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Today's Belize News

February 10, 2015


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Shots heard
At approximately 8pm tonight (Feb 9th) shots were heard in the San Pedrito Area. Police have confirmed that one person was injured and treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Details pending.

European rocket wreckage found in the waters near Ambergris Caye.
Belize National Coast Guard and the Belize Civil Aviation Authority are confirming that two parts of wreckage found floating off Ambergris Caye appear to be that of a European rocket. The parts were discovered near the reef, less than a mile away from San Pedro Town late on the evening of Saturday February 7th. The Belize Coast Guard confirmed that a team of divers were taken to the area to see if additional information could be recovered. However, late on Monday February 9th they confirmed that it is highly possible that the remnants are part of a rocket that was launched sometime in 2014. According to a Coast Guard official, they were notified by San Pedro Police about the floating debris, which police initially believed to be from an aircraft. A Coast Guard patrol visited the location near the Tres Cocos Area where they recovered two pieces of metal consistent with a rocket. The wreckage was then taken to the Forward Operation Base on Ambergris Caye where authorities conducted their investigation.

YJ Deli allowed to squat on public land for years
For almost three years, YJ Deli which is located at the corner of Black Coral and Angel Coral Street has been allowed to operate on prime public land for free. Despite knowledge of the public’s concern, the local municipality has turned a blind eye, allowing the owners to operate their for-profit business without paying rent. The matter has become a political issue because the owner of the establishment is Joel Chi, the personal driver of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. The deli was first allowed to operate with the purpose of providing food for the workers executing the construction of the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal. That was a construction under the Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STP) executed under the Ministry of Tourism. But once the project was over, the deli should have been removed from the public property. That never happened, and one year after the project was completed, YJ Deli is still fully functional despite concerns raised to the San Pedro Town Council.

Nomination Day is set for February 11th
By law, each candidate seeking office must be nominated by two registered voters within the municipality. Their nomination application must be accompanied by $25.00. It is up until Nomination Day that a person officially becomes a candidate for the upcoming election. Both the PUP and the UDP has announced their full slate. The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) is yet to announce their slate even though they have indicated that they intend to put up a full slate in the elections in San Pedro Town.

Changing faces, improving smiles at the Smile Dental Clinic
Jamal Kean Quiroz and Gabriel Melendez are two students attending the Holy Cross Anglican School on Ambergris Caye. Despite being from different backgrounds, they both face a common problem at school and in their communities – discrimination. The young boys suffer from two different dental related problems. They are hopeful that volunteer dentists at the Smile Dental Clinic would be able to make the physical changes to their teeth, eventually transforming their smiles into bright and beautiful ones.

Ambergris Today

Second Annual Mrs. Carnaval Pageant Kicks off Celebrations in San Pedro
Each contestant graced the stage during four segments of the pageant which included an intro dance, cultural costume dance, talent and evening gown segments. Apart from being humorous during their talent presentations, the ladies presented themselves with grace and elegance during the introduction dance in which they were joined by outgoing Reina del Carnaval Mrs. Leonor Rosado and evening gown competition of the event. During their cultural presentation, each contestant performed a comparsa-style (street dancing) dance depicting the traditional Carnaval dances of the town. After all the fun segments and performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, the San Pedro Jabawakis and serenade by don Oscar Aquilar, it was announced that Sinia Cruz was selected as First Runner up and Silvia Patricia Lopez as the new Mrs. Reina del Carnaval.

Wreckage Part of Possible US Military Aircraft Found in San Pedro, Belize
UPDATE: After many emails and calls to our office and taking a closer look at images of the wreckage found over the weekend, we can safely confirm that the piece of wreckage is not that of a US military plane but remnamts of a space rocket. In August 2014, two satellites were launched on the European Ariane Galileo ESA rocket and the piece discovered by the reef off Ambergris Caye is just part of the rocket that falls back to earth during its launch into space. Below are images of the rocket compared to the piece of wreckage found over the weekend.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Reef Week calendar
The Reef Week calendar is here! Save the dates March 9th- March 15th. Go Belize! This year's theme is : Celebrate our heritage - Protect our future - BELIEF IN THE REEF

Nomination Day: Corozal
Nomination Day is set for Wednesday, February 11th With municipal elections just over two weeks away, political parties across the country have their full metal jackets off and prepare for the first big step before the electorates go to the polls. The first big show of strength will take place on Nomination Day, which has been set by the Governor General of Belize for Wednesday February 11th. The Elections and Boundaries Department, the legal body that will take charge of the nomination and election process, have been meeting with the political parties to educate them about the process.

Belize Outsourcing Sector Snapshot – 2014
20 Active business process outsourcing (BPO) Companies in Belize. 9 New BPO’s open in 2014 in various geographic locations in Belize Locations include: 11 in Belize City, 4 in Ladyville, 2 in Belmopan, 4 in San Ignacio, 1 in Independence and 1 in Dangriga 2,178 currently employed by the industry as of 2014 Projections for 2015 estimate at 3,280 in the short term Projections for 2017 estimate at 6,513 in the medium term 1 Outbound Investment Promotion Show attended with eight (8) participating BPO operators from Belize: Outsource2LAC Guatemala 2014 50 queries interested in the outsourcing industry interacted in 2014 by BelizeINVEST Total committed investment within the sector peaked at 13 million BZD encompassing re-investment and new investments both foreign and local 65% of providers hold an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status

Belmopan and Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC)
On January 19th 2015 the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) embarked on its three week Job Readiness program in Belmopan. A total of 65 interested participants took the pre-assessments in English and Computer of which 35 qualified to start the training program. The soft skills portion of the training took place at the NEMO training room and the technical training took part at CITO’s training room. The Belmopan participants were truly a vibrant, outspoken and dedicated group. At the end of the intense three week program, the 35 participants sat in front of a panel of different call center managers to both test their knowledge learnt as well as to market themselves in hopes of acquiring a job. A competition of sorts occurred since managers saw talent in individuals and quickly marketed themselves as the better employers. After the interview, the graduation took place at the George Price Center.

Make Waves Monday!
The Ministry of Energy wants Belizeans to believe that a direct benefit of offshore oil are the "artificial" reefs which could form on the drill rigs. So, forget the fact that we have the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere; forget that tens of thousands of Belizeans make their living by guiding visitors from all over the world through our amazing marine resources; forget that thousands of breadwinners make an honest living from fishing. They also want you to believe that offshore oil will mean less oil pollution. Try figuring out that one. That's what they want. We want you to share how you feel about offshore oil in Belize. As a Belizean, if you feel insulted by this "benefit", join the movement to say "No!" to offshore oil in Belize. #besensational #saynotooffshoreoil The attached is a jpeg image of the PowerPoint presentation prepared by an independent consultant and one of the source documents of the Ministry of Energy's draft oil exploration guidelines.

Juvenile fish catch
Surveys by Oceana Belize reveal as much as 80% of fish being sold in Belize are juveniles. Experience in other countries highlight how bad things can get without sustainable management of our fish stocks. Efforts are underway to implement managed access fishing; catch shares; and catch size limits. Oceana is also working to remove destructive gear such as gillnets from the equation.

Cell phone photos from the Maya Wedding Re-enactment 5 February 2015.
On 5 February 2015, NICH, BTIA, the Corozal Town Council, CJC, and other volunteers presented a re-enactment of the wedding of Zazil Há and Gonzalo Guerrero, the first European/Native American couple on the mainland of the Americas, which took place here, probably at the Chactemal/Santa Rita site, over 500 years ago. Here are some of the highlights from that celebration. Pardon the quality of the photos. We were only allowed to take existing-light cell phone photos, but we were grateful for that. It does give you an idea of the wonderful choreography, lighting effects. What you don't get includes the excellent music and Maya chants that added to the spiritual effect.

Jaguar Temple's Anniversary and Valentine's Weekend
Thursday (Live Duet Karaoke Competition), Friday (Ladies Night), and Saturday (Rock N Rave 2.0) nights, February 12, 13, 14. Ascenthium Band and DJ DZL

The San Pedro Belize Red Cross Host successful First Aid/CPR Training and Blood Drive
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) recently appointed Sue Barkhouse and Joann Reilly as co-leaders of the Health Committee. Sue is in charge of quarterly blood drives and Joann will be handling the First Aid/CPR training program and monthly courses. Both Ladies had the opportunity to jump right into their new positions as the San Pedro Red Cross hosted the first events of 2015 in both areas. Sue and Joann did a wonderful job from start to finish and the SPBRC is pleases to have them volunteering in lead positions within the organization.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, February 9, 2015: 30

Street Art Festival 2015
Artists Booths, Live Art, Kids Zone, Food Court, Youth Stage, Sidewalk Chalk Competition, Entertainment! Saturday Feb. 28th, 2-10pm Albert Street

Film Festival Call for Entries
Send in your film today!!

2015 BAAS Annual Meeting
June 30-July 3 2015, Cayo

AN EPIC: BLACK PANTHERS, VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION!
The film Black Panthers, Vanguard of The Revolution that was an awesome and historical film that made its debut on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Pan African Film Festival is one of the best films on the black nationalist movement in the United States. It reflects the United Black Association of Belize (UBAD) and its leader Evan X Hyde in many ways, and can be said that UBAD got many of its revolutionary ideas and characteristics from the Panthers.

CONNECTING THE DOTS: A BELIZEAN LEGENDS EXPOSE!
Belizean Legends as a Belizean documentary series medium previewed some of the best films presented so far at the 25th. Annual Pan African Film Festival this year, picked the films Triangle: Going To America, on black immigration in the United States, Forward Ever, on the assasination of Caribbean political icon and the late Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, the Black Panthers, Vanguards of A Revolution, and Yureimei: Garifuna Homeland, as some of the best themes so far that finds a connection to the Belizean experience at home and abroad. The showings for Yureimei (Garifuna Homeland) at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Rave Baldwin Hills Theaters.

Future studies of the karst features in the Chiquibul Forest
Nohoch Ch’en Expedition leaders briefing and devising next steps for future studies of the karst features in the Chiquibul Forest. Exciting and important discoveries were made in Nohoch Ch’en. Full report yet being developed. FCD thanks all expedition members especially Jim Bevis and family for making the complex coordination possible.

Riverside cleanup campaign in Succotz Village
Today's riverside cleanup campaign in Succotz Village by the FCD Environmental Youth Group. Youths are the future of Belize! Thank you guys for always being environmental stewards! Today's riverside cleanup was a success! Looking forward to a productive year; protecting our environment and most importantly keeping our rivers clean!

Channel 7

Two Lives Lost In Traffic Fatality
A man and a teenaged boy were killed in a traffic accident in Belmopan on Saturday. At about 1:50 on Saturday morning, 24 year old Daniel Cunil was driving along the Hummingbird highway when he hit a motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction - killing the driver and his passenger on the spot. Police say, alcohol may have been a factor. Our news team was in Belmopan this morning to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne reports. Courtney Weatherburne "These are the remains of Saturday morning road traffic accident. What you see scattered on the roadside are motorcycle scraps, but while these shards of fiberglass and plastic can be removed or replaced, a lost love one can't be." Courtney Weatherburne reporting This black bow that hangs above the doorway announces the death of their loved one,

PUP Leader Says It's Wait and See With Hon. Marco Tulio
Last week, the biggest news story was the 6 criminal charges brought against Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez. He's accused of child molestation, and though he has declared to his party that he will defend his name and reputation very vigorously, he has yet to make any serious public statement to the press. On Saturday, we caught up with Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca at the manifesto launch for the PUP City Council slate, and we asked him where the PUP stands with the elected representative who the party has suspended. He told us that while the party is very aware of the serious nature of what Tulio Mendez is accused of, they can do no more at this time until Mendez has his day in court to defend himself against the charges:

Special Envoy Says Remember the Children In Tulio Mendez Case
The Special Envoy for Women And Children Kim Barrow has also made a statement on Tulio Mendez. He statement, quote, "urges all…involved to ensure that this highly sensitive issue is handled with the best interests of the affected children as the priority." The statement adds, "This is an opportunity to rise above political lines and raise awareness on a serious issue…" It closes by saying that, quote, "it so important that when these violations of children's rights are reported, they are not taken lightly and every effort is made to ensure that truth and justice prevail."

Fonseca Stands By Briceno
And as we showed you, one day after Marco Tulio was arraigned, former PUP Leader John Briceno was also criminally charged with traffic offences for running over the foot of the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He now stands charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident, and harm. The incident allegedly happened on January 22 just outside the compound of the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. All the local politicos were there to observe the inauguration ceremony for the works which will be done on the San Lazaro/August Pine Ridge Road. Hendricks arrived there first, and according to his police report, he was standing at the entrance of the compound when Briceno arrived in his Toyota Prado. He claims that Briceno drove over his foot while driving in.

Free Champagne!
It made big news when the transgendered individual, Vanessa Champagne Paris, was accused of threatening Caleb Orozco's sister with a knife. Well, tonight, Paris, who is known legally as Perfilio Rodriguez is now freed of that charge after today's hearing at the Magistrate's Court. The case was called up for trial today by Magistrate Herbert Panton, and the complaint, Golda Orosco, Caleb's sister, was a no show. Her testimony was the main evidence against Paris because she was his accuser. She had also not reported for court at the last adjournment and Magistrate Panton already ruled that if she didn't show up today, he would strike it out.

PUP Launch Manifesto At Sports Day
Wednesday February 11th is nomination day for the City Council elections, and 3 weeks' after that, voters will go to the polls in nine towns and cities to choose their municipal leaders for the next 3 years. Campaign efforts are stepping up and in Belize City, and the PUP 11 did something different on Saturday: they held a sports day at the ITVET compound to launch their manifesto. As a popular event, we can't say that it succeeded: only a few hundred persons came out, but all the media was there to hear what the PUP has planned for the City. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca and Mayoral Candidate, Yolanda Schakron told the media they've been on the ground, and the people have been explaining to them what is wrong with the city, and how to improve it: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader - PUP "We are in the final stretch, the last 21 days or so before the election. So, yes, we are stepping up. The team has been working very hard over the last few weeks and the whole objective is to finish strong. There is a sense of momentum and I think the team is being well received. Obviously, what happens over the next three weeks is critically important and what happens on election day, in terms of the machinery, is going to be critically important as well."

Bradley Breaks Down Audit
Today, we asked Mayor Bradley to answer that question. He told us that the of that 1.3 million dollars annotated in the audit, 1.2 million went to the settlement with Belize Waste Control that City Hall owed the sanitation company for over 10 years. He added that there were several other expenditures to consultants to the city, but no money went to any lawyer for the City Council, and for an avoidance of doubt, none of the council's finances was spent on his law firm. Here's how he explained it: Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "That was the judgment is 1.2 million dollars that we paid Waste Control. Actually the breakdown that I gave you showed that that was paid over the last year in 3 installments and we also had to pay $50,000 to their attorney because of course this is matter which they have won and to the victor goes their cost, so we were liable to their cost when we had to agree on a settlement. Remember, they had written off one million dollars because the judgment was 2.2 million.

Pillaged In Playa
A Mexican newspaper reports that a Belizean was assaulted and robbed in Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo yesterday. Accoridng to the Diario Res-Puesta, 25 year old Abner Torrez along with a friend were on the beach behind Blue Parrot Club at around 2:30 Saturday morning. The newspaper says 3 assailants approached him and knocked him to ground with a blow to his left cheek. They then stole an IPHONE and 700 pesos -which is about $94 Belize dollars from him. Officers tried to locate the assailants but couldn't find them. Torrez was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Retired Cabbie From Camalote Missing
73 year old retired taxi driver Cayetano Nah has been missing for 8 days and tonight, concerns are mounting for his family. A family member went to take him breakfast on Monday February 2nd and he was not there. Inspector Stephanie Grinage told us today that all efforts are being made to locate him. Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander, Belmopan "Mr. Nah family came in and reported that he has been missing since the 2nd of February, 2015 and his whereabouts at this time is unknown. He was last seen wearing a black pants and a brown shirt. This is not usual with Mr. Nah, as he usually comes home by night. So the family is very concerned about his whereabouts and they have organized searches for Mr. Nah and so far has come up with nothing at this time."

Rocket, Man!
Fragments of a space rocket were found in the waters off San Pedro over the weekend. The story and pictures comes from Ambergris Today which show a scrap of wreckage bearing the letters "A-R-I-A" and the crest of the European Union. At first no one knew where it came from, but after a time on the Ambergris Today website - many emails and called narrowed it down to this: the wreckage is from the European Ariane Galileo, a rocket that launched satellites into orbit. This one was launched in August 2014 from French Guiana on the north Coast of South America. The parts found near the Belize Barrier reef are believed to be the steel casings that enclose the rocket boosters. These boosters fall back to earth after the rocket is launched into the atmosphere. According to information on the internet, the boosters sink to the bottom of the ocean 450 kilometers from the launch site. So, we're assuming that while the rocket boosters sank, these metal casings somehow didn't and drifted over to Belize.

Late Evening Murder In Roaring Creek
There was a murder in Roaring Creek village about an hour ago. It happened at about at 6:50 in an area known as "zinc Fence" near to Garbutt's gas station. That's when John Alexander Smith reportedly went to buy bitters and someone shot him for no known reason. Police are processing the scene right now and have no suspects at this time. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Another Year For Shaquan
22 year-old Shaquan Almendarez, who is already serving 3 years in jail for drug trafficking, received the bad news that another year in jail has been added to his prison term. Almendarez was busted with 154 grams - or about 5.4 ounces of weed in December 2012 on Electric Avenue in Belize City. Almendarez was charged with drug trafficking. When he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he pleaded guilty explaining that he did not intend to sell the weed. He said that it was only for his personal usage.

What Did Audrey And Ashcroft Discuss Over Breakfast?
It became a social media sensation when a picture surfaced on Friday showing Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Michael Ashcroft having breakfast at the Radisson. Matura Shepherd appeared on the KREM Sunday Review with Ya-Ya Marin yesterday to outline the meeting. She said they discussed the BTL litigation and his campaign financing of both the PUP and UDP. But, the Ashcroft Alliance is also the owner of the Port of Belize - which is in collective bargaining negotiations with Matura's Christian Workers Union. And, it seems there has been some interest as to whether the Port and its stevedores were also discussed across the ccozy corner table. So, two hours ago, the Christian workers union released a statement saying that quote, "her meeting had absolutely nothing to do with Port of Belize Limited or CWU members who work for Port of Belize. The statement says Matura-Shepherd will provide more details of the meeting later this week.

Will 3rd Time Be A Charm?: Senator Anthony Sylvester To Take On PM
For third time, PUP Senator Anthony Sylvestre, is going up against Prime Minister Dean Barrow to try to unseat him as area representative of the Queen Square Constituency. Now, as viewers may know, that's considered one of the safest seats in the country: the Prime Minister has been the area rep for Queen Square since 1984 - and in 31 years, he's undefeated. And in the last election he won by more than 1,500 votes, gaining 80% of the vote. But, even though the Prime Minister has defeated him twice before, at the next general elections, Sylvestre believes he can convince Queen Square to vote him into office. He was officially sworn in as the standard bearer for that constituency at the PUP's Belize City manifesto launch at the ITVET Compound on Saturday. That's quote a distance from Queen Square, but here's how he explained his chances of winning:

Richard Smith, Not Winning, But Still In The Running
One more politician who wants to be elected to office is Richard Smith. He ran as an independent candidate in the last general elections against PUP's Dr. Amin Hegar and UDP's Incumbent John Saldivar and lost. At that election he only got 230 votes, 4.1% of the population in Belmopan, but now he wants the job of Mayor Simeon Lopez. This evening, he told us what his plan for the capital city is if the residents give him the chance: Smith is known as a pastor and owner of the My Refuge Christian radio station in Belmopan.

The BTEC Solution
The Belize Training and Employment Center in Belmopan just finished a three week job readiness programme in Belmopan. 35 persons looking for work at call centers enrolled and learned how to handle themselves on the job, and in job interviews. Today they celebrated what they learned: This training took place at the NEMO office in Belmopan, but BTEC's office is located at the ITVET compound in Belize City.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Fatal Shooting in Roaring Creek
There is breaking news: a few minutes ago, a Roaring Creek resident was murdered in the Hattieville area of the village. At this time, we cannot reveal the name because [...]

2 Die in Head on Collision
A father of two and a teenage friend from the Belmopan area lost their lives instantly in a terrible traffic accident. Both Leonardo Ramos and Rigoberto Cabrera Junior were riding [...]

Family Loses Home to Fire
A fire quickly spread through the house of the Ford family on Allenby Street in Belize City last Friday night. Tanya Ford, a single mother, was at work when she [...]

