who was the infamous Don Juan de Carnabal? What kind of person was he? A legend? A villain?

Channel 7

Zika & The Plan to Keep It Out of Belize
The Ministry of Health has activated its national plan to keep Belize Zika free. Today Health Professionals held a sensitization meeting at the Inspiration Center to discuss the possible threats of Zika. On Monday, The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency after an outbreak of the virus has been confirmed in 26 countries of the America's - but Belize is not one of them. Still, it's all around us, in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. And so, although, Belize presently has no confirmed cases of Zika, three samples have been sent for testing, and Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero told the media today that they have initiated their response plan and have engaged all health regions across the country. Of course, ZIKA is spread by mosquitoes and a major component of any response has to be vector control. Chief of Operations in the Vector Control Program also highlighted key geographical areas of concern in Belize.

Safe Sex and Zika
But, it's not just mosquitoes, health officials also discussed the possibility of the virus being sexually transmitted. This is after someone from Texas was reportedly infected with Zika after having sex with someone who had just travelled from Venezuela. The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning for men who have traveled to Zika-affected areas to abstain from sex with their partner -especially if she is pregnant. Today health professionals issued that same warning to Belizeans. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Dir. of Health Services: "The recommendation I guess would be we want to have protected sex. We were asked earlier this morning to put any particular precautionary messages outside. I guess we can continue to try to engage people in terms of condom use. I am not so sure how effective we will be in terms of zika, because I don't know if we have been effective in HIV for example, in promoting condom use. So I don't know if zika would be any trigger for people to start using condoms as a means of protection or as a means on contraception, which is what is being documented. I think our message will be sexual transmission is a possible form of getting zika. If you have been in an area where zika is documented, but I don't know if we will implement specific measures beyond the messages that we can share."

The Microcephaly Threat
But while there is only that one Texas case so far with sexual transmission, the greatest risk - as you heard earlier - is to pregnant women. Specifically, Zika has been linked to a terrible birth defect called microcephaly, which causes babies heads and brains to stop growing to full size. In Brazil where the Zika outbreak is the most aggressive, 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been reported. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control in the US has issued a first-of-its-kind travel advisory for Zika, asking pregnant women to consider postponing their visits to countries where the virus has been detected. But Manzanero told us that more thorough research and testing needs to be done to confirm if Zika is directly linked to Microcephaly.

How To Stay Zika Free
Now you have heard what the Ministry's plan is to address Zika and the other health complications associated with the virus, but what can you do to protect yourself from getting infected? That was the main message of today's meeting. Health Surveillance Representative Dr. Natalia Largaespada- Beer told us that the public also holds the responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Natalia Largaespada-Beer, MCH Survellance: "One of the take home messages, to team that was at the meeting earlier, the planning session is prevention. There is nothing we can do once a person is bitten by the mosquito with the zika virus. But there is a lot we can do to prevent that to happen." "For pregnant women, what we are recommending is, or women that wants to become pregnant, the recommendations are to use clothing that can cover the majority of the body parts during the day and in the night. To avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes, the use of repellents. There are specific names of repellents that persons need to look at. Keep the yard clean. That is nothing new. We have to keep the yards free to breeding sites. Use of bed net. Not only in the night. It is recommended now if you take a nap in the day, sleep under a bed net to avoid being bitten by these mosquitoes that circulate during the day. And most importantly for women and for their partners or other family members - to avoid traveling to communities with confirmed case of active transmission of the zika virus."

Rice War Stalls?
Since last week we've been reporting on the allegation that Belizean rice - the same kind you eat every day - could be contaminated. That's what importer Jack Charles reportedly told BAHA to look into last week. We say reportedly because BAHA, and the Ministry of Health have denied any knowledge of a complaint from Charles, while the Ministry of Agriculture said it is a matter for government's lawyers - and Charles himself only said that he would have something newsworthy for us on Monday. That was yesterday, and nothing was forthcoming; and there was also nothing today - last word from him this evening was that he would make a public disclosure on Wednesday.

How I Survived A Gun to the Head
Last night, we told you about the two Canadian tourists who were robbed by 2 armed men who then shot a man and tried to kill him so that they could use his vehicle as a getaway. Well tonight, a little more is known about the attack in which the Canadians, 75 year-old Stephen Temple and 65 year-old Cynthia Fredrick, were held up in their room at the Belize Zoo's Tropical Education Center, located between miles 28 and 29 on the George Price Highway. The men then fled the scene of the crime on foot, and stopped the first vehicle which came down the dirt road. That happened to be 52 year-old Jorge Lopez. Last night you heard a little of his story in Spanish - tonight we have the gripping firsthand account in English:... For the very first time since its doors were opened back in 1994, there was an armed robbery the Tropical Education Center. Celso Poot, Operations Manager - Belize Zoo: "A little after 4pm yesterday evening, two of our guests staying in one of the guest houses came over to the office and reported to the manager working at that time that they were just robbed at the guest house. Apparently, two mask men entered their house and held them at gun point and robbed them of their personal belongings."

69 Slaying Still Unsolved
Police still haven't confirmed if the knife found at 69 bar in Teakettle is the murder weapon. They say they hope to get the results by the end of this week. As we told you, Chinese bar owner Zhijiang Zhang was slashed and stabbed to death early Saturday morning. Police believe the masked robber got into the bar through the 3rd floor window. He struck one of the female workers on her head with a gun and then went downstairs after Zhang. Another female worker emerged out of a room to help Zhang but she was shot in the leg. The culprit then cut and stabbed Zhang after he lost the gun's clip in a struggle with Zhang. Today police told us that they have released all 12 female workers, and are looking for one more person. Also police told us that about $600 was found at the scene but they can't confirm how much money had been stolen. The woman who was shot in the leg was released from the KHMH yesterday. We will keep following this case.

Vision-ing Yabra
40 years ago, it used to be that the area called "Yabra" - was like the end of Belize City. Since then, the city has fanned out into the swamps, and "Yabra" is now more like off center to the city. And now some American planners want to make it a model community. These consultants are experts from The American Planning Association, a non-profit NGO which specializes in improving communities in the US. The head of the delegation is Justin Moore, a New York City Department of City Planning, and he and his other colleagues landed in at the PGIA this afternoon. Shortly after arriving in Belize, 7News got a chance to meet with the APA consultants, and we spoke to them about their mission for the place known as "Yabra". Here's what they told us: Justin Moore, American Planning Organization: "We are here to look at the Yarborough neighborhood and the waterfront re-development potential. Really looking comprehensively at the city, not only redevelopment, but transportation, social, cultural, social issues, infrastructure and long term resiliency and sustainability for the city." "This first team is really looking at the lay of the land and understanding what the issues of stakeholders area and we'll come back with multiple experts; so people from different backgrounds and different types of expertise later in the year and where we'll do more detailed recommendations."

