Recent Belize News
6/1/2012 to 6/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

June 10, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.


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

The San Pedro Sun

The Palometa Report: Catch and Release law for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon
In 2009 The GOB passed the catch and release law for bonefish, permit and tarpon. We were the first country in the world to do so, and thus protected a valuable tourism commodity here in Belize. Along with this law came the sport fishing licenses from Coastal Zone Management. The funds collected from license sales directly impact the enforcement of our fisheries laws. Almost anywhere in the world you sport fish you need a license, the same is now true in Belize. Daily license run $20BZ per day or $50BZ per week. They can be obtained thru the shop or online at www.coastalzonebelize.org. When taking photos of your bonefish, permit or tarpon please make sure you handle the fish with care. This means keeping it in the water until you’re ready to take your photo, and promptly returning it to the water when finished. The more you handle a fish the more stress you put on that fish. This is when mortality rates increase. By using common sense and careful release procedures, catch and release fishing is sustainable and can only help our bonefish, permit and tarpon stocks.

Little Angels dance and sing at the end of the school year
At the end of the school year, there are lots of fun events planned to showcase what students have learned. More than graduations, this is a chance for parents and guardians to see their children interact, perform and be at their best surrounded by their peers and encouraged by their teachers on stage. Little Angels Pre-School students and teachers were at the San Pedro Lions’ Den singing, dancing, reciting and showing their best to their families. Applause was hearty, and all the students had big smiles as they recited poetry, sang songs, acted out nursery rhymes, and danced. The next step is graduation for the little tykes, and then it’s on to big kid school. Based on their recital, they seem very much prepared for their next step in education. Keep up the good job everyone!

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Young Artists Association - Sweet Belizean Child
An Belizean classic featuring an all-star group of artists. (2000)

El Pescador's Cesar Acosta 1st Belizean FFF Certified Casting Instructor
El Pescador Lodge is honored to announce that Captain Cesar Acosta is the first Belizean to become a Certified Casting Instructor by the International Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Cesar is a 2nd generation El Pescador Guide following in his father, Hilberto Acosta’s, footsteps. Cesar loves to fish and loves to cast. He consistently wins casting distance competitions. Cesar began his journey towards FFF casting instructor certification in December 2010 when El Pescador organized a workshop with FFF Master Instructor and Board of Governor, Gordon “Gordy” Hill. Gordy ignited a fire in all of El Pescador’s guides to further our understanding of the mechanics of casting as well as the teaching of the sport. Ali Flota commented about the clinic “All El Pescador Guides are exceptional at guiding anglers in our diverse and unique fishery. However, in an effort to offer the best possible service to our anglers, we also want to be able to teach them the sport. Salt water fly fishing can be frustrating. It is important to have a team of Guides that will support and assist our guests on their journey in fly fishing.”

Female Self Defense Training
Another candlelight vigil is tonight at 7:00pm, in front of the police station. Next Sunday, the 17th, Renee Wentz, UB Counselor, will lead 2 free classes in female self defense. The first will be from 8:30 until noon, in Georgeville, at the Georgeville Community Center. The second will be from 1:30pm until 5:00pm, in Cayo, under Meluchi's palapa. https://www.facebook.com/S.H.E.Thing.SelfDefense

Computer Excel has a new website
Computer Excel, located in the Plaza del Rio mall, has a new website. Eiber Navarrete and Jose Bolvito did a great job. Best of Cayo has Computer Excel as the best internet cafe. They have the best rates, and they have air conditioning.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Press Release from the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee
Pageant fever is high on Caye Caulker right now, and the Pageant committee is in full swing with their preparations for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012. Five daring and vivacious young ladies are vying for the title this year and are already in training for what promises to be one of the best pageants yet. The Miss Lobster Fest pageant committee is once again looking forward in working with local national designers. Starting off the show, the ladies will be wearing dresses made by Mr. Emil Alvarez of Emil Alvarez House of Couture, followed by Mr. Gabriel Garcia’s Costume designs. The outfit designs and concepts themselves are going to be setting the stage ablaze – just as well as the girls, who are going to be wearing them.

Blogs

2012 San Pedro, Belize Lobsterfest Schedule
Bill and I are getting so excited to be able to go to our first Lobersterfest in San Pedro, Belize. This year it is supposed to be even bigger and better than before with 9 days of activities and of course lots of lobster to eat. The official lobster season opens back up on June 15th which is the first day of Lobersterfest. The Official 2012 Lobsterfest Schedule

Tranquilo in Panama: Playa Venao & Pedasi on the Azuero Peninsula
We decided to take an overnight trip to the Azuero Peninsula...the area that is sometimes called the heart of Panama. Beautiful beaches, old colonial towns and indigenous history? What's not to like? We found a reasonably priced place to stay on line with both camping and rooms, packed the cars and took the the roads. It was about 2 hours from Coronado (our home base) to Divisa (at the top center of this map) before we turned to head south down the peninsula. Panama is different from the other central American countries I've visited..very beautiful landscape, relatively few tourists but incredibly modern infrastructure. There was road construction everywhere during our trip...new bridges, expanded highways...it should be interesting to see if Panama can maintain its charm and feeling of untouched nature. The first large town on the peninsula is Chitre...replete with four lane roads, traffic lights, strip malls & huge home good stores and fast food. But just about 5 minutes away (we were a bit lost) we were in a tiny charming plaza with an ancient looking church and old men in Panama hats (flipped up in front) idly chatting in the shade. Hopefully they can keep both the old and the new. (Like this older man and his grandson collecting wood in a horse drawn carriage while surfers catch some waves on Playa Venao.) Most of what I've read says that the land on this peninsula has been harshly deforested...and that may be true but it has left beautiful rolling pasture land dotted with HUGE old forest trees. Particularly after we passed the town of Pedasi (I'll get back to that later) and made the 40 minute drive to Playa Venao (or Venado) where we were staying.

Lori Purdy Fundraiser
Lori broke her femur and needed over a week in hospital and major surgery, including pins and all. Need to help pay the bills… Lazy Croc will be selling plates of food, Chicken Gumbo over rice, and something else that i’ll update when i know more Also, looking for people to bring/donate desserts for sale. Cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies…etc. Lori works hard in the community she has been a long time volunteer with Saga Humane Society. If you cannot make it to the fundraiser you can always drop off a donation at Pampered Paws or Saga.

How Summer Camp Will Change My Life
My name is Alysha Magana and I am eleven years old. I would like to join your Eco Kids Summer Camp because I would like to learn more about the environment. This summer camp will help me because the flora and fauna of Belize live in our environment and I want to immerse myself in it. Recently in Houston, Texas I was part of an eco team that built a green house and we went around picking garbage and when we would find a plastic bottle we would put it in the recycle bin. On your website, I notice that you list several onsite activities but it is the Rainforest Medicine Trail that has caught my attention. When I graduate from Primary School and continue on to high school and University I want to study to become a doctor so I believe learning the different species of medicinal plants will help me in my future career. The environment is very important in our lives because if it falls apart, we will not be able to build it back up. Pollution breaks down our environment but people don’t realize it so they continue to pollute it. Another problem is deforestation, people cut down trees and are not conscious that trees produce oxygen for us to breathe.

Make a Difference + Keep Earth Beautiful + Keep Nature Beautiful
I want to be an eco-kid because I like this planet, but lately I have started to not like if so much. The earth is supposed to be beautiful, but with all the garbage on our streets, in the drains, and on the sidewalks, it is a little – no, not a little, a lot less beautiful. When we leave garbage everywhere, people will not want to visit our city. That will bring down our tourism and hurt our economy. We throw out all kinds of things, and a major one is PLASTIC! Do you know how long it takes to decompose? Me neither, but that’s not the real point, we need to RECYCLE. Do I have to spell it out for you? R-E-C-Y-C-L-E. Now let’s talk about cars. Did you know that the exhaust from cars can deplete the ozone layer? If the ozone layer is gone, it can’t protect us from the sun’s radiation. The sun is so hot, if we don’t have an ozone layer, the sun’s radiation will slowly (well maybe not so slowly), burn our earth to DUST. If we would all just recycle instead of throwing our garbage on the streets, there would be no pollution from burning garbage. If you throw garbage in our waters, it will pollute the water. If fish happen to eat this garbage, they will die! If they die, we will not have any fish to eat, but you don’t care, do you? I want to be an eco-kid to make a difference. Other kids should want to be eco-kids too. I don’t see why not! If one out of every two people make a difference by cleaning up our streets and using their cars a lot less often, the planet would become a cleaner, prettier, healthier place.

Xunanatunich and Mr. Greedy's in Cayo Travel Article
Xunantunich and Mr. Greedy's get some good press in this travel article, as does the Western Guest House. "The Mayan site was a mile further on and was a pleasant walk through the jungle We saw all sorts of birds, butterflies and some quite large lizards. Xunantunich was thought to have been a small Mayan town which flourished until around 900AD. The most imposing of the structures were the rulers’ residence and the “Castillo”, a huge pyramid built as a shrine. On the east and west of the Castillo were enormous friezes on which were carvings of Mayan gods and animals. When these were discovered they were thought to be too delicate to expose to the elements and so fibreglass copies now grace the walls of the pyramid whilst the originals have been re-buried a metre behind."

International Sources

Caribbean Urged to Prepare for a Tsunami
The magnitude 4.0 earthquake recorded off the coast of Antigua on 11 May is "a warning that the Caribbean should prepare for a much more severe earthquake to come," says a leading expert. Seismologist Joan Latchman of the Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad and Tobago said: "Caribbean islands lie in an area of relatively high earthquake activity and an earthquake of 8.0 can hit any day based on patterns previously recorded." Last month, the Caribbean was encouraged to prepare for a devastating tsunami by the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Wendy Watson-Wright, Assistant Director-General at IOC-UNESCO has also urged the Caribbean's 40 million people and its 22 million annual tourists to take the threat of a tsunami seriously as it is a case of "when and not if" the region will be struck by the giant waves triggered by earthquakes and volcanic activity.

PCC contingent studies abroad in Belize
A group of Pitt Community College students, faculty and staff traveled to Central America last month as part of a study abroad program in the coastal nation of Belize. Nine students, along with English instructor Tabitha Miller and International Programs and Services Coordinator Andre Gregory, explored the Belizean countryside from May 6-19 to learn about the nation’s cultures and traditions. Through lectures provided by faculty from the University of Belize that were coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable International Studies, the group also gained insight into the Maya and Garifuna people. According to Miller, the PCC contingent stayed at Midas Resort in San Ignacio for most of the trip and took tours of the Belize Botanical Gardens, Blue Hole, the Maya Women’s Co-op in San Antonio, and the ancient Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan ruins. Miller said that throughout their visit, students interacted with many of the local people, including artists and major political figures. The last few days of the trip, she said, were spent seaside in Hopkins Village. In their downtime, Miller said students tried their hand at river tubing, canoeing on the Macal River, and snorkeling in South Water Caye.

June 9, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday, June 8 until Monday, June 11, 2012

The hot, steamy weather will continue this weekend. Brief showers and afternoon thunderstorms possible. We won't see persistent and heavy downpours until late Wednesday or Thursday of next week as a low tries to develop in the NW Caribbean near Belize.

The features of interest over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend through until mid-week will be a weak pressure gradient in the western Caribbean and northern Central America, which will favour light winds combined with hot and steamy day-time conditions. An upper level ridge of high pressure over the region will not support widespread convection, but yes, the intense radiation will warm up the lower atmosphere and will provoke some showers along coastal areas during the morning hours and afternoon thunderstorms in the interior. These thunderstorms could produce an inch of rainfall or more locally, but will be short-lived and hence not favourable for significant runoff and localized flash floods this weekend. The next bout of widespread showers will begin to develop over Belize on Thursday and Friday of next week, associated with the eastward movement of an upper level trough over the region and a perturbation (surface trough) in the low level easterlies.

As a result, we can expect hot and steamy conditions to persist this weekend through Wednesday, with a few moderate but brief showers or afternoon thunderstorms, mostly along the coast and Cayes in the morning hours, and over areas of the Orange Walk, Cayo, western Stann Creek and the Toledo districts during the afternoon and evening.

Daily rainfall totals will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch over most districts this weekend. Higher, daily rainfall amounts of 0.50-1.00 inch are possible in the interior associated with localized, heavier showers and thunderstorms.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


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

The San Pedro Sun

Scholarship program at Holy Cross Anglican School feels financial crunch
Founded in 2006, Holy Cross Anglican School has represented a little piece of paradise for many of the underprivileged students from San Mateo that attend the learning institution. Holy Cross represents the only hope for a better future for the nearly 400 children in the San Mateo area. But for the school administration poor overall performance of former students on scholarships at the secondary level, combined with the global financial crunch has lead to a decrease in financial support from foreign donors. As a result the scholarship requirements were modified and now only disadvantaged students with high requirements will be considered for scholarships starting in 2012. The new approach did not sit well for a few parents and according to Principal Grace Williams the new criteria was outlined at the start of the 2011-2012 academic school year. “First all students in Standard VI going into secondary school were automatically given a scholarship by foreigners who sponsored them. In some instances the approach was not the best,” explained Principal Williams. Some students who are promised scholarships indiscriminately developed an attitude that they did not feel it necessary to put forth the effort in Standard VI to learn the necessary materials to succeed in high school. That attitude eventually inculcated into some students demonstrating the same behavior in their studies at the high school, resulting in many failing. “The first batch of graduates that came out Holy Cross in 2008 should be graduating this year from high school. Of 25 that were sent to secondary institutions on full scholarship, only four will be graduating. Many of them dropped out, failed or simply did not see the need to continue. Many of their grades were atrocious largely contributed to low or next to no parental support” said Williams.

SPTC hosts Media Luncheon
On Friday June 1st, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC ) hosted a luncheon with members of the media from San Pedro at the Elvis Kitchen. In attendance were The San Pedro Sun, Reef Radio, Reef TV, The Morning Show, Love FM, Ambergris Today and members of the San Pedro Town Council. The purpose of the luncheon was to extend an open invitation to all media houses on the island the join forces with the San Pedro Town Council, working together for the betterment of San Pedro as well as a farewell to Love FM’s Maria Novelo, who is slated to leave the country in early June. At the luncheon, Mayor Danny Guerrero stated, “we need the community to be a part of running the community. We need you to let us know when we are going wrong and help us to correct our errors.”

SPTC, Caye Caulker Water Taxi and Shalom football tournament stats
In the third week of competition, the Local Football Tournament is in full swing. The tournament is jointly sponsored by the San Pedro Town Council and the Caye Caulker Water Taxi and organized by the Shalom Church along with Councilor Gabi Nuñez.

Ambergris Today

Kim Simplis Addresses Tragic Death of Jasmine Lowe
It is a very unfortunate tale to tell, the worst fears for a family were confirmed as the lifeless body of 13-year-old, Jasmine Lowe, was found on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, after having been reported missing on Monday, June 3, 2012.

Councilor Wally Nuñez For Honesty and Transparency
Councilor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nunez Jr. came to our office with a broad smile to announce that he was submitting his Declaration Form to the Office of the Integrity commission. We learned from Wally that this is a required declaration form as a result of the Prevention of Corruption Act No 21 of 2007 which was signed into law on February of 2008 under the first term of the UDP Administration. (This applies to town councilors, senators, cabinet ministers, members of the National Assembly among a few others)

Domestic Violence Work Shop Held in San Pedro
The San Pedro Police Department together with the San Pedro Town Council held a two day Domestic Violence Workshop where police officers, special constables and residents were invited to participate. A closing ceremony was held on Wednesday, June 06, 2012, at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar where participants were given a certificate of completion for the course.

Pay Your Fine or Serve Your Time…or Both
Dear Media House, June 7th completes 90 days since the double election of March 7th. It also marks the deadline for disclosure by all persons elected to office on that day, including members of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. I congratulate Wally Nunez Jr., the only PUP councillor in San Pedro Town council who has submitted his disclosure within the allotted time. He has set the example and shown the electorate that he will do the right thing. The prevention of Corruption Act 2007, Part 3 section 10 (1) states: “a person in public life shall, in accordance with this act, file with the commission, a "sworn" (section 10 (4) (in front of a Magistrate, JP, Commissioner or Registrar of the Supreme Court) declaration of assets, income and liabilities.” Section 2 (b) further states: “in the case of a person who becomes a person in public life, within three months of his becoming a person in public life, in respect of his (including spouse and children) assets, income and liabilities for the year ended on the previous 31stDecember.”

Deion Spain, Employee of the Month Southwest Airlines
Ambergris Today is happy and proud of showing off the accomplishments of our fellow Belizeans be it locally or internationally. Today we congratulate Deion Spain an employee of Southwest Airlines, living in Miami, Florida, USA, who was awarded with the employee of the month honor. Deion is a flight attendant with a perfect attendance and excellent point score; with his dedication to his work, Southwest Airlines gave him the award of Employee of the Month of May 2012. Deion Spain is son of Mel Spain; he attended and graduated from San Pedro High School and furthered his studies abroad, now working for Southwest Airlines. Congratulations Deion and keep up the great work. Hope to see you soon in San Pedro, Belize, your home!

Misc Belizean Sources

Allegations Of Bio Hazard Waste
... being dumped in our backyard. Body parts and hospital waste being dumped in the City Of Belmopan. Comments.... More than 4 years ago I informed the lists that KHMH had cancelled its contract with BWS to incinerate "Red Waste" and was sending this waste via open trailers to Boom and Belmopan. The red bags you see in your photo are only (by international protocols) used for "Bio Hazardous Waste" i.e. body parts, blood and medical instruments (needles, scalpels etc.) contaminated with HIV and other body fluids. In fact the media ran a story around the same time showing Red and Green (Safe Waste) bags mixed together in the KHMH Garbage area. Apparently the public remains apathetic. Wow!!! This is horrid and barbaric. No politics. Just highly unacceptable akin to cruise ships dumping schite in our harbour and the English Caye Channel.

Actun Tunichil Muknal on Wikipedia
Went yesterday to see the damage to the skull at ATM. It's the skull of the 9 to 13 year old child next to the Crystal Maiden. There is a 3 by 2 inch break in it. It looks like a tiny camera fell on it. There is talk about fixing the hole. Also examined the skull that had the tooth broken out of it 7 years ago. We support the banning of cameras from ATM.

Candlelight Vigils for Jasmine Lowe
There will be a candlelight vigil for Jasmine Lowe this evening at 7:00pm. There will be a memorial service at Shining Light Baptist Church, in Georgeville, across from Pine Lumber, at 4:00pm. We hope for a memorable, peaceful vigil that sends a powerful message.

Green Iguana Conservation Project
The Iguana Hatchery is highlighted in this video. Humberto Requena describes the SIRH Iguana Project, and introduces the iguanas - he's famous. "Roni hangs out with Gomez and Roxy, two iguanas from San Ignacio Resort's Iguana Project."

Cheesecake Filled Strawberries

KAKAW Belizean Chocolate Cake: Desserts of Belize
If there is one recipe… one way that you will ever make chocolate cake again, this is it. I was gifted with 2 pounds of raw cacao from Jo Sayer and Chris Beaumont of KAKAW Chocolate of San Pedro, Belize. I imagined the glorious food I would make upon my return home, and wondered if I would make it through US customs with a big bag of brown powder. Thankfully, chocolate lovers were posted at every station of my return, and my precious cocoa made it back to my kitchen. KAKAW cocoa comes from criollo beans that are both fruity, woody and complex. They make a great cake. www.belizechocolatecompany.com

Channel 7

88 Year Old Man And 83 Year Old Wife, Gagged & Bound By Robbers
Yesterday morning an elderly couple was targeted in a terrifying home invasion. 88 year old Frederick Avilez and his 83 year old wife were at home when 3 men tied them up and robbed them of almost everything. We spoke to them today where they recounted the appalling ordeal for us. Robin Schaffer reporting Yesterday morning around 10:30, Frederick Avilez was having his ritual morning tea while his wife was changing in her room when a gunman appeared at his back door. Frederick Avilez - Home Invasion Victim "All of a sudden this guy came through the door with a gun in his hand. The door was open, he told me to put my hands behind my back. I put my hands behind my back and he tied them then he went inside my wife's room." Emily Avilez - Victim of Home Invasion "I was here in my room clearing up my bed because I was going out and all of a sudden like a shadow came over - hi hand was around my throat. He told me don't make any noise, I saw that he had a knife in his hands towards my throat. I did not make any noise. He told me to go outside and so I went outside." She recalled later that the knife was so sharp that, while it was held to her throat, in her surprise and fear it sliced her finger - something she didn't realize until she was taken into the living room and ordered to sit down.

Cayo Police have Car & Suspect In Custody
Tonight, Cayo Police are keeping a white car under tight wraps - as they believe it could play a central role in the Jasmine Lowe murder investigation. The driver - who we understand to be an older man from San Ignacio - is also detained as a person of interest. Police wouldn't let us videotape the car, which is hidden from public view - and today officer commanding for the Cayo district Chester Williams wouldn't tell us too much about it - only to say that it has been scoured for forensic evidence:.. Senior Superintendent Chester Williams "We have since brought in one person of interest and have detained a person of interest as well. However we are still in the elimination stage of our investigation. We have done certain forensic works through the National Forensic Service as well as utilizing the Belize Scenes of Crime Unit with the new van that they have receive just recently to do some work within the vehicle that we have in our custody." "We are very optimistic of the result of that but we have to wait until the forensic expert get through with their investigation. We cannot say definitely that that is the vehicle but we believe it is. We will be able to confirm that that is the vehicle as soon as we get the enhance video which has been sent to the US Embassy for further analysis. When we get that video back from the Embassy then we will be able to say whether or not it is indeed the vehicle by virtue of the license plates."

Mayen Jr. Takes The Rap For Mayen Sr.
37 year-old Daryl Mayen Sr., 51 year-old Rosalie Bell, 25 year-old Arzel Flowers, and 19 year-old Crystal Lewis, dodged a drug possession charge today after Mayen's son, 18 year-old Daryl Mayen Jr., took the rap so that the rest could be freed. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, this morning between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., they conducted a search at #2057 Teacher's Street, West Landivar, which is the residence of Daryl Mayen Sr. During a search of a room in the house that belongs Daryl Mayen Jr., and his girlfriend Crystal Lewis, the officers found a transparent plastic bag which contained 7 grams of crack cocaine inside the front pocket of a jeans pants that was hanging in the room. A further search led to the discovery of an undetermined amount of crack cocaine. As a result, all 5 were all jointly charged with possession of a controlled drug. Daryl Mayen Jr. and Crystal Lewis were also jointly charged with drug trafficking for the 7 grams.

GSU Makes Bust At Mike's Club
Mike's Clun on Regent Street West in Belize City is one of the oldest bars in the city - and it's also got one of the oldest owners, 84 year old Alvin Diamond. And today, he become one of the oldest persons to be charged with drug trafficking. Diamond, along with two bartenders and a regular patron of the bar are all facing drug trafficking charges after the Gang Suppression Unit found cocaine at the bar yesterday. According to the GSU, they conducted a search between 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Officers found 22 grams - less than an ounce - of crack cocaine inside a plastic bucket in a storage area for the club. 50 year-old Ernest Brown; 20 year-old Kanisha Ariola, both bartenders; and 84 year-old retiree and owner of the club, Alvin Diamond; and 50 year-old Douglas Patterson, were all charged jointly with drug trafficking. They were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail of $6,000.

Man Says He Did Not Accuse Tyrone Ellis
Earlier this week we told you about the Meighan Brothers, Ellis and Tyrone, who, according to reports, are at the center of numerous murder plots. Last Saturday night there was a shooting near their Banak Street home. It resulted in Tyrone Meighan being charged with aggravated assault. He was taken to court on Tuesday for that charge. According to police, 59 year-old Henry Lammey, a security guard posted at the AES Compound on Cemetery Road, reported on Saturday, June 2, at about 12:30 a.m., he was doing his duties as a watchman, when he saw Meighan passing through. Lammey reportedly said that he was standing beside several watchdogs when Meighan pulled a firearm and fired several shots in his direction but missed. As a result, he called the police, and immediately made a report. Police detained Meighan the next day, and they formally charged him with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public. But, today Lammey told us he made no such complaint. Here's his side of the story. He asked to appear off camera:.. Henry Lammey "That is not true because this thing happened so fast that I couldn't even see who it was. I am not sure if it was him, if he bring him in front of me I wouldn't know if it was him."

Reports: A Belizean Chopped Up In Mexico
According to Mexican media reports, on Monday a Belizean man was chopped to death in an area of Southern Mexico known as Cocoyol. His name is given as Jose Rodriguez who was working as a cane cutter in Mexico. The reports say that on Monday night he got into a machete fight with a Guatemalan man named Oscar. Oscar chopped him across the face, the head, hands and leg and then fled. Mexican police are looking for this Oscar who is believed to have headed for the Rio Hondo River and fled across to Belize or Guatemala. Oscar is believed to have himself been injure din the machete duel. Latest reports say that if Jose Rodriguez's body is not claimed in four days, it could be sent to a mass grave. Apparently his identification documents do not point to any relatives that can be contacted.

For The Love Of Labouring Creek
All this week, we've been telling you about the massive Canal that has been cut right through the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary. It covers three kilometers of the sanctuary, spans 35 feet, and is 20 feet deep. Today we spoke via phone to a trio of Doctors from the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize. They explained to us the importance of the corridor as it connects the jungles of northern and southern Belize. Dr. Elma Kay said that cutting a canal through it could have a consequential effect on a number of species, the jaguar included:.. Dr. Elma Kay, Dir. Terrestrial Science & Admin - ERI, UB "You are talking about severing an area that is one of the last remaining connections from the northern block forest to the Maya mountains. How do we contain at least one continuous track of forest even if it's not large that still allows for the animals to move through and be able to cross the highway and continue on into other protected areas and the Maya mountains." "For the corridor and for movements and for connectivity of those animal populations - it has huge implications."

Candle-Light For Jasmine In City As Well
On Saturday night, the Cayo community will have a vigil for Jasmine Lowe - the 12 year old girl who was murdered earlier this week. The disturbing murder has left many Belizeans in shock, and paralyzed by fear. But it has spurred one citizen into action. Dianne Finnegan stopped by our studios today to encourage Belizeans to stand in solidarity and protest against the violence. She told us how you can do your part: Dianne Finnegan "When I heard the announcement about the vigil in Cayo, even though the outcry is tremendous nationwide, all of us won't be able to go to Cayo and so what better way of expressing our solidarity than right where we are at." "I am asking that countrywide you go to your nearby park - you choose a place that you would like to hold this vigil. Come out with your candle and t-shirt. This is not just about Jasmine, this is about standing in solidarity and saying we've got to do something and I think we've been settling for too long." "If we don't do something now I think what we are doing is actually inviting and saying it's okay we can deal with, it's going to last just a few days and then we go on as business as usual. No, as a mother, for me the sadness continues - the cry continues that we've got to stand in solidarity with parents, with mothers who are out there really feeling this hurt." The candlelight ceremony in the Belize district will begin at 7 tomorrow evening at the Battlefield Park to coincide with the simultaneous candlelight vigil in San Ignacio Town.

First National Spelling B Winner From Toledo
Today 12 of Belize's finest Primary School spellers went head to head as they battled to become this year's Spelling Bee Champ. The "Spellibrities" - as they are called comprise two representatives from each district - and they gathered at 9:30 this morning for The Grand Finale of the Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. It's the tournament's 18th year and first place winner Dayne Guy made history -becoming the first Spelling Bee Champ reigning from the Toledo District. Here's his crowning moment.... Monica Bodden "How do you feel to be the Spelling B champ for this year?" Dayne Guy, 1st winner "I feel splendid." Monica Bodden "Tell me about all the hard work that you had to put in today?" Dayne Guy, 1st winner "I had to study late nights and sometimes I study in the day and at school. I did a lot of studying." Monica Bodden "How many words you think you actually gone through?" Dayne Guy, 1st winner "That's about over 5,000."

Channel 5

Suspect detained for questioning about Jasmine Lowe’s murder
Jasmine Lowe’s murder continues to send shockwaves and galvanize communities across the country. Tonight, police can confirm that one man, a taxi driver from the Cayo area is in custody as a suspect in the brutal murder of the thirteen year old scout, who went missing on Monday and was found dead on Wednesday in [...]

Prayer and candlelight vigil for Jasmine
Supporters of the Lowe family are holding a vigil tonight and another is planned for Saturday night. If you are unable to attend the San Ignacio prayer vigils for Jasmine Lowe, a simultaneous vigil will take place at the Battlefield Park in Belize City on Saturday night. Activist, Diane Finnegan says that city residents should [...]

P.M. speaks candidly about wife’s heart
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned on Thursday from Miami where his wife is recovering from heart complications related to her breast cancer treatment. On arrival, the PM spoke at length with the media at the Philip Goldson International Airport about the condition of Kim Simplis Barrow. While she has been released from the hospital, Simplis [...]

Immigration Scandal again: Chinese obtain Belmopan visas before they reach Belize
On Wednesday afternoon an AeroCaribe flight from Havana, Cuba arrived at the PGIA. Amongst the passengers was a group of sixteen Chinese nationals who raised suspicions. They all received visas to visit Belize even after the issuance of Belizeans visas were banned at the Embassy in Cuba in 2010 because of the large amount of [...]

Independence Village Court now in session
The opening of a first magistrate court in a village took place today. The Chief Justice says it is fulfilling a legal requirement; with that the court was inaugurated in the village of Independence in the south. Nearby Communities such as Placencia and Red Bank will now access the Independence Court instead of the Dangriga [...]

The buzz about who won the Coca Cola Spelling Bee!
The National Spelling Bee finals took place this morning in Spanish Lookout. It was a nail biting experience for the twelve participants, but in the end a student from Toledo spelled his way through to the championship with a word he recognized, but many may not know what it means. Primary school students from the [...]

CARSI’s U.S. $1.1 Million for youth initiatives
The United States Embassy says it will be providing over a million U.S. dollars towards programmes geared toward at risk youth. The funding from the CARSI initiative will go to a community policing initiative called the GREAT Program which essentially teaches children from a young age to reject a lifestyle of gangs and violence. News [...]

Dredging in the biological corridor; is it a crime?
More details have become available on the development taking place within the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary. The Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize says that along with Panthera and Ministry of Forestry, it is responsible for oversight of the protected area. According to ERI, a canal, almost two miles long and [...]

Mother held on drug trafficking charges
Deborah Myvette, an employee at the Housing Department, appeared in court today to answer charges of drug trafficking following the discovery of separate quantities of cocaine inside her West Street residence. On July third, 2011 a team of officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a raid at Myvette’s home where they found nine [...]

Crack in the club
Four persons, including a senior citizen, have been arrested for a small quantity of crack cocaine found stashed away at Mike’s Club in Belize City. The four persons include the owner of the club, eighty-four year old Alvin Diamonds, bartenders, twenty year old Kamisha Ariola and fifty year old Ernest Brown as well as fifty [...]

Drugs found at the Mayen residence
The GSU also reported on another search at the house of Daryl Mayen, who was arrested following a fight at the funeral of Anthony Mayen. Present during the search early this morning were Daryl Mayen Junior, Crystal Lewis, Rosalie Bell and Arzel Flowers. In Daryl Junior and Lewis’ room, police found a transparent plastic bag [...]

George Frazer; a Life Revealed
George Frazer is an institution in the trade union movement. He has been at the front lines of the labor movement for close to three decades advocating for the rights of workers and fighting against injustices. The Lion, as she called, has led strikes, protests and has sat at the bargaining table for long years. [...]

Teaching youths about the lord with Reggaeton
While vigils will be held across the country on Saturday, at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan a massive concert has been organized to bring youths together in an effort to spread God’s word. Revival 2012 is an annual entertainment event featuring prominent gospel and Christian musicians from across the region. Headlining this year’s festival is [...]

LOVE FM

BELMOPAN COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HOLDS GRADUATION
Over a hundred students graduated from Belmopan Comprehensive High School last night. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “Belmopan Comprehensive High School proudly held their 39th commencement exercise last night at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan City...

HOUSE OF MERCY IN ORANGE WALK TOWN BURGLARIZED
La Immaculada House of Mercy on Church Street Orange Walk Town was broken into last night. Stolen was a quantity of food that was intended to feed needy children and families. Maria Lisa Martin coordinates the House of Mercy. MARIA LISA MARTIN – Coordinator a...

BTIA OPENS CHAPTER IN ORANGE WALK TOWN
This week the Belize Tourism Association Orange Walk Chapter opened a tourism information center in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL, Reporter “The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter is aiming at promoting Orange Walk as a tour...

SPECIAL ENVOY FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN SPEAKS OUT ON THE RECENT MURDER OF MINOR
In related news: the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis barrow has also spoke out on the murder of Jasmine Lowe. In a statement issued yesterday, Mrs. Barrow notes that since 2011, in her role as Special Envoy for Women and Children, she has been advocating for...

BELIZEANS FOR JUSTICE URGES GOVERNMENT TO DO MORE TO STOP THE VIOLENCE
Belizeans for Justice today issued a statement on the death of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe as well as the recent murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura. The statement says, quote: “Belizeans For Justice believes that these incidents are symptomatic of this government&rs...

CAYO RESIDENTS PUSH FOR NEW LAWS TO REGULATE TAXIS
Residents of San Ignacio and surrounding areas are pushing for newer more stringent laws to regulate taxi operations in Belize. The push for the new regulations comes on the heels of the murder this week of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Mary Carriddi is the sponsor of the...

CUBAN AMBASSADOR VISITS DANGRIGA
The Ambassador of Cuba has completed a working visit to Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “Ambassador of Cuba to Belize, His Excellency, Manuel Rubido, is on an official working visit to Dangriga. During his visit, Amb...

MURDERED MINOR LAID TO REST
Family and friends of Jasmine Lowe are still trying to come to grips with the murder of the teenager whose body was discovered yesterday. Marion Ali travelled West today and has this story. MARION ALI, Reporter “The autopsy on the body of thirteen year old Jasmine L...

CTV3

Belizean National Found Dead In Mexico
A Belizean laborer has been chopped to death in the community of Cocoyol over the Mexican Border. In an article dated June 6th in el Dario de Quintana Roo the Belizean laborer is identified as one Jose Rodriguez who was allegedly murdered by his fellow worker only known as “Oscar” of Guatemalan origin who is no where to be found. The article further states that around 9:00pm yesterday Rodriguez lifeless body was discovered just about 12 kilometers in a sugar cane field in an area known as “Chicimil”. At first glance the body was seen with chop wounds to the head and right hand, two chop wounds to the face, two on each wrist, two chop wounds to the back of the head and one on the right leg. At the scene of the crime authorities found a bloody machete, a pair of boot, a file and personal items belonging to Oscar. According to initial investigations it is believed that Oscar and Rodriguez were involved in a physical altercation which resulted in Rodriguez’s death. Given the advance state of decomposition it is believed that Rodriguez was murdered on Monday night, about 12 hours before being found. Mexican authorities believe that Oscar has crossed the Guatemalan Border. Reports are that Jose Rodriguez had just started working in the area a week ago.

Marciano Mendez Slapped With A Number Of Charges
Thirty four year old Marciano Mendez, the man who threatened to blow up his house and take away his life, was arraigned today in the Orange Walk’s Magistrate Court for a number of charges. Mendez was charged for attempted arson for which he pleaded not guilty. In his defense, Mendez stated that on Thursday May 24th he was in the kitchen drinking water when police officers barged into his residence located on San Narciso Street. As to the mini explosion that came next, Mendez told Magistrate Merlene Moody that it was caused by a cell phone. How exactly could that happen you are asking? Well, according to the 34 year old, when his cell phone rang it created a spark causing the explosion. Viewers might recall that on the day of the incident Mendez reportedly cut the hose from his butane tank, allegedly in an attempt to take his own life since his wife had left him. Mendez was also charged with resisting lawful arrest for which, again, he pleaded not guilty. In his defense he stated that police officers carried out there job unprofessionally and he was not given any reason as to why he was being arrested. He further stated that on the day of the incident he was not thinking properly.

Murder Of Thirteen Year Old Shakes The Entire Country
The murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe has left Belizeans both at home and aboard in shock. Her murder has plunged a wave of comments on Facebook and other social networks with people pouring out their sentiments about her timeless death and rage against her brutal murderer. Condolences to the Lowe family have been countless and the cry for Jasmine’s murderer to be brought to justice has resounded across the country. Her death has even promted the involvement of the U.S Embassy who is presently working with the police department in enhancing a video which shows Jasmine entering a white station wagon taxi near the low lying bridge in Santa Elena. That’s the last time she was seen alive. According the child’s father he believes Jasmine took the taxi since she was tired. She was headed to her mother’s salon where she was to get her nails done to attend the Diamond Queens Jubilee in Belmopan. That was on Monday and yesterday afternoon the child’s body was found near a farm in Cristo Rey Village. So far police believe that Jasmine was murdered at another location after which her attacker dumped her body near the farm where it was found in an advanced state of decomposition. And tonight while police continue their search for the person or persons who murdered the 13 year old, a post mortem examination has been unable to determine the cause of death due to the advance sate of decomposition. Police believe that Jasmine was murdered sometime Monday night. It is believed that the 13 year old knew the driver of the vehicle. So far no arrests have been made. Meanwhile another teenager girl has been reported missing in the Village of Bella Vista in the Toledo District.

10 Year Old Visually Impaired Student Takes BJAT
Living with a disability is not easy and while most of us take live for granted people with disabilities embrace life on a daily basis. Tonight in our newscast we bring you the story of a 10 year old student attending Saint Peter’s Anglican Primary School who is visually impaired. But despite his lack off sight, Dayel Carbajal is a vibrant and intelligent student with big dreams. Today when we caught up with him, he was focused on taking the Belize Junior Achievement Test. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting Dayel Carbajal performs the same any 10 year old does at school. He follows the school rules, does his school work, listens to his teacher, plays with his classmates and even jokes around. But there is one thing that differentiates Dayel from the rest of his peers-he is visually impaired and was born that way. But because Carbajal can’t see, that doesn’t mean he can’t learn. In fact, he is one of the brightest students in his std-3 class at Saint Peters Anglican School. Laurelia Manzania, Teacher “Dayel is a very unique child it was a privilege for me to have him this year I learnt a lot from him. I see that he is a child that can be successful in life and he is doing great in his BJAT. Yesterday he went to our principal to do his examination and he did an oral story and it just impressed me the way how he expressed himself saying his story. He had some great ideas that the principal were happy to have this child in our school.”

Bowen And Bowen Exhibit Opens At The Corozal House Of Culture
Painting is a mode of creative expression which manifests the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. It forms a representational medium for emotion, history and culture which tells the complex story of the past and unique values of life. Here in Belize culture is both diverse and intricate which is the main idea behind most artists paint brush. Today the Bowen and Bowen company is celebrating their 50th anniversary of bottling Coca Cola in Belize that has formed part of Belizean history. With that in mind a new exhibition was opened in the companies honor at the Corozal House Of Culture. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting The Corozal House of Culture opened the new art exhibition in honor of Bowen and Bowen Ltd which is celebrating 50 years of Coca Cola production in Belize. The exhibition invited artists from across the country to take part in the exhibit by submitting their very own interpretation of Coca Cola in Belize. The paintings saw everything from the democratic Belizean Flag to the majestic jaguar and cultural practices of life within the country.

DEMO Corozal Prepares For Hurricane Season
June 1st marked the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Predictions are that it is going to be relatively average hurricane season with a total of ten named systems of which six are expected to become hurricanes and two are expected to become category three or stronger hurricanes. And while Belizeans are definitely keeping their fingers crossed hoping for the best District Emergency Management Organizations are already gearing up with their plan of action. Today we visited the Corozal District Emergency Management Organization office where we were told that the different Corozal committees have been training and preparing for any unfortunate circumstance that may derive from this hurricane season. Willard Levi, DEMO coordinator, Corozal “Well it is the usual thing that we do we update ourselves with all our emergency committees within the district, we have the District Emergency Committees and we also have the Village Committees. These people we train them and have them prepared should in case there is an emergency or a catastrophe. At this point we have trained a few in shelter management and recently yesterday we had training on damage assessment. So we are doing a series of training and we are preparing we have our plan of action for each committee and each committee has their plan of action for we are ready to activate.”

OCEANA And GOB Go Back To Court
On Wednesday May 16th the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action filed a petition to join the case of Oceana against the Government of Belize regarding oil concession contracts signed between GOB and six oil companies. This morning, in the Belize Supreme Court, both COLA and the Coalition were granted leave to join OCEANA as claimants challenging the validity and the legality of the contracts. Today we spoke to vice president of OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd who explained what occurred this morning in court and what the leave means for OCEANA. Audrey Matura Shepherd- Vice President OCEANA Belize “What has happened is that the last time we had been at the court we had applied for the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage COLA to become claimants in a case that Oceana commenced against the Government. That is a case in which we are disputing the legality and validity of all the offshore oil contracts. Of course when we made that application Government objected to them being joined as claimants and so they were now able to go today and argue why that object should take place and rule that yes Cola and the Coalition can be claimants in the same case with us.

OCEANA Celebrates World Oceans Day
Tomorrow will be recognized by the international community as World Oceans Day celebrated under the theme “Youth: the Next Wave for Change”. The Ocean serves as the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. World Oceans Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the major source of food and medicines the ocean provides. It’s also a time for the world to acknowledge the deep seas intrinsic value. Knowing how valuable the Ocean is for the survival of mother earth, Belize has joined the world in celebrating World Oceans Day. In Belize, OCEANA known as the advocates for the environment will be showing a movie entitled “End of the Line” in Belize City tomorrow. Vice President of OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura told us more. Audrey Matura Shepherd- Vice President OCEANA Belize “We are having a grand event unfortunately only in Belize City for right now we will be showing a movie entitled “End of The Line”. We are asking the schools to come out, the students to come out since we will be having great prices at the door and a raffle and we will have great prizes for the school that brings out the most students. One of the other things that we are doing is that we are awarding our wave maker of the year that is person who has done a lot to promote the work of OCEANA and we are also awarding our OCEAN Hero which is a person who throughout his life or her life has done a lot of work to bring the recognition to the need for us to have protection in Belize.”

LOVE TV

Cristo Rey water crisis continues
The residents of Cristo Rey village in the Cayo district are still waiting for a restoration of their water system. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett went back to the village last night for an update on the ongoing water crisis.

A good day in court for Oceana-Belize
The Supreme Court this morning granted leave for two groups to join Oceana Belize as claimants in the case challenging the validity and legality of offshore oil contracts. Vice President of Oceana-Belize Audrey Matura Shepherd gave us the update at the conclusion of court proceedings this morning.

Special Envoy for Women and Children issues statement
Kim Simplis Barrow: This afternoon, the Special Envoy for Women and Children issued a statement on the death of Jasmine Lowe. It says, and we quote: “The news that 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe was discovered dead has left me and many Belizeans very saddened. An innocent life has been taken, leaving a family and community devastated. Most naturally, residents are calling on the authorities and government to not only bring the perpetrator to justice, but to strengthen the existing systems so that these crimes are more difficult to commit and easier to prosecute. Since 2011, in my role as Special Envoy for Women and Children, I have been advocating the drafting of new legislation for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Trafficking in Persons and sexual assaults. I’ve also been working closely with the Solicitor General’s office, Ministry of Human Development, the Department of Public Prosecution and Police Department. In fact, I made a suggestion to the former Minister of Police, Mr. Doug Singh, for the establishment of a new Special Victims Unit. I am happy to say this idea has been embraced by the new Minister of Police, Hon. John Saldivar, and is being formed as we speak—of course as a part of a holistic initiative. These things take time to put in place, if it is to be done properly. Presently, there are many public officers in the United States being trained in forensics, evidence gathering, inspection, and the like. Believe me, even though I’ve been on my sick bed, I’ve been working to get measures in place to better protect our children and punish perpetrators. I know it may not be happening fast enough for some, but the appropriate linkages have to be made for these efforts to be truly effective. In the meantime, I urge parents and guardians to improve communication with their children, teach them how to protect themselves, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents. We also need to re-embrace the adage that “it takes a village to raise a child” and start looking out not just for our own children but all children. By working together we can make Belize a better and safer place for all our children. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Lowe family in their time of grief; no parent should have to endure heartache from the death of their child.” End of quote.

Murdered teen buried after autopsy
Twenty four hours after her decomposing body was found on a feeder road near Cristo Rey village, tonight the police continues their search for the person or persons responsible for the brutal murder. The death of the teenager from Santa Elena town has galvanized an entire community to action and shocked an entire nation. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went back to Cayo today to investigate the latest homicide. On a separate note, another teenage girl has been reported missing, this time in Bella Vista community in Toledo. Love News understands that the thirteen year old walked to the community school on Wednesday morning and that was the last time she was seen.

Minister not happy about illegal clearing in Wildlife Sanctuary
Although this morning Minister of Forestry Alamilla was focused on the development of a national Belize’s Coastal Zone policy, her office is also dealing with illegal activities in a protected area. A developer has been clearing parts of the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary for agriculture development, namely the planting of sugar cane. The illegal activity has apparently been going on for a while and the ministry just became aware of the activity about a week ago. This morning Love News asked Minister Alamilla to explain how the developer came to own land in a protected area in the first place. This was her response. The agricultural development was planned to take over eighteen thousand acres of land in the area.

Working towards Coastal Zone mmanagement policy
The Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute today hosted part one of a State of the Coastal Zone Summit. The event was held at the Fisheries Compound on Princess Margaret Drive. Vincent Gillett is the Chief Executive Officer for the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable development Liselle Alamilla during her opening address ascertained that her ministry is committed to integrating the Coastal Zone Management. A detailed view of the ICZM plan was presented by Chantalle Clarke form CZMAI after the ceremony. The summit resumes on Friday after the scheduled run for the coast which will leave BTL Park at five thirty tomorrow morning proceeding towards the Bliss Lighthouse.

Man pleads guilty to stealing chocolate bar
44 year old fisherman Elias Pech, a resident of North Front Street, charged with the theft of a Hershey chocolate bar from Save-U Supermarket pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared today in Court. Although Pech had nine previous convictions, one for theft and another for burglary, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart did not give him a custodial sentence. She fined him $500.00 and gave him until June 29 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. But Pech was not allowed to go free because he has court fines for which payment is outstanding. He has to pay those fines before he can get his freedom. The theft occurred around 9:45 am yesterday. Stanley Williams a security guard at Save-U, reported that Pech entered the supermarket and he was seen on surveillance camera taking the chocolate bar from the shelf. When Pech did not pay for the chocolate bar he was stopped and searched the search resulted in the discovery of the chocolate bar in the waist of Pech’s pants.

Prisoner’s escape is short-lived
A prisoner escaped from Magistrates Court shortly after 11 this morning. He is David Flowers, a resident of Perez Road, Ladyville. Flowers was remanded to prison on a charge of burglary and he was brought to court today to get a further remand date, August 15. The court was not in session when Flowers was brought in and he politely walked out of the court room unnoticed by the court orderly. Flowers went up Regent Street then turned right into Bishop Street and disappeared he has not been apprehended yet. Flowers allegedly committed the burglary on January 18,2012 at the residence of Christelle Wilson, an attorney who resides in Ladyville. A number of house hold items were stolen.

PlusTV

Home invasion leaves elderly couple shaken but unhurt
Fredrick Avilez 88 years old and his wife Emily Avilez 83 years old – Belizean Americans who are retirees and have ...

Call for new taxi legislations - 'Jasmine Taxi Laws'
Our news room has also been informed that someone, a Belizean man, has been detained but is being interrogated by p...

Man detained, taxi seized in Jasmine Lowe murder investigation
The pictures onscreen show a taxi station wagon taxi, purportedly the one used in the committal of the murder of Ja...

Revival 2012 featuring 'Triple Seven' from Puerto Rico slated for Saturday
Triple Seven is already in Belize; we are getting ready for the big concert tomorrow - Revival 2012. Myself along w...

Our Lady of Guadalupe School hosts Culture Day
Belize is described as the melting pot of cultures and this morning Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School celebrated...

Church services community park in Belmopan
Graduation, final exams and schools closing, means only one thing; summer is here. During the summer, missionary te...

Minister's kin charged with drug trafficking
The niece of Minister Michael Finnegan will answer to two counts of drug trafficking cocaine after two separate amo...

Camalote home broken into
A home in Camalote Village was burglarized yesterday. 39yr old Gabriel Vasquez a Taxi Driver of Camalote Village re...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Arts & Crafts Boulevard…
If you walk on Front Street on the way to the Split, you will find yourself passing many interesting arts and craft street-side stands. I call the area “Arts & Crafts Boulevard.” We would like to introduce you to a few interesting ones …

Lobster Season to open June 15th
Lobster season is set to open on June 15th. That’s the day this delicacy will be able to be served in your omelettes, entrees, and favorite dishes. Don’t forget, Lobster Fest, a celebration of the crustacean that was the lifeblood of the economy of the island for many decades, begins on June 29th. Mark your calendars! If you walk around the village you may run into fishermen preparing their lobster traps such as those pictured below, readying themselves for the start of the season.

Amandala

Jose Rodriguez chopped to death in Mexico
A report in the Mexican newspaper Diario de Quintana Roo, dated Thursday, June 6, 2012, says that a Belizean, Jose Rodriguez, was found chopped to death in a sugarcane area called “Chichimil,” in the community of Cocoyol.

Four teenagers charged with burglary and handling stolen goods
Two of them are minors, a female and a male; the female minor has a month-old baby, the woman is pregnant, the man’s girlfriend is pregnant and the male minor’s girlfriend is pregnant...

Two San Ignacio teens missing
They reportedly went to the George Street area to visit a friend, and have not been seen since... The Espat and the Alamilla families from San Pedro are desperately trying to find their teenage sons who went missing in Belize City since Saturday, June 2. Eduardo Daniel Alamilla, 17, and Charlie Jamille Espat, also 17, both fishermen of San Pedro, arrived in Belize City from San Ignacio and reportedly went to the George Street area to visit a friend, and have not been seen since.

