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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
The 2016 Lobster Season opens!
The 2016 Spiny Lobster Fishing Season is officially open! From as early as 4AM on Wednesday, June 15th island lobster fishermen took to the bountiful Caribbean Sea to stock up on our favorite crustacean. With restaurants across Ambergris Caye pulling out their scrumptious lobster menus and specials, visitors to the island are sure to enjoy the best – and freshest – dishes. Of course, the opening of the lobster season also means the kick off of the eagerly anticipated San Pedro Lobster Fest. The party started today at Amber Beach Bar and Grill with a full day of music, fun and lobster treats! For those who have still not made it out, there is still time – Amber’s Lobster Fest special goes until 10PM.
Mahogany Bay Village brings the Hilton Brand to Belize
Hilton is officially in Belize. On Wednesday, June 15th, to a core of press and tourism representatives gathered at The Great House, it was announced that Mahogany Bay Village is now part of Hilton’s soft brand “Curio”. The exciting venture comes 35 months after developers of Mahogany Bay Village began searching for the answer to: “What would hospitality done differently look like?” Now Belize, Hilton Worldwide and Mahogany Bay Village are moving forward in partnership, offering 52 million Hilton clients the opportunity to experience the best that Belize has to offer.
Fishers Arrested for Out of Season Lobster
On Tuesday June 14, 2016 the Conservation Compliance Unit – Punta Gorda branch of the Belize Fisheries Department arrested two fishermen for the possession of lobster tail out of season. The detainees were Lucito Armando Sosa, 52 years, and Elizardo Tut, 42 years, both of Independence Village, Stann Creek District.
Based on information obtained, the Fisheries Officer, Mr. Victor Vasquez and his team searched the Coco Solo Caye, located directly East of Punta Negra Village on the southern barrier reef. After a thorough search of the island, the Fisheries personnel found one white ice cooler buried in the sand with 204 out of season spiny lobster tail.
Jordan Bacchus wanted for Almendarez’s murder
Canadian National Jordan Bacchus is wanted by San Pedro Police for the brutal murder of 31-year-old local athlete Melvin Almendarez. Almendarez was found dead on May 6th at a feeder road in Southern Ambergris Caye. During the initial investigations, Bacchus was detained as the prime person of interest since he was the last person seen with Almendarez. He was also charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs upon his arrest. However, he was later released on bail and has since been at large. According to the Deputy Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Sub-Formation Henry Jemmott, at the end of the investigation, the prosecutors were able to tie Bacchus to the murder, with overwhelming evidence. “We were able to find clothing with blood at his residence; his golf cart had blood underneath as well. Hair specimens from the victim were also found on his belongings,” said Jemmott. Bacchus also tested positive with gun powder residuals on his hands, confirming that he had fired the gun used in the murder. The evidence also tied in with the results of the post-mortem on Almendarez, which stated the cause of death to be from acute pulmonary edema, face trauma as a consequence of blunt instrument type and a gunshot wound to the abdomen. This led to the speculation that he was run over by a golf cart after he was murdered.
Hilton Worldwide Announces First Property in Belize at Mahogany Bay Village, Ambergris Caye
Hilton Worldwide today announced the signing of the new Resort at Mahogany Bay Village to Curio - A Collection by Hilton. When open, in 2017, The Resort at Mahogany Bay Village, Curio by Hilton will be the first Hilton Worldwide property in Belize, as well as the first luxury resort form a global Brand in the country.
Historic 2016 Graduation at San Pedro High School
Saturday, June 11, 2016, the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium witnessed a historic graduation for San Pedro High School. Three very significant achievements highlighted this year’s ceremony, one which included the graduation of 96 students who marched up the aisle of the school’s auditorium, making this the largest class ever to graduate from this prestigious institution.
Another historic achievement announced by Principal Vasquez was that Valedictorian Virginia Vasquez completed her final year with a perfect average 4.0GPA.
Salutatorian for the graduation was Elladira Garcia; Guest Speaker was Mrs. Giselle Lobos Flores and Delmi Garcia offered the Vote of Thanks.