Clinics Now Cost More At KHMH
The price that you pay at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for some services is going up. That's right, starting next week it will cost 150% more to get non-emergency services at the KHMH. A notice went up on the hospital door informing the general public that starting on the 15th of February, all clinic fees will now be $25 dollars. We phoned the public Relations officer at KHMH to ask him about this price change and he told us that the increase in clinic fees is a necessary adjustment to keep up with the rise in health care prices. Tillett also noted that despite the increase, patients will still be paying only 36% of the actual cost of the services. We understand that there are other price changes taking place in areas such as the physiotherapy unit. This is to come into effect in March.

Killed Two Men, Home Defender Got Time Served
A man was freed yesterday in Orange Walk after he was sent to jail for killing two men in 2014. In April of that year Edson Johnson, now fifty-three, was arrested and charged for the murder of twenty three year old Saul Garcia and twenty four year old Luke Cox. Johnson shot the two men after he caught them stealing on his property on the outskirts of Carmelita Village, Orange Walk. They had torn off the electrical wires, removed the zinc roof, sheet rack and had taken other items from the buildings on the farm on his property. The two were sprinting towards an escape vehicle when Johnson caught up with them and fired several shots in their direction fatally wounding both men. It was argued in court that Johnson was only protecting his property; nonetheless he was slapped with conviction of six years in prison after the court ruled that he had used excessive lethal force. But CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that yesterday after 18 months in prison Johnson's sentence was reduced to one year. However, due to the time already served behind bars, CTV says Johnson was released immediately.

Nah Not Prosecuted
In July of 2014, Carlton Flowers accused Police Constable Elvin Nah of shaking him down for $400 dollars - so that he wouldn't be charged for two small bags of weed. It happened on San Pedro after Nah searched a golf cart Flowers was driving and found four grammes of weed. The constable was charged for extortion but the charge was struck out today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, when complainant, Carlton Flowers, failed to appear when the trial was set for its final adjournment. Nah was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

Guate-Milperos Moving In To Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, is reporting tonight that it did a fly-over tour of the Western Flank of the Chiquibul National Park last week and found 17 new clearings made by Guatemalan milpa farmers. The FCD is concerned that this activity has started up once again, and may progress rapidly if left unchecked as the dry season starts to set in. They're recommending the activation of patrols and operations to suppress the advance in the clearing of primary forests in the areas affected. The major areas of impact are noticeable on the northern section of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and on the southern region of the Chiquibul, known as the Cebada area. The Guatemalans are being warned with an information campaign through radio stations in the villages near the border. These citizens are being reminded of the penalties if they are caught in the Chiquibul clearing forests for milpa farms.

Cycling Association Responds To Kaya Controversy
For the past week we have been following the case of elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse who made a facebook stink about the cycling federation. Kaya alleged that the federation was discriminating against her and other female cyclists by excluding them from the upcoming Digicell Valentine's Tour. The vice president of the cycling federation told us yesterday that the entire matter was blown way out of proportion. Today he visited our offices where he hoped to set the record straight once and for all. He says it all started with the annual cycling calendar that was released to all cyclists in January 4th. Orson Butler, VP, Belize Cycling Federation: "She went back to the same point again and explained why is it that they don't have for the female when the female cross country is before and I explained the same thing that I explained a little while to you just now, that the female competition doesn't have international competition. So the federation sees it best to have a tour for the elite, but at that same moment I explained to her they have an event later on the year for the female which is a tour. Because the federation is seeking a race to go internationally. So we believe it's going to be best to have the tour for female and juniors around that time. So that they are in better condition to face that type of competition. Well Kaya's response at that time was "well you know I have to write my thing on facebook." I told her be very careful of what you write and that was it."

Ebony Smothered By Dust
Residents of Ebony Street in Belize City are making a public plea to the City Council and the Government to remedy a situation that is smothering them in thick clouds of dust. Residents told us that the situation only got worse when the Chetumal Street Bridge was opened to the public. The city council used to send a truck to water the street, but it has been a while since the water truck has been around. And, in the meantime, residents say the situation is getting so out of hand that it now poses a health risk: Jose Sosa, Concerned citizen: "This is happening for the past 3, 4, 5 years. But it has gotten worse now with that bridge that got fixed. Because it's like every 2 minutes, every 2 -3 seconds vehicles pass here and its big trucks, buses, BEL truck - all of those trucks brings lots of dust. If you see everywhere, you will see the dust." Emanuel Pech: "What are some of the things you have to deal with on a daily basis?" Jose Sosa, Concerned citizen: "The dust. What how I am living - everything is dusty. That's how my vehicle look. What how everything looks - dusty. You can't even hang clothes outside because it gets dusty. In fact it's not healthy at all. In 2016 middle town, this not a back street, nor village - this is middle of a city and look on the road."

The Mestizo Carnaval
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the First Day of the Lenten Season, an important observance for Christians. But where there is Lent, there is also Carnival - in countries all across the world. In Belize, our Carnival is in September, but the Mestizo in Corozal and Orange Walk have an observance called Carnaval. The Institute of Social and Cultural Research today released the second part of its Belize Cultural Celebrations Series, which features the study of Carnaval. That happened today, and we have a short excerpt of their report on this Mestizo cultural mainstay. Here's what NICH found out: If you would like to see the rest of the documentary, it will be posted on NICH's YouTube Channel, and their website. It will also be shown on Channel 7 later this week. And….It will be handed out to schools across Belize to be used in social studies class on the history and cultures of Belize.

Baby Nina Gag Order
The custody battle for Baby Nina made national headlines in November of last year, and we followed her case when it went to court in December. But, when a child's future is in the balance, too much publicity can be a bad thing - and that's why the judge decided that all sides would be bound by a gag order. And so when the case went to court today - no one could tell us anything. We do know that it has been adjourned to Friday and that 2 year old Nina remains in foster care.

One Last Look From Haiti's Martelly
Haitian President Michel Martelly may have left office on Sunday with no replacement yet named, but before he did that, he accepted the credentials of Belize's Oliver del Cid, the Ambassador of Belize to Mexico. A press release says that Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries' commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. The Embassy of Belize in Mexico, is now accredited as Belize's Non-Resident Embassy to Haiti, and also serves as Non-Resident High Commission to Jamaica.