Western Regional Hospital burning medical waste in open dump
Amandala has received photographic and other evidence of a practice that is raising eyebrows in the nation’s capital, Belmopan, in which the city’s hospital, the Western Regional Hospital, is burning its medical waste at the open dumpsite on the Hummingbird Highway three miles south of the City because the incinerator on the hospital’s compound is apparently out of commission.

TTCU in Bella Vista to reopen Friday after robbery
$36,100 stolen, plus valuables and vehicle; police recover $34,000, charge three “lawless” lawmen... General Manager says no more caps, shades allowed... The Bella Vista, Stann Creek District branch of the Toledo Teachers’ Credit Union (TTCU), will re-open for business tomorrow morning, Friday, after being closed on Tuesday and Wednesday in the aftermath of a robbery of the premises allegedly masterminded by three law enforcement officers acting outside the law. (The branch is normally closed on Thursdays.)

Schoolgirl, 13, found decomposing in Cristo Rey
Postmortem inconclusive as to cause of death because of body’s advanced state of decomposition... The fully clothed body of Jasmine Lowe, 13, a student and Girl Scout of High Street, Santa Elena, was found decomposing on a roadside near a farm in the Cristo Rey area of San Ignacio, around 11:30 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday.

Table Tennis - 2012 RF&G 2nd Bi-Annual National Ranking Tournament - June 2-3, BES Auditorium
With some 45 players participating in the tournament, the competition started on Saturday, June 2, with the 15UNDER Cadet division, which saw some 15 young and energetic table tennis players competing in the Round Robin first round competition. With the top 8 winners advancing to the Double Elimination final round, defending champion Matthew Usher made it to the finals round four and eventually emerged as champion once again

Female Jaguars repeat, male Jaguars dropped by Rebels in Bze District volleyball finals
The best-of-three championship finals series for both males and females tipped off on Thursday night, May 31, with both Jaguars teams, sponsored and coached by Allan Sharp, posting comfortable victories. The female Jaguars lost the first set to challengers Moen Stars, sponsored by Brothers Habet and Lupita Quan, and coached by Jack Reyes; but the Jaguars bounced back to take the next three sets and the match, 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-14.

BBF partners with Sprite & Belikin Beer to launch National 3x3 Basketball Tour
The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) is pleased and excited to announce the launch of the first National 3x3 Basketball Tour for the senior men and male U-18 categories. 3x3 basketball is a new category of basketball that has been aggressively promoted by our affiliate body, FIBA, and will become an official sport in the 2016 or 2020 Olympics. The 3x3 game is a variation of basketball where two teams, each consisting of three players, play on a half court.

Allan Miranda, 42, one of Dangriga’s notable drummers, dies
Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Saturday next week, June 15, in Dangriga. He is scheduled to be laid to rest at the Dangriga Cemetery after church services at the Sacred Heart Church. A wake is scheduled in his memory at his residence on Friday, June 14.

Toledo rosewood survey halted – “no money no deh,” says Forestry Minister
Loggers now illegally working in forest reserve in Orange Walk area... A survey of the rosewood logging situation in the Toledo District ordered by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development after a moratorium went into effect several months ago, has been halted after the monies allocated to it had to be rerouted to other uses, according to Hon. Senator Lisel Alamilla, the Minister for Forestry.

Floods in Rural North subsiding, destruction left behind
But after an extended period of drought lasting several months, the start of this rainy season – with ten consecutive days of rain lashing the area – seemed to have caught many villagers off guard and as a result, there has been widespread loss of crops and livestock; bad news in these lean economic times.

Ideas and Opinions - Of Sheep and Wolves
I have been thinking that the vast majority of the citizens of Belize, who are law abiding, peaceful and productive are like sheep and, a very small group of individuals, who are violent, unproductive and antisocial, are like wolves. Not that there are not individuals in the first division who are strong and lionhearted but, they choose to be sheep like because it is more civilized.

EDITORIAL: Let Pontius Pilate wash his bloody hands
The cruel, violent murder of a 13-year-old female child has left us shaken at this newspaper. Yes, we are used to reporting crime, but that does not mean that we are comfortable doing so.

BDF soldiers want better treatment
They sign an oath of secrecy which deprives them of their constitutional rights. They are not only soldiers; they are also humans and have families, as many of us do, so what makes them different from police officers and coast guards

I hail the man!
“The imperative of robust systems and enhanced organizational capacity is that systems will always outlive the people who may be inventive and are at the helm of organizations at one point. If such visionary personalities leave, the systems will outlive them, hence lending impetus to continued success of the organizations”

Do we dare be ourselves?
The author of Ideas and Opinions, from my perspective, is no doubt a person of intellectual depth and uncommon wisdom. His expression of ideas and opinions are so rational, lucid and relevant.

Blogs

Here there and everywhere
What a week, two tv shows, touring San Mateo with Red Cross and joy riding around with Maureen and Tracy who are back for lobsterfest 2012 and another volunteer vacation. Director General Lily Bowman joined Ms Magana and Jessie coming to San Pedro this week for our community meeting this past Monday evening. Since she was going to be in town overnight we all agreed it was a good idea to do the morning show with Eiden and David and get it out there that we are looking for nominations for San Pedro Branch board members. At the meeting listening to Jorge, Lily decided that a trip to San Mateo was in order afterward so she could see it first hand. I was not sure I would be able to make it, after doing the morning show, Doug and I were scheduled to do My Morning Matters with Rhonda Crichton and Anthony. Doug decided we all needed to do breakfast after and talk some more. The timing worked out perfectly to meet up with Lily Shirley and Ms Magana to go tour San Mateo and stop by the school before they had to fly back to Belize City.

Ecology For Kids
The Oxford School thesaurus gives the definition of the word ecology as;*” the study of living thing in relation to earth other and to where they lived.” Our planet earth is where we live and every thing that happens on the planet affect us. I personally believe that to have this planet around for future generations to come we have to protect it. Belize may be a small part of our planet, but we are very lucky that a lot of our land and sea areas is protected from development. The forest reserves are areas managed specifically for the production of timber, so as to not over use. National park and wildlife sanctuaries are protected by private individuals and non –governmental organizations. Our drinking water is also protected in these areas which keep our water clean. Our Protected areas are 31.93% which includes: Nature Reserves 1.76%, Private Reserves 5.40%, Archaeological Reserves 0.50%, Nature Monument 0.30% wildlife Sanctuaries 5.96%, National Parks 7.19% and Forest Reserves 10.82%. I love Belize.

The Beauty Of Nature
My name is Elias Gonzalez. I am eleven years old and a Std. 4 student at Holy Redeemer School, Belize City.I would like to be an Eco-Kid because I wish to learn more about the beautiful nature that we have in our country Belize especially the plants. They bring beauty and makes me see and enjoy Mother Nature. I come from a very humble family, my mother is a single parent for as long as I can remember. We lived in Belize City for ten years but it is now one year since we moved to the beautiful village of Burrell Boom and live in Fresh Pond. Every day rain or shine I have to catch the bus to come to school and get back home. My mother works hard to give me and my brother; James, 5 years a good life. She teach us how important it is to respect each other and everyone. Nature plays an important role in my family’s life because it is the earth that provides our daily meals. My mother always tells us about the way she grew up. My abuelito was a farmer and planted all kinds of vegetables like sweet pepper, okra, tomato, cucumber, sweet potato, carrots, corn, plantains and lots others. I enjoy the greenery, the fresh air, quietness of the village life so every summer I look forward to go to Camalote when I am on vacation. I and my abuelito clear the dry leaves around the fruit trees and cut down dry leaves from the plantain trees. The area becomes clean and the big trees give me shade when I want to rest. I want to learn more about the plants and the country’s beauty and do things to make my mother very proud of me. She always ask me things that she doesn’t know, I am happy my mother learns from me. Education is a must and she insists that I do well in my class work. She works as a housekeeper and from her little earning, she saves and does her best to give us what we need and not what we want. She teaches me and my brother to thank God all the time as God is first in all we do.

‘The State of the Coastal Zone’ Summit
It is with a deep sigh of relief we commence today the summit on ‘The State of the Coastal Zone’ in Belize. Stakeholders such as conservation/ environmentalists will sit down and discuss their wishes and wants with those both of the developer and the recreational user. The idea over this two day event is to come together with a singular vision that is both considerate to the environment whilst allowing development and economic growth of the area. Whilst this Summit is indeed a first, it is very much the step in the right direction for the benefit of our coastline and we hope that it becomes an annual event!!!!

International Sources

PHOTO: How a mom with several children feels

Travel writers' favourite tiny and unusual airports
Hot and dusty, or so cold pilots can't kill the engines – top travel writers tell of charming little airports across the world. Belize City Municipal Airport, Kevin Rushby. We're lounging. A pair of pelicans float past, then a vulture family. It's a departure lounge where all airborne things are welcome. What seems amazing is that this is the capital city of Belize and we have three sofas outdoors under a sunshade next to a shimmering Caribbean lagoon. I love it. A local is talking to the pilot while we wait to fly to Ambergris Caye. "Wha's goin' down?" "Straight, man." Straight – with an incredible Caribbean dipthong – means "fine". And it is fine. The pilot invites us to amble over to the plane. Someone fetches one more passenger from the small ticket office; another has to be called from the green wooden shack that is the bar, the Take-Off Tavern. I can see no other facilities. The pilot and I discuss green issues. He reckons we are burning less fossil fuel than if we went by road and boat. We board. The pelicans and vultures politely flap to one side. We depart and are immediately flying over the turquoise sea.

'Super bond' talks going well, says Belize PM
Preliminary talks on restructuring Belize's $550 million 'super bond' are going well and the country will finalize its budget plans in the next two weeks, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Thursday. Reuters reported that the small Central American nation of roughly 313,000 people hopes to restructure the bond before an interest payment of $23.5 million is due in August, after the interest rate stepped up to 8.5 percent this year. Barrow said the government's debt restructuring team had met with officials from the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank and feedback had been positive. "In the case of the IDB we're also asking them to partially guarantee the restructured bonds and those conversations, as I understand it, went well, very well indeed," he told reporters. "It's important to get the IDB and the IMF on board, number one, so that the figures we put out to the bondholders can be certified as being real and legitimate." Moody's downgraded Belize's sovereign foreign currency credit rating to C on June 1, pointing to falling oil-related revenues and rising liabilities following the nationalization of Belize Electricity and Belize Telecommunications. Barrow said the budget, which will contain economic projections and details of the newly re-elected government's planned spending, will be presented on Friday, June 22.

Beach fugitive in manslaughter case arrested in Belize
Federal authorities have captured a manslaughter convict wanted in Virginia Beach, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. Cameron Paul Crockett, 23, who fled prior to his sentencing on March 5th, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service Friday morning. Crockett will be extradited to Virginia Beach, where he faces felony and misdemeanor charges connected with his failure to appear in court. A jury in early March convicted Crockett of involuntary manslaughter in the 2008 drunken driving death of his friend. He remained on bond and failed to show up for sentencing four days later. Authorities have been searching for him ever since. Belize is in Central America on the Caribbean Sea, bordering Mexico and Guatemala.

Have lasers located lost city of gold sought by conquistadors in 1500s?
Underneath the thick, virgin rainforest cover in the Mosquitia region of Honduras, archaeologists have discovered ruins they think may be the lost city of Ciudad Blanca. Legends say the "White City" is full of gold, which is why conquistador Hernando Cortes was among the first Ciudad Blanca seekers in the 1500s. But the method the modern researchers used was a little different from previous explorers' techniques. The modern-day researchers flew over the area in a small plane and shot billions of laser pulses at the ground, creating a 3D digital map of the topology underneath the trees. This is one of the first times this technique, called light detection and ranging (LiDAR), has been used to map ancient ruins. Beyond archaeology, LiDAR researchers at the National Science Foundation are looking to develop the technology for mapping disasters using drones, for military spying and for tracking erosion under rivers and shallow parts of the ocean. LiDAR for archaeology Before LiDAR improved enough for their work, archaeologists discovered ruins the old-fashioned way — by hacking through forests using machetes. LiDAR is faster and cheaper. It's been gaining ground since 2009, when a U.S. archaeology team working on Mayan ruins first used the technology to peer beneath 80 square miles (207 square kilometers) of forest canopy in Belize. After four days of laser scanning, team members discovered buildings and agricultural fields they hadn't found in 25 years of study. The team was supported by the then-newly-created National Science Foundation organization for LiDAR science, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping

Banana Bank Lodge on Best of America by Horseback
Banana Bank Lodge was featured on Best of America by Horseback tonight. It will be on again late Sunday night. Congratulations to Banana Bank for being chosen a second time.

June 8, 2012

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

The San Pedro Sun

Alexya Perez makes San Pedro proud!
Former student of San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School Alexya Vida Perez made the island proud after graduating with honors from Saint Catherine’s Academy (SCA) on Sunday June 3, 2012. During her four years at SCA the 17 year old graduate excelled and maintained high marks that earned her the gold sash for the ceremonies. Out of the 135 students she ranked eighth cumulatively for eight semesters. She majored in business science with a special interest in economics for which she got first place honors. Apart from academic excellence, Alexya blazed thru SCA with several extracurricular activities. She became the head prefect, President of the Peer Helpers, served as second vice president of the student council and in 3rd form she was elected President of the SCA Student Council.

San Pedro Police and community leaders participate in domestic violence workshop
The Human Development Office through the Women’s Department partnered with the San Pedro Police Department in conducting a two-day workshop. The training took place on the 5th and 6th of June upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard. The purpose was to get members of the Police Department as well as community leaders who deal with domestic violence more familiarized on what the different forms of domestic violence are. The workshop focused on the Domestic Violence Act and what are the responsibilities of the authorities in dealing with domestic violence cases. The workshop was facilitated by the Human Development Coordinator in Women’s Department Cynthia Williams as well as Makesha Suazo. Some 16 police officers attached to both Caye Caulker and San Pedro police departments as well as community members of both communities attended the training. According to Williams the participants studied and carefully analyzed the four different types of domestic violence as it relates to the laws of Belize. The participants also looked at the role of the police as well as the procedure to follow when responding and investigating the cases of domestic violence.

Three San Pedro dancers join Belize Contingent for “Festivals Du Sud”
Three San Pedro residents will become a part of the Belize’s contingent to tour Europe for two months during the “Festivals Du Sud”. The team of 25 participants, including dancers, technicians, and musicians are scheduled to leave the country on July 4th and return on September 11th. Joining the contingent from San Pedro are Emily Gomez, Roxana Bradley and Liliana Nuñez. The “Festivals du Sud” is an annual festival that occurs during the summer months of July and August and attracts participants from around the world. Joining the Belize contingent are delegations from 45 different countries including Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Argentina, USA and 38 other countries. Participants in the festival must have a complete ninety minute show prepared and agree to participate in parades with music, street entertainment and, if necessary, shorter programs without deviating from their vitality or artistic quality. The groups selected must be accompanied by live music as the use of recorded music is not accepted.

Belize joins the world in celebrating World Oceans Day
Belize will join the rest of the international community in observing World Oceans Day on Friday. This year the focus is on getting young people involved in the global effort to conserve the world’s oceans. The theme for this year’s observation is: Youth: the Next Wave for Change. At the forefront for ocean conservation effort locally is Oceana-Belize. Executive Director Audrey Matura Shepherd told Love News that conservation of the ocean is very important to our very survival. “We know, we grew up saying oh we just have the Caribbean Sea but that sea is a part of a larger ocean and so we use the word ocean, but it doesn’t mean that only the oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans we’re talking about. Any tributary that’s connected, all that body of water, it’s important for us to protect it because we like to believe that, oh if something happens in one part of the world it won’t affect us. It affects us worldwide for example, when there was the spill in the Gulf of Mexico we found that whale sharks that have been tagged in Belize were going in that area and whale sharks are a value to our tourism industry. People go to Gladden Split yearly between the months of April to about May June to try and see these and pay for it. So if there’s an inter connection and people need to understand that I need to do my share to protect my little part because my little part is part of a bigger one.

Boat capsizes at sea
The San Pedro Sun can confirm that there was an accident at sea shortly after 11AM on Thursday June 7th. The boat involved in the incident belongs to a local tour operator that was chartered by Ramon’s Village Divers. Information is still shortcoming as the incident was unreported to all the relevant authorities, but according to multiple sources, the boat along with some divers, overturned outside of the reef off Ambergris Caye. The incident occurred near the Tuffy Channel, directly in front of San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Sun attempted to speak to several of the tourists but they would only say that “the boat capsized and everything is fine”. We understand that no one was hurt except for a few tourists that received bruises and were being attended to at the dive shop.

San Pedro Councilor Wally Nuñez filed his declaration of financial affairs
Councilor Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez of San Pedro Town Council has filed his declaration of financial affairs to the Integrity Commission of Belize as required under the Prevention of Corruption Act in Belize. By law, all those people in public life are required to disclose their financial status which includes assets, income and liabilities within three months of taking office. On June 6th, 2012 Councilor Nuñez visited The San Pedro Sun office with a copy of his declaration and all supporting documents which was addressed to the Secretary of the Office of the Integrity Commission. When asked why he felt it necessary to disclose his declaration to the public, Nuñez said, “The issue of transparency as it relates to the prevention of corruption act and the declaration was a major issue leading to the election in 2012. I promised the electorates that I will be transparent and as such it is my obligation to show not only San Pedro but Belize that I have nothing to hide,” said Councilor Nuñez.

Two San Pedro teenagers missing for 5 days in Belize City
Two teenagers from Ambergris Caye have been missing for the past five days, and the family fears the worst. They are seventeen year old Edwardo Daniel Alamilla and his cousin eighteen year old Charlie Jamille Espat both fishermen of a San Pedrito Area address in San Pedro Town. They were last seen on Saturday June 5th around the East Collet Canal Area of Belize City, by Charlie’s younger brother 15 year old Kareem Espat. According to the police, Kareem and Charlie Espat and Edwardo Alamilla were travelling in a dark green Suzuki four-door pickup truck with Texas license plates from Benque Viejo Town to Belize City. They were scheduled to meet with some friends who live on George Street in Belize City. Kareem, the youngest of them all, decided to jump out of the vehicle near the Belize City Bus Terminal (formerly Novelo’s Bus Terminal) and instead took the boat to San Pedro Town. Kareem told police that it was the last time he saw his brother and cousin.

Mid morning traffic accident in San Pedro Town
There was a midmorning collision on Laguna Drive in San Pedro Town on Thursday June 7th, 2012. The accident involved a blue Yamaha motorcycle driven at the time by 30 year old Nelson Pacheco of San Pedro Town and a beige rental golf cart driven at the time by US national 29 year old Mark Anthony Hanrahan of Alabama. According to San Pedro Police, sometime around 10AM on Thursday, they were called to the scene of an accident on the northern end of Laguna Drive. Upon arrival they observed the front end of a blue cycle tangled with the golf cart in the middle of the road. Also observed was a thirty foot braking trail which appears to be that of cycle along the center of the road. A small imprint from the breaks of the cart was also observed.

Ambergris Today

Rebecca Stirm Eliminated from Mission Catwalk Show
Belize’s young fashion designer Rebecca Stirm was eliminated from the Mission Catwalk Competition in episode 11 of the Jamaican reality television show that aired last night June 5, 2012. The designer had won four challenges, was never in the bottom ranking and was in the lead in the show; viewers were shocked in the turn of events that lead to her elimination. Winning this episode was Ryan Chan of Trinidad. After a taste of victory with his first win last week, Ryan Chan of Trinidad has won yet another challenge on Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk; a win which qualifies him for some enviable prizes including the chance to show at London Fashion week. His scores also put him in the top three ranking which means he will be showing at Caribbean Fashion Week this Friday!

Trawling Ban Grants Belize a Nomination for Award
International award celebrates solutions to save oceans and coasts - Hamburg/Montreal/Washington D.C./Rome, 6 June 2012: Belize is on the list of nominees for this year's Future Policy Award. It has been nominated for its Statutory Instrument Banning Trawling in Territorial Waters (2011). The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. It is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. Each year the World Future Council chooses one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2012, the award is dedicated to exemplary coastal and ocean policies. Thirty-one outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions have been nominated. The nominated polices range from national ocean policies, marine protected area programs and integrated coastal zone management plans to policies regulating fisheries, trade in marine products, marine litter and land-sea interactions.

Misc Belizean Sources

Lightning Storms Cause Power Outages in Areas Across the Country
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises customers that, with the onset of the rainy season, customers may experience weather-related power outages, as has been experienced in several areas across the country during the past week. Recent severe lightning storms have caused damage to transformers and other electrical equipment on BEL’s transmission and distribution systems in the Toledo, Cayo and Belize Districts, resulting in power interruptions to customers in those areas. Repairs and replacement of equipment on the transmission line supplying the Southern Zone, which were damaged during a lightning storm on Tuesday night, required an emergency 3-hour power outage for the entire Stann Creek and Toledo District on Wednesday morning

Dive Boat Capsizes at “Tuffy” Channel
Tragedy and misfortune was averted with the quick action of a boat captain, his diving crew and dive shop personnel as they immediately rescued several tourist divers who happened to find themselves wading in open waters outside the reef after their dive boat capsized. Rough sea conditions were the cause of a capsized boat just outside the reef in the popular dive spot known as the Tuffy Channel (break on the reef) that is located right across downtown San Pedro. The incident occurred close to midday, today, June 7, 2012.

Coca Cola National Spelling Bee is Tomorrow
The National Spelling Bee is tomorrow is tomorrow, Friday the 8th, at 9:30 in Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout. Good luck to all contestants. Thanks go out to Coca Cola for sponsoring this great event.

Yoli's Pizza has a new Website
Yoli's Pizza has a new website. Who's hungry for pizza? Robert Gurnsey and Alissa Pulido did a wonderful job.

VIDEO: Juni Mobile -1.0 (The Belizean SIRI)

Channel 7

PM Says Ailing Wife Suffered "Heart Failure"
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned home today after 10 days away. As has been widely reported, he was in Miami, at his wife's bedside. Kim Barrow was rushed to the emergency room on Monday May 28th with heart failure. She was placed in the intensive care unit for three days, and released from the hospital over the weekend. And even though she has been stabilized, today, the Prime Minister explained that the worry about the cancer has receded into the background - because her heart has been seriously damaged. Here's how he explained the series of difficulties:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It's been a rough week but certainly once she got out the hospital and started looking and feeling much better, naturally my spirits also rose, but it's going to be tough going forward. As you know she sustain heart failure - severe damage to the heart and that we've been told by the doctors is incurable, so it's a matter of trying to manage things as best we can and as best the doctors can. But she is feeling well enough at the moment and I am certainly grateful for one again the tremendous out pour of support from people here at home."

One Man, One vehicle Detained In Jasmine Lowe Investigation
Tonight, Cayo police have one person of interest detained and a vehicle impounded in the Jasmine Lowe murder investigation. Details are not being given out at this time because the police say the investigation is still at a preliminary stage. As we reported last night, a post mortem could not determine the cause of death due to the advanced state of decomposition. It also could not determine whether the child had been carnally known - again, due to decomposition. She was found fully clothed, with her clothing intact. But what we do know is that the apparent murder of this 13 year old girl has created a wide imprint of grief across the Cayo district, and indeed, across the nation. Tonight we revisit some of the known fact - and explore some of the more nuanced ones - as we all look for answers in the disappearance and death of Jasmine Lowe: Jules Vasquez reporting On Monday afternoon at around 2:00, Jasmine Lowe got into an eastbound taxi here at the foot of the Hawkesworth Bridge on the Santa Elena side of the Macal River. Strange, because she was heading west to her mother's house on Bullett Tree Road.

Lawmen Remanded For Alleged Credit Union Robbery
On Tuesday, we told you about 29 year old Police constable Oswald Young, 26 year old Constable Zachario Cuz, and 31 year old BDF Corporal Romel Elijio who were formally arrested and charged for the robbery of the Toledo Teacher's Credit Union Branch in Bella Vista Village. Well tonight, we've confirmed that they are at prison. They were arraigned and remanded yesterday, but they were transferred from Dangriga to the Belize Central Prison this morning, where they will remain until their next court date. As we reported, at 8:30 on Monday, 3 men using military style assault rifles and a pistol, robbed the credit union of over $34,000 dollars. Quick police response lead to the detention of the men on the Southern Highway, and the money was recovered. As a result, the men were then detained until they were formally charged on Tuesday.

Inattentive Cops Let Accused Man Escape
The Police Department is breathing easier tonight after cops captured 22 year David Flowers, a prisoner on remand for burglary, who simply walked out of the Magistrate's Court today. Yes, that's right, for a man who is on remand, Flowers slipped out of court and fled the area. Here's how it happened: At 9:30 this morning, Flowers was escorted in handcuffs to the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, along with other prisoners by the police court orderly. His handcuffs were taken off, as is the norm when any accused is brought to court from remand to face his or her trial. Chief Magistrate then started the morning session, and when she finished with all the adjournments, she asked the police prosecutor about Flowers' trial, and if the virtual complainant was present. She then asked to take a brief adjournment while she prepared to start the trial. One by one, the 5 or 6 police officers, who were present, started leaving the court room to do other duties, which resulted in only 2 officers remaining behind to secure Flowers: the police prosecutor, and another officer.

OCEANA VS GOB In Court
3 weeks ago, we told you about Oceana Belize's lawsuit against the Government of Belize, in which it was contesting several of the oil contracts which the Ministry of National Resources issued between 2005 and 2007. The contracts which Oceana Belize wants GOB to void includes the ones issued to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Today, Attorney Godfrey Smith, who is representing Oceana Belize, and Crown Counsel Henry Panton, who is representing GOB, appeared before Justice Legall to present arguments on an application by COLA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. These 2 organizations wanted to join Oceana Belize as co-claimants against the GOB. Instead of dealing with that application, the court was greeted with an application by Panton to strike the matter out completely. Panton submitted that the court should hear this strike out application first because if it was successful, then whether or not these NGO's can join Oceana then becomes a non-issue. Justice Legall, at Smith's urging, decided to grant the application for the NGO's to join the litigation. He also ruled that the court will give Smith and the claimants enough time to properly respond Panton's strike-out application.

The Art of The Text, Or Big Business On Small Keyboards
Last week we showed you how the texting craze has overtaken the everyday lives of teenagers, but it's not only teens who are buying up all those bundles. Business people are also catching on to the texting thing. And it's no idle fancy, no waste-of-time pastime. There are distinct advantages to texting for business. Robin Schaffer found out more when she visited some big business people who love the small keyboard. Here's her report:.. Robin Schaffer reporting With as many as 3 million texts sent every day, it's not only crazed teens and star-crossed lovers who are sending all those texts. Market research by the phone companies show that the demographic with the most disposable income - business people between 40 and 60 years old are becoming increasingly adept at sending text messages and attuned to the benefits of doing so.

PM Says IMF, IDB On Board With Superbond 2.0
At the top of the newscast, you heard the Prime Minister speak about his wife's serious heart condition and her ongoing battle with stage 3 breast cancer. But, while tending to that dire medical situation had him abroad for the past 10 days, there are also pressing domestic matters. First, he told us today that he plans to present the long - delayed budget on June 22nd. The second is the restructuring of Belize's debt. As has been widely discussed, the government, led by Ambassador for Economic Affairs Mark Espat, has been working on Superbond 2.0. But, it's kind of like selling kitchen knives to Samurai swordsmen, so the process is progressing, delicately, we gather. And so how does another downgrade for Belize's bonds - which came earlier this week from Moody's investor service - affect things? The PM told us today that it actually helps:.. Jose Sanchez, Channel 5 News "The recent Moody's downgrade. Does that play any role what so ever?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Well, it's helpful. If fact indicates why there is a downgrade and the reason is precisely because we have made clear that the bond needs to be restructured - that we cannot pay at the current rate. So that's actually an assist to our cause preparing the bond holders for what lies ahead which at bottom is a requirement that there be some form of debt relief. I can't get any more into the details."

Conservationists: Labouring Creek Was Compromised
Earlier this week, we told you about the trenching of a canal right through a wildlife sanctuary in Central Belize. Specifically it is the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary which was set aside in mid 2010. Running along the banks of the Belize River the sanctuary is an important forest link for wildlife, including the jaguar. Now, Land on the west side of the Sanctuary has been privately purchased for sugarcane production. An Environmental Impact Assessment has been submitted to the Department of the Environment. But, the EIA has not yet gone to public consultation, nor has it been approved by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee. Nonetheless, a drainage canal fifty metres wide and almost two miles long has been trenched out through the middle of the Sanctuary. Conservationists from the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize and its international partner, Panthera issued a statement today to say the canal will disrupt the movement of most of the 22 species of large- to medium-sized mammals known to occupy the region, and will damage the functioning of the corridor.

Boat Capsizes, No One Hurt
This morning a boat capsized just off San Pedro, but, fortunately, none of the passengers were hurt. The San Pedro Sun reports that the boat belonged to a local tour operator on San Pedro, and that it was being chartered by an island resort. According to the Sun, the boat was in the Tuffy Channel, just off San Pedro, when it overturned with the divers. Everyone was able to escape the overturn unharmed, except for a few bruises, and as a result, the incident was not formally reported to the police. The owner of business also refused to comment to reporters.

Bees Create Mid Afternoon Chaos In City
Today Africanized bees were terrorizing pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycle riders on Regent Street. It started this morning when a man was trimming a mango tree in a yard beside the old Western Union building. That was when he was attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees that had built a nest on the second story of the building. He was rushed to the Belize Medical Associates Southside clinic across the street and has already been stabilized. But that's not the end of that story. The bees, angered from the disturbance, attacked passers-by for the rest of the day. Those on bicycles tried to swat away the insects as they rode past. As for the pedestrians, they swatted at themselves as they rushed into the clinic, seeking refuge from the onslaught. Finally, after much runaround, a resident was able to call a retired agricultural officer who, as of 2:30 today, was still trying to get the nest down.

The Coastal Zone, A Big, Bird's Eye View
Today a summit was held called "The State Of The Coastal Zone." It's a two day event which is bringing together a broad range of users, specialists, researchers and authorities to form a singular panoramic view of what's happening all along the coastline. Organizer Nicole Auil Gomez told us about the larger vision:.. Nicole Auil Gomez, Organizer, State Coast Summit 2012 "This is an opportunity for experts to discuss the updates that are happening along the coastal zone of Belize including the cayes and coastal areas within inland. We discuss issues related to habitat, species, management, protected areas, finance, public relations, legislation, so it's really an overview of the development activities and things that are related to the coastal zone and it's to inform one another and also to draw information out from those that are working in the field and those that are not working in the field who can give outside perspectives." Hon. Lisel Alamilla "We have a draft coastal zone plan that we want to gather more information from the people participating at this meeting so that we can complete that plan."

OCEANA Raises the Alarm For Oceans Day
And while that summit is being held to coincide with World Oceans Day - so is a documentary being presented by OCEANA. It's called "The End Of The Line," and it challenges viewers to imagine an ocean without fish. According to Oceana, if humans keep depleting the ocean's resources, by 2048 we won't have to imagine. To educate Belizeans on the dangers of overfishing and lax conservation methods, the documentary outlines the devastating effects humans have had on marine life, and possible steps that can be taken to mitigate these effects. It will premiere in Belize tomorrow evening - free of cost. Hipolito Bautista, Communications and Marketing Officer for Oceana, told us more about the documentary. Hipolito Bautista, Communications Marketing Officer - OCEANA "It's a powerful documentary that features over fishing commercially and globally. As you know the oceans and our seas are our food source and food security and it pretty much is showing that it is not an inexhaustible resource that we have."

Soldiers Who March To Their Own Drum
Carrie Bow Cay is one of the many small islands dotting Belize's coast, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in rich ecosystems in which animals have evolved in interesting ways. One such specie is the Caribbean hermit crab. Hermit Crabs occupy shells of snails, scallops and oysters. Some even occupy driftwood, pieces of glass and stones. As these animals grow, they must occupy bigger shells, so they are constantly on the lookout for larger homes. Around 1000 of these scuttling scavengers live on the island, which is less than an acre, and with so many jam-packed into such a small space, they've had to create an interesting social network.

PROFILE
Tonight's profile is about Ashley Rocke. You may know him as the Pastor at the Lake Independence Baptist Church or as the former union leader at BEL. But, what you probably don't know is that Ashley grew up in Taylor's Alley - and was put out of his house by his stepfather the day after his mother died. But he persevered and in tonight's profile, he tells us how:..

Channel 5

Doctors say Simplis Barrow’s heart failure incurable, but manageable
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned from Miami this afternoon. He spent the last two weeks at the side of his wife Kim Simplis Barrow, who experienced complications relating to breast cancer treatment. The chemotherapy and related drugs damaged her heart which is down to fifteen percent of its strength. Radiation treatment has been discontinued and [...]

Barrow speaks candidly about country and personal situation
If all goes according to plan, in two weeks Kim Simplis Barrow is scheduled return to Belize. Her mother stayed behind while the Prime Minister returned to matters of state. An outstanding budget presentation and a looming bond payment are major issues facing the prime minister. We asked the PM how he fares with the [...]

Barrow, Bond and Budget to be read on June 22nd
The budget for the financial year 2012-2013 should have been presented and debated to take effect on April first. But it has not been tabled in the House of Representatives as yet. The Prime Minister says it’s coming up for full ventilation in Cabinet for presentation later this month. As to the Superbond, the bond [...]

P.M. says talks with B.E.L. lawyers and Lord Michael Ashcroft
A large part of the country’s future debt is tied up due to the nationalization of two utility companies. The debts to the former owners of Belize Electricity Limited’s and Belize Telemedia Limited are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Regarding the companies, the PM says that the government is about to enter discussions [...]

Clues into murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe
The reaction to the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe has gone from disbelief to devastation to anger. Jasmine, a vivacious young girl, left her father’s house in Santa Elena, Cayo on Monday and after midday on Wednesday, her body was found on the Cristo Rey Road. A post mortem was unable to determine [...]

Belizean murdered in Quintana Roo
A newspaper report in neighboring Quintana Roo says that a Belizean has been found dead in the Cocoyol Area, which is across the border. He has been identified as one Jose Rodriguez and is believed to have been killed on Monday night by a co-worker. The body had seven chop wounds, including to his head [...]

2 San Ignacio teens missing
There is growing alarm over two missing teenage cousins from San Ignacio. Seventeen year old Edwardo Alamilla and eighteen year old Charlie Espat have been missing for five days. The cousins reportedly left San Ignacio en route to Belize City in a dark green SUV with a California License plate. The family says that a [...]

Seaduced vessel and passengers flip during rough sea
A group of divers traveling in a vessel chartered by Ramon’s Village Dive Shop are tonight lucky to be alive following a boating accident which occurred a mile and a half from San Pedro Town, off the coast of Ambergris Caye. This morning, shortly after eleven o’clock, a thirty-seven foot boat, the property of Seaduced [...]

COLA and Coalition join Oceana suit against Government
Just in time for World Oceans Day, which is celebrated on Friday, Oceana got welcomed news from the courts today. An application for COLA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage to join as interested parties in a case against the Government, challenging offshore drilling contracts between 2005 and 2007, was granted today. The [...]

Escaped prisoner caught as he stepped off a bus
Have you ever heard of the great escape? Well, twenty-two year old David Flowers, also known as David Dougal staged and executed his escape when he was taken to the Magistrate’s Court. Around nine-thirty this morning, Flowers was escorted to court where he was to stand trial for Burglary. He was left unattended briefly as [...]

Maud Williams Court refurbished for the youths
The students of Maud Williams High School were overwhelmed with excitement today as they christened their newly refurbished basketball court. It’s the work of Youth For the Future; particularly the Manager of the Violence Reduction Unit, Kirk Augustus. Augustus did his internship at the High School when he working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling [...]

7th Annual Belize Film Festival
The seventh annual Belize International Film Festival is set to open with a bang in the next few weeks. For the first time, a locally produced film, ‘2012 Kurse a di Xtabai’ is scheduled to open the weeklong festival. While the anticipation of the Belizean movie is one thing, there will be a record breaking [...]

Coastal Zone Summit covers from 2003 to 2011
The complexities of the state of the marine coastal environment are quickly evolving so an integrated plan that will incorporate various sectors is under discussion among key stakeholders of the environment. A first report was carried out in 1995 with periodic updates thereafter by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. The reporting, however, was [...]

Healthy Living patches up the first aid kit
With the hurricane season now in effect, the sharing of information on hurricane preparedness has moved up to the front burner. One item that every family should keep on hand is a first aid kit. But what do you include in the kit? Healthy Living has useful tips.   Marleni Cuellar, Reporting A first aid [...]

LOVE FM

CRISTO REY VILLAGERS STILL WAITING FOR WATER
It has been forty five days and counting since residents of Cristo Rey village have been without running water in the community. A busted water pump has rendered the village’s rudimentary water system inoperable. On Wednesday night, the Cristo Rey Water Board held a community meeting to update the villagers on what is being done to restore the water supply. Alfredo Guerra is the chairman of the Cristo Rey Water Board, and he told Love FM’s Patrick Jones that it will be a while longer before the broken water system is fixed. ALFREDO GUERRA, Chairman of Cristo Rey Water Board “So according to what we discuss tonight we’re just going to wait and see what will happen tomorrow and chairman of the village, Jovanni Montalvano, is going to have a meeting and we’ll just have to wait and see what will happen tomorrow.” PATRICK JONES, Reporter “I was told, last week that a pump had been secured and was just waiting to be shipped to Belize. What happened to that? ALFREDO GUERRA, Chairman of Cristo Rey Water Board “According to what I know, somebody from US have arrived here in Belize they had a meeting last night and we are waiting but according to - you see the people tonight, so we’re just going to move as quickly as possible.”

CTV3

Missing 13 Year Old Murdered In San Ignacio
Tonight the Belizean community is in shock and mourning the death of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe, a student of Santa Elena Town who was reported missing on Tuesday June 5th. The decomposed body of the missing teenager was found in the bushes near a farm on a feeder road off the main road in Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District. Yesterday morning, the child’s mother, 32 year old Cosmetologist of Bullet Tree Road Marisol Lowe reported to police that on Sunday her daughter arrived at her home for her usual weekend visits since she lives with her father Christopher Lowe. On Monday June 4th both mother and daughter left home and parted ways on Bullet Tree Road. While Marisol proceeded to work, Jasmine headed back to her fathers home in Santa Elena Town expecting to return to her mother’s work that same evening to get her nails done to go the Queens Jubilee in Belmopan. But Jasmine never got her nails done or much less made it to the Queens Jubilee. In fact reports are she was last seen alive near the low lying wooden bridge in Santa Elena getting into a white taxi. According to the father of the child there are video clips that show the child entering the vehicle. Jasmine left her fathers house at 2:00pm after helping him with some chores. Her father believes that she took the taxi since she was tired and all indications are that the child might have known the driver of the vehicle. Jasmin’s mother reported to police that around 2:00 she sent a text to her daughter’s phone asking her if she was still coming over to get her nails done, but there was no response.

Four Streets To be Upgraded In Orange Walk
The Mission of the Belize Social Investment Fund is to equitably and adequately respond to the human development needs of the poor and vulnerable population in Belize in order to enable every citizen to fully develop, flourish and function in his or her maximum potential. Through the World Bank, the Belize Social Investment Fund secured financing for the Belize Municipal Development Project. Five million dollars have been allocated for Orange Walk Town to improve access to basic municipal infrastructure and to enhance the service delivery and municipal management. According the Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard, phase one of the project will see Small Scale Infrastructure Investments in particularly four streets within Orange Walk Town. Kevin Bernard, Mayor Orange Walk Town “In that first phase we recommended several streets. We ended up from, I think, six streets to about four streets. During the discussion that we have been having with them and with the SIFF representatives we were made to understand that we wouldn’t have been able to meet the four streets either because the cost had gone up. The initial per council was $800,000, in the case of Orange Walk. The counterparts’ funds that the council had to pay were $24,000. All of that was already dealt with. Now, a few weeks ago we were made to understand that the World Bank has agreed that they will do the four streets that we wanted to do but that would incur us more. It would cost us $1.1 million so we had to inject a farther amount of money into this project. What is happening now is that we now will include the four streets which are the San Ignacio Street, the second half of Santa Familia Street, a portion of Tangerine Street, and Avelis Lane.”

2011/2012 Crop Season Ends June 7th row
Sugar accounts for 60% of Belize’s agricultural export and is considered the backbone of the Belizean economy. The 2011/2012 crop season, which is scheduled to close tomorrow at 6:00pm, started off on the right track this year and progressed exceptionally. On the first week of crop this year the factory milled a total of 32,867 tons of cane producing 2,889 tons of sugar which was a good indication of how the year would turn out since last years beginning saw a milling of 30,071 tons of cane and 3,068 tons of sugar. During this season’s 22nd week, the factory had a record breaker as it milled 7,800 tons of cane. That was just over the 7,400 tons of cane per day which was the factories requirement. The latest figures for week 26 show that the factory milled 32,360 tons of cane producing 3,366 tons of sugar. By the 26th week of crop the factory had milled a total of one million 45 thousand six hundred and 17 tons of cane producing one hundred and twelve thousand four hundred and sixty four tons of sugar. We will have the final figures of the season in Monday’s newscast.

Tourism Centre Inaugurated In Orange Walk
The Orange Walk District is not commonly known as a hot spot for tourists but serious investments are being made to curb that scenario. Today the Belize Tourism Industry Association in conjunction with the Belize Tourism Board officially inaugurated the Tourism Information Centre here in Orange Walk accommodated by the Central Park. CTV3 News’ reporter Hipolito Novelo and Cameraman Kenrick Simpson were present for the cutting of the ribbon this morning and filed the following report. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting The Tourism Information Centre here in Orange Walk opened its doors about two weeks ago but it was officially inaugurated today by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). According to the Chairperson of BTIA Orange Walk Chapter, Osmany Salas, the centre is a long awaited achievement. Osamy Salas, Chairperson BTIA OW “It’s a big achievement for us but we consider it as just a beginning. Out visitors information centre will play multiple roles. It is a base of operations for the work of our chapter. It is a one stop shop for our visitor’s information for anybody like foreign visitors who want to know what Orange Walk and the north wants to offer. We eventually hope that it will be a place to display the works of our local artisans, crafts people and authors.”

Exhibit At BHOC Pays Tribute To Father Of The Nation
George Cadle Price was born on January 15th 1919 and passed away on September 19th of 2011. Price was the first prime minister of Belize and is considered to have been one of the principal architects of the country’s independence. He is today referred to as the father of the nation for his various contributions to Belize. In his honor, the Banquitas House of Culture has opened an exhibit to display his work and input into the countries development. Cindy Rivero, Assistant coordinator BHOC “We have a new exhibit up it is called George Price a Visionary leader we are having this exhibit which will run from now until June 15th and all the information that you are going to see is of our Leader George Price. We have pictures, newsletters, information and lots of things that is from him so it is a lot of information that the kids especially can learn a lot from.” The plan behind the initiative is to educate Belizeans about the history of the father of the nation, his work and achievements.

Belize Represented In 42nd OAS General Assembly
The forty-second regular session of the OAS General Assembly which got underway on Sunday June 3rd ended today in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This year the General Assembly was convened under the theme “Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas”. The theme of the OAS Assembly was a point of convergence of the vision shared by all the countries in the region regarding the need to adopt measures to improve the food security situation in the Americas. There was general agreement among all the delegations of the OAS member states concerning the importance of making a healthy diet more accessible to the most vulnerable sectors of Latin American and Caribbean society. During the assembly Belize was represented by a delegation led by Honorable Wilfred Elrington Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other members of the Belize delegation included His Excellency Alfredo Martinez, Senior Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, H.E. Nestor Mendez, Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS and Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, and Ms. Kendall Belisle, First Secretary at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. During the OAS General Assembly the Belize delegation met with the Secretary General of the OAS, H.E. José Miguel Insulza, the British Secretary for South America, and with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala.

PlusTV

Jasmine Lowe's home-going: A PlusNews special
Plusnews will take a moment to honour young Jasmine Lowe. She was a young girl full of promise but her life was sad...

Belmopan hospital in medical waste disposal dilemma
The disposal of medical waste by the Western Regional Hospital is being considered as environmentally unfriendly an...

Jasmine Lowe’s death leaves a void her community
The sting of Jasmine Lowe’s death is fresh on the minds of residents as the communities of San Ignacio and Santa El...

Kim Simplis Barrow on murder of Cayo teen: Preventative agencies in the works
The Following is excerpts of a statement issued by Mrs. Kim Simpliss Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children “...

Covert survey being conducted in Belmopan
The Central Statistical Office (CSO) normally spearheads population and market surveys for Government and public an...

Belmopan Baptist High School gets new classroom
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable trust was instrumental in the construction of a very much needed classroom uni...

Deadline for declarations of assets gets extension
As we told you yesterday, the deadline for submission of assets by all members of The House, Senate and members of ...

Prisoner escorted to court, calmly walks out before trial begins
He left officers holding the hot seat and even being investigated, after he manage to calmly walk out of the Belize...

Police Department receives enormous donation
The Central American Regional Security Initiative - CARSI - is a US Government initiative to invest 105 million US ...

The Guardian

San Ignacio Tourism Development Project nears Completion
From the middle of 2010, The Sustainable Tourism Program began to Artists rendition of completed project in San Ignacio advertise various contracts that will see tourism developments in 4 major tourism destinations. The program will improve tourism infrastructure on the Placencia Peninsula and village, San Ignacio; San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize City. After the tendering process was completed, work in all areas commenced and in San Ignacio, the work has moved apace and is nearing completion. Christy Mastry, project director of the Sustainable Tourism Development Project explained to The Guardian that the project is worth 2.7 million dollars and will see improvement on what was known as Coronation Park in downtown San Ignacio as well as the upgrading of Burns Avenue, which is also in the heart of the town. The project, says Mastry, will see development of 2 and 1/2 acres of land on which a tourist welcome center, two small business areas and four vending spaces will be constructed. The area will also have a large stage and amphitheater with seating spaces. Buses will also be able to unload passengers in the area and allocations are being made for bus operators to sell tickets as well. Parking areas are being constructed for private parking and for taxi operators. Restrooms and other amenities will also be put in place.

Diplomacy for Security - Addressing Tensions at The Western Border
On Friday June 1, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar along with Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado; Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan and General Manager of the Border Management Agency Gonzalo Rosado visited the offices of the Organization of American States at the Belize Guatemala Border in Benque. The team was greeted by the OAS Office Director Sergio Benitez.

Foreigners ruled out in GOB’s Search for a Police Commissioner
The Belize Police Department has ways to go before it regains the confidence of the Belizean people. However, they have made some strides. Recently, the department has shown a willingness to go after its own and, when they do, they do it hard. Perhaps, it has been a double edged sword. The public sees more officers being arrested and the perception of corruption within the department increases. Also, officers see their fellow “squaddy” being treated like a common criminal and their morale drops even lower. However, Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Defense, is not a man that leads based on perception or emotions. He has established a zero-tolerance policy on corruption within the force and the leaders of the department have governed by that policy.

Hon. Manuel Herredia to Break Ground on San Pedro Boardwalk
On Thursday, June 14, Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr, Minister of Tourism and Culture, will officially break ground on the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal. The project was opposed by a few property owners and users of the area upon introduction. However, subsequent consultations led to an all-clear for the project, which includes a waterfront development to be constructed along the 66 feet of public frontage stretching from its intersection with Caribeña Street southwards towards Buccaneer Street. It also includes the reclamation and rehabilitation of the football field and the introduction of a new International Water Taxi Terminal on the Lagoon. Since a full Environmental Impact Assessment has been completed, there should be no more delays to the project. Construction will take sixteen months to complete. The project will cost a little more than $5.5 million dollars and it falls under the Sustainable Tourism Program ,which is funded by the Government of Belize through a loan for US$13.322 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Following the Construction Launch and Ground Breaking Ceremony, members of the media will accompany Minister Heredia on a FAM tour of the Bacalar Chico Site, where he will conduct a tour of the visitor center and the existing structures.

$1,000 Cash Prize for Best September Celebrations Theme
The National Celebrations Commission has started its search for a theme for the 2012 September Celebrations. The Commission is inviting all Belizeans living at home and abroad to submit their ideas for the theme of the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the 31st Anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Diane Haylock, President of the National Institute of Culture and History and Chair of the Celebrations Commission, said that the theme for the September Celebrations should build hope and galvanize Belizeans to take on the challenges that face us in the 21st Century. Applicants must also keep in mind that 2012 is the year of the Mayas and they are a significant part of our past, present and future as a nation. In a release, the Commission stated, “The 21st September is recognized as the International Day of Peace. As a result, the theme may also include reflections capturing the contributions of Belize’s many cultural groups to the national development as well as ideas about peace and aspirations for our country.” The winner of the chosen theme receives a cash prize of $1,000. The theme should not be more than ten words long. Last year’s theme was “Honoring our History, Celebrating our Culture, Uniting for Peace.” Submissions can be emailed to the Commission at septembercelebrationsbze@yahoo.com . The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 15.

New Resource Center for Sandhill Village
The Sandhill Community Centre will be renovated and converted into a resource centre (L-r) Hon. Edmond Castro, Ms. Vanencia Gongora, Sandhill Village Council’s Chairlady and SIF’s Daniel Cano, break ground for the new Sandhill Recouce Centre Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North and Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, broke ground on the Sandhill Resource Center Project on Sunday, June 3. Over 400 students in Sandhill Village will soon be able to enjoy the latest computer technology and Internet service to do their school work in a pleasant environment. The initiative is part of a government project that aims to rehabilitate the village’s community centre into a fully equipped resource centre that will serve the students, who currently have to go as far as Belize City to do their research due to the lack of computer and internet resources in the village.