CitCo Spends $1.3Million on Legal Fees
The People’s United Party launched its manifesto over the weekend…we’ll have that story coming up. But at the event, we caught up with successful businesswoman and aspiring Mayor Yolanda Schakron. [...]

P.U.P. CitCo Team Launches Manifesto
On Saturday, the P.U.P. Belize City municipal team officially launched its manifesto, as it prepares to contest elections less than a month away. The launch was done at the ITVET [...]

P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate Will Work for Free
On the podium, successful businesswoman and aspiring Mayor Yolanda Schakron also made a commitment that if she is elected, she would work for free. In the past we’ve heard aspiring [...]

Beware Counterfeit Bills
Business owners and vendors are being asked to exercise vigilance for counterfeit currency. According to the Belize City police, around eleven o’clock on Friday morning, they visited the Michael Finnegan [...]

Belizeans Robbed in Playa Del Carmen
Two Belizeans were attacked by three unidentified persons in Playa del Carmen over the weekend. According to Police reports from that area, authorities were called to downtown Playa del Carmen [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Briceño Case Frivolous and Political
While the P.U.P. focused, at least this past week, on the city’s manifesto launch, last week the party took two successive political hits, both in the north. Two area representatives [...]

…Speaks on Arraignment of Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
This issue of P.U.P. Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez isn’t dismissed quite so easily. Mendez has been charged with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent [...]

NEBL Season II Underway
Season Two of the National Elite Basketball League kicked off in San Ignacio on Friday night with Cayo Western Ballaz taking on the Belize Hurricanes on their home court.  While [...]

Petrocaribe Case in the Supreme Court
Up until a few weeks ago, the seemingly infinite public purse that is the Petrocaribe funds had been used to finance infrastructure projects across the country.  Major road works and [...]

Perfilio Rodriguez Freed on Assault Charge
Perfilio Rodriguez better known as Vanessa Paris Champagne was freed of an aggravated assault charge against President of UNIBAM Caleb Orozco’s sister when he appeared in court today. The nineteen [...]

Inmate Gets Another Conviction for Drugs
A prisoner, who is serving a three year sentence, picked up another conviction for a drug related offense. Shaquan Almendarez, who has already served two years for drug trafficking, was [...]

No Arrests In Emerson Daly Murder
Will there be any justice for the families of twenty-four year old Emerson Daly or sixty-year old Feliciano Richard Noralez? Daly was initially reported missing and his body found two [...]

Season 2 of the NEBL with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The national anthem rendered by the Moreno Sisters – Solie and Julie – heralded the arrival of the 2nd [...]

CTV3

Counterfeit Currency Surface In The City
A new set of counterfeit currency have surfaced and business owners and vendors are advised to be on the lookout for the fake currency. The monies popped up in Belize City, on the 6th of February at about 11:00a.m., police visited the Michael Finnegan Market located at the Corner of Cemetery Road and West Collet Canal in Belize City and spoke to several fruit vendors who handed over seven $20.00 with six notes having the same serial number: DL287655 and one with serial number DL183156. Also on the 9th of February at about 1:00 p.m. police visited the Belize Bank located on Albert Street, Belize, where the teller handed over a $50.00 bill with serial number DJ792434. All notes have been confirmed to be counterfeit. Again business owners and vendors are advised to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency and to notify the police immediately when this occurs.

Is The BSCFA Still An Association?
There are some new developments in the sugar industry as reports have it that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is to be registered as a company and no longer an association. At least that is what some media houses have been reporting but from what CTV-3 News understands, that is not the case. We have tried speaking with Chair of the Committee of Management Ezekiel Cansino but have been unsuccessful. We have been reliably informed however that the BSCFA is still an Association. What officials at the association are trying to do is to register the group under the Cooperative and Companies Act. The purpose, we understand, is to have the association under a legal frame to protect the association. According to reports we received, the association was no longer legally protected under the Sugar Act after that act was amended by government. While the association was registered under the Sugar Industry Control Board as an Association, the group no longer had any form of legal protection under this process. We understand that the Association will be holding a meeting to clarify the confusion tomorrow. We will be bringing more on this matter as more information becomes available.

Police Recover Ammunition In San Pedro
Last week San Pedro Police discovered a large number of firearm cartridges in an empty lot in Boca del Rio Area on the Island. Authorities confiscated 148 cartridges that have been labeled as found property. The police acted on an anonymous call. The cartridges found, police say, are used commonly for rifles and shotguns. A detailed description of the find include 59 live Remington .243 centrefire cartridges, nine live 12 gauge Winchester cartridges, 11 live 12 gauge Remington Peters cartridges, 23 live 12 gauge Western SuperX cartridges, four live 12 gauge Eiley Grand Prix cartridges and 28 live 12 gauge Winchester Super speed cartridges. Also found were 14 expended Remington .243 centrefire shells, believed to have been used during a target test.

Special Envoy Calls For Sensitivity When It Comes To Cases Involving Children
Tomorrow will make exactly one week that Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez was charged with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon two minors. The Orange Walk East Area Representative is scheduled to reappear in court on April 13th. So far it is not yet known if Mendez will step down as Area Representative of the East automatically triggering a bi-election. What we do know though is that following Mendez’s indictment the P.U.P removed him as the chairman of the P.U.P Northern Caucus and suspended him indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. Both Mendez and his estranged wife Doctor Leslie Mendez have asked for empathy and for the case to be kept out the political lines as they deal with the situation. And today, in the wake of Mendez charges, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, urged all persons involved to ensure that this highly sensitive issue is handled with the best interests of the affected children as the priority.

Belizean Attacked In Playa
Over the weekend a Belizean tourist was victim to delinquents while in Playa Del Carmen. According to an article published yesterday on the Mexican Newspaper El Diario Respuesta around 2:30 Sunday morning, 25 year old Abner Torrez, a Belizean tourist, reported to officials that were on patrol that while he was standing near the beach side, behind a night club in the company of a female friend, three male persons approached him and for no reason began hitting hit him on the face causing him to fall to the ground. The three assailants then proceeded to rob Torrez of his iPhone and 700 pesos after which they made good there escape.

LOVE FM

PUP Endorse New Standard Bearer
During the PUP’s event on Saturday, Anthony Sylvester Junior was endorsed as the Party’s standard bearer for the Queen Square division. For the past two general elections, Sylvester ran against Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the division and lost. Sylvester explained why he is contesting once again even though the Prime Minister has held the seat for 21 years, since it became a division. “One of the certain points in terms of representation of the people is that every single person counts and so that the situation in Queen Square has evolved over the years where it is quite clear particularly those who physically live in the division that the current area representative clearly has no regard for them and is not properly representing them so that for me the starting pace obviously has to be those who have been neglected, those whose interest have been cast aside in the 30 years in which the current representative has been there. Whilst he has over this period of time opportunities and doors have opened up for him and in that period of time he has indeed become a very successful and wealthy individual...

PAC Trial Date Set To Settle Matters
Last year member of the House of Representatives for Cayo South Julius Espat sued Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his capacity as Minister of Finance and Economic Development for deciding to delay a bill authorizing the spending of funds, including monies gained through the Petro-Caribe program. Espat, who also chairs the House’s Public Accounts Committee, says that the agreement entered into by Government in 2012 with ALBA Petro-Caribe Belize Energy Limited is not enforceable as approval was not sought from the National Assembly, and without such approval any loans gained cannot be paid from the public purse. Shortly after the suit was made the Government passed a motion in a meeting of the House and subsequently the Senate authorizing such loans. Today the lawsuit was back before Justice Courtney Abel and a trial date of June 2 and 3 has been agreed, with a final meeting in April to settle matters of submissions and other issues. Attorney representing the Government Senior Counsel Denys Barrow gave the press an update after the in-chamber session this morning at the Supreme Court.

Special Envoy Release Pleas to The Media And Public
The criminal charges recently brought against the Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez surrounding allegations of inappropriate behavior towards two minors have spun heads, spurred further speculations and talks as well as highlighted the identities of the two minors despite the fact that their names were not mentioned on the local media. In light of this major lapse in sensitivity, the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children issued a release today urging the media houses and the public in general to rise above the political lines when it comes to the affected children.

Municipal 2015-2018; PUP Says They Are Ready!
This weekend, the People’s United Party launched their manifesto to introduce to the citizens of Belize the PUP team that will be running for the term 2015-2018 are the new City Council if elected. Yolanda Schakron, Mayoral Candidate for the PUP, spoke to the media about her team’s preparation process and what the public can expect from the team. “We have been going in all the areas; we have been in every division in the city. We have been going house to house that is very important. We have been consulting with the residents to see what the problems they are facing is that is how we did our manifest, by consultation with the people on the ground. This week we decided that each person on the team would go into their area that they are assigned and then I would be rotating with them every day I will go into a different area so we started that because we have a lot of ground to cover and we don’t have much time so we have started that strategy.

House Fire Could Have Been Prevented?
A Friday night fire in Belize City has left a family of four suffering major losses as their two storey home, made of both wood and concrete received severe fire and water damages on Allenby Street just before seven o’clock. Love News responded to the scene shortly after seven and spoke with a neighbor Duane Smith. While Smith was unable to assist in saving his neighbor’s household items, he did save the dogs that were tied up in the yard. “I was in my bathroom and I smelt the fire and I asked my girlfriend if she smelt something burning but she didn’t react to it right away. By the time we decided to open the back door we saw the whole blaze but I know that my neighbor usually has their dog tied in the back so my response this, the house can burn down and you could always rebuild that but when I went downstairs I decided to lose the dog I climbed over the front fence and that is how I made sure to ask my girlfriend to call the ambulance. People always talk badly about the fire service but they did a great job. I have to give them respect because people always talk about them not doing a great job. I would have felt bad if the dog had died with the house so I went over there and I got burnt on my leg which to me is nothing. I did something that I feel good about, they are my neighbors and the lady is always home. Nothing was on so I figured more or less that nothing was on.”

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House burns due to unattended candle
A family of four has lost their home after a house fire on Friday night in Belize City. On February 9 at about 7:00 p.m., the house at #3 Allenby Street, a wooden and concrete two storey house, was engulfed with flames after a lit candle was left in the bathroom of the house. According to police reports, a 13-year-old was home alone, but later left to purchase some items leaving the candle unattended. The home did not have electricity and when the child returned from the store, she saw the house on fire. Her mother was at work at the time.

Two dead after traffic accident in Belmopan
Two persons died in a traffic accident in Belmopan, and a 24 year old man has been charged with manslaughter by negligence and driving with alcohol level above the prescribed limit. The accident happened on Saturday February 7 at about 2:00a.m., on the Hummingbird Highway between Mile 54 and 55 . 24-year-old Daniel Cunil of Belmopan City, was driving a Mitsubishi Galant Car from the direction of Belmopan, when it collided with a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction. Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Station, told us what police have gathered so far.

Mek Mi Rich and BTL in court over game concept
On Monday afternoon a case management conference was heard between Curtis Dale Swasey and Belize Telemedia Limited and MMR Belize Limited, producers of the television game show “Mek Mi Rich.” Curtis Swasey says that he pioneered and developed the concept of lottery texting, in which a fee is paid to buy numbers and a draw is conducted that offers prizes, not unlike a regular lotto gaming system, except that it is completely electronic and does not use machines. BTL and MMR are accused of taking the concept as their own to create “Mek Mi Rich.”

Shooting in Belize City
There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Friday night, but no one was injured. On February 7, just before 8 o’clock that evening, 35-year-old Calbert Alexander Budd Jr., was socializing in front of his yard on Antelope Street, along with his brother. That is when he saw a man of dark complexion, approximately 100 feet from where he and his brother were standing, who started to fire several gunshots towards their direction. They both managed to take shelter behind the zinc fence of their yard to avoid getting shot.

Patrick JonesPJ

Porfilio Rodriguez beats assault charges
Well known transgender Belizean Porfilio Rodriguez, aka “Champagne Paris”, who was charged with aggravated assault with a knife, was freed of the charge when it was dismissed today by Magistrate Herbert Panton. The case was set for trial today and when the complainant, Golda Orosco, sister of Caleb […]

Convicted drug trafficker spared extra jail time
Twenty-two year old Shaquan Almendarez, who is serving a sentence of 3 years for drug trafficking, was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. This is after he pled guilty to the lesser charge of possession for another case of drug trafficking. Almendarez said […]

Teenager charged with burglary
Nineteen year old Gregory shepherd, an auto mechanic of 8322 Roches Street, who allegedly entered as a trespasser the dwelling house of his aunt and stole several household items, was charged with burglary when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Shepherd pled not guilty to the […]

Police recover two sets of ammunition
Police recovered two sets of ammunition the last couple of days in Belize City. On Sunday evening, authorities found a plastic bag behind the Lodge building at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Streets. Inside the bag, police say they found 12 live rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition. And […]

Police issue advisory on counterfeit currency
The Belize Police Department today issued an advisory calling on business owners and vendors to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency. This follows the discovery of fake twenty and fifty dollar notes. Police say that on Friday morning they collected a total of seven counterfeit $20 notes […]

Police recover ammunition in Belize City
Police recovered two sets of ammunition the last couple of days in Belize City. On Sunday evening, authorities found a plastic bag behind the Lodge building at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Streets. Inside the bag, police say they found 12 live rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition. And […]

Mexico appoints new ambassador to Belize
The government of Mexico has appointed a new ambassador to Belize. Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez presented his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan on Thursday of last week. A release from the Government Press Office says that Ambassador Melendez expressed commitment to working with Belizean authorities “to achieve the goals of the bilateral agenda, which exists between the two nations.”

Special Envoy says fear and shame cause child sex abuse to go unreported
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow called on parents and guardians to put the well-being, safety and protection of their children ahead of everything else. A statement from the Special’s Envoy’s office comes in the wake of charges being brought against the area representative for Orange Walk East, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez last week. Dr. Mendez was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and common assault, based upon reports from two minors.

Belmopan chapter of BTIA established
The Belize Tourism Industry Association has welcomed a new branch to its fold, bringing the number of chapters to ten. The Belmopan Chapter of BTIA was officially acknowledged during a meeting at the end of January in the nation’s capital. President of BTIA Osmany Salas has welcomed the new Belmopan chapter noting that it was one of the targets listed in the Annual General Meeting last December.

Blogs

A guide to planning the BEST vacation ever, in Placencia, Belize!
It is so overwhelming to not only decide where to go for your next vacation, but then how to pick where to stay? What to pack? What to do??? If you are even THINKING about Belize for your vacation....READ THIS!! You will know you made the right choice :) For those sharp travelers who already chose Placencia, Belize, here are some valuable tips and information to help you plan for a perfect vacation!!

Argentina’s President Fends Off Challenges from the Intelligence Service
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced Jan. 26 that she would reform her country’s civilian intelligence organization, the Intelligence Secretariat (SI). Soon after, the office of the president said it would submit a draft law to reform the SI to the Senate on Feb. 3. In addition to changing the organization’s name to the Federal Intelligence Agency, the reform is expected to significantly weaken the SI by limiting its ability to gather signals intelligence, revealing a wider political dispute. Fernandez’s motivations for reforming the SI are not completely clear, but concerns that criminal charges could be brought against her and other members of the government once they leave office might have been a factor. Moreover, though the reform appears to be immediately motivated by concerns over the SI’s loyalty to Fernandez, it may significantly affect how the Argentine security apparatus functions long after her term in office ends.

PORTOFINO BEACH RESORT ADDS NEW BOAT TO ITS FLEET
Portofino Beach Resort & Restaurant, an award winning beach destination in Ambergris Caye Belize has added a new covered boat to its fleet of shuttle transportation services. According to owner, Sandra van Noord, the new boat was a long overdue accomplishment since the resort opened in 2001. “Since our inception, we have always been seeking ways on how to improve the Portofino product and this covered craft was something that was always requested by our guests, pasts and present “, says van Noord who recommends the resort for romance, relaxation, and adventure. The covered boat has been named Chameleon and was bought from George Parham, a long time friend of Managing Director Jan van Noord who used the boat for outside reef fishing.

5 BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS FOR FAMILIES IN BELIZE
Belize isn’t just for couples, there is plenty to see and do together as a family. Whether your kids are just toddlers or teenagers, Belize has all-inclusive resorts for everyone and there are plenty of activities if you enjoy water sports, diving, rain forests, beaches, or Maya ruins. Here are 5 family friendly resorts in Belize: CHABIL MAR, CAHAL PECH VILLAGE RESORT, LARU BEYA, ALMOND BEACH RESORT, VICTORIA HOUSE.

The February 2015 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
Click HERE to download the PDF

This Issue's Stories:

  • Spices: By Dr. Thomas Mathew of the Belize Spice Farm. Spices are plant products used to flavor or preserve food. Some spices are also used in medicines, perfumes and cosmetics. The spice trade began thousands of years ago by Arab merchants who controlled it. Later, Europeans dominated the trade, taking advantage of the monsoon wind (wind patterns between continents due to seasonal temperature differences). In 1499, the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama landed on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India (where the author was born and raised), in search of spices. At about the same time, Columbus, while trying to find a western route to reach India (also searching for spices), found the “New World”. The spice trade strongly influenced world history. Colonial powers controlled many spice growing regions of the world and competed to gain and retain the control. Spices were the most precious commodity in the world at one time. India and Indonesia were the sources for black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric. Allspice, bell and chili pepper, vanilla and chocolate were the New World’s contributions to the spice family. Botanically, spices are variously classified as: dried fruits or seeds, such as black pepper; arils, such as mace or nutmeg; barks, such as cinnamon and cassia; dried flower buds, such as cloves; stigma, such as saffron; roots or rhizomes, such as turmeric and ginger; or resins, such as asafetida. The flavors of spice come from their volatile oils, which are oxidized on exposure to air and accelerated after powdering.
  • The Chiquibul Forest Reserve - Ours to Keep - FROM MY PERCH columnist, Marguerite Fly Bevis: In the last column, warnings were issued to all Belizeans about the dire situation in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, the incursion and theft of natural resources and the woeful lack of personnel and equipment to deal with the problem. In September 2014, a tourism policeman was murdered at Caracol in the middle of the day, witnessed by horrified tourists, tour guides, and a fellow officer. The police had confiscated horses the previous day from illegal loggers who returned to issue their revenge on the unsuspecting young Danny Conorquie, who gave his life in the battle for sovereignty of this great nation, Belize. The resulting outcry was immediate and agonizing. Finally, Belizeans woke up to the unpleasant fact that Belize has been invaded and, indeed, is at war for its very sovereignty. Because of a continued lack of security efforts along the border by the Government of Belize for many years, the Guatemalans were emboldened to cross into Belize. It was just a matter of time before they would retaliate for Belizean authorities doing their job and disrupting their illegal activities.
  • Pound Solids System of Payment for Citrus: Redistributing the Benefits: The pound system payment for citrus has been implemented for oranges since 2003 and for grapefruit since 2005. It has played a crucial role of rewarding payments for quality. Those growers who deliver quality fruit receive more monies than growers who deliver less quality fruits, i.e. fewer pounds per box of fruit delivered. Pound solids is the quantity of solids in a 90 pound box of orange or 80 pounds box of grapefruit. The solids are basically the sugar in the juice but can include other solid materials in juice. To obtain good pound solids, the right practices begin at the orchard level: taking good care of the citrus trees and the soil, which includes maintaining a good pH close to 6.0 and providing adequate fertilization. When fruits begin to mature, a sample is taken to the factory for analysis of quality. The timing of harvesting oranges and grapefruit at optimum maturity rewards the owner good payments for the pound solids in juice. As soon as the fruits are harvested they must be delivered in less than 24 hours. Once a fruit is harvested the decaying process begins immediately.
  • Taiwan Experience On Huanglongbing (HLB) Management: Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening devastated the citrus production in Taiwan in 1951. HLB disease caused great economic loss to the citrus industry by shortening tree lifespan and lowering fruit quality. In order to formulate adequate control measures of HLB, etiological and epidemiological studies and detection techniques on HLB were conducted in Taiwan. Now this systemic disease is generally controlled by integrated measures such as cultivating pathogen-free (PF) seedlings, eliminating inoculum sources and integrated pest management (IPM) - all this for reducing the secondary spread by the insect vector. Healthy Citrus Nursery Production in Taiwan In 1973, Taiwan began to produce PF healthy citrus trees with the use of mother trees from Ponkan and Tankan cultivars. These were selected and then pathogens were eliminated by heat therapy. In 1981, the government launched the Developmental and Assistance Program for the citrus industry in Taiwan; it was a three-level system (Foundation Tree, Scion Tree and Healthy Nursery Plant).
  • Energetic Agriculture Mineral Requirements: To be productive soil must contain minerals such as boron, calcium, sulfur, carbon, silicon, manganese, magnesium, iron, nitrogen as nitrates & ammonia, potassium, phosphorous, cobalt, iodine, etc. in the right proportion. Neal Kinsey’s book Hands-on Agronomy states “Good soil structure which as 25% air, 25% water and 50% minerals and humus in essence is based on mineral building blocks.” In some parts of Belize the soil lacks phosphorous in adequate amounts for plant growth; the sandy soils of the “pineridge” generally lack calcium. The first task of the farmer is to have a soil test done, then add the minerals missing in the soil. Minerals can be supplied by compost or commercial fertilizer or a combination of both. However, some forms of commercial fertilizers such as muriate of potash (potassium chloride) used in moderate to high rates on soybeans can kill the germinating seed. Some chemicals, such as glyphosate, used to “protect crops” can destroy soil.
  • Nontoxic Produce a Reality for Belize Growers Band Together to Meet High Demand for Organic Produce: Consumers worldwide have become increasingly alarmed at the incidence of agrochemical poisons in their food because indications are that it is the cause of increases in cancer and other serious diseases. There are many people who simply don’t want produce that has been exposed to agrochemicals or other environmental toxins and GMOs. Some people are turning to organically produced vegetables in Belize because they know that agrochemicals are often not safely used. Washing cannot make vegetables safe because some of the chemicals are inside the produce. Belize, unfortunately, is not yet sufficiently monitoring the safety of the vegetables in the markets. There is no mechanism to guarantee that the farmer harvests and sells according to safe guidelines. How are consumers to find a nontoxic solution? One of the best ways to assure that food is grown safely and organically is to grow your own.
  • Ginger Up Your Flower Beds: The garden of my childhood hosted a multitude of colourful plants: roses, cornflowers, geraniums, gladiolus, sweet williams, lavendar, pansies, violets, phlox et al and my favourites were the sweet smelling ones that had nectar which could be sucked and petals that could be eaten. Today I choose to plant only edibles and steer clear of anything allergenic or potentially poisonous. I was therefore very pleased to find that most gingers fall into this realm. Turmeric, galangal, cardamom - all have beautiful flowers and foliage and have valued culinary uses. When I first encountered Zingibar Zerumbet I was awe-struck and simply had to have some. It was introduced to me as shampoo ginger. The act of squeezing the bulbous head and receiving a generous stream of exotically scented smooth liquid in the palm of my hand had me sold. I imagine this is how Paul Mitchell felt discovering the awapuhi in Hawaii, which led him to create his famous line of hair products. It is mostly grown as a prized ornamental but what a pleasant surprise to find how versatile it is: not only nourishing the hair and body but having nutritional value and medicinal properties.
  • The Soils of Belize by District/Region:
  • Growing Nutritious Foods: If you have seen The Other Side of the Fence, originally made as a short educational movie presented by Dr. William Albrecht many years ago at the University of Missouri, I think you will agree that Dr. Albercht’s words of wisdom on food nutrient values hold true today. Most of the authorities of the time would not accept the idea that just because the crops being grown “looked good,” it did not mean farmers and gardeners were growing nutritious food and feed. I have grown an organic garden in the same place since 1978 using no commercial pesticides and try to work from a safe, natural approach. If that means controlling weeds and grass with a hoe, to me that is better than trying to kill everything else along with the unwanted plants. I do not use commercial N-P-K products because there is no need to do so in order to maintain the levels of each nutrient needed in our garden.
  • Getting to Know Humus: The term humus is not used on most soil audits, but there is the designation, organic matter percent. Humus and organic matter are often used interchangeably. Humus is made up of decomposed residues which have been completely broken down in the soil by microorganisms. The organic matter or humus terms notwithstanding, when talking about a longterm reservoir for nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, boron and zinc, I am not talking about undecomposed residues. This is referring to the humus (that is, completely decomposed organic residues) — without it, the reservoir function wouldn’t happen. Why does humus hold nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and boron while clay does not? Because humus is “stronger” than clay. If you could take a handful of clay in one hand and a handful of humus in the other hand, and measure the nutrients, humus has three times the nutrient-holding ability of the clay.
  • Drought Relief for Corn and Forages – Is Zinc the Answer?: Corn growers are aware perhaps more than most crop farmers about the value of supplying adequate zinc for the crop. Among other uses, zinc is known to be needed for moisture absorption in growing plants. That is, when you don’t have enough zinc, it requires more water to grow the same amount of yield because water is lost due to the inability of the plants to take it up in time. One of the farmers attending our introductory workshop on soil fertility admitted he never had much faith in soil testing to help determine his fertilizer program. But he and all his neighbors had a persistent problem. They all had cows, and every summer during July and August the grass would quit growing and die back due to too little rainfall. When this happened, both he and the neighbors had to feed hay to the cows, and it would happen every summer without fail.
  • BEL-CAR Makes Belize’s 1st Bulk Corn Export: Belize’s first bulk export of corn was made late in October of 2014, after Bel-Car signed a contract with a Trinidadian company for 2,800 Metric tons of corn. The cost of producing corn in Belize exceeds the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) prices. However, the Trinidadian buyer who purchased this corn paid more than the CBOT price as they realize that Belize’s corn is of higher quality, which will more than compensate for the higher cost. The 2800 M T (equivalent to 124 of 50,000 lb container loads) shipped from the port of Big Creek in Southern Belize. Bel-Car brought their own portable augers for loading, and had 30 Spanish Lookout trucks delivering the corn from Spanish Lookout to the port on a 24 hour basis until the job was completed. Bel-Car’s Paul Penner acknowledged, “loading a bulk vessel without the right equipment is a challenge. We managed to load it at that time. But in the future a better conveying system will need to put in place.”
  • Rice Production in Spanish Lookout: Spanish Lookout rice producers report that there is more than ample rice supplies for the coming year. Although it was a dry year for them, yields were considered average and similar to last year’s. There was somewhat of an issue with the Spinki mite, because of the drought. The harvest of 190,000 bags of paddy rice produced roughly 139,785 milled bags (60%). Average yield was 2681 lbs/acre (milled). The rice acreage remains stable, and slowly farmers are converting to flooded or irrigated fields.
  • Rabies – A Serious Consideration: On 28th September every year, the world unites in the fight against rabies by celebrating World Rabies Day, a day of activism and awareness. It is the global movement to put an end to the suffering caused by rabies. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) states, “Rabies kill around 70,000 people a year and more than 95 % of human cases are caused by bites from infected dogs.” The last human case in Belize was in 1989 when two children died after playing with a dog and her puppies. Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms in humans is usually one to three months; however, it can vary from less than one week to more than a year.
  • BLPA UPDATE By Alistair Macpherson, CEO of the Belize Livestock Producers Association: Over the last couple of months there has been much going on within the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) and our industry, and for once all seems to be good news. The BLPA has embarked on producing a 10 year plan, a long term strategy with defined goals for ensuring the sustainability, growth and improvement of our industry at all l e v e l s . It is necessary to have this type of strategy in place when we talk to potential partner organisations who will provide technical and financial support for projects we may want to run in the future. Basically these donor organisations want to make sure that they are dealing with an organisation that “has a plan” and has certain administrative, financial and planning systems in place and has the capacity to run these projects whether it is a small artificial insemination (AI) project for farmer groups or running the Belize livestock registry (BLR).
  • The Importance of Biological Nitrogen Fixation: Nitrogen uptake or assimilation is essential to the survival, growth and reproduction of all plant species. In general, plant nitrogen requirements are met by root uptake and in some cases leaf and stem absorption of ammonia (NH3) and/or nitrate (NO3) forms of nitrogen. However, plants don’t always get these forms of nitrogen they need directly due to the competition for ammonia and nitrate uptake with soil microorganisms, volatilization into the atmosphere and soil leaching. Conversely, soil ammonia levels are replenished via the process of ammonification or the breakdown/decomposition of nitrogen-containing plant and animal tissues. However, over the course of geologic time, nitrogen losses due to the combination of nitrification/denitrification by microorganisms have been significantly greater than nitrogen inputs due to ammonification, resulting in approximately 80 percent of the atmosphere consisting of dinitrogen (N2). Consequently, in the rooting zone of many soil-plant systems across the globe, nitrogen availability is often the most limiting factor in terms of overall plant growth and seed production.
  • Growing Carob in Belize: Carob is actually a shrub, but usually considered to be a tree because it can grow to be fifty feet with a broad spreading canopy of dark green, glossy, leathery leaves. Although not well known in Belize, cultivation of carob has potential to be successfully grown here. The prevailing advice is: “anywhere citrus is grown, carob may be grown”. Carob (Ceratunia siliqua), is a leguminous evergreen shrub/tree which is a member of the Fabaceae (pea or legume) family. The versatile trees are grown for their pods, seeds and wood, enjoyed as a showy ornamental shade trees, or pruned to form a dense screening hedge. Wood of the tree is hard and close-grained. It is prized for turnery (objects made on a lathe), furniture and cabinet wood. As a fuel it burns slowly and creates an excellent charcoal. Carob trees are fireresistant and are sometimes planted around homes in areas where there is a high risk for fires to help protect homes and property.
  • Management System for Sugar Industry – A Giant Step Forward: Since its activation in 2009, the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) has made great strides in assisting the cane sugar farmers to improve the quality and quantity of sugar cane. But with over 5000 farmers, hundreds of thousands of acreage in two districts (Orange Walk and Corozal), 8 varieties of cane in commercial production, and only 4 technical field extension officers an obvious requirement was a management system. That need is being met with Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS) under the leadership of Gregorio Canto. When operational, the system will be a comprehensive data base of sugar cane fields, indexed in detail by geographic location. The system will allow farmers and field extension officers to (1) monitor soil fertility, plant growth, pests, weeds and disease control, and water quality and drainage, (2) coordinate schedules for planting and harvesting, (3) assist farmers with record keeping, (4) identify common problems to be addressed, and (5) assess unique problems.
  • Belize River Valley Ltd. (formerly Tennessee Farms) Hosts Discussion on Sustainable Farming Center for Belize in Burrell Boom: Belize River Valley, Ltd. (BRV) of Burrell Boom, Belize organized a meeting on January 9, 2015 to discuss various agro-ecological principles that could be applied in Belize.Over forty people from thirty different groups attended the meeting this morning. The featured speaker at the workshop was Dr. Miguel Altieri of the University of California Berkeley’s agro-ecology program. Dr. Altieri provided an overview of the principles underlying agro-ecological development and presented numerous examples of sustainable farming practices that have endured since the dawn of agriculture. His worldwide involvement in assisting farmers allows him to share successes across many cultures. He showed amazing “before” and “after” pictures of projects in Peru, China, Cuba and Mexico with a special emphasis on ‘chinamapas’ used by Mayan cultures.
  • School Gardens Ministry of Education (MOE) leads way to bring school gardens to Belize and Stann Creek Districts: Workshops were held for over 20 teachers in Belize City on 11 & 12 August, and similar workshops were held for over 20 teachers in Dangriga on 13 & 14 August to help them bring back garden-based learning to our Belizean classrooms. Approximately one half day was spent on each of 4 general subject areas: Administering a School Garden Program, Agricultural Practices, Hands-on Agriculture, and Integrating Garden-Based Learning into the curriculum. Yvonne Codd, Health and Nutrition Officer for MOE organized the workshops, and explained the history of school gardens in Belize, and some of the many benefits of gardenbased learning: improved nutrition, a teaching tool that can be used to improve the learning of science and other academic subjects, vocational education, life skills, and more.
  • Dairy Products at Home, Making Cottage Cheese: This is the first in a series aimed at instructing readers in the simplest ways of processing dairy foods at home. Whether you are interested in keeping your own milking cow, or are able to procure fresh milk from a neighbor, you may be surprised how easy it is to produce your own yoghurt or cheeses. A theme of this series will be how to do these things in tropical weather without refrigeration, as many Belizeans do still live without electricity. Others living a more modern lifestyle may be glad to learn that it is possible to live without refrigeration even when using milk, the most perishable of foods. Thankfully, God designed cows to be milked every 12 hours. 12 hours is enough time for most of the cream to rise to the top of the milk container and in almost any weather the milk is still sweet after that long. Therefore, in general, you can have sweet milk to drink always on hand, if you milk your own cow. What about the milk that becomes sour?
  • Turmeric – A Tasty, Beautiful Plant with a Powerhouse of Healing Properties: Turmeric is the root spice which is a main ingredient in curry and mustard. The plant is also a stunning, flowering, tropical delight in the garden. Turmeric has recently been ‘rediscovered’ as a plant with rhizomes with many healing properties. It is easy to grow, especially in the tropics. The entire plant is edible, from the leaves, which are used as a wrap for grains and vegetables, to the exotic, decorative white flowers and especially the yellow-orange rhizomes, which are enjoyed world-wide in South Asian and Indian cuisine. Turmeric rhizomes may be grated or chopped raw in salads, rice dishes or in curries and coconut sauces, or may be used in ground powdered form after being boiled, dried and ground. The taste is described as a subtly pungent, peppery, zesty flavour with warm, slightly bitter undertones and a mild pleasant fragrance. In addition to its culinary, medicinal and landscape attraction, turmeric is used as an ingredient in perfume and as a yarn and clothing dye.
  • Raising Chickens - Naturally at New Life Farm: A colorful array of chickens roaming around a 15 acre field greeted us at New Life Farm when we visited there to see their portable chicken coops. We happened to arrive during the hour in the morning that the chickens are let out of their coops to supplement the grass available to them as the floor of their coops. They are also let out for an hour in late afternoon. When it’s time to go back into their coops, Abel Garcia, who manages the operation, says he heads for a coop and all the chickens that belong in that coop run after him. Their in-coop organic diet, consisting of rain water and ground white corn, local grasses, various beans, rice, amaranth, and milo grown on the farm, mineral supplements, and weeds pulled from their gardens, was developed by Dr. Keller and his workers, Abel and Antonio Orsini.
  • Belmopan 2014 Rain:
  • : Local and Regional Fuel Prices
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

International Sourcesizz

Celebrate Carnaval in San Pedro Belize
If you happen to be in Belize on the days leading up to Lent, you'll want to make arrangements to be on the island of Ambergris Caye. Three days prior to Ash Wednesday, the entire island comes alive as they celebrate Carnaval. Carnaval in San Pedro is a bit of a departure from the traditional carnival celebrations you are likely familiar with in other parts of the world. This celebration includes some messy fun, so pack a set of old clothes you don't mind throwing away at the end of your vacation. "Painting" at Carnaval One of the main events of Carnaval in Belize is three days of "painting." Venture over to San Pedros Central Park and other designated areas to see kids and adults covering each other in water-based paint. By the end of the night, it's not uncommon to see kids covered in paint from head to toe.

Where to Eat in Belize
Beautiful Belize is a small, but culturally interesting country on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Nestled beside Mexico and Guatemala it has a diverse geography from the second largest barrier reef to a tropical jungle that is home to hundreds of different species. Not to mention many ancient Maya Ruins. When it comes to dining you will find a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, and Mayan culinary influences. North American style foods like burgers, pizzas and chicken dishes are readily available. Rice and beans, popular in Caribbean and Central American countries, is a common staple and often served as an accompaniment to main meals. Along the coast and island destinations, seafood is big on the menu with fresh fish, lobster, shrimp and conch dishes readily available. Restaurant: Chef Rob’s Gourmet Café Owners: Rob & Corrie Pronk, Sittee River Road Hopkins Village Stann Creek District, Belize Phone: 501-663-1529. Open for Dinner. Restaurant: Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro Owners: John & Ellen Lee, Maya Beach, Placencia Belize, Phone: 1-501-533-8040. Open for Lunch and Dinner. Restaurant: Victoria House Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize Phone: 501-226-2067. Open for Lunch and Dinner.

UTSA archaeologists are collecting clickers for Belizean schools
Archaeologists in the UTSA Department of Anthropology are collecting clickers to support schoolchildren in Belize, where they are participating in ongoing fieldwork. The service project aims to bring technology into an elementary school classroom in Belize, where clickers are currently unavailable. The goal of UTSA’s archaeologists is to donate a classroom set. Donated clickers and base stations will be delivered in person to Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize. The archaeologists will also help the classes learn to use the clickers properly. Clicker technology is currently unavailable in Belize, however teachers at Mount Carmel are eager to integrate technology into their students’ education. Access to and experience with different technologies provides all students with opportunities to develop important technological skills and pursue careers in technology fields.

Man-made air pollution reduces Central America rainfall: study
Air pollution tied to industrialization in the northern hemisphere almost certainly reduced rainfall over Central America in new evidence that human activity can disrupt the climate, a study suggested on Monday. "We identify an unprecedented drying trend since 1850," the scientists wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience after studying the rate of growth since 1550 of a stalagmite found in a cave in the tiny nation of Belize. Stalagmites are pointed rocks formed by mineral-rich water dripping from the cavern roof. The experts, from Britain, the United States, Switzerland and Germany, said the drying in Belize "coincides with increasing aerosol emissions in the northern hemisphere" as the Industrial Revolution pushed up fossil fuel use.

Reduced rainfall in the northern tropics linked to industrial emissions, research suggests
Scientists have produced a rainfall record strongly suggesting that man-made industrial emissions have contributed to less rainfall in the northern tropics. The research team, led by experts at Durham University, UK, reconstructed rainfall patterns stretching back more than 450 years by analysing the chemical composition of a stalagmite recovered from a cave in Belize, Central America. They identified a substantial drying trend from 1850 onwards, coinciding with a steady rise in sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels to drive the industrial boom in Europe and North America. Importantly they also identified nine short-lived drier spells in the northern tropics since 1550 following very large volcanic eruptions in the Northern Hemisphere that produced similar emissions as those produced by burning fossil fuels.

Lord Ashcroft's polls are not what they seem
The Tory peer and Belize-domiciled party donor is attempting to reinvent himself as a politically neutral master of polls. But what does he really want? What does Lord Ashcroft want? Not a quiet life, certainly. Last week saw him again setting the political agenda, with a raft of constituency polling in Scotland showing Labour heading for electoral annihilation and the SNP poised to emerge as kingmakers after the poll. Then, over the weekend, he set a new cat amongst the pigeons - or more specifically, set a cat on Nick Clegg - revealing the Lib Dem leader is set to lose is Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour. If you asked Lord Ashcroft himself what he wants, he would respond by telling you he wants to bring the facts of political life to the people. He would tell you his polling is designed to stimulate informed debate, and allow those of us interested in the political process to make evidence based judgments on how we view that process. And he would emphasize that he draws a clear distinction between collating and analyzing that evidence, and using it to generate or advocate specific political outcomes.

Videos

  • Mrs Carnaval Pageant San Pedro Belize 2015, 4min. Silvia Patricia Lopez was selected as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye's Reina del Carnaval (Mrs. Carnaval) 2015 in the island's second annual pageant that kicked off the Carnaval Celebrations. The pageant, dedicated to the traditional slapstick-style celebrations of Carnaval on the island, was contested by women 40 years and older. Needless to say, it was a very entertaining pageant with plenty of song, dance and most importantly, humor.
  • David Attenborough's Paradise Birds - Season 1 Episode 1 Full Episode [FullHD], 56min. David Attenborough's Paradise Birds Season 1 Episode 1 : Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough's lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them all over the jungles of New Guinea. In this very personal film, he uncovers the remarkable story of how these 'birds from paradise' have captivated explorers, naturalists, artists, film-makers and even royalty. He explores the myths surrounding their discovery 500 years ago, the latest extraordinary behaviour captured on camera and reveals the scientific truth behind their beauty: the evolution of their spectacular appearance has in fact been driven by sex.
  • Belize Octopus 2014, 1.5min. A playful octopus on a night dive in Belize aboard the Sun Dancer !! in October 2014.
  • Belize and Guatemala, 5min.
  • Riding through the streets of Belize City, Bellize, 3min. Bike rally in Belize City sponsored by Harley Davidson in Belize and attended by motorcyclist from USA, Canada, Mexico, other Central American countries, and me. SHOW MORE
  • Isla Marizol Belize Vacation, 10min.
  • Half Moon Caye Belize, 2min.
  • Belize January 2015a, 2.5min. Scuba diving
  • OYE TOPIC: 2ND ANNUAL BELIZE BIKE RALLY, 16min.
  • Belize 2014, 11min. November 2014 trip to Caye Caulker Belize with Scuba Certification and diving the Great Blue Hole.
  • Ronald McDonald LOVES BELIZE FLAG @ MLK2015 Los Angeles, 1min. When seeing the Belizean flag Ronald Mc Donald had to take a shot with his tiny little camera OF our Little Belize Community Los Angeles presence in the city.
  • January with Frontier Belize, 3min. Starting the year with Frontier Belize.. We've started a whole new Beach Conservation Project which includes Seagrass surveys, Mangrove surveys and Beach clean surveys as well as keeping up our popular Marine Conservation and Diving Project! Plus we've started teaching the local high school a Marine Biology and Snorkelling class. A great start to 2015!