Channel 5

Santander Applied for S.S.B. Loan to Bridge Shortfall in Consortium Loan
The airwaves have been consumed with the news that mega-million dollar sugar-cane production and milling facility, Green Tropics, has been given a twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security [...]

$12 Million from S.S.B. Approved, But Not Disbursed to Santander
Singh reiterated that the Board cannot even look at an investment until the Investment Committee recommends it after due diligence. That was done, and the Board of Directors reviewed it [...]

Belizean Banks Invested U.S. $54 Million in Green Tropics Project
We’re not sure the breakdown of monies invested into the Santander facility has ever been public knowledge. The project has been sold repeatedly as a hundred and fifty million dollar [...]

Family Court Hears Case of Baby Nina Barrera Perez
The unfortunate jurisdiction matter of baby Nina Barrera Perez, adjourned since December, was before Magistrate Dale Cayetano at the Family Court today. As very brief background, two year old Nina [...]

Shooting Victim Jorge Lopez Recounts Nightmarish Experience
On Monday, we told you about the disturbing armed robbery of a Canadian couple just a few hours after they checked into the Tropical Education Center on the George Price [...]

Should S.S.B. Grant Multimillion Dollar Loan to Santander?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the granting of a multi-million dollar loan from the Social Security Board to the Guatemalan company, Santander? Send your comments and responses using [...]

Health Officials Confirm Belize is Zika Free
Health officials today revealed that so far, Belize is free of the Zika virus unlike many countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Samples have been sent for testing at [...]

Belize City Mayor Prepares for Zika…Just in Case
A zika national preparedness plan is being rolled out. So is the Belize City Council, which acts as the body which manages any emergency within its municipal jurisdiction through the [...]

BBA Yanks Plus TV’s On-Air Broadcasting License
Tonight there is disturbing and significant news coming out of Belmopan and it involves our colleague media house Plus Television in that municipality. News Five has been able to confirm [...]

Decomposing Body Found in Dangriga
Late word to News Five is that Dangriga police are at mile six on the Hummingbird Highway where the decomposing body of a man has been found. There are few [...]

S.S.B. Chairman Clarifies Loans to Companies Allegedly Linked to John Zabaneh
In June 2015, the S.S.B. approved loans to Meridian Enterprises Limited and Diverse Development Limited in the amount of millions of dollars. Both are companies allegedly affiliated with U.S.-vilified banana [...]

Municipal Bond Performing Well…But No Plans to Refloat
In November 2012 Mayor Darrell Bradley did the unprecedented. He launched his twenty-million dollar municipal bond to finance a massive infrastructure project in the city. Today he told us that [...]

Troy Hyde Will Stand Trial for Murder
After more than a year on remand and a number of adjournments, Troy Hyde accused of the murder of George Street’s Kareem Lopez, aka “Robbery” learnt today that he will [...]

San Pedro Police Officer Walks Off Extortion Charge
Tonight a police officer from the San Pedro is free from a charge of extortion after his accuser, a San Pedro resident, did not show up to court. Calvin Flowers [...]

Visiting Urban Planners Focus on Yarborough Community
Currently a high profile visiting team of urban planners is in Belize City. The experts from the American Planning Association are here at the invitation of the Belize City Council [...]

Planners Will Incorporate New Design With City’s Master Plan
The group of experts will take a comprehensive look at the area including social issues, unemployment and violence.   Justin Moore, Urban Designer/Planner, American Planning Association “In urban planning and [...]

A Weekend Favorite on Episode 2 of Great Belize Cooking
Great Belize Cooking … Episode Two airs tonight at eight o’clock and you can’t afford to miss this new segment. Master chef Sean Kuylen will be featuring an all time [...]


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#511520 - 02/10/16 11:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 10, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

Ambassador Of Belize to Mexico Presents Credentials to President Of The Republic Of Haiti
On Friday last His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace.Recognizing the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration.Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

Volume 2 Of The Belize Cultural Celebrations Series Launched In Corozal
Yesterday the Corozal House of Culture saw the launching of Volume 2 of the Belize Cultural Celebrations Series titled Carnaval a Pre-Lenten Festivity in Northern Belize. The aim of the video is to preserve our Belizean traditions. According to Senior Research and Education Officer for the National Institute for Culture and History, NICH, and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, Rolando Cocom, the video is the result of several years of hard work and it will be accessible to schools and the general populace via DVD’s and Internet.“Today is the launching of our second in the series of Belize Celebrations called Carnaval, a northern festivity, it is an exciting time for us and it comes after several years of hard work, it began in 2011 when we branch into the social and cultural research began the process of recording information, speaking with community members in Caledonia and as progressively expanded into Corozal town and into San Pedro and also Xaibe."

Belize Prepares To Host CODICADER Games
Yesterday Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon, met with Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA), Ana Hazel Escrich during her visit to Belize. The topic of discussion was SISCA’s regional agenda and preparations for the upcoming Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreacion (CODICADER) primary school games which Belize will host in the month of July 2106 our country will be hosting in the month of July in five areas of sport disciplines: Chess, Athletics, softball, football and basketball at the primary school level. During the meeting Escrich, on behalf of SISCA, pledged her support to Minister Aragon for assistance with sports equipment and technical expertise to ensure that the games be a huge success.

Constable Beats Extortion Wrap
Tonight a Police Constable from the San Pedro Police Formation is free from a charge of extortion after the complainant failed to show up in the court hearing. In July of 2014 Police Constable No 1308 Elvin Nah was arrested and charged with extortion after 32 year old resident of San Pedro, Calvin Flowers accused Nah of requesting a sum of $400 in exchange for his freedom and no charges to be levied against him after he was allegedly caught with 4.0 grams of marijuana. According to the accuser he paid the police officer the sum asked to him but later went to file the report which resulted in the detention of Nah.

Court Issues Gag Order To Lawyers In Baby Nina's Case
The case of Baby Nina Barrera Perez was before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning at the Family Court. Baby Nina is the child who was brought by her Belizean mother, Analiz Guttierez from Guatemala. The matter had been taken through Guatemala courts by Ernesto Barrera, the Guatemalan father. Authorities in Guatemala then sought the intervention of the Human Services Department in Belize who seized the child from Gutierrez and placed her in foster care. The case was in the Belize courts last December and the ruling was to be handed down today. Arguments were heard from all three sides, the mother, the father and the Human Services Department. They are being represented respectively by attorneys Marcel Cardona; Kevin Arthurs and Melissa Balderamos-Mahler. Because it’s a family matter, all sides were reminded that no aspect of the case can be discussed in public by the legal representatives. We have since learned that the decision will be handed down on Friday.