Queen Elizabeth Humbled by Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Ceremony in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize, hosted a grand ceremony in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee on Monday, June 4. The ceremony followed the building and lighting of a beacon by the Scout Association of Belize. Many made their way out to the Governor General’s Field in Belmopan to take part in the extremely special occasion. Cecilia Neal Flowers, the Queens Diamond Jubilee Beacon Scouts Coordinator, said, “With the building and lighting of the beacon, Belize joins a community of countries across the UK and the globe that are commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

Profiling Politicians
It was quite the spectacle as the leader of the opposition was seen profiling as the government of Belize broke ground in Dangriga for the start of work on the Belize Municipal Development Project in that municipality which will see the upgrading of the market. He should have been ashamed to show his face there after all he had absolutely nothing to do with the project. The effort was one which was solely done by the government of Belize. In fact, the financing comes from a loan from the World Bank. This kind of lending is one that the PUP has absolutely no clue on how to access. They are known to be squanderers and prefer to make loans from private financial institutions at murderous interest rates. For Fonseca to show himself in Dangriga is a crying shame. If it were left to him and the People's United Party, projects like the BMDP would never get off the ground. Their tenure in office has proven that time and time again. They have never cared for the development of the country. It is a great thing however, the UDP does care and is in fact focusing all the government's energies at improving conditions for all Belizeans. The renovation and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga is one such example. This project will see 1.4 million dollars invested in that municipality and in the end will benefit both the people who use the facilities to make their livelihood and those who visit the facilities to purchase produce. A little advice for Francis, stop profiling on projects you had nothing to do with.

Belize at the 42nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Belize is being represented at the 42nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) being held in Cochabamba, Bolivia by a delegation led by the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize. The 42nd Session, which got underway on Sunday, June 3, ends today, June 5, 2012. It was convened under the theme “Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas.” During the inaugural session on Sunday, President Evo Morales of Bolivia proposed a profound analysis and restructuring of the OAS to make it more responsive to the realities of today and to the demands of its member states. In the framework of the OAS General Assembly, the Belize delegation also met with the Secretary General of the OAS, H.E. José Miguel Insulza, the British Secretary for South America, and with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, among others.

“Education is Everyone’s business”, Faber tells Orange Walkenos
On May 28, the Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and sports met in Orange Walk Town with education stakeholders including managers, principals, teachers and students at the Gala Lounge. The meeting began at 6:00 p.m., sharp. According to Minister Faber, the purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of the major accomplishments the Ministry has had over the past four years and also to inform what it plans on achieving over the upcoming four years. At the very beginning of the meeting, Faber mentioned that education is “everyone’s business” and reiterated the statement throughout the meeting. The implementation of the Teacher’s Service Commission, the Education and Training Act 2010, the removal of corporal punishment and the implementation of the 300-dollar student subsidy were among some of the major accomplishments achieved by the Ministry.

Cops and Soldier charged for Credit Union Robbery
Three law enforcement officers have been arrested and charged following a robbery at the Stann Creek Branch of the Toledo Teacher's Credit Union Branch in Bella Vista Village. The robbery occurred on Monday June 4th and a day later police formally arrested and charged Police constable #510 Oswald Young, 29 years old of Unitedville Village, Cayo District; Police Constable Sachario Cuz, 26 years old of San Marcos Village, Toledo District and Belize Defence Force Corporal, Romel Elijio, 31 years old of Sunflower Street in Belize City. Police have also arrested 26 year old Bernard “Hijo” Linarez, a player on the National football Team, and forty-two year old taxi operator, Nelson Bardalez both of Independence village. On Monday, June 4th, three men armed with high powered rifles entered the credit union demanding money. Two of the men wore masks while the third was unmasked. The men proceeded to enter the credit union's vault and placed over 34 thousand dollars into a green military bag. The robbers also took two nine millimeter pistols along with 15 live rounds after which the men fled in the credit union's 2008 Toyota Hilux pickup truck. In conducting their investigations police were in the Savannah Road area in Independence village where they intercepted an Isuzu Trooper with taxi license plates being driven by Nelson Bardalez. Police conducted a search on the vehicle which was heading towards the Southern Highway. In the vehicle, police found the two police officers and the soldier as well as a green military bag containing 34,064 dollars in U.S. and Belize currency. Police later recovered the Hilux pickup truck on a feeder road off the Savannah Road and Southern Highway intersection.

Belize City Female All Star Softball Games set for June 10
The Belize City Softball Association is pleased to inform the public and all softball fans that the 2012 All Stars games will be played on Sunday June 10, 2012, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 10:00 am. The day will involve two games played between the players selected, a softball throwing contest, a Home Run Derby and some activities for the fans. The highlight of the day will be the presentation of trophies for the period 2008-2011.

“June too soon, July standby, August you must, September remember, October all over”
Professor Gray’s June 1, 2012 revised hurricane forecast calls for 13 named storms, three more than his April 4, 2012 forecast However, he maintains that the 2012 season will be near normal. He increased the number of hurricanes from 4 to 5, yet he maintains that only 2 will become major hurricanes. Professor Gray's revised forecast includes the two pre-June storms Alberto and Beryl and reminds us that pre-June activity has little bearing on the remainder of the hurricane season. The 1887 and 1908 hurricane seasons are the only two on record with two pre-June storm formations, the former being very active and the latter normal. Professor Gray forecasts landfall probabilities for the United States. He also forecasts a 39% chance of at least 1 major hurricane (CAT 3, 4, or 5) tracking through the Caribbean. Note the forecast is for at least one but it can be several. This does not help us here in Belize therefore, we must be vigilant. We can use the history to help us prepare for, God forbid, a storm eventuality.

National Festival of Arts Opens in Belize City
Young artists from across the country were ready to parade through the streets of Belize City on Tuesday, May 29, to signal the opening of the National Festival of Arts. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and the parade was canceled. However, that did not dampen the spirit of showmanship in those talented youths. They turned the House of Culture compound into a carnival arena. The National Festival of Arts is now an annual showcase that features the pre, primary and secondary school performers of the year from the district festivals. There are two categories of performers. The junior category includes artists between the ages of five and thirteen years old; while the senior category includes those that are fourteen years of age and older. The senior category is also opened to artists not enrolled in school. The junior performers took the stage at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30. They had the privilege of being the first to perform on the renovated stage inside the Bliss. Their songs, dances and recitals were extremely well-performed. The seniors will perform at 6 p.m. on Friday night. Entrance for children is $2 and for adults it is $5.

Belize to Participate in Carbon Expo 2012
The Government of Belize led by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in collaboration with BELTRAIDE will be participating in Carbon Expo 2012, which will take place in Cologne, Germany from the 30th May to 1st June. The Carbon Expo 2012 is a leading international trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments, and clean technologies. This event will bring together project developers, service providers, buyers and sellers of carbon credits, and other public and private stakeholders. The Carbon Expo presents Belize with an opportunity to showcase Belize as an attractive destination for Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) projects and the voluntary carbon market. In addition to showcasing Belize, Carbon Expo 2012 provides the country with the opportunity to attract carbon finance to develop climate-friendly projects and to encourage the transfer of cutting edge technologies and know-how.

Veteran Lighting Technician murdered
On Friday June 1, the body of veteran lighting technician, Rudy Cruz, was found inside his home located at #21 Corner Allan Pitts Crescent and Nurse White Street. Cruz's body was found with multiple stab wounds most of them to the abdomen. Cruz was found after a fellow technician went looking for him as they were to go out on a job at around 6:45a.m. The body was found inside the home on the bed. During their investigation, police found that there was no forced entry into the house and there were no signs of a struggle or even robbery. He was apparently stabbed to death as he slept in his bed. Cruz was the country's foremost theater lighting technician having had extensive training in the field. He was the owner of Belize Institute for Theater Technology (BITT).

Hugh Thomas and 17-Year-Old charged for Burglary
19-year-old Hugh Thomas, 19-year-old Monica Ramclam and two 17-year-olds appeared before Magistrate Hattie Mae Stuart on Tuesday, June 5, to answer to charges relating to the burglary of Genoveva Noble’s home. In a report to police, Noble explained that two men burglarized her home on Sunday night, June 3, and stole her keys and other items. Those same men returned around 4 a.m. on Monday morning and held up a 12-year-old at gunpoint while they proceeded to rob the place. Noble was sleeping when she heard the noise. When she checked what was going on, she saw the men stealing her television set, two bicycles, two cellular phones and a fan among other items. Based on a description of the men, police visited a house at #98 East Canal and conducted a search and found all the stolen items except the bicycles. The bicycles were found in an alley beside the house. Everyone inside the house at the time was arrested. Hugh Thomas and a 17-year-old male were charged with burglary. The duo was additionally charged with Monica Ramclam and a 17-year-old female for handling stolen goods. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was granted to the two females at $5,000 each. However, Thomas and the 17-year-old male were not as fortunate. They were remanded to the Hattieville Prison until their next court appearance on July 5.

13-year-old killed in Cayo
At around 2 p.m. on Monday June 4th, 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe left her home located at #9 High Street in San Ignacio to get a taxi to go to Mara's Beauty Salon near the Bullet Tree Road thather mother owns. She was not seen since. It was not until Wednesday June 6th at 12:30 p.m., that police in San Ignacio were alerted to the decomposing body of a gir,l which was found a mile and a half on the Cristo Rey Road. An employee of a nearby farm made the discovery as he was making his way to work on Wednesday afternoon. The body has since been identified as that of Jasmine Lowe. Police are now awaiting the results of a post mortem to determine her cause of death but due to the state of decomposition, they believe she was killed on the day she had gone missing.

Darrington Lauriano charged for Gunpoint Robbery
25-year-old Darrington Lauriano appeared in the Magistrates Court on Wednesday, June 6, to face robbery charges. In a report to police, businessman Dorian Usher and Immigration Officer Lindsay Wade said that on Friday, June 1, they were at a tire repair shop on Raccoon Street when two men, rode into the shop on separate bicycles. One of the men said, “Don’t move. Take off all your jewelry.” One of the men was armed with a handgun, which he pointed at the victims. Fearing for their lives, the men handed over their belongings. Usher was robbed of a gold bracelet valued $600; a gold chain and eagle medal valued $2,000, a gold ring with diamond stone valued $1,000, a diamond ring valued $900 and $900 cash. Wade was robbed of an HTC brand cellular phone valued $680, a green cellular phone valued $390, a Samsung cellular phone valued $125 and a white gold chain and medal valued $2,800. Based on their investigation, police arrested Lauriano and charged him with two counts of robbery. Lauriano was unrepresented in court and pled not guilty to the charges. Bail was denied and Lauriano will be remanded at the Hattieville Prison until his next court appearance on July 9.

Tyrone Meighan remanded for Aggravated Assault
On Tuesday, June 5, 18-year-old Tyrone Meighan appeared in the Magistrates Court before Magistrate Hattie Mae Stuart to answer to a charge of aggravated assault upon 59-year-old Security Guard, Henry Lammey. Lammey reported to police that in the early hours of Saturday, June 2, Meighan was walking through the AES compound where he was on duty. According to Lammey, Meighan pulled out a firearm and opened fire at him and his two watch dogs. Fortunately, he missed. Lammey immediately called the police for assistance. Meighan was later picked up at his Banak Street home where he lives with his mother. Meighan was unrepresented in court. He was additionally charged with discharging a firearm in public and pled not guilty to both charges. Due to the nature of the offense, bail could not be granted. He is remanded at the Hattieville Prison until his next court appearance on July 5.

Junior Girls’ All-Star Games to play
The Belize Softball Federation has announced that the 2012 Junior Girls’ All-Star Games will be played on Saturday June 23, commencing at 9:30 am at Rogers Stadium. The games which will utilize the “Double Elimination Format” will feature junior girls born between August 1, 1992 – December 31, 1999 from the Belize City, Belize Rural, Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek Associations. The aim is to select the 18 best players to represent Belize at the VII Central American Junior Girls’ Championship scheduled for Estelli, Nicaragua from July 28-30, 2012.

Tuff “e” Nuff and CYDP leads 2012 Inter-office Basketball Competition
The Interoffice Basketball League competition continued on Sunday June 3, 2012, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belize Telemedia Ltd. edged the Police by the score of 52-50. The top scorers for BTL were Byron Flowers with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, and Ashley Hemsley and Hector Locke with 9 points each. For the Police, the top scorers were Davis Guzman with 12 points, and 12 rebounds, and Maurice Martinez with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. In game two, CYDP picked up its third win of the competition when it defeated Alamilla’s/Ministry of Education by the score of 54-45. The top scorers for CYDP were Marcel Orosco with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists and Jermaine Tillett with 9 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Alamilla’s/Ministry of Education were Greg Rudon with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists, and Kurt Burgess with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Girls’ and St. Martin De Porres Boys are Belize City Primary Schools Champions
The 2011-2012 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Championship came to an end on Friday June 1, 2012, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene ran all over first time entrant Unity Presbyterian School to up end it by the score of 11-4. The winning pitcher was D’Andra Mc Fadzean and the losing pitcher was Ashonti Carr. In the boys’ game, St. Martin De Porres edged Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 8-7. The winning pitcher was Derrick Menzies and the losing pitcher was Brian Pavon.

Ruperto Vicente on four of Football Districts
The President of the Football Federation of Belize has started a nationwide tour of all football districts. The aim of the tour is to meet with the chairmen and executive of the associations in order to listen to their concerns and recommendation as it relates to football. The president’s tour commenced on Saturday June 2, 2012, in Orange Walk with his first stop being the Acuario Sports Bar where he met with Rafael Avila, Chairman of the Orange Walk Football Association and his executive. After the meeting with the OWFA Executive, the president held another meeting with team owners and representatives from Orange Walk. The second leg of the tour took the president to the Corozal District where he met with the Chairman, Frank Sutherland and executive members of the Corozal Football Association, and thereafter with the team owners and representatives of the Corozal Football teams. The tour continues on June 5th in San Ignacio, 7th in Belmopan, 12th in Belize City, 22nd in Stann Creek and 23rd in Punta Gorda.

Belize City Female All-Star Softball Games set for June 10
The Belize City Softball Association informs the public and all softball fans that the 2012 All-Star games will be played on Sunday June 10, 2012, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 10:00 am. The day will involve two games played between the players selected, a softball throwing contest, a Home Run Derby and some activities for the fans. The highlight of the day will be the presentation of trophies for the period 2008-2011.

Editorial: The Game of Leapfrog
Most of us are familiar with the children’s game of leapfrog, which involves one child leaping over the bent back of another. The basic idea is that the leaper can spring to a great height by pushing down on the collaborator’s back. This analogy has been used to explain how developing countries can leapfrog over the backs of more developed countries to go straight to the newest technologies without having to suffer through the older ones. The best example of this is the way that Africa leapfrogged over land line telephony and sprang straight into the digital age by leading the way in the use of cell phone technology for banking, money transfer and Internet access. It was encouraged to do this precisely because of the inefficiencies and lack of development of its banking and telephony sectors where it had the lowest penetration of land line connections of any region in the world. Belize has been practicing in the junior leapfrog leagues but since our banking and telephony sectors are relatively developed, there is less compulsion to leap higher in this area. However, one sector that might benefit from leapfrogging is education. Consider that the Belizean educational system has many structural problems such as a shortage of trained and effective teachers, the prohibitive cost and short life span of text books, overcrowded classrooms and much more. These are not problems that can be easily or quickly solved but nor are they particular to Belize. In many developed countries, there are significant minorities who do not feel that their educational system works and have turned to the philosophy of home schooling. To make this possible, they have developed a new technology that includes detailed courses that conform to syllabuses, opportunities for online tutoring and selected on-line lessons given by expert teachers. Studies show that home-schooled children do as well or better on standardized tests than their traditionally schooled colleagues; they are more positive about learning and more likely to go on to college even after allowing for other factors.

Another Company drills for Oil in Belize
In January of this year Perenco, an Anglo-French-owned petroleum exploration company, which is based in Guatemalan won the bid to explore for petroleum in a block that was formally held by BNE. The company received the exploration license because of its technical expertise and financial qualifications to do exploratory work in the block. Perenco previously held an exploration license for an area called Block-A and with the additional exploratory block, Perenco now holds an area of 4,018 square kilometers. The added area is some 769 square kilometers.

Diplomacy for Security - Addressing Tensions at The Western Border
On Friday June 1, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar along with Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado; Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan and General Manager of the Border Management Agency Gonzalo Rosado visited the offices of the Organization of American States at the Belize Guatemala Border in Benque. The team was greeted by the OAS Office Director Sergio Benitez. The team was prompted to make the call since there has been escalating tensions at the Belize-Guatemala border in Benque. On May 25th, there was a flare up at the border as Belize customs officers impounded a 2008 Mitsubishi L-200 Sportero pickup truck that is presumed to have been stolen and operatives tried to take it across to Guatemala through the border. That led to a confrontation between police officers and those attempting to take the vehicle over. This type of scenario has been one that law enforcement personnel have had to contend with on a regular basis as Guatemalans gather on the Belizean side of the border for various reasons.

New Fleet of Vehicles for Police Department
The Belize Police Department received a new fleet of vehicles from the United States Embassy on Wednesday, June 6. The department received 17 vehicles, four highly trained dogs and additional equipment through the United States’ Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). CARSI is a multi-million dollar effort by the U.S. State Department to combat the effects of organized crime and strengthen the rule of law in Central America. According to the United States Embassy, CARSI has committed approximately $16 million to law enforcement personnel in Belize over the past year alone. This most recent donation will improve the department’s patrol efficiency and responsiveness. Ten of the vehicles are Ford Ranger pickup trucks. Those will be used in the recently re-zoned Belize City. Elodio Aragon Jr., Assistant Commissioner of Police and Officer Commanding Eastern Division, explained that the Belize Police Department had divided Belize City into six police zones. A patrol crew would cover the entire stretch of one of those six zones. However, the recent increase in criminal activities has proven that the police needs to strengthen their presence on the streets and improve on their ability to respond to reports of crime. Because of that, the department has further divided the six zones into eleven police zones. There will be one patrol vehicle per each zone; making it easier to cover the areas. On Wednesday, Aragon told the Guardian, “We will swarm the hot spots of the city.” Additional vehicles alone will not allow the department to maintain the kind of presence needed to “swarm the hot spots”. There will also be a change in the work schedule of police officers. Officers will serve twelve hour shifts instead of the eight hour shifts that are being served now.

Flooding in Rural North
Flood waters in the Belize Rural North area spanning from about mile 40 on the Northern Highway to Sandhill Village and into Maskall Village on the Old Northern Highway is severely affecting residents living in that area. The waters are slowly beginning to recede but not before leaving an extraordinary amount of damage in its wake. The Guardian visited the area on Tuesday June 6th and found farmers and residents trying to cope with the devastation of the flood waters. Ramiro Chi is a farmer, who rears chickens and pigs at his farm at mile 36 on the Northern Highway. When we found him, he was wading through knee-high water assessing the damage that his farm sustained. According to Chi, he has lost over 50 layer hens, which, on a weekly basis, would provide him with hundreds of eggs. The flood waters however have killed much of his coop and there is no moving forward yet as the waters remain on his farm. Chi says he also lost a pig while others were under water for the better part of Sunday night as the rains fell in the area. Chi says that he has not yet done an assessment of the damage he sustained but a rough estimate he provided is somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars in damages. The story is similar for Magdaleno Jacobo, who also keeps a farm

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Press Release from the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee
Pageant fever is high on Caye Caulker right now, and the Pageant committee is in full swing with their preparations for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012. Five daring and vivacious young ladies are vying for the title this year and are already in training for what promises to be one of the best pageants yet. The Miss Lobster Fest pageant committee is once again looking forward in working with local national designers. Starting off the show, the ladies will be wearing dresses made by Mr. Emil Alvarez of Emil Alvarez House of Couture, followed by Mr. Gabriel Garcia’s Costume designs. The outfit designs and concepts themselves are going to be setting the stage ablaze – just as well as the girls that are going to be wearing them.

The Reporter

‘Baby’ the abused dog saved by group of animal lovers
Every day man’s “best friends” are beaten, neglected, or forced to struggle for survival in Belize. Left in unsanitary conditions with no food or water, they have little hope of surviving as productive pets. But a group of friends have taken on the role of defenders and plan to rescue abused pets, nurse them back to health and find adoptive homes for them in the future. Michelle Rudon, the owner of Genesis Arts, is the spokesperson of the newly formed group. According to her, the number of abused pets is on the rise and those involved in the rehabilitation project are simply concerned Belizeans who love animals and want to see them treated in a humane manner.

Upgrades for the Belize Police Department
The United States Embassy, through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), handed over more than US$1 million worth of equipment to the Belize Police Department during a short ceremony at the Roger’s Stadium on Wednesday, June 6. Among the things received were 17 vehicles, 10 of which will be used for patrol purposes; new bullet-proof vests; computers; minibuses for prisoner transport and community policing initiatives; and even a new vehicle for the scenes of crime unit which has been equipped with over $90,000 of equipment.

San Pedro Airstrip gets $3.7 million upgrade
A $3.7 million project to upgrade the San Pedro Airstrip, undertaken in partnership with Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA), is nearing completion, Belize Airports Authority General Manager Kenworth Tillett told The Reporter on Monday, June 4.

Sand Hill to get resource centre and library
Some 400 students in Sand Hill Village, will soon be able to use the latest computer technology and Internet services to do their schoolwork, because their village community centre is about to be transformed into a fully equipped resource centre and library. The Social Investment Fund will oversee the project, which the Government of Belize officially launched on Sunday afternoon, June 3.

Duty exemption policies for vehicles
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) administers an Auto Policy under the Fiscal Incentives Program of the Government of Belize, which believes it is important to establish and maintain high standards and quality service in the auto industry. Therefore, BELTRAIDE, with extensive consultation with the auto rental industry and key government stakeholders and at the urging of the Government of Belize, has developed an Auto Policy that provides clearly outlined definitions of vehicles under which concession holders may apply.

Why Expand The BPO Industry in Belize?
Have you ever needed customer service and had to call a 0-800 number? Chances are that instead of speaking to someone in America or Belize, you are probably talking to someone in India, Philippines, Costa Rica, or even in Honduras or Guatemala. How has this been made possible? Thanks to globalization many businesses worldwide have been able to outsource certain aspects of their business functions or activities, to countries where the tasks can be done more efficiently, and cheaper. This outsourcing is commonly known to us as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and it can be categorized into either back office outsourcing, which includes human resources, accounting, pay and bill, or front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as marketing or technical support. In Belize, we are much more familiar with the front office outsourcing, which are all functions executed by local companies such as Transparent BPO, Invictus, Belize BPO, InfoTel, and Ready Call.

Caught with the stolen loot, two cops and a BDF soldier held for CU robbery
Independence Police have detained two police officers, a Belize Defense Force corporal and a taxi driver from the village in connection with a brazen daylight robbery of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union (TTCU) between 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 Monday morning, June 4.

Technician Rudy Cruz found dead at home
Belize City Police have made little progress in their investigation of the murder of the country’s premier theatre lighting and sound technician, Rudy Noel Cruz, 35, who was found stabbed to death in his home last Friday night, June 1. An early morning visitor arrived to find the door open to Cruz’s home at #21 Allan Pitts Crescent, and Cruz dead on his bed, with multiple stab wounds to his abdomen, chest, rib cage, face and hands. Police reported that Cruz was lying in the middle of his bed. There was no reported sign of forced entry to the house, suggesting that Cruz knew his attacker. Cruz was last seen alive at the Princess Hotel and Casino and reportedly arrived home around 1:00 Friday morning. The National Institute of History and Culture (NICH) has characterized Cruz’s death as “a great loss to the arts in Belize.” He had worked for N.I.C.H. until he formed his own company in 2005, the Belize Institute for Theatrical Technology (B.I.T.T.). Cruz lived alone and was to marry his fiancé, Adelita Samira, on November 17 this year. He is survived by Adelita; his mother Maria Isabel Calderon; father, Ignacio Cruz Santamaria; sisters Araceli Acosta Cruz and Sandra Cruz; brothers Mark Anthony Cruz; Jeffrey Lashley, Jr., and Javier Cruz II.

Girl Scout murdered!
The decomposed body of Jasmine Lowe, a 13-year-old Girl Scout from Santa Elena, Cayo District, was discovered about four miles from San Ignacio Town, shortly after midday on Wednesday, June 6, two and a half days after she went missing. Some farm workers found Lowe’s body in Cristo Rey Village, about a mile outside of Santa Elena Town. Police forensic pathologist, Dr. Mario Estrada Bran, finished his autopsy of the body around 6:00 Wednesday evening but was unable to determine the exact cause of death due to the body’s advanced state of decomposition. Read More

BBF launches National 3×3 Basketball Tour
The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) is partnering with Bowen & Bowen Ltd, bottlers of Sprite soft drink and Belikin Beer, to launch the first national 3×3 men’s basketball tournament, with senior and under-18 categories. Belikin Brewery will sponsor the senior division, while Sprite will sponsor the U-18 category, with a total budget of $35,000 for the tournament, to cover the cost of officiating, transportation, and equipment. Read More

Escapee recaptured
David Flowers aka David Dougal, 22, an accused burglar, who was on remand at the Belize Central Prison, escaped from inside the Chief Magistrate’s courtroom on Thursday morning, June 7. But his freedom was short-lived. He was recaptured within two hours as he climbed off a bus on the Northern Highway, while attempting to make his way to Ladyville. Policemen took him back to court the same afternoon, where the magistrate promptly sentenced him to six months in jail. The Chief Executive Officer of the Kolbe-managed Belize Central Prison, Earl Jones, confirmed that the remanded prisoner was handed over to the police, because he had a court appearance for the beginning of his trial for burglary. Left briefly alone in the courtroom while the police prosecutor went to check on something, Flowers got up and walked calmly out of the courtroom and out of the building. Read More

Sugar company jumped the gun – DOE says
Green Tropic sugar company promised to bring as many as 700 jobs to the Cayo district, when they acquired 7,000 acres of land near More Tomorrow to plant sugar cane and build a sugar factory with plans to start grinding cane in three years time. But they hit a snag when they began to dig a massive irrigation canal to bring water from the Belize River to the field they plan to cultivate with sugar cane.

Pay your fine or do time
Ninety days after the double election of March 7th, many of the elected officials still have not complied with the Prevention of Corruption Act, which requires that they file a disclosure of their assets with the Integrity Commission. This requirement includes all city councilors, town councilors, the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the members of the House of Representatives. Belizean businessman Robert Lopez, Chairman of the Vision Inspired by the People political party, raised this issue in a letter to the media on Thursday, June 7th. When The Reporter checked with the Integrity Commission in Belmopan, a Miss Estellita Chan answered the phone and said she had waited until she received a list of all the elected officials from the Elections and Boundaries Commission, but that she had then duly sent out letters to each newly elected or re-elected official informing them that they were required by law to file a list of their financial assets with the Commission.

St Martin De Porres boys win Belize City softball championship
The undefeated boys of St Martin De Porres RC School won the championship finals of the Belize City primary schools softball competition: 8-7 over the hitherto undefeated boys of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene school at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday, June 1. The St Martin De Porres boys led 4-2 when Glen Arzu, Clency Lopez, Mark August and Aaron Martinez scored four runs in the top of the first inning, while only Cory Anderson and pitcher Brian Pavon scored for Buttonwood in the bottom of the first. Read More

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene girls win Belize City softball championship
The girls of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School won 11-5 over the Unity Presbyterian School girls in the championship finals of the Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday, June 1. Buttonwood girls outlasted the Unity Presbyterian School girls 11-5. Unity’s pitcher, Ashanti Carr scored a run off D’Andra McFadzean’s pitching in the top of the first inning, but the Buttonwood girls soon overtook Unity 4-1 when Almira Augustine, Ishelle and Kiara Magandi and Monique Mortis scored four runs in the bottom of the first. McFadzean allowed the Unity girls no runs in the top of the second, while Almira, Kayla Flowers and Shenelle Magandi extended the ir lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the second.

Blogs


I am really getting excited for Lobsterfest, every year it keeps getting better. A bunch of us have already started making plans to meet up at the opening party at El Divino – if you want to get in on the fun please leave comment and I will keep you in the loop. In addition to my updates, you can keep checking the official San Pedro Lobsterfest website for new information as well as the San Pedro Lobster Festival facebook page.

Christmas Peppers
In the tropics our Christmas Trees vary from the traditional Pine tree to the palm tree and also the ornamental pepper plant. The most colorful of the three is without a doubt the capsicum. The Capsicum annuum is commonly known as the Christmas Tree Pepper and despite its name “annuum”, which means annual, it is not an annual. This variety of pepper originated in northwestern Brazil near Colombia and though this particular species is edible, it is commonly bred as an ornamental plant since its different colored fruits resemble the bulbs on a Christmas tree. The fruits are acid, bitter, thermogenic, digestive, carminative, laxative, stimulant antipyretic, and cardio tonic. They are useful in gout, arthritis, hoarseness, anorexia, flatulence, cough, cardiac debility, malarial and intermittent fevers, cholera, indolent ulcers and more.

Children want to learn about the environment
I am Hazel; I would very much like to be an “Eco-Kid” because of my love for all animals, plants and things of nature. The responsibilities of an Eco-Kid involve the study of the habitats of animals and to help in the protection of homes of wild animals. As an Eco-Kid I will have the opportunity of working closely with private and public agencies such as The Lodge at Chaa Creek in the application of the principles and rules which guide us in living in peace and harmony with the earth and all its inhabitants. An Eco-Kid is not who goes around kicking down anthills or pulling birds’ nests out of trees, but one who protects all living creatures. Tourists destinations such as “The Lodge at Chaa Creek” teaches its clients (such as tourists and others) to protect the environment and its inhabitants so that all of us and those who follow, can enjoy nature. I will also strive to become a good ambassador and role model for other young people to follow in having man and nature live in harmony with each other. When we do not work in harmony with nature, all things are thrown out of balance. Every day we see things that go wrong because man interfered with the balance in nature. Too much cold or too much heat is only two examples of man’s actions against nature. We must live in harmony with the earth if we want to avoid self destruction.

Crocodile Lake Photo Shoot and ACES
Well if you read my posts a few weeks ago about "Celebrities in Belize", you know that I was referring to our three Siberian Huskies that came with us to live in San Pedro, Belize. They get lots of attention and their photos are taken on a daily basis. So a young pretty model named Christine who also lives here on the island asked if she could do a photo shoot and have our dogs in it and of course we said yes. Christine told us she would call us and let us know where to meet. A week later Christine called and told us to meet her at Victoria House about 5:00pm, a resort south on the island and we would go from there to where the photo shoot would be. At 5:00pm Christine and her friend Becky picked us up at Victoria House and we headed further south to Crocodile Lake. Crocodile Lake is full of crocodiles and we spotted one immediately upon our arrival. Feeding crocodiles use to be a form of entertainment for tourist in Belize. Locals would slap the water with a whole frozen raw chicken to get the crocodiles attention. If the crocs heard the noise they would come running. Then the tourist would sit on the crocodile and have their picture made. But according to Cherie Rose with ACES (American Crocodile Eduction Sanctuary) that is why these crocs became dangerous because they began to associate humans with food. ACES (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Belize's critical wetland habitats and protected species, specifically Crocodilians, through scientific research and education in order to preserve Belize's wildlife for future generations. ACES works with the Belize Forest Department and it is now against the law to feed crocodiles. ACES also does CSI Tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday where they will take you through the mangrove islands at sunset for crocodile spotting in their natural habitat. I can't wait to go out on this tour. Check out these pictures from a recent ACES CSI Tour with SanPedroScoop.

International Sources

Intercoastal and riverine monitoring system tested in Belize
An intercoastal and riverine monitoring system able to differentiate between illicit trafficking and legal commerce transiting waterways that constitute major supply routes in much of the region. This system was tested last fall in Belize, with participation from the U.S. Navy, Colombian navy, Guatemalan foreign ministry and Mexican special forces.

Photo of HUGE snake
Yikes!

Girls who play in dirt grow up healthier according to researcher
Playing house, collecting Barbie dolls, and wearing dresses are common acts of raising a young girl in our society. But according to a recent study, it could be detrimental to their health. Sharyn Clough, a researcher at Oregon State University, has discovered that women who have higher rates of allergies, and other autoimmune disorders are a result of being too clean. In other words, parents who let their children run amok in dirt or mud tend to have healthier kids. "Look, if you're okay having your little boy play in the dirt, you should be okay having your little girl play out in the dirt as well," Clough explained to King 5. Women infected with the auto-immune disease Lupus outnumber their male counterparts 9-to-1. While there isn't a concise explanation as to why the disease occurs more frequently in women, the expectation for young girls to stay cleaner than boys may provide a reason. "Little boys are more often than little girls encouraged to play in the dirt. Little girls are dressed in clothing that's not supposed to get dirty," added Clough.

Belize PM says 'super bond' talks going well
(Reuters) - Initial talks about restructuring Belize's $550 million 'super bond' are going well and the country will finalize its budget plans in the next two weeks, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Thursday. The small Central American nation of roughly 313,000 people hopes to restructure the bond before an interest payment of $23.5 million is due in August, after the interest rate stepped up to 8.5 percent this year. The bond's yield trades at 1,689 basis points over U.S. Treasuries, well above levels for nations such as Pakistan or Venezuela, according to Reuters data.

In 40 Years We Could Face an Ocean Without Fish
Overfishing is pushing marine life to the brink of collapse. In fact, in 40 years we could face an ocean without fish, Newsweek said last month. For perspective, in 1950, the total catch of fish in the ocean was at 18.5 million metric tons. Just half a century later that number spiked to 73.5 million metric tons, an increase of nearly 400 percent. Since then, as many as 90 percent of the ocean's large fish have been fished out, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. A mind-boggling 90 species of fish have been dangerously depleted off the shores of the U.S. alone. The rapid depletion of our global fish supply and permanent damage to the ecosystem is documented in Rupert Murray's 2009 film, "The End of the Line." In honor of World Oceans Day tomorrow, we've pulled out the highlights. Click here to see how we killed all the fish...

Lost City Found in Honduras With Lasers
The Belize archaeology work and the new Honduras findings both used the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping's LiDAR system. There was one major difference between the two projects, however. At the Belize site, researchers thought it was likely there would be new ruins there. They used the LiDAR to scan regions surrounding structures they had already uncovered. On the other hand, in the new study in Honduras, researchers were running on just a hunch -- and plenty of private funding.

It's lobster time in Belize!
It’s no secret that Belize has some of the most sought after lobster in the world, and this June, as Belize’s Lobster Festival season kicks off, lobster lovers will find their favorite crustacean served just about any way they like. The lobster feasting will take place in San Pedro starting June 15 – 24. The seventh annual San Pedro Lobster Festival is the first of three major events taking place during the summer. The San Pedro Lobster Festival will be a ten-day, blissful, lobster-themed festival of activities, which is being sponsored/hosted by different restaurants and hotels. The three-day 15th Annual Placencia Lobster Festival begins June 22 - 24. Lobster dishes will include barbecued lobster, lobster kebobs, stew lobster, lobster pies, lobster fritters, lobster ceviche, lobster fajitas and lobster pizza and will be among the many amazing lobster dishes available. Besides the consumption aspect of the festival, entertainment will be by Taprick and Conceego along with the New Rebels sound, and Kenny Gladden and the New Creations. All of the lobster festivals are geared toward captivating and intriguing the senses. With a variety of fun-filled activities such as the “Miss Lobster Fest Pageant”, live music performances, open bars, the drawing of the Lobster fest raffle and a wide array of lobster dishes. “We’ll also be having games and competitions for the whole family; as well as a dance on Saturday and Sunday for those who want to stay up and party,” said Jolie Pollard of Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Placencia. This year’s event coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative and special recognition will be paid to that organization at the opening ceremonies of the Placencia Lobster Festival. The 17th Annual Caye Caulker Lobster Festival is the last of the three festivals to be held, start on June 29 to July 1. Historically, Caye Caulker was the first to celebrate this now cultural event, and with all their gained expertise, you won’t want to miss what’s in store for 2012!

June 7, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

New Senior Officer Sgt. Raymond Berry joins San Pedro Police
Sgt. Raymond Berry recently joined the San Pedro Police Department taking up the responsibilities of Case File Reading and Motor Vehicle Maintenance. Sergeant Berry brings with him over 29 years of experience with the Belize Police Force. Berry has previously held the position of Executive Duty Officer with his main duty being street patrols. In San Pedro, Sergeant Berry will be responsible for ensuring that all motor vehicles are properly maintained and ready to run to guarantee constant patrols. As a File Reader, he is responsible for ensuring that case files are properly put together with all the elements of the crime necessary to assist the prosecutor in ensuring the prosecution of criminals.

Belize at the 42nd Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly
Belize is being represented at the 42nd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) being held in Cochabamba, Bolivia by a delegation led by the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize. The 42nd Session, which got underway on Sunday, June 3, ends today, June 5, 2012. It was convened under the theme “Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas.” During the inaugural session on Sunday, President Evo Morales of Bolivia proposed a profound analysis and restructuring of the OAS to make it more responsive to the realities of today and to the demands of its member states. In the framework of the OAS General Assembly, the Belize delegation also met with the Secretary General of the OAS, H.E. José Miguel Insulza, the British Secretary for South America, and with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, among others. The OAS General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the OAS and it meets once a year. The other members of the Belize delegation included H.E. Alfredo Martinez, Senior Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, H.E. Nestor Mendez, Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS and Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, and Ms. Kendall Belisle, First Secretary at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Foreign Minister Elrington returns to Belize on Friday, June 7, 2012.

Photos: Xcalak celebrates 112th Anniversary
Xcalak, the southernmost village in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, celebrated its 112th anniversary over the weekend of May 31st to June 2nd. As part of the celebration, the people of the neighboring town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye were invited to participate in the events. Annually the San Pedro Dance Academy as well as football players traverse the sea to add to the fun. During the event on Saturday, Nairi’s Football Club of San Pedro Town participated in the football marathon. At the end of the football marathon, the local team of Xcalak placed first, Sarteneja Football team placed second while Nairi’s Football Club settled for third place. The night was full of entertainment by both Mexican and Belizean dance groups. The San Pedro Dance Academy rocked the crowd with tropical and Caribbean Belizean performances. At the short ceremony, Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town was one of the speakers. He reminded the Mexicans of Xcalak about the family and friendly bond that exist between the two communities. “San Pedro will always be a friend to Xcalak just as the people of Xcalak have been to our Belizean people in good and bad times,” said Guerrero. Deputy Mayor Guerrero congratulated the people of Xcalak on their 112th Anniversary. The evening proceeded with a dance that went into the wee hours of Sunday.

San Pedro joins Belize and the world in observing “World No Tobacco Day 2012”
Over 200 islanders walked the major streets of San Pedro Town on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2012 celebrated under the theme “Tobacco Industry Interference.” The event took place on Thursday May 31st and started from in front of the Central Park and ended at the same location. The walk coincided with events planned country wide in various major district towns and cities. The walk was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health through the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The main purpose of the walk was to create awareness about the use of tobacco and other drugs and the serious dangers they pose to public and personal health. According to a statement from WHO in Belize, “the campaign focus is on the need to expose the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control because of the serious danger they pose to public health.”

Ambergris Today

Residents Cry for Street Repairs
Repairs on a section of Pescador Drive after a water main breakage that sent the utility company digging up a large trench took some time to start, but the timing of the repairs couldn’t have been worst. Today makes day seven of work and repairs to the section of the cobblestone street caused traffic to be detoured to the back street parallel to it. With all the rainy that we have been experiencing lately, the detour street became a muddy, pothole ridden mess.

Primary School Softball Competition
Primary School students gathered at the Old Football Field on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, as the zone elimination for the National Sports Council’s Primary School Softball Competition took place. Participating schools included San Pedro RC School, Holy Cross Anglican School and Isla Bonita Elementary School. Battling out for the female first place position were the girls from San Pedro RC School and Holy Cross Anglican School. The girls played quite a match the girls from Holy Cross came out victorious and will be representing San Pedro at the Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Central Bank of Belize publishes annual report
The annual report of the Central Bank of Belize, published on June 4, highlights the central bank's achievements in 2011 and considers the economic outlook for 2012. The report, which marks the Central Bank of Belize's 30th anniversary, considers the progress the central bank has made in 2011 from its ‘financial sector assessment programme', which is aimed at identifying deficiencies in financial regulation. The results of this programme provide a "cohesive framework" for assuring the future security of the financial system, the report says. The report is "cautiously optimistic" in the economic outlook for Belize. GDP is expected to grow at 2-2.5% in 2012, and the report notes that the government has made progress towards cutting its budget deficit.

Channel 7

Is Jack Back?: 13 Year Old Girl Killed In Cayo
13 year old Jasmine Lowe, Girl Scout from Santa Elena in the Cayo district went missing on Monday - and the very worst fears were confirmed today when she was found dead a mile outside of Santa Elena Town in Cristo Rey village. 7news was at the scene and we spoke to her family, police and friends about her disappearance and death - here's the full story: Jules Vasquez Reporting Christopher Lowe - Father of the Deceased "It's the worse news possible for any parent, that they found her but not how we were hoping." They found her dead here at this farm in Cristo Rey Village where workers started smelling something rotting.

Teenaged Boys Still Missing
And concerns also persist about 17 year old Edwardo Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat who went missing on Saturday and up to this evening their mothers still haven't heard from them. The two teenage boys were last heard from on Saturday morning while they were heading from San Ignacio Town to Belize City. They were travelling in a dark green Suzuki pick-up truck with Texas License plates. According to a friend of the boys, the two mentioned to him that they were going to visit a friend on George Street. Police say upon reaching Belize City Kareem exited the vehicle while the other headed towards a friend's residents located on George Street,. Since ten no one has seen either the boys or the vehicle.

Thomas Back to Court
Yesterday, 7News told you about 19 year-old Hugh Thomas and the 17 year-old minor who were charged for burglary. According to the GSU, they were caught in the act of trying to hide items they had just stolen from an early-morning home invasion on Dean Street. Well today, they were brought back before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for additional charges. As we reported, the GSU responded to a burglary in progress at #8 Dean Street. While inquiring with the house owner, they were informed that two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing caps had burglarized her house the night before around midnight stealing her keys and some items. The same robbers returned at 4:00 am on Monday with firearms. A homeowner's 12 year old daughter was held up at gunpoint while the robbery was taking place. Her mother reported that while in the garage she heard noise's inside the house and upon checking she saw the robbers stealing her TV, fan, 2 bicycles and 2 cell phones from inside her house. The GSU made their patrols and caught Thomas and the 17 year-old minor with the stolen items, and as a result, they were additionally charged with aggravated burglary.

10 Years For Killing Security Guard during Armed Robbery
Last week Thursday, we told you about 27 year-old Shandoy Jeffords, who was convicted of manslaughter and burglary for the gruesome 2005 killing of 50 year-old Antonio Almendarez, the security guard at Fidos Bar in San Pedro. Today, he was given a 10-year sentence by Justice Adolph Lucas. In mitigation to the court, Jeffords begged for leniency. He also maintained that he was wrongfully convicted for this killing, and that he wanted a chance to be in his son's life and to try to be a positive role model in the near future. After considering his plea, Justice Lucas sentenced him to serve 10 years for the manslaughter and 7 years for the burglary. These sentences are to run concurrent to the 2 years that he already is serving for a firearm and ammunition conviction in Magistrate's Court. As a result, he will only serve 10 years for this conviction.

US Donates High Tech Vehicles To Police
The Central American Regional Security Initiative - known as CARSI - is an initiative of the US Government to spend 105 million US dollars this year to beef up security in the region. It is of course, about the fact that U.S. drug demand makes the countries of Central America very unsafe - and indeed four of the highest murder rates in the world for 2011 - Belize included - were recorded in Central America. So, CARSI is an attempt to try and fix the problem - the old fashioned way - by throwing money at it. To be fair, though, it's more than that - and over the past year, Belize has received 16 million dollars in performance based support through CARSI. And today one of the largest donations was handed over: 1.1 million US dollars in 17 vehicles to be used for crime scene investigations, prisoner transport, mobile patrol, and community policing support.

Two Times Accused of Arson To Court
32 year-old Marsha Bood, a domestic of #147 Antelope Street is at prison tonight because she was charged with arson for allegedly trying to burn up a man's door. According to police, 45 year-old Godfrey Dougal reported that he was at his apartment at #126 Antelope Street on May 23 at around 7:30 p.m., when he smelt kerosene. He said that he immediately went to his mahogany door, opened it, and that's when he found it on fire. According to Dougal, he managed to get the fire under control, but not before it extensively damaged the door, along with the screen door, and the framing. Dougal told police that he saw a woman running away from his yard when he found the door on fire, and police investigation led to Bood being arrested and charged. She appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who had to question her about a previous damage-to-property charge that which she had faced. Because the origin of that damage to property was discovered to also be fire-related, Chief Magistrate Smith decided to remand Bood to prison, where she will remain until July 16, her next court date.

Deliverymen Robbed
2 different delivery men were robbed at gunpoint yesterday in Belize City in separate incidents. Mark Andrew Swift, a 25 year-old deliveryman of Madisco Marketing and Distribution Ltd., reported that at about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, he was making a delivery at Max Grocery Store when he was ambushed by two men, one of whom pointed a black handgun in his face. The other man then stole his cell phone, and they then searched his delivery truck and stole a bag containing $571.77 in cash. 4 hours later, Juan Herrera, a 22 year-old salesman for Citrus Products Limited, was also robbed at gunpoint. Herrera reported to police that he was making a delivery at Tommy's wholesale on Central American Boulevard at around 4:30 p.m. Herrera said that he was approached by a man who pointed a chrome handgun at him and demanded money. He complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the proceeds of the day's sale for the company.

Belize Film Festival Sets Records
The 7th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival is breaking records this year as it has received over 120 submissions from 24 different countries. 67 of those films were selected for the festival. But the magnitude of submissions is not the only record being broken. The festival will open with a Belizean feature length movie directed and produced in Belize with an all Belizean cast. It took about 6 days of filming, and we have a sneak peak of that for you now. Matthiew Klinck - Make Belize Films "The move is called 2012, Kurse a Di Xtabai. It's the first move, as far as I know, that is a supernatural thriller that is shot entirely in Belize with Belizean actors in Kriol. So it's really exciting. It takes place mostly out in the jungle and in the caves out behind San Antonio Village. And it's about a curse. If you've heard about Xtabai, she is basically released from an ancient Mayan, and she curses the village of San Antonio. And the Belizean Government is afraid that this fever that is spreading might leave the village and infect Belize City and other places. So they lock down the village with the military. A group of students escape out into the jungle to try to find a solution to the curse. And Like I say, it's a full Belizean cast, and we had a lot of fun." Robin Schaffer "What does this mean for the film festival that a Belizean film is actually going to be showing at it, and has been created for it?"

Belizes Best 3 on 3 Ballers To Go International
Three on three basketball, it's played on every court and in every backyard across Belize. What is referred to as "pickup basketball" may not have the prestige or glamour of the full court game, but really, it's the everyman and woman's game. And now FIBA is embracing it as more than just a recreational past-time; it's slated for inclusion in the Olympics - and a world Championship is also planned for this year in Seville, Spain. Quite incredibly, Belize's Under-18 programme which has been getting regional attention for its raw talent - has gotten a berth in that World Championship. And now, the Belize Basketball Federation has to have a national three on three tournament to find the best under 18 talent. But it isn't just about the tournament, it's also about the love of the game, and so that tournament will include under and over 18 - and will go across the country looking for the best talent. It's being done with key assistance from key corporate sponsors, Bowen and Bowen and Sprite. They held a press conference with the Belize Basketball Federation today.

Post Mortem On Jasmine Lowe
And, before we close, we have an update to our headline story. Police Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran finished his post mortem on 13 year old Jasmine Lowe this evening at around 6:00. He could not determine the cause of death due to the advanced state of decomposition. He did observe superficial wounds, but these would not have been enough to cause the death of the 13 year old. As we noted earlier on, her remains were taken immediately to the family property for burial...

Channel 5

13 year old Jasmine Lowe murdered
All hopes were dashed aside shortly after noon today for the family of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. The young girl went missing on Monday after she left her father’s house in Santa Elena. Lowe was preparing to participate with the Scouts in Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan. Lowe is believed to have taken a [...]

Twin Towns residents say it’s time to take action against crime
Galvanized by the tragedy that struck the communities of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, residents addressed the media on the scene where Jasmine Lowe’s body was found. They say that it is time for action because too many young girls have been murdered and the crimes remain unsolved.   Miriam Ochaeta, Concerned Citizen “It was [...]

Developer cuts through Biological Corridor without permission
Minister Lisel Alamilla has issued a stop order on a development in a protected area in the Belize District. The developer, a Guatemalan company named Green Tropics Limited, was dredging a canal in the hearth of the reserve and the government is looking at its legal options. It is not known when the land was [...]

U.S. donates police vehicles with cameras and crime scene equipment
The violent crime statistics has placed Belize among the five most violent countries globally. The US government today stepped in with a major donation that will hopefully assist to improve those statistics. Through a regional security initiative, CARSI, the US handed over today a fleet of vehicles, loaded with state of art security equipment to [...]

Borders and airport to get electronic passport systems by October
Although Belize has designated border crossings, the processing of visitors and nationals can sometimes lag. To speed up the process and to make it efficient, the western and northern border as well as the international airport will be experiencing an upgrade in their management systems. Passports will be read electronically which will allow easy compilation [...]

Asst. Commissioner says Police will rid department of rogue cops
On Monday June fourth, robbers armed with high powered rifles stormed the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. While having their weapons pointed at the credit union employees, they raided the facility of thirty four thousand dollars and then escaped in the credit union’s Hilux. But the suspects were soon caught and have been identified as: twenty-nine [...]