    February 9, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Avian Adventures…on a Golf Cart!
    Ambergris Caye is never short on surprises, and an afternoon golf cart ride can be one you may never forget. From breathtaking panoramas of the Caribbean Sea to lush and blooming flora, this is one of the best ways to explore and discover La Isla Bonita. A recent Sunday afternoon drive took us to the southern end of the island, where the less inhabited area lends lovely beachside views and its share of properties posted for sale which we fantasize about buying…SOMEDAY, sigh. While driving I’m always on the lookout for birds (who says you have to keep your eyes on the road?) and along the way we spot an enormous Osprey nest with a majestic parent standing sentinel nearby. Bonus!

    Letter to the Editor: Garbage
    Dear Editor: I thought I would share an observation with you. For the entire month in January I polled each visitor that came to our store. They were ALL asked the same two questions. I polled well over 100 TOURISTS. I was diligent in this. Question 1) What do you like best about Ambergris Caye? Question 2) What did you NOT like about your trip to Ambergris Caye? Two simple questions. The answers to question 1 varied as to their likes, but most stated they liked the friendly people here. BUT question 2 was the SAME answer from everyone! “The trash, the garbage everywhere” Some said they would not be back as we don’t seem to care about our island and how it leaves a bad impression for travelers. Some told me they had taken pictures of our garbage to post to TripAdvisor and to show friends so that others may want to choose another location to travel to. Others took pictures of the garbage along the beach and roads, the list went on, BUT it was the same answer from more than 100 travelers!!!

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Wedding Prize
    “This yard is starting to look terrible,” Sherry said. “We need to get it cut and raked.” “I like the way Mario takes care of it,” I said, “but he never answers his phone.” “Why don’t you go pick him up at home?” “O.K.” I said. “I’ll go over to see him after lunch.” When I reached Mario’s house he was on the porch with a small suitcase. “Hey, Mr. Dennis,” he said. “What’s up?” “Can you come chop the yard and rake it for me?” I asked. “Sure,” he said. “I just can’t do it today.” “How about tomorrow?” I asked.

    Police Report
    Possession of Controlled Drugs *On Monday, February 2nd at about 10:50AM, while San Pedro Police were conducting mobile patrol in the Boca Del Rio Area they stopped and searched one 19-year-old Henry Rodas. He was found in the possession of 26.11 grams of suspected cannabis. He was formally arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs. *On Wednesday, February 4th at about 7AM, San Pedro Criminal Investigation Branch and Special Branch personnel conducted a search at the residence of 31-year-old Nelson Acosta and 53-year-old Glenda Estrada in the San Mateo Area. The search led to the discovery of 1.8 grams of suspected cannabis. They were formally arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs

    Doctor Love
    Dear Doctor Love, We are having our first baby in three months. We have been planning a long time for this. We have everything we could possibly use in the first year. On this island baby showers are important to most people. We would like to get off without having a baby shower if we could but we know it would be very difficult. It’s just a fact that people are going to want to see the baby. It is traditional to bring a gift to a baby shower but we would like to avoid this if we can. Our apartment is tiny and we really don’t need anything. I thought maybe we could send out announcements for people to come see the baby and not say anything about a gift. Do you think that would be rude? Could it work for us? /s/ New Mom

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SBDCBelize, Beltraide: DEVELOPING SALES SKILL WORKSHOP: Developing Your Sales Skills
    Its no secret that selling has changes in recent years. This is an exciting and dynamic profession, yet it is one of the most underrated and misunderstood. This program is designed to help participants exhibit the traits of the new salesperson: competence, poise and honesty. Workshop location has been changed!! Workshops are now held at out BTEC Building on ITVet compound, Belize City. Includes a light snack and refreshment. PRICE: $30.00. Workshop Date: February 12th, 2015 Time: 9am to 12pm. You can find us at: University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, West Landivar Telephone Number: 501-223-3195 Fax: 501-223-7427. Outline: The Art of Selling - Definitions, New Realities of Selling, Friendship and Salesmanship- Building Rapport, Benefits Sell- Features Help! Perfecting the Sales Pitch, Objections and Rebuttals, How to Handle Rejection/ Dealing with Sale rejection.

    Universal Hardware Co. Ltd. is having its annual Friends & Family Sale Day in Spanish Lookout
    On Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 Universal Hardware Co. Ltd. is having its annual Friends & Family Sale Day in Spanish Lookout. Everything in the store will be on sale. Bigger discounts on Meilun Motorcycles, Sankey AC Units, Hunter Fans and much more. With every purchase you get tickets for fantastic raffles. Items that will be given away are: 100 Meilun Motorcycle, Sankey AC Unit, Generator, Trimmer and much more. Over $8000 in prizes. Food and drinks will be on sale. Opening hours for this Saturday Sale are 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. if you are on central rd, at the big gas station, reimers, heading towards ferry, it is on way back to ferry about half mile on left, on hill. they also sell refurbished items.

    Nuttall Ornithological Club
    We were invited this past week by the Nuttall Ornithological Club (http://www.nuttallclub.org/ ), the oldest Ornithological Club in the US, to present on our important work being done in Belize. We glady accepted. Here are some shots of our President, Roni Martinez, presenting at the lecture hall at Harvard University in Massachusetts to a very receptive and interested audience of club members.

    Galen University Vehicle takes a wrong turn
    It is not clear how this Galen University Wingle crashed into Officer Arzu's fence and yard. The incident took place in Benque Viejo Del Carmen in a yard adjacent to the BVO Polyclinic.

    LOTTERY DRAWING for Sunday, February 8, 2015: First: 8954 Second: 5968 Third: 2763 Missing: 0, 1

    Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015
    Feb 8 - Happening Now! Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015 INVITATIONAL REGATTA. Today is a great day to bring the entire family out to Miami Beach in Corozal and enjoy this wonderful event. Lots and lots of fun!

    INVITATIONAL REGATTA
    Taking Place now at Miami Beach, Corozal Town. Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015 INVITATIONAL REGATTA.Come out and support. Remember tomorrow Sunday the regatta and fun continues.

    CONNECTING THE DOTS: A BELIZEAN LEGENDS EXPOSE!
    Belizean Legends as a Belizean documentary series medium previewed some of the best films presented so far at the 25th. Annual Pan African Film Festival this year, picked the films Triangle: Going To America, on black immigration in the United States, Forward Ever, on the assasination of Caribbean political icon and the late Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, the Black Panthers, Vanguards of A Revolution, and Yureimei: Garifuna Homeland, as some of the best themes so far that finds a connection to the Belizean experience at home and abroad. The film Triangle: Going To America, that presents the theme of black immigration to many people who are more familiar with Latino immigration but have overlooked the plight of black immigrants to the shores of the United States. It features the struggle of Ethiopian Africans and their perilous journey to reach the United States in search of a better quality of life for their families at home. It immediately reflects on the theme of the Belizean immigrant, who are predominantly black, and who share the same stuggle with their African brothers and sisters who transgress acrooss many shores from Belize to reach a place of refuge to dry their tears so to speak.

    Riverside cleanup campaign in Succotz Village by the FCD Environmental Youth Group
    Youths are the future of Belize! Thank you guys for always being environmental stewards! Today's riverside cleanup was a success! Looking forward to a productive year; protecting our environment and most importantly keeping our rivers clean!

    The Reporter

    Ministry of Health to host field epidemiology training
    The Ministry of Health, in the upcoming week, will hold a Field Epidemiology Training for its members who are responsible for surveillance of diseases and outbreaks. The training is the basic portion of a three-tier course which has an intermediate and advanced level. Those who complete the advanced level will receive a Master’s Degree in Field Epidemiology. The training will include topics such as Biostatistics, Laboratory and Epidemiological Methods, and Public Health Surveillance. It will also carry a management and leadership class. Lorna Perez, the training’s coordinator, explained that the intermediate and advanced levels are currently being conducted in Guatemala; and that currently she is the only one to have gone on to the advanced level.

    Two knocked and killed near Belmopan
    Two youths are dead and a Belomapn man has been charged with traffic-related offences that reportedly caused their deaths, including driving with an alcohol level above the prescribed limit. The accident happened at shortly before 2 a.m. on Saturday between miles 54 and 55 on the George Price Highway. Police say a black Mitsubishi Galant car, driven by Daniel Cunil, 24, of Nargusta Street, Belmopan, crashed head-on with a motorcycle on which Leonardo Ramos, 26, of Calle Las America Street, Salvapan Area, Belmopan City and Rigoberto Leon Cabrera, 17, of Saint Andrew’s Street, San Martin Area, Belmopan.

    Guatemala volcano: Fuego eruption showers towns in ash
    Scores of residents have been evacuated from their homes in southern Guatemala after the Fuego volcano erupted, the country’s president says. Clouds of black ash belched into the sky, while showers of rock and dust fell on to surrounding towns. The international airport in the capital Guatemala City was closed as result of the explosion, President Otto Perez said. It is expected to reopen later on Sunday, reports suggest. The Fuego volcano is about 25 miles south-west of the capital and stands 12,346 feet above sea level.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Chabil Mar Resort Wins Outstanding Awards
    Trip Advisor, the most widely used and highly respected travel site in the world has recognized Chabil Mar with some of the highest honors given to any resort. Chabil Mar is a resort located on the 26 mile coastline of Placencia Peninsula, not far from the village of Placencia, in the southern part of Belize. The resort has become a popular location for tourists because of its impeccable service, luxurious villas, and upscale amenities. Couples and families visit Chabil Mar for its romance, features, and activites. Chabil Mar’s awards include: • Top 10 Small Hotels in Belize • Top 10 Hotels for Romance in Belize • Top 10 Hotels for Best Service in Belize • Top 25 Hotels for Best Service in Central America • Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Central America • Top 25 Hotels in Central America

    Blogs

    Garifuna Rhythm of Belize
    Drumming on the beach, moving in time with junkanu dancers and eating heaping plates of mashed plantain soaked in coconut stew — more than likely these aren’t the experiences you imagine while planning a trip to Belize. In fact, you have to venture off the newbie trail, and head to the southern Stann Creek and Toledo Districts to experience Belize’s unique Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture. November in the coastal towns and villages of southern Belize means one thing: the sound of Garifuna drums. But what do the rhythms of the drums mean and who are the people behind them? Though commonly referred to as “Garifuna”, these people are properly called “Garinagu” and the culture and language are “Garifuna”. The Garinagu are recent arrivals to Belize, settling the southern coast of Belize in the early 19th century. One of the smallest ethnic groups in the country, they make up just 4% of a total population of around 325,000. The epic story of the Garinagu begins in the early 1600’s on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

    Belize’s 2nd Annual Harley-Davidson Rally: Bikers Parade in Belize City & Then Party in Caye Caulker
    This one, the 2nd annual “Meet in the Middle” Rally, was organized even bigger and better. A whole weekend of parties and revving motorcycles. In Belize. A country where you can probably count the number of Harleys on your fingers and maybe one foot. I arrived in Belize City just as the parade around the city was getting started. This guy waved me over to sit on the back of his bike and I…moved too slowly. DANNNNNGGGGGG IT!

    Star Wars
    In every great story, whether of love or rebellion there are always 2 protagonists who need each other to make their story one with historical richness, infinite intrigue and timeless wonder. Such is the story of Tikal and Caracol – ancient Maya Cities that were massive in their size and power in the Central Maya Lowlands. The one great thing about these ancient American’s, among hundreds of awesome things, was the fact that their elite could write. Its as if there was a university where the children of all the nobility of the ancient Maya went to do graduate work. Some, perhaps, graduated with a doctorate by age 16 or 20 in their field – whether it was in astronomy, mathematics, logo graphic or logo syllabic writing, or even in the areas of trade and economics and war.

    New Capacity-Building Project to provide support for CARIFORUM-EU EPA
    Key partners involved in a new Capacity-building Project to support effective implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) met in Georgetown, Guyana on 19 January 2015, to chart the way forward. The Project, valued at €3,099,915, is financed from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP). In part, the project will provide support to CARIFORUM States to implement commitments undertaken with respect to the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, and will help build capacity in all states. The areas identified for capacity building at the basic, intermediate and tertiary levels are Competition, Public Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation. The project’s overall objective is to support the beneficial integration of the CARIFORUM States into the world economy.

    International Sourcesizz

    1934, 1958, 1968, 1969, 1979 & 1995 Are Showing Up As Possible Analog Years For This Upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season
    In reviewing the current data, including the overall weather pattern and the current/forecast ENSO state, there are a few past years that could be used to determine what this upcoming Atlantic hurricane season may or may not be like. As it is right now, we are locked in a pattern that consists of a large western US ridge of high pressure and a domineering trough of low pressure over the eastern United States. There are no signs of this pattern breaking anytime soon with plenty of cold and storminess expected across the eastern United States for at least the next 10 to 14 days, if not longer. In fact, the very, very long range guidance are pointing to a colder than average March in terms of temperatures across a good part of the eastern United States, as well as across the entire US Gulf Coast and the entire state of Texas. Bottom line is if you are in the eastern half of the United States, be prepared for at least another 5 to 6 weeks of cold and stormy weather.

    Making a Difference: Buffalo doctor goes beyond healthcare for refugees
    Dr. Myron Glick says his desire to go into medicine came from growing up a missionary kid in Belize, Central America. “So I, grew up as a missionary kid in Belize, in Central America, got the desire to be a doctor, thought that I would go back to a country like Belize someday after I got my training, but when I ended up in medical school in Buffalo, I realized that the poor weren’t treated that well here.” So nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Glick opened the Jericho Road Family Practice, aimed at improving the lives of the poor and refugee communities in Buffalo by giving them access to quality healthcare.

    Videos

  • ABIDE, 8min. Christ Chapel's Spring Break 2014 Belize Mission Trip
  • Central America Episode I - New York & Belize, 5min. The first part of my one month trip through Central America. First a 18h stopover in New York and then few days over Christmas on the most laid-back island in the Caribbean Sea - Caye Caulker. You better Belize it! I made this to get me stoked on traveling and to keep the feeling of living that dream. Places: New York, Caye Caulker
  • Belize/Honduras - Junio 2014, 6min.
  • HARPERS BAZAAR - BELIZE, 5min. Behind the Scenes with Benny Haddad, Kim Simplis Barrow, and the Harper's Bazaar Interiors crew on their fantastic travel photoshoot in Belize.
  • Belize Vacation Hosted by Mountain Equestrian Trails, 8min. A big thanks to Mountain Equestrian Trails for accommodation and providing so much adventure.
  • San Pedro Belize, 5min.
  • The Blue Hole Belize, 4min.
  • The Lamanai Ruins in Belize, 7.5min. Matt and I journeyed to these amazing ruins! We loved it!
  • Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize, 4min.

    February 8, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Congratulations the the 2015 Reina del Carnaval Silvia Patricia Lopez!
    Well deserved crown for a hard working woman!

    Letter to the Editor: Derek Petersen
    This letter is in response to Mr. Sam Trucco’s February 2nd, 2015 Letter to the Editor regarding beachfront rights in San Pedro, and in fact all of Belize. I am compelled to write this response since, with all due respect to Mr. Trucco, unfortunately almost nothing stated is correct with respect to the laws of Belize or in the laws of England by which Belize is still bound by in cases with no Belizean precedent such as this. Prior to 1939, there was no rule requiring any reservation of coastal Crown Land, but in 1939 a rule was put in place in the Crown Lands Act for a reservation of a strip of land not exceeding 66 feet in width measured from the high water mark along all water frontages for Government for public purposes. When the Crown Lands Act was repealed and replaced by the National Lands Act, this rule was preserved. A related rule was also added which states that a 66 foot wide strip must be left along any leased land outside a city or town and adjoining any stream, river or open water unless otherwise allowed by the responsible Minister. The question is, what kind of activity is allowed in this reservation?

    Coon Valley Lions from USA donate to San Pedro Lions
    Coon Valley Lions Club from Wisconsin, USA made a generous donation to the San Pedro Lions Club on January 2015. During his latest visit to Ambergris Caye, Coon Valley Lion, Loran Nordgren presented a check of $1,000US to San Pedro Lion, Melanie Paz. This is the second donation that the San Pedro Lions have received from the Coon Valley Lions. In January of 2013 Nordgren presented the San Pedro Lions with a donation of $3,541US. “The first donation was used to provide vision testing and glasses to over 30 school children. We are always grateful for these donations as they go towards the betterment of the community,” said Paz. Paz explained that this recent donation will be put towards the purchase of a vision screener that will help better address vision problems within the San Pedro community. “We feel that this visual screener is needed in the community and that’s why we will strive to get it. The club will be planning several fundraising events to collect the remainder of the monies needed,” said Paz. The screener, which can test people six months and older, is estimated to cost $7,300US, so any donation towards it is highly appreciated.

    Editorial: Playing the Blame Game
    On Sunday, January 18th island residents were shocked by the news of a vicious murder. 22 year-old Honduran mother of three, Silvia Benitez, who had been reported missing days before, was found three and a half miles north of San Pedro Town in an advanced state of decomposition. Because of the state of her body, a postmortem was conducted on site, and she was buried immediately at the same location. On Thursday, January 22nd The San Pedro Sun printed the story about the murder. In the same issue our editorial begged the question, how on earth could this poor woman, who had died at the hands of a killer, be pitilessly lay to rest at the very site her damaged body was disposed of?

    Vessel lodged on the reef near Caye Caulker raises concern
    There has been a sailboat lodged on the reef off the coast of Caye Caulker since December 2014 but no one in authority seems to know what is happening. After several requests by residents of Caye Caulker to get the vessel off the reef, Oceana Belize has been asked to intervene. Having the issue addressed is important to environmentalists as well as residents who believe that if the vessel is not removed quickly, it can cause further damages to the reef and eco-system. There are several unanswered questions about the boat since there has been no official report from the Department of Environment or the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development who are tasked with protecting Belize’s eco-system. Neither have there been any word from the Belize Port Authority, who is the regulatory body that deals with investigating accidents at sea.

    PlusTV

    Be The One Ministries focusing on business ethics
    Men’s Missions Belize is a program under the “Be the one Ministries” an international organization that teaches discipleship. Men’s Missions Belize aims to teach, train, and mentor young men on the topic of business ethics. On Friday the Men’s Missions Belize team is in Belmopan and will be hosting a dynamic one on one conference with the young men of Belmopan. Richard Smith, the local coordinator for Men’s Mission Belize, told us more about the conference that is to be held at My Refuge Christian Ministries Campus in Roaring Creek Village. Richard Smith “We have 15 Christian men, nine of them are businessmen who own their own businesses, and they are here wanting to do one-on-one with our young men, to train them in business ethics, and what it requires for us to be men of integrity in our dealings.

    Search of Ladyville camp yields guns, ammo, and drugs
    On Thursday February 5, Police conducted an operation alongside Muscle Creek between Grace Bank, Burrell Boom and Flowers Bank Villages, which led to the discovery of a camp. Present at the time was 33-year-old Evan Lincoln Moody of Ladyville Village. A search of the camp led to the discovery of (1) black .22 bold action rifle, fifteen live rounds, (1) black 16 gauge shotgun with 7 cartridges, a black plastic bag containing 16.2grams of cannabis, and a baking powder container containing 64.7grams of cannabis seeds.

    Locals affected by illegal Barton Creek dam
    The Barton Creek is a popular tourist destination, and while the rise in water levels near the Barton Creek outpost is not directly affecting tourists, it does affect the locals who live down the river. The locals of 7 miles have used the water from the creek their entire lives, using it for washing, fishing, swimming and doing other recreational activities. Emanuel Pech – Plus News “How familiar are you with that river, and how often do you visit it?” Edwin Neal – Resident of 7 miles “We’ve been visiting that river all the weekends when we were living in 7 miles. While we were down there living, we fish at night. We paddled on canoes. This time all of that has come to an end, ’cause they’re changing everything. Now today, there is a dam that wasn’t there. . Emanuel Pech “How long ago did you notice the changes, and how long ago did you notice that the dam had been built?”