LOVE FM

Due Diligence Done on SSB Loan to Santander
The news of the 12 million dollar loan to Santander by the Social Security Board has garnered much attention and feedback on social media since we aired it on our news last Thursday. Some are saying that the monies should be used for greater benefits to contributors while others are upset that the monies approved […]

Health Officials Speak ZIKA
Health officials held a morning session discussing the ZIKA virus, its epidemiological profile, regional situation and national response. Following that three hour discussion, the media was briefed on the current situation as it relates to the virus in Belize. According to Dr Marvin Manzanero, the Director of Health Services, three samples have been sent out […]

Public Hearing Scheduled on BEL’s Application for Tariff Review
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) received a submission of Full Tariff Review Proceeding from Belize Electricity Limited on January 22. The PUC is conducting a public hearing tonight which includes a presentation by BEL. Love News spoke to Olga Urbina Gough who is the Public Relations and Consumer Affairs officer at PUC who explained what […]

Clinic Fees Go Up at KHMH
Just over three years ago in November 2012, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital implemented a ten dollar consultation fee for the men, women and children who sought appointments with the specialists at the hospital. Come Monday, February 15, the consultation fee will go up one hundred and fifty percent, meaning, those who utilize the hospital’s […]

Fruta Bomba and Employees Run Into Hard Times
A few days ago our newsroom received reports that several employees of Belize Fruit Packers Company Limited were terminated because its sister the company, Fruta Bomba, was experiencing low production due to several economic factors. Today we confirmed that 38 employees had to be terminated and Fruta Bomba will not be producing a large amount […]

Sarteneja Farmers Learn From Taiwanese Mission
A group of farmers from the Corozal District concluded a visit to Central Farm. Correspondent Fem Cruz was there and has the story. FEM CRUZ “An estimated thirty farmers from Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District travelled early this morning to Central Farm for a farmer’s field trip. According to Barry Palacio, District Agriculture Coordinator […]

Chicago Team of Urban Planners in Belize to Tackle Yarborough
A group of urban designers and city planners are in Belize from the American Planning Association and Community Planning and Technical Assistant Teams (CPAT). The team is in Belize to start a survey plan in order to redevelop neighborhoods in Belize. The survey project is in collaboration with the Belize City Council and the Inter-American […]

Policeman Walks Free from Extortion Charge
A charge of extortion against police constable Elvin Nah was struck out today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, when the complainant, Carlton Flowers, failed to appear and the trial was set for its final adjournment. The incident occurred on July 6, 2014, in San Pedro Town. According to the allegation, Nah searched a […]

PlusTV

Chinese businessman chopped to death; waitress shot in the leg
There was a murder in Teakettle on Saturday morning where a businessman was chopped to death and a waitress shot in the leg. It happened at 69 Bar which is located between miles 52 and 53 on the George Price Highway in Teakettle Village. Interestingly, 69 Bar was a topic of discussion on Christian R...

Shooting on Kraal Road Belize City
There was a shooting in Belize City this weekend. On Sunday February 7 at around 5:30, shots were fired on Neal’s Pen Road where 42-year-old Austin Garbutt of Belize City was shot to the right ankle. Police say that Garbutt was standing on Neal’s Pen Road when a male person approached and fired seve...

Jack Charles promises “bombshell” over local rice on Tuesday
All concerned are very tight-lipped, but it appears a new front has opened in the effort by importer Jack Charles to get his cheaper Guyanese rice into Belize. Charles today confirmed to us that has sent a complaint to the Ministry of Agriculture about possible contamination of the local rice supply...

Accused drug mule pleads guilty in court; police say they trailed him before bust
28 year old Orbin Lenin Reyes today began a three-year jail sentence for drug trafficking after pleading guilty in the Magistrate’s Court. The Honduran national, who was busted with 16 and a half pounds of “high-grade” marijuana from Oaxaca, Mexico, valued at nearly 50 thousand Belize dollars, claim...

Tourists robbed near Belize Zoo
A visiting couple was robbed at gunpoint at the Tropical Education Center at Mile 29, George Price Highway, but due to timely intervention by a passing motorist, police were able to catch at least one suspect who now faces charges. With the details here is Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, offi...

Road Traffic Accident leads to drug bust
A road traffic accident led to a drug trafficking arrest. On Friday 5th February 2016, at around 12:15 a.m., police visited a “Road Traffic Accident” between miles 16 and 17 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw 34-year-old Roland Rivers of a Belize City address sitting in a Burgundy Ford Es...

Resident complains about noisy bar in neighborhood
Liquor bars in residential areas have always caused problems between the operators of those establishments and the residents of the neighborhood who have to endure the sounds, sights, and smells. One bar presently in that predicament is Chan’s Restaurant and bar which has been operating in the San M...

Amandala

Owner of 69 Bar stabbed to death
Zhi Jiang Zhang, 52, the owner of 69 Bar, located on the George Price Highway in Teakettle, Cayo District, was killed in his business establishment on Saturday morning. Inspector Octavio Victorin, Officer in Charge of Roaring Creek Police Station, in meeting with the media, said he did did not want to reveal too much information for fear of jeopardizing their investigation; however, he was able to share some of what transpired. Victorin said that they were called out to 69 Bar at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Saturday; there, they observed the lifeless body of Zhi Jiang Zhang, with seven stab wounds to various parts of his body. Zhang’s throat had also reportedly been slashed. Zhang was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was then transported to the hospital’s morgue, where it will undergo a post-mortem, Victorin said.

Vacationing Canadians victims of armed robbery
Stephen Hemple, 75, and Cynthia Fredrick, 65, both Canadian retirees, came to Belize on vacation and had checked into the Tropical Education Center, located at Mile 28 at the George Price Highway, at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning. A few hours later, however, at approximately 3:30 p.m., they were held up by two men, one of whom had a gun, and robbed of their belongings. Celso Pott, operations manager for the resort, said that they were unaware of the incident even though at the time there were other guests and staff present. Pott said that Fredrick went outside to take pictures and it was then that she encountered the robbers, who took her back to her cabin, where they reportedly took her and Hemple into a separate room, and stole their belongings. A police report stated that the two Canadians were robbed of one iPhone 4 valued at $400; one iPhone 4S, valued at $400; two cameras valued at $350 each; two mini iPods valued at $400, and one large iPod tablet valued at $600 – all of which were valued in Canadian currency.