Shandoy Jeffords sentenced to 10 years in prison for Manslaughter
Twenty-seven year-old Shandoy Jeffords of Belize City was convicted of manslaughter last Thursday in the death of fifty year old Antonio Almendarez, a Security Guard of Fido’s restaurant on San Pedro. Jeffords was charged with manslaughter and not murder because he had agreed to testify in trial against three others, but he had failed to [...]

Meighan back in court for Aggravated Assault against cop
An eighteen year old was remanded to prison on Tuesday for Aggravated Assault and Discharging a Firearm in Public. Today, Tyrone Meighan was back in court on additional charges following an alleged confrontation with a cop at the Queen Street Police Station. Meighan is again being accused of Aggravated Assault, this time upon PC Andres [...]

Heavy rains caused the flooding of the River Valley
On Tuesday we reported on the loss of crops in the Belize River Valley caused by flooding from recent torrential rains. Closer to the old capital, it is just beginning to get back to normal in the Ladyville area where a primary school had to close for two days due to flooding. Further up, in [...]

Basketball Tour begins
Three by three games; it’s a popular form of basketball but you’ll mostly find it played in backyards. But the perception of this variation of basketball is changing internationally and the Belize Basketball Federation is moving forward with it. The B.B.F. has partnered with Bowen and Bowen’s Sprite and Belikin divisions to hold a National [...]

Keeping protected areas secured
Earlier in the newscast we reported that an order has been issued to stop dredging in a protected area. We caught up with Minister Lisel Alamilla at the opening of a program for Protected Areas Management. The Ministry is partnering with the University of Belize, which is providing the training. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. [...]

LOVE FM

BELIZE RED CROSS IN TOLEDO PREPARES FOR HURRICANE SEASON
PAUL MAHUNG - Correspondent The Monday evening meeting was chaired by Belize Red Cross Toledo Branch Chairlady, retired Matron, Shirley Mahung. SHIRLEY MAHUNG, Belize Red Cross (Toledo Branch) “Initially, this meeting was called in order to plan for the hurricane seas...

BELIZE'S DELEGATION ATTENDS GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE OAS IN BOLIVIA
Belize’s Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington led a delegation to the 42nd regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The session which began on Sunday ended yesterday. It w...

BELIZE JOINS IN CELEBRATING WORLD OCEANS DAY
Belize will join the rest of the international community in observing World Ocean’s day on Friday. This year the focus is on getting young people involved in the global effort to conserve the world’s oceans. The theme for this year’s observation is: Youth:...

Wednesday, June 6 - POLICE NEWS
19-year-old Hugh Thomas and a 17-year-old boy who were charged yesterday with burglary and handling stolen goods, were charged with aggravated burglary when they were brought to court today. They pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to...

BREAKING NEWS - Body of 13 year old Missing Girl found
Love News has confirmed that the lifeless body of 13 year old, Jasmine Lowe who went missing from the Cayo District earlier this week has been found. The body was discovered on the Cristo Rey Road.......More details coming in our 6pm News Report. ... Read more >>

CTV3

BSI Says Sale Of Company Accepted In Principle
On June 30th it is expected that after all the proper signatures are placed on the dotted lines American Sugar Refinery the largest cane refinery company in the world will become the major shareholders of the Belize Sugar Industry Limited. The company is expected to inject US$60 million into the Sugar Industry making ASR a majority shareholder of 80% to 85% of the total shareholding in BSI. A further investment of US$30 million to improve and expand the sugar factory will also be made if the deal between both sugar companies is sealed. And while word on the street is that the negations will go through today BSI issued out a press release stating that ASR’s offer for majority shareholding in the Belize Sugar Industries Limited has been approved in principle. Interestingly in the release BSI states that from January 2011 there was contact with American Sugar Holdings and American Sugar Refining. After the company expressed interest in investing in BSI and after several trips to Belize in March of 2012 ASR made a written proposal for the investment of equity in the company and further capital investment in the industry. In early May 2012, the BSI Board approved the proposal in principle and authorized Management to complete the due diligence and conclude negotiations by the 30th of June 2012.

FFB President Discusses Future of Football In The North
Over the weekend Ruperto Vicente, President of the Football Federation of Belize, visited Orange Walk and sat down with various football team representatives and the Orange Walk and Corozal District Football Associations. The meeting is part of Vicente’s country wide tour in which he seeks to become acquainted with the football ambience at a district level. Chairman of the Orange Walk District Football Association Rafael Avila, told CTV3 News today that one of the main issues discussed during the meeting was the finances of the federation which is not in a good state. Rafael Avila, Chairman of O/W District Football Association “He informed us about a schedule of matches that is coming up in the near future and where Belize is to participate in the Central American region as well. He informed us that next two Saturdays we will be meeting in Belmopan, all the district associations, so that all of us can come in line and work together as a team. So whatever the Corozal District is working on then all the other districts are working on as well. One of the main concerns is the same thing that they have- finances. It’s been quite difficult coming across financing because- to run a tournament, and body who have been in the profession of foot ball then they know that running tournaments is costly. This is so because we have fees to pay. We have referees to pay and we have security.”

Three Law Enforcement Officers Investigated For Robbery Of Credit Union Robbery
On Monday at around 8:35am the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch in the Stann Creek District, was robbed at gunpoint by 3 men, 2 of which were wearing masks. According to the official police report released today, the Manager of the credit union, 46 year old, Barry Bardalez reported to police that he was inside the credit union with several other employees and about twenty customers, when the three men armed with what appeared to be (2) 9MMs and a M16 rifle entered the establishment and demanded money. Fearing for his life and the life of others, one of the cashiers opened the vault and then proceeded to open the safe after which the robbers helped themselves with an undisclosed amount of cash in Belize and US currency. The money was placed inside a green military bag. The thieves then made good their escape in a 2008 green Toyota Hilux pick-up truck bearing license plate TOL-C-4051 belonging to the credit union and valued at $75,000. It was later discovered that the criminals also made off with two 9MM pistols brand and serial number unknown, and with (15) live 9mm rounds valued at a total of $6,500.00.

Minister Of Education Says Amalgamation Of Schools Will Soon Is Good
On May 31st, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Honourable Patrick Faber held a town’s meeting here in Orange Walk at the Gala Lounge. The meeting started at 6:00 in the evening and went well on to about 10:30 in the night. Apart from discussing the National Strategic Plan, Minister Faber spoke about the pros and cons of the education system in Belize during his lengthy speech. With the aim of improving the country’s education system, Faber proposes to amalgamate schools. It’s a rather daring plan, but the Minister says the idea is to create more space for students, especially for those living in rural communities. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports “We can bus people from San Juan Nuevo. Bus the students from Douglas. Bring them to San Pablo. We can unite the two campuses, San Pablo RC and San Pablo Community. Correct if I am wrong. And what they complain about at San Pablo RC about 40 children to a teacher can readily be solved if we amalgamate. We can save money and put monies into making sure that there is a better quality of education in that area.”

LEAP To Conduct Surgeries On The 9th and 10th Of June
The Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP) is an organization comprised of volunteer specialists who dedicate their time, expertise and often their own resources in the endeavor to bring free surgical care to children and adults born with deformities. Throughout the years LEAP has made its presence known in Belize and has since been instrumental in conducting hundreds of surgical operations for Belizeans. The mission is back once again and will be working along side the Rotary club of Orange Walk and the Northern Regional Hospital on Friday June 8th providing services for Orange Walkenos. John Avila, President Rotary club Orange Walk “This is the second time LEAP mission this year three weeks ago they were here to operate on cleft lips cleft pallets and any facial deformities as well as hand problems for people with hand palsies or nerve palsies you know problems moving their fingers and things like that they will be here to operate on those kinds of conditions. It’s been about 17-18 years Orange Walk has been working hand in hand with LEAP and the northern regional hospital. Well I believe that we have these missionaries that come to Belize to do these kinds of services and they approach the Rotary club to support the logistics regarding transportation to and from the air port and hosting and helping to assist them during their mission here and that’s how the relationship with LEAP developed.”

Sports Keeping Youths Out of Trouble
Sporting in Orange Walk has always plays an integral role in the lives of youths creating a form of unity both on and off the field. So far the level of sporting activities within the Orange Walk District has been on the rise with the initiative of Ladrick Sheppard, Councilor in charge of youths and sports. Keeping in the context of his portfolio, Sheppard has organized several sporting activities for young athletes. Currently Sheppard has embarked on a 5 aside inter office competition that is geared at bringing back the sport of baseball into the spotlight. Ladrick Sheppard, councilor in charge of Youths and Sports “Currently I am working on different sporting activities we have just started the under 12 competition that plays on the barracks we are at the fourth week at this moment and these guys will be playing a double run robin heading into the finals sometime in early august. I have assisted in softball Jimmy Smith is the president of the softball and I’m just assisting him as much as I can so that the sport of softball go to that level that it was once again. It has been something that has been a great achievement to all the Orange Walk people we know that the sport of soft ball has been very low but like I said working along with these different teams and getting back the respond from all the players we know that we are in a positive line. Next I will be working on the inter office five aside which will be organized by Richard Diaz he is basically the man that will be carrying this competition out I will be assisting him as far as I could. We know that these games are played at the people stadium so we must work with the assistance of derrick Gillette who is the man in charge of the people’s stadium so he is also working hand in hand with us and that is a good respond for him working along with people who want to do sports.”

LOVE TV

Scouts celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee
A Beacon lighting ceremony was held last night by the Scout Association of Belize at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. The event was held as part of Belize’s commemoration of the diamond Jubilee for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. During the ceremony Chief Scout Dr. Erasmo Franklin told the crowd that the beacon that was lit last night was one of over four thousand across the commonwealth to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic milestone. Governor General Sir Colville Young is currently in London where he joined in the festivities there, and so his stand-in in Belmopan Carlos Perdomo was the main speaker at last night’s beacon lighting ceremony. Sixty torch runners representing the sixty years of the Diamond Jubilee, marched into the field to present the torches around the beacon. The Beacon which was designed by Belize Natural Energy was lit promptly at ten o’clock last night. Scouts from all over the country attended the ceremony.

Man jailed on theft conviction
36-year-old Steven Bennett, a labourer charged with theft and a mischievous act, was sentenced to seven months for each offence after he pleaded guilty to the charges. Chief magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentences stipulated that they should run concurrently so Bennett will serve seven months. The incident occurred yesterday at K Park Supermarket in King’s park. Police reported that Bennett went into the supermarket, purchased some items and said for them but he did not pay for one tin of Dak chopped ham valued at $5.00. When Bennett left the supermarket he was apprehended by a security guard. When he searched Bennett, the search resulted in the discovery of the chopped ham in the left pocket of his pants. Bennett had one previous conviction for theft. When he was detained by the police Bennett gave his name as Richard Ferguson.

Man charged for jacking bicycle at gunpoint
24-year-old Justin Richards a.k.a Owl, one of two persons who the police believe jacked a beach cruiser bicycle at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. She remanded him into custody until July 20. The complainant, Tevin Ferguson, reported to the Police that he was riding his bicycle on Vernon Street and when he reached in front of Cox Tire Shop he was accosted by two persons, one of them armed with a firearm. Ferguson said they stole his 26 inch beach cruiser bicycle valued at $200.00. The second suspect has not been charged yet.

Charges brought in burglary case
Two persons, one of them a 17-year-old boy were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. The adult was 19-year-old Hugh Thomas, an unemployed. Thomas, the 17-year-old boy and two others, one of them a 17-year-old girl, were charged with handling stolen goods for a 29 inch color television that had a value of $530.00. The adult charged with handling stolen goods was 19-year-old Monica Ramclam. Thomas and the boy pleaded not guilty to burglary and handling stolen goods. Ramclam and the girl pleaded not guilty to handling stolen goods. The prosecutor objected to bail for Thomas and the boy on the charge of burglary. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence of burglary has become prevalent, that the evidence against the accused is strong and only one of the stolen items was recovered and if granted bail they might interfere with the complainant. Thomas and the boy were unable to give good reasons why they should be granted bail. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart upheld the objection and she remanded them into custody until July 5. Thomas was remanded to Belize Central prison while the minor was remanded to the Wagner’s facility. Ramclam and the girl were each offered bail of $5,000.00. The burglary occurred around 4:40 a.m. on Monday, June 4. The complainant 30-year-old food vendor Genoveva Noble who resides on Dean Street, reported to the police that she was at home asleep when she was awakened by a noise. She said when she looked she saw a person stealing her television.

Teenager accused of home invasion
A minor in Belize City was the victim of a home invasion allegedly orchestrated by another minor and a teenager. The twelve year old accompanied by her mother reported to police that around 11:50 pm on Sunday June third, while she was at home, two male persons entered the house and pointed a gun at [...]

Cayo teen reported missing
Tonight worried parents and friends of a thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena Cayo are desperately searching for her. Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe left home to go to her mother’s place of employment around mid-afternoon on Monday and has not been seen or heard from since. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, [...]

PlusTV

Search for missing girl scout has tragic outcome
Tonight a family and a community mourn the loss of a vibrant young lady who had a promising future. Jasmine Lowe wa...

Controversial Belmopan Farmers Market to stay at current location
After an exhaustive two years and almost losing a little over two million dollars in grant money it seems that all ...

Deadline for public disclosure of assets at hand
In the year 2008, Belize legislated the Prevention of Corruption Act #21 in accordance with preventing, detecting a...

Massive flooding in Belize Rural North affects communities
The Belize District has been experiencing tremendous amounts of rain and in particular the residents of the Belize ...

City of Belmopan hosts public meeting
Area Representative for the City of Belmopan the Hon. John Saldivar along with the Belmopan City Council held a joi...

Training Program for Protected Areas Management launched
The Ministry of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development today launched a National Training Program for Prote...

Police release names of cops, BDF charged with robbery
Police have formally arrested and charged three men in connection with the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union robbery th...

Man sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter and robbery
Last week Shandoy Jeffords was convicted of manslaughter and robbery. Today, he was given 17 years for both crimes....

Security guard narrowly dodges bullets
Yesterday, we told you that 18-year-old Tyrone Meighan was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and discharin...

GSU take in four men after raid
Members of the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search at #10 Caesar Ridge Road, Belize City on Tuesday morning ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker’s Lobster Fest coming very soon!!
If you don’t have any plans set yet for the end of June, then think no further, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest will be the event to attend with three days full of fun and excitement!! Below is the flyer indicating what will be happening for the three days starting with pageant night on June 29th. You don’t want to miss this!! Caye Caulker has been celebrating the opening of the lobster season since 1994!

Blogs

Panama: So Far I'm Really Digging It
So last I spoke to you, I had arrived at Finca Bachita in Playa Coronado, Panama. For those of you who asked, the house is named after my friend Cesar's very cute mom, Beatrice. Bachita is her nickname and Finca means farm/estate or plantation in Spanish. The town of Coronado is about an hour and a half west of Panama City and one of the oldest private communities in Panama. It's huge...with over 2000 good sized residences plus a couple large and ugly high rises, a clinic, a horse farm, restaurants and a long grey/black beach along the Pacific. Just outside the development on the main road (the PanAmerican highway to be exact), there are very American supermarkets, malls, spas...everything. Look at this wine selection at the local market...and $5-$10 a bottle... Panama is developing incredibly quickly and prices are rising quickly as well. But to me? Everything seems CHEAP! Definitely cheaper than Costa Rica and much cheaper than Belize. We woke up early the first morning to shop for a few things that Panama is known for...fresh produce and seafood. It seemed almost silly to buy mangoes or even avocados...trees in almost every yard are BURSTING. Even trees along the highway seem to buckling from the weight of so much fruit. I do not exaggerate when I say that mangoes are everywhere. But all are not created equal. We stopped at a roadside stand that sold five or six different kinds of mangoes plus another fruit, the kinep. Giant mangos...5 for $1USD. You really can't beat it.

Adventure with the Divaz
Cayo Adventure Tours took 5 moms rock climbing, zip lining, and canoeing in Barton Creek Cave. Plus TV's Divaz Next Door will be airing the adventure next week, but here's a preview. Looks like they were in good hands with Teddy Waight, known for his tubing adventures in Bullet Tree Falls. "Looking up, around and down into the water...pausing now and then to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly with my eyes closed to fully take in the moment and be grateful for the entire experience. I couldn't keep my eyes closed for too long because I didn't want to miss a moment of this opportunity. Quartz shimmering like diamonds as the 1000 candle lightbulbs bathed the rocks with illumination. Our tour guide from Cayo Adventure, Teddy, was highly knowledgeable and he deftly guided us through the water with his expertise and his stories."

How to Take Action to Help the Environment
I am a proud competitive student from Garden City Primary School in Belmopan that enters every competition at my level. I am twelve years old and about to enter high school in September. I had always been looking for a competition like this and to enter this competition is like a dream come through. Everyday you go outside and when you look around your community you see many more things that you can do to help your environment look as clean as you. I look around my environment and say to myself ‘Had I’ve always been living in this area and not been paying much attention to it’. In my environment I sometimes see dirty parks, broken swing sets, homeless dogs and a few people asking for food. But mainly I would like to help the people who are asking for food by getting a group of kids in my area and do a walk-a-ton and fund raise money so that we can get some food for them . I would want to become an ECO KID because I will be able to make changes in my environment and community. I can create signs and posters with friends in the area to keep the parks and my community clean. We can do weekly or daily clean ups to keep the place clean. I think being an ECO KID is an opportunity to allow you to become famous of your initiative to the environment.

Caye Caulker Lobsterfest 2012 Update!
For those who have not bought your tickets or secured your hotels, time is of the essence. We are now firmly in June and the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest is nearly upon us!! If you do not know the dates – Friday 29th June, Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July are the dates to be here. Friday will open with the Miss Lobster Fest pageant at 7.30pm – Five lovely girls – Jasmine Skeen, Shania Sanchez, Jasmine Arce, Vicky Canul and Sylvia Joseph will be fighting (in a lady like manner) for the 2012 title. As you can see from their photos, this particular competition will be tight – from my view all five girls should receive the title!! As a change to the weekend’s entertainment – the occasion will be followed by an evening of music and dance – with DJ Julian and TAGG International. Saturday morning there will be the opening ceremonies, followed by an afternoon of beach party and games. The highlight of Saturday and indeed the entire Lobster Fest will be the entertainment lined up for the big party in the evening – Youth Connection, DJ Clarence, TAGG International and DJ Khris will glide us smoothly through the evening – don’t miss out! Sunday will be more of the same with more beach party and games – more music and more fun for all the family! And how can we forget … the reason for why we celebrate this weekend … the island will be filled with all styles of mouth watering lobster dishes throughout the three days!!! So come one and come all … come and celebrate with us at Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2012.

International Sources

Airfare Expert: Why airlines don't dare offer a price break
If you've been searching for airfares for summer, you know it's a tough time for bargain hunters. But the airlines don't dare give you much of a price break - they can't afford to. Yes, they're still raking in money from bag fees, but not as much as they used to, and although there has been a slight break in oil prices recently, fuel costs continue to be well above what airlines paid in 2010 and 2011. Are there good deals for summer flights? Last week, an American Airlines sale featured a Los Angeles-Atlanta flight for $462 round-trip. I've said what you should pay for summer airfare for a cross-country flight is anything under $340; I still believe that but you'll have to shop carefully (my tips below will help). What's going on? There's a reason Delta Air Lines recently announced plans to purchase an oil refinery: the high cost of jet fuel. While the price of oil did drop this month, at $90+ a barrel it's still about two-and-a-half times the Jan. 2009 price ($36+ per barrel) and more than 10 bucks higher than it was last September. Do airline jet fuel costs mirror the price of oil? Not exactly; jet fuel prices lag a few weeks behind oil price changes and in some cases may not change at all, as the cost of refining has been stubbornly high. Make no mistake, oil prices seriously affect an airline's bottom line; jet fuel now makes up as much as 30% of an airline's operating costs. Why don't airlines manage the price of oil better? Hedging (airlines locking-in fuel costs by essentially betting on the price of oil-related futures) has fallen a bit out of favor due to cost and volatility. Southwest for one used to hedge oil prices effectively, but oil's yo-yo bender of recent years makes that difficult. Check out these jet fuel prices (per gallon) from select dates during the past few years: •Jan. 2007: $1.57 •Nov. 2008: $4.81 •Mar. 2009: $1.11 •Oct. 2009: $2.09 •July 2010: $1.91 •Feb. 2011: $3.01 •Dec. 2011: $2.74 •April 2012: $3.32 This unpredictable up-and-down movement is proving pretty much unmanageable. What's an airfare shopper to do? Follow these four tips: 1.) Shop Tuesday for the best deals; barring unusual sale activity, you will not find the best deals on weekends. 2.) Make some sacrifices; most of us want to leave on Friday and return Sunday to make the most of our vacation time but those are the most expensive days to fly. Travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and sometimes Saturdays for a significant price break, and don't turn up your nose at overnight flights, dawn flights or connecting flights because those can be cheaper, in many cases by $100 per person or more. 3.) Compare prices; if you only shop one airline - even 'discount' carriers like Southwest or JetBlue - you may not get the best price. Legacy carriers have been known to beat the low cost competition, occasionally by hefty amounts. You won't know if you don't compare. 4.) Delay your summer trip until late August when prices tend to drop in preparation for the new school year.

John McAfee: That's One Way to Code all Night!
The stereotype of the code jock is pizza and Jolt Cola. The founder of McAfee was allegedly working on a more potent weapon -- something that no number of cans of Mountain Dew could stand up to -- meth. At least that's what they say in Belize. After making a mint from McAfee Inc., John McAfee somehow found himself nude in Belize in bed with a 17-year-old woman (or would you call her a girl, she's clearly on the cusp). Sounds good so far. But they weren't alone for long. McAfee has an unlicensed gun, so the cops busted in, busted him and knocked off his dog. Like any self-respecting ex-exec, McAfee ran away. Here's where it get's complicated: The Belize Police claim McAfee was running a meth lab. Now he did, it appears, have lots of lab equipment since he started an antibiotic company in that country. And he claims he had a veritable cache of legal guns. So why would he then have one that was illegal? The whole thing is in some crazy limbo, with McAfee back in the open and speaking on the record." That, my friend, is some weird wild stuff.

Guys! I Have the Next Big Thing: A Social Network for Hermit Crabs
These amazing creatures live on the tiny island of Carrie Boy Caw off the coast of southern Belize. We (I just hired an intern a few seconds ago via Twitter) believe we can help these creatures strengthen their communities, so that they can find more and better hermitages throughout their lives, which largely consist of eating eating overripe fruit, animal remains, and feces while stealing abandoned shells and looking creepy. We were drawn to this lucrative demographic by an article in Scientific American we read today while coming up with our business model that described the difficult situation that hermit crabs find themselves in. In previous years, most hermit crabs on the island "were living in shells that were a tight fit or had one too many holes." Naturally, these aspirational consumers were always on the lookout for "more spacious dwelling[s]."

On a Tiny Caribbean Island, Hermit Crabs Form Sophisticated Social Networks
Carrie Bow Cay is a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea, about 14 miles off the coast of Southern Belize. The island is so small—0.77 acres—that you can walk its entire perimeter in under 10 minutes. Scientists regularly visit Carrie Bow Cay to study coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows, as well as the animals that live in these unique ecosystems. When Sara Lewis and Randi Rotjan of Tufts University travel to Carrie Bow Cay, they spend most of their time underwater, examining corals. But they also wanted to make the most of their time on land, inbetween dives. So the biologists decided to study the behavior of Caribbean hermit crabs (Coenobita clypeatus), around 1,000 of which live on Carrie Bow Cay's sandy shores. Like all hermit crabs, Caribbean hermit crabs—which are the most popular pet variety in the United States—depend on other creatures' shells for protection. Strip a hermit crab of its shell and you will see its soft, pink abdomen curled behind its head like a fern's frond. Most hermit crabs favor snail shells, although some use the shells of bivalves, like clams and scallops, and others have made do with driftwood, stones and pieces of glass or plastic bottles. In 2009, Lewis and Rotjan surveyed the entire hermit crab population on Carrie Bow Cay. Many crabs were living in shells that were a tight fit or had one too many holes. As they grow, hermit crabs must move into larger shells, so they are always on the lookout for a more spacious dwelling. And an undamaged shell is preferable to a broken one, even if the shells are the same size. Knowing this, the researchers decided to dramatically change the available hermit crab real estate on Carrie Bow Cay. They placed 20 beautifully intact shells that were a little too big for most hermit crabs...

June 6, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

El Pescador Fishing Report, June 3, 2012
What a week! Huge congratulations to Captain Cesar for being the first Belizean to become a Certified Casting Instructor by The Fly Fishing Federation. His certificate is signed by one of his testers, Tim Rajeff. Tim is well known in fly fishing as a world champion fly caster. He grew up casting at the Golden Gate Casting Club in San Fransciso with Mel Krieger down the street. Cesar is a second generation San Pedrano guide who loves to cast. He consistently wins any casting competition he enters. Casting ~ reaching beyond borders and generations. The other huge kudo goes out to Ali. Ali is doing an incredible job coaching the guide team toward this goal of certification. The feeling around here has been electric. And then we all thanked Tim Rajeff and Katherine Hart for spending the week with us here at El Pescador. They conducted four afternoon clinics for the guides, and guests participated as well. It’s not everyday you have a world champion show up and share what they know. Katherine is a Master Certified Instructor and also competes. We got to know each other in fly casting competition and now our friendship continues with our fishing. Anglers this week had disappointment with the weather, but we were able to learn from each other and that might not be a big fish, but it’s worth a lot.


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

The San Pedro Sun

Launch of “National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management”
Belmopan, 4th, June, 2012. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development through a collaborative effort with the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of Belize will be launching the National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at the Belmopan Hotel. The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, will deliver the keynote address. The National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management has been developed as a part of a project entitled “Strengthening National Capacities for the Operationalization, Consolidation, and Sustainability of Belize’s Protected Areas System” which demonstrates the Government of Belize’s commitment to continued support for protected areas management in Belize. The project is being implemented by the National Protected Areas Secretariat in conjunction with the Fisheries and Forest Departments with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Additional financial support for the National Training Programme is provided by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, University of Belize and the Oak Foundation.

No foul play is suspected on the body of man found on a dock
San Pedro Police do not suspect foul play in the death of a San Pedro resident. 41 year old Oscar Velasquez, of no fixed address, was discovered dead shortly before 6PM on Tuesday, June 5th on a dock situated along the lagoon side of San Pedro Town commonly referred to as El Embarcadero area. According to San Pedro Police, they responded to a call and visited a dock situated on the San Pedro Lagoon off Nurse Shark Street. Upon arrival at about 5:35PM, they observed the motionless body of a Hispanic person, later identified as Velasquez, lying face up on a dock belonging to a local tour company. Preliminary Police investigations reveal that sometime around 3PM, Velasquez was in the company of his “regular hang out friends,” when he began complaining of severe abdominal pain. Rudolph Neal, one of his friends told police, that after Velasquez’s pain continued, he took him out of the sun and placed him under the shade on the dock. After checking on him at about 5:30PM, he realized that Velasquez was motionless.

Photos: John Greif II Airstrip upgrade almost completed
Work at the John Greif II Airstrip in San Pedro is slowly winding down and should be completed within the next month. The confirmation was made by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Hon. Edmund “Clear the land” Castro. In December of 2010 $3.7 million was secured for the project through the Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA). The project started in January of 2011 and was scheduled for completion by July however progress was delayed several times due to weather. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Castro explained that works are almost completed and the new rehabilitated runway should be officially commissioned by July 2012. The rehabilitation on the John Greif II Airstrip was conducted in two phases. The fencing which was done by Graniel’s Construction and the runway and lighting by Rodla’s Construction, which were supervised by Thurton and Associates Engineering Firm through COCESNA in Belize. A total length of 2800 feet by 46 feet of runway has been resurfaced using hot mix material that was barged in from the mainland. When officially commissioned, the airstrip will have complete fencing around the entire runway to prevent people from walking across the landing area. It will have world standard runway and pad lights to accommodate night flights especially during emergencies. The project, which started under the auspices of former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., is important for the tourism industry in Belize. According to Minister Castro, because the John Greif II Airstrip is one of the busiest in Belize and the region, making it up to “world standard” was important. Castro said that “San Pedro has the busiest airstrip in the entire region, not just in the country of Belize so it’s very important that we upgrade this airstrip in San Pedro and bring it up to world class standards. Basically what we are doing is moving away from the chip and seal or chip and tar situation for the airstrips. We are using the hot mix. So it’s a little bit more costly but nevertheless that’s the standard now that we are trying to use on all the airstrips in the country because it will lasts longer.”

The Island Academy Graduates eight
Kicking off the ever busy “Graduation Season”, The Island Academy (TIA) was the first to hold its graduation with its annual end of year ceremony. On the morning of June 1, 2012, eight students marched to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, facing the gathered well-wishers on hand to celebrate their scholastic achievement. Lady Dixie Bowen, Principal of TIA, welcomed everyone with a warm smile and short speech. As customary, there were pre-graduation ceremony issues to deal with, including the handing out of awards to the top students from each class. Ranging from such awards as “Grammatical Guru”, “Master Mathematician”, “Remarkable Reader” to “Mad Scientist”, students were called to the podium to receive their awards from their teachers. Some students, including Leanne Vega and Reign Ackerley, positively cleaned up in the academic department, taking top awards in nearly all subjects. There were several community awards given out as well, especially to the Standards IV and V classes, who raised over $1,500 and decided to donate the proceeds evenly to two worthy causes: Mama Vilma Family Home and Liberty Children’s Home.

Man stabbed in San Pedro over the weekend
A San Pedro resident was attacked and stabbed on the night of Sunday June 3rd. The victim is 34 year old Cruz Garcia, a Belizean construction worker of a Blake Street address in San Pedro Town. Garcia was apparently attack and stabbed in the neck while heading to his home from the store on Coconut Drive. According to Police, sometime around 10:05PM on June 3rd, they were called to the Ambergris Hope Clinic where they observed a man, later identified as Garcia, undergoing treatment for what appeared to be an injury to the neck. Preliminary Police investigation reveals that between 9:40PM and 10PM on Saturday night, Garcia was returning home from Marina’s Store situated on Coconut Drive. While walking home Garcia was attack by a man described as a dark skinned person with dreads. Garcia told police that his attacker injured him with a sharp object.

Ambergris Today

BTIA President Jim Scott’s Challenge for a Good Cause
He is President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and a devout member of the Rotary Club of Belize. Everybody knows him as the "Si Se Puede/Yes I Can" man of Belize because of his positive attitude and cheerful personality. Mr. Jim Scott is a well known personality in the tourism industry and is also a humanitarian. By the end of this year, Mr. Scott will turn 50 on November 25, 2012, and he plans to celebrate not only for himself, but also for a cause that he holds dear to his heart. On his birthday Jim will be partaking in the Lion Man Competition in Cozumel, Mexico and at the same time aims to raise $50,000 in funds for his own cause – Iron Cause for Iron Kids. This is his personal campaign to raise funds for the renovation and expansion of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center in Belize (DMCCC). Since his birthday last year Jim has been working hard and focusing on his goal for the Iron Man Competition.

Launch of “National Training Program for Protected Areas Management”
The overarching goal of the National Training Program for Protected Areas Management in Belize is to develop national capacity for protected areas management to enhance and sustain management of the National Protected Areas System which contributes greatly to our national development. The main objective of the training program is to establish effective institutional capacity within Protected Areas (PAs) Management Organizations for strategic planning, program development and implementation and long-term sustainability. This objective will be achieved through the delivery of applied training to build capacity under the priority areas identified in the National Training Needs Assessment for PAs Management completed in 2011. Implementation of a national training program aimed at improving national protected areas management capacity is significant, not only at a national scale, but also at a global scale. This is highlighted by the fact that the implementation of the national training program falls under the overall framework of the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan which specifically addresses the national needs of protected areas while contributing to meeting Belize’s commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Program of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA). For more information please contact: Contact person: Mr. Alfredo Cruz, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development, 2nd Floor, West Block Building, Belmopan Tel #: 501-822-0810 or 501-822-0401

Flashback: Las Leonas As Strong As The Lions
Las Leonas- this was how the wives of the Lions were referred to when the San Pedro Lions Club was founded in 1975. These lovely ladies certainly don’t look like ‘Leonas’ or Lioness but they certainly worked hard along with the Lion members to make of this club a success. Seated at the front of Ovidio Guerrero’s Skin Diver’s Club at the front were distinguished Sanpedranas like Leni Alamilla, Elma Gonzalez, Addy Gomez, Argelia Forman(+), Nila Munoz, Sylvia Gonzalez, Lala Alamilla(+), Mathy Gonzalez, and Neydy Salazar. Indeed their husbands were founding members of the San Pedro Lions Club. Skin Diver’s was a bar located downstairs of Martha’s Hotel where Publics Two is presently located. Those were happy days for Lions and moments when they were considered the top club among sixteen other clubs in the country. Many Lions are sadly missed today like: Adolfo Ayuso, Arturo Mora, Allan Forman, Reynaldo Squires, Felipe Paz, Tabito Alamilla, Fedo Alamilla, and Joe Alamilla.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize weekly newsletter published by the Gov Info Service, Jan 1965
In 1961, there were 35,490 visitors and in 1964 we had 57,640

Robbery at Toledo's Teacher's Credit Union Bella Vista Branch
On Monday 4th June, 2012 at 8:48am Independence Police responded to a robbery in progress at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union Branch (TTCU), Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District. Barry BARDALEZ, 46yrs, Manager reported that on sometime between 8:30am and 8:45am whilst inside the credit union along with other employees and about twenty customers, when three armed men, two of whom were masked were armed with what appeared to be M16 rifles and the other un-masked armed with what appeared to be a 9MM pistol entered the credit union pointing their firearms at the credit union employees and demanding money. Fearing for their lives, a cashier at the credit union opened the vault of the credit union, where he opened the safe and the robbers then helped themselves to an un-disclosed amount of Belize and US currency including coins, were placed inside a green military bag. The thieves then made good their escape in a 2008 green Toyota Hilux pick-up truck bearing license plate TOL-C-4051 valued at $75,000.00bcy, property of the credit union. BARDADLEZ then discovered that (2) 9MM pistols brand and serial number unknown with (15) live 9mm rounds each were also stolen valued at $6,500.00bcy. No one was injured. Whilst police were on investigation on Savannah Road, Independence Village in the vicinity of the Independence High School, they saw a dark blue Isuzu Trooper bearing license plate SC-D-1150 travelling from Independence Village towards Savannah Road and Southern Highway junction that was stopped and searched.

Santa Elena Meat Shop has a new Website
The Santa Elena Meat Shop has a new website. "Looking for Meat? Come to Santa Elena Meat Shop. We offer a varity of fresh and quality meat. We guarantee to satisy your meat needs."

Belize Zoo's Summer Conservation Camp
The Belize Zoo is doing their annual Summer Conservation Camp, and has spots for 30 kids between the ages of 12 and 17. It's on a first come first accept basis, so let them know soon. TBZ's FB page: Click here

Mayan Full Moon Ceremony yesterday at Lower Dover
Don Beto Cocom did a Maya Full Moon Ceremony yesterday at Lower Dover Field Station. It started at 4:00, and went until 6:00pm. Don Beto Cocom is a renowned healer from Bullet Tree Falls, and takes care of the Masewal Medicinal Trail. The Cornerstone Foundation and the Natural Healers Program are also cosponsors of the event.

Belizean Conch Fritters
Conch or Abalone is a delicacy of the sea. In Belize conch is usually made as a stew or soup, served with white rice or as an appetizer in the form of fritters. Conch Fritters are spicy with just a hint of conch. This appetizer can be eaten with dipping sauce or alone.

BTIA Disaster Preparedness Workshop 2012
The Belize Tourism Industry Association is inviting everyone to participate in the 2012 Disaster Preparedness Workshop. The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness Workshop is to inform participants about hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION; “Preparation though education is less costly than learning through tragedy.” The workshop will focus on helping businesses within the tourism industry through learning the steps of action planning and plan implementation and is designed for managers, supervisors and key operations staff. Come and be a part of this informative event and learn of the various measures needed in mitigating disasters within our industry. Contact our BTIA Office on 10 North Park St. at 227-1144 or emails a.usher@btia.org, info@btia.org, for any queries or suggestions. Click the link below to download the workshop’s registration form: Hurricane Preparedness Workshop Registration Form

Channel 7

Unsanctioned Development In Wildlife Sancutary
A stop order has been issued to a developer who cut a massive canal right through a wildlife sanctuary. It's the Belize Central Corridor near mile 25 on the Western Highway. It connects the wild areas of Southern and Northern Belize and is used by Jaguars as they roam over a large area. But, a huge agricultural development - reportedly eighteen thousand acres of cane production - is in that same area - and the developer has trenched a massive canal to bring in water from the Belize River. Now, the project has no environmental clearance - and the Forestry Department just became aware of it a week ago - after the trenching was well underway with four excavators working overtime to build the canal - right through the biological corridor. A quite disturbed Forestry Minister, Lisel Alamilla today told us that a stop order has been issued post haste.

Lawmen Who Allegedly Robbed Credit Union Criminally Charged
Tonight, two police officers and a BDF soldier are spending their second night in detention after allegedly robbing a credit union in Southern Belize. At 8:30 yesterday morning, 20 customers were inside the Toledo Teacher's Credit Union Branch in Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District when three armed men, two of them masked and armed with what looked like M-16 rifles along with an unmasked man with a 9 millimetre pistol stormed in. The cashier opened the vault and the safe and the robbers stuffed an undisclosed amount of Belize and US dollars into a green military bag. The also stole two nine millimetre pistols.

GSU Catches Brazen Burglars
Around 4am on Monday morning, GSU officers responded to a burglary in progress at a residence on Dean Street. While inquiring with the house owner, they were informed that two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing a red and a black cap had burglarized her house the night before around midnight stealing her keys and some items. The same robbers returned at 4:00 am on Monday this time armed with firearms. A 12 year old minor was held up at gunpoint while the robbery was taking place. Her mother reported that while in the garage she heard noise's inside the house and upon checking she saw the robbers stealing her TV, fan, 2 bicycles and 2 cell phones from inside her house. Based on the description provided, GSU officers conducted a search at #98 East Canal which led to the recovery of all the items inside the house - while the two bicycles were found in an alley besides the residence. Also found at the house were a black cap and a red cap which were wet. The TV was also wet given that it had been raining. Two 17 year old Belizean minors of 98 East Canal, 19 year old Hugh Thomas of 23 Berkley Street, a 17 year old female of 37 Mahogany Heights and 19 year old Monica Ramclam of #98 East canal were all detained pending charges for handling stolen goods, burglary and aggravated burglary.

An In-depth Look At Flooding In Belize River Valley
Last night we showed you some of the damage that has been done along the old Northern Highway due to the heavy rains that poured down on Belize for about 10 days. Well tonight we will show you a more in-depth look at the destruction wrought by the very heavy rainfall. Robin Schaffer has the story... Robin Schaffer reporting Belizeans are trying to cope with the damage from the past couple of weeks. It was the kind of rain that turned roads into rivers, yards into moats and a watermelon patch into a pond. Indeed, this farmer had to take on the role of fisherman as he tried to salvage some of the waterlogged crops on the Old Northern Highway. Victor Padilla, Farmer in the River Valley "For Hurricane Mitch we had something similar but we never lost that much. We had invested around $15,000.00 in tomato and sweet pepper and whatever else you see at the farm. If I get like $3,000 back, that would be a lot. My losses I would call it about $12,000. I have to go look for a job or at least I need something to start over. Start to clean some land and start over again in higher lands." And it is not only the farmers who are suffering from the 10 day downpour. Residents were trapped in their houses as their yards were filled with water. And for those houses not on stilts, water has entered, flooding the house. Some residents have even taken to making makeshift bridges, precariously crossing planks thrown over from one relatively dry area to another. One resident expressed the hopelessness of her situation, saying that she simply cannot do anything. Resident of River Valley "I can't even get out of my house."

BSI To Sign A Major Investment Buy-out
BSI's financial woes may soon be over. It has embraced an investment proposal from an American Group, American Sugar Refining which wants to invest substantially in the company. The proposal is for an investment which includes approximately a 60Million US dollar injection of new equity which would make ASR the majority shareholder in BSI with 85% of the company's shares. It would also make a further 30 million US dollar investment to improve and expand the Tower Hill Factory. Broad based support came from BSI Management, the directors of the BEH Trust and the Belize Workers Union, who at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the beneficiaries of the BEH Trust a week ago voted almost unanimously to permit ASR to become the majority shareholder. The new injection of finance will slash the company's present debt burden, while the investment in the factory will result in a shorter crop duration which means that it will no longer be necessary to operate in the early stages of the rainy season. ASR is also expected to prompt the modernization of the industry. ASR owns five sugar mills in the United States, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

GSU Make Drug Bust In Cayo
The GSU found 1.6 kilos of weed in Santa Familia on Saturday - stashed in a bucket in an open lot next to a Primary School. The drugs were actually found in a pasture adjacent to the RC school opposite the residence of an alleged member of the gang called Calle 13 operating in that village. That operation was to target members of a gang calling themselves Calle 13 and 18th Street. There were two amounts in the bucket i.e. an amount that weighed 350 grams and another that weighed 1,250, yielding a combined total of 1.6 kgs. of cannabis. And while it is believed to belong to the gang personality, at the time of the search no one was in the area, so the drugs was labeled as found property.

More GSU Busts; This Time On Southside Belize City
And while that was the weekend in Cayo, this morning in the city, the GSU searched an enclosed yard used as a mechanic shop operated by Dane ENRIQUEZ at 10 Caesar Ridge Road. Present at the time of the search were 24 Ryan WELCOME, 22 year old Alexander UNDERWOOD, 23 year old Randy ALLEN, 26 year old Jordean JERGENSON, and 36 year old Derwin MIDDLETON, all employed as labourers with Ministry of Works. A search on Derwin MIDDLETON led to the discovery of 0.5 grams of cannabis inside his hands. MIDDLETON was arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Drugs. Alexander UNDERWOOD was found with1 gram of cannabis inside his left front pocket. He also arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Drugs. A further search of the yard, where the five persons were standing led to the discovery of two small transparent plastic bags which contained a total of 13 grams of cannabis. As a result, all persons were arrested and jointly charged with Possession of Control Drugs. In a pile of garbage in the same yard a black plastic bag which contained 36 grams of cannabis was found. As a result, all persons were again jointly charged with Possession of Control Drugs.

Mounting Worries For Missing Teenagers
Tonight two teenagers are still missing after 72 hours. They are Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat. Both young men are 17 years old and have been missing since Saturday. According to Alamilla's mother, she last heard from her son on Saturday morning around 7:30 when he called and asked if she can buy him a boat ticket to return home to San Pedro. She did, but her son never made it on the boat. Her nephew Charlie Espat was along with her son and he is also missing. Alamilla's mother told us that both her son and nephew left San Ignacio on Saturday and headed to Belize City in a green car that had on an American license plate. A friend of the boys told the devastated mother that the two mentioned to him that they were going to visit a friend on George Street. Since then no one have seen neither boys nor the vehicle. Carmita Gonzales Espat, mother/aunt of missing boys "We tried to contact through the phone but they don't answer their phone from Saturday. The last time I heard from him was 7:30 the morning when he asks me to pay his passage from San Pedro for him to take the boat in Belize City at San Pedro Belize Express. I paid it and now he does not reach home. I don't know anything about it. I don't know anything about the vehicle. I just want to know if he is ok and for him to contact his mother or his grandmother because we worry about him. Or my nephew to contact his mother, we just want to know about them. Whoever sees them just call us or tell us because I am worrying about my son."

Belize Connect For Biden's Daughter
The International Children's Hospital has reached out to Belizeans on several different occasions to help children with deformities. Volunteers from this hospital have performed reconstructive surgery on children with cleft palates, deformed ears, and clubbed feet. Well, now, one it's volunteers has gotten married to the daughter of the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. 30 year old Ashley Blazer Biden married Dr. Howard David Krein in Wilmington on Saturday. Krein is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Pennsylvania, and Ashley Biden is a social worker for the Delaware Department of Services for Children. Jill Biden commented that the newlywed couple is passionate about helping the less privileged.

Figueroa has been tracking the number of jaguars that use the central corridor
"If you look Belize, the entire country, you have two huge conservation blocks. But in the central portion of Belize there is no connectivity, there is no corridors." Bart Harmsen "We need to know how these cats are moving around in this landscape and with this kind of knowledge, knowing how these cats are moving around, the Belize government will be able to shape policy of how they have to deal with these jaguars." Jules Vasquez reporting And as what are called apex predators, jaguars are critical to understanding the state of play of the surrounding environment. Omar Figueroa "The main reason behind using these cats is that as the apex predator they play a critical role in maintaining the structure and function of ecosystems. So when you devise a conservation policy, a natural resource policy, focused on these cats, you simultaneously protect a host of sympatric species. When you focus and you develop conservation policy, natural resource policy around this jaguar you are essentially protecting a host of other species, flora and fauna biodiversity in general." "Then we will better be able to start to gain some educated guesses as to how many jaguars we have in this country and really where the critical areas are that we need to protect for these cats. You could protect 50% of this country but you could be protecting, half of that you don't really need to protect. It could be an erroneous plan." And while tracking will fine tune plans, it will also tell us about this fascinating predator.

Channel 5

National Security’s finest, B.D.F. and Police Officers, charged for Credit Union Robbery
Three weeks ago on May fourteenth to be precise was the last time a police officer was arrested. The charge? Trying to corrupt another cop. Police officers have been arrested for murder and another infamous case was when several were charged in connection to the landing of a drug plane on the Southern Highway. So [...]

PG Sho Family members still in hospital after murder and chopping
In other news from the south, a home invasion on the outskirts of Punta Gorda town has left one man dead and two others hospitalized. Care-takers of Tropic Inn, the Sho family, was asleep when around four on Sunday morning a man entered the building and inflicted numerous chop wounds to three members of the [...]

Belize River Valley under water
Ten days of rains has caused flooding in the Belize River Valley. Farms in a number of communities have been affected. In the Maskall Area, the farmers have lost most of their crops of fruits and vegetables. The damage to crop is extensive and our news team had to trek through mud and rely on [...]

What is the most pressing problem the country is facing: crime and violence or the economic downturn?
Tonight’s question is: What is the most pressing problem the country is facing: crime and violence or the economic downturn? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Attorney Godfrey Smith weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Referendum
The date to hold simultaneous referenda to take the Belize/Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice is set for October sixth, 2013. In both Belize and Guatemala, a massive education campaign is expected to commence to raise awareness on a decision whether the matter will land before the ICJ as the final measure to [...]

Possible opposing views within U.D.P. and P.U.P. on Referendum
The issue of how to resolve the territorial claim has been divisive among the public and in political parties. According to Smith, despite sensitization on the subject there may be opposing views within the ruling United Democratic Party as well as the Opposition.   Godfrey Smith, Attorney “I’m sure there must be some public awareness [...]

South Side Gangsters, AKA Ministry of Work employees, busted with weed
The Gang Suppression Unit made a bust of cannabis this morning when it searched an enclosed yard at Caesar Ridge Road housing a two storey building and a number of vehicles. Five persons, all employed by the Ministry of Works, and described as members of the Southside Gangsters, were present: Ryan Welcome, Alexander Underwood, Randy [...]

GSU busts duo who burglarized home
In another arrest by the GSU, nineteen year old Hugh Thomas and nineteen year old Monica Ramclam along with a seventeen year old were all detained pending charges of burglary, aggravated burglary and handling stolen goods. This is in connection with an incident at a house on Dean Street. The occupants reported that the house [...]

Security Guard says Tyrone Meighan pulled gun and fired shot at him
Eighteen year old Tyrone Meighan may have not thought much of the consequences of pulling out an illegal firearm and shooting at a security guard, but he will have some time in prison to reflect on his actions. This morning, Meighan; an unemployed resident of Banak Street, was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart on [...]

Tulip theft and false name, but Bennett says he’s innocent
K-Park Supermarket on Sixth Street in King’s Park is popular with shoppers and shop lifters. But instead of hiding the stolen items, one thief tried to walk away with them in plain sight of the store owner. In the courtroom of Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, thirty-six year old Steve Bennett pleaded not guilty to [...]

Highlights of Festival of Arts
We’ve reported so far on the arrest of law enforcement officers, other crimes and flooding, but there’s something positive that has just concluded that shows talent of the youth. The annual National Festival of Arts, a showcase in the performing arts, culminated with a youth concert at the Bliss over the weekend. The event brought [...]

Film Festival to be launched with record number of entries
Fans of the cinema will be happy to know that the Belize International Film Festival is on the horizon. The seventh installation of the country’s only festival that praises the art of movie making, will take place from the thirteenth to the seventeenth of July. This year, a record number of films have been submitted [...]

World Environment Day observed in Belize
“Green Economy: Does It Include You?”, the universal theme for this year’s World Environment Day, encourages growth in income and employment driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution. It also aims to improve energy and resource efficiency, as well as prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. While issues [...]

Croc lounges in residential neighborhood
While our news crew was covering the city murders and shootings on Monday, they drove past North Creek on the South Side near Meggs Vehicle Repair Shop. Across the canal were two homes separated by a zinc fence. Below the fence a crocodile basked in the sunlight with its mouth agape. It showed no fear [...]

Transit of Venus across the Sun; 117 years in the making
A singular event today captured the attention of astronomers around the globe and those who simply follow the stars. A rare astronomical event that is known as the transit of Venus took place. It started this afternoon when a small dot began to move across the face of the Sun. The planet Venus was making [...]

LOVE FM

NATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM FOR MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS TO BE LAUNCHED
The government of Belize has announced the launch of a national training program for protected areas management. The initiative is the collaborative effort of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Research Institute of the Universit...

BELIZE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO RECEIVE DONATION FROM U.S. EMBASSY
A ceremony is planned for Wednesday morning in Belize City for the handing over of vehicles and equipment donated to the Belize Police department by the United States embassy. According to a statement from the US Embassy, the donation of seventeen vehicles will be used by the Bel...