Misc Belizean Sources
Mahogany Bay Village today announces their partnership with the Hilton brand of hotels
Miss San Pedro High seeks backpack donations
Miss San Pedro High Faith Noel is on her way to her goal of 80 back packs with donations from family and friends!
Sixty back packs and counting!
If you'd like to donate a back pack or a monetary donation for the five lunch Palapas you can drop it off at Sandy Point Real Estate w Ana the office manager.
Blue Water Grill and The Phoenix are also contributing this months donations to Miss SPHS cause and donations can be made there too!
Belize's Wonder Women! Diane Von Furstenburg
For the month of June we are proud to announce that Mrs. Roxy Aleman-Richard is our Belize Wonder Woman!
Roxy Aleman-Richard started her banking career in 2006. Growing up in a family business from a young age gave her exposure to hard-work, financial figures, customer service but most of all connecting with people which has been my greatest passion and the one of the most important component of my success. She started as a Personal Banking Officer at Scotiabank Belize Ltd and went up the ladder to now being the Belmopan Branch Manager. Her greatest resource is her staff and therefore her drive and passion is the development, engagement and upliftment of her staff as persons in leadership roles and in their career paths. She strongly believes in inspiring her staff, leading by example and encouraging them to believe in themselves and that the sky is the limit. She maintains an open door policy to her staff, very open to feedback and provides ongoing coaching opportunities to elevate all staff to higher level.
Glyphic panel dicovered at Xunantunich
A glyphic panel newly dicovered at Xunantunich sheds light on more details concerning the history of the Maya in Belize, in particular the sites of Caracol, and Xunantunich, as well as ancient warfare. It has a date of December 2, 638 AD and mentions the death of Lady Batz' Ek' who was the mother of Lord K'an II, a ruler of Caracol from about 618 to about 658 AD. Lady Batz' Ek' came to Caracol as a princess from an ally in Mexico, the site of Calakmul.
2016 Belize Archaeology Anthropology Symposium
The 2016 BAAS is on it's way. Here is the schedule at a glance!
Ever wanted to read about the rock art inside a Belizean cave?
Ms Dagmar Galvan successfully submitted her Masters Thesis entitled: Images from the Dark: Dating the Pictographs and Petroglyphs from Actun Uayazba Kab, Belize. Stop by the Institute of Archaeology to take a look.
Mahogany Bay Village partners with Hilton brand
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) today announced the signing of the new Resort at Mahogany Bay Village to Curio – A Collection by Hilton™. When open, The Resort at Mahogany Bay Village, Curio Collection by Hilton will be the first Hilton Worldwide property in Belize, as well as the first luxury resort from a global brand in the country. The rustic-chic resort destination is located in San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye, about 15 miles from the mainland and 10 minutes from the San Pedro Airport. With 205 cottage and villa-style rooms, the resort sits on a 60-acre property featuring private residences, bay and beach clubs, a spa, meeting space and “The Village,” a vibrant public space.
“The opportunity to develop The Resort at Mahogany Bay Village came at an opportune time and with a well-matched partner,” said Juan Corvinos, managing director, development, Central America, Andean and Hispanic Caribbean regions, Hilton Worldwide. “Paired with Mahogany Bay’s hospitality expertise, eco-friendly practices and focus on supporting the local community, our first Hilton Worldwide property in Belize will elevate accommodation offerings in the country and allow travelers to discover the true local flavor and spectacular natural beauty of Ambergris Caye and Belize.”
Caribbean Spice Belize Booth in San Pedro
Saturday, June 25 at 6 PM - 11 PM, San Pedro Lobster Festival.
Mobile Vet Clinic on Caye Caulker June 18
Look for us in your neighborhood Saturday!
Caribbean Spice Belize Booth in Placencia
Jun 25 at 10 AM to Jun 26 at 10 PM, Placencia Beach
End of an era.
Intervention by the Foreign Minister of Belize Hon. Wilfred Elrington at the 46thRegular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Foreign Minister of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Elrington led a delegation at the 46th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which ended today. In his address to the delegates, Foreign Minister Elrington thanked Dominican President Danilo Medina, Foreign Minister Andres Navarro, the Government and people of the Dominican Republic for their warm welcome and kind hospitality, as well as the OAS Secretary General Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Mendez for their stewardship of the OAS.