    Department of Environment continues to investigate illegal dam
    In the December of last year, we reported about a dam that was built on the Barton Creek less than a mile downstream from the entrance of the Barton Creek Cave, an archaeological site protected by NICH. The Department of the Environment confirmed that they had not authorized the construction of the dam, and have since launched an investigation to determine the person responsible for the construction of the dam. The Dam sits on a section of the river that runs adjacent to a property leased by one Ian Anderson. But according to Mr Anderson, the dam structure was already there before he leased the property, and he only made minor modifications to the powerhouse. However, according to Karina Tyler, the neighbour of Ian Anderson, that is not the case.

    Government must pay more for false imprisonment of three men
    Three men, who were accused of murder back in 2010 and remanded for 11 months before being acquitted, successfully sued the Government of Belize for false imprisonment. The men were awarded damages of $25,000 each. Those men, believed associates of the George Street Gang, are Sheldon “Pinky” Tillett, (now deceased), Charles Woodeye (also deceased) and Micah Thompson. The three were accused of the murder of John Paul Saldivar, but police had no concrete evidence and the case was finally thrown out. After the trio won the case against GOB, GOB appealed the case, arguing that they should not have to pay for any damages. At that same appeal hearing, the lawyer for the three men argued that the award monies should in fact be increased from the $25,000 each.

    The Reporter

    Fire guts house in Belize City
    A fire, reportedly started by a lit candle, burned down a two-storey wooden and concrete house in Belize City on Friday night. The blaze at #3 Allenby Street, started at around 6:30 p.m. when one of the two occupants, a 13-year-old, left the house with the candle burning inside, to go to a shop. At the time of the blaze, the other occupant of the house, the girl’s mother, was at work. The house and its contents were not insured and pplice say the cost of the damages is still uncertain.

    PUP unveils manifesto for CitCo elections
    The People’s United Party unveiled it’s City Council Manifesto on Saturday at the Institute of Technical Vocational and Training (ITVET) compound in Belize City. The manifesto summary entitled, “Change Begins Now” highlights areas where the candidates have pledged to put emphasis, if elected to office. The PUP targeted areas such as job creation, crime-fighting, and tax review. The party pledged to enhance investor confidence and champion a new era of partnership between the council and the private sector, to increase the number of jobs available to Belizeans. They promised to develop an action plan to address the crime situation and conduct a tax review, removing several taxes levied by the current council.

    Banker is now chief of Petrobras
    Aldemir Bendine, a leading banker, is the new chief executive of Brazil’s scandal-hit oil giant, Petrobras. He was not among the names touted for the job and will be seen as a safe choice for President Dilma Rousseff. She is worried about the impact the corruption case is having on both the country’s economy and on her government. Speculation ahead of the announcement sent Petrobras shares down 8 percent in Sao Paulo on Friday. Bendine replaces Maria das Gracas Foster, who resigned as Petrobras chief executive on Wednesday, along with five of the company’s executives amid the fallout from a major corruption scandal.

    Still too early to be making hurricane season predictions says Chief Met. Officer
    Chief Meteorological Officer, Dennis Gonguez, said on Saturday that weathers experts are having conflicting opinions over the 2015 hurricane season predictions because the forecast period is too long. Gonguez was referring to the conflicting scenarios presented by Klotzbach and Gray from Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, which has released some four scenarios which they say could be expected for the season. “It’s still a little premature” Gonguez said, “the longer the forecast period, the more uncertainties the forecast will have; you will see those forecasts converge in April or May when they forecast again.” The Colorado forecasters’ estimate for the hurricane season, opening on June 1, are:180 NTC – 14-17 named storms, 9-11 hurricanes, 4-5 major hurricanes 140 NTC – 12-15 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, 3-4 major hurricanes 75 NTC – 8-11 named storms, 3-5 hurricanes, 1-2 major hurricanes 40 NTC – 5-7 named storms, 2-3 hurricanes, 0-1 major hurricane

    The Belize Times

    Santi vs. Mayor Bradley – Mayor spent $40 million in 3 years, says Santi
    Mayor Darrel Bradley is slowly realising that even members of his own Party have gotten tired of his immaturity and self-glorified leadership at City Hall. This week Mayor Bradley was clobbered by his political rival in Caribbean Shores, Santino “Santi” Castillo, who said that while the Mayor has some achievements to show for his time at City Hall the reality is that he has had it way too easy. Santi was responding to questions about Bradley’s not-so-secret desires to challenge his candidacy in Caribbean Shores. While Santi said he is not afraid of a contest, he also advised Bradley to stay in the municipal race and face the fire as a Mayor who has had his cake and eaten it. “…nobody will question the work he has done. Take into to consideration that he got a 20 million dollar bond and he also got another 20 million dollars from government and as a businessman I can tell you it's very easy to spend money, it's very hard to pay it back,” he said as he took a swipe at Mayor Bradley. The spending of this $40 million has not been properly accounted for.

    Senior Citizen Slaughtered in Belmopan – Victim was chopped on the head; armed was severed
    Belmopan Police continue to investigate the horrific murder of senior citizen, 60 year old Feliciano Richard Norales, a.k.a Mr. Mac, which occurred in the wee hours of Tuesday February 3rd 2015. Norales, who was employed as a security guard at Anchor Security, was on duty at the company’s two-storey office located on Entrepreneur Drive, when he was ambushed by his attacker who was armed with a machete. His work supervisor, Mark Munnings, who was also on duty that morning, had left the building around 2a.m. to inspect other sites when the attack occurred. When Munnings returned he found Norales lying in a pool of blood. Police authorities say that Norales suffered chopping injuries to his face and head. One of his arms had been completely chopped off.

    UDP Witch Hunt!!!
    The United Democratic Party has demonstrated how desperate they have become in the face of growing discontent at their failing governance of the country. Their representatives in the north in particular have recognized that they been sentenced to total political demise after the Prime Minister and UDP Leader Dean Barrow did the most evil and treacherous thing of siding with the rich multi-national company, American Sugar Refinery (ASR), instead of supporting and protecting the hardworking Belizeans cane farmers in ASR’s campaign to gain more control of the sugar industry. Facing this gloom, the UDP has decided to distract Belizeans by launching a witch-hunt against dissenters and opponents of their government. This much has become clear after the UDP used the Police Department to charge two PUP representatives in Orange Walk where the political dons wield tremendous influence over Police officials.

    GOB leaves stranded sailboat near Barrier Reef
    There are mounting concerns and calls for immediate action over a sailboat that has been lodged extremely close to the Barrier Reef since December 31st 2014. The sailboat, according to reports, missed the proper channel and ran aground in shallow water approximately 5 feet in height. It sits on coral rubble, but local marine experts including Oceana Belize’s Marine Scientist, Dr. Isani Chan, believe that increased wave action could slowly push the sailboat onto living coral and cause tremendous damage. It is shocking that the Government has not done anything to remove the sailboat before it does more damage to the Barrier Reef. The Barrier Reef is among Belize’s most attractive visual marketing point utilised in the tourism industry to attract millions of dollars in revenue for the country annually. The large coral bed forms part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System, an area that is protected and cherished by other Governments. Globally, it is recognised as the world’s largest living Barrier Reef and second-largest Barrier Reef, second only to Australia’s. UNESCO has named it a World Heritage Site.

    The Magna Carta
    Over the past couple of weeks, legal experts from the Caribbean along with a few local pundits have been busy making the media rounds in an effort to stir interest in an age old document called the Magna Carta. Of course, it is obvious that whoever decided to include Belize in this type of exercise would have been quite aware of our current situation. If ever a country needed to be educated on the contents of the Magna Carta, it is Belize. Considered to be the chief building block for many Constitutions including our own, the Magna Carta is an agreement that was signed on June 15th of 1215 by King John who ruled England from 1199 until the time of his death in 1216. This is the same King John who is portrayed as the petty, spiteful and vindictive ruler in the ageless saga of Robin Hood. Again, if ever a modern day ruler fit the profile of that despot it would have to be our very own Dean Oliver Barrow. It is important to understand that King John did not sign the Magna Carta on his own volition but was forced to do so by his Barons. The people of Belize need to mindful of this.

    Editorial: A SICKENING SCANDAL
    In an effort to dupe the citizens of Belize and specifically the voters of Belize City, the Mayor has put out some accounts of the financial positions of the City Council. The Mayor, it must be remembered is paid as a full time Mayor but is also a businessman and a practicing attorney at law. No amount of public complaints has daunted him in continuing to travel to district courts and spend time in the Belize City courts for his personal bank accounts when he should be at the City Council office doing the work of the City. A work seriously neglected as evidenced by the dirty state of affairs, the lack of drain maintenance, over-grown abandoned yards and broken down streets with craters and potholes. The Mayor, it must also be remembered is a round-faced, bald faced mimic and mini-me of his Prime Minister, although the evidence is increasingly clear that the two cannot get along. Like the Prime Minister, the Mayor is fast and loose with taxpayer’s monies. Driven by an outsized ego and ambition the Mayor thought he had hit the jackpot. He borrowed twenty million dollars to cement one hundred streets claiming it was ordained in some semi-secret “master plan” for city tourism.

    Ladyville Tech, E.P. Yorke, Gwen Liz, SJC & Wesley boys eye football finals
    This weekend the E. P. Yorke boys will take on the Wesley boys, while the Gwen Liz boys will meet SJC and one of the winners of the 2 games will get a bye into the final, while the loser of the bye will meet Ladyville Tech to decide who goes to the finals. That’s how the stage is set in the male high school Belize District football competition going on right now. Ladyville Technical High School, Edward P. Yorke High School and Wesley College boys are all hopeful as they each posted big wins in their games last Saturday.

    Toledo Scorpions & Moen Stars win volleyball champs
    The Toledo Scorpions and Moen Stars won the Belize Volleyball Association’s national volleyball championships held at the Belize Elementary auditorium over the weekend. Toledo’s Giovanni Arzu, Arnie Agustine, Nuani Cayetano, Elton Moore and Ernroy Caliz hammered the San Pedro squad with plays set by Alwyn Mahung to win 25-9, 25-23. In the 3rd place match, the Jaguars hammered the Belmopan Blingz 25-18, 25-23. Eight male teams had entered the tournament and competed in two groups of four, which each played a round-robin competition, from which the two top teams from each group advanced to the finals The Scorpions also had to go to extra points to win the second set 31-29 over the Dangriga men, after taking the first set 25-18.

    BES girls & Holy Cross boys advance to basketball nationals
    The Belize Elementary School girls of Belize City and the Holy Cross Anglican School boys of San Pedro will be representing the Belize District at the national primary schools basketball championships at the Birds Isle on Friday, February 6, after both teams won the district championships at Birds Isle on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. The BES girls won the championship finals 10-5 over the Belize City sub-champs, the Holy Redeemer School girls. BES was led by Allyana Musa with 8 points while Holy Redeemer’s Wareyni Gillett and Yu Ting Li scored a bucket apiece.

    Carla catches cold feet? – UDP still searching for Freetown standard bearer
    Dr. Carla Barnett’s anomalous political campaign appears to already be dying an expected natural death. Despite Dean Barrow and senior executives of the UDP gathering at the UDP Headquarters, two weeks ago, to introduce Dr. Barnett as their personal choice for candidate in the Freetown Division, an advertisement calling for applications from “persons interested in offering themselves as Standard Bearer for the UDP in the Freetown Constituency” appeared in this week’s El Guardian newspaper. The publication suggests that either the UDP is not sure about Barnett’s candidacy or Barnett has caught cold feet only two weeks after announcing that she will take on the people’s champ in the division, Area Representative, PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca.

    Infamous Daniel Cano re-surfaces in million-dollar project – Former S.I.F. CEO had resigned following Dangriga market scandal
    The former Chief Executive Officer of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, who was deeply embroiled in a major corruption scandal that involved alleged extortion and kickbacks and the overall mismanagement of the Dangriga Market project, has found a way to be handling another million dollar Government project. The Dangriga market project scandal which came to light in the September of 2013 left such a bitter taste in the mouths and minds of Belizeans that it has not been forgotten. In May 2012, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development Santino Castillo joined Cano, who was then SIF’s CEO, to break ground for what should have been a new $1.4 million building to house the Dangriga Market. The project should have taken less than a year to complete, but within a few months it ran into problems and came to a standstill.

    Fuel prices hit record low, but cost of living still very high
    Fuel prices have hit a record low, locally and internationally, following the announcement last year by large oil-producing nations that they will maintain the supply of oil at peak levels. Fuel prices in several parts of the United States are competing at around US$2.00 per gallon, while in Belize the Government which controls the pricing appears to continue the gouging of consumers, charging over BZE$8.00 per gallon for Premium gasoline. In most of the Caribbean region, the drop in fuel prices has been like a blessing to all. Prices of goods, services and utilities have fallen drastically. For example, the Barbados Light & Power’s reported last week that as a result of the significant decline in oil prices, electricity rates have dropped by more than 50% over the last six months. The lower cost of energy for businesses across the region has also improved their financial performance.

    UDP’s Top 50 Ridiculous Moments! – Things have gotten Ridiculous in Belize under the UDP. What is Ridiculous?
    Ridiculous is allowing a Guatemalan company to build a base for our military and then have Sedi say we should be thankful for it. Ridiculous is Mayor Darrel Bradley spending most of the day, every day, working as a Lawyer, while the city crumbles. Ridiculous is having UDP Ministers spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to drive 2015-model vehicles from the year 2014 at the expense of taxpayers. Ridiculous is the case of 2,680 rounds of deadly M16 and M4 assault rifles being stolen from the BDF facility, yet the Minister of National Security keeps his mouth shut.

    WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – THE GENDER AGENDA
    In early December last year I was fortunate to have attended a forum of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas. It was held in San Jose, Costa Rica, and my participation was sponsored by the Fundacion Justicia y Genero based in Costa Rica. It was an excellent though challenging two days of conference, as the proceedings took place entirely in Spanish. It was a pleasure to meet and share experiences with women parliamentarians from various Central and South American countries. I was particularly impressed with the ‘diputadas’ from Bolivia, one of whom is blind and who is an accomplished and forceful representative of her people. The Bolivian women all spoke highly of their President Evo Morales, who has been untiring in his promotion and encouragement of women in politics. Bolivia boasts close to forty percent women in parliament, and is clearly forging ahead with a gender agenda that is redounding to the benefit of all Bolivians.

    Reflections on the Public Square – BARROW: DIVISIVE LEADERSHIP
    With a population of some 350,000, Belize is a relatively small country yet it boasts a a uniquely diverse and multicultural society. The Creole, Mestizo, Garifuna and Maya remain the major cultural and ethnic groups but Belize has over the years also warmly welcomed growing communities of Indians, Arabs, Muslims, Mennonite, Asians, Europeans, North Americans, and Africans, to our shores who all now form an integral part of our social fabric. I believe that this diversity, grounded in a spirit of shared respect and understanding, is good for Belize’s future socio-economic development. This is the Belize that our Father of the Nation George Price envisioned, nurtured and cultivated in his constant travels across the country. He was a UNITER who understood and appreciated the unique strength and beauty of each ethnic group but recognized that the success and strength of our Nation required us all accepting each other as Belizeans.

    PUP Statement on Formal Charging of Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
    It has been confirmed to Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca that today, February 3rd, 2015, the Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, has been formally arrested and charged with certain criminal offences. On the basis of this development the Party Leader, in accordance with the power vested in him by the National Executive, has with immediate effect removed Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and has suspended him indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. As the public will know, Hon. Mendez has already stepped down from his position as the Standard Bearer for our Party in Orange Walk East and the Party has elected a new Standard Bearer in that Area in the person of Mr. Josue Carballo who has from the date of his election assumed full responsibility for the work of our Party in Orange Walk East.

    New NTUCB President says Advocacy is Priority
    There is renewed hope in the National Trade Union Congress of Belize following the election of a new leader this past weekend. Marvin Mora went unchallenged for the position of President to lead very important umbrella workers’ representative group. Mora and a new Executive Council were elected when the NTUCB held their Annual General Meeting in Caye Caulker with sixty seven delegates present. Mora is still a relatively new personality for a majority of Belizeans, but he has been a leader in the union movement for several years. He entered the scene as the President of the Belize Energy Workers Union. Mora also served the last two years as the NTUCB’s 1st Vice President and has been a main figure behind the re-organisation of the NTUCB, which has seen the group pick itself off the floor where the former leader, Dylan Reneau, had left it.

    Tourism Minister picks fight with Police, after bailing out accused drug offender
    Tourism Minister and Belize Rural South area representative Manuel Herredia has picked a fight with San Pedro Police officials, accusing them of abusing the rights of island residents. Herredia made the accusations when he defended his decision to post bail for a San Pedro Resident, whom the island Police charged for alleged drug possession. Herredia himself is under fire for that decision. The accused, identified by the Police as Edwardo Jones, avoided being sent to prison after he was charged on Monday, January 19th, thanks to Herredia’s intervention. Jones was detained by the island’s Police Officers on Saturday January 17th. They have reported that they saw him standing at the corner of Almond and Tarpon Streets and that he was acting suspiciously. The Police claim that they saw a male person approach Jones, and he handed something over. The Police went to Jones and performed a search which revealed nothing. But according to the authorities, they found a black plastic bag with cannabis in the same area where Jones was standing.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    PUP presents Manifesto for Municipal Elections in Belize City
    This afternoon at the ITVETT compound on Freetown Road in Belize City, the People’s United Party, (PUP) is launching its Manifesto for the March 4 Municipal Elections. The Manifesto is titled: Change Begins Now and it lists the plans and objectives that the PUP aim to achieve should they be elected on March 4. Mayoral candidate Yolanda Schakron is quoted as saying that “the United Democratic Party for almost a decade has neglected and disrespected the people who live here.” She described the current Belize City Council as “a one-man show with arrogance and confusion.”

    Two men die in early morning crash in Belmopan
    Two people died in a crash involving a motorcycle and a car early this morning in Belmopan. The victims have been identified as 26 year old Leonardo Ramos and 18 year old Rigoberto Cabrera. Reports are that just after 2 o’clock this morning, Ramos and Cabrera were riding on a motorcycle traveling on the Hummingbird Highway between miles 54 and 54 when it collided into a car going in the opposite direction.

    Orange Walk man crushed to death in Spanish Lookout
    A man from the village of August Pine Ridge, Orange Walk died on Friday morning when he was crushed by some heavy steel plated. Ramon Ku, 38, was on top of a set of steel plates being moved by a forklift, when, according to reports, the steel plates flipped over. The incident happened at Midwest Steel Company, located just off the Center Road in Spanish Lookout around 9:45 am on Friday. Another man who was also on top of the steel plates managed to hold on to the forklift, but Ku could not and he was crushed by the falling plates. Ku died at the scene.

    Blogs

    Soca Queen Visit to San Pedro Just in Time for Carnival
    San Pedro was recently treated to a huge concert, honoring Belizean Artists. Held at the Paradise Theater, the event was a huge success. Headlining the concert was non other than Soca Queen herself Ernestine Carballo. I met up with her at Banana Beach Resort where she enjoyed staying so much she added an extra night’s stay. After all, who wouldn’t want an extra day to chill out in San Pedro :) Born and Raised in Belize City, the only sister to 8 boys, this young 31 year old lady is no stranger to the stage. Ernestine’s first performance was in 1997 with MD’S Dancers from The Young Artist Association (Y.A.A) and in 2003 began performing for KTV which was her “big break”. She also performed for Belleview Entertainment.

    Saturday Snapshots: Pictures of My Week in Belize
    I went from Maya Beach, Placencia back to Ambergris Caye over the past week and took tons of pictures in between. Some published on my blog…some on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (or all three)… Here are my snapshots (mostly on my IPhone 4s) around Belize. The beautiful beach on the Placencia Peninsula – between the Belize Ocean Club and Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro.

    International Sourcesizz

    From Northern Idaho To Cayo, Belize -- David And Cathy One Year Later
    One year ago, David and Cathy Thompkins moved from northern Idaho to Cayo, Belize. How did that happen? I'll let them tell you their story in their own words... Cathy: When David came to me and said, "We are going to be retiring, and I really want to live outside the country," I replied, "Not with me! I don't know who you're going with, but it won't be me." David (with a smile): Yes, Cathy wasn't open to the idea at first. Her only experience outside the United States at that point had been a trip to Paris, a birthday gift from our daughter. I had been living in Europe before Cathy and I got married. I already knew that I wanted to travel. I wanted to see a bunch of different countries. But Cathy said no way. Then life took over. We had our kids, raised them, had careers. After the kids were grown, we had an opportunity to travel to Central America and Mexico.