TOLEDO TEACHERS CREDIT UNION RECUPERATES AFTER ARMED HOLD UP
The Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch is getting ready to resume full operation following the temporary closure. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the manager of the financial institution this morning. PAUL MAHUNG, Correspondent “The temporar...

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING GIRL
Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe from Santa Elena Cayo has been reported missing. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, a scout was supposed to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan last night with her colleagues but she never made it. Her father sa...

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS RENDERS AID TO PRIMARY SCHOOL IN BELIZE
Holy Angels Primary School in the Pomona Valley is receiving a much needed facelift after some international volunteers are helping to beautify the school. Love News spoke with the Principal of the school, Frances Gongora who explained what’s happening. FRANCES GONGORA ...

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ON THE WESTERN HIGHWAY
63-year-old Edwardo Tesecum was injured in a traffic accident earlier today on the Western highway. Belmopan Police responded to the scene of the accident between mile 48 and 49 on the Western Highway minutes before nine o’clock this morning. Police say they saw Tesec...

Monday, June 4 - POLICE NEWS
An early Sunday morning home invasion in Punta Gorda town has left three members of one family hospitalized in Belize City. Reports are that Jose Sho, believed to be in his 50’s, his wife forty nine year old Patricia Sho, and their son twenty four year old Samuel Sho, ...

SPECIAL CONSTABLES UNDERGO TRAINING
People who work as special constables in Dangriga were given special training over the weekend. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU – DANGRIGA CORRESPONDENT “A two-day Special Constable training was held over the weekend at the D...

CREDIT UNION IN TOLEDO ROBBED
An armed robbery occurred this morning at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG – PUNTA GORDA CORRESPONDENT “Reliable reports indicate that the incident happen about 8:35 ...

PRIME MINISTER'S WIFE SLOWLY RECOVERS
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is out of the hospital in Miami, Florida, USA. The announcement of the major development in her recovery was made in a statement issued this morning from the office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. T...

SUGAR CROP SEASON ENDS
The end of the 2011 – 2012 sugar crop season has been announced. With the onset of the rainy season an agreement was made between farmers and the mill that the delivery of sugar cane to the factory will end on Thursday June 10. Up to last week 1,045,617 tons of cane had been grou...

CTV3

Locke Locked Up For Robbery
A man from the Corozal District is tonight behind bars after he walked into the Princess Hotel and Casino and robbed one of the cashiers of $5,000. Reports are that on Friday June 1STat around 4:59pm, 48 year old James Panta Locke entered the Princess Hotel and Casino located at the Northern Border, walked up to the money exchange gate, pushed his hands over the counter and stole approximately $5,000 from the cashier. As a result Locke was detained by Corozal Police and charged for the crime of robbery. The 48 year old appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this morning where he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison since he could not provide police with a proper address. Locke is scheduled to re-appear before the Corozal Magistrates Court on July 10th. Police were able to recover all the monies stolen

Corozalenos Join Hands To Combat Crime
Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition was formed on April 22ndof this year. The group pledged that with the assistance of the community it would work along with the Corozal Police Station in order to reduce crime. Keeping in line with their aim this morning the coalition handed over several bicycles, batons, flashlights, and handcuffs to the Corozal Police Formation. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting Just about two months ago Corozal was plagued with numerous burglaries and robberies. Residents of the community feared that the misdemeanours would escalate to something far more serious and thus the “Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition” was formed under the presidency of Henry Menzies. This morning, in an effort to reduce crime in the small town, the Citizens For a Better Corozal Coalition handed over several equipment’s to the Corozal Police Station. According to Menzies, much of the items donated were obtained with the kind assistance of the Corozal Community. Henry Menzies, President, Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition “We got donations through the coalition from the business community and today we presented 5 bicycles, 7 hand cuffs, 7 batons and 7 flash lights to the police officers. This is a total value of $2,528 donations.”

Former Principal Of Bishop Martin High School Ordained As Priest
Ordination to priesthood takes place within the context of the Catholic Mass. It is a time of great joy and celebration on the part of the newly ordained priest, his family and friends, and all of those who have supported and encouraged him along the journey of his vocation. On Sunday afternoon a thanksgiving mass was held in honor of the newly ordained priest Father Rene Constanza who has chosen to follow in the righteous path of priesthood serving in the name of Jesus Christ. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Yesterday the La Inmaculada Catholic Church was filled with praise and songs of worship as Christians gathered in celebration of Orange Walks newly ordained priest Father Rene Constanza. A thanksgiving mass was conducted in honor of Father Constanza’s ordination which saw him celebrating his first church service at the La Inmaculada Catholic Church. The mass was carried out alongside four other priests who took part in the religious occasion. While Father Constanza’s six year journey to priesthood has finally come to an end, he says the journey towards serving God and his people has recently begun. Father Rene Constanza “Well it has been six years and six years of formation in several areas and it has been a grace filled moment after the ordination to be a part of people’s lives in the very difficult and the very happy moments of their lives and just to be present makes me humble. I’m humbled by the faith of others and I’m strengthened by my faith as well it feel good to be here in Orange Walk it feels good to be present and having celebrated a mass with the La Inmaculada Parish and the parishioners I am overwhelmed with joy I’m overwhelmed because this is the parish that saw me grow and this is the parish that also helped me nourish my faith in Jesus Christ and as I mentioned in today’s homily it is the community that gives rise to that individual and I’m grateful to all the community members the friends all the different persons that I met through out the years here in Orange Walk with the various organizations through the school through all sectors of life here in Orange Walk I’m very grateful because they have helped me nourish my faith in Jesus Christ and they have continuously been supportive through prayer.”

Help Age Honours Our Elderly Citizens
In 1983 the Help Age Centre in Orange Walk was formed to assist senior citizens in the community. Every year the centre hosts four events one of which is the annual fathers and mother’s day activity to commemorate the elderly for their contributions to the society. This past Sunday about 60 members gathered at the Help Age Centre located on Stadium Street where they spent the day celebrating their parenthood. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Yesterday elderly members of the community congregated at the ZenobiaMeggs Help Age Centre where they were escorted to their respective tables and seated for the entertainment that followed ahead. The socializing event opened the door for each golden citizen to catch up with old friends and share the memorable occasion. Everyone shared in the dinning, dancing and entertaining experience that took the spotlight. And taking part in the joyous occasion was Orange Walk Central Area Representative Hon. John Briceno whose speech was dedicated to all senior citizens.

Mission Milagros Offers Free Eye Care
Mission Miracle is a humanitarian social program created on July 8TH 2004 by the governments of Venezuela and Cuba to provide free eye care for patients in Latin America and the Caribbean experiencing visual health problems. The Venezuelan-Cuban anti-blindness program aims to restore the sight of 6,000,000 people in the region by 2015. The international program was implemented in 2008 here in Belize and has since aided hundreds of patients. After a brief pause Mission Milagros is back and the screening process for patients from the Orange Walk District took place yesterday at the Northern Regional Hospital. Gabriel Sanchez, Public Relations Officer, Republic of Venezuela “We are here today and Sunday in Orange Walk doing screening for the potential patients who are going to Venezuela to get an operation of cataracts and pterygium. What we have here is basically three doctors and they are going to be doing the screening. They select the patients and if the patients if in need of help then they are going to go to Venezuela in June 23rd for 15 days. The plan covers the plane ticket, in a private plane, also food, and lodging and of course the operation. So far we have seen 150 patients for the day.” The main goal of Mission Miracle is to assist the poorer populations and overcome the privatization of health care which prevents low income families from obtaining necessary eye treatment. Gabriel Sanchez, Public Relations Officer, Republic of Venezuela “Well it is from President Chavez and former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro that they had a vision. The vision was to help the health service in Latin America and the Caribbean. We just wanted to assist our brother nations by offering these services. Belize is part of Mission Miracle since 2008 and it is for anybody who doesn’t have the resources or the opportunity to get access to the operations. In some countries the operations is very expensive. The operation is covered by the government of Venezuela and I have to thanks the town council who worked with us in order to make this miracle happen.”

BHOC Showcases Belizean Talent
Yesterday the Banquitas House of Culture held another event which was geared at promoting Belizean Culture and talent. The riverside destination played witness to fun filled activities for both children and adults. Despite the rainy weather the event was well attended by Orange Walkenos who took part in the many games and activities that were organized for the day. According to Coordinator Yvette Torres the activities were a preview to a series of full moon concerts geared towards showcasing some of Belize’s talented singers and performers. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “We are doing the full moon concert and together with that we are doing the May Pole Dance and we are having a day filled with activity we have sack race, lime and spoon, water melon eating contest and the greasy pole which is gonna be a competition. We have a group of women who will be displaying and showing the process of how to do soy milk and later on in the evening for the full moon concert we will be having different signers on stage that will be showcasing their talent. We also have the artisans display and the different women’s group selling food and music for everyone’s entertainment. We decided that together since it was May we wanted to do the May Pole dace so we amalgamated all the activities together for the community to come out and have a fun day with the entire family.” Bringing back Mestizo culture into perspective, the traditional maypole dance was one of the highlights of the event that called for the attention of young Belizeans.

LOVE TV

Teenager accused of home invasion
A minor in Belize City was the victim of a home invasion allegedly orchestrated by another minor and a teenager. The twelve year old accompanied by her mother reported to police that around 11:50 pm on Sunday June third, while she was at home, two male persons entered the house and pointed a gun at her and her four younger siblings. The gun man demanded money, causing them to be in fear of their lives. The perpetrators walked away with two bicycles, two cell phones and a basket of assorted items. Police recovered the items and detained a seventeen year old laborer of Belize City, and nineteen year Hugh Thomas, an unemployed man from number twenty three Berkley Street for the crimes of burglary and handling stolen goods.

Cayo teen girl sexually assaulted by grown man
A fifteen year old minor from San Ignacio, visited the police station along with her mother on Sunday June third, to report an incident of carnal knowledge. The mother reported that in January, her daughter was having abdominal pain so she sent her to a mid-wife. When the girl came back she went to her bed and when the woman went to check on her later on, her daughter told her she felt like something was coming out of her. The minor was told to undress and something that resembled underdeveloped fetus was seen coming out of her vagina. When questioned as to who did that the girl answered that it was Cris Pinelo, a twenty four year old Laborer of seventh Street in San Ignacio Town. A medical examination was conducted on the girl and the doctor stated that her hymen was broken and ordered a pregnancy test to be done to her as soon as possible. Police are looking for Cris Pinelo.

Teen accused of aggravated burglary
18-year-old Tyrone Meighan, an unemployed of Banak Street was charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public when he appeared in court today. Mieghan pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart explained to Meighan that the court cannot offer him bail because the offences were committed with a firearm. She remanded him into custody until July 5. The incident occurred around 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. 59-year-old Henry Lammey, a watchman for AES compound on Cemetery Road, reported to the police that that he was taking a nap on a pallet when he was awakened by the dogs barking. Lammey said when he looked he saw a person running between the two warehouses and firing shots in his direction. Lammey said he feared for his life so he remained silent. Lammey was unhurt.

Police detain alleged credit union robbers
Policemen charged. Five people, including two police officers and a BDF soldier are this afternoon in police detention on suspicion of being involved in the armed robbery of the Bella Vista branch of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports. Meanwhile, the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch is getting ready to resume full operation following the temporary closure. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the manager of the financial institution this morning.

Cayo teen reported missing
Tonight worried parents and friends of a thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena Cayo are desperately searching for her. Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe left home to go to her mother’s place of employment around mid-afternoon on Monday and has not been seen or heard from since. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, who is a scout was supposed to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan last night with her colleagues but she never made it. Her father says he did not realize she was missing until late at night when he contacted the group leader who told him she didn’t even show up in the first place. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jasmine Lowe, you can call her family at telephone numbers: 824-2755 or 665-5693. You can also call 911 or the crime stoppers hotline at 0-800-922-8477.

Watching the Crooked Tree Lagoon
And while residents along the old Northern Highway continue to monitor the flood situation … their compatriots in Crooked Tree are also keeping a watchful eye on the lagoon. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went across the causeway today to bring you the following story.

Flooding hits Belize Rural North communities hard Posted: 05 Jun 2012 06:36 PM PDT
On Monday, we told you about the misery residents of communities in the rural areas of the Belize district were experiencing because of flooding. The flood not only caused classes to be cancelled but also damaged a lot of crops and agriculture produce for farmers in the area. Area Representative for the Belize Rural North, Edmund Castro today gave Love News an update on the situation via telephone.

Toledo Credit Union held up and robbed
An armed robbery occurred this morning at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. But while the robbers are out, so are the cops in restoring the peace. As the police press officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood updates, there are some detentions.

Scouts celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee
A Beacon lighting ceremony was held last night by the Scout Association of Belize at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. The event was held as part of Belize’s commemoration of the diamond Jubilee for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. During the ceremony Chief Scout Dr. Erasmo Franklin told the crowd that the beacon [...]

Man jailed on theft conviction
36-year-old Steven Bennett, a labourer charged with theft and a mischievous act, was sentenced to seven months for each offence after he pleaded guilty to the charges. Chief magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentences stipulated that they should run concurrently so Bennett will serve seven months. The incident occurred yesterday at K Park [...]

Man charged for jacking bicycle at gunpoint
24-year-old Justin Richards a.k.a Owl, one of two persons who the police believe jacked a beach cruiser bicycle at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence [...]

Charges brought in burglary case
Two persons, one of them a 17-year-old boy were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. The adult was 19-year-old Hugh Thomas, an unemployed. Thomas, the 17-year-old boy and two others, one of them a 17-year-old girl, were charged with handling stolen goods for a 29 inch color television that had a value [...]

PlusTV

Belize celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The River Thames was dotted in red, white and blue on Sunday, as thousands celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen ...

Breast is best campaign sweeps Belmopan Hospital
Plastered on walls and display areas throughout the Western Regional Hospital were posters and displays promoting b...

Gospel Reggaeton duo "Triple Seven" to headline weekend concert
Belize Christian Revival is a newly formed group of volunteers and Pastors who have a vision and heart to create po...

High school student goes missing
Jasmine Lowe a 13 year old high school student was scheduled to participate in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Ceremony...

Minors held up at gunpoint in home invasion
There was a home invasion in Belize City where several minors were held up at gunpoint. A 12-year old minor of Beli...

Complainant of police victimization is jailed
Teenager, 18-year-old Tyrone Meighan, who claims that he has been harassed on numerous occasions by the police, is ...

15 year old suffers miscarriage
On Sunday morning (June 3) at 9:00am, a 15year old female girl of San Ignacio in the company of her mother made a p...

Man caught on bus trafficking cannabis
Dangriga Police intercepted a James Bus at Pomona Village on Sunday morning. A search was conducted in a black and ...

Princess Hotel bandit charged
A man from the Corozal District is today behind bars after he walked into the Princess Hotel and robbed one of the ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Has An Outdoor Cinema…
They show movies nightly. Admission is BZ$ 10. There is a full bar on the premises. If you are looking for something fun to do especially on a moon-lit night, then maybe this is the place for you.

If you need bottled water, Adrian is your guy!
If you need 5-gallon bottles of water delivered to you where ever you are, then AGUA DULCE is your water, and Adrian is your go-to guy. If you see him passing by on the street, just wave him down, give him your order, tell me where to drop it off, and voila! Life on Caye Caulker is simple and easy!

Amandala

Armed cops, soldier robbed Toledo Teachers’ Credit Union in Bella Vista?
Police detain 4 persons, but won’t confirm who they are; security cameras disabled... Police, BDF officers involved? Independence police confirmed to Amandala this evening that four persons are detained for questioning in connection with a robbery reported this morning at the local branch of the Toledo Teachers’ Credit Union (TTCU) in Bella Vista, Toledo District.

Steve Williams, 51, killed “for nothing” on Elston Kerr and Iguana
Steve Williams, 51, was on an errand on Iguana Street for someone he knew. As the Pelican Street resident rode a borrowed red mountain bike on Elston Kerr going south toward the intersection with Iguana around 11:20 p.m., according to police, the sound of gunfire suddenly rang out as he turned onto Iguana.

Baby, 9 months, shot in taxi with mother, 19
Also shot was a man, 24... A gunman reportedly approached the taxi, a Geo Prism, from a side street and fired at the people inside, four adults and the baby. The gunman then ran back through the street and escaped into the night.

Bandits acting as police rob businessman at gunpoint
Omar Mitchell, a Belize City engineer, escaped with his life after he was held up at gunpoint and shot in his leg by two bandits who posed as policemen, and who stole his vehicle.

NICH’s technician, 35, murdered in his sleep
Police say no forced entry into the house; Rudy Cruz stabbed over 12 times... Rudy Noel Cruz, 35, of Allan Pitts Crescent in the Port Loyola area, was found dead on his blood-soaked mattress on his bed with over 12 stab wounds to the body, around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 1.

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene girls and St. Martin De Porres boys are Belize City Primary School Softball Champions
The Belize City Primary School Softball Tournament concluded on Friday, June 1, at the MCC Grounds with female and male championship matches played.

TIDE Freshwater Cup results & plans, semifinals and finals
The TIDE Annual Freshwater Cup competition is now coming closer to its end for this year. There are also proposed plans/dates for the Semifinals and Finals for the senior competition.

FFB President on nationwide tour
The President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente has started a nationwide tour of all football districts. The aim of the tour is to meet with the Chairmen and Executive of the Associations in order to listen to their concerns and recommendations as it relates to football. The President’s tour began yesterday, June 2, in Orange Walk, with his first stop being the Acuario Sports Bar, where he met with Rafael Avila, Chairman of the OWFA, and his Executive at 9:30 a.m.

Update from Harmonyville; more land for Belizeans
The original 1,300 acres of Harmonyville have all been surveyed and subdivided into six phases, and BGYEA is now negotiating with Government to move onto a larger, 2,900-acre parcel located in the same area, but which is presently occupied by non-BGYEA settlers with whom the group will negotiate as well.

10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 major predicted
Two names storms, Alberto and Beryl, have already formed ahead of the official June 1 start-date of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. However, that does not mean that this year’s hurricane season is going to be significantly more active than the average year’s.

EDITORIAL: Early warning signs
In Jamaica, the news is that most of the public sector unions – except that of the teachers – have signed onto a wage freeze with the government of Jamaica. The Nurses Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Civil Service Association and several other trade unions that represent various public sector groups have signed on the dotted line.

Lawrence Vernon offers complement to Janus of Sunday, June 3, 2010
As a complement to the piece on Words in “Ideas and Opinions” by Janus, in Amandala of June 3, 2012, I offer the following observation. I had some time ago attempted in an Amandala column to point out a few of the more commonly mispronounced words we hear on our airwaves, both locally and internationally. I repeat three such words/phrases here: Irregardless - this is a word that was coined in the U.S.A. in the early 20th century, and that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used mostly in nonstandard speech, or casual writing. In effect it is an erroneous word, etymologically speaking, which means the exact opposite of what it is intended to express — being probably a blend of IRRESPECTIVE and REGARDLESS. It has been considered a blunder for decades and will continue to be so, even to the extent of being used humorously.

Blogs

Mangoes EVERYWHERE: Driving from San Jose, Costa Rica to Panama
While Central America is relatively compact, the countries really start stretching out in the south...both Costa Rica and Panama are pretty long and skinny. I arrived in San Jose on Saturday evening, we planned to cross the border between Costa Rica and Panama on Monday morning and arrive in Coronado, Panama the same day. We had some driving to do. Let's get going. We woke up early, had our breakfast at the Hotel Aeropuerto, San Jose and paid the bill. It hit me...Costa Rica is expensive! $90USD for a hotel that should have been about $40. Gas per gallon is at almost $6 USD. But there is a reason that people flock to this country and pay a little bit extra. It is absolutely stunning. Mountains, neon green valleys, rushing rivers and waterfalls, trees bursting with flowers and fruit, happy looking cattle, water you can drink from the taps, well fed dogs and much less blatant poverty. All of that doesn't come for free. And look at this! RECYCLING. Totally impressive, Costa Rica. We took to the road. We wanted to make it close to the Costa Rica border by afternoon. Stay for the night and start out early the next day. (For all of you cringing that I was missing Costa Rica entirely...I get it. I pretty much was. But I HAVE been to Costa Rica before for 10 days a few years ago and I will be back...there is so much more to see.) We drove for about 5 hours and decided to stop in the port town of Golfito.

Stew Beef & Okra w/ Cilantro & Yellow Ginger Rice..." Mi eye too big for mi belly"
Now, Stew Beef is the 2nd favored meat side to Rice & Beans or White Rice & Stew Beans, which most will say is our National Dish and it might be but I personally Believe that here in Belize we have so many different ethnic groups that each dish needs recognition. The Creole will have their Rice & Beans dish, Garifuna might have Sere & Hudut, we have so many types of food and everyone has their recipe... I will share with you MY recipe for stewed beef. And while traditionally you serve this with rice & beans I have decided against it and went with something that is also local but less common, Yellow Ginger & Cilantro Rice. Now, traditionally stew beef has just beef, potatoes and onions and tomatoes...that is nice and all but...I tend to be a bit greedy with food...I want it all...or close to it so i have a general rule of thumb..."anything else that can go in goes in" Now, I know I've been off with my blogging but as I try to make it a weekly gig, work keeps getting in the way lol (just kidding I love my job) so a month later I bring you once again good yummy delicious FOOOOOOOOOD!

Chaa Creek Cheers New Chocolate News
Having highlighted the ancient Maya’s cultivation and use of cacao for many years, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre and Spa staff welcome recent scientific studies that once again point to the benefits of consuming chocolate, Spa manager Bryony Fleming said today. The new Australian study, supported by an Australian Research Council grant, used a mathematical model to predict the long term effects of daily dark chocolate consumption on people at risk of cardio vascular disease or stroke. The researchers concluded that yes, chocolate is good for you. “Dark chocolate may be a pleasant and effective way of delivering important dietary components that can provide health benefits to the ever increasing numbers of people at increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” researcher Christopher Reid, PhD, professor of cardiovascular epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia said this week. Reid’s team computed the number of heart attacks and strokes that would occur with and without the dark chocolate, and concluded that eating 100 grams of dark chocolate a day for ten years would prevent 70 nonfatal and 15 fatal heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people over 10 years. Dr Joe Vinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in the USA and a long-time chocolate researcher, said that although the study had limitations in that “It’s all theoretical based on statistics,” even so, “It’s wonderful news again on the health effects of dark chocolate for people who have a little higher risk (of heart problems) than the normal person.” However, he recommends eating less than the 100 grams used in the model. He suggests about 40 grams, or about one chocolate bar, daily. Dr Reid suggested that the chocolate should be dark and at least 60%-70% cocoa. Ms Fleming said the study is further proof of what the ancient Maya knew all along. “The Maya were a very wise civilisation, one of the most advanced societies of their time. They would not have held chocolate, or xocoatl as it was known in Mesoamerica, in such high esteem over thousands of years if there wasn’t some reason for it,” she said. Ms Fleming said the Chaa Creek Spa uses chocolate in several natural therapies, including a chocolate wrap that has many of the active ingredients of cacao absorbed through the skin. “You can see people’s skin take on a glow, and they report feelings of peaceful wellbeing afterwards” she said, and pointed out that the Chaa Creek Maya Organic Farm, which supplies the eco-resort’s restaurant, grows cacao from local strains developed thousands of years ago in Belize. “There’s so much continuity with chocolate in Belize. Many of our staff are of Maya descent, and we’re using cacao their ancestors cultivated well before the birth of Christ and considered sacred because of its many benefits. And now, to have modern science confirm something that’s such an important part of our local Maya culture is very satisfying. “And, of course, it’s a proven fact that chocolate is delicious,” Ms Fleming said.

International Sources

British monarchy's long-lasting love affair with the sea
For ardent royalists and keen followers of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, there could have been few more fitting tributes to the British monarch's abiding reign than Sunday's 1000-strong flotilla. The vast fleet of multi-colored, eccentrically-clad yachts - which included everything from ancient tall ships to Viking-style longboats -- was led by a gold-gilded barge carrying the queen herself, reflecting an intimate and centuries-old communion between the royal family and the high-seas. Throughout history, British monarchs have relied on the country's sea power to protect their kingdom and conquer new territories. During the 18th and 19th centuries their naval conquests ensured that the "sun never set" on its empire, but even though times have changed since then, the monarchy still enjoys a very special relationship with the symbolically titled Royal Navy. The queen's husband, Prince Philip, is its Lord High Admiral, while her son Charles holds the rank of Admiral -- having taken command of his own ship in 1976. Prince William is Sub Lieutenant and Commodore-in-Chief for Scotland and Submarines and completed an attachment with the Royal Navy in 2008.

Why the Queen Matters
A SIXTY-year reign: a span embracing 12 presidents, 6 popes, 12 British prime ministers — starting with Winston Churchill — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the formation of the European Union, the end of the British Empire and the growth of a multiracial Commonwealth. But then Queen Elizabeth II has reigned, not ruled: hers is not a record in government. The modern monarchy does not begin wars or shape domestic policy. And so the inevitable questions, as Britain and the Commonwealth celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, are now in people’s minds. What, in fact, has she achieved? What difference has she made? How are we to measure her years on the throne? For several decades of the queen’s reign, British governments saw themselves in the business of “managing decline” — from empire and victory in World War II to the status of middling power. During this time the influence and the symbolism of the crown has been all-pervasive. The queen has not opposed change or helped Britain avoid change; what she has done instead is to enable change without despair. Her permanence has given the British the essential self-assurance they have needed. The poet Philip Larkin caught it well: In times when nothing stood But worsened, or grew strange, There was one constant good: She did not change.

Smith Team Departs for Summer on the Reef
As the Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program enters its 13th year, students gear up for another fun and educational summer running youth camps in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Smith Coral Reef Ed-Centures 2012 team. Smith students lead Coral Reef Ed-Ventures participants in a group activity outside the San Pedro classroom. This year’s student participants—Angela Oliverio ’12 (majors: biological sciences and philosophy), Kaylyn Oates ’12 (geosciences and education and child study), Alyssa Stanek ’13 (psychology and education and child study), Kayla Clark ’14 (sociology and education and child study), Laura Malecky ’13 (study of women and gender), and Megan Svoboda ‘12 (anthropology)—along with faculty members David Smith, professor of biological sciences, Al Curran, professor emeritus of geosciences, and Denise Lello, lecturer in biological sciences, team up with personnel at the Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve to provide educational summer programs to the local youth. The Smith team departed this week for a six-week stay on the Belize coast.

Hurricane Typhoon Season 2012
Message for U.S Citizens U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize. The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that those in hurricane- and typhoon-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming seasons now. This Travel Alert expires on December 1, 2012. The Atlantic Basin, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center expects to see a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year with a 70 percent chance of nine to fifteen named storms, including four to eight that will reach hurricane strength (with top winds of 74 mph or higher). Of those, one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

Knocking on Heaven’s Shore: Bluefin Tuna Carrying Safe Fukushima Nuclear Radiation
So the momometer tells us of another huge news story: bluefin tuna have carried radiation leaked from Japan’s tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant across the ocean to California, where fishermen are catching them. (The momometer, a Geiger-counter of news magnitude, is my 86-year old-mother, Rose. No computer. When she phones me to tell me she’s heard a news story, it means it’s huge. And this one is.) The significance: while Californians wait for currents to bring the floating debris of tsunami-devastated towns knocking on their heavenly shores, migratory animals such as tunas, albatrosses, sea turtles, and sharks are rocketing Fukushima nuclear plant radiation across the ocean. We know the whole world is connected, but we didn’t quite think about how some of the connectors travel awfully far awfully fast. Long before tsunami debris arrives on Golden State sands, some California sport fishermen are catching radiation packages. And so you ask, “Are the fish okay to eat?” Well, yes, because the amount of radiation — while elevated and definitely from Fukushima — is still miniscule, well below levels that give experts safety concerns (and I mean experts, not just government agencies). Another answer is, “Well, no,” because they carry enough mercury to make you sick; that’s a different issue. The mercury comes not from nuclear plants but from coal. And if you don’t know where your bluefin originates, remember that Atlantic bluefin — of no concern regarding radiation — share the mercury problem plus are deeply depleted by overfishing. So another answer is, “It depends on what you mean by okay.” If you mean just the radiation, then yes, they’re okay to eat. (The fish, if they could, might ask you to remember that it’s also okay not to eat them.) The radiation work was done by some of my colleagues at Stony Brook University on Long Island, where I have a desk, and Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Lab in Monterey, Calif., where I’ve occasionally encountered a welcome mat. That is to say that when my mother phoned, I did not let on that I’d actually known about the Fukushima-tuna-radiation link for months but had been sworn to professional secrecy. Now the scientific review process has done its thing, resulting in the publication and unveiling of the results, and my mother has heard the news, so I am free to spill a few more beans.

Insight: Dengue Vaccine in Sight, After 70 Years
(Reuters) - One of the grimmest legacies of the war in the Pacific is still being fought 70 years on, but a victory over dengue, the intensely painful "breakbone fever" which that conflict helped spread around the world, may be in sight. The U.S. Army, which like its Japanese enemy lost thousands of men to the mosquito-borne disease in the 1940s, has piled resources into defeating the tropical killer. But it may be about to see the battle to develop the first vaccine won not in the United States but by French drug company Sanofi. The Paris-based firm hopes for positive results in September from a key trial among children in Thailand that would set it on course to market a shot in 2015 which would prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year. Of 20,000 annual deaths, many are of children.

Nurse's Belize trip was educational, life-saving
Lorie Ramey of Beavercreek got more than she bargained for on recent trip to Belize, where she passed on her lifesaving skills rather than help with construction projects and work on her tan. Ramey, 52, is an educator with a passion for helping nurses gain skills they need. But the 29-year veteran nurse at Adventist Medical Center spends the majority of her time teaching CPR, so she was looking to do other things. Just before she left, she learned that the employees of a La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital in Santa Elena were in desperate need of CPR training. “My goal on this trip was to do nothing nurse related, so I packed my hardhat and was ready to do construction,” she said. “There wasn’t anyone to do the renewals, and I said I would think about it, and as soon as I hung up the phone, I realized there was nothing to think about.” Her husband, Larry Ramey, 56, is an anesthesiologist for Kaiser Sunnyside in Clackamas. He also didn’t avoid application of his medical skills while traveling. While in Belize he oversaw four surgeries and helped construct a basketball court in Georgeville.

June 5, 2012

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Coming Back - Part II
Back at the old apartment, her cherub awake and already running circles around her, she found herself wondering why she had bothered seeking him out. She had seen him, and definitely, there was nothing left anymore. All those years of wondering and foolishly hoping for a call, a few scribbled lines in the post – anything – those dreams were for naught. It was as if though those few fleeting weeks had never happened. If she hadn’t an actual child to show for it, she too would have forgotten her foray into wild behavior and total free-spiritedness.

The San Pedro Sun

Arleth Lima wins Miss San Pedro High 2012-2013
Miss San Pedro High 2012-2013 was held on Saturday night, June 1st and as promised by organizer Renison Crawford it was bigger and better than in previous years. At the end of a evening of glamour, poise and colorful costumes, Arleth Lima was crowned Miss San Pedro High 2012-2013. Seven young ladies from ages 14 – 17 took to the stage in a competition featuring six segments after which a new Miss San Pedro High School (SPHS) was crowned. The dance presentation was very well choreographed, and the girls’ hard work was apparent in the uniformity of their performance. This was followed by a presentation of the young ladies. The young ladies came out sporting the professional attire depicting their career interests. First out to introduce herself was Miss Emily Simose, sponsored by Amigos del Mar, who downed a boxer outfit, highlighted with her desire to protect. Keisha Martin was next, in her soldier outfit, sponsored by Victoria House, she hopes to have the opportunity to protect the country she loves so much. Nikita Coleman was next. Sponsored by Forever Fancy, Nikita’s love of sports inspires her to become a professional basketball player.

Ambergris Today

SPHS Crowns Arlethe Lima as New School Queen
It was an enchanted evening of pageantry at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium as Miss San Pedro High 2012 was crowed in front of a packed auditorium on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Arlethe Lima won the hearts of the judges amongst six other contestants and was crowned the schools newest queen. The pageant was full of dance and entertainment as the seven contestants did a spectacular job on stage, presenting themselves in four segments which included beach wear, cultural costumes, evening wear and for the first time a career segment where they modeled in uniforms that represent their future career aspirations.

Rain and the Start of 2012 Hurricane Season
It looks like it will be a rainy start to the work week as the Belize Weather Bureau is forecasting cloudy skies with some showers and thunderstorms mainly over the south and some coastal areas [including Belize City]. It is expected that these showers and thunderstorms will move inland today before decreasing tomorrow afternoon. It was a sunny weekend in San Pedro, but conditions have deteriorated today even before sunrise.

Lobster Fest 2012 to be Bigger and Better!
One of San Pedro’s Biggest Festival is about to kick off and it will be a grand celebration. The San Pedro Lobster Festival promises to be bigger and better this year! With a one week celebration planned one is sure to have lots of fun and enjoy delicious succulent lobsters! This year’s theme for the Festival is “Lobster Crawl 2012” for which the event organizers have added the Lobster Crawl 2012 Passport. The passport, which will be available shortly, will allow you to collect stamps at every venue during the week’s celebrations. Each stamp will entitle the passport holder with a ticket to enter into a grand raffle of a vacation package for two to the San Pedro Lobster Festival 2013. The package includes complimentary hotel stays, tours, golf cart rental, bar tabs, dinner and many more surprises. The raffle will be drawn on the night of the Block Party.

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? No. 15
YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF: As soon as I say, “Kaliman”, you know what I am referring to. Everyone used to look forward everyday to tune on your radio to enjoy different “radio novelas”. (radio soap opera) The boys rushed at 11:30 a.m. as soon as it was school lunch break to listen to an adventure series named “Kazan El Casador”. In the late evening about 7p.m. boys, men and women gathered around the radio to listen to Kaliman, an action packed story who dominated everything with the mind. But then of course, there were the dramatic stories for ladies like “Crucificada En Su Dolor. (Crucified In Your Own Pain).

Island Academy Kicks Off Graduation Season 2012
Graduation Season is here! This month of June the island will be busy with lots of graduation ceremonies and lots of parties to celebrate the proud achievements of the graduates. The Island Academy was the first school to kick off the graduation season, holding its graduation ceremony on Friday, June 1, 2012. With much pomp and circumstances, students of the Island Academy were awarded for their hard work during the academic year and were congratulated for their great achievements. Eight proud graduates were the main highlight of the ceremony. Each of the students gave a brief speech highlighting their most memorable and unforgettable moments at T.I.A. They were then handed their certificates by Lady Bowen and class teacher Barbara Ancona.

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012 – Thank you and congratulations!
On the 24th of May 2012, Minister of Culture & Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia, presented prizes to three children, who had won awards for kindness in San Pedro. The Grand Prize winner was Mariano Calderon (The Island Academy), Faith Azueta (R.C. School) was the 1st Runner up and Naomi King (The Island Academy) won the Be Kind Belize Choice Award.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mr. Greedy's: Cayo's Downtown Hangout
Mr. Greedy's was jamming on Saturday night. Tons of people enjoying the music, environment, and drinks. Their gin-ritas are the best! Check out their new website.

Kurse a di Xtabai at Belize Film Festival
Kurse a di Xtabai will be premiering on July 13th at the Belize Film Festival. We had the opportunity to see Matthew Klink's thriller last night, and it's a winner. Funny, scary, and witty - the 'Hollywood' quote is hilarious - it's bound to score Make Belize Films the 1st place. They've decided to move the BFF back to the city, so we'll just say, "good luck with that, and better luck next year."

2012: Kurse a di Xtabai (clips)
First feature-length supernatural thriller produced entirely in Belize in Kriol! Make-Belize Films. Stay tuned for more...

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (2, June, 2012)
Lucky Two 5.00 Each (5 Balls) 13 ­12 ­3 ­26 ­66­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls) 13 ­12 ­3 ­26 ­66 ­18 ­27 ­28 ­10 ­24­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (12 Balls) 13 ­12 ­3 ­26 ­66 ­18 ­27 ­28 ­10 ­24 ­17 ­70­

Channel 7

Wrong Place, Wrong Time gets 51 year-old Killed
s the panorama of violence in the city expands - in the past few months we've seen a disturbing number of shootings - homicides included - which involve older men and children who are not active in gangs and have no part in anyone's beef. They are collateral damage in escalating street warfare where the gun violence is becoming increasingly indiscriminate. That indiscriminate gunfire may be what claimed the life of 51 year old Frank Williams. Monica Bodden found out more about his murder today:.. Monica Bodden reporting 51 year old Steve Williams was shot and killed here at the corner of Iguana Extension and Elston Ker Street. His lifeless body lay face down on top of his red mountain bike -, partially inside this drain. He received gunshot wounds to his body with a fatal shot to his head.

The Real Target on Iguana Street?
And while Williams was killed - police believe that the man the shooters may have really been after was Tyrone Green Gentle - a 24 year old who is known to hang out on Iguana Street. Word in the streets was that he was marked for death - for alleged involvement in other shootings. And so, after shooting Williams on Friday - gunmen were back out on Iguana street on Friday night, apparently looking for Green Gentle. The Police press officer told us what happened:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "A little less than 24 hours later we had another shooting not too far from that area on Iguana Street. This is where a group of men were gathered and a black Astro van pull up this time. One of the occupants of this vehicle said to one of the men in the group, Tyrone Gentle, "bwai come here" and then a barrage of bullets exited the vehicle causing injuries to Gentle. Gentle is listed in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital."

Cops and Robbers When the Cops Are Robbers
This morning at around 9:00 am - a Credit union was robbed in the Southern Stann Creek District. It is a very unusual crime for that area - and made more so - because the robbers appeared to be organized, efficient and well-armed. Well, right that they should have because they were law enforcement personnel! Police have confirmed that a soldier and three policemen were caught shortly after they robbed Toledo Eastern Credit Union in Bella Vista Village. The police press officer outlined the very bare details for us:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Early this morning we had a robbery at the Toledo Eastern Credit Union in the Bella Vista village in South Stann Creek. The quick police response led to the apprehension of 4 persons and the recovery of almost all the money that was stolen from this credit union." Since then 7news has learned that three police officers two posted in the city and one assigned to an the special unit along with a BDF soldier were the ones caught.

Vicious Machete Attack In the South Kills One Man: Maims Another
Yesterday in the Toledo District, two men were viciously chopped up. One of them died from his injuries and another had his hand cut off. Pablo Sho and his family were sleeping at the Tropic Inn outside of Punta Gorda Town when they were assaulted by a machete wielding man. The police press officer outlined the facts of the case:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "On investigators have gathered so far that this family was asleep on the second floor of this establishment when a single lone male person entered there wielding a machete causing these injuries." "We know that the police is looking for someone that they say are known to them, so hopefully we can make an arrest in this latest murder." Pablo Sho, died of cut wounds to the head and both arms, while 24 year old Samuel Sho was cut to the face, forehead, mouth and had his left hand chopped off. He is in stable condition.

Another Racecourse Street Shooting
So far we've told you about two weekend murders and one shooting. Well three more persons were shot in the city. After 11:00 On Friday night 19 year old Eamon Alvarez was shot in his behind. He told police that he saw the gunman wearing a camouflage outfit. He is in a stable condition at the KHMH surgical ward, but declined an interview.

Another Shooting Near The Much Troubled Meighan Brothers
And, two more men were shot in Belize City - this one happened on Banak Street - which has seen a number of shootings in the past few months. The shootings likely targeted the Meighan brothers. Ellis and Tyrone - but their neighbour 27 year old Wilbert Dominguez and 31 year old Kenroy Thomas were shot. It happened at 9:25 on Friday night and the police press officer told us more:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "One Wilhem is a resident of that area said that he was out there socializing with some friends when a black vehicle came up from the direction of Lakeview street towards the boulevard. These men got close and then began firing at them, causing injuries to Wilhem and one of his friends, a young man Thomas."

Un-Easy Glen
And while the Meighan's have had to become used to being targets, another well-known city resident had his home shot at for the first time last night. Goldbourne Adulphus, known as Easy Glen, who lives on Jane Usher Boulevard extension says that someone shot his house at 9:00 last night. Now, that is a street without any streetlamps - and so when he heard the sound of a gunshot at his window, he took cover. He told us more:.. Goldburne Adolphus "Easy Glen" - House Shot "We were TV, and suddenly, I heard like my cycle fell, but it was raining, so I told my wife that I won't come out and pick it up. I then heard loud gunshots, and my girl and I got on the ground. When we got down on the ground, Jules, I told her that those were gunshots, and they are coming right here. She started to cry on the floor. I grabbed my phone and called the emergency hotline. They were looking for bullet holes, Jules, and they can't find any. I'm telling them that It's right here that the man stood up, and I know. I heard it because the window was tilted a little bit. And I even smelled the fragments of it, that gun powder business. This morning, when I came out, I was searching my house because I know that it's here. I looked up there. That's no nail hole. I'm talking to the ghetto youths. I have nothing with no youth out here, and I think that all of you all know me."

Lords Bank Burglars Get No Bail
34 year-old John Leslie, 19 year-old Samuel Halliday, and 20 year-old Gregory Myvette are all at prison tonight after they were taken to Magistrate's Court this morning for burglary. According to police, Zoyla Swazo, reported that her house in Lords Bank was cleaned out. Among the items stolen from her were a 32-inch flat screen TV, a 19-inch flat screen TV, a pair red and black Jordan brand tennis shoes, and other items to a total value of $4,374. The next day, police investigation led them to Myvette's Zericote Street home, where the officers recovered a stolen hand bag, a flat iron, the Jordan tennis shoes, and several of the watches. They were also able to track down and link the 32-inch flat screen TV to Myvette also. Police continued to their work, and they were also able to discover the location of the 19-inch TV, which they eventually linked to Halliday.

Prime Minister's Wife Released From Hospital
The Prime Minister's wife, Kim Barrow has been released from the hospital in Miami. An official release today confirmed that she is slowly recuperating. As we reported, she had to be rushed to the emergency room a week ago, and spent five days in intensive care. According to reports her heart muscle was significantly weakened by the treatments she has been receiving to contain stage three breast cancer. Because of her health issues, the Prime Minister - who was supposed to have returned over the weekend - has had to push back his return date to Thursday, 7th June, 2012. Deputy Gaspar Vega, continues to act as Prime Minister.

Concrete On Orange Street
Last week we told you about the woes with Orange Street in Belize City - which has again fallen into ruinous disrepair after being paved just two years ago. Well, it seems like this time, the city council wants to get it right. The council has contracted a private company to pave the street with concrete. This means that all the backed up drainage also has to be cleared all the way back to the collet Canal. That has meant the trenching of intersections to get to the drain passages well beneath the pavement. Work is well underway, but the rain has provided some delays.

Mission Milagro Healing Hundreds
In the two years that the mission Milagro project has been ongoing, The Venezuelan Government has sponsored eye surgeries for 568 Belizeans. The continuing programme is doing another round of screenings throughout the country and we caught up with them today in Belize City:.. Gabriel Sanchez - Charge D'Affairs, Venezuelan Embassy "Basically, what we are trying to do is to get potential patients that are allowed to go to Venezuela under the program to get the operation for cataracts. Today, we are in Belize City. Yesterday, we were in Orange Walk, and we did pretty well in Orange Walk. We got 66 patients that are allowed to go to Venezuela. The doctors said that they were okay, and we are hoping to get more or less, that figure for Belize City. We are going to take 90 patients to go to Venezuela to get the operation. They are going to be there for 15 days, and we are going to bring them back." Giovannie Brackett - Plus TV "What would be the cost if the patients would have to pay for themselves?"

Northern Belize District Inundated: Losses to Farmers
And one story that has been bubbling under the surface is the flooding in the Belize District. After 10 days of heavy rain, you might have expected as much. A tour of the northern Belize district along the old Northern road today showed 40 to fifty farmers losing 90 day crops such as watermelon and sweet pepper. Some folks have water in their houses and the Old Northern is impassable at night - with the bridge in Lucky Strike and the one by Corozalito both underwater. There's also water on the crooked tree causeway. Area Representative Edmund Castro told us more today:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "Residents along the old Northern Highway have not experience this amount of water since Hurricane Keith I think it was back in the late 90s to early 2000. It's a disaster in this part of the constituency. I will continue on the rest of the tour in the other parts of the constituency."

Channel 5

Iguana Street Murder of 51 year old man on bicycle
There were two murders on Friday and four shootings in the Old Capital alone over the weekend while this morning a Punta Gorda man succumbed to chop wounds. Audio technician Rudy Cruz was brutally stabbed to death at his house at Allan Pitts Crescent. His body was discovered early on Friday morning. Cruz’s murder was [...]

2 men shot while hanging out on Banak Street
There were two other shooting incidents that occurred over the weekend. The victims survived the attacks. Banak Street is occasionally the scene of shooting incidents or its residents are prone to violence in other parts of the city. It’s a frightening admission for the Belize City neighborhood, particularly for members of the Meighan family. It [...]

DJ Alvarez shot on Racecourse Street
Later that night at around eleven-twenty, nineteen year old disc Jockey, Eammon Alvarez was shot on Racecourse Street. Police continue investigating that incident in which Alvarez was the fourth person to be shot that day.   Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer “Sometime around eleven-twenty, Eammon Alvarez is saying that he was walking on Racecourse [...]

Toledo Credit Union robbed by skilled criminals
In Punta Gorda, police and B.D.F. officers are the main suspects in the robbery of a credit union. The Toledo Teachers Credit Union Limited Branch Office in Bella Vista was robbed this morning around eight-forty five when it had just opened for business. Four armed men stormed the building, disarmed the security guard and proceeded [...]

Machete man chops Sho Family and kills one
Also in the south, an armed invasion in Punta Gorda Town has left one man dead and his wife and son hospitalized. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a man armed with a machete, gained entry through a glass window to a three storey-structure at Tropics Inn; a bed and breakfast in that municipality. [...]

Kim Simplis Barrow recovering and released from hospital
Kim Simplis Barrow, the wife of the prime minister, has been released from the Intensive Care Unit of the Baptist Hospital in Miami where she is receiving treatment for breast cancer. Simplis Barrow was released over the weekend and is said to be recuperating. Last week, she developed heart and lung complications and had to [...]

Former Deputy Commandant of B.D.F. appealing dismissal
Former Deputy Commandant Javier Castellanos, once the second in command of the Belize Defense Force, lost his job as a career officer when he was discharged on December twenty-third, 2011 following the theft of a cache of high-powered weapons from the armory at Price Barracks, Ladyville. The decision to have Castellanos, as well as three [...]

Relatives of Anthony Mayen charged after a ruckus at his funeral
A fight broke out at Friday’s funeral of Anthony Mayen, a city car dealer who was gunned down last weekend. Today four of Mayen’s family members, including his brother, nephew as well as his sister and niece visiting from New York, were in court to answer to charges of Harm and Threatening Words. Darryl Mayen [...]

Fruit and Vegetable vendor gets canned by Magistrate
An Orange Walk businessman, who sells his produce at the Michael Finnegan Market, was robbed at gunpoint on May twenty-sixth and police have nabbed a suspect. According to thirty-two year old Julian Chell Junior, two men approached his vegetable stall at the corner of Bocotora and Iguana Streets shortly before eleven o’clock that morning. One of [...]

4 fingered for Burglary of Myvette Home
A heist at the home of a Lord’s Bank resident last Tuesday netted the culprits over four thousand dollars in stolen items, including two flat screen televisions and assorted jewelry. Police have arrested three men and one of their mothers, who all appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Thirty-four year old John Leslie, nineteen [...]

Water truck slams into car
An accident at mile forty-nine on the Western Highway was a close call for sixty year old Edwardo Tesecum Senior. It happened shortly after nine o’clock this morning as Tesecum was leaving Westar Service Station in Roaring Creek Village. An oncoming water delivery truck, driven by Shannon Tara, slammed into the front of Tesecum’s car, [...]

Stormy weather; what was causing all the rains?
The rainy season is here as you’ve probably noticed from the heavy downpour over the past few days. The showers have caused flooding in the Belize River Valley area as well as closures of the Coastal Road and Kendal Crossing. Late this afternoon, the National Emergency Management Organization informed News Five that the rivers have [...]

Workers at Marion Jones Sporting Complex claim they haven’t been paid.
There is trouble brewing at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex tonight where a number of construction workers belonging to a crew supervised by foreman Shelton Cuthkelvin have walked off their jobs. Cuthkelvin, as we understand, is one of four men in charge of work being undertaken at the facility. Workers complain that Cuthkelvin owes them [...]

James Adderley’s groundbreaking sports update
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Volleyball Community convened inside the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday in an effort to produce the 2012 Champion in both male and female play. Today, we start with ladies first as Lady Jaguars and Moen Stars clash in Game II of the 3 [...]

LOVE TV

Taxi cab shot up on the north side of town
A taxi driver, along with his family, including a nine month old infant, came under attack on Thursday night when their vehicle was shot at on the north side of town. As a result, the three occupants are hospitalized for varying degrees of bullet wounds. Forty-seven year old Patrick Bryant reported to police that he was heading down Wilson Street off Newtown Barracks when the incident happened. So far police do not have any leads into this latest shooting.

Gonzalo Quinto jacked
Cops also have their work cut out with an afternoon armed hold-up at Gonzalo Quinto Northern Highway branch. It happened sometime around three this afternoon and Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, said that so far there isn’t much to go on, but that investigators are on the beat. Reports reaching Love News are that the two gunmen, one clear skinned and the other of dark complexion, came from out a dark pick-up truck that waited for them at the nearby roundabout before fleeing in the same vehicle.

Police officers undergo training in Orange Walk
A number of Police officers in the Orange Walk District took part in a training organized by a Non Governmental Organization in that municipality. Love TV’s Arturo Cantun has the details.