Minister Elrington also made reference to the recent tragedy that occurred in Orlando, Florida, extending deepest sympathies to the Government and people of the United States of America, and especially to the grief stricken families.
So many folks have shared their Lobster Catch of the Day
Happy Lobster Day to all the fisher men and women!
3rd Annual Bodybuilding Classic July 16, Corozal
For the third year, Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal, managed and owned by Rigo Vellos, is organizing the III Annual Body Building Classic 2016. Special appearance by the Corozal Community College Marching Band. Let us support a great event!
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Isla Bonita Graduation - Saturday 5-7:30.
Holy Cross Graduation - Sunday 2pm.
Sunday Fathers Day Comedy show (presented in Spanish) 9pm. Miracles From Heaven, Eye in the Sky, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Cell
The Establishment of the Colony, 1862 -1871
Largely as a result of the costly military expeditions against the Maya, the expenses of administering the new colony of British Honduras increased, at a time when the economy was severely depressed. Great landowners and merchants dominated the Legislative Assembly, which controlled the colony's revenues and expenditures. Some of the landowners were also involved in commerce but their interest differed from the other merchants of Belize Town. The former group resisted the taxation of land (to authorize the raising of sufficient revenue. Unable to agree among themselves, the members of the Legislative Assembly surrendered their political privileges and asked for establishment of direct British rule in return for the greater security of crown colony status. The new constitution was inaugurated in April 1871 and the new legislature became the Legislative Council.
Under the new constitution of 1871, the lieutenant governor (William Wellington Cairns 1870-1874) and the Legislative Council, consisting of five ex officio or "official" and four appointed or "unofficial" members, governed British Honduras. This constitutional change confirmed and completed a change in the focus and form of power in the colony's political economy that had been evolving during the preceding half century. The change moved power from the old settler oligarchy to the boardrooms of British companies and to the Colonial Office in London.
Supreme Court Justice At The Wheel When SUV Flips, He Escapes Unharmed
Supreme Court Justice Denis Hannomansingh is lucky to be alive tonight after his vehicle flipped violently on the northern highway today. It happened near the notorious Mameyal Curve. At 10:20 am, the 72 year old was southbound, from Corozal to Orange Walk between miles 58 and 59 when he lost control of his 2016 Isuzu M-U-X SUV, and ran off the highway. He attempted to right the vehicle, but it slammed into a culvert and flipped. Police found it inside the mouth of the culvert with its four wheels in the air. It was a major impact, but quite remarkably Hanomansingh escaped unhurt – and he was seen on the roadside talking to police. His government issued vehicle received significant damages.
Judge Says Shane Didn't Kill Sammy, George Price's Brother
Today in the Supreme Court, 34 year old Shane Gillett was acquitted of the murder of for 84 year-old Samuel Price, younger brother of National Hero George Price. Gillett, who had been on remand at the Belize Central Prison for five years, was finally able to go home.
Price was found dead inside his home at Mile 5 and a half on the Philip Goldson Highway in April of 2011. He was partially submerged in a tub of water with blunt force injuries to the head.
During Gillett's trial, the prosecution called 10 witnesses, and submitted a written confession statement in which Gillett admitted that he committed the crime. The main prosecution witness was one of Gillett's Burrell Boom neighbours who told the court that he told her he killed Price.
But, when he got his opportunity to defend himself, Gillett told the court that the police tortured him into confessing. Additionally, Justice Adolph Lucas who presided over the trial without jury found that the main witness was not reliable, and had added details to the statement she gave police.
Wil Maheia Says Fire Foreign Minister For Mix Up Over "Untrammelled"
Yesterday, we showed you the leaked diplomatic note from the Guatemalan Government which rejects Belize's interpretation that Belizeans can freely traffic the Sarstoon River.
The document makes it clear that as soon as the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, learned of the a Belize Government press release talking about "untrammelled traffic for (Belizeans)" in the Sarstoon, he sent off a diplomatic note objecting to that language.