    Belize, Ambergris Caye: l’isola più bella del mondo. Offerte low cost
    La più grande isola del Belize, Ambergris Caye , per il secondo anno consecutivo si è aggiudicata il primo posto tra le migliori isole della classifica di Tripadvisor, ottenendo il massimo dei riconoscimenti, per conciliare la modernità e tranquillità. L’isola vanta alcune delle spiagge bianche più belle del mondo e si rivela anche il luogo ideale per le immersioni nella barriera corallina e il Blue Hole, un cerchio calcareo profondo 120 metri ricco di fauna marina. Per raggiungere Ambergris Caye ci sono voli giornalieri tra Belize City e San Pedro, l’unica località abitata dell’isola . Si consiglia di partire dall’Aeroporto Municipale che collega con l’aeroporto di San Pedro. Il volo impiega circa quindici minuti al costo di circa 30 dollari, laddove dall’altro aeroporto della città, il Philip Goldson International Airport il prezzo è di 60 dollari. Dovete stare attenti a verificare la tratta, in quanto molti voli si fermano anche all’atollo caraibico Caye Caulker.

    Bahamas to host 1st English Caribbean Men’s Softball Championship set
    The Bahamas will again host a championship for the English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation (ECASC) with the 1st English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation Men’s Championship to be played in Nassau, March 25-29, 2015. In 2013, the Bahamas hosted the ECASC Women’s Championship in Freeport, which was won by Aruba. Seven countries from the region are expected to participate namely, Aruba, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands, and the host Bahamas. The announcement was made by the President of ECASC, Burket Dorsette, who also confirmed the IIIrd General Assembly of ECASC will be held in Nassau during this time.

    Videos

  • My Story exhibition animation by Shelby Castillo, 3min. This animation clip was created by young Belizean artist Shelby Castillo as part of a collaboration for the exhibit MY STORY by Briheda Haylock. The exhibit opened at the Image Factory art foundation on Friday February 6th 2015. You can see online aspects of the show at www.imagefactorybelize.com.
  • ABIDE, 8min. Christ Chapel's Spring Break 2014 Belize Mission Trip
  • Harley Davidson Belize. Baron Bliss Lighthouse. 7 Feb 2015,3 min. 2nd Annual Harley Davidson Rally in Belize. Harley Riders from all over the world congregate as friends to enjoy our "Jewel" Belize. Hositality abounds friendships made & great riding to boot......enjoy!
  • Three Sheets Season 1 Episode 8 - Belize, 25min. Belize is widely known for its beautiful coastline. So naturally Zane takes this opportunity to go barhopping by boat. The drinking rituals are as exotic as the scenery, and Zane enjoys both to excess.
  • Belize City Beaches - So Beautiful 2015, 9min.
  • Tarpon Feeding at Cay Caulker Belize, 2min.
  • Belize - Snorkeling "The Blue Hole", 6min. Snorkeling the reef surrounding the famous Blue Hole off the coast of Belize with Amigos del Mar.

    February 7, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Watch for Cholo’s Barbies at Carnaval!
    Nestor Rivero and David Aguilar are the unofficial songwriters, and we’ve heard from reliable sources that the drunker the gathering, the funnier the lyrics become. And of course, the themes usually revolve around social issues – especially poking fun at those in charge. This year, we have Municipal Elections coming up, so we’re thinking there will be some interesting themes to say the least! The next time you see these finely dressed gents out in their revelry, keep in mind that they have ensured that tradition holds true. Watch the youngsters growing up – they’ll soon graduate from their school comparsas and take that next step to Barbie-dom! Catch the festivities this month through the downtown (middle & front) streets of San Pedro Town from Sunday, February 15th to Tuesday February 17th.

    “Say NO to Offshore Oil in Belize” Selfie Challenges GOB
    The “Say NO to Offshore Oil in Belize” selfie challenge has received great response in the past month with close to a thousand supporters posting “selfie” photos as a statement against oil exploration. The campaign was launched through a collaboration between Belize’s Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO), Oceana in Belize and other environmental stakeholders to urge the Government of Belize (GOB) to close any, and all considerations of offshore oil exploration.

    Hol Chan Marine Reserve employees involved in serious misconduct
    In the past month, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve has been the face of several controversies involving misconduct by employees. The two main scandals involve the crash of one of the vehicles attached to the organization, and the charges laid on its accountant for drug trafficking in one of the biggest heroin busts in Belize’s recent history. While measures are being taken to address and penalize those responsible for these incidents, some believe that the management of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is too lenient with employees and that is resulting in issues for the organization. According to a Board member of Hol Chan, who wishes to remain anonymous, the management is not properly disciplining employees for faults committed. The board member told The San Pedro Sun, that the vehicle was damaged during the Christmas Holiday and was being driven by a Hol Chan employee who was highly intoxicated. Yet, there was no repercussions for said employee, and it had also been confirmed that Hol Chan is paying for all repairs of the vehicle.

    Closure of the lobster fishing season
    The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2015, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period.

    Clarification statement from SPTC on accusations made by the Ambassador of Honduras
    It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP.

    PUP’s Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez faces criminal charges
    The People’s United Party (PUP) elected Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has been formally arrested and charged for six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. After a week of breaking news about accusations made against the embattled politician, he visited the Orange Walk Town Police Station on Tuesday February 3rd flanked by family members and his attorneys. Mendez’ charges are based on accusations made by two female minors dating as far back as 2005.

    Ambergris Today

    Ministry of Agriculture Issues Food Safety Alert on Tainted Irish Potatoes
    The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture inform the public that they have received confirmed reports of tainted Irish Potatoes being sold in San Ignacio. Investigations revealed that the potatoes are dyed a pink/fuchsia color and are circulating on the market. Confiscation of this product has commenced and the public is advised not to purchase or consume these tainted potatoes.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Dyed Potatoes not a Mystery
    One resort owner complained of sick guests that consumed tainted potatoes that were dyed red if not pink. The complaints and photos on this page showed that those potatoes were not only prevalent in Cayo but also the Belize District and even in Placencia and San Pedro. 15,000 pounds of potatoes that were allegedly brought in by contrabandistas. But the swiftness of the mass distribution across the country is evidence in itself that a few independent people could not have done it. As the first small batch of potatoes got people sick other small importers roof wouldn't have found any market for the potatoes. But the testimony of many people on this page that all bought these potatoes in such a short span of each other is evidence that a formal, legal and well trusted and established distribution chain was used.

    Celebrating Bob Marley at the San Pedro House of Culture
    Rastafari Vision & Culture Exhibit. Come check it out. Some of our local rastafarian lions came out to check out the exhibit. Stop by the House of Culture today or tomorrow to check it out. It ends Saturday, February 7th. It's great to have a House of Culture in San Pedro. Love the work the team is doing on this.

    Sweet Pain Band in concert Feb 16 & 17 in San Pedro
    This will be lots of fun! You definitely won't want to miss out!

    Win a Free Trip to Belize on Tinder Before Valentine's Day!
    In perhaps one of the most 2015 moves of 2015, the entire country of Belize is on Tinder — and it’s swiping right. Seriously. The Belize Tourism Board announced this week that it was giving away free trips to three single (and lucky!) people on the popular dating app. Each trip includes a five-night stay for two, including flights, hotels, and meals. And get this: To be considered for this absurd and amazing deal, all people have to do is ooze a Belize vibe: “Belize is swiping right based on how well the people’s personalities align with the country,” according to the press release. That is all. So, how exactly do you ooze a Belize vibe, aka qualify for the best free offer of all time? The country, which lists its age as 33 on Tinder, is swiping through loads of users in search of four qualities: people who like to travel, people who like good food, people who look like they have a fun sense of humor, and people who like adventure. Not surprisingly, Belize itself exudes all four of those characteristics, as it reveals in its profile: “Some days I just like to chill on the beach, and when I’m feeling more spontaneous, I do exciting stuff like cave tubing and scuba diving. I’m also into animals, cooking, and dancing. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking about spending this Valentine’s Day by the ocean. Swipe right if you’re friendly and adventurous … or like to travel.”

    Channel 7

    Vendors Say Pink Potatoes Not That Bad
    Last night the news about the puzzling, possibly poisonous pink potatoes was plastered all over the media. It created quite a public scare, and possibly a justified one. The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) called them tainted and confirmed that they had been dyed a pink/fuchsia colour - fit to be confiscated, and not for purchase or consumption. OK, then, that made it very clear: not fit for consumption. But, when we visited the city's biggest market today - we found that vendors weren't so sure about the pink potato's unfitness. They told me the colour won't kill you:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This morning at the Michael Finnegan Market we found one of those rosy pink potatoes that are said to be unsafe for consumption. Reports are that they were smuggled in from Mexico and dyed to pass off as the locally produced Irish potatoes. But today, some of the market vendors dispelled that notion. They told us that nothing is wrong with these potatoes.

    Dangriga's Most Wanted Now Remanded
    He was Dangriga's most wanted, sought after for a lawless spree in that southern town, but tonight Shane Bennett is remanded to prison, after he turned himself into Independence police on Wednesday. Police formally arrested and charged 28 year old Bennett for the crime of Robbery, two counts of Abduction, two counts of Aggravated Assault and Rape. He was arraigned today, remanded and could face further charges. Police also found the firearm that they believe he used to shoot at police, who pursued him and an accomplice after they had pulled off a robbery, rape and car jacking.

    DOE Says Reef Wracked Sailboat To Be Moved As Soon As Weather Permits
    The 40 foot French sailboat known as the "Termaji," has been stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker since December 30th. And tonight, it's still there. The Department of the Environment says that it's tried to remove the vessel from its grounded position, but because of bad weather, the team had to postpone the removal of the vessel for safety reasons more than once. Salvage operations started on 15th January but according to a release issued today, quote, "several uncontrollable setbacks have …delayed the removal of the vessel from the reef." Unquote. But it has been shifted 15- 20ft from its original position into deeper water, where, quote, "it has been secured to ensure as minimal damage as possible to coral colonies nearby." Unquote.

    Rural Cops Catch Gun - But Police Brass Says "No Charge"
    Yesterday Belize Rural police borrowed a boat to go downriver and check up on a marijuana plantation. At around noon, they went all the way up to Muscle Creek between Grace Bank, Burrell Boom and Flowers Bank Villages which led to the discovery of a camp. They didn't find any plantation, but they did see 33-year-old Evan Lincoln Moody from Ladyville Village. He was sleeping on a foam, and beneath it, police found 1 black .22 bolt action rifle, with (15) live rounds, and 1 black 16 gauge shotgun, with 7 cartridges. He also had a black plastic bag with 16.2grams of cannabis and another 64.7grams of cannabis seeds. The police press office sent out the report today under the heading, "unlicensed firearm and ammunition." And so while the expectation was that he would be charged for those offences - it seems someone higher up intervened - and Moody was only charged for the marijuana. This is in spite of the fact that the charges had already been written up for the firearms. Turns out that the firearms are licensed but not to him - and he was unable to produce a license. We've also learned that his uncle reported one of the guns, the .22 missing some time ago. And so, even with these dubious circumstances, and still no license produced, no charge was brought for the weapons.

    Men Accused of Shooting At Coast Guard Walk Free
    Last year, it made major news when 3 fishermen were arrested and charged for allegedly shooting at the Coast Guard who were responding to a robbery of a vessel in open waters. Well, those men, Leonel Emmanuel Sedacy, Giovanni Murrillo, and Everal Teck Junior, are all free after they stood trial in the Magistrate's Court and were acquitted. The allegation was that on April 10, 2014, Coast Guard received a report of a robbery in progress south east of Middle Long Caye. A team of Coast Guard officers responded, and according to them, a Skiff was seen trying to speed away. The officers allegedly pursued it for 2 hours, and when they tried to approach, 4 shots were fired on them. They returned fire, and eventually managed to intercept the vessel, which resulted in the detention of all 3 accused men. They were subsequently charged with 4 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at the 4 officers who pursued them.

    Harley Heaven in Belize!
    Harley Davidson is one of the most well-known global brands - synonymous with muscle bikes and the American open road. And while it started out as a North American phenomenon, Harley fever has also caught on here in Belize and throughout Latin America where bike rally's happen throughout the year. And February fifth - seventh is the Belize Black Pearl's time to shine. This year's rally is called "Meet in The Middle", and I was there when the Harley's started rolling in:.. Courtney Weatherburne "These men and women are no regular motorists, they are members of established biking clubs and over 400 riders travel about 10 days from Canada and all over Central America to be here for the bike rally and why do they do that? Well, it's all about the thrill of the wide open road." Courtney Weatherburne reporting The freedom and spontaneity of traveling on that wide open road may seem tempting but it comes along with a very hefty price.

    GSU Gets Gun, Weed
    The GSU picked up a gun last night in Belize City. IT was found inside a garbage bin in an open lot at the corner of Oleander and Evergreen Streets in the Saint Martin's Area in Belize City. The.22 revolver was found along with 12 ounces of Hydro grade cannabis and 6 grams of Crack Cocaine. The GSU says the firearm along with the drugs is believed to be for members of the Peace In the Village, or PIV gang who, quote, "control the sale of narcotics in 90 % of the Saint Martin the Porres Area." Unquote. And on Wednesday the GSU found 14 ounces of weed in the Jane Usher Area. It was found in an empty lot on Curl Thompson Street, behind, what the GSU says, is the residence of a well-known gang member of the Jane Usher gang. The weed was found in a yellow Olmeca container.

    Weed Is Scarce
    And Belize City's precinct 1 Police have also been making weed busts. Between 28th January, to 6th February, they found 3.1 kilos, almost 7 pounds of Marijuana. With all the weed crackdowns, some neighborhoods in the city are reporting that weed is scarce.

    Another Accident At Airport Junction
    Earlier this week, we showed you an accident at the very dangerous and fast moving airport junction. Well, there was another one last night, except it involved a motorbike and a dog. Reports say Nigel Freeman was driving towards the city when one of the dogs from the Sky city Supermarket rant out into the road and caused Freeman to fly off his Meilun motorbike. He lay n the ground for 50 minutes until an ambulance came.

    BT Gets Free
    29 year-old Brandon Tillett, better known as "BT" is a reputed George Street affiliate often targeted by police. But tonight, he's free of charges brought against him by an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit. Tillett was at a friend's house when he says the GSU handcuffed him and brutalized him for no reason. PC Abner Itza had a different recollection, and he says that Tillett head-butted him on the nose and caused it to bleed. Tillett was charged with wounding resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Itza and another officer testified in a trial against Tillett before Magistrate Cayetano, who did not believe their version of events. He then acquitted Tillett of all 3 charges.

    Hell Week For The Seals
    One year and six months ago, on August 2, 2013, we first showed you the group of men who would become the Belize Coast Guard Seals, an elite paramilitary unit with training and discipline to measure up against the US Navy Seals. That was the first time we'd seen how the training looked up close. That 8 man team made it through the toughest part of the training, 5 weeks of physical and mental torture, which culminated at week 5 which the Coast Guard High Command calls "Hell Week". Of the next group of officers who signed up to try out the SEAL training, only 2 made it through, but the Commandant wants 48 SEAL officers. So, a third group of men took on the challenge to see if they have what it takes to be SEALS, and today, we got the see the 4 who have been able to withstand the hardship. They are the third group of Coast Guard officers to make it this far, and our news team got to meet them. Daniel Ortiz reports:

    New Building For Coast Guard
    Right now, the Coast Guard Headquarters is getting a 4 million dollar upgrade to ensure that as the numbers of its ranks continue to expand, those new officers can be accommodated. The Commandant told us that the funding is being provided by the US Government, and when it is completed, it will be able to house 100 new officers who should pass out by the end of the year: Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "It's all a part of the Coast Guard strategic development plan. What you see in the perimeter fence back there isn't the entire Coast Guard property. It extends to additional 2 acres almost to where we are standing right now. We are building a facility there that is going to be a multi-purpose facility that is going to house on the deck - it's going to be a maintenance facility/workshop with all the amenities that requires for boat and vehicle maintenance. The upper deck is going to be office spaces/accommodations/stores/lecture rooms/classrooms and medic center. So, much needed space. As it is right now, I am only able to house a very small percentage of my forces and the Coast Guard is rapidly expanding.

    A Special Band For Special Olympics
    Global Ambassador for Special Olympics - Kim Simplis Barrow is partnering with Special Olympics Belize and the Garifuna Collective to host a fundraising concert tomorrow at the BTL Park. The concert is called The Garifuna Collective Sundown Musical Concert and the Proceeds from the event will be used to cover expenses for a local girl's Bocce team to participate in the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles. Today two members of the Garifuna Collective stopped by 7news to tell us more. This alcohol free, family affair will run from 10:00am to 5:00 pm at the BTL Park and it will also feature: Melonie Gillett, Nello Player, Jackie Castillo and the World Culture Band.

    The Best Junior Ballers
    Today at the Birds Isle and at the YWCA, the National Sports Council hosted the 2015 National Championships for basketball at the primary school level. It's the opportunity that all the teams from the different districts have been battling for weeks to get a chance to participate in. Each district is represented by a male and a female team chosen from the winners rural and District tournaments. Here's what the National Sports Coordinator for the National Sports Council told us about it's importance as an annual event:

    Channel 5

    DFC Seeks Tony Novelo’s Imprisonment for Unpaid Debt
    The Novelo family has been a political pincushion for more than a decade, and the saga continues. Today, attorneys for the Development Finance Corporation are set to jail Antonio Novelo [...]

    Novelo’s Multimillion Dollar Arrear Unpaid Since February 2014
    Today’s intent to apply for a committal became necessary when Antonio Novelo was also unable to pay the fifteen hundred dollars a month ordered in 2013.   Nazira Miles, Attorney [...]

    Cayo North Standard Bearer Michel Chebat Reflects on Recent Bye-election
    Last week, attorney Michel Chebat was endorsed as the P.U.P.’s Standard Bearer in Cayo North. He replaces Richard Harrison, selected in December 2014 to contest the by-election in that constituency. [...]

    Chebat on the Campaign Trail in Cayo
    Today, we spoke to Chebat as he prepared to head into the division to campaign. To the casual observer that might seem a little premature, since general elections are likely [...]

    Was Chebat’s Endorsement an Issue for PUP Western Caucus?
    As we told you, Chebat was endorsed last week amid some contention from the executive of the People’s United Party. There are senior politicians who don’t believe a truly democratic [...]

    On the Campaign Trail in Corozal Town
    The date for the municipal election is set for March fourth and mayoral candidates on both sides of the political divide, as well as independent hopefuls are out on the [...]

    Man Crushed to Death By Steel Plates in Spanish Lookout
    An Orange Walk man was crushed to death following an accident in Spanish Lookout. Ramon Ku was working at a steel company when he accidentally fell over and metal panels [...]

    GSU’s Drugs and Firearm Seizures in Belize City
    The Gang Suppression Unit has been on various operations in the city over the past three days. The unit is reporting the seizure of a substantive amount of cannabis and [...]

    Fake Belizean Red Potatoes Originated in Mexico
    An investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture and BAHA into the discovery of tainted Irish potatoes on the local market has confirmed that the contaminated produce, currently being passed off [...]

    Sea Pirates Walk, Case Against Them Falls Apart in Court
    Three alleged sea pirates, Leonel Sedacy, Giovanni Murillo and Everal Teck Junior, accused of shooting at coast guard personnel were freed today when they appeared in the Magistrate Court. When [...]

    Brandon Tillett Acquitted of Assaulting Police Officer
    Popular George Street associate, twenty-nine-year-old Brandon ‘BET’ Tillett was freed of wounding, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.  Back in August 2014, Tillett was accused of wounding Police Officer [...]

    Traditional Maya Wedding at Santa Rita
    On Thursday night in Corozal, the Santa Rita Maya Monument came to life as residents gathered to witness a traditional Maya wedding. Archaeologists believe that Santa Rita is the ancient [...]

    National Basketball Competition, Who Won the Titles?
    Twelve primary schools met today to face off in the national basketball competition. Following a series of games through-out the day, Orange Walk’s Louisiana Government School and Mount Carmel Primary [...]

    Big Bikes in Town for the Weekend
    Bikers from across the Americas, from as far north as Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as their brethrens in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, along with a few [...]

    Special Olympics and Garifuna Collective Meets at B.T.L. Park
    Supporters of Special Olympics and fans of the Garifuna Collective are up for a treat this weekend as the internationally acclaimed band will be performing along with a host of [...]