Chief Meteorologist says Weather Bureau ready for Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins today despite two named storms in the last two weeks of May. Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez says the Belize Weather Bureau has been working to improve the service they provide to the general public. As we reported earlier this week, the 2012 Hurricane Season got off to an early start with two named storm the last part of May. The names Alberto and Beryl are already used, and the next named storm will be called Chris. Later on in this newscast we will take a look at the Tropical Weather Update.

Patrick Faber on nationwide tour
The nationwide tour by the Minster f Education continued last night in Orange Walk town. Love TV’s Arturo Cantun attended the forum and files the following report.

Belize observes Caribbean Nutrition Day
Belize today joined the rest of the region in observing Caribbean Nutrition Day. Robyn Daly is a nutritionist at the Ministry of Health. Daly says that while the focus is on nutrition for today, eating healthy is something that must be a continual process. According to a statement from the Ministry of Health on the occasion of Caribbean Nutrition Day, studies have shown that Belizeans are not consuming enough vegetables and fruits which are known to provide many nutrients, including vitamins and minerals; and also improve the body’s overall state of wellness. Since 2005, Caribbean Nutrition Day has been designated on June first by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute to highlight the benefits of healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

BGYEA calls members to Saturday meeting in Belmopan
A few weeks ago members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, who have interests in land at the area known as Harmonyville, Western Highway, were supposed to meet at the Ministry of Natural Resources on Belmopan to get their paperwork processed. That meeting was postponed and is now scheduled for this Saturday. President of BGYEA, Nigel Petillo, says the Staff at the Ministry will be on hand to facilitate the process for those interested in owning their own piece of land and who have already signed up with the group. But while BGYEA has tried to help people who have nothing to own their own land, they say they can’t wait anymore for those who have made no effort to pay their survey fees of four hundred dollars. As far as putting in place the necessary infrastructure and accessing the funds to developing the lands, Petillo says that those are steps also in the pipeline. He says that dialogues continue with the water and electricity companies. Petillo says that BGYEA has also identified some additional two thousand nine hundred acres of land in the same area that they will seek to access to help other Belizeans who want to own land. If you are interested, you can call Nigel Petillo at telephone number: 626 6168.

Man shot dead in Belize City
The crime wave continued over the weekend in Belize City …. and the result is another body in the morgue and one more family in mourning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo report.

Governor General attends Diamond Jubilee celebrations
The river Thames in central London was a sea of red, white and blue on Sunday, as tens of thousands celebrated the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Despite gray skies and rain, some 20,000 people took to the water aboard 1,000 vessels for a river pageant featuring dragon boats, a floating belfry and the [...]

Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow released from hospital
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is out of the hospital in Miami, Florida, USA. The announcement of the major development in her recovery was made in a statement issued this morning from the office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The statement says that Mrs. Barrow has been slowly recuperating [...]

Belize Rural flooding
Tonight, residents of communities in the Belize River Valley area are facing the threat of flood waters. The Area Representative today mobilized efforts to try and assist residents of this area. And in Belize City, some parts of the commercial capital were turned into waterways with the heavy downpour overnight and the continuous rains in [...]

One injured in Roaring Creek accident
63-year-old Edwardo Tesecum was injured in a traffic accident earlier today on the Western highway. Belmopan Police responded to the scene of the accident between mile 48 and 49 on the Western Highway minutes before nine o’clock this morning. Police say they saw Tesecum trapped behind the steering wheel of a green Toyota Tercel car [...]

PlusTV

One man dead; two hospitalized in weekend shootings
Friday night was a busy one for the Belize City Police Dept. CIB personnel visited a scene, close to midnight, at t...

Violence strikes ‘Easy Glenn’ in his home
Social and political activist Goldburn Adolphus AKA ‘Easy Glenn’ is also being targeted. He says that last night (J...

Two injured in early morning accident
A road traffic accident occurred in the village of Roaring Creek shortly after 8:30am this morning in front of West...

New San Pedro cemetery will require supplementary fees
The San Pedro cemetery which is located at the Corner of Barrier Reef Drive has reached its maximum capacity, and w...

Driver loses control, ends up in drain
A red Dodge Ram pick-up ended up in the drain right off the North Ring Road in the vicinity of Halfmoon Ave. The dr...

Mission Miracle continues to lend services to Belize
Mission miracle is about to make it 7th flight from Belize to Venezuela. Mission miracle the humanitarian social pr...

Kim Simplis Barrow discharged from Miami hospital
The latest release from the Office of the Prime Minister states that Mrs. Barrow has been slowly recuperating and h...

Police officers and BDF detained in Credit Union robbery
Information reaching our newsroom is that the Credit Union in the community of Bella Vista was the target of a bold...

Drive-by shooting leaves man injured
Police were again at the K.H.M.H on June 2, where they saw 24 year old Tyrone Green Gentle, suffering from gunshot ...

New fleet of police vehicles soon to be on active duty
There are new vehicles rolling out for the Police Dept: the Minister of Police has been talking about upgrading the...

Teen shot by lone gunman
The third crime scene was at the corner of Racecourse Street and East Collet Canal. Police subsequently visited the...

Police release official report on shooting of toddler
When the Police visited the KHMH on May 31 they saw 24 year old Teddy Reyes, suffering from a gunshot wound to the ...

Car-jacking on Spanish Lookout Road
Omar Mitchell, was one of the latest victims of car jacking. Mitchell a Civil engineer reported that around 11:15am...

Transit of Venus: Last viewing for century
One of the rarest celestial events, the transit of Venus is happening on Tuesday. The next transit of Venus, when t...

Robber goes after expensive jewelry
Businessman DORIAN USHER, reported that on Friday June 1 whilst at Vinas Tire Repair Shop on Racoon Street his atte...

Sand Hill Village to receive community computer lab
Over 400 students in Sand Hill Village, a community nestled between mile 14 and 22 on the Northern Highway, will so...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Photo of the Week: Caye Caulker’s “Disneyland”
Caye Caulker’s destination for wonderment and amazement is the Caye Caulker Marine Park’s Shark and Ray Alley. Come watch a wild shark float by … or maybe even touch one.

Lobster Fest Committee presents their Masquerade Gala
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee invites one and all to their Masquerade Gala!! Don’t miss it!! It’s always a fun night for those who do not miss out! June 11th!

Janellie Joseph is Caye Caulker’s Miss Chiquitita 2012-2013!!
On Saturday, June 2, 2012 was a very eventful day and night for Caye Caulker as Caye CaulkerR.C. School held their annual Miss Chiquitita pageant at the island’s basketball court after garnering much needed sponsorship and preparation by Teachers and Parents. Three lovely little ladies vied for the title and they are (in the order of appearance on stage): Breyannie Chub, sponsored by Jaguar’sTempleNightclub, Janellie Joseph sponsored by Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill and Flora Cho, jointly sponsored by Caye Caulker Water Taxi, Diane’s Beach House and Anwar Tours. They graced the audience and wowed the judges with their presence on stage in their introductory dance, sports wear, talent competition and evening wear.

Blogs

Shocking
Tacoboy stopped at Super Buy South the other night while he was waiting for our breaded chicken fingers and fries from Sunny’s. When he got home I started to help him unpack the groceries and saw a couple of shocking things in the bag along with the chocolate bars, chips and can of chili mac he decided to add to our hurricane foods. It was not so much that the items themselves were shocking. more so the prices written on them. Charmin toilet paper $11.75 bzd for 4 rolls and Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut butter $18.90 bzd for a 1lb jar. Pricing in Belize is a popular topic among both vacationers and people doing there due diligence before moving here. Here are 2 great posts on this topic that I read recently: Emily – Be Belize Blog – How much does it cost to live in San Pedro, Belize? Debra – Taking Belize Blog – What Do Things Cost in Belize?

Eco Kids CAN Make A Difference
I want to be an Eco Kid because I like being outdoors and this camp sounds interesting and I know it will help me learn more ways to help the environment. I don’t know what I would do without a healthy environment. Without the green grass, colorful flowers, blue sky and animals, I would totally freak out. I imagine the world being so developed in a few years but then I also think about the world with deforestation, global warming, wars and no water because of what is happening now. I love animals and I get annoyed when I hear about all the killing of animals for fun (it isn’t) and for their furs. I know that their skin`s are beautiful but I don’t see why we have to take their skins. Sometimes I think about when an animal kills a person, people complain about it, but when we kill them, and just for fun, they do not see that

International Sources

Belize’s Oil Boom Threatens To Escalate Border Dispute
Belize’s decision to grant four oil contracts in a border area known as the Adjacency Zone, which extends one kilometer on either side of the 1859 treaty line, could reignite tensions with neighboring Guatemala. During the past two years, Belize has granted 17 oil-exploration contracts--four in the Adjacency Zone--to a wide range of US, British, Irish, and Taiwanese corporations. "Right now, the only corporation actually producing oil is BNE [Belize National Energy]," says André Cho, director of Belize’s Geology and Petroleum Department. RSM Production Corp. drilled two wells in the Orange Walk area, but they turned out to be dry. Meanwhile, French corporation Perenco Limited is about to undertake seismic studies close to Orange Walk. During the next two years, the Chinese Petroleum Corporation (OPIC), a Taiwanese stateowned corporation, will begin to drill for oil below the ocean. In Toledo, in southern Belize, US Capital is planning to carry out further seismic studies and has been granted a 40-km area in the Sarstoon National Park, in the Adjacency Zone. "They haven’t started drilling yet", says Cho. Corporations carrying out such studies are granted an eight-year period to strike oil and 25 years to begin commercial production, but, if no crude is found within the exploration period, the contract is immediately annulled.

Belize Govt Fails to Prosecute Alleged Meth Chemical Trafficker
US authorities are concerned about Belize's failure to bring charges against a man suspected of ordering a massive shipment of methamphetamine precursor chemicals, according to reports. In March, Belize customs officials and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents intercepted some 3,000 sacks of a methylamine hydrochloride concealed in a shipment of six 12-meter containers purportedly containing fertilizer from China. The chemical would have been enough to produce 400 tons of methamphetamine, worth $10 billion, according to the authorities. Suspicions were aroused by the size of the shipment, as the country's fertilizer merchants rarely import so much at once, reported Plus TV. The shipment was ordered by Vernon Cuthkelvin (pictured) who imported the chemicals through his company, the Belize Garden Consortium. Cuthkelvin claimed that the company in China from which he bought the chemicals must have made a mistake with the order, reported the Belize Times. Investigations into Cuthkelvin's involvement have so far fallen flat. In Belize, the chemical is not illegal in its pure form. As Cuthkelvin's lawyer told Belize's Channel 5, the substance can also be used to manufacture medical products. Even if customs officials tried to charge him for making false customs claims, which could incur a $2.3 million fine, they would have difficulty proving Cuthkelvin knew the chemicals were not the fertilizers he claimed.

Socially Green Honeymoon Contest includes Table Rock Jungle Lodge
Table Rock Jungle Lodge is one of the choices in Kutoa's Socially Green Honeymoon Contest. If you're getting married in 2012 or 2013, try your luck. One thing though, November and December aren't the driest months. "Best time to go: November and December are the driest months, and temperatures are much cooler both during the day and night." "We always say that in order to fully experience Belize, you’ve “gotta have the best of both worlds” (i.e. Jungle & Beach locations). With that said, we recommend that Honeymooners come to us and get to hike and carry out outdoor activities, followed by a trip to enjoy some snorkeling/diving time at our great barrier reef or sipping Pina Coladas under swaying palm trees."

It’s A Jungle Out There At The Belize Zoo
Great article on the Belize Zoo from the World Travel List site. Recently, Sharon Matola was awarded the 'Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award' from the Cincinnati Zoo, but more about that later. "What made the zoo a must are the facilities and small size of the area. The zoo tries as best as possible to replicate the natural environment of animals in the wild. The zoo educates children on their native fauna. Even Belizeans will not find all of these species out in the wild. As a firm believer in changing the world for the better by educating people, the fact that the zoo attempts to teach the locals not to harm, hunt, or kill these precious native species of the Belize jungle made my first stop a worthwhile visit."

June 4, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Sunday, June 3 until Monday, June 11, 2012

Moist and unstable conditions associated with low pressures over Central America and the western Caribbean, a low-level surge of strong breeze across the central and western Caribbean in the ESE’ly trade winds, and divergence of the air in the upper levels, will results in thundery and showery weather persisting over Belize and adjacent areas during the next 10 days of June.

The 24-hour GFS model forecast chart for 10 meter winds, 24-hour accumulated rainfall and the pressure patterns, valid for 6:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2012, shows low pressures centers strung across the Pacific coast of Central America, with fresh E to ESE winds of 15 to 20 knots over the western Caribbean, and rainfall concentrated mostly over and offshore the Stann Creek, Belize and Corozal Districts on Saturday through Sunday morning. A trough of low pressure is also projected to remain over the extreme NW Caribbean and Yucatan through Monday.

The GFS model 132-hr projected vorticity pattern at 5,000 feet valid for Thursday evening, June 7, 2012, shows a trough of low pressure extending across the eastern Gulf of Mexico to coastal waters of Belize and the surge of strong low-level winds in the central and western Caribbean. This surge will enhance the convective activity generated by the low pressure trough in the NW Caribbean on Friday through most of the upcoming weekend.

The GFS model 24-hour rainfall totals ending at 6:00 am on Thursday, June 7, 2012 depicts rainfall totals in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch for Wednesday and Wednesday night in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch, mostly over areas north of the Toledo District. Rainfall will be higher in the elevated areas of the Stann Creek and Cayo Districts, and favorable for quick runoff in some localities of these districts.

Tropical Cyclone Outlook: The models are not forecasting any tropical cyclone formation over the Caribbean during the next five days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The June 3rd, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Imported Robbers With Local Connections
  • American Charged For Guatemalan Death
  • Chester Williams Is Back Again
  • Together We Can Achieve Education For All
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


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

The San Pedro Sun

Garifuna Dance Group “Hamalali Wayunagu” Performs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during Dance Africa Show
Every year for the past thirty-five years, “Dance Africa” is held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York City, USA. This event is being made possible by Chuck Davis the founder and artistic director of the Chuck Davis Dance Company which was founded in 1968 and the African American Dance Ensemble in Durham, NC in 1983. This year the event was held during the Memorial Day weekend which started on Friday the 25th of May and ended on Monday the 28thof May 2012. He has been a panelist in several programs of the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of the AARP Certificate of Excellence, the North Carolina Dance Alliance Award, the 1990 North Carolina Artist Award, the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine and numerous other awards. He invited the Hamalali Wayunagu Dance Company to participate in this year’s event for the first time so they became the first Garifuna dance group ever to participate in Dance Africa.

Turtle report 2011 released: May shows improvement in nesting season
Biologist Kirah Foreman from Hol Chan Marine Reserve has officially released the 2011 turtle monitoring report to coincide with the commencement of the 2012 turtle nesting season in Belize. The report concentrates on nesting sites on Ambergris Caye that is specific to specie nesting on the island’s beaches. The two species that have been documented as being specific to nesting on Ambergris Caye is the loggerhead (Chleonia Caretta) and the green turtle (Chleonia Mydas). The report indicates that since monitoring started in 2009 the number of nest recorded has increased by 23 % in 2010 and remained stable with an increase of one nest in 2011. The beach monitoring was conducted from June to November in 2011 with the assistance of the staffs at Hol Chan and the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserves. Nesting efforts were concentrated in two main beach on northern Ambergris Caye which are Robles and Rocky Point beaches. However a very strange but not uncommon activity occurred in 2011. A total of four nests were confirmed in the Habanero beach area. Such occurrence strengthen the scientific theory that female turtles are known to return to nest on the beach that they were hatched on. Foreman explained that most of Ambergris Caye was a major nesting site but due to rapid coastal development, it has forced turtles to small beach areas. This has negatively impacted and added pressure to the already dwindling turtle population.

Misc Belizean Sources

Road projects
The Government of Belize has received a US$24.719 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB04-04/12) towards the cost of the Fourth Road Project (Santa Elena/San Ignacio By-Pass), and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds for the Joseph Andrews Drive to Benque Road Rehabilitation. The Government of Belize (GOB) has secured a loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI)towards the cost of the Northern Border Rehabilitation Project (BCIE04-04/12). Part of the funds will pay for construction of access roads, two roundabouts, reconstruction of parking areas and other associated drainage, security, and accommodation works.

AlbertosAngels.com
Tragic accident on ac that left this young man paralyzed from the waist down. This is where Belize sucks in terms of proper care for this type of injury. They have removed him from BHC and have taken him to OW Regional because he can't pay. Alberto fell off the back staircase at Casa Blanca on Saturday May 26th, 2012 . He has broken his neck and suffered a spinal cord injury. He is considered a quadriplegic at this point but there is some hope that he will regain movement to his hands with physical therapy. He is currently receiving care at:

Chaa Creek Congratulates “Friend to Belize” Biden Wedding
The Lodge at Chaa Creek congratulated “a good friend to Belize”, Dr Howard David Krein on his wedding to US Vice President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Blazer Biden. The Lodge at Chaa Creek congratulated “a good friend to Belize,” Dr Howard David Krein on his wedding to US Vice President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Blazer Biden. Chaa Creek’s owner and general manager, Lucy Fleming, said that Dr Krein was recognised for his volunteer work in the small Central American country on the Caribbean coast. “While I do not personally know Dr Krein, I do know that he spends several weeks each year doing volunteer work here in Belize as part of the International Hospital for Children. He’s especially known for his work with operating on kids with facial deformities, which I found to be particularly impressive. “Words can’t really describe the impact his work has on young people in a small country like ours, where resources are limited and there aren’t many opportunities for children to get the sort of services he provides. He’s certainly a very good friend to Belize,” she said.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.353002584756013.78880.230461777010095&type=1&_fb_noscript=1
Danny Chung has been slowly uploading shots from backstage at the Cornerstone Foundation's Feed the Children Fashion Show at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. There are some perfect shots there. More!

Queen on the Jewel Delegates
Congratulations to the cast of the Next Miss Belize. Cayo is represented well. "Queen of the Jewel has been hailed as Belize's best ever international pageant. Beautiful and talented young women from all over the country will compete for the title of Next Miss Belize 2012 and a chance to start their career in the modeling industry."

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Have you seen Bert?
SCUBA SENSATIONS is the newest biggest little dive shop on the block. Owner, dive master, Albert Pacheco, is a long-time divemaster with more than 15 years of dive master experience and thousands of dives under his belt. If you’re looking for scuba diving fun, be sure to give them a try.

Blogs

Traveling from San Pedro, Belize to San Jose, Costa Rica: Now That WAS Easy
I described my options for traveling in Central America in my post about Belize to Panama: Traveling Ain't Easy. It can be fast, easy and expensive or cheap and LONG. I chose the easy option. I am still regretting it a bit...there is something romantic sounding about a solo, 4 day bus ride ranging across lots of different countries...but the reality is probably akin to torture. I am pretty sure I made the right decision. Plus, I still have plenty of time for long bus rides...maybe this summer. I still need to check out Nicaragua... I started my trip by flying from San Pedro to Belize International Airport on Tropic Air. Saturday's weather was finally starting to brighten after what seems like weeks of rain on Ambergris Caye. I checked into TACA Air, an easy process...my exit fee was included in the price of my ticket. Music to my ears. We boarded early for the 5:15pm flight to San Salvador. The flight was about 1/3 full with most of the travellers headed to San Salvador and then Los Angeles. It was my first time on TACA and I am now one of their biggest fans. The flight crew was great, they were quick and efficient, the planes seemed brand new and....AND...they gave a free snack and real drinks on the 45 minute flight. Free head phones and a choices of tv and games. We were totally living on the edge. A real PEANUT snack. It's nice to remember that air travel on big airplanes doesn't always need to suck.

Protecting Nature, Preserving Life
I want to be an Eco Kid so I can help preserve nature and work with others to heal back its injuries. As a small boy, I did not understand nature. Now that I have grown older, I understand that it is a life. It grows, lives and can die. It has feelings also! Many people, young and old, locals and foreigners treat it like garbage, filthy and disgusting. They continuously commit crime against nature, poisoning earth with solid waste and pollutants; scaring it with their agricultural and urban development activities and bringing numerous plant and animal species to the brink of extinction. Our once beautiful land is slowly turning into a waste land. For whatever reasons, they cannot see they are killing nature and its resources. As an Eco Kid I need to help them realize that these crimes are horrendous and what they are committing needs stop. As an Eco Kind I will continuously remind them the God gave us nature to use wisely not to abuse and waste it.

International Sources

Drug interdiction: The US wades more deeply into Honduras
The U.S. Central American Regional Security Initiative, focused on security and the interdiction of drug trafficking in countries of that region -- Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama -- put $107 million into Honduras in 2011. Under jurisdiction of the military's Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, the United States has built three new forward operating bases in Honduras. U.S. officials have said that, with the Iraq War finished and the Afghanistan War winding down, more attention and money can be devoted to the war on drugs in Central America. That effort, with military, law enforcement and development components, complements U.S. companies' involvement in the region, including the traditional banana producers, Dole and Chiquita.

Study shows open-fire smoke harms young brains
The study, which appears in the current issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, was based on data that Munroe gathered more than 30 years ago when he studied gender roles in developing cultures in Kenya, Nepal, American Samoa and Belize. Although he didn’t focus on cognitive performance in the gender study, he did gather the information. Gauvain said she became intrigued after reading a story on efforts to provide low-emission stoves to communities that rely on open-fire cooking. The story mentioned health problems associated with such cooking practices. As a psychologist, Gauvain wondered why no one seemed to have examined the affects on the brain.

Chinese, Latin American crime lords linking
Business transactions include drugs, human trafficking. There is increasing evidence that Chinese criminal cartels are linking up with their counterparts in Latin American to make profits from drugs and human trafficking, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. Sources say that last April a shipment of precursor chemicals bound for the Los Zetas Mexican cartel was intercepted in the small Caribbean country of Belize. According to report by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank, a Chinese mafia apparently is emerging in Chinese communities in Latin America.

June 3, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Sunday, June 3 until Monday, June 11, 2012

Moist and unstable conditions associated with low pressures over Central America and the western Caribbean, a low-level surge of strong breeze across the central and western Caribbean in the ESE’ly trade winds, and divergence of the air in the upper levels, will results in thundery and showery weather persisting over Belize and adjacent areas during the next 10 days of June.

The 24-hour GFS model forecast chart for 10 meter winds, 24-hour accumulated rainfall and the pressure patterns, valid for 6:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2012, shows low pressures centers strung across the Pacific coast of Central America, with fresh E to ESE winds of 15 to 20 knots over the western Caribbean, and rainfall concentrated mostly over and offshore the Stann Creek, Belize and Corozal Districts on Saturday through Sunday morning. A trough of low pressure is also projected to remain over the extreme NW Caribbean and Yucatan through Monday.

The GFS model 132-hr projected vorticity pattern at 5,000 feet valid for Thursday evening, June 7, 2012, shows a trough of low pressure extending across the eastern Gulf of Mexico to coastal waters of Belize and the surge of strong low-level winds in the central and western Caribbean. This surge will enhance the convective activity generated by the low pressure trough in the NW Caribbean on Friday through most of the upcoming weekend.

The GFS model 24-hour rainfall totals ending at 6:00 am on Thursday, June 7, 2012 depicts rainfall totals in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch for Wednesday and Wednesday night in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch, mostly over areas north of the Toledo District. Rainfall will be higher in the elevated areas of the Stann Creek and Cayo Districts, and favorable for quick runoff in some localities of these districts.

Tropical Cyclone Outlook: The models are not forecasting any tropical cyclone formation over the Caribbean during the next five days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report


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

The San Pedro Sun

Shandoy Jeffords found guilty of manslaughter; Security guard Antonio Almandarez killed in 2005
On Thursday May 31st the case regarding the killing of 50 year old Antonio Almandarez ended with a witness, now suspect found guilty of manslaughter. Alamandarez who was a security guard at Fido’s Courtyard located in the downtown area of San Pedro Town, was beaten to death on the morning of July 25, 2005 during a burglary. Police had originally charged Luis Lalin, Bernard Elvis “Dragon” Williams and Austin Mungia with the crime but in 2007 all three men were eventually freed of charges after the main witness, Shandoy Jeffords, did not testify in court. Later, in 2008 the Director of Public Prosecution ordered the arrest of witness Jeffords who was then charged for manslaughter and burglary. During the case Prosecutor Shamilla Williams depended on a ‘caution statement’ given by Jeffords, which was deemed admissible by Judge Adolph Lucas following a voir dire. Jefford detailed in his statement that he and a friend known as ‘Dragon’ waited on the beach for Fido’s to close then moved in on Almendarez.

Misc Belizean Sources

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012 – Thank you and congratulations!
On the 24th of May 2012, Minister of Culture & Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia, presented prizes to three children, who had won awards for kindness in San Pedro. The Grand Prize winner was Mariano Calderon (The Island Academy), Faith Azueta (R.C. School) was the 1st Runner up and Naomi King (The Island Academy) won the Be Kind Belize Choice Award. The Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award was started by Be Kind Belize with the belief that children who do good things in our community and who are kind deserve acknowledgement. By doing this, it is hoped that discussions about kindness and generosity of spirit will be started in schools, encouraging children to look up to positive role models, such as the Kindest Kid Award winners. The children were nominated by their schools as ‘kindness ambassadors’. Teachers, principals and students were involved in the nomination process. Many thanks to San Pedro High School students, and most of all High School Counsellor, Gustavo Ramirez, for their assistance in the elimination process and support throughout.

Meluchi's: New Website, Menu, and Mini Concert
Meluchi's new website is live! Great job, Byron Sierra and Devaughn Watters. The Graveyard Lounge is the best nightclub in Cayo. Tonight, they're having a family night mini concert with West Side Talent. They also have an updated menu. Facebook Page

Shabla Excels at Party Planning
Shabla Event Planning and Catering really knows how to do a Sweet 16 party. Check out some of those pictures. Hot pink, black, and zebra print were the combination for this party. Shalue does way more than just cook great food.

Spring Equinox Overnight at Caracol Video
Check out this magical video that gives a really good idea of some of the activities they did at the Caracol Overnight camping trip for the Spring Equinox. The sunrise at the end is spectacular! You can see Dr. Jaime Awe explaining the Maya, and you get to see the night fire ceremony too. The next Caracol Overnight is on June 20th. Contact the Institute of Archaeology for more information at 822-2106 or email them at iaresearch57@gmail.com.

CTV3

Family Feud Leaves Two Persons Injured
A bitter feud over the weekend between two families from the Corozal District left two persons injured. When police arrived at the Corozal Community Hospital at around 10:30 on Sunday morning they observed 32 year old Adam Williams with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the left knee. Initial investigations reveal that Williams and 42 year old Vincent Charley were involved in an altercation earlier that day. As a result both men ended up wounded. While Charley shot Williams on the left knee, Williams inflicted two chop wounds Charley’s head. Luckily both men are alive tonight even though one of them has been detained by police and the other is recuperating from his injuries at the KHMH. So what caused the confrontation? Well it’s a bit complicated since both families have their own version of what transpired on Saturday yesterday morning on 2nd Street North Corozal. Here is what they had to say. Hipolito Novelo Reporting Tonight 32 year old Adam Williams is at the KHMH recovering from a gunshot wound to his left knee while 42 year old Vincent Charley is locked up at the Corozal Police Station suffering from two chop wounds to his head. Both men sustained their injuries during an altercation on Sunday at around 4:00pm. The reason behind the argument is really difficult to decipher since both families have their own version of what took place.

Driver Tow-head Truck Lucky To Be Alive
The driver of a towhead truck is lucky to be alive tonight after the vehicle he was traveling in somehow ended up in a man made pond located on the left hand side of the Northern Highway near the entrance of San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. When CTV3 News arrived at the scene around 9:00 yesterday morning this is what we encountered. The towhead was semi-submerged in the pond while the empty 40 foot container attached to it remained in mid air. Luckily the driver of the towhead, only identified as a man from the Village of Buena Vista, managed to escape unhurt. When we spoke to residents of the area we were informed that around 4:00 in the morning they heard a loud bang and when they came outside to check what had occurred they saw the driver of the towhead coming out of the passenger side. Unconfirmed reports are that the towhead belongs to one Omar Gutierrez also from the Village of Buena Vista. CTV3 News understands that the driver of the towhead was traveling from Orange Walk Town to Buena Vista when he lost control of the vehicle and ended up in the pond. According to witnesses the driver was under the influence of alcohol. We understand that the towhead was not pulled out of the pond until 1:30 in the afternoon.

OWTHS Business Expo Turns Out to Be A Huge Success
Braking off from the usual tradition of having business expositions inside school grounds, over the weekend the Orange Walk Technical High School decided to take their annual expo to new heights. The business expo kicked off from 8:00 o’clock in the morning and ended at around 5:00 o’clock in the evening. Here is how it went Hipolito Novelo Reporting On Sunday the rain poured down and the grounds at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium became mucky but despite of all of this, the Orange Walk Technical High School Business Exposition went well, according to Teacher, Juanita Polanco. Juanita Polanco, Teacher OWTHC “It’s been really great. Despite the rain this morning, people have been coming. There are great deals. Everybody is enjoying this. It is really going well. The visitors, the come and they all go happy because I see a lot of people going with a lot of bags so I think they are enjoying it. The booths of both phone companies, Telemedia and SMART, are attracting the most of the visitors. Also Circle Rice because a lot of rice have been passing here. Everything is going great.” But it was not all business at the expo also saw the participation of various enjoyable games.

Student Of Trial Farm Gov School Is Orange Walks Poster Youth
The National Institute of Culture and History in collaboration with the Institute of Creative Arts is once again shinning the spotlight on talented Belizean youths in the annual National Festival of Arts. The grand festival is an event that grasps the culture and artistic expressions portrayed by Belizeans who showcase their talents and display their artist work during the annual Festival of Arts Parade. One of the main highlights of the event is the District Poster Youth that enables one talented young mind from each district to represent their home town at the festival of arts. Now, if you’re wondering who will be representing Orange Walk then the answer is 13 year old student from Trial Farm Government School David Alvarez who more than filled the criteria to be Orange Walk’s Poster Youth. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “What happened is that this year we were closer to the ministry of education here in Orange Walk and with their efforts we managed to get three different poster youth candidates which these candidates their submissions was sent to Belize City and a panel were the ones who choose. The criteria was that they had to be between the ages of 3 and 29 and they had to live in their district for five years and they are willing and active in the expressive arts and that participated in different activities that had to do with the performing arts.”

ASR Says There Will Be No Retrenchment Of BSI Employees
When we left you on Friday night the Executive of the Belize Workers Union demanded that BSI Management provide workers with a copy of the proposal made by American Sugar Refinery for the purchasing of Belize Sugar Industries Limited. The aim of the Executive was to ensure that the payment of dividends owed to BSI employees and security of employment was outlined in the proposal. In letter sent to the Belize Worker’s Union today, by BSI Management, all employees are informed that 50% of the outstanding dividends will be paid two weeks after the closing of the transaction with ASR; 30% of the outstanding dividends will be paid one year after closing and the remaining payment of 20% will be paid two years after closing. In the letter, sent to President of BWU Ian Leiva, BSI’s CEO, Joey Montalvo assures employees that any dividends declared against 2012 profits will be paid in full in 2013. The letter also specifies that 100% of the outstanding dividends due to hourly paid retirees will be paid in full two weeks after closing of the transaction with ASR. Montalvo also confirms that the payment of the 1% additional bonus which would become due against profits above $6 million in 2012 will be honored.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Fresh Fire-Hearth Roasted Cashews For Sale…
This gentleman walks down the streets of Caye Caulker with his stash of bagged, fresh roasted cashew nuts. Cashew fruit is grown locally on mainland Belize. It is fresh roasted locally over a wood fire, bagged, and brought to you wherever you are. Support a local farmer and a local entrepreneur and buy some authentic Belizean cashews. You will not be disappointed. Small bags are BZ$ 10 (US$ 5) and large bags are BZ$ 20 (US$ 10).

Belizean Flava Ice Cream, Smoothies, & Snack Bar
Restaurant Review

Blogs

2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest Schedule
The San Pedro Business Association [SPBA] has released the schedule of events for the 2012 San Pedro Lobster Festival. The one-week celebration is going to be bigger and better than ever with the theme “Lobster Crawl 2012” This year the event organizers have added a new dimension to the festival, the introduction of Lobster Crawl 2012 passport. The passport, which will be available shortly, will allow you to collect stamps at every venue during the week’s celebrations. Each stamp will entitle the passport holder with a ticket to enter into a grand raffle of a vacation package for two to the San Pedro Lobster Festival 2013. The package includes complimentary hotel stays, tours, golf cart rental, bar tabs, dinner and many more surprises. The raffle will be drawn on the night of the Block Party. The annual San Pedro Lobsterfest Block Party has always been the main highlight of the week long festivities and this year promises to top the chart. Entertainment for the week will feature Belize’s well-known Garifuna Collective, Panerrifix Steel Band hailing from Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan and San Pedro’s Gino and the Shack Shakers.

2012 San Pedro LobsterFest is only 2 WEEKS AWAY! Do You Have Your Special Koozie ordered?
Plenty of time for you to get your tickets to Ambergris Caye for the 2012 Lobster Crawl. A new twist being added is the Lobsterfest Passport for the Lobster Crawl -- your entire week here. Each event you attend, you get a stamp. Here is the event line-up so far: Friday, June 15: Kick-off party at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Sat, June 16: Evening party at Fido's Courtyard Sun, June 17: Day Party at Corona Del Mar's Seahourse Bar Monday, June 18: Party at Mojito Bar Tuesday, June 19: Ramon's Village Pineapple Restaurant Wednesday, June 20: Pedro's Inn's famous all you can eat Lobster Pizza party (always a very popular event) Thursday, June 21: Party at Crazy Canuck's Bar Friday, June 22: The Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge (Day one of two), watch it from Seaduced's catamaran, during the day and head over to Wet Willy's for the night time party Saturday, June 23: THE BIG BLOCK PARTY AT CENTRAL PARK. A 17 piece steel drum band, Gino and the Shackshakers and the Garifuna Collective all perform from 6pm until late. Lots of food, drinks, competitions, entertainment...lots of good times.

International Sources

BOOK: Belize: Time Longer Than Rope
Ever feel like taking a break from your life? Ever taken a little holiday to the Caribbean and wondered what it would be like if you just stayed, and didn't come home? Belize: Time Longer Than Rope is the story of a Sixties radical who who found herself at loose ends... and decided just to cut loose instead. After figuring out expatriate life in Belize, buying her own home and planting her gardens, she found herself in a different sort of trouble than she'd bargained for. You guessed it--love and all its complications. As the Belizeans say, 'time longer than rope'.

New to nature No 74: Ripipteryx mopana
A tiny relative of the grasshopper has been identified from a single specimen in remote Belize Insects of the order Orthoptera, including grasshoppers and crickets, are known for their enlarged hind legs, ability to jump and the songs of males used to attract mates, mark territories and sometimes startle predators. Many orthopterans are good-sized and conspicuous insects, some attaining a body length of more than 11cm and wingspan of up to 20cm. There are, however, much smaller and more secretive forms. SW Heads and SJ Taylor of the Illinois Natural History Survey have described a diminutive and cryptic grasshopper-like species from Belize that is known only from a single specimen discovered in the Toledo District along the Rio Grande. Ripipteryx mopana belongs to a genus found exclusively in the Neotropics. Its 44 species are distributed throughout Central and South America. Although less than 5mm in length, R mopana is not short on looks, with a pattern of black, white and orange. The species is the first of its genus and family – Ripipterygidae – to be discovered in Belize. Not much can be said about the habits of the species yet, although some related species are reportedly omnivores.

Biden's big day: Vice president's daughter gets married to her doctor fiance
Vice President Joe Biden's office has announced that his daughter has married a Pennsylvania doctor at a ceremony in Delaware. The office said that 30-year-old Ashley Blazer Biden was married Saturday to Dr. Howard David Krein in Wilmington. She is a social worker for the state of Delaware and he is a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia. Krein spends several weeks each year in Belize performing operations on children with facial deformities as part of his work for International Hospital for Children. He also volunteers for Faces of Honor, who operate on soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and helps victims of domestic violence, reported ABC news.

Queen Elizabeth II: 60 years of gay rights
Belize joins the Commonwealth in 1981 where gay people can face imprisonment of up to ten years. Under the Immigration Act 1958, it says ‘any prostitute or homosexual’ is outlawed from entering Belize.

June 2, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

SPTC Foreman to leave for training in El Salvador
San Pedro Town Council Foreman Samuel Gonzalez is scheduled to leave the country for a four-day training in El Salvador. Gonzalez will leave on the 5th of June and expected back on the 9th of June and will receive training in solid waste management. Gonzalez will be part of a larger Belizean delegation that will receive training in solid waste management as part of the national Solid Waste Management Plan. The national Solid Waste Management Plan that is yet to be adopted proposes a transfer station for the transportation of solid waste from off San Pedro Ambergris Caye. When the plan is in place, garbage will be barged off the island from a station in San Pedro Town in a specialized container to a propose site near Belize City, then transported to mile 22 on the Western Highway.

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures returning to San Pedro for Coral Reef Programs
Hol Chan Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an educational summer program that teaches children about reef ecology and conservation. In 2000, three Smith College professors collaborated with Hol Chan Marine Reserve, especially Miguel Alamilla, to create an environmental education program for Belizean school children, facilitated every year by Smith students. The goal of the program for the past twelve years has been to foster collaboration between Smith students and the residents of San Pedro to promote an understanding about the environmental and economic benefits of a healthy reef system with the hope of increasing conservation of this remarkable resource. This program has two sessions: a one-week advanced program and a two-week youth program. The advanced program is for youth ages 13 to 18, and will create a coral reef conservation project. Last year, the group created a documentary focusing on mangrove restoration. This year we will start on Monday, June 18th and go through Friday, June 22nd. The program runs from 4PM to 6PM at San Pedro High School. The youth program is for school children ages 7 to 12 and will run from Monday, July 2nd through Thursday, July 12th. The program runs 9:00 to 11:45AM at the RC School. Children participate in a two-week, inquiry-based program to learn about coral reefs that includes many hands-on activities that emphasize the care and preservation of the reef. Interested students should pick up permission slips at the library (across from the RC School) or at the Hol Chan Office and bring it to the first day of the program.

The National Celebrations Commission announces 2012’s “THEME” Competition!
All Belizeans living at home or abroad are invited to submit their most creative ideas for the theme of this year’s September Celebrations to commemorate the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the 31st Anniversary of Belize’s Independence. This year’s celebrations coincide with the festivities surrounding our Maya Culture and Heritage. The 21st September is recognized as the International Day of Peace. As a result, the theme may also include reflections capturing the contributions of Belize’s many cultural groups, to the national development, as well as ideas about peace and aspirations for our country. The theme should not be more than ten (10) words and the deadline for submissions is Friday, June 15th, 2012. The winner of the chosen theme will receive a cash prize of $1000. Email submissions to: septembercelebrationsbze@yahoo.com or drop it off at the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City or any of the offices of the District Town Councils.

San Pedro Lobster Fest Committee announce activities for 2012
The San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) has released the list of activities for the San Pedro Lobster Festival. The one-week celebration is being held under the theme “Lobster Crawl 2012” and is scheduled to coincide with the start of the lobster season. One of the main highlights is the annual San Pedro Lobster Fest Block Party and the introduction of a Lobster Crawl 2012 passport which is new twist to the celebration. Entertainment for the week will feature Belize’s well-known Garifuna Collective, Panerrifix Steel Band hailing from Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan and San Pedro’s Gino and the Shack Shakers. Events kick off on Friday June 15th with opening night at El Divino restaurant. On Saturday June 16th the event moves to Banana Beach Resort during the day and in the night at Fido’s Courtyard. On Sunday June 17th spend a fun day at the Seahorse Bar at Corona del Mar. Events continue on the evening of Monday June 18th at Mojitos Bar and Grill. Pineapple Restaurant at Ramon’s Village will be the venue on Tuesday June 19th to enjoy the lobster while Wednesday June 20th, it’s all about lobster pizza at Pedro’s Sports Bar. On Thursday June 21st the event goes back on the beach at Crazy Canucks Bar. On Friday June 22nd, enjoy the start of the Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge during the day onboard SEAduced while sailing along the coast of Ambergris Caye and then head over to Wet Willy’s on the Friday night. On Saturday June 23rd the event moves to the Central Park the entire day with the final leg of the 2 day Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge around Ambergris Caye. The activities continue through the night with the annual Lobster Fest Block Party at Central Park featuring live musical performances. The week-long event culminates on Sunday June 24th during the day at Cowboy Doug’s Grill at Grand Caribe Resort at the Lobster Fest after party.

Ambergris Today

Awareness Walk for World No Tobacco Day
The Ministry of Health and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated World No Tobacco Day on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Although the day is recognized every year on May 31st, the Ministry extended the awareness campaign until today June 1, at various health centers across the country. In San Pedro, the NDACC in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council, held its first ever “World No Tobacco Day Awareness Walk” with a brief ceremony at Central Park before participants took a walk around the main streets of San Pedro.

Get Ready for Ambergris Caye Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race
- The organizers of the Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge bring to you the Ambergris Caye Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race. Coming June 22 - 23, 2012, is the Eco-Pro Challenge Kayak Race with professional international kayakers from all over the world competing in a grueling 60-mile race around the entire island of Ambergris Caye. For the Eco Challenge Pro Race, both professional and amateur teams are allowed to participate. Only Malibu two and Malibu two XL sit on top kayaks will be allowed. There will be three grand prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) for each category, one for the overall race and individual station prizes for specific points along the route. Juniors will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. For more information email: eco_challengeinfo@yahoo.com or call 666-8078/610-1690 or visit the website: www.ecochallengebelize.com.

Not Guilty; 4 accused of double murder on north Ambergris Caye are now free men
A jury of 12 handed down a not guilty verdict on the four men accused in the double murder of James Swan and Edwardo Gutierrez. As we reported in the Thursday May 25th, 2012 publication of The San Pedro Sun, the case began on May 16th in the 2012 setting of the Supreme Court in Belize City. On Wednesday May 30th, the jury took five hours to deliberate and pass down a not guilty verdict for murder and manslaughter against Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett, Frank Edwards Jr and Gabriel Salazar. During the trial, the prosecutor called in their main witness Eric Swan, the brother of deceased James, but the jury was not convinced by his story. In his account, Eric told the court that he never saw the actual murder but heard shots while being held hostage in a boat.

Got Milk? World Milk Day Observed in Belize
San Pedro students at both the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and Holy Cross Anglican School got their special dose of milk and a great daily intake of calcium thanks to the folks of Santiago Castillo Limited of Belize City as they observed World Milk Day today, June 1, 2012.

Misc Belizean Sources

'Are you in the Circle?' Video

The National Committee for Familes and Children has released a feelgood video. This is a well done video, and it looks like all districts are in there, like Cayo. The mission of the NCFC is: "Championing the rights, welfare and development of Belizean families and children."

"No matter where we are in society - we all have a role to play in raising our children! it really takes a village."

Their FB page is here.

Cayo's Welcome Center Progress
The Cayo Welcome Center is almost done. Many local businesses are also making improvements. Downtown will be looking picture perfect in no time.

June's Cayo Event Calendar
The Cayo Event Calendar for June is up. If there are any events that aren't on there, just let us know. It's a big month: June 5th is the Maya Full Moon Ceremony at Lower Dover with Don Beto Cocom, June 20th is the Caracol overnight trip with NICH, and from June 26th through the 29th, the Institute of Archaeology is doing their Symposium at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

Death at Blue Hole
There was a death May 31st at the Great Blue Hole. A dive group from Turneffe Flats had a fatality and the body was brought in by the coastguard. from a tourist.... May 31, 2012 I just ran into a fellow tourist (we were in the same tour group a few days ago) in San Pedro and he just came back from a dive at the Blue Hole today and said a woman died today. Apparently another company had a fatality---not sure what happened but he said it sounded like she drowned while diving the Blue Hole.

Belize Youth Awards 2012
Youth for the Future Belize is accepting nominations for this year's Belize Youth Awards. Nominations can be made until August 3rd. There are a wide range of awards from which to choose, including Youth is Sports, Youth in Media, and Youth in Agriculture. YFF Belize is located in Benque, in the town hall. "The Belize National Youth Award 2012 Nomination Forms now available at all the Department of Youth Services/Youth for the Future offices nationally! Nominate someone today! Nomination deadline: August 3, 2012"

Boiton's BBQ Kicks Off Promotion and Website
Boiton's BBQ has a new website! Boiton's BBQ is teaming up with Vivian's, Belize Digital Express, and the Caye Caulker Water Taxi to send a lucky winner to Banana Beach Resort for 3 nights. Good luck! "Remember friends, the super summer promotion starts today, June 1st. With every $10.00 that you spend at Belize Digital Express in Santa Elena, every $15.00 at Vivians in San Ignacio, and on every $25.00 at Boitons Bar BQ and House of Pastries, also in Santa Elena, you are entitled to a ticket that allows you to participate in this promo."

Channel 7

WELL-KNOWN RUDY CRUZ STABBED TO DEATH IN HIS HOME
This morning in Belize City, a man was found dead in his home - he had been stabbed to death. The victim is 35 year old Rudy Cruz, very well known in the entertainment world as Belize's premier light technician. But last night - police believe he was killed in his sleep by someone who did not break into his home. It is a murder that has all the indicators of a crime of passion - and today Monica Bodden tried to find out what led to his death:.. Monica Bodden reporting Family members, neighbors and friends gathered outside this house on Allan Pitts Crescent - the home of 35 year old Rudy Cruz - his body lay dead inside his bedroom - where he was attacked and viciously stabbed over a dozen times. Cruz was last seen alive last night at the Princess Casino. Around 6:30 this morning his lifeless body was discovered on his bed inside his home by a friend who went looking for him after he didn't show up to an early morning job.

CARJACKING ON THE SPANISH LOOKOUT ROAD
Our next story is about an unusual and disturbing carjacking. It happened on the Spanish Lookout Road in broad daylight - and the victim is well known Belize City engineer Omar Mitchell. The location is unusual - and so is the fact that the carjackers tried to inject him with an unknown substance. The good news is that he was not seriously hurt, but the chilling news is that criminals are striking in broad daylight on a heavily trafficked road. We found out more when we visited the area today. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the stretch of pavement on the Spanish Lookout Road that Omar Mitchell was driving on at 11:15 yesterday morning. He was in his 2009 silver Toyota Hilux at this area, about a half a mile south of BNE - and is quite heavily trafficked. So he thought nothing of it when a vehicle tried to pull him over. He presumed it was police:. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, OC - Cayo District "When he stopped, the two male persons who are Hispanic decent approach the vehicle and requested him to move over so that they could take command of the vehicle." "One of them took out something which he believe was to inject him and he had a struggle with them. During the struggle the man which was in possession of one of the subjects went off and injured him in the left leg."

INFANT INJURED IN CITY SHOOTING
An infant child was shot last night when a gunman opened fire on a taxi with a nine month old inside. The disturbing event happened last night on in Belize city at around 11:30. 47 year old taxi driver Patrick Bryant reported to police that while driving his Geo Prism Taxi Cab on Wilson Street heading towards the Princess- a gunman walked into the road and opened fire on the vehicle. Inside the car along with Bryant were his girlfriend 19 year old Whitney Alvarez, their 9 month old baby and passenger Teddy Reyes. The child was shot to the right leg, while the mother, Alvarez received injuries to her foot and Reyes was shot to the abdomen. All 3 victims are listed in a stable condition at the KHMH; the infant had to undergo surgery. The adults declined comment and we spoke with police press officer - Fitzroy Yearwood- about the incident:..

MAN GETS SENTENCED REDUCED
30 year-old Daron Waight, a man who was staring down a 4 year-sentence for a firearms conviction, got good news today that he will be going home in a few more months after he successfully appealed to the Supreme Court to have his sentence cut in half. Waight pleaded guilty in November of 2010 to keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition after police busted him and his 11 year-old brother inside a vehicle with a gun stashed under the driver's seat. He took the rap so that his brother could be freed of the charges. The sitting magistrate sentenced him to serve 2 years on each count, which was to run consecutively. His attorney, Brian Neal, argued to Justice Dennis Hanomansingh that Waight's sentence should be reduced because the magistrate could have handed down a sentence of 2 concurrent terms of 2 years for both counts.

BIG WEED BUST IN BENQUE
Benque Viejo police took a man to court today for trafficking over fifty pounds of marijuana. The bust is the product of sharp police work. On Wednesday night on Jose Marti street in Benque Viejo town, a patrol saw a Ford Escort lurch off when they appeared. They pursued the vehicle as it sped off eastbound on the Western Highway. Inspector Jesus Palma told us what happened next:.. Inspector Jesus Palma - Station Manager, Benque Viejo "The police responded, and they saw a suspicious vehicle on within Benque Viejo Town on Jose Martin Street. When the driver saw the police, he began behaving suspicious, and the Benque police ordered the vehicle to stop. The driver fled the area, and police made a pursuit. They eventually caught up with the vehicle on the outskirts of Benque Vejo, where the vehicle came to a stop. 2 occupants of the vehicle - 2 Hispanic male persons exited the vehicle, and they made their escape in nearby bushes. As a result, the vehicle was searched the officer discovered 2 sacks of marijuana, also a black plastic bag, all of which contained a total of 25Kilos, which is equivalent to 78 pounds of marijuana. They vehicle and the items were escorted to the Benque Vejo Police Station. On May 31, the following day, the owner of the vehicle, which was learnt to be one Abner Francisco Escobar, 26 year-old, a Naturalized Belizean - Guatemalan National, the of Corsalito area of Benque Vejo Town, handed himself over to police, and he was identified as the driver of the said vehicle. He was detained, where Benque Vejo Police conducted an investigation into the matter."