SSB approves $12 mil loan; SSB and Belize banks financing bulk of Santander investment
The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has approved a BZ$12 million loan to Santander Farms, which operates, among its subsidiaries, Green Tropics in Belize. Since the SSB proposes to release the money from its BZ$450 million fund, the loan will be open to public scrutiny for the next few weeks, before any move can be made to finalize the proposed lending to the Spanish-owned company, whose parent company, Santander Group, also operates a wealthy international bank. SSB chairman, Douglas Singh, told Amandala that these kinds of investment opportunities don’t come around too often. He told us that the banks are paying the SSB as little as 3% of deposits, down by about half when compared to what they used to earn at the banks 5 years ago, when interest rates were better. Singh said, by contrast, that the Santander loan would be offered at 8% for the first two years, and 7% for the remainder of the 10-year agreement. Although questions have been raised as to whether SSB money should be lent to foreign investors, Singh said that under law, SSB is allowed to assign 18% to 20% of its portfolio to foreign investment. Singh, who noted that it is not unusual for SSB schemes to make foreign investments, said that two Social Security schemes from the Caribbean had actually invested in Belize’s Super-bond.

Heart disease is #1 killer among Belizeans
Last week, we reported that roughly 1,500 Belizeans have lost their lives to violent crimes since 2000. Homicides remain among the leading causes of death in Belize, ranking 3rd in 2012 and 4th in 2014. The statistics for 2015 are still pending. Although violent deaths often grab the headlines, however, a Belizean is more likely to die from heart disease than by the gun. The sinister silent killer, heart disease, persistently takes the top spot as the leading cause of death in Belize, just as it does in the USA. Next is cancer and then diabetes. HIV/AIDS is also one of the leading killers in Belize. The prevalence of cancer in Belize was recently highlighted with the celebration of World Cancer Day. Laura Longsworth, president of the Belize Cancer Society, told News 5 that, “2013, ’14, ’15… there are approximately two hundred new cases every year of cancers… [and] you have cancer deaths and that can range anywhere from one hundred and sixty to two hundred deaths.”

John Briceño sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
The newly elected leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. John Briceño, was sworn in this morning at a ceremony at Belize House by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize. The PUP elected its new leader at a special National Convention on Sunday, January 31, and Hon. John Briceño, the Orange Walk Central area representative, emerged victorious out of the three-man race to lead the PUP, after its former leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, resigned in the wake of the party’s defeat at the polls in the November 4, 2015 general elections. Briceño campaigned for leadership on the slogan “Ready to Lead; Ready to Win.” He had resigned his leadership position in October 2011, just months before the March 2012 general elections.

New charges for Belize Bank customers
Banks make their money by means of interest charges on loans, but also through fees charged for services. Belize Bank customers, who used to be able to withdraw money from ATMs or over-the-counter at no charge, are now required to pay for those services, based on what a bank official calls the “user-pay policy.” Although the bank’s online ATM page says, “Use your Belize Bank VISA Debit Card to withdraw cash free of charge day or night…”—that is no longer the case. Customers are now being informed that if they want to use the ATM, they would have to pay 50 cents each time they do, and $1.00 each time they withdraw money from inside the bank. We are informed from another source that the ATM transactions alone could net the bank at least $32,000 a month, or almost $400,000 a year.

CSSSA football finale: SCA vs Gwen Liz, Wesley vs ACC
The semifinals: The best-of-2 games semifinals series in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football playoffs came to a dramatic end on Friday at the MCC, where both the female and male games went to overtime, the former even to penalties, before a series winner was decided. The semifinals started on Monday of last week at 3:00 p.m., when SCA won, 3-0, over Wesley in the females, and Wesley males dropped Ladyville Tech, 2-1. On Tuesday, the females of Gwen Liz and Ladyville Tech played to a 0-0 draw; while in the male match-up, SJC edged ACC, 3-2, with goals from Carlos Guerra (2) and Erick Rodriguez. ACC goals were by Christian Ancona and Darrell Flowers. The same teams would clash again in game 2 of their semifinal series on Thursday and Friday.

PLB update – Week 3 and 2 back matches completed, 1 back match remaining
After a rocky start to its Closed Season 2015-2016, with only 1 game played on the opening weekend, and 2 games played the following week, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) is finally approaching full gear in its competition, with 2 back matches played last Thursday, February 4, and a full slate of Week 3 games played this past weekend. First, let’s record the official details on the Week 2 games played on January 30 and 31. On Saturday, January 30, at Norman Broaster Stadium, it was Police United, 4-2, over Wagiya. For Police United, Darren Myers (12’), Danny Jimenez (58’), Harrison Roches (84’) and Devon Makin (86’); and for Wagiya, Jacinto Bermudez (7’) and Donnel Arzu (15’). And on Sunday, January 31, at the MCC Grounds, BDF and Belmopan Bandits played to a 0-0 draw. Only 1 back match remains for the PLB to catch up with its season schedule, and that game takes place on Wednesday of this week. See upcoming back match and Week 4 schedule below:

Editorial: Batten down the hatches!
In old maritime lingo, sailors would speak of battening down the hatches. This referred to a vessel’s crew making preparations for a storm by securing those sections of the craft which were exposed to high winds and rough seas. Late last year our columnist Bill Lindo spoke of hard times to come in this 2016. We don’t know how seriously our readers took him, but at this newspaper’s editorial desk it appears to us that Belizeans would be wise to be more careful than reckless in their money management and financial projections. We are still seeing the fallout in Belize from the period of excessive optimism during “growth economics” between 1998 and 2004. The Belizean public sector during growth economics featured a lot of government borrowing at commercial rates and the Belizean economy was awash in liquidity. Many Belizeans made decisions with respect to home ownership which were not all that realistic, and in fact proved unsustainable when Belize’s illusionary growth was exposed as more political rhetoric than real expansion. In 2016 we are still seeing pages and pages of advertisements for banks which are trying to dispose of homes whose owners defaulted on mortgages they took on during growth economics.