    LOVE FM

    Freak Accident in Spanish Lookout Kills Orange Walk Resident
    “San Ignacio Police visited a company named Midwest Steel in the Spanish Lookout area this morning at about 9:45am and upon their arrival they saw what appeared to be the lifeless body of a male person lying face up in the company’s compound. Police investigation revealed that the male person was 38-year-old, Roman Cu of an August Pine Ridge address in Orange Walk. The victim went along with some other workers from Shipyard to do some work at Midwest Steel. Cu was on a forklift with another male person who was removing some metal sheets when some of the sheets started to shift off the forklift. Cu was assisting in the guidance of the steel when he fell off the forklift and landed on top of a trailer. The metal sheet then fell from off the forklift and landed on top of Cu. He was then transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The driver of the forklift at the time of the incident was 64 year old Henry Reimer, co-owner of Midwest Steel Company. Police continue their investigation into this latest incident.”

    GSU Confiscates Firearm and Marijuana
    The Gang Suppression Unit was out on the streets again conducting searches and seizing drugs and firearms. Last night they were in the area of Oleander and Evergreen Streets where they searched an open lot and came up with a black plastic bag hidden in a garbage bin that contained a Taurus .22 revolver. Also in the bag was hydro cannabis amounting to three hundred and forty four grams as well as a transparent bag bearing six grams of crack cocaine. The firearm and the drugs were labelled as found property but since no one was in the area, no arrests were made. Reports are that the items more than likely, belongs to the members of the PIV Gang, who GSU says, controls the sale of narcotics in ninety percent of the Saint Martin’s de Porres area.

    PlusTV

    Tracking Mexican Irish red potatoes in Belize City
    A food safety alert by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), issued late Thursday evening, has put Belizeans in a state of concern over a highly consumed product, the Irish potato. Specifically, there were concerns raised by Cayo tourism lodge owner Bart Mickler, that a quantity of Mexican-originated Irish potatoes were tainted with dye from an unknown source, turning them a pink or fuchsia color, causing sickness in guests staying in the area. BAHA says it has begun confiscating these potatoes countrywide, but on a visit to the central market on West Collet Canal in Belize City Friday morning, the media uncovered firsthand evidence that the tainted potatoes are still in supply among certain vendors, sitting alongside the regularly sold potatoes, and have yet to be confiscated by BAHA. At the wholesale section of the market near Cemetery Road, we spoke to a vendor who asked to be completely anonymous and off-camera. She described to us how BAHA inspectors visited the site on Thursday, but apparently did not look around thoroughly for evidence of the tainted potatoes. The tainted potatoes sell along with the local brown and rouge varieties for $95 per sack wholesale, $1.25 per pound retail. The vendor told us how they were supplied with the product.

    Ya’axché Conservation Trust office burglarized; lost over $9,000
    Over nine thousand dollars worth of items were stolen from the Ya’axché Conservation Trust in the Toledo distirct. 33-year-old Seleem Chan of Ya’axché Conservation Trust reported that between 3:00 p.m. on January 31 and 6:00 a.m. on February 2, the Ya’axché Conservation Trust office located on Vernon Street, Punta Gorda Town, was broken into. The thieves made off with cash and assorted electronic items, all to a total value of $9,286.92. Police investigations continue.

    Man killed by falling metal sheets
    38 year old Roman Cu, a Belizean laborer of August Pine Ridge Village, Orange Walk, lost his life on Friday morning, when he fell from a fork lift that was carrying some large metal steals. The incident occurred at Midwest Steal Company in the Spanish Lookout area, sometime before 10 am Friday morning. Reports are that a man on a forklift was loading metal sheets onto a trailer attached to a pickup truck. During this process , Roman Cu was reportedly standing on top of the metal sheets that were being carried by the forklift. Something went wrong during the process, and the metal sheets reportedly fell from the forklift and landed on top of Mr Cu. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Station Superintendant Dinsdale Thompson, told us more.

    Methodist High School Inaugurates 2nd Form Classrooms
    In August of 2013, the Belmopan Methodist High School, located at Price Center Road, Belmopan, had its first intake of first form students while the school went under construction. The plan was to expand the school so that each year they have room to accommodate a new class level until they have room for first, second, third, and fourth form classrooms. On Wednesday the school officially inaugurated its second form building. Sister Elley Fisk – United Methodist Church, Kentucky Conference: “We were sitting right over there, where the Principal’s office is, and there was a tent like this and balloons and lots of people, but no students. There was a stick in the ground, and I talk about this story all the time, and I know that I have shared this with you. That stick in the ground -we broke ground that day. Reverend Papouloute and Reverend Goff were here with me. It was a joy that day, knowing that God was going to do an awesome work.

    Mexican contraband potatoes dyed red
    Red potatoes are a delicacy, and though not frequently used in mashed potatoes as some other varieties are, these potatoes are popular as a boiled, seasoned potato and are used in many types of potato salad. On Thursday however, one lodge owner, Bart Mickler of Maya Mountain Lodge, Cayo District, wrote to the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority, BAHA, alleging that he recently bought a fresh supply of red potatoes being sold at the market in Cayo, only to find out that they are white Mexican Contraband potatoes dyed red. As a result, guests from other lodges who had also bought this same potato are reportedly getting sick. The letter, which is addressed to the Agriculture Coordinator for the Cayo District, says that, “On Tuesday we purchased what we understood was the new crop of Belizean red potatoes for use at our tourism lodge. When we reached the lodge and they were inspected more carefully we discovered that they were Mexican contraband white potatoes which had been dyed red with an unknown dye. Further dialog with other lodges revealed sick guests with these tainted Mexican potatoes as the suspected cause.”

    Former owners of BTL, BEL demand utilities back
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) asked the parties in the voluminous case of the acquisitions of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to submit on January 23 their suggestions for how the court addresses the issue of awards in its forthcoming judgment in the case, which was heard last December at its seat in Trinidad and Tobago. The stakes are high and on Thursday Senior Counsel Denys Barrow addressed the reason the court called this additional session in the case. Denys Barrow – Attorney “What took place there was the Court wanted to have full submissions from all sides, all parties, as to what remedies they should give in the event they rule one way or the other. So if Government wins, then there would be almost automatically the obligation to pay compensation. So if the Court rules that there was a valid and lawful compulsory acquisition, then the process is straightforward. You pay compensation for what you have acquired. It’s the same as in relation to land, etcetera, similarly in relation to shares or other properties.

    Amandala

    Galento X Neal, a founding member and officer of UBAD, dies at 76
    Kremandala mourns the passing of our stalwart brother and soldier of the UBAD revolution, Galento X Neal, who passed away yesterday, Wednesday, while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Galento, as he was known to the many people whose lives he touched with his kindness and humility, died from a heart condition, one of his sons, Ras Buck, told Amandala this evening. In 1969, Galento Neal collaborated with Evan X Hyde, Ismael Omar Shabazz, Lionel Clark, Charles X Egan, aka Ibrahim Abdullah, and others to form Belize’s first and only black power organization, UBAD (United Black Association for Development.)

    Suspected child abductors were in Merida?
    Just one week ago, at the end of last month, there was quite a scare in multiple localities when rumors surfaced that the occupant of a mysterious white vehicle had been attempting to lure and kidnap schoolchildren in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, as well as at Queen’s Square Anglican Primary School in Belize City. Information gathered by Amandala over the past few days suggests that shortly before the horrific reports had apprehensive Belizeans in fear, the rumor had similarly gripped residents of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, just days before. According to The Yucatan Times newspaper, on January 23, rumors began spreading on various social networks about a white van which was driving around Merida attempting to kidnap young children.

    Security guard hacked to death
    A security guard who was on duty at the office of the company for which he worked, Anchor Security Company, on Entrepreneur Road in Belmopan, was hacked to death sometime between 2:30 and 4:00 yesterday morning. Feliciano Noralez, 60, of #9 Xunantunich Street, Belmopan, was found dead on the floor of the company’s office at about 4:00 yesterday morning by a fellow worker of his. He was lying in pools of blood, and there were chop wounds in his head and face, as well as multiple chop injuries to his upper body. It has been reported that his right hand had also been severed. He was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

    Alert issued for fake “red potatoes,” blamed for illnesses in Cayo
    Belize health authorities have issued an urgent alert, warning consumers not to buy or eat tainted Irish potatoes which have been dyed fuchsia so that sellers can pass them off as red potatoes. Bart Mickler, owner of Maya Mountain Lodge in San Ignacio, said that he had bought the potatoes for his business, but later discovered that the “red potatoes” he had bought were fake and had been dyed. “On Tuesday, we purchased what we understood was the new crop of Belizean red potatoes for use at our tourism lodge. When we reached the lodge and they were inspected more carefully, we discovered that they were Mexican contraband white potatoes which had been dyed red with an unknown dye.

    Candidates to be nominated for municipal elections next Wednesday
    The Elections and Boundaries Department and public officers selected to operate the polling stations on election day are gearing up for the 2015 municipal elections, while political hopefuls get warmed up for the first round of excitement – nomination day, slated for next Wednesday, February 11, 2015. The two dominant parties – the ruling United Democratic Party and the Opposition People’s United Party – intend to field full slates for all 9 municipalities. In Belize City, both sides will nominate a mayoral candidate with a slate of 10 councilors. In the other municipalities, the district towns and the City of Belmopan, a mayoral candidate and a slate of 6 councilors will be elected. There are a total of 67 available seats. In the last municipal elections held in 2012, the UDP won 44 seats, while the PUP won 23 seats. The PUP had won only three Orange Walk seats in the prior municipal elections held in 2009.

    PUP’s Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez charged
    The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Orange Walk East area representative, the Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, became part of an unprecedented moment in the parliamentary history of Belize when he became the first sitting area representative to be formally charged with sex-related offences. Following weeks of rumor and speculation surrounding what was going to happen to Dr. Mendez, who had announced late last year that he would not be seeking re-election as the PUP standard bearer tasked with winning the House of Representatives seat he currently holds, Orange Walk police charged him with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.

    BAA 2015 National Track & Field Championship winners
    As opposed to days long past, when a track and field meet garnered a huge attendance of fans at the MCC Grounds, where the annual Nationals were held during the month of September, the Belize Athletic Association‘s (BAA) 2015 National Track & Field Championships took place with little fanfare a couple weekends ago on January 24-25 at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, where the main gate facing the Princess Margaret Drive remained locked and barred to the public. Interested fans and athletes who attended the event had to access the stadium through the side entrance adjacent to the fence facing the SJC compound. It is a beautiful all-weather running track (see picture above) at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, but fan attendance was still low. Below are the top finishers in the various events, female “(F) and male (M), according to the BAA release.

    Athletics past and present – Louis Haulze
    Greetings to one and all! Welcome to another in our series, “Athletics past and present.” To those who do not know, this article had its genesis back in 2010-2011. The primary focus of the articles was to educate and honor those outstanding runners (athletes) from the past straight to the present. This week’s article is about a man that needs no introduction to anyone – Mr. Louis “Runner” Haulze. This 48 year old employee of Belize City Council has a long and outstanding career in long distance running, and at his age (he will be 49 in April) does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Mr. Haulze told me that his running had its birth at age 13 in primary school, St. Joseph Primary, to be exact, in a competition called Olympic Day Run, featuring all primary schools at the time. Mr. Sosa, who was the coach at the time, encouraged him to compete, so he did. Although he had never run in a race before, he decided to run, and it was during the 1500m race he ran that he fell in love with running. He said he felt free, and relief, and had a great feeling, because at the time he was not doing well in school, so this was something he found natural, and he was good at.

    CSSSA football update; games return to MCC
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) held the first series of games in its 2015 CSSSA high school football competition at the Ladyville football field, but CSSSA president Deon Sutherland announced today that the coming weekend games will be played at the MCC Grounds, which was opened for the PLB football game on Sunday, February 1, after being closed for renovation since June 2, 2014. The high school football tournament got under way with 2 male games played at the Ladyville football field on Saturday, January 24, when SJC bombed Sadie Vernon Tech, 6-0; and Gwen Lizarraga High drilled Belize High School by the same margin, 6-0.

    “Building a Future for Our Youth”
    The BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare) announced today the launch of its Grassroots Football program for children that will occur in San Ignacio, Cayo on February 21 at 1:00 p.m. at Broaster Stadium, Savanah Area with Adventures Football Club, and in Dangriga, Stann Creek on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. at Carl Ramos Stadium with Umadagu Football Club. BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare) is a non-profit/social enterprise organization that uses the power of football to educate, inspire and empower young people to lead meaningful lives. We work with local football clubs in order to introduce and organize the Grassroots Program (all football that is non-professional and non-elite is defined as Grassroots). The ultimate goal of the Grassroots Program is to use football to bring communities together and give less fortunate children a sense of purpose and pride. BelCare mobilizes the most vulnerable population of youth, ages 6-19, to grow through football, by fostering team and individual development, sportsmanship, fair play and work to inspire the next generation of young Belizeans to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

    Galento X Neal, R. I. P.
    It is not surprising that the rest of the Belizean media have paid no attention to the passing on Wednesday morning of Galento X Neal, a founding officer of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) in February of 1969 who later served as vice-president and briefly as president of the organization. UBAD, a cultural organization which became a political party in August of 1970 and was dissolved in November of 1974, is an organization which is ignored by Belize’s historians, academics, and students. The politicians of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) do not wish to talk about UBAD, and Belize’s educational system is Christian-dominated. UBAD had significant Muslim influence. Over the last four-plus decades, Belize’s mainstream politicians have sometimes accused this newspaper of talking too much about UBAD. If we at this newspaper did not talk about UBAD, it would be as if UBAD had not existed. It is not possible to understand the civil war level of violence which has been taking place on Belize City’s Southside for the last quarter century without some understanding of why UBAD was founded and why UBAD achieved the high levels of popularity which it did between 1969 and 1972. In addition, it is because of UBAD that this newspaper was established and survived its early years.

    Selma, the movie – “white” washing history
    Dear Editor, I became a civil rights activist in the 1960s because I saw the injustice of racism and oppression and believed (and still do) that I could not sit around waiting for someone else to do something. I joined demonstrations, sit-ins and picket lines, was arrested over 40 times and beaten up a number of times. In 1964, I joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and went to Mississippi. I was part of the nationwide protests in support of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. That is why I was so offended when I saw an interview with the director of the movie “Selma” along with film clips. It bends the truth about the events and people that fought for justice and equality in the face of a police state. The film diminishes or erases the role people like James Forman and Malcolm X played. Because they can’t erase Martin Luther King, Jr., they create a “white” washed image so we will never relate to him as a man who came to see the struggle against oppression as an international struggle.

    The story of Caye Caulker’s Tarpon View Reserve
    It is a site that may be unfamiliar to many locals, but the Tarpon View Reserve in Caye Caulker has certainly been growing in popularity over the years as more and more tourists flock to the area to marvel at the breathtaking view of dozens of live, full grown tarpons in their natural habitat. What makes the location even more attractive is that the friendly shoals of fishes are known to put off an amazing show whenever visitors feed them, by lunging out of the water in dolphin-like fashion. The area was discovered by the family of tour guide and boat captain, Israel “Captain Ish” Badillo, who told us that years ago, when his relatives decided to investigate the origin of the large amounts of huge tarpons which frequented the mangrove area in the sea behind their yard, they discovered what turned out to be one of the biggest emerging tourist attractions in Caye Caulker.

    Belize court to benefit from CCJ-led pilot project
    At the opening of the Supreme Court in January 2015, members of both the bench and the bar decried the troubling backlog in both civil and criminal cases, which has meant that perhaps hundreds of cases continue to go unresolved due to the inability of the courts to address them in a timelier manner. Attorney General Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said that the Government of Belize stands ready to provide whatever funds are necessary to pay public-spirited senior counsels who are prepared to temporarily join efforts to dispose of the backlog of cases. Belize is not the only country grappling with a backlog of cases. However, the problem is recognized as one worthy of imminent attention under a project being implemented by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The project, dubbed the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project, is being piloted in our sister Caribbean country of Grenada this week, where Grenada is to commence its work to clear 200 backlog cases which have been identified for completion.

    Belize moves to review EU-banned pesticides which harm bees
    Miriam Serrut, Registrar of Pesticides at the Pesticide Control Board, informed Amandala today that in a meeting with colleagues of the Department of the Environment, they had agreed to prioritize a review of the neonicotinide class of insecticides, which some scientists say have caused adverse effects on bee colonies, with a view to looking at what mitigation measures may be needed to combat any adverse effects that may have resulted. Serrut confirmed, after we named some examples cited in the international press – thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid, said by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to pose an unacceptable risk to bees – that some of these pesticides are still registered for use in Belize.

    Collision with 10-wheeler kills motorcyclist
    A collision involving a motorcycle and a 10-wheeler trailer truck that occurred near Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, sometime before 4:00 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, has resulted in the death of a villager from that area. According to police, a white Ford 8000 10-wheeler trailer truck that was carrying animal feed from Spanish Lookout was traveling on Route 40 in the Spanish Lookout area when, upon reaching the top of a hill, it collided with a black 125 cc Meilun motorcycle which was being driven by Josue Gilberto Garrido, 19, a laborer of Duck Run II Village, Cayo District. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police, Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, told Amandala today that their preliminary investigations have revealed that the truck – which was being driven by Vladimir Cano – and the motorcycle were going in opposite directions when the incident happened.

    “Sicko” rapes 7-year-old girl
    Belmopan police are conducting an intense investigation to capture a pedophile who grabbed a little girl, 7, who was walking to a store, took her into some bushes and raped her, after robbing her of $5. The child was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where doctors had to perform surgery to repair the damage done to her sex organs. The incident occurred in the Salvapan area of Belmopan, at about 6:00 Monday evening. At press time tonight, however, the rapist has not been apprehended.

    From the Publisher
    When this newspaper became the leading newspaper in Belize in 1981, against many odds, my personal power at #3304 Partridge Street was unchallenged. There was no radio station, no television station, no library on Partridge. All my children were in school. Today, my children run things back here. All my children went to religious schools, mostly Roman Catholic, but also Anglican, Methodist, and some Grace Primary. That is with the exception of some four years Mose spent finishing high school and doing Sixth Form at Belize Technical College. I did not try to steer any of my children into my personal perspectives and philosophies, the reason being that I did not want any of them to experience the punishments in adult life which I did. There were years in the 1970s when Belize battered and humiliated me.

    2 charged for Sonia Maribel Abac’s murder
    Murder charges have finally been brought against two men who reportedly led authorities to a well off the Honey Camp Road on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town, where the decomposing, mutilated body of Sonia Maribel Abac, 46, a masseuse from Orange Walk Town, was found in mid-July 2014. The two alleged murderers – Guatemalan national Noe Daniel Avila, 22, and Angel Antonio Cardenas, 19, of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk – were brought from the Belize Central Prison, where they are currently remanded for another high-profile murder and marched into the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today to be arraigned for Abac’s brutal death. No plea was taken after the duo, were read their charges and the case has been adjourned until March 31, 2015. Abac was reported missing on April 23, 2014, and reliable sources had indicated at the time that the masseuse was last seen at the home of Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, 37.

    The Reporter

    Cinderella Plaza site for massive dredging
    Dredging works started this week in the Cinderella Plaza area of Belize City as part of the Ministry of Works’ Flood Mitigation Project. The project, which is worth $21.5 million, will facilitate extension of an underground canal in the Cinderella Plaza and Baymen Avenue Area. According to Elias Garcia, foreman of the work crew, the dredging began on February 4th and it will take up to February 13 to finish the section at the plaza. Under the project, the existing canal which runs under Douglas Jones Street wiil be extended through the Cinderella Plaza into Baymen Avenue and down Calle al Mar out to the sea. This would ensure that streets in the vicinity most affected by flooding are able to avoid severe flooding.

    ICT will move CARICOM forward says Secretary General
    Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin Laroche, emphasized this week that the usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) will play a critical role in developing the region. Laroche, speaking at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)25th anniversary ICT week in Port of Spain, Trinidad, indicated that he looked forward to the development of the roadmap for the Single ICT Space. He added that this space will also be an integral part of achieving the CARICOM strategic Plan 2015-2019. “Working together with member states and partner institutions, there is an opportunity to make a difference and substantially improve the lives of the people of the Community,” he stated. CARICOM, as a region, has been focusing on ICT development since 2004, when leaders committed to an aggressive and focused strategy to accelerate the adoption of information and communication technologies for development at the end of the Third Meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers responsible for Information and Communication Technology.

    Venezuela Maduro: State seizes supermarket chain
    Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the takeover of a private supermarket chain by the state food agency. Speaking on television, he accused Dia a Dia of hoarding food during huge shortages in the country. This week, soldiers and government workers were sent to branches of a large supermarket and pharmacy chain to supervise sales. Venezuela has been in economic crisis after the drop in oil prices. Analysts say currency controls that restrict the availability of dollars for imports has played a key role in creating the scarcity of many items. Directors and executives from both Dia a Dia and pharmacy chain Farmatodo were arrested on charges of destabilising the economy.