The Guatemalan diplomatic note makes it clear that they are sticking by the joint statement as the true record of all agreements made at the meeting, and that said nothing about "untrammelled traffic."
So what got lost in translation so badly, that even the Prime Minister repeated it confidently? You will remember that when we asked him about it 1 day after the Istanbul Talks, and he said that it was this understanding of this informal agreement – which Guatemala now denies – which led him and his Government to revoke the 30-day Sarstoon ban early. Here's what he said then:
The Siltation Solution?
We first reported on the silt build up in the Belize harbour at the start of the year. Originally we suspected that it was because of the cold front and its north easterly winds. But all the cold fronts have blown away, and the problem has only gotten worse.
The Mayor of Belize City said Central Government needed to step up with 2 million dollars to solve the problem, but still there seemed to be no movement.
But, today we learned that Cabinet has discussed the situation and monies have already been allocated for a dredging project to take place. Here's what two members of cabinet told us today.
Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism:
"I don't know if they have started because as far as I'm concerned the go ahead has been given. I know that monies have been allocated and it is in conjunction with the village, BTB and the government of Belize and speaking with those investors they will be a lot of dredging to be done and if we cannot accomplish everything then it is our hope that from over there we can go step further. But definitely cabinet had given its blessing and I know that monies were allocated for that particular project."
PUP Says Rescind Monima
Northern Regional Health Manager Audibaldo Monima continues to take a hammering for his lack of qualification. The PUP's Northern Caucus today sent out a release saying, quote, "His appointment not only defies the Public Service regulations but..also (disrespects) every qualified Belizean who has…the specialized skills to fill this position…It is unbelievable that the very qualified managers in the Ministry of Health will acquiesce to an irresponsible and evidently political appointment of this sort putting at risk the very health status of an entire region of the country."
It goes on to say, quote "The PUP Northern Caucus calls on the Minister of Health…to immediately rescind this unconscionable appointment…"
The CEO In the Ministry of Health Ramon Figueroa has told us that Monima – a former Coast Guard officer - is on a six-month trial basis.
Lobster Buried In Beach
Very regularly, we report on the busts of illegal that the Fisheries Department's Belize City branch makes. Well tonight, the Punta Gorda Branch is making the news after they busted 2 Independence Villagers with out-of-season spiny lobsters.
Yesterday, based on intelligence, Fisheries Officer Victor Vasquez and his team conducted a raid of Coco Solo Caye, on the Southern Barrier Reef, directly east of Punta Negra Village. On the island, they found 52 year-old Lucito Armando Sosa, and 42 year-old Elizardo Tut, and when the conducted a thorough sweep, they found an ice cooler buried in the sand. They opened it and found 204 out of season spiny lobster tails.
Hilton Hotels Makes Entry Into Belize
The figures for tourist arrivals in Belize for this year are already looking good, and while the BTB expects these numbers to continue climbing, today the industry got a major injection of credibility with the addition of a major hotel brand. The Mahogany Bay Resort in South Ambergris Caye had linked up with the Hilton Group of hotels. Now, it's not a super luxury brand like the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons, but Hilton is very major.
And Hilton's Curio collection is a perfect fit for the 60 acre property of Mahogany Bay and its 205 cottages. Emanuel Pech travelled to San Pedro for the grand unveiling of this partnership:
These colonial style villas are the hallmarks of the Mahogany Bay Village, in San Pedro. It is a project that began a few years ago, through developers Robert Helms and Berth Clifford with the idea to build a Belizean style resort.
Can Congested San Pedro Accommodate More Tourists?
So while the tourism industry is definitely looking forward to the increased numbers in tourist arrivals, the majority of the traffic that the Curios Belize Hotel has promised is coming mainly to San Pedro. Now, the streets of San Pedro are already congested as it is. And now that Belize, through Hilton, will be taping into a market of 52 million people, how will La Isla Bonita ever handle the masses? We asked Hon. Manual Heredia today about this issue of overcrowding the island.
Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism:
"I wouldn't say there is an overcrowding of people. There might be somewhat of a congestion of vehicles which is different but at the same time we have a plan, we're not sleeping over here. We have a plan and if you have time you can take a look on the other side of the airstrip we are building an alternative road that would bring you from the marina where barges load containers and heavy vehicles. That road will be exclusively for heavy vehicles and then the main road into town will be for the small vehicles and so. At the same time we are working on a second bridge that will also be used for heavy vehicles and the now existing bridge will be used for the smaller ones. Again the sub division that was very questionable during the time before elections we have finally surveyed a thousand of them with provisions for hospital, college, elementary school, police station, fire department, playgrounds, everything in this master plan that was done for that area."
New Ambergris Caye Airport Taking Shape
And a part of that development that Hon. Heredia is talking about includes the Basil Jones airstrip on northern Ambergris Caye. The idea is to redevelop, redesign and expand it into a fully outfitted international airport. It's a project that The Prime Minister first announced in his Independence address last year. Well it's been 9 months since then so when will works begin? Today the Minister of Tourism gave us an update.
Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism:
"And connecting this new sub division to that main road which will eventually lead to the Basil Jones Airstrip which in the future will be become an International Airport. We already have 2 proposed investors that are looking forward in developing this. They're looking at probably two, three different models whereby whenever they have their feasibility studies finished they will come back to government and say this are the three models which one of them do you prefer and we move forward from there."
Cruise Tourism Taking Shape?
And while that's the new airport, what about the new cruise port? Well, the future of the cruise tourism in Belize seems to be settling on the idea of a cruise port in South Side Belize City. Talks continue and just last week, the stakeholders met for further consultation. Tourism Minister Heredia gave us an update.
Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism:
"If I'm not mistaken it was last week that we met with a group. They are looking also in partnership with Royal Caribbean it is not a done deal but they are doing their feasibility study and a lot has been done. I wasn't conscious that a lot had been done during the time of the part administration and Royal Caribbean and I don't know if it was Belize Bank or what other but everybody is teaming up to see how we can develop the Port Loyola Port, finalize that one. To me as the minister I believe that the economic impact to Southside Belize City and then it will avoid also the congestion that we have around the village with so many buses having to be around that area. That area I believe can be designed, there is sufficient land over there to develop a first class port for Belize City and bring in an economic impact to the Southside Belize City."
A man was flung from his motorcycle in an accident right in front of our Albert Street studio. It happened this afternoon at about 12:20. A motorcyclist was heading down Albert Street when a vehicle rammed into him as he was passing the junction of Dean and Albert Streets. The man driving the Suzuki – who is seen in the red shirt was heading to the other side of Dean Street but did not give way to the motorbike. The impact tossed the man on the motorbike 20 feet away and had to be brought back to the sidewalk. He received abrasions and bruises to his legs, arms and elbows. He was treated and released from the hospital. The intersection is a troublesome one, and we see an average of 5 to 6 fender benders here every year.
Killer Bees Zone In On Octogenrian
An 82 year old man was attacked by killer bees in the city. Rupert Sanders was riding to work on Friday morning when the killer bees darted out from a tree limb that's right in front of the St. John's Cathedral on Regent Street and swarmed him. Luckily he jumped off his bike and ran to the nearby clinic down the street. Sanders came to our studios this morning to tell us how he survived the bee attack.
Rupert Sandals - Stung by Bees:
"About 8:30 quarter to 9 I was passing here going to Brodies because I do a lee handy job da Brodies and I go every morning. When I pass right ya there goes a pile of bees and I see like a million bloody bee the attack me and I bawl and I can't get up and I the dodge; take off my cap and I the brush and while I the brush they the bite more in my head back. When I lift up my shirt, they in my back and I can't get away so what I do is hib down the bloody bike and I walk up so, I get to that clinic there and they start tend to me. When I walk through bally take his helmet and brush me off and then one mi inna mi ears the ooooooo and I hold this ear and this ear and when I get there the lady put me on the bed and pump some water the nurse and the bee come out, come out live too."
Seeing Behind The Xunantunich Stela
Last night, we gave you a short excerpt of our story on the exciting archaeological find made at the Xunantunich archaeological site in Western Belize.