PRISON OFFICER BECOMES INMATE
And while Escobar ended up in prison, for allegedly smuggling weed, 26 year-old Prison Officer, Abraham Ponce, is an inmate tonight after he was busted trying to smuggle weed into the facility. According to police, sometime after 7 p.m. last night, Ponce reported to work, and when one of his colleagues performed the routine search on him, that officer found 3.3 ounces of weed hidden under the soles of his right work boot. As a result, police charged him with drug trafficking, and he was taken to court today. Ponce pleaded not guilty to charge, and he was granted bail of $6,000 despite the prosecutor's objections. But he was not able to meet bail, so he will be remanded until his can do so at a later date. He is to be brought back to court on July 9.

MOTHER CLAIMS SON'S INNOCENCE
On Wednesday, 7News told you about 22 year-old Ambrose Joseph, 21 year-old Lionel Vasquez, and 22 year-old Kendale Ramirez who were all reportedly caught in the act of burglarizing a home in Placencia. Well, police have since charged Ramirez with burglary, since the owner of the items pointed him out as the person she saw running away with her items. They charged Joseph and Vasquez with conspiracy to commit burglary since they were reportedly caught in the general area where the items were recovered. But, although their apprehension is the result of police and the community working together, the family of Joseph and Vasquez is upset because they believe that police are pinning this burglary on these 2 who allegedly had nothing to do with it. We spoke to Vasquez's mother today, who told us that the two are being wrongfully accused. Here's how she described why:

HURRICANE SEASON WILL BE ABOVE AVERAGE
Today marks the beginning of this year's hurricane season, and as always, the country has to maintain hyper vigilance. According to all the major international meteorological organizations, the Americas should expect a hurricane season which is comparable with activity of past years with 10 named storms that can likely develop. Of those 10, it is likely that 4 or 5 storms are expected to become hurricanes. And while it is forecasted that 10 storms may develop, experts believe that this early into the hurricane season will see less activity because the conditions are not as favorable for development, as compared to last year around this time.

SAN PEDRO AIRSTRIP UPGRADE
The San Pedro Airstrip is getting a 3.7 million dollar upgrade. It's part of a COCESSNA project to improve airfields throughout Central America. Minister of State with responsibility for transport Edmund Castro told us more:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "San Pedro has the busiest airstrip in the entire region, not just in the country of Belize but it's the actually busier than all the airstrips in Guatemala and neighboring Honduras and so on. So it's very important that we upgrade this airstrip in San Pedro and bring it up to world class standards." "Basically what we are doing is moving away from the chip and seal or chip and tar situation for the airstrips. We are using the hot mix. The natural transportation of materials out to San Pedro is very costly because everything have to be truck in barge and then pick up from the barge to the plant. So it's a little bit more costly but nevertheless that's the standard now that we are trying to use on all the airstrips in the country because it will lasts longer." The ragged Belize City airstrip is slated for upgrading next.

BODACIOUS LADIES
When was the last time you saw a beauty pageant contestant who didn't have a slender figure? Well the Miss Big, Bold and Beautiful pageant is all about defying that norm in the name of fundraising. The pageant showcases women with grandiose hips, bellies like pillows and abundant bosoms - who are not afraid to make the statement that- BIG is Beautiful! It's the pageant's 4thyear and today 7news got a chance to talk with some of the 7 contestants. Schawanie Stanford, Pageant Organizer "This is our fourth year. It's an annual event that we have and we the proceeds that we get we normally give to a carnival band in order to help them to finance making their costumes and stuff like that." "We set a standard by which our contestants bring across whatever they have to bring across and you can expect elegance, charm, beauty, sincerity, honesty and everything like that. Some other pageants they do have that but I don't believe to the level that we do." "When I was younger I wanted to be a model but back then I was very slim, but as I got older I got bigger and I thought that that dream had die and I went and did a fashion show for a young lady Ms. Matus at the Princess and the people really accepted the pageant and the love was so overwhelming, that I said that we should have a pageant. That's how the idea came about."

Channel 5

Rudy Cruz murdered in his home
A well known light and audio technician and DJ was found dead in his bed before seven o’clock this morning. Rudy Cruz, a former employee of the then Belize Arts Council was stabbed multiple times. There are no signs of forced entry at his house and the family believes that his murder was not motivated [...]

Cab driver, wife and toddler shot in vehicle
There is other violence to report. A toddler, cab driver and his wife were injured in a shooting incident on Thursday night in Belize City. It occurred after ten p.m. in the area of Kelly and Wilson Streets. Up to eight shots were fired at the family. Reports are that two gunmen fired shots at [...]

Moody’s debt rating downgrades Belize for 2nd time this year
In financial news tonight, there has been another downgrade in Belize’s credit rating. Moody Investors Service issued a very brief statement, saying it was downgrading the sovereign debt rating further into junk territory because government’s ability to service its debt is deteriorating. The credit rating plunged to Ca from Caa1 pushing it deeper into highly [...]

S.S.B. employees black ribbons for Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Social Security Board turned thirty-one today. But there was not much of a celebration in fact, to mark the occasion its employees countrywide wore black ribbons to signal their unhappiness because they have been unable to sign on a new collective bargaining agreement. The Christian Workers Union is also threatening industrial action because of [...]

Problems ahead for S.S.B. if C.B.A. not signed soon
Gonzalez says Singh has been consulting with the former S.S.B. chair and board members, but the union does not see the need for further consultations since the negotiations have been completed. The union president says they are at the end of their rope and if the agreement is not signed in the near future, they [...]

Poll says cost of living “gahn up”
In the past four years, has your cost of living increased or decreased? That’s the question we asked our viewers this week. Eighty-seven percent of those who responded via our e-poll said the cost of living has increased while thirteen percent voted that it decreased. On our blog, most of those who commented generally expressed [...]

Cristo Rey villagers dependent on truck for water
In the west, a community has been without potable water for well over a month. The water pump has been out of commission for six weeks now and the villagers of Cristo Rey have been coping by resorting to the Macal River. The village chairman is not giving any comfort to the seven hundred plus [...]

Governor General on way to U.K. for Jubilee
Activities are being held throughout this year in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. But this Saturday to next Tuesday has been dubbed the central weekend of events in the UK and across the Commonwealth. So today, the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, left Belize en route to England where the Heads of State from [...]

Reduced sentence for admitting ownership of illegal weapon
A man who has been incarcerated since November of 2010 received some good news in the Supreme Court today. Thirty year old Daron Waight is still behind bars, but he will be going home sooner than expected. Waight was busted inside a vehicle with a gun stashed under the driver’s seat. He took responsibility for [...]

Another prison officer busted for trafficking of marijuana
Smuggling weed into prison; there have been countless visiting women caught in the act and charged, but now prison officers are doing the same. Twenty-six year old Abraham Ponce was allegedly busted as he reported to work on Thursday night with over three ounces of marijuana hidden in the sole of his boots. He was [...]

Hurricane Season; storms named
It’s June first and that means it’s officially the start of the hurricane season. There have already been two named storms, Alberto near South Carolina and Beryl near Jacksonville Florida, but predictions are for an average season. A total of ten named storms are forecasted, six are expected to become hurricanes, but only two will [...]

Cheapflights say Belize Zoo is one of Top 10 Worldwide
Cheapflights travel blog, an online media that offers the best overall travel deals to worldwide destinations, has named the Belize Zoo as one of the top ten zoos worldwide. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, being the only zoo of this region ranks with zoos of Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. According to [...]

Teaching adults to be parents
A workshop geared towards strengthening parental aptitude will be held on Saturday at the ITVET Building in Belize City. The seminar, according to organizer, Annie Palacio of Belize Kids First, is necessitated because of the current social decay, a problem she attributes to a lack of proper child-rearing. The three-hour discussion will feature an American [...]

End of Maya Calendar takes place at Caracol
Tonight we air Part two of our series on the equinox at Caracol covered by Channel’s Five William Neal and Alex Ellis earlier this year. In this segment, Dr. Jaime Awe explains the significance of the equinox as well as the Mayan calendar. But did the Mayas believe the world would end in 2012? Find [...]

LOVE FM

Friday, June 1 - POLICE NEWS
Belmopan Police are investigating an arson that occurred on Wednesday night at Western Caribbean Fruit Growers Farm in the Barton Creek area of Blackman Eddy Village about three and a half miles off the Western Highway. Manager of the farm, 21-year-old Jessie Allas, told Love News that...

ACTIVITIES MARKING DIAMOND JUBILEE OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II STARTS SUNDAY
Activities to mark the diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second will start on Sunday and continue next week. A series of parties and pageants are planned for the June third to the fifth celebration. Queen Elizabeth the Second has been on the throne for sixt...

CARIBBEAN NUTRITION DAY OBSERVED IN BELIZE
Belize today joined the rest of the region in observing Caribbean Nutrition Day. Robyn Daly is a nutritionist at the Ministry of Health. ROBYN DALY “Caribbean Nutrition Day is a day use to highlight the importance of nutrition, healthy eating and having a healthy li...

WELL KNOWN AND LIKED LIGHTING TECHNICIAN MURDERED IN HIS SLEEP
A well known and well liked lighting technician was killed. Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI “This is the bloody bed from which the body of 35 year old, Rudy Noel Cruz was removed shortly after six this morning after he was stabbed to death at #21 Corner...

ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON OPENS - BELIZE PREPARES
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins today despite two named storms in the last two weeks of May. Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez says the forecast is for an average season. DENNIS GONGUEZ “The various institutions that produce sea...

LOVE TV

Someone burns up two houses in Barton Creek
Arson in Blackman Eddy. Belmopan Police are investigating an arson that occurred on Wednesday night at Western Caribbean Fruit Growers Farm in the Barton Creek area of Blackman Eddy Village about three and a half miles off the Western Highway. Manager of the farm, 21-year-old Jessie Allas, told Love News that on Thursday morning he was told by one of his workers who was at the farm sleeping, that on Wednesday night sometime around 10 o’clock they were awoken by the sound of an explosion coming from the direction of the garage. It continued for about ten minutes. When the employee checked they found two houses had burnt down, one was furnished while the other contained some appliances. When they checked the garage they found two tractors were also burnt. About 50 feet under another shed was a Ford pickup truck that was burnt as well. According to reports the culprits were trying to light another garage but because the rains came, it did not burn. Allas suspect that the person or persons came in vehicle and lit the farm with gasoline since they saw the vehicle track. Allas estimates the damages in the vicinity of 100 thousand dollars. The owner of the farm, US national Sonny Sell is out of the country. Police continue their investigation.

Veteran audio technician murdered in his home
Another family is tonight mourning the loss of a loved one due to violence. The fact that a well liked young man was killed with an edged tool as opposed to the customary gun violence is cold comfort for his family and friends who are left with that eternal question: why? Love TV’s Marion Ali and vide journalist Brian Castillo worked the crime beat today.

Police look to bring charges in the case of a man set ablaze
Burn victim succumbs to injuries. Police are about to charge a man after he allegedly set his neighbour on fire nineteen days ago and the man died of the injuries. As we reported on Thursday, fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was set on fire, allegedly by an enraged next-door neighbour who grew jealous over Usher’s close friendship with his common-law wife. Today Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, told reporters that charges will soon be forthcoming. Usher was reportedly walking through the neighbour’s yard and was heading to his own house in the adjoining yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard when he was set ablaze. He suffered second degree burns to the upper part of his body.

Kim Simplis’ health shows signs of improvement
Belize’s special Envoy for Families and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow continues to receive medical treatment in Miami, Florida. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister was issued this morning, following widespread rumors of her death. The official statement however, says that Mrs. Barrow remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, and is receiving treatment for complications with her heart and fluid in her lungs. [FS STARTS HERE] Mrs. Barrow, according to the official statement, is showing signs of improvement and is strengthening. She is expected to be transferred from the ICU to a regular hospital room in the next couple of days. Prime Minister Dean Barrow remains by her side in Miami and is scheduled to return to the country over the weekend. The official statement ends by saying that the Prime Minister and his wife thank everyone for the continued prayers and support.

Prayer service for Kim Simplis Barrow
And speaking about prayers the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese is at this hour celebrating a special prayer service in honor of Mrs. Barrow. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Cancer symposium held in Belize City
The Belize Cancer Society in collaboration with the Dangriga-based Belize Cancer Center, the Medical and Dental Association and the Ministry of Health today hosted a Cancer care Symposium in Belize City. Attending the symposium were healthcare professionals, physicians and nurses and other people from the health field. President of the Belize Cancer Society is Laura Longsworth. Love News met with presenters, Dr. Susanne Donovan, a professor at UCLA School of Medicine and Sandra Collins a Nutritionist who shared information presented during the symposium. Longsworth said that since cancer is something that is bound to happen and patients have the right to be provided with the proper healthcare throughout this episode in their lives.

Doctor says cases of lung cancer continues to increase
It was Kim Simplis, wife of the Prime Minister who just weeks before she herself was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, said at a cancer forum … quote “When I hear the word “cancer” it is not numbers or percentages which come to mind… rather it is the faces of those, who on a daily basis, fight this dreadful disease… Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that cancer does not discriminate, it does not care if you are young, old; black, white; rich or poor” … end of quote. This message is amplified today, not only because it is the end of Cancer Awareness Month, but also because today is World No Tobacco Day. On this occasion, Love News went in search of the statistics as far as cigarette smoking and its close link to all types of cancer. On the other end of that search was Internist at the Belize Medical Associates, Dr. Fernando Cuellar, who shared some sobering details. Dr. Cuellar says that while there have been fewer television commercials and movies advertising cigarettes, conversely, the cases of lung cancer have steadily increased over time. Perhaps, he agrees, these are caused by an increase of cigarette smokers as well as pollution in the community. Still interesting to note, in sharing ad-hoc information, Cuellar says that the younger population seem to latch onto the idea that smoking is detrimental to health.

Hurricane season about to officially start
It is the eve of the start of the Hurricane Season and already there have been two named storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season. According to a report issued a week ago, for the entire six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane. Of those named storms one to three of them are predicted to become major hurricanes. Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The next named storm will carry the name Chris.

Thunderstorm awes San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Cayo thunderstorm. And in another piece of news from the weather front … Strong winds and heavy rains swept through the San Ignacio area this afternoon. Residents of the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena say they were startled by the severe thunderstorm which descended on the municipalities around four o’clock this afternoon. One eye witness account speaks of trees being bent almost to the Breaking point by winds, which some estimate were near of above tropical storm strength. The phenomenon, which forecasters describe as a Thunderstorm, is often times referred to as a freak storm. And a few minutes after the heavy rains and wind started, they just as quickly passed and residents of the area say hot sun emerged as if nothing had happened.

Artistic community mourns the passing of Bob Reneau
Tonight, the artistic community is mourning the loss of one of Belize’s very own. News has been received of the death of Robert “Bob” Reneau at the age of ninety three. Reneau died on Wednesday in Chicago, Illinois. A former broadcaster at the now defunct Radio Belize, Reneau has left a legacy of contributions to the artistic community in Belize, particularly in the field of dance. May his soul rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Sale of majority shares in BSI gets full support
BSI shares sale gets thumbs up. The impending sale of majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to be the subject of discussion, particularly in the north. Love TV’s Arturo Cantun reports.

Rice farmers say low crop year looming
Rice farmers in the Toledo district are sounding the alarm about a projected low rice crop this year. The anticipated low rice crop came out of an assessment recently carried out by the Toledo Rice, Beans and Corn Producers Association. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Lengthy jail sentence for rape convict
An Orange Walk man was given a long jail sentence after he was convicted of the crime of rape. In a sentence handed down in the Corozal session of the Supreme Court, twenty year old Isaac Chan Junior was sentenced to eight years in prison. The rape happened on September 17, 2011, and Chan was found guilty of the charge two weeks ago by a jury of seven men and two women. Chan was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar for the trial, was represented in court this morning by attorney Richard “Dickey” Bradley. He has indicated that he will be appealing his conviction and sentence. The case was prosecuted by crown counsel Kisha Grant.

Armed hold up near Spanish Lookout
There was an armed hold up and robbery this afternoon in Spanish Lookout. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Man who was set ablaze dies
Eighteen days ago, fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was set on fire, allegedly by an enraged next-door neighbour who grew jealous over Usher’s close friendship with his common-law wife. It happened just as Usher was walking through the neighbour’s yard and was heading to his own house in the adjoining yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. Usher suffered second degree burns to the upper part of his body, and, by his relatives’ accounts, his face was burned beyond recognition. Love News has learned that Usher passed away on Wednesday night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Since the incident, the police had detained the neighbour pending investigations.

Woman collars thief; drags him to police station
The Crime Beat. A soft-spoken Cayo woman is tonight being hailed as a heroine after she stood up to shoplifter and made a citizen’s arrest. The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at Codd’s Pharmacy in San Ignacio Town. The story is that two customers walked into the establishment and while the pharmacist identified as Daisy Codd was in the process of filling a prescription, she noticed a man acting suspiciously as if he had stuffed something under his shirt. Well, Codd, who we are told is of a small stature and middle age, wouldn’t let some thief just walk off with her belongings without a fight. She sprang into action, lifting up the man’s shirt and retrieving the stolen item. She even, we are told, administered some punches to the would-be thief, collared him and dragged him through the streets of San Ignacio and personally delivered the suspect to the police station herself. It was no doubt a sight to behold in San Ignacio on Wednesday as Codd dragged the would-be thief to the police station. In a brief interview via telephone, Codd joked that everyone watching the spectacle must have thought she had lost her mind when they saw her dragging a man to the police station. Codd says that even though she felt some pain after the administered some corporal punishment to the would-be thief, at no time did she feel intimidated by the man, who is clearly larger in stature than she is. What’s more, we are told that the same man was in police custody a day earlier allegedly for another robbery but somehow he was back on the street again. But when he decided to target Codd’s Pharmacy met his match. San Ignacio police are yet to release official information about this incident.

Single mother is newest lotto jackpot winner
Lotto has a winner. Wednesday’s one hundred and ten thousand dollar jackpot was won by Belize City resident, Betty Rowland. She bought the lucky ticket with the numbers eight, seventeen, twenty, twenty- two and twenty-eight. She was prompt at the Tropical Gaming Office on Queen Street this afternoon to collect her big prize, and Love News asked how she felt about being the luck lotto winner. After government income tax deductions, Rowlands walked away with ninety three thousand, five hundred dollars. The lotto jackpot now reverts to fifty thousand dollars and you can watch the draw, right here on Love Television at nine o’clock on Saturday night.

Flowers Bank Festival this weekend
The village of Flowers Bank will come alive this weekend as they celebrate their fourth annual fair. Communications officer at NICH, Shari Williams says that there is a strong reason behind this celebration. The Chairman of Flowers Bank, Clinton Rhaburn, told Love News more about what you can expect at this weekend’s fair. Williams says that although the exhibit will open this weekend, it will be permanent so anyone who visits the village can delight themselves with a history of the river valley.

European Union donates to cane farmers
Cane farmers in Northern Belize are the beneficiaries of a donation courtesy of the European Union. A special signing ceremony was held today in Orange Walk Town. Love TV’s Arturo Cantun was there and files this report.

Spacial data usage being promoted in Belize
The Land and Surveys department in collaboration with Land information center and Protected Areas Conservation Trust held a National Consultation to discuss the draft National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy. Spatial Data also referred to as GIS is viewed as one of the most powerful dataset used around the world and many stakeholders in Belize are using the program which helps in resources management and decision making. Today’s consultation is looking to standardize a policy which will allow for the sharing of information between the ministry and other stakeholders. Commissioner of Lands and Surveys in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Wilbert Vallejos spoke on the importance of sharing information. Using spatial data comes with a number of benefits like addressing crime, improving agriculture sector and food security, education and research, health, insurance and banking and many others. A presentation on the status of the Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure process was done by Carren Williams. The consultation was held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.

PlusTV

Man found stabbed to death in his home
A man was found stabbed to death in his home this morning. Belize City police are investigating the death of 35 yea...

Tiring negotiations put damper on SSB anniversary
Today is the 31st anniversary of the Social Security Board but a number of workers are not in the celebration mood ...

Nine month old child shot
A nine month old child was shot to the leg in Belize City. Last night some time after 10 o’clock, a taxi was drivin...

Man succumbs to burn injuries inflicted by neighbor
A man is dead after he was set on fire by his neighbour. The incident happened on May 13th, but 57 year old Joseph ...

Hurricane Season gets underway
Today marks the beginning of the hurricane season. The hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th and ove...

Robbers hit Gonzalo Quinto and Sons store
Afternoon robbers struck Gonzalo Quinto and Sons. It happened while the media were conducting an interview with Pol...

Belize’s debt rating cut for second time this year
Belize’s debt rating was cut for the second time this year by Moody’s Investors Service. Moody's Investors Service ...

Shots ring out during power outage, man injured
There was another shooting, this time on Wednesday night in Belize City. It happened in the middle of a two and a h...

Coca Cola National Spelling Bee draws near
The Coca Cola national spelling bee finals are set for next week Friday. Some of the best primary school spellers a...

Man convicted of killing elderly security guard
There was a conviction yesterday in the Supreme Court. 27 year-old Shandoy Jeffords was convicted of manslaughter a...

Belize observes Caribbean Nutrition Day
Today is being observed as Caribbean Nutrition Day 2012. This year the focus is on ‘Wellness in the Workplace’, hen...

Belize's GG joins in on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General announced that the Governor-Gen...

Alleged drunk driver involved in fender bender
A fender bender happened on the North Ring Road of Belmopan City just after 7pm on Wednesday night. Seems that a dr...

Amandala

Dangriga man found decomposing in bed
Neighbors in the areas said that the stench of decaying flesh was disturbing them. They thought that an animal had died near Petillo’s house and were seeking him to ask him to remove the dead animal, but he was absent and his whereabouts unknown.

Friends and family pray for ailing Kim Simplis-Barrow
She remains in Miami hospital ICU tonight... Tonight, the family and friends of the wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, continue to pray for her recovery after her health took a turn for the worse during her regular treatment for breast cancer at a Miami, Florida, U.S.A. hospital.

National legend Robert “Bob” Reneau dies
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) issued a statement today saying, “Mr. Bob Reneau was a man of many talents... This man of God was indeed a blessing not only to his homeland, Belize but also to the Chicago-Belizean community who was blessed on numerous occasions to experience and enjoy Mr. Bob as he showcased some of his many talents.”

George Frazer, noted educator and trade unionist, to retire in July
Frazer, 65, is leaving his post as executive secretary of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) after 29 years on the job and a prior seventeen years in teaching, closing the curtain on a career that was driven primarily by his fiery passion for social justice and unyielding concern for the lives of his fellow educators and citizens.

Warning to thieves - keep away from Placencia!
Citizens make arrest and hold thieves for police... Citizens of the Placencia Penninsula who organized a neighborhood watch network have zero tolerance for criminals and thieves, and to add to this, the Placencia police have been strengthened with the addition of crime investigators, Special Branch personnel and Tourism Police. This heightened security led to the arrest of three thieves by the citizens, who handed them over to police.

4 acquitted in murder trial
Jury deliberated from 12:53 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.... This evening at about 5:45, all four men accused of the double murder of James Swan and Eduard Gutierrez were acquitted of both murder and manslaughter, although only three were able to walk out of court as free men, after being remanded for 26 months and 3 weeks.

Win or Go Home in BECOL Semifinals
On Friday night at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town, Benque Eagles (1–1) was able to even the best-of-three series against Ball Starz (1-1) in the Under 18 Division, winning 45-39. Benque Eagles’ top scorer was Akeem Watters, who had the game high with 22 points, while Najib “Hot Sauce” Hernandez helped out with 9 points. In the loss, Ball Starz was led by Christian Aldana, who scored 12 points. With the win, Benque Eagles and Ball Starz will play the final and deciding game 3 on Saturday. In game 2, Hydro’s (1-0) Over 35 team was able to deliver the first punch in the series, defeating JCF (0-1) by the score of 72-62. Hydro was led by Joe Awe, who had the game high with 29 points, while Alston Hope and Gerald “Hedge” Usher sank 14 and 9 points, respectively. In the loss, JCF was led by Desmond Berry with 18 points, while Karim Juan sank 16 points, and Shelton Defour scored 11 points. In the nightcap, JDB Ballers (1-0) claimed the upper hand in game 1 of the series in the Under 21 category, defeating Young Money (0-1), 71–62. JDB’s top scorer was Edward Ireland, who finished the game with 23 points, while sinking 7 three-pointers; while Shimeon Simpson tallied 19 points, and Jarrell “Bird” Velasquez and Vinnie Garbutt netted 15 and 11 points, respectively. In the loss, Young Money was led by Johann “Cutto” Bermudez, who scored the game high with 26 points, while Dijon McNabb and Elliot Bermudez chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Football flashback – Chito’s Rangers
The picture above was provided to us a few weeks ago by former footballer Trenton Miller who presently runs a sailing resort out at Caye Caulker. According to Trenton, the picture is of Chito’s Rangers during the 1978-79 football season in Belize City. At the time, Chito’s was the defending Belize City 1st Division champs, having clinched the 1977-78 season championship in the final game with a 3-3 draw against Charger, who finished second.

Volleyball has arrived – crowded BES auditorium for finals opener
The whole of Mercy Lane, which lies between the Belize Elementary School compound and Jamboree Restaurant, was filled with parked cars by 8:00 p.m. tonight, forcing late coming vehicles to jam the side street east of Jamboree and the Jamboree parking lot itself.

Paul writes Audrey
I would like to submit that you, through your Amandala article of 27th May, 2012, appearing on page 38, have brought us to the edge of the precipice. From there we may either plunge headlong into chaos or rise to the pinnacle of the highest civilization ever.

Ideas and Opinions - Different Things
Is there a gene which determines that a male child will grow up to be a homosexual, regardless of his environment or, the influence of those responsible for his upbringing?

Editorial: The union lion
George Harold Alexander Frazier is not a saint. We don’t know of any. But for the better part of the last three decades he has been the firebrand union activist, the general secretary of the largest, most militant union in all the land – the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). He has seen union presidents come, and he has seen union presidents go, but he has remained: the one constant through it all.

Fruit of the poisonous tree
“The legal doctrine of ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’ is fairly basic in its premise: if the information being used in a case was obtained through illegal means, then any other information gathered via that illegal action is also tainted by the poison from the initial illegal action.”

Blogs

Very Cool Pictures: Paving the Air Strip in San Pedro
If you have flown on or off Ambergris Caye over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that they are paving the air strip. It is used by the airlines all day...and the pavers need to work during the day. Here are some pretty cool pictures of the airlines and the construction company working together.

You know you have been living in Belize a while when…
You know you have been living in Belize a while when you catch your self using the word like pirate as a search term while trying to find something in a gmail search. Today I wanted to post just one picture so I set off in search of an image that visually represents why I love living on Ambergris Caye. I went to my stock folder and found the pics from when Dick and I went driving down south and ended up with 36 scenic shots instead and they are only one third of our exploring that day. We also photographed a really cool looking catamaran at the far end of the barge dock, and a drive through Captain Sharks boat yard. Of course it was the road less traveled that won the which pictures to post first contest – hands down.

Fascinating Nature: Why is nature important?
My name is Adreano Finnetty. I am currently a Standard 6 student attending Holy Redeemer Primary School in Belize City. Since I was born, I realized how fascinated I am with nature and the Earth itself. I have taken time and effort to learn as much as possible about nature: from the simplest of organisms, like flowers with the power of pollination; and, bugs which lay millions of eggs every single day; to animals of brute strength like lions and sharks. To me, being an eco kid is to have the knowledge of both scientific and earthly details, not just the admiration of the life cycle; but also to save the environment from little things like littering. As human beings, we should know what is good for the environment and what is not. For example, the mufflers of some vehicles spew out toxic smoke that literally destroys our ozone layer. The ozone layer is what is protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — Three great ways YOU can eliminate waste and protect your environment!
Hello, name is Emily Sanchez. I was born to my parents Esther and Evan Sanchez and I am presently attending the New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. When I read your advertisement, I instantly became interested and told my mother that I want to be an Eco Kid. I want to be an Eco Kid because it will give me the opportunity to appreciate all that nature in Belize has to offer. I could learn to care for it better and apply the gained knowledge to the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). I will also be able to share with my friends, family and classmates my experience at camp. We are blessed to have a bountiful source of nature in Belize. There are many things that can be learned when exploring nature and caring for it. We have rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, seas, and the wonderful ocean. The tall and enormous mountains, a variety of flora and fauna, and other exotic, intriguing, and amazing animals make nature very alluring. Nature is self-governed and we cannot control it, but we can save it.

Belize: high praise
" ... This was a recommendation from Shirlene at Belizean Publisher Cubola Productions, who I emailed for suggestions. There were several authors she could recommend, she said, but Zoila Ellis was her top pick ... The seven short stories in On Heroes Lizards and Passions paint a powerful and varied picture of life in Belize and the Belizean diaspora. Centring on moments when characters find release from fears, prejudices, assumptions, hopes and dreams, they reveal the way that, wittingly or unwittingly, we can change the course of one another’s lives. There is the lapsed priest who finds a way to make peace with his inadequacies through a neighbour’s chance comment, the pregnant teenager set free by her grandmother’s compassion and the lizard community thrown into confusion by the arrival of humans. Ellis’s speciality is pinpointing the blind spots and bigotry lodged in her characters’ psyches, all the while keeping their humanity in the forefront of the reader’s mind. The most memorable example of this is ‘And the Subway Takes me Home’, in which Carla struggles against prejudice in her work as a maid for a rich white American pensioner, all the while pondering how to get her son away from his Kerub girlfriend back home in Belize:

HOW TO Play Diablo III While Cuddling With Girlfriend [FUNNY]
There is clearly a problem here -- it looks like she is kicking his #$$ in Diablo III.

International Sources

Moody's Downgrades Belize Further Into Junk Territory
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Belize's sovereign debt rating further into junk territory, saying its government's ability to service its debt is deteriorating. Moody's lowered the Central American country's rating to Ca from Caa1, pushing it deeper into highly speculative territory. The outlook is developing. The rating cut is the latest in a series of downgrades this year from Moody's and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, as both rating firms cited concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring there. Moody's said Belize faces weak short- to medium-term growth prospects and a questionable outlook for debt sustainability. The rating firm downgraded Belize in February, also on concerns about the country's lagging growth and debt restructuring. The rating firm said it expects Belize will move forward with a debt restructuring plan for a $547 million "superbond," which accounts for about half the government's debt and is itself the result of a distressed debt exchange completed in 2007. The restructuring was motivated by the superbond's increased debt service costs. The government's capacity to service its debt is expected to weaken due to declining oil-related revenues and mounting fiscal liabilities stemming from the nationalization of Belize Electricity Ltd. and Belize Telecommunications Ltd., Moody's said. The developing outlook, Moody's said, is contingent on the government's disclosure of its debt restructuring terms.

Video: Coming Face to Face with a Whale Shark
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They can grow up to 40 feet long and over 20 tons. But they are hardly sea monsters. Whale sharks are said to be gentle and curious and sometimes pull up alongside fishing boats. They don’t seem to mind snorkelers who visit their underwater hunts. So where might you catch sight of a whale shark? Well, they typically swim in warm tropical waters that are rich with plankton. One such spot is right along the coast of Belize, in Central America and we are looking for the name of a Belizian town that is famous for whale sharks. The resort town is about a two hour drive from Belize’s capital, Belmopan. Placencia, Belize is the answer to the Geo Quiz. Anchor Aaron Schachter talks to Ann Marie Macneil, who guides snorkelers on whale shark excursions, about the experience of coming face to face with a whale shark.

June 1, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

World No Tobacco Day 2012 Awareness Campaign
Today the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World No Tobacco Day. Although the day is recognized every year on May 31st, the Ministry will be conducting an awareness campaign today and tomorrow, June 1st at various health centers across the country. This year the theme is “Tobacco Industry Interference.” According to Mr. Amelio Matura, Acting Director, NDACC, the campaign will focus on the Ministry’s present campaign, activities and statistics in relation to tobacco use and other harmful drug use. WHO explains that “the campaign focus is on the need to expose the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control because of the serious danger they pose to public health.” The NDACC will have display booths today at various health centers across the country including Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Orange Walk Town and Corozal Town. San Pedro will have a World No Tobacco Awareness Walk later this evening. Tomorrow, June 1st, Caye Caulker village will have a short ceremony and health fair at the Central Park.

Message on World No Tobacco Day from UN Secretary General
This year’s World No Tobacco Day comes at a time when the tobacco industry is taking ever more aggressive steps to undermine efforts to reduce the global menace of tobacco. While governments and the international health community try to implement effective measures to contain tobacco use and protect the health of people, their efforts are being aggressively opposed by an industry whose products kill people. Tobacco kills by causing cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases. It is one of the leading preventable risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Every year, about 5 million people die because they use tobacco. Another 600,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke. Tobacco takes a pervasive, heavy toll. It hinders development and worsens poverty.

Caribbean Nutrition Day 2012
The Ministry of Health joins all countries of the Caribbean in the celebration of Caribbean Nutrition Day 2012. This year the focus is on ‘Wellness in the Workplace’, hence the theme, ‘Healthy Eating and Active Living: Create an Enabling School/Work/Community Environment.’ The Ministry encourages all organizations to take steps to establish and promote a healthy workplace. Simple activities for the workplace can include organizing wellness committees to highlight and promote healthy lifestyles, having a daily challenge to increase the consumption of vegetables or fruits, conducting health assessments or presentations, and providing healthy snacks for the staff members. Studies have shown that Belizeans are not consuming enough vegetables and fruits which are known to provide many nutrients including vitamins and minerals; they also improve the body’s overall state of wellness.

Update on Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow’s condition
Mrs. Barrow remains in the Intensive Care Unit at a Miami hospital receiving treatment for complications with her heart and fluid in her lungs. She is showing signs of improvement and is strengthening. It is expected that Mrs. Barrow will be transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular hospital room in the next couple days. Prime Minister Dean Barrow remains by her side in Miami and is scheduled to return to Belize over the weekend. The Prime Minister and his wife thank everyone for the continued prayers and support.

Photos: San Pedro Leo’s Club chartered with 20 members
A special ceremony was held at the San Pedro Lions Den for the charter of a San Pedro Leo Club and the installation of its Charter members. The event took place on Saturday May 26th and had in attendance members of the sponsoring San Pedro Lions Club as well as special guests from the Belize City Lions Club. The official charting ceremony and installation of Charter members was conducted by the Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairman Dr. Glenn Espadas. Speaking at the event Dr. Espadas explained the importance of the ceremony. He then conducted the Chartering and Installation of the membership as well as the Installation of the first board of the Leo’s Club. During the ceremony he presented the Leo’s Club with a Certificate of Organization which should be displayed permanently at their meeting place. “We must support and guide them and we must love them. The relationship of both clubs is that of a friendship. We want the best for them and we will respectfully work along with them in service on an equal basis,” said Dr. Espadas.

New Horizon SDA School hoping for support to build more classrooms
Last March, The San Pedro Sun reported on the help and assistance given to the New Horizon 7th Day Adventist School by volunteer students and teachers from the Arlington 7th Day Adventist Church in Dallas, Texas, USA. In addition to offering counseling and free ear clinics for children of the school and community, one of the major tasks the volunteers did to benefit the school was to help renovate one of the few classrooms that the school has to accommodate its 320 students. The support could not have been more welcomed because the classroom that the volunteers helped to renovate and reinforce was close to collapsing on top of its weak and rotting foundation. The students worked together and practically rebuilt the entire ground floor of the classroom to ensure that it is now safe to be used for the students. Principal of New Horizon, Mr. Miguel Hernandez is ever so grateful for the help that the students gave to the school, however he also wants to let people know that there is more needed to help the school accommodate the growing number of students and he is hoping that the Ministry of Education can step in and continue the assistance needed to improve the conditions at the school.

Kylie Alamilla wins NEMO Quiz Contest during NEMO week
Under the theme “Preserving Life and Property”, a quiz contest was held at the San Pedro Lion’s Den on Tuesday May 29th at 10AM and Kylie Alamilla of the Standard 4 class at San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) dominated the competition. Schools from both Caye Caulker and San Pedro were invited to participate, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Holy Cross and New Horizon SDA had to drop out of competition. In the end, Albert Gordon and Guillermo Nuñez of Isla Bonita Elementary and Kylie Alamilla of SPRCS battled it out at the Lion’s Den.

Festival of Arts in San Pedro
The District Education Office of the Belize Rural South under the direction of the Ministry of Education held its annual Festival of Arts on Thursday May 24th. The festival is held yearly encouraging, “art is expression, art is education; let’s keep it alive”. The festival was hosted at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School Grounds and saw the participation of seven education institutions on the island. The participating institutions were; San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), San Pedro Dance Academy (SPDA), Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES), Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS), Saint Peter’s Elementary School (SPES) and New Horizon SDA School (NHSDA).

Ambergris Today

Not Guilty - Men Free of San Pedro Double Murder Charges
Four men, Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett, Frank Edwards, and Gabriel Salazar became free men after they were acquitted before Justice Herbert Lord of the June 2009 double murder of James Swan and Edward "Bro Lee" Gutierrez. The death of Swan, Gutierrez and Saldivar made headline news in all media house when their bodies were found about 20 miles North of San Pedro Town in January of 2009. It was believed that the gruesome murders were all drug related.

Update on Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow Recovering in Miami Hospital
Mrs. Barrow remains in the Intensive Care Unit at a Miami hospital receiving treatment for complications with her heart and fluid in her lungs. She is showing signs of improvement and is strengthening and it is expected that Mrs. Barrow will be transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular hospital room in the next couple days. Prime Minister Dean Barrow remains by her side in Miami and is scheduled to return to Belize over the weekend.

Early Rainy Season Drenches San Pedro
For about two weeks now we have been getting a lot of rain and the onset of an early rainy season has put a toll in some of the streets on the island. We have even experienced some storms with winds up to tropical storm conditions; it has been a rough couple of weeks. Ambergris Today took a ride around the island to see how bad the street conditions were and was quite surprised to see that they aren’t as bad as other times. Now we are not saying that the roads are beautiful and don’t have pot holes or mud but let’s be realistic we live on an island and when it rains the sand will turn into mud!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic Opens
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is open, and while there's still work to do, they are saving animals most every day. The Xray machine they purchased with the Heska grant is working well. They have bumber stickers and water bottles for fundraising. Best of luck, BWCN! "The BWCN is fully functional. They have a nice clinic in Central Farm, and are already doing surgeries almost every day. Beautiful location."

National Festival of Arts Opening Pictures
The NFoA is in full swing, and Cayo is there in numbers. Here are some pictures. "Art is everywhere. We all have creativity inside us it's just a matter of finding it. CAYO represented very well at the National Festival of Arts 2012."

Slow Cooker Rice & Beans
Rice and Beans is one of Belize's staple dishes. Many have trouble making this dish because they don't know the correct temperature or liquid to solid ratio. In this video, I teach how to make this dish in the slow cooker or Crockpot from start to finish. This recipe is so simple, even a child can make it.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (30 May, 2012)
Lucky Two 5.00 Each (5 Balls) 30 ­38 ­33 ­61 ­14­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (5 Balls) 30 ­38 ­33 ­61 ­14­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls) 30 ­38 ­33 ­61 ­14 ­56 ­51 ­50 ­34 ­31­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (16 Balls) 30 ­38 ­33 ­61 ­14 ­56 ­51 ­50 ­34 ­31 ­66 ­36 ­46 ­44 ­65 ­15­ Arrow 300.00 Each (21 Balls) 30 ­38 ­33 ­61 ­14 ­56 ­51 ­50 ­34 ­31 ­66 ­36 ­46 ­44 ­65 ­15 ­75 ­47 ­52 ­71 ­3­ ...

The Top 5 Computer Stores in Belize
Our government and our people are trying the best to keep up with technology and that is something worth celebrating. They have come up with ingenious ways of keeping up with technology but one member remains at the top of my admiration list -- the computer stores. I am not sure what their profits are but let me tell you that they are the number one cause for our country being at least three quarter way down the food chain -- with countries like the USA and Japan ruling the technology kingdom of course. We must thank those wise businessmen that took the heavy risks when opening these type of businesses here in Belize. If it isn't for them how can the other organizations in Belize be able to survive? So in order to show my appreciation I have come up with a list of the Top 5 Computer Stores in Belize. Keep in mind that this list is in no specific order. If you have any other stores that you think belong here kindly add them under the comments section. 1. Fultec Systems: Tel#: 223-3226 Email: sales@fultec.com.bz 2. GS-COM: Tel#: 223-5128 Email: info@gs-com.bz 3. PC.COM: Tel#: 822-1504 Email: sales@pc.com.bz 4. Pross Computers: Tel#: 822-0656 Email: pross@prosscomputers.com 5. SigerTronic Systems: Tel#: 223-3600 Email: info@sigertronic.com

The Top Most Romantic Places in Belize
Am I an expert in romantic weddings or honeymoon getaways? Nope. Matter of fact, I have never been married. But that doesn’t inhibit me from seeing how magical Belize is for romance. The advantage I have is that I have been all over Belize and have worked in the tourism industry for years. I have seen couples on vacation glowing with affection for each and openly expressing how fortunate they were to travel to Belize. Here are six places I recommend for a unforgettable romantic vacation. Victoria House, Roberts Grove Beach Resort, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Matachica Beach Resort, Hamanasi Resort, Cayo Espanto

Barrier Reef Sports Bar Fri. afternoon Jam sessions
Everyone is invited to the Barrier Reef Sports Bar Fri. afternoon Jam sessions. They run from 3 to 6PM every Fri. rain or shine. Last boat back to San Pedro is 6:15PM from right in front of the bar. We have had amazing musicians from Cuba, Canada, Argentina, France, Sweden and the states.... at that is just in the past 30 days! Come join the fun. Play, sing, dance or just listen with an ice cold beverage. We supply instruments including drum set, bass, guitars and keyboard or bring your own instrument. See you there.

Benny's Kitchen has a new website
Benny's Kitchen has a new website, and the Cayo Scoop scooped it! Kevin Rosado did a great job on their new, free website. They have their Trip Advisor link there, so review them if you've been there. Check out their site on the Best of Cayo.

Baby Toucan at Lower Dover Lodge
Lower Dover Jungle Lodge has a toucan nest in a Bullet Tree with a baby toucan in it. How awesome is that? That cute little bird is going to be world famous. Hope it doesn't go to his beak. "We were never able to confirm baby birds in the nest, until today, one year later, in the exact same Bullet tree! There is a saying around here on the most copied blog in Belize… 'No bird pic no bird proof.' These are the pictures of the baby bird sticking its head out of the nest taken this morning. This was easily one of the most memorable bird sightings and all around nature experiences ever witnessed at Lower Dover."

Education Week Celebrated at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library celebrated Education Week in May. They visited St. Francis Xavier primary school, and also hosted students from local schools.

National Festival of Arts Cayo Highlights
The NFoA is getting some really amazing talent. Here are some pictures from Cayo's and Corozal's displays of talent. Thanks to the Institute of Creative Arts for making this all happen.

Channel 7

MAN SET ON FIRE BY NEIGHBOUR DIES
57 year old burn victim Joseph Usher has succumbed to his injuries at the KHMH sometime this morning. Over the past couple weeks Usher was fighting for his life in the intensive care unit at the KHMH - after he was allegedly doused with fuel and then lit on fire by his neighbor. The incident happened on May 13 in his yard at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard. Usher was walking through another neighbor's yard to enter his own when he was set on fire. He received severe burns to his head, back, chest, and both arms. Today his family still doesn't know why someone would want to set their loved one on fire. And what makes it even worse is that Usher's family strongly believes that the hospital is partly responsible for his death. They told us more today:.. Josephine Usher, Daughter of the deceased "I received a call from one of the nurse from the hospital about after 2pm. The nurse told me to come in early because changes have been made with my father. So I called my sister and my aunt and we all went to the hospital, when we reach there the doctor told us that he had passed. They didn't want to tell us over the phone." "I am upset because three weeks ago when my dad was in the hospital we went there and we were told that we cannot see him due to the nature of his burnt. We were allowed to stay a short distance from the door and watch me from there on his bed."

PRIME MINISTERS WIFE IN INTENSIVE CARE
Tonight, Kim Barrow remains in the intensive care unit at a Miami hospital as doctors try to stabilise her heart - which, according to a report in today's Guardian, had lost over 80% of its function. But the news tonight is that after a few days of being in critical condition, she is improving and gathering strength. According to an official press release, that Mrs. Barrow will be transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular hospital room in the next couple days. That official release was sent out this morning to dispel a widely disseminated text message saying she had died. But, according to all accounts, it had been touch and go since Sunday when she had to be rushed to the emergency room. That was because she had developed fluid in her lungs which was complicated by an irregular heartbeat. The Guardian reports that her heart muscle was weakened by the radiation treatments she has been receiving and so, those are now being suspended for six months. That's how long it will take for her heart to fully recover. The Prime Minister and their daughter are with her in Miami tonight and he is scheduled to return to Belize over the weekend.

MAN SHOT IN PITCH BLACK OF BLACKOUT
A man was shot last night in Belize City - in the middle of a city-wide blackout. According to reports it happened in the Collet Area - in a street near the Cemetery. Around 11:22, in the pitch black of a blackout night, a gunman fired a shot into the dark which caught 52 year old Domingo Teul in his hands. He was taken to the KHMH and is in a stable condition. By all appearances, the gunman did not target Teul; they just fired idly into the dark.

BEL SAYS STRONG WINDS CAUSED BLACKOUT
And if you are wondering what caused the very inconvenient three hours blackout late last night, BEL says strong winds caused a piece of equipment to make contact with energized lines at the Magazine Road Substation in Belize City - causing a blackout at 9:51. Linesmen had to work in the rain to fix it, and power was restored to Belize City at 12:31 a.m. today. At 11:49 p.m. another interruption on the system triggered an outage in the area from Mile 8 to Mile 35 along the Northern Highway including all villages along the Old Northern Highway. That was repaired by 2:15 a.m.

MAN FOUND GUILTY OF KILLING FIDOS SECURITY GUARD
27 year-old Shandoy Jeffords was convicted of manslaughter and burglary today for the gruesome July 2005 killing of Antonio Almendarez, the 50 year-old security guard who was posted at Fido's Restaurant and bar. Police believed that Almendarez's assailants went to the club to burglarize the place, but they had to kill the security in order for them to escape with more than $18,000 dollars. In December 2008, Jeffords was slated to be the crown's main witness against his alleged accomplices, Bernard "Dragon" Williams, Austin "Colombia" Mungia, and Luis Lalin, but in November 2008, these men were acquitted of murder because Jeffords refused to show up to testify. Several weeks later, he was arrested and charged with manslaughter. The prosecution in this case, represented by Crown Counsel Shamilla Williams, was able to get Jeffords' signed confession statement admitted as the only solid piece evidence against him. In this statement, Jeffords allegedly told the investigating officer that on July 25, 2005, a man he knew as "Dragon" asked him to accompany him on a "move". Jeffords said that he went reluctantly, and at the closing of the club, they ambushed the security guard. Jeffords said they then used to security guard's handcuffs to restrain him, but he was making too much noise, so "Dragon" pulled a crowbar which he used to club the security guard 4 times in the head. They also put duct-tape on his hands, feet and mouth. Jeffords said that he got scared, and that's when he left because "Dragon" was considering if he should slit the guard's throat or not. Jeffords then met back up with "Dragon" later, and they left, but he did not know that the guard's throat was cut.

BDF DEPUTY COMMANDER WAS DISMISSED
Not much has been heard since last year October, when 42 guns were stolen from the BDF Price Barracks Compound. But, quietly on December the 23rd., Deputy Commander of the BDF, Colonel (Cornel) Javier Castellanos was summarily discharged from the BDF. No press release was issued, no public announcement made, in fact Castellanos himself says he was never told why he was discharged or given a chance to defend himself. The Security Services Commission cited a Court of Inquiry which found him in gross dereliction of duty based on an "investigation". That investigation found that Castellanos was in charge of camp security and tasking field officers on security checks. The allegation is that Castellanos assigned security arrangements to a junior officer who ignored the order - and thus no one was watching the armoury when the guns went missing. Well now, Castellanos is appealing his dismissal to the Belize Advisory Council. His attorney Godfrey Smith says that he was dismissed without any specific charge or any allegation of wrongdoing being brought against him.

BGYEAH SAYS LAND PLANS MOVING APACE
It's been a while since we've heard from BGYEA, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association. Well, today President Nigel Petillo gave us an update. He says things at Harmonyville are moving along at a crisp pace, and on Saturday members are being asked to show up at the lands department in Belmopan to get their land papers, signed sealed and delivered. There are a total of one thousand and forty one acre plots - about 300 of the landowners have received their lease documents and will get their purchase price letters shortly. Another 300 have signed their documents and are awaiting their lease papers while the final third is being asked to come out on Saturday, because if not the train will move on without them. Petillo explained:... Nigel Petillo, President of BGYEA "So far about 1/3 of the population at Harmonyville has already receive their lease document in their hand. They have a lease paper that say that piece of one acre is in your name. We are going to the next step to ensure that we get title so that no individual, no foreigner, no government and nobody that come in can take that land from you."

OLD CEO HEADS NEW PORT BOARD
Lindsey Garbutt moved on from the Ministry of Tourism right after the elections, and now he's taken over the chairmanship of the Port Authority. The new Board convened its first meeting today at the Cancer Center on Mercy Lane this morning. Present was the CEO in the Ministry of Transport Dwight Tillett. Another interesting appointment in the Ministry of Transport is on the Transport Baord, where former Social Security CEO Merlene Bailey Martinez has been named the Chairperson.