From the Publisher
I am one of those Belizeans who is disappointed in Godwin Hulse, but I am not angry at him. My personal feeling is that the good Senator felt he was getting older, he had all these bright ideas and proven abilities, and he realized that he needed political power in order to accomplish anything of real substance. The thing is, he had a phobia about subjecting himself to all the mud-slingings and character assassinations which are routine in Belize’s electoral politics: he, therefore, could not bear the thought of political candidacy and the abuse which accompanies such a candidacy. Godwin was a couple years behind me at St. John’s College. In my mind over the decades, I’ve always linked him with the one Alex Scott as younger students at Landivar who were “gung ho” about their studies and were always comparing notes after exams and quizzes. But when I consulted my archival copy of the 1965 Mangrove (the St. John’s College yearbook), I saw that in 1965 Godwin was in 4A and Alex was in 3B. They must have been together in a science class, such as physics or chemistry, where it was possible, if I remember correctly, for students from different classes to take the same course.

Raising the bar of excellence in education
There are presently far more trained teachers than there were eight years ago and those numbers are expected to increase since the Ministry of Education is making it mandatory that teachers possess a full license in order to teach in the classroom, Hon. Patrick Faber said at a press conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza on February 3. Many teachers who did not have a full license were given a provisional license and numerous opportunities and incentives to further their education were provided in order to facilitate their efforts to get a full license; therefore, by 2017 when the provisional licenses expire those teachers are expected to have the necessary qualifications to obtain a full license, Faber said. The Ministry, in Faber’s view, is simply enforcing what the Education Training Act says:

LIFE steps in to assist senior citizens of the Southside
Senior citizens age 61 years and up living in Belize City’s Southside will now benefit from the efforts of a new organization called L.I.F.E. (Living Independently in Full Existence), which is founded and headed by Sister Carlette Gentle, and headquartered on 11 Casuarina Street, Belize City. The aim of the organization is, by means of a referral mechanism, to help seniors of the area in five vital areas that will impact their health and well-being. The five forms of assistance these seniors will receive are food assistance, social support, housing assistance, medical care, and assistance with transportation. Gentle told Amandala that seniors who need to be fed daily and do not have the means to find food will be linked to food programs or food sources like the Mercy Kitchen Food on Wheels Program, that feeds the elderly and shut-ins at their homes daily.

Korean businesswoman, charged with perversion of justice, released on $75,000 bail
A Korean businesswoman with investments worth millions of dollars in New York City and Belize, and who was charged for perversion of justice along with Bradley Paumen and others, was released on $75,000 bail, and had to sign over property documents to the court after Supreme Court Justice, John “Troadio” Gonzalez, made the order this morning. The Crown’s primary objection to the granting of bail to Hyang Chong Park was that she is a flight risk, Crown Counsel Kilreu argued in the prosecution’s objection to bail. Present in the court for the hearing were members of Park’s family and the non-resident Korean Ambassador to Belize, who is based in El Salvador. Justice Gonzalez expressed in open court the difficult position the court faces when it grants bail to foreign nationals who flee the jurisdiction of the court, “which can only do so much,” given, that bail, after all, is a person’s right.

Calamity at Altun Ha
The cruise tour of an American tourist who came to Belize on the cruise ship Caribbean Dreams on Thursday was aborted after he fell off the Altun Ha archaeological site when he lost his balance, while climbing the A1 structure of Altun Ha at about 1:30 Thursday afternoon. Bryan Goeders, 36, of Iowa, USA, fell off the steps to an area below, from a height of about 35 feet, and landed face-down. As a result, Goeders suffered massive body injuries and was rushed to the Belize Medical Associates hospital in a critical condition. Goeders suffered abrasions to the forehead, dizziness, nose bleeding and throat pains. A further examination conducted on him at the hospital found that he had suffered a broken jaw, bruised lungs and a crushed liver, and he had bleeding in the brain. Representatives of the Belize Medical Associates told Amandala that Goeders was flown back on Saturday via air ambulance to a medical facility in the U.S.

John Briceño sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
The newly elected leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. John Briceño, was sworn in this morning at a ceremony at Belize House by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize. The PUP elected its new leader at a special National Convention on Sunday, January 31, and Hon. John Briceño, the Orange Walk Central area representative, emerged victorious out of the three-man race to lead the PUP, after its former leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, resigned in the wake of the party’s defeat at the polls in the November 4, 2015 general elections. Briceño campaigned for leadership on the slogan “Ready to Lead; Ready to Win.” He had resigned his leadership position in October 2011, just months before the March 2012 general elections.

The Reporter

Credentials for Haitian President
Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, Oliver Del Cid, presented his letter of credence to the President of the Republic of Haiti at the National Palace this week. Del Cid met with Haitian President, Michel Martelly to present his credentials in a ceremony that took place on February 5. Martelly and Del Cid expressed their countries’ respective commitment to furthering the bilateral relations that exist between both nations. The government of Belize considers this a “strong step” in furthering Haitian and Belizean collaboration. Del Cid also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and worship of Haiti, Duly Brutus, at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum, established in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti, where he made a floral offering.

Punta Gorda police seek missing girl
A 14-year-old Punta Gorda girl has been missing from Sunday and police are asking the public for assistance in locating her. Doreen Rosa, a Belizean student from #91 West Street, Punta Gorda, Toledo reportedly left home on Sunday in the company of a female friend on the way to Big Falls village to do homework. She was last seen in Seine Bight on Sunday. Rosa left home wearing a yellow strapped blouse, gray short pants and a pair of white slippers. She stands at five feet two inches and weighs about 130 pounds. Anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the nearest police station.

Tropic Air gives donation to Dangriga Red Cross
Tropic Air and its partners donated $500 to the Dangriga Red Cross this week as part of the airline’s ‘#TropicGivesBack’ charitable campaign. The Red Cross donation is just the first of Tropic Air’s 2016 initiative. “Every year, our staff and customers, come together to raise much needed funds for a variety of charities with the joint goal of making a lasting impact,” Tropic Air President, John Greif III said. Tropic Air Chief Executive Officer, Steve Schulte said that through the initiative the company seeks to show its support for the work the Dangriga Red Cross is doing in the Southern Districts. He also mentioned that the initiative was a combined effort between the employees who volunteered their time and responsive customers who made donations. Schulte said Tropic Air encourages its customers to donate to causes that they are passionate about.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Second constable beats extortion case
Tonight another interdicted police officer hailing from the San Pedro Police Sub formation is free from a charge of extortion after a San Pedro resident had accused him of extorting the sum of $400 from him back in July 2014 on San Pedro but […]

Minister Aragon meets regional officials to discuss sports in Belize
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon, along with members of the National Sports Council, met with Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA), Ana Hazel Escrich during her visit to Belize yesterday. The topic of […]