But, because our team had to rush back to make in time for the news, we were unable to provide you with all the important elements of the story. Here's that full report now:
After months of excavation at the Xunantunich Maya Site, the archaeologists proudly laid out artifacts which they found buried under the dirt and forest from western Belize.
They're all from this mound, which they've been slowly and carefully exposing as they try to preserve the structural integrity of the Temple hidden underneath.
Kelsey Sullivan – Northern Arizona University:
"Over here, we just have a very small display of the types of artifacts that we're finding. Over here the first one we have is a bark beater it's made out of limestone and then we have a fragment of a matate and a mono used to grind items mostly corn.."
Culture Minister On Grijalva
But while the Culture Minister was excited to celebrate this positive development, he was quiet when Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found his Orange Walk UDP Colleague, Denny Grijalva, guilty of destroying the Noh Mul Maya Site about 2 months ago.
So, yesterday we asked Aragon about the politics of the Noh Mul judgment:
"Why we are here celebrating this important discovery the reality is that your colleague, your UDP colleague was responsible for the destruction of one of these important cultural heritages. This issue sort of went under the rug, nobody from the UDP party said anything about it let's just leave it like that. What is going to happen with Mr. Denny Grijalva, will he be facing any political consequences for the destruction that happened?"
Caring For KHMH
Beds, trolleys and computers: those just a few of the many pieces of equipment that were donated to the KHMH today. It all came in a 40 foot container filled with supplies and equipment provided by the Rotary Club.
Today, at a short handing over ceremony both the donors and KHMH administration discussed the importance of this donation to public health.
But a number of those supplies and pieces of equipment were also shared with 2 other institutions: HelpAge and the Kolbe foundation. Today at the handing over ceremony the Executive Director of HelpAge, Ivorine Bulwer told us how this donation will help enhance the quality of life for their members.
Almost all of the equipment donated is already in use.
Death In the Dark?
But based on allegations that were made against the KHMH, some may say that a new generator should have been a part of today's donation. That is because there was a report that a patient at the hospital had died during one of the recent black outs. Today we asked KHMH CEO Coye about it and he told us he hasn't gotten any such report and even if that was the case, it certainly wouldn't be as a result of any generator malfunction or failure.
Dr. Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH:
"I have not heard of that report I'll say that first of all and I know there was a complaint regarding the blackout but to say it directly resulted in someone dying I would have to refute that. Second we have a very well maintained generator that is monthly tested and so that does come on when we have a blackout. Now the important thing about that is that when the generator comes on not every single location in the hospital will get currant only the critical areas, the ICUs, operating theatre, emergency room etc. In each wards and so there are specific plugs that are also provided electricity so I'm not really sure about what has happened here, we can investigate it of course and we take all of these complaints seriously so if that person who has expressed externally they come to us and let us know and then we can proceed in a much more detailed manner."
Taking Care of The Aged
Today is World Elderly Awareness Abuse Day and HelpAge organized a conference for its members on what elderly abuse is and what are the different types of abuse. The HelpAge Executive Director discussed the importance of this observance and told us about the activities that were held today.
But the elderly can also experience all those types of abuse in the same HelpAge Homes that are there to shelter and protect them. Bulwer told us what they are doing to address this reality.
There were 60 elderly members at the HelpAge event.
The Politics of IMF Predictions
The IMF recently reported that Belize's economy is in a slowdown and with ballooning debt, the prognosis is not encouraging. So what is the Ministry of Economic Development doing about it? Minister of State Tracy Panton spoke about the report today:
Hon. Tracy Panton - Minister of State - Investment, Trade & Commerce:
"Well yes there are concerns and I don't know that the IMF at least in my history has ever given a good report on Belize or any other countries they have done their assessments. There are serious issues that we have to face, certainly looking at the debt servicing, in terms of our super-bond payments we're now moving from a situation where we're only going to be paying interest payments to making principle payments. That bug issue has not gone away for us, the whole issue obviously of corresponding banks situation which still a very delicate situation in this country and really is very important to us to solve as part of a regional dialogue because it's not only Belize but certainly other members of the region as well facing the same challenges. "