A SYMPOSIUM FOR CANCER CARE PROVIDERS
Over a hundred healthcare professionals attended a Cancer Symposium that was held in Belize City today. The symposium is a collaboration between the Belize Cancer Society, the Belize Cancer Center Treatment in Dangriga, the Medical and Dental Association and the Ministry of Health. Its main focus today was to promote cancer awareness and preventative measures, lifestyle issues and environmental factors. 7news spoke with President, Belize Cancer Society, Laura Longsworth. Laura Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society "It's really important because we have a number of our patients, our community members who either receive treatment locally or receive treatment abroad. So we brought our health professionals together with support of our international partners and key persons to really present this state of the art management of cancer." "The overall objective is really making sure that our health professionals understand that this is a partnership and we want to build a partnership to promote cancer awareness and preventative measures that must be taken, lifestyles issues and other environmental practice that must be address as well as understanding how to manage our patients receiving treatment for cancer."

NOT QUITE RECORD RAINFALL IN MAY
Traditionally the rainy season starts in June, but this year the showers came early, and it's been raining pretty much non- stop for the past 10 days. And it's not just been long spells of showers, the rain has also been especially hard, and the numbers show that the rainfall is well above average. The average rainfall for the month of May varies from district to district. According to the Belize Meteorology office, the averages for the month of May are usually 4-5 inches for Belize, 3-4 inches for the Northern and Inland areas, 6-7 inches for the Southern areas near Dangriga, and 7-8 inches for southern areas near Punta Gorda. Last year - which was a drought year - the rainfall was below average, but this year it has taken a drastic increase for the month of May. Last year's 0.38 inches increased to 16.4 inches for Belize, and 0.29 inches increased to 6.7 inches for the Northern Areas. The inland areas increased from 1 inch last year to 4-5 inches this year. Last year, the Dangriga area received 1.6 inches of rainfall, but this year it received between 5 to 8 inches. Finally, last year's 2.9 inches for the Punta Gorda Area increased by almost 6 times to 11-12 inches of rain for 2012. Across the board, the amount of rainfall has exceeded the average rainfall for the month of May. Still, the 16.4 inches for the Belize district, however high that may seem, does not pass the recorded historic high which was a whopping 24.65 inches of rainfall in 1986.

WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY OBSERVED
Today May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, and an awareness campaign is being conducted today and tomorrow at different health centers throughout the country. This year the theme is "Tobacco Industry Interference", and Tyronne Chimilio explained why the theme was chosen and what activities will be conducted during the campaign. We caught up with him at the NDACC, where he showed us an educational video that was created for World No Tobacco Day. Here is an excerpt from the video: Tyronne Chimilio, District Coordinator - NDACC "The excerpts that I have shown you - that is geared towards entertainment which is entertainment along with education and we had members from the Youth Advocacy Movement which is the youth arm of the Belize Family Life Association. The escape is informing one of their friends of tobacco smoking in preventing him even from start to smoke cigarettes." Robin Schaffer "Can you explain the theme for me?" Tyronne Chimilio, District Coordinator - NDACC "The theme is geared towards the publicizing of cigarette tobacco smoking and its dangerous to the health and is part of the things that we want to continue to emphasize to the public that tobacco smoking is bad for the health. So it's a competition that is basically taking place with us convincing people not to smoke, against the tobacco which is emphasizing the sale of their products."

THE PASSING OF AN ARTIST'S ARTIST
Tonight, we note the passing of master of the stage, Bob Reneau. Reneau was a true artistic legend, known as an outstanding musician, singer, playwright and producer, artist, composer, and choreographer. He passed away on Wednesday at the age of 92 while at a hospice in Chicago. Many of his students and Belizeans in the arts had the privilege of collaborating with him on the production and presentation of some of his outstanding renditions such as "The Holy City"; " It's a Good Day"; and " Sons of Honduras". His early productions included drama, music, and dance and so did his later productions such as: ""Breggin Tuba", "Wedding Bells for Kettiebell" and many more. Many of his past students valued his commitment to originality and to uniqueness. Althea Sealey spoke about the importance of Being Bob:.. Althea Sealey "I have a whole treasured moment of memories inside of me from Mr. Bob. As a matter of fact he was the man who brought out whatever you all see in me, he is the one who brought it all out." "I started with him at the age of 8 years old and spent a good 15 years with him before he had left - migrated to the United States and I continued on with Majorie Bradley and Leonie Henry and now I continued it on with sharing it with my dance company."

A FESTIVAL FOR THE FLOWERS BANK NEGROES
In 2009, a Flowers Bank festival was held to honor the memory of the Flowers Bank Negroes- 14 men who - as the legend goes - case the deciding votes in 1797, to stay and fight for the colony under the threat of Spaniards and thus set the course for Belizean history. This year the 4th annual Flowers Bank Festival will not only honor these 14 men but it will also depict many cultural and historical practices that have been observed in Belize through the launching of a permanent exhibit in Flowers Bank. Today we caught up with Shari Williams, communications officer for NICH, who told us more about the Festival and the exhibit to be launched. Shari Williams "The entire reason behind the festival is to honor the 14 men from Flowers Bank. History tells us that there were 14 men from Belize River Valley who made the deciding factor in whether we were going to run and hide or whether we were going to stay and fight for the battle of St. George's Caye during the battle of St George's Caye." "The entire festival is honor these 14 men, but in addition to that we wanted to foster an appreciation for the people of the Belize River Valley area as well as to learn about how the river has contributed and carved Belize as a nation. The highlight this year is the opening of a new exhibit. It's a permanent exhibit that is going to be along the river valley but they are going to officially launched it this weekend."

NICH NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR ANNUAL SEPTEMBER THEME
NICH is gearing up for this year's September celebrations with its annual theme competition. Belizeans are invited to enter a theme of no more than 10 words to be used for the September celebrations. Shari Williams, the communications officer for NICH explained to us what they are looking for and explained how you can enter. Shari Williams "At this time we are inviting people to submit themes for this year's celebration. This year will mark the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye and the 31st Anniversary of Independence. We encourage everybody from near and far to submit themes. The theme can no more than 10 words; it can be about anything, this year we are celebrating the Maya culture. 21st September is the International Day of Peace and you can talk about contribution to Belize's development from various cultural groups and you can talk about anything - aspirations for Belize as a nation. At this time we are encouraging people to submit their themes and you can email it to septembercelebrationsbze@yahoo.com or you can drop it off here at the House of Culture or at any of the district town councils."

BETTY ROWLAND WON $93K IN LOTTO JACKPOT
Today a still shocked Betty Rowland claimed the $110,000 lotto jackpot. After taxes, Rowland will be walking away with a whopping $93,500. She told us today that although she usually spends anywhere between 15 to 20 dollars on lotto tickets, this time it just took 1:.. Robin Schaffer "Everyone wants to know what will you do with the money?" Betty Rowland "Well, certainly a new house and some for education." Robin Schaffer "How did you pick the winning numbers?" Betty Rowland "Actually it was by quick pick. This time I bought just one ticket. At first I couldn't believe that I won." Afterwards it finally sank in that I win. I started to check the ticket again with the numbers. The winning numbers from her quick pick were 08, 17, 20, 22, 28."

PROFILE OF RODWELL WILLIAMS; THE LIFE-CHANGING EVENTS
We've all heard the story of Rodwell Williams who was shot in May of 2010. Indeed, the attempted murder of the Prime Minister's Law Partner has been one of the most covered stories in recent memory. And while a great deal has been said, very little has been heard from Williams himself. In fact, with the exception of his emotional testimony in court - which only a handful of courtroom observers saw - we don't really know the full story of what happened that night. Tonight, for the first time, he'll share it all, in granular detail. He's the subject of tonight's "I Am Belize" Profile. We'll warn you, it's quite a bit longer than usual, but it's the kind of story we very rarely get to hear- an account from a man who was knocking on death's door. He tells us how he survived an execution attempt.

Channel 5

Prayer Service for Kim Simplis Barrow
At this time, a healing service is taking place at St John’s Cathedral for the wife of the Prime Minister, Kim Simplis Barrow, who is in Intensive Care Unit at a Miami Hospital. Simplis Barrow is receiving treatment for stage three breast cancer and last weekend she experienced complications when fluid was detected in her [...]

San Pedro resident talks his way to Guilty of Manslaughter charge
The trial concluded today against a witness turned suspect, twenty-two year old Shandoy Jeffords. Jeffords is one of four men who were accused of killing fifty year old Antonio Almendarez on July twenty-fifth, 2005 during a Burglary at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar in San Pedro. In 2007, Jeffords was the prosecution’s main witness when Luis [...]

Hand in window gets you 3 separate counts in prison
Also at court, a man who was allegedly caught inappropriately touching a woman through her window is tonight behind bars and facing three criminal charges. Forty-four year old Ladyville resident, Winfield Mortis, appeared before Senior Magistrate Frazer late Wednesday evening and was arraigned on charges of Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature and [...]

Health Symposium garners awareness for cancer month
Cancer Awareness has become part of the national dialogue since the diagnosis of Kim Simplis Barrow. Throughout this month, a number of activities have been held to build awareness of the disease that afflicts men, women and children from all walks of life. Last weekend thousands participated in a walk from Ladyville to Belize City [...]

2 weeks after being lit on fire, Joseph Usher dies while receiving treatment
For two weeks, fifty-nine year old Joseph Usher was fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Earlier this morning, he lost that battle and succumbed to severe burns to the head, back, chest and both arms. At around ten-thirty p.m. on May thirteenth, Usher was inside his sister’s yard at the corner [...]

Renowned musician and artist, Bob Reneau, passes away
A legend in Belizean arts also passed away on Wednesday in Chicago. Bob Reneau was truly the definition of an artist; he was a talented singer, dancer, painter, playwright and producer, composer and to many, he was a teacher. Before he moved away, his students and other Belizeans in the arts had the privilege of [...]

Belize River Valley resident wins the Lotto!
A thirty-four year old mother of one from the Belize River Valley is the happy winner of the latest Lotto draw. Betty Rowland was listening to the live draw as the numbers eight, seventeen, twenty, twenty-two and twenty-eight were called for the jackpot of one hundred and ten thousand dollars. Even though she heard it [...]

Blackout in the Belize District
If you experienced loss of power on Wednesday night, then you were in the Belize District. It wasn’t industrial action caused by tensions between the electricity company and its union; the outages were caused by the weather. The first unplanned power outage occurred at nine-fifty-one p.m. and the entire City was cast into darkness. The [...]

Do you know the Flowers Bank fourteen (14)?
Elsewhere in the valley, a grand festival is held annually in Flowers Bank Village to celebrate fourteen men who changed the course of Belize’s history. On June first 1797, the men swayed a vote to stay and fight for Belize and have become known as the Flowers Bank fourteen. So this weekend, all the fun [...]

Flowers Bank Festival will be awesome
The festival promises to be fun for the entire family; but it is also an educational event. Rhaburn is especially inviting students to attend and win prizes for answering questions about Flowers Bank and its history. And, through a partnership with the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, an important exhibit is also being launched [...]

Put your lights out for World No Tobacco Day
Statistics show that over thirty-five percent of deaths in Belize are attributed to tobacco and use of the substance also ranks high among the youth population. These statistics have since moved the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Abuse Control Council on an intense anti-tobacco initiative, the Belize Youth Advocacy for Smoke Free Schools. [...]

The Year of the Maya in Caracol
Earlier this year Channel Five’s William Neal and Alex Ellis headed west to the Caracol Mayan site to witness the splendor of the spring equinox of the astrological Mayan calendar, which ends in December 2012. The event, the first of four coordinated by NICH and the B.T.B., was held at the base of Kaana. Our [...]

Highlights of the Festival of Arts
The National Festival Arts, which celebrates the creativity of primary and high school students, started on Wednesday at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Decked out in colorful and creative costumes, over a hundred students from Cayo and Corozal congregated at the Bliss and took over the stage in dance, drama and singing. We [...]

Healthy Living explores Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is incurable and can affect people of all ages. Although the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not known; the options for treatment have improved. Early intervention can minimize the effects of the condition. This week’s Healthy Living tells us more about Rheumatoid Arthritis.   Marleni Cuellar, Reporting It is one of the most [...]

LOVE FM

POLICE NEWS
Eighteen days ago, fifty-six year old Joseph Usher was set on fire, allegedly by an enraged next-door neighbour who grew jealous over Usher’s close friendship with his common-law wife. It happened just as Usher was walking through the neighbour’s yard and was heading ...

POLICE RECOVERS DECOMPOSED BODY IN DANGRIGA
A man was found dead in his home in Dangriga on Wednesday. Police are now trying to figure out how he died. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Dangriga police have discovered the body of a man in his house located in the Sabal community area of...

HURRICANE SEASON OPENS ON JUNE 1
It is the eve of the start of the Hurricane Season and already there have been two named storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season. Accor...

TENSION RISES AS TOWN COUNCIL PREPARES FOR PARK RENOVATIONS
The tension keeps rising between the Orange Walk Town Council and vehicle vendors who occupy parking space on Park Street by the Central Park. It all started after vendors occupying space in the area received a letter from the Orange Walk Town Council informing them of a new fee of thi...

CANCER CARE SYMPOSIUM HELD IN BELIZE CITY
The Belize Cancer Society in collaboration with the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga, the Medical and Dental Association and the Ministry of Health hosted a Cancer care Symposium at the Whitfield Tower in Belize City. Attending the symposium were healthcare professionals, physici...

OFFICIAL STATEMENT SAYS PRIME MINISTER'S WIFE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN HEALTH
Belize’s special Envoy for Families and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow continues to receive medical treatment in Miami, Florida. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister was issued this morning, following widespread rumors of her death. The official statem...

DISCUSSION CONTINUES ON SALE OF SUGAR INDUSTRY MAJORITY SHARES
The impending sale of majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to be the subject of discussion, particularly in the north. Love FM’s Arturo Cantun reports:

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO STANDARDIZE POLICIES ON SPATIAL DATA
The Land and Surveys department in collaboration with Land information center and Protected Areas Conservation Trust held a National Consultation to discuss the draft National Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy. Spatial Data also referred to as GIS is viewed as one of the most po...

MEMBERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO ATTEND TRAINING IN SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Members of Local government including the Foreman of the San Pedro Town Council Samuel Gonzalez will be travelling to San Salvador next week to participate in a training course in solid waste management. Love News spoke with Gonzalez who told us of his interest in alternate methods of ...

GOVERNMENT UPGRADES MORGUE FACILITIES
Since its construction in 1995, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been both lauded and degraded in the court of public opinion for incidents that have occurred within its walls. But even in the face of criticisms that have come its way, the hospital has made continuous strid...

BELIZE UNITES IN PRAYERS FOR WIFE OF PRIME MINISTER
A Prayer Service for the Healing of Mrs Kim Simplis Barrow is planned for Thursday May 31at St. John’s Cathedral beginning at 6:00pm. The main celebrant will be Bishop Philip Wright. The public is invited to come out and be a part of the special prayer service. ...

BELIZE TO ATTEND CARBON EXPO 2012
Belize will have participation in Carbon Expo 2012 in Germany. The Carbon Expo is a leading international trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments, and clean technologies. The event will bring together project developers, service providers, buyers and sell...

EUROPEAN UNION AGREES TO GIVE FINANCIAL BOOST TO BELIZE'S SUGAR INDUSTRY
Arturo Cantun reporting… “The European Union signed agreements today to assist the Belizean economy particularly by pumping Euros into the sugar industry in the north. The financial boost goes to cane farmers in the form of loans for a replanting program and as w...

LOVE TV

Lengthy jail sentence for rape convict
An Orange Walk man was given a long jail sentence after he was convicted of the crime of rape. In a sentence handed down in the Corozal session of the Supreme Court, twenty year old Isaac Chan Junior was sentenced to eight years in prison. The rape happened on September 17, 2011, and Chan was [...] 0 Sale of majority shares in BSI gets full support
The impending sale of majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to be the subject of discussion, particularly in the north. Love TV’s Arturo Cantun reports.

Cancer symposium held in Belize City
The Belize Cancer Society in collaboration with the Dangriga-based Belize Cancer Center, the Medical and Dental Association and the Ministry of Health today hosted a Cancer care Symposium in Belize City. Attending the symposium were healthcare professionals, physicians and nurses and other people from the health field. President of the Belize Cancer Society is Laura [...]

Doctor says cases of lung cancer continues to increase
It was Kim Simplis, wife of the Prime Minister who just weeks before she herself was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, said at a cancer forum … quote “When I hear the word “cancer” it is not numbers or percentages which come to mind… rather it is the faces of those, who on a [...]

Improved morgue services at the KHMH
Since its construction in 1995, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been both lauded and degraded in the court of public opinion for incidents that have occurred within its walls. But even in the face of criticisms that have come its way, the hospital has made continuous strides to remain a respectable medical institution in [...]

Teenager charged for murder of businesman
Police have arrested and charged 18-year-old Anthony Carballo Jr. for the murder of 48-year-old businessman Jerminie Ellis McNab. McNab was shot and killed just after seven o’clock p.m. on Thursday May 17 at his business establishment, Mobile Hardware Store at the corner of Curassow Street and Central American Boulevard. McNab was shot three times to [...]

Kim Simplis’ health shows signs of improvement
Belize’s special Envoy for Families and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow continues to receive medical treatment in Miami, Florida. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister was issued this morning, following widespread rumors of her death. The official statement however, says that Mrs. Barrow remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, [...]

Prayer service for Kim Simplis Barrow
And speaking about prayers the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese is at this hour celebrating a special prayer service in honor of Mrs. Barrow. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Lengthy jail sentence for rape convict
An Orange Walk man was given a long jail sentence after he was convicted of the crime of rape. In a sentence handed down in the Corozal session of the Supreme Court, twenty year old Isaac Chan Junior was sentenced to eight years in prison. The rape happened on September 17, 2011, and Chan was [...]

Murder case ends in acquittal
Four men charged with murder were today acquitted of the charge in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. 31-year-old Brionne Swift, 25-year-old Gabriel Salazar, 25-year-old Frank Edwards Jr and 25-year-old Victor Garnett were charged with the murders of 26-year-old Elias Edwards Gutierrez and his brother-in-law 25-year James Swan also known as James Edwards. Swan and [...]

PlusTV

Minister Faber lays out bold educational plan
The Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, last night invited stakeholders a town meeting to ...

NEMO awards winners of quiz and poster competition
Awards were given out this morning at the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to students who partici...

NICHE organizes family weekend at Flowers Bank
This week the National Institute of Culture and History has put together an entire weekend fill with fun and knowle...

Dangriga resident found dead inside parent home
Ervin Petillo was found dead in his bed room yesterday afternoon about 2pm. Petillo who is in his early 40’s and li...

False rumour surfaces on Kim Simplis Barrow's battle with Cancer
A malicious rumour surfaced today on facebook claiming that the first lady had died. It was an outright and nasty l...

Four acquitted of 2009 double murder charge
Victor Garnett, Frank Edwards, Brionne Swift, and Gabriel Salazar were acquitted before Justice Herbert Lord of the...

Belize to participate in Carbon Expo 2012 in Germany
The Government of Belize led by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in collaboration wi......

The Guardian

In Belize City, 8 Streets paved in less than 100 days
It's been just over two months since the UDP took office at the Belize City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Darrell, and already there has been significant progress being done by the Council. Mayor Bradley came to office with a clear vision of what work the council needs to implement and with that vision he came up with a 100-day strategy.

Cancer Awareness at an All Time High
This year’s Cancer Walk was the biggest since its inception in 1996. The month of May is celebrated as Cancer Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Prevent and Control Cancer: Together We Can Do It”.

Police receives Patrol Bikes & Machine to destroy Confiscated Guns
A brief ceremony was held at the Queen Street Police Station on Monday, May 28, in which the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) handed over a hydraulic shear to the Belize Police Department. The hydraulic shear will be used for the destruction of old, surplus and confiscated weapons.

Shyne to Release New Album in July
Moses Michael Leviy, the artists known as Shyne, signed a multimillion dollar record deal with Island Def Jam Records in February of 2010. L.A. Reid flew all the way to Belize to sign the contract because “Shyne deserves that much”. At the time, Reid said that his desire to sign Shyne was not just because of the great “artiste” he is but also because of the great man Moses had become. Reid promised a huge comeback.

Minister Rene Montero addresses Graduating Class
Commencement exercises for Eden Seventh Day Adventist High were held on Sunday, 27th May 2012 at the High School Compound in Santa Elena, Cayo. Minister of Works & Transport, Hon. Rene Montero was the guest speaker and focused his speech on “Reaching the Pinnacle of Success”, and the motto “Guided by Spirit of God”. Minister Montero stressed that students must dream before they can achieve. He also told them that the choices they make now will affect their entire life. Therefore, he urged the students to choose a career of service to the country, fellow men, and above all, service to God. He encouraged the students to remain focused and committed and pointed out that education is the foundation on which a nation is built and that the Diploma they are receiving is just the beginning of a career of opportunities. He ended by congratulating the graduating class of 2012, teachers and faculty of Eden High School saying it is one of the largest graduating classes in the 22 years of the high school’s existence. Twenty eight students received Diploma in Business and the rest in Academic Studies. Other speakers included the Principal Erodito Pineda and the Director of Education.

Upgraded Morgue at KHMH for Increased Capacity
It was a proud moment for managers and staff members at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday May 30th when it officially opened its new morgue facilities to the public.

Minimum Wage Increased
The minimum wage has been increased for people working in the citrus industry as well as for those working as domestics labourers and shop assistants.

Failed Cut and Paste Attorneys
The Guardian had predicted from last week that the Cut and Paste Attorneys, Anthony Sylvester and Said Musa would have been unsuccessful in their bid to have an election petition heard at the Supreme Court, and we were right.

Conflict Resolution Workshop hosted by Restore Belize and U.S. Embassy
Restore Belize is once again collaborating with the United States Embassy in an effort to reduce violence in Belize. Over a dozen individuals are participating in a conflict resolution workshop at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education Training.

BTL & Restore Belize brings Messengers of Hope
On Thursday, May 24, over six hundred students from across Belize City gathered inside the Queen’s Room of the Princess Hotel and Casino to listen to the testimonies of four foreigners that overcame great adversities and are now living successful lives. BTL and Restore Belize collaborated to host a motivational rally featuring Roy Juarez Jr., Pamela S. Perkins, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch and Bert Oliva.

Minister Patrick Faber Holding Town Hall Meetings
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, is holding a series of town hall meetings from Tuesday, May 29, to Thursday, May 31. Stakeholders of the education system are expected to attend meetings in San Ignacio, Belmopan and Orange Walk. The first meeting was held at the CET building in San Ignacio on Tuesday, May 29. The second meeting was held at the Belmopan Civic Center on Wednesday, May 30, and the third meeting will be held at the Gala Lounge in Orange Walk on Thursday, May 31. All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Minister Faber maintains his point that education is everybody’s business and as such all school managers, principals, teachers, parents, students and other interested persons are asked to attend.

Charged for killing Jason Canto
On Thursday, May 10, two men entered Dale's Barber Shop located on East Canal and opened fire on those inside. As a result of the shooting, Jason Canto received several gunshots,which claimed his life. Also hit during the incident was one of the establishment's barbers. During the gunfire, one of the patrons opened fire on the men hitting him. The gunman was hospitalized and after receiving treatment was taken to Magistrate's Court on Tuesday May 29th. Norman Slusher, 23, a resident of #15 Tigris Street ,appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was charged with a single count of murder of Canto. No plea was taken and Magistrate Frazer explained to him that no plea was taken since the charge is an indictable offense and he will be tried at the Supreme Court if there is sufficient evidence to do so. He was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 29. On Thursday, May 10, at about 7:55p.m., Jason Canto was gunned down when two men walked into Dale’s Barber Shop and one of them who was armed with a firearm, opened fire inside the barbershop. Canto was fatally wounded, while the barber, identified as Adriel Pelayo was shot to the upper portion of his left leg. A local businessman, who was at the barbershop and was armed with his license 9 mm, fired back at the gunman and managed to injure one of them. He was later identified as Norman Slusher. Slusher was hit to the lower right side of his abdomen and once in his right leg. Both men involved in the shooting were able to escape after the shooting. Slusher was later found by police in house on Bishop Street where he had sought refuge.

Attempted to Commit Suicide with a Gas Tank
Alleged wounds inflicted by Marciano Mendez on May 24, 2012 Marciano Mendez, 34, a diver working in San Pedro Town, is likely to face charges, after he attempted to set his common-law-wife's house on fire. The house is situated on San Narciso Street in Orange Walk Town. During the attempt, Mendez sustained burn injuries in the right arm and side. Reportedly, he remains in a stable condition at the Northern Regional Hospital under police guard. At around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, the police came to the house to arrest Mendez following a report made by his common-law-wife, Evangelina Correa, 41. Correa had reported to police that Mendez had beaten her earlier that day. Instead of giving in, Mendez resisted the arrest threatening to commit suicide. According to police, when they arrived they saw him seated in the kitchen around the table. He then stood up, grabbed a knife and placed it to his neck threatening to take his life away, if he was not allowed to speak with Correa.

Teenager charged with murder of businessman, Jerminie McNab
On Wednesday May 30th, 18-year-old Anthony Carballo, Jr. was arraigned before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of businessman, Jerminie McNab. In court, Carballo was unrepresented; no plea was taken and he was remanded to the Belize central Prison until July 12. On the night of Thursday, May 17, Jerminie McNab was at his business place, Mobile Hardware located at the corner of Currasow and Cemtery Road, when three men stormed into his store. Reports are that one of the men had an exchange of words with McNab and that’s when he was shot. McNab was behind his counter and was shot three times to the chest from close range. After being shot, he fell to the ground and died. When police found McNab, he was lying face up in a pool of blood. The men managed to escape with McNab’s firearm, leaving him for dead.

Brian Brown remanded to Prison
On Friday May 25, Brian Derrick Brown, 35, appeared in Belize Family Court to answer to charges after police found a number of illegal items at his home. Brown was escorted to the Belize Family Court where he was read eight criminal charges. Bail was denied and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 25. In court, Brown was read 7 charges which are drug related. Among the charges are possession of a pipe, marijuana and cocaine. The eighth charge was for a bullet proof vest which was found at his home. On May 16, 2012, police visited Brown’s home where they forced open his sliding metal gate. Once inside, police conducted a search even though he wasn’t there. Police first searched a bedroom where they found two amounts of cash which were $325.75 and $2,427.00. They then went into a bathroom where they claimed they found a transparent plastic bag with a chalk-like substance weighing 17 grams. They also searched a China closet where they claimed they found $142.50 in Belize currency as well as $1,800 in US currency.They also conducted a search of another bedroom where they also found $437.90 as well as a black bag which contained $27.00 BZ in coins. Well over $7,000 in cash as well as a bullet proof vest, a GSG sign, a police handcuff and other items were found. On Wednesday, May 23rd, one week after the search, Brown, with the assistance of his attorney, Dickie Bradley surrendered to police.

Human Trafficker appealing Conviction
On Monday May 28, 41-year-old Yolanda Garcia appeared in Magistrate's Court to appeal a decision handed down on February of this year where she was convicted of human trafficking. Garcia, a Honduran woman and the owner of Sirenita’s Bar located on Regent Street West, was convicted of human trafficking of a 17-year-old minor, who was employed at the bar as a waitress. The conviction came after the minor testified in court that Garcia told her that she had to engage in sexual activities with the men at the bar while working. Garcia was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months in jail. Garcia’s conviction for the crime of human trafficking was the first for Belize City but the second to have occurred around that time. The first was the conviction of 54-year-old Santa Elena Town resident, Narcisa Orellana who was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, a week earlier. Since her incarceration, Garcia, who began to serve her one year jail term in February, has appealed the conviction. On Monday, her bail application was heard before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The bail application was made by her attorney, Mansel Thurton, but was met by strong objections by the DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal. She submitted that Garcia is not a Belizean and has no ties to Belize.

Henry Jacobs charged for Murder
On Monday May 28, 22-year-old Henry Jacobs appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was arraigned on charges for the murder of 49-year-old Brian Welch, aka “Yanki” or “Oregon”. Welch was shot and killed while in the company of two friends on the night of Sunday, April 29th in a yard on Faber’s Road in Belize City. Jacobs, a fisherman of Faber’s Road was in police custody since Tuesday of last week. He was arraigned in Court #1 before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was represented by attorney, Hubert Elrington. There, he was read a single charge of murder. No plea taken since the offense is indictable and bail could not be offered. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 5th. 49-year-old Brian Welch, who was a resident of the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road, was walking in the company of two male friends on the night of Sunday, April 29, in the Faber’s Road area. When upon reaching the intersection of Central American Boulevard and Faber’s Road, he was shot and killed. Welch ran for his life up Faber’s Road with the gunman setting chase after him. He ran into a yard and fell near a swampy area after being hit by a hail of bullets. His attacker walked over to him and emptied his gun on him.

Cop and His Brother granted Bail After Being Accused of Stealing Hilux
On Tuesday May 29th, Police Constable, Marvin Wade, who was remanded to prison a week earlier along with his brother 32-year-old Jason Wade, and 24-year-old Herwin Godoy appeared in Magistrate's Court. The three men were escorted from the Belize Central Prison and were represented in court by attorneys Arthur Saldivar and Brian Neal. In Court, disclosure was granted to them and Saldivar made a submission that after a preliminary look at it, in his view, there was not overwhelming evidence against his clients. The prosecution raised no further objection in the matter against the men but noted that the police investigation into the stolen vehicle is ongoing and that the disclosure granted to them was only partial. The men were then granted bail in the sum of $20,000 and are due back in Court on July 30

Jury acquits 4 men of murder
On Wednesday, May 30, a jury of 9 women and 3 men found Brionne Swift, Victor Garnett and Frank Edwards Jr., and Gabriel Salazar not guilty of murder 25-year-old James Alexander Edwards Swan and 26-year-old Eduardo Elias Gutierrez, whose bodies were discovered in a shallow grave on February 3, 2009, four days after they were killed. The trial concluded in the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord when the men were all unanimously found not guilty for the crimes of murder and its alternative, manslaughter in the shooting death of the men. In the murder, Swan was shot once to the head while Gutierrez was shot once in the arm and according to the post-mortem, he was beaten with a blunt object, which caused injuries to his stomach and destroyed his organs. While Swift, Garnett and Edwards were free to leave the court room after the acquittal, Salazar was further detained due to a pending charge still before the court.

Karl Heusner remanded to Jail
Karl Heusner, a resident of #7 Berkeley Street, Belize City, appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday May 28th after being busted with a .38 revolver loaded with 5 rounds of ammunition as well as 113 grams of marijuana. The bust was made on Saturday May 26, inside a home after police claim he was seen running into to escape from being caught by them. Heusner was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. He was read one count of keeping a firearm without a gun license, one count of keeping ammunition without a gun license and one count of drug trafficking. Heusner pleaded not guilty to all charges but due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 30.

Interoffice Basketball Competition opens at Bird’s Isle
Jamal Kelly scored 15 points for Tuff e Nuff against CYDP The 2012 Interoffice Basketball League Competition opened on Friday May 25, 2012, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. This year’s competition is featuring a total of 10 teams. The teams are Alamilla’s Furniture, Belize Telemedia Ltd., Caye Caulker, Conscious Youth Development Programme (CYDP), Kolbe Foundation, Quan’s Trading/Kephawn’s Pawn Shop, Maria Chang, Police Department, Tuff e Nuff Tours and Youth for the Future (YFF).

Primary Schools Softball Competition Winding Up
Calvary Temple’s Adler Romero rounding third base The 2011-2012 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Friday May 25, 2012, at Rogers Stadium with 4 games on the schedule.

Belize City Female All Star Softball Games set for June 10
The Belize City Softball Association is pleased to inform the public and all softball fans that the 2012 All Stars games will be played on Sunday June 10, 2012, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 10:00 am. The day will involve two games played between the players selected, a softball throwing contest, a Home Run Derby and some activities for the fans. The highlight of the day will be the presentation of trophies for the period 2008-2011.

Primary Schools Football Competition opens
The 2011-2012 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition opened at the MCC Grounds on Monday May 28, 2012. This year’s competition features 8 schools in the girls’ competition and 17 schools in the boys’ competition. The schools that are participating in the girls’ competition are Holy Redeemer, Queen Square Anglican, Muslim Community, St. Ignatius, Hummingbird Elementary, Belize Elementary, Calvary Temple and St. Luke Methodist. Meanwhile, the schools in the boys’ competition are Unity Presbyterian, St. Martin De Porres, St. John Vianney, Wesley Upper, St. Ignatius, Queen Street Baptist, Holy Redeemer, Queen Square Anglican, St. Mary’s Primary, James Garbutt SDA, St. Luke Methodist, Muslim Community, Ebenezer Methodist, Hummingbird Elementary, Belize Elementary, New Horizon Academy and Calvary Temple. In the first girls’ game of the competition, Muslim Community School won over St. Ignatius School by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for Muslim Community were Mikayla Ramclam and Shanika Waller. In the first of two boys’ games played, Hummingbird Elementary School defeated New Horizon Academy by the score of 4-0. The goals for Hummingbird Elementary included the two by Adrian McIntosh and the one by Rhiki Alegria and Enrique Martinez. In game two, James Garbutt SDA won over Muslim Community School by the score of 2-0. The goals for James Garbutt SDA were scored by Hubert Frazer and Michael Martinez.

Uncommonsense
Common sense is a tricky concept because what appears to be so obvious at first glance, and hence, suitable to be termed common sense, turns out to be based almost entirely on custom and culture. It is obvious to me that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west but accepting the accumulated knowledge of centuries, I accept that in fact the earth rotates around the sun. I do not in my heart believe that huge metal planes can fly and yet I frequently board them in one place and disembark in another without a qualm. In personal matters, the relativity of common sense becomes even clearer. It is only recently in Western societies that the poor were considered to be worthy of any thought at all. An infamous Victorian hymn sums up the prevailing concept that the poor should accept their God-ordained station in life. The first verse is relatively bland with “all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.” However, subsequent verses make clear that, “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them, high or lowly, and ordered their estate.”. It is this same acceptance of the status quo that not only allowed the slave trade to flourish but even justified it with selective Biblical quotations. In many societies, even up to the present day, marriage was seen as a formal arrangement between families to strengthen alliances and consolidate wealth with no thought to personal choice or preferences. The expectation that powerful and successful men would have multiple sexual partners is not new and is even endorsed in the writings of the oldest monotheistic religions of Judaism and Islam where concubines and multiple wives are the norm. It is possible to base laws on “common sense” but we should never pretend that this represents anything more than reinforcing cultural norms.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Calvin is the “go to” hand-made jewelry guy!
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind jewelry hand-made of semi-precious stones such as hematite, jade, turquoise, amber, etc. then Calvin is the person you need to speak to. Calvin can be found at his street side stand adjacent to Habaneros Restaurant on Front Street. If you stop by, tell him the Caye Caulker Chronicles sent you.

Toucan Canoe & Kayak Rentals
Allie Johnstone, proprietor of Toucan Canoe & Kayak Rentals, is a paddle professional. Allie has participated in the women’s division in the absolutely grueling 3-day annual La Ruta Maya Canoe Race held annually in Belize, winning several medals and trophies. Ask her about the when next you see her. She is a true professional who now offers and sometimes leads kayak and canoe tours. Stop by her “office” on the beach near the arts and crafts stands on the way to the Split. Don’t forget to mention that the Caye Caulker Chronicles sent you.

The Reporter

EU grants YWCA $1.75M for rural women
The Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) of Belize is about to start a $2.185 million training programme to help rural women and young people. They will do so with a €700,000 grant (BZ$1,750,000) from the European Union and BZ$435,000 from the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development Project II. YWCA Secretary General Sonia Lenares signed an agreement to this effect with Paola Amadei, the European Union’s Ambassador to CARICOM and Ambassador Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Finance at the Y.W.C.A. headquarters on St. Thomas Street. The project, expanding economic opportunities through entrepreneurship and marketing development, is intended to reduce poverty by improving the way of life for marginalized rural women and young people, so they become more productive, earn more income and create employment by developing their own enterprises. Project director Mrs. Regina Campbell explained that the project will target under-privileged women and young people in the rural Belize, especially Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo, because although the number of women in the work force is only about half the number of men, they are twice as likely to be unemployed. The same is true for young people, 14 to 24

EU funds $7.25 Million for GOB’s Climate Change project
Belize will establish a Climate Change Office with €2.9 million (US$3.6 million) in funding from the European Union and BZ$750,000 in counterpart funding from the Government of Belize. The office aims to develop a resilient water sector and enhance climate change governance as part of a wider EU Climate Change Project entitled “Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies”. Her Excellency Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation for the European Union, signed the financing agreement during an official visit on Tuesday, May 29. The project will help to strengthen the National Climate Change Office, which is providing economic, social and environmental expertise to meet the Government’s objectives.

Belize’s “Zoo Lady” honoured
The dynamic Founding Director of The Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, was once again honoured for her extraordinary contributions to wildlife conservation this year, by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the USA. Every year, the Cincinnati Zoo hosts a set of lectures called the Barrows Conservation Lecture Series, where internationally renowned scientists, conservationists and nature explorers are invited to coment on their work in this prestigious program, with one of the invitees being chosen for the annual Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award. Past recipients have included Jane Goodall, Ted Turner, Alan Rabinowitz, and Robert Kennedy. The 2012 nominee was none other than Belize’s own “Zoo Lady,” Sharon Matola. As part of her acceptance, Matola was invited to present in the Barrows Lecture Series, which she accepted without hesitation. Her talk, entitled, “Thinking (and playing) out of the box: Conservation Strategies That Rock!” she stressed the importance of engaging the public, community members and stakeholders, and doing so in fun and creative ways, in order to help them embrace any biodiversity conservation effort. With almost 30 years of conservation work in Belize, Matola had many innovative techniques, experiences, triumphs and trials to share with a captivated audience, but among the highlights, were her instrumental involvement in Harpy Eagle and Jaguar conservation, which were specially noted in her award nomination.

Modest pay raise for those who need it most
Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse has raised the minimum wage for all classes of manual workers from $3.10 per hour to $3.30 cents per hour in most cases. The 6.4 percent pay increase is seen as largely symbolic, but it will put $8.00 a week more in the pockets of those workers who need it most. The raise will apply immediately to domestic workers, unskilled workers in the citrus industry employed in picking fruit, transporting and cleaning, and for shop assistants.

Beryl cuts soggy path across U.S. southeast
Tropical Storm Beryl cut a soggy path across the U.S. southeast on Monday after swirling ashore in Florida at near hurricane strength. The second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season lashed the East Coast from north Florida to southern parts of North Carolina, and created a risk of flooding inland, even after it was downgraded to a tropical depression late Monday morning. “The main concern with slow moving Beryl continues to be very heavy rains which are expected to occur from northern Florida to southeastern North Carolina during the next day or two,” the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in an advisory late Monday afternoon.

HIV infections down 7.4%
The number of new HIV/AIDs infections reported last year is 226, down by 7.4% from the 244 reported in 2010, and a whopping 50% cut from the 457 spike reported in 2004, according to a Ministry of Health statistics report released this week. The stigma and discrimination resulting from testing HIV-positive have always discouraged many from getting tested, so these figures represent only the tip of the iceberg resulting in an underestimation of the total number of infections, as health workers can only hazard a guess of how many more are infected who have not been tested.

Emergency polio plan needed
Tackling polio has entered “emergency mode” according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative after “explosive” outbreaks in countries previously free of the disease. It has launched a plan to boost vaccination in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only countries where the disease is still endemic. Experts fear the disease could “come back with a vengeance”. The World Health Organization says polio is “at a tipping point”. There have been large outbreaks of the virus in Africa, Tajikistan and China has had its first cases for more than a decade. Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO’s polio eradication campaign, said: “Over the last 24 months on three continents – in Europe, in Africa and in Asia – we have seen horrific explosive outbreaks of the disease that affected adults, and in some cases 50% of them died. “What it reminded people is that, if eradication fails, we are going to see an huge and vicious upsurge of this disease with consequences that it is very difficult even to foresee right now.” In the global fight against polio, Pakistan is the key battleground, with the highest number of cases in the world. Nearly 200 children were paralysed here in 2011 – the worst figures in 15 years. And the Pakistani strain of the virus has crossed borders – causing outbreaks in Afghanistan and China.

Moen Stars & Rebels enter volleyball playoffs
The Moen Stars and the Rebels men both won through to the championship finals at the Belize Elementary School auditorium last Thursday and Saturday. They will challenge defending champions Lady Jaguars and the Jaguar men, each by winning the playoffs series of the Belize District Volleyball Association’s Division 1 tournament The Moen Stars have dominated the third ranked SQ Stars in three sets in both matches. Shelmadine Cacho and Sherlene Johnson led their attacks, with the help of Tahera Ahmad and Precelia Hoare, while Kayla Dawson and Emma Hoare blocked, received and set the ball to win the first set 25-8. Sherika Burton, Jahshema Saunders, and Leandra Betson led the counterattack aided by Brianny Staine and Clara Sabal blocking and receiving, and Xiomara Quan setting the ball for them to hammer a kill. Krystal and Krystie Bevans took the court in the second set and the SQ Stars won many rallies, before the Moen Stars won 25-18. Nayala Tun reinforced the SQ Star’s defense in the third set, but the Moen women prevailed 25-18.

Sugar City Girlz win national championship
Sugar City Girlz won the 2012 National Women’s Football Championship competition organized under the auspices of the Football Federation of Belize, despite a 2-4 loss to the Pumas of Dangriga in the second game of the finals. The finals were played at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Saturday afternoon, May 26. The Pumas came out storming to avenge their 4-1 humiliation by the Sugar City Girlz in Orange Walk the week before. Nykemah Kuylen and Dorita Ramos led the offensive supported by Ashanti Velasquez and Sheyanne Castillo on the wings and Evelyn Nunez, Karissa Alvarado and Bernadine Gonzalez at midfield.

Belize’s oil & Haiti’s oil
On Wednesday, May 16, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, during his three-day visit to Belize, told The Reporter that one of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s goals is to help ensure that Belize’s petroleum fiscal regime achieve the fairest and most equitable returns for the Belizean people. Sharma said, “We’re getting very strong on natural resources management with member states, and as far as the petroleum sector is concerned, we’ve already given an expert who prepared a report on the potential and how the management of the revenue can be done in the most responsible way.”

Fisherman remanded to jail on gun charges
Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer has remanded Belize City fisherman Karl Heusner Jr., of #7 Berkeley Street, to the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a loaded 0.38 calibre pistol and 113 grams of marijuana, and drug trafficking. Heusner was unrepresented by an attorney when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 28. Magistrate Frazer set July 30 for his next court appearance. Officers of Gang Suppression Unit on patrol found the pistol, from which the serial number had been filed off when they searched Heusner in the Wagner’s Lane area on Saturday, May 26. Police reported that what appears to be cannabis fell from his pocket when they caught him after he tried to run away when he saw the patrol vehicle. One of the officers spotted Heusner, who appeared to be acting suspiciously. Heusner is no stranger to police and is believed to be an affiliate of George Street Gaza. The Amendments to the Firearm Act require that bail for any firearm and ammunition charge be obtained by applying to the Supreme Court.

Norman Slusher, 23, charged for Jason Canto’s death
Norman Slusher, 23, a construction worker of #15 Tigris Street, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison earlier this week charged with Jason Canto’s murder. Canto was ambushed as he sat in a barber’s chair at Dale’s Barber Shop on West Canal Street in Belize City around 7:45 on Thursday night, May 10. Police say two men of Creole descent entered the barber shop from a side door and opened fire, killing Canto where he sat.

Runner’s astonishing journey from Big Issue seller to Olympic flame carrier
JUST three years ago, Joel Hodgson was sleeping rough on the steps of a police station. Today, the 24-year-old is preparing to carry the Olympic torch. Born in Belize in Central America, adopted by Scottish parents and brought up in Renton, Dunbartonshire, Joel’s life has already been an amazing rollercoaster. And, in another twist, he is now training to run for Belize at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. In July, the former Big Issue seller, who now works for one of London’s top law firms, will proudly carry the Olympic torch through the capital. And last week he discovered he could play an even bigger role at the Glasgow games and line up with some of the world’s best athletes – including world record holder Usain Bolt – in the premier athletics event, the 100m.

Blogs

From Crime to Creampuffs
Everyone has a different timeline, a unique story of why they decided to move to Belize and how their move went down. Our first time traveling to Belize was filled with firsts and a life changing vacation in may ways. It was our first trip together outside the country, a great test of our relationship and marked Paul’s first tropical travel experience. Equally as important, it was a potential dealbreaker for me and for the first time I was not afraid to say it. I had long known at some point in my life I was determined to live at least six months of the year in the tropics but would prefer go full out year round. Of course I did not know Ambergris would be the place, but I knew from a young age I was a beach girl and was confident in laying it out on the table. Read how my childhood family vacations shaped my desire for a tropical move in my 2009 Christmas in the Tropics post. It was Love at first sight with the friendly people, golf carts, walking everywhere, laying in hammocks reading books, swimming weather in January and the colorful island vibe. I remember by the end of our trip not wanting to go home so bad that I started to get a sore throat. My body was literally rebelling against the act of going back to winter in Canada.

Traveling Central America is Not Always Easy or Cheap: Belize to Panama!
The distance between Belize City and Panama City is only 825 miles. Shorter than New York City to Miami (a 1.5 day bus trip on Greyhound bus for $109USD). Shorter than London to Rome (a 2 hour $100USD flight on something called Monarch Airlines). Granted those are much more frequently travelled routes...but how hard can this trip be? How expensive? It's really not THAT far. Here are the routes I considered: The train: I have read Paul Theroux's book "The Old Patagonian Express" where the author takes trains from Boston to Argentina in the late 1970s. This transit option through Central America no longer exists. Apparently most of these railroads were decommissioned in the 1980s and 90s and service has totally stopped in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Oh well...the author makes most of the actual ride sound pretty hellish anyway. (By the way, GREAT book.) The bus: It should be cheap, right? Slow but cheap. And you would have the option to stop as much as you want. I could take care of most of my bucket list right here, right now! This would be the cheapest route. Water Taxi from San Pedro to Belize City, 1.25 hours - $30 BZD Bus from Belize City to Santa Elena/Flores, 5 hours and $40BZD and then Santa Elena to Guatemala City, $44 BZD, 9 hours Here is the crazy/exciting part: Tica Bus provides a bus service from Guatemala City to Panama. $127 USD ($254 BZD). Guatemala City to El Salvador, 4 hours (overnight in San Salvador), El Salvador to Nicaragua, 12 hours (overnight in Managua), Managua to San Jose, Costa Rica (12 hours), then drive ALL NIGHT long for 15 hours to Panama City. (This blog describes that last leg pretty well...I Like Going Places. Border crossings sound like hell). OH LORD. So what's the total price of this trip of a lifetime? A trip I can sit around and laugh about in 20 years? $368BZD or $184USD. Plus any overnight costs in Guatemala, San Salvador and Managua. All the super cool stamps in your passport are free. And...you can stop as much as you want. Intriguing. And something I thought about seriously... The plane: By far the most expensive. There is only one airline that takes you from Belize City to Panama City, through San Salvador, TACA. Prices range from $600 to $700 US dollars round trip over the next few weeks and the flight takes a few hours. I'm leaving on Saturday, flying to San Jose, Costa Rica and will flying back from Panama City just in time for Lobsterfest 2012. In between, I'll have lots to report back about...

A Regal Plume of Feathers Sighted at Chaa Creek
Each individual species of bird has it’s particular intrigue, personality and specific distinctions that separate it and make it different from all other birds. In the case of the Yellow Throated Euphonia its movements are quick and erratic. The movements almost seem like involuntary twitches but upon closer observation one realizes this rapid movement of head jolts and posture changes is very much intended. With its regal yellow breast and heightened alertness this magnificent bird exerts an air of control and vigilance over its surroundings. The yellow- throated euphonia reaches a size of approximately 11 centimeters. Their habitat is from the midlevel to the canopy of the rainforest and they are also found in open areas with scattered trees, including villages, towns and along the edges of broadleaf forests. They greatly enjoy perching on flowering and fruit trees.

International Sources

Belizean Iraq veteran to deliver York’s valedictorian speech
This year’s York College valedictorian took the long road to graduating with his chemistry degree and after overcoming many challenges, he is still looking for more. Tony Wan, 25, served two tours of duty in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of corporal, before enrolling at York. The Flushing native said he decided on military service when he was a junior at Benjamin Cardozo High School. “Seeing my family’s financial situation and I wanted to be more independent, I thought it would be the best to take care of myself financially,” he said. After heading to the U.S. Marine Corps base in Camp Lejeune, N.C., Wan was deployed twice to Iraq, where the young man was confronted with firefights, improvised explosive devices and the death of one of his friends. Wan said the transition back to civilian life seemed daunting at first, especially entering a collegiate setting where he feared he would not be able to relate to those around him. “I had been hearing from a lot of friends that they were having a difficult time adjusting, like just holding back their thoughts and not screaming their heads off at fellow students or teachers,” he said. Those fears were assuaged during one of his first visits to the college. “While I was still in the military I came home to check out schools. I went to St. John’s and to York and when I got to York the first person I saw was Dr. [Emmanuel] Chang,” said Wan, who was interested in the college’s Physician Assistant Program. “He was doing something else and he dropped that to help me. I knew this was where I wanted to be.” “There were a lot of different professors and students who were very open-minded. Even though they were unfamiliar with what I went through, they were willing to accept it,” he added. After three years in college, Wan is graduating with a 3.99 grade-point average, which represents another of the veteran’s major accomplishments. “It’s ironic. It took me three tries to pass chemistry in high school and now I will be applying to medical school after majoring in chemistry at York,” he said.

40 Of The Most Powerful Photographs Ever Taken
A moving collection of iconic photographs from the last 100 years that demonstrate the heartbreak of loss, the tremendous power of loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit. Warning: Some of these will make you weep.


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