Troy Hyde to go on trial for murder of Kareem Lopez
The trial for Troy Hyde, accused of the murder of Kareem “Robbery” Lopez 13 months ago, has been fast-tracked for the April session of the Supreme Court. Lopez was shot multiple times on Central American Boulevard on the night of January 3, 2015 at […]

Belize still free of Zika; Ministry of Health holds sensitization meeting
The Ministry of Health says that so far Belize continues to be free of the Zika virus.Three samples have been sent to the regional public health laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago. One has been returned negative for Zika as well as chikungunya and dengue fever; […]

Post-mortem done on St. Margaret man
A post-mortem examination conducted yesterday on the body of 30-year-old Salvadorian national, Jose Pedro Menjivar Murcia, resident of St. Margaret Village in the Cayo District, determined his cause of death to be “acute respiratory failure, bilateral severe bronchopneumonia, comatose state and blunt force traumatic […]

Police seek missing 14-year-old Punta Gorda girl
Police are seeking public assistance in locating 14-year-old Doreen Rosa, a student and resident of #91 West Street, Punta Gorda (PG) Town who has been missing since Sunday, when she was last seen in Seine Bight Village. Rosa reportedly left home with a female […]

Police operation in Punta Gorda nets half pound of weed and ammo
A joint operation conducted in the Toledo District yesterday by police, customs personnel and the K-9 Unit, resulted in the discovery of ammunition and more than half pound of cannabis. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the team searched areas in Punta Gorda Town […]

High pressure ridge maintains cool airflow
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and cool weather today and then clear, cold weather tonight. No rainfall is expected. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures today […]

Blogs

Maya Land Rights & Governance: the Conejo and Santa Cruz Lawsuits
In a potentially precedent-setting step with far-reaching implications, the Maya indigenous villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz will soon file claims in the Supreme Court of Belize, asserting that the government of Belize has failed to recognize, protect, and respect Maya customary land rights. These villages, along with others of southern Belize, assert legal rights to the lands they and their ancestors have traditionally used and occupied, and that these rights are protected by the Constitution of Belize. The claimant villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz are represented by attorney Antoinette of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Professor Anaya and his associates have been successful at pursuing the claims of indigenous peoples in various countries, and they have represented the Maya people of Belize in their successful petitions before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and United Nations human rights bodies. Anaya’s work on the Belize case has been supported by the efforts of students participating in his International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, a 2-3 credit law course. Through this workshop, students researched issues for the lawsuits, helped to draft the pleadings, and developed educational materials highlighting the internationally recognized rights of the Maya people, their current situation and the purpose of the lawsuit. Several of these students have traveled to Belize to collect affidavits, communicate with clients and the Belizean local counsel, and coordinate efforts within Belize.

Resilient Communities with Cristina Coc
Cristina Coc discusses issues with Alec Baldwin and Aaron Sherinian at Earth To Paris. Giving voice on an international platform to indigenous peoples of Belize as they talk about climate change and its solutions. Governments have the responsibility to set the framework for action … but the energy and innovation really happens at the local and regional level.

Year of the Monkey
The Chinese New Year festival is centuries old and is celebrated from China to many other countries as far south as Malaysia and the Philippines. Chinese all over the world, including here in San Ignacio, Santa Elena and all over the country of Belize, continue to honor their customs, traditions and beliefs. Although the Chinese use the Gregorian calendar, the Lunar calendar is also widely used, especially in traditional activities intertwined with superstition as it determines lucky days. Today I observed, like many other Belizeans, that a group of Chinese men from the Western Chinese Association, were visiting all the Chinese-owned restaurants and shops. As they entered the premises, fire crackers where lit, creating an instant loud noise. The Chinese lion started dancing across the parking lot into the store. It danced, moved its mouth and blinked its eyes as it interacted with the owner of the establishment. The owner then either gave the lion a small red envelope or placed the envelope on the counter and the lion appeared to eat it while dancing. The lion then danced out of the store and moved on to the next business establishment. The Chinese, very much so like Belizeans, are superstitious people. In fact, they are like most people in South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. In the southern United States, we see lots of areas where people talk about different spiritual beings and myths. It seems to disappear but then reappears further north, when they talk about Mothman and Bigfoot. The Chinese talk about the “nian” which is a mythological creature resembling a lion. It is a large feline beast, sometimes shown with or without horns. As the myth goes, this beast lives under the sea or in the mountains. Every so often, it comes out to consume people, but prefers children. The villagers quickly figured out that the Nian is afraid of noise and the color red, so therein we have the birth of several traditions.

International Sourcesizz

Local Man Helping Bring Water to Belize
About three months ago as Tim Albert sat in church, he knew what he had to do. When a fellow member of the congregation asked if anyone wanted to participate in a missions trip to Belize, the Eldon man knew it was time to step up. Albert, the Production Manager at the Ottumwa Water Works, thought he could bring his experience and education to a country in desperate need of better drinking water resources. He not only has 16 years under his belt with the Water Works but also holds a degree in Water Environmental Technology. “We are so blessed in this country and we take so many things for granted,” said Albert. “When we landed you could tell this was a different place.” The trip was organized by Gaither Evangelistic Ministries (GEM). GEM is a missions organization headed by Randy Gaither. Gaither has served as a pastor and as an evangelist ministering around the world. Some of the things GEM does around the world are to establish and construct new churches, spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, feed the hungry, provide medical care for the sick, build and staff pre-schools, and provide education programs. No sooner had Albert landed in Belize than he was already trying to restore drinking water to an entire village called More Tomorrow. He had also realized that his cell phone didn’t work, although his provider had assured him that it would. This meant he was unable to speak with his family back home while he was on the trip. Therefore, he decided to journal each day so he could remember the experiences to bring home and share with others.

Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Hotels for Romance in the world:
Planning a romantic Valentine's Day getaway? You could book your stay in one of the world's most romantic hotels. Travel site TripAdvisor has unveiled its list of the most romantic hotels in the U.S. and throughout the world - and the destinations are likely to make you swoon. The site says the list was compiled from millions of travelers' reviews and opinions. Data was gathered during a 12-month period from couples who reviewed the locations. 7. Coco Plum Island Resort – Coco Plum Cay, Belize: Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $271 per night. Most affordable month to visit: April ($212)

5 Tax Mistakes Made by Rich People
People who develop the skill to earn, invest and create a large net worth still make tax mistakes. From failing to understand tax-loss-harvesting rules to a lack of knowledge about international investing laws, these errors cost rich people both money and time. Following are five key tax mistakes rich people need to avoid if they want to hold on to their wealth. 1. Investing Overseas Without Understanding the Tax Consequences. 2. Not Using Charitable Giving Opportunities to Lower Taxes. 3. Lack of Awareness About Investing Tax Laws. 4. Missing the IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). 5. Attempting to Avoid Probate and Multiplying Your Tax Bill.

Fortis’ $11.3B Acquisition of ITC Holdings Marks Foray into U.S. Regulated Markets
Canadian utility Fortis wants to acquire ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electric transmission company in the U.S., to benefit from “low-risk” regulated power markets. The deal valued at about $11.3 billion will allow Fortis to enter the U.S. regulated power market overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), providing a “unique, highly diversified, low-risk regulated energy transportation platform,” said Barry Perry, Fortis’ president and CEO, on February 9. “The predictable returns of a transmission business, with no commodity or fuel exposure, are very compelling,” he said. Fortis owns regulated utilities that serve more than three million customers across Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean. It also owns hydro generation assets in British Columbia and Belize.

Fortis Inc extends reach into U.S. with US$11.3B deal for power-line operator ITC Holdings Corp
Low-key Fortis Inc. created a big splash Tuesday with a friendly offer to buy U.S. electricity transmission company ITC Holdings Corp., driven by the prospect of capturing infrastructure growth opportunities in the United States. If approved by U.S. regulators, the US$11.3 billion cash-and-stock deal would propel the combined entity to the status of the 13th-largest North American utility, with an enterprise value of US$42 billion, the two companies said in a statement. Newfoundland-based Fortis is the country’s largest utility owner, with operations across its home province, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Over the past decade, the St. John’s-based company has been steadily expanding its footprint to Belize, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos.

Fortis Announces Change to its Board of Directors
Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") today announced that its Board of Directors has accepted, with regret, the resignation of Mr. Paul J. Bonavia as a director of the Corporation. Mr. Bonavia resigned in order to remain in compliance with the rules of another entity of which he is a director. These rules would not permit Mr. Bonavia to serve as a director of Fortis following the announcement by the Corporation today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire ITC Holdings Corp. "We want to thank Paul for his invaluable contribution to the company. His thoughtful leadership and insightful perspective during his limited tenure on our Board have been invaluable," said David G. Norris, Chair of the Board of Fortis. "We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours." The Board of Directors and Fortis would like to extend their thanks and appreciation for the service of Mr. Bonavia.

Is Fortis Inc a Sell? The Stock Declines Again
The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock decreased 10.25% or $4.24 on February 9, hitting $37.14. About 7.09 million shares traded hands or 844.02% up from the average. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has risen 4.15% since July 6, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 14.56% the S&P500. The move comes after 5 months negative chart setup for the $10.50B company. It was reported on Feb, 10 by Barchart.com. We have $33.80 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $945.00M less. Out of 8 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 5 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 63% are positive. $33.84 is the highest target while $28.8 is the lowest. The $31.86 average target is 20.27% above today’s ($37.14) stock price. Fortis Incorporated was the topic in 10 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.

Zika: Can fish help stop the spread of the virus?
Some communities in El Salvador think they hold the key to stopping the spread of the Zika virus... President Obama is asking the US Congress for more than $1.8bn in emergency funding to tackle the spread of the Zika virus. The World Health Organisation has predicted there could be up to four million cases this year. Some communities in El Salvador think they hold the key to stopping the spread of the Zika virus, as Katy Watson reports.

New technology for shrimp farming in Panama
Disease in shrimp farming has cost the industry many billions of dollars in the past ten years. In Central America there have been billions of dollars in losses to shrimp farms in the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama from a viral disease known as White Spot disease (Mancha Blanca) which infected Central America during the late 1990s. In Panama this virus decreased production by 90%, costing over US$100 million in three years. A new disease known as early mortality syndrome or "EMS" currently causes $1 billion in shrimp mortality in Asia every year. EMS outbreaks occur during the first 30 days of production in shrimp ponds and can cause up to 70% in losses. Mexico has lost 20, 000 metric tons due to recent disease problem and in some areas hardest hit, production has been reduced by 80%. In 2013, EMS was predicted to travel south to Central America as it is caused by a virulent form of bacteria already present in the environment which is infected by a specific virus. This combination of bacteria and virus is what causes EMS. However, there is a viable and profitable solution. New technology created by Panamanian resident and aquaculture scientist, Dr Bill McGraw, will provide a biosecure, zero water exchange system for growing shrimp that has a zero percent chance of being affected by any disease currently decimating many areas of shrimp farming in Central America and throughout the world. Over $20 million has been spent in continuing research over the past 25 years in the US and overseas, working with the company Spirit Sustainable Resources International, with headquarters in Texas.

Videos

  • Ziplining in Belize, 3min. Jaguar outpost canopy zipline tour in Belize. Tour from Norwegian Dawn cruise. Tour operated by Chukka. Shot with a GoPro Hero+

  • Maya 2005 - Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, 46min.

  • Our First Cruise Vacation Part 6: Belize City, 6min. We are going our first Caribbean cruise vacation. We are very excited. We are going with Carnival Cruise line and it departs from Miami Port. This stop is Belize City, Belize.

  • Chinese lion dance in Cayo, 1min.

  • Garden Show Feb 9, 31min. The Garden Show with the Belize Botanic Gardens. Hosted by Rudy Aguilar.

  • San Pedro Carnaval Day 2, 6min. Parody of the Miss Universe 2015 crowning mishap, one San Pedro Carnaval Comparsa group stood out on the second day of celebrations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doña Flora Ancona’s bevy of queens from around the world took the Steve Harvey, Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines debacle to the next level of hilarious entertainment.

  • These sexy ladies are out in full force for the last day of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro!, 1.5min.

  • Hay Habanero with Flora Ancona's Comparsa Group..., 2min.

  • A true show of culture with Black and White Garifuna Center Comparsa Group..., 2min. Their punta is just amazing!

  • Las Flores del Carnaval have taken to the street of San Pedro for the last day of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro, 2.5min. The San Pedro AIDS Commission definitely showed off the creativity this year!

  • Steve Harvey's blunder continues trending in Belize as a parody of The Miss Universe 2015 Pageant during the San Pedro Carnaval highlights festivities, 3.5min.

  • Belize & Costa Rica ‘15, 3min.

  • Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize, Belize - Equator Prize 2015 Winner, 6min.

  • Making our way through Belize and Guatemala!!, 9min.

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