    Japanese government sponsors new classrooms for Carmelita School
    The Japanese government signed a grant for US $103,086 to assist the Carmelita government school in Orange Walk in constructing several new classrooms and bathroom facilities to assist with the overcrowding at the school. Japanese Consular, Hiromoto Omaya said the assistance would help to […]

    Mayor says BML trasition smooth so far
    Mayor Darrell Bradley said that the transition of almost 150 Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) workers over to the City Council (CitCo) has been going very well one month into it and the Council has even started providing new services to the city. Bradley indicated […]

    Japan will help Belize to become a cotton producer
    The Government of Japan this week signed a grant agreement for US $102,029 ($204,000 Bze. for a Japanese owned company in Belize to grow and export high quality sea island cotton. Japan’s Consular Representative in Belize, Hiromoto Omay said that the grant would be […]

    CISCO Construction lands $4.8 M contract to clean up 3 southside canal neighbourhoods
    The Prisoner Creek, Lakeview and Trenchtown Canals, blocked by many years of random dumping of refuse, are three of the more unsightly south side waterways that will, in the coming months, receive the attention they need. On Monday of this week, the Government of […]

    Murder rate expected to dip sharply, GSU Chief Mark Flowers predicts
    The countrywide murder rate for 2015 will be lower than it was in 2013, when the tally for the first time in almost a decade reached 99, Sergeant Mark Flowers, Chief of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) predicted this week. Flowers, in an exclusive […]

    A dozen or more BDF officers will be disciplined for breach of security! Commandant orders Court of Inquiry
    The Ministry of National Security has been re-assessing its security features at the Belize Defense Force Headquarters at Price Barracks after a security breach caused thousands of rounds of ammunition to be stolen from the base. More than a dozen officers have been cited for […]

    Doctor being held for child molestation
    Highly regarded physician and Dad, the Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been arrested and charged on six counts of sexually molesting his two adopted daughters. At 1:00 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon this week PUP parliamentarian and paediatrician Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk […]

    Court orders Senior Counsel to pay $230,000 from real estate sale
    Supreme Court Justice, Courtney Abel has ordered a senior attorney, Ernest Staine, to pay the sum of $230,000, the pro-ceeds from a land sale transaction. The money is to be paid to Rita McField, the owner of a property at No. 12 B Douglas […]

    Editorial
    It was reported this week that about a dozen BDF soldiers and officers will receive reprimands for their actions or lack of action in the disappearance of some 2,000 rounds of ammunition stolen from the BDF Camp at Price Barracks. By now there is no doubt that the robbery was […]

    GOB wins round one!
    The Ashcroft Group of Companies has lost its bid for enforcement of a multi-million dollar award in the Supreme Court. Today Justice Shona Griffith delivered her judgment, stating that after consideration of arguments, the Court had determined that it could not order the enforcement of the award, in the region […]

    Belize considers fuel options Is natural gas something we can work with?
    Belize has begun to consider her options for petroleum and energy security outside of Petro Caribe, following last week’s first ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit in Washington DC. Energy Minister, Joy Grant made this surprising comment this week after she returned home from the […]

    Cop wounds wife with knife!
    Special Constable, Juan Moralez appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, February 2, charged with wounding his wife, Betzabe Moralez. The incident is said to have occurred on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at their home in the Belama area of Belize City. […]

    Dead fishes raise alarm in Placencia
    Officers from the Department of the Environment suspect that effluent waste runoffs, likely some type of pesticide, were the cause of dead fishes floating in the Placencia Lagoon earlier this week. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Fisheries, Adele Catzim, confirmed with The Reporter Thursday night that the Department […]

    Irish Potatoes dyed to look like Rouge Potatoes BAHA warns consumers
    Residents in western Belize have beenwarned that there are potatoes for sale which are unsafe for public consumption. The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued an advisory on Thursday explaining that the tainted potatoes discovered in San […]

    The Belize Times

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Shoplifter caught on camera in Cayo
    There is a shoplifter on the loose in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area. We have obtained surveillance footage and pictures of the shoplifter, a woman, in action at the China Town Store in Santa Elena town on Friday of last week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRVCjBDboow The surveillance camera clearly caught the woman taking […]

    Former murder accused get increased payment from Appeal Court
    The late Charles Woodye, 24; Micah Thompson, 34; and the late Shelton “Pinky” Tillett, 30, all alleged associates of the George Street Gang, on Thursday won increased damages in the Court of Appeal for eleven months of false imprisonment on a murder charge after the appeal of the […]

    Beltraide Graduates 34 Trainees from the Belmopan Area
    Thirty four proud and energetic young leaders received their job readiness certificates today at the George Price Center in Belmopan after completing three weeks of training in soft and technical skills. This initiative was coordinated by Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), which is a unit of […]

    Belize City Market vendors still stock tainted Irish potatoes
    An investigation by Belize Media Group has uncovered evidence of tainted Mexican origin Irish potatoes in stock at several stalls in the Michael Finnegan Market in Belize City and the nearby wholesale market on Cemetery Road. According to a vendor we spoke to on condition of anonymity, the […]

    5 Stunning Getaways for the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Vacation
    Are you looking for a romantic get-away for you and your sweetheart? Are you trying to plan the perfect mini-vacation? Whether you’re looking to impress your sweetheart or just want to spend some “alone time” – Come to Belize!

    Man crushed by steel bar in Spanish Lookout
    Reports are that a man was killed this morning in Spanish Lookout when a steel bar fell on him. Police are heading to the scene now

    Blogs

    Caye Caulker Weekends Kardashian Style!
    Caye Caulker is so silent…so still, you can smell my Paco Rabanne cologne all the way to the split. Tejejejejeje. But first things first. I am the realest in my Iggy Azalea head. LMAO. The first thing you need to do is visit Lee Vanderwalker at Caribbean Colors Art Caye Caulker for a fine double espresso shot to wake me up. The store has some cool islandy art work with awesome cookies too. Time to stroll the lazy white sandy beaches as there is a lot of fun waiting ahead. FINFUN that is! Bumped into the Humane Society and no, I cannot get another dog – Viv and Jeff would kill me. (There are already 8 up at Rojo.) I mean, if I do the cute face, I can get away with everything. Hmmmm….it could work but next time. But if you are here make a stop drop them a dollar it won’t hurt your wallet, BE HUMANE!!

    International Sourcesizz

    Top Shrewsbury author Pauline lived life to the full
    The family of Pauline Fisk have paid tribute to a woman who was hugely talented in her work and fiercely proud of her Shropshire roots. Mrs Fisk, 66, of Shrewsbury and formerly Worthen, wrote 11 novels and won the Smarties Grand Prix award in 1990 for her bestselling children’s novel Midnight Blue. A tribute from Mrs Fisk’s family said : “Her generosity with her time, skills and experience was reflected in her work visiting schools and helping children to have the courage to develop and fulfil their potential. Trekking in the far-flung corners of the Chicquibul Forest in Belize, Mrs Fisk, then aged 60, repeatedly surprised all with her enthusiasm, stamina and determination. Her Belizean experience had a profound effect and she formed a lasting relationship with the country, championing the cause of rainforest conservation in Belize on returning to the UK. News of her efforts and her book even reached the Belizean High Commission and she was thrilled to find herself discussing the potential for her book’s role in the English curriculum for schools in Belize, attending a formal dinner with the country’s president.

    U.S. Marines Prepare for Central American Emergencies
    While most of the Pentagon’s attention remains focused on the Middle East, the U.S. Marine Corps is expanding its presence in Central America. A new task force will soon be ready to help out American allies during disasters and other crises. By the end of 2015, some 200 Marines will spread across the region. While the final structure is still being worked out, the force will include a number of aircraft—likely a combination of helicopters, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors and KC-130 Hercules tankers. Since 1990, the Pentagon has provided aid to countries in Central and South America after hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. “The United States has often taken the lead in responding to natural disasters in the region,” says a Congressional Research Service report on Latin America and the Caribbean released in January.

    7 battlefields: The fight for LGBTI rights in the Caribbean
    A recap of recent gains, losses and ongoing battles over LGBTI rights in seven Caribbean nations (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), with help from coverage in the Caribbean IRN Blog of the International Resource Network: U.N. action: During Guyana’s recent Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, several nations urged Guyana to repeal its law against male-male intimacy. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett noted that such recommendations have been turned over to a Parliamentary Special Committee (PSSC). However, that committee is no longer active.

    Garifuna jazz goes to Trinity College
    “This is our launching of Black History Month,” said Dr. Dario Euraque, Trinity College history professor. “And, we’re giving it a more international focus.” Dr. Euraque has written extensively on Garifuna social and political history and how they have resisted racism and exclusion by the majority populations in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Euraque and music professor Eric Galm invited New York-based Afri Garifuna Jazz Ensemble to their Connecticut campus to perform and present, last weekend. Both professors chair their departments and recognize the connection of music to history and culture. “We’re expanding what is Black History; it’s not just African-American history,” explains Euraque.

    Videos

  • Perros Callejeros in Belize, 1min. Perros Callejeros arriving for the Rally to be held in Belize City
  • Not just a fishing trip, an Expedition, 3min. In August of 2015, El Pescador Lodge will play host to the Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition led by Chicago fisherman, Adam Marton and famed angler, the man who wrote the book on fly fishing for tarpon, Andy Mill. For more information; adam@fieldworkersclub.com Year 3 of a multi-year effort between anglers and scientists from the University of Miami. The Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition includes world class fishing, advancing science and an opportunity to learn how to become an expert from the man who wrote the book on tarpon fishing. The 2015 Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition will take place August 15-22, 2015 at El Pescador Lodge and Villas. There will be 6 guided fishing days and daily tarpon fishing workshops. Participants should expect to come home from this expedition with the knowledge they were part of a team doing everything it can to advance tarpon research in Belize. Plan on learning about tarpon and tarpon fishing from the finest and most passionate tarpon anglers in the world. We can’t wait to share what we know and look forward to enhancing your tarpon fishing for the rest of your life. We have the science, now we need more anglers.
  • Tony Williamson playing "Mountain Girl" on Caye Caulker, Belize., 2min. Tony brings a whole new type of music to some reggae fans on Caye Caulker, Belize. Tony is playing Yoichi Ueda's "Silent Mandolin" - great tone, even without an amplifier!
  • Belize Bean Harvest., 1min. Belize Bean Harvesting, Little Belize.

    February 6, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Meet your San Pedro Town Councilor Candidates- Part III
    With the municipal elections right around the corner, The San Pedro Sun would like to take the opportunity to present the Councilor Candidates to the San Pedro Town public. As such, five questions have been issued to all candidates in an effort to learn more about them. In this issue, we feature responses from two candidates from The People’s United Party (PUP) and two candidates from The United Democratic Party (UDP).

    San Pedro Sailing Club receives new Laser Sailboat Fleet
    On Friday, January 30, 2015, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center, obtained 10 factory-direct Laser sailboats. With the new arrivals, it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club, as they now have boats for sailors of all ages. As such, the focus in this year’s sailing season will be in garnering adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday saw more than 30 sailors on the water, ranging between the ages of eight and 72 years!

    San Pedro Police remove significant amount of cartridges off the streets
    San Pedro Police found a significant amount of firearm cartridges in an empty lot in the Boca del Rio Area. Police had received anonymous information on the location of a stash, and a search was carried out on Saturday, January 31st at around 1:30PM, where a total of 148 cartridges were recovered. Since the rounds were found in an empty area and no one was found in the immediate area, the cartridges were taken to the San Pedro Police Station where they were labeled as “Found Property”. Investigations are ongoing to determine the owner of the cartridges. According to the San Pedro Police, the cartridges found are commonly used as ammunition for rifles and shotguns. Anyone with further information on the find is to call the San Pedro Police Department at 206-2022. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers Belize at 0-800-922 –TIPS (8477).

    Reef Radio and Reef TV honor local Belizean musicians
    Reef Radio and Reef Television honored six local Belizean musicians during a special show on January 31st. The event took place at the Paradise Theatre and saw musicians that have graced the island over the past few years being properly recognized. Those musicians include Jose “Ralfy El Phantom” Collado, Oscar and David Aguilar, Ismael “El Buki” Chacon, Natalie Arceo and Ernestine Carballo. Each of the six local musicians took to the stage where they performed several musical presentations. First to open the show was Ralfy El Phantom. He brought reggaeton to life, setting the stage for the night. Ralfy was presented with an award from Miguel Perez of Traveller’s Liqours Limited. According to Proprietor of Reef Radio and Reef TV, the first ever Tribute to Belizean musicians hosted by his company was to show love, respect and most importantly honor musicians who have blessed the Belizean public with their talent. He explained that too often, musicians go through their careers unrecognized, and the tribute to Belizean musicians is a forum to show them appreciation.

    Ambergris Today

    Cancer Walk Raises Awareness and Engages Island Community
    Upon the invitation of the San Pedro Cancer Society, Ambergris Caye, Belize, residents took time to participate in the island’s annual Cancer Awareness Walk in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day, February 4, 2015. Every year, the San Pedro Cancer Society holds the “Light the Night” event which has been very well attended. This year saw the participation of many island business groups who sent their staff to show support for the cause; this included members of the Belize Bank, St. Francis Xavier Credit Union, San Pedro Lions Club, ABC Pre School and Belize Water Services, to name a few. Also joining these business groups were cancer survivors and people whose lives have been affected by the deadly disease one way or another.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Carnaval 2015 Dates, Rules & Regulations.

    The 6th Annual Bob Marley tribute in San Pedro
    on Friday, Feb 6th & 7th @ Central Park

    Ratafari Vision & Culture Exhibition
    You are invited to come and view the exhibition on "Ratafari Vision & Culture" at the San Pedro House of Culture. Exhibition runs until Feb 7th.

    Sabado de Bando: Carnaval Masquerade Ball
    Prepare your masks, ball gowns and pull out your tuxedos! The San Pedro House of Culture (NICH) and Caprice Bar & Grill (Holiday Hotel) are pleased to invite you to a Masquerade Ball (Baile de Disfraz) as part of our Carnaval Celebrations. The event will be held on Saturday, February 14th, starting at 9:00 pm. We hope to see you there.

    Great exhibition on Marcus Garvey at the San Pedro House of Culture.
    "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." -Marcus Garvey

    Masquerade Ball in San Pedro
    2nd Annual Masquerade Ball at Caprice Bar & Grill at the Holiday Hotel. Don't miss it.

    OCEANA BELIZE SUPPORTS CALLS FROM CAYE CAULKER RESIDENTS TO REMOVE STRANDED VESSEL FROM REEF
    The vessel has been inspected by an independent contractor who can lift the vessel from the sea floor and remove the sailboat from the area. That method will reportedly cost approximately $70K dollars. Precedence indicates the vessel's owner should bear costs associated with removing the sailboat. However, the sailboat is still at the site more than a month after the accident took place.

    Food Safety Alert: Tainted Irish Potatoes
    The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture inform the public that they have received confirmed reports of tainted Irish Potatoes being sold in San Ignacio. Investigations revealed that the potatoes are dyed a pink/fuchsia colour and are circulating on the market. Confiscation of this product has commenced and the public is advised not to purchase or consume these tainted potatoes. Attached is a photograph that shows the difference between the two potatoes. The potato labelled number one is the tainted product, and number two is the locally produced red potato.

    CLOSURE OF THE LOBSTER FISHING SEASON
    The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2015. Any person found in possession of lobsters during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3(1)(b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003.

    New Ambassador of Mexico to Belize Presents Letters of Credence to the Governor General
    His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, today presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, February 5, 2015: 11. FANTASY 5: 14 23 10 11 24 N

    Channel 7

    Supreme Court Says GOB Does Not Have To Pay Arbitral Award
    The Supreme Court today ruled that the Government of Belize does not have to pay 33.5 million dollars to the Ashcroft Alliance. It's a win for the Barrow Administration, but the Ashcroft Alliance intends to take it to the Court of Appeal, and if there is need, they are determined to appeal all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice. And Michael Ashcroft himself was right there in the courtroom to hear it! He appeared only mildly disappointed in the courtroom when the decision was handed down. Viewers may remember the origin of that 33.5 million dollars that the Alliance is trying to collect on. It dates all the way back to 2007 when then Prime Minister Said Musa and then Attorney General Francis Fonseca signed a loan note, using public funds to guarantee the debt for a private hospital, formerly known as Universal Health Services.

    Both Sides of BTL/BEL Dispute Ask CCJ For Specific Relief
    Another case that Ashcroft attended personally was the appeal cases of the BTL/BEL acquisitions, which was heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice in December and January at their headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It's the so called "war of worlds" where the former owners have appealed to the CCJ asking them strike down the acquisition of the utility companies. In 2011, the Barrow Administration acquired BEL and reacquired BTL and sought to legislate perpetual, public ownership using the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. The purpose of that was put it beyond legal challenge in the Courts. That case has already been argued, and the panel of judges are expected to deliver their ruling at a later date, but on January 23, the attorneys of both sides went back to Port of Spain to present to the CCJ judges what options that they have available for remedies if the acquisitions are ruled unlawful.

    30g's For the George Street Three
    In 2011, the George Street Three: Sheldon "Pinky" Tillett, Micah Thompson and Charles Woodeye successfully sued the Government of Belize for false imprisonment. The trio spent 11 months in supermax on the allegation that they had murdered John Paul Saldivar. But as was shown in Court, police didn't have a shred of evidence pointing to that - except for the fact that they happened to be on San Pedro on the same night when he was killed on northern Ambergris Caye. The Supreme Court found that they were entitled to twenty five thousand dollars each in general damages, far less than the two hundred thousand dollars they had asked for. From there, it should have been straightforward enough for government to pay up and put an embarrassing episode of police abuse behind them - but, quite unexpectedly, the Government appealed. And, when they went to before the Court of Appeal in June of 2014, the Panel of judges didn't seem very impressed by the acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke's arguments that no payment should be made. In fact, they ended up hearing from Agnes Segura-Gillett who represented the three men on why the award should be increased.

    Hot Pink Potatoes? Bogus! Dangerous!
    Not every potato you purchase at the market or eat at a restaurant or resort is safe for consumption. Resort owners in San Ignacio today showed the media that contraband potatoes are being smuggled into Belize from Mexico - and smugglers have taken an extreme and dangerous step to pass them off as the locally produced Irish potatoes: they are dying them pink! Now, you'll know the Irish potato - it's the slightly reddish potato that you see here on the right side of your screen. Well, in an effort to come off like the regular potato, these contraband potatoes are dyed to have a rosy pink and slightly bright appearance. After hearing of these reports about guests from other resorts getting sick from eating these potatoes the owner of the Maya Mountain Lodge in Cayo expressed his concern about the risks and health hazards involved for consumers.

    Cleon Marage and Myeloid Leukemia
    Acute Myeloid Leukemia - it is a type of cancer of the myeloid blood cells. In April of last year, 10 year old Cleon Marage was diagnosed with the deadly disease and has since been receiving Chemotherapy in Merida. The Standard four student of St John Vianney travels to Merida monthly for treatment which is costly for his family. They are in the process of raising funds so that Cleon can leave by Monday. Here is how you can assist. Clovis Matura - Mother of Cleon Marage "I am trying to raise funds for Cleon because he has Acute Myeloid Leukemia." Monica Bodden "Tell us about the treatment that he needs?" Clovis Matura - Mother of Cleon Marage "He needs to have Chemotherapy for the next 12 months. We go to Merida every three weeks, so that he can get his Chemotherapy. Every time that we go to Merida, we need to come up with $2,000. At first it was more, but now the hospital is giving him free Chemo, so we only need to pay for the hospital stay, medicine and transportation.

    Hon. Marco Tulio Could Face Serious Time
    Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - we've reported plentifully on the charges and allegations against him. On Tuesday he appeared in Orange Walk Magistrate's Court where he was formally arraigned on six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. So what's the maximum time in prison that he could face? Well, the law says, a person convicted of such an offence under summary jurisdiction is, quote "Liable to a fine of not less than $3000.00 dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months." But under indictment, that goes up to three years in prison - and that is 3 years per charge, and he faces six charges. So, were he to be convicted on all counts, the maximum would be 18 years in prison. Dr. Mendez hasn't told us anything, but his party leader Francis Fonseca says Tulio Mendez will vigorously fight the charges.

    Would Ashcroft Alliance Force A BTL Rate Rollback?
    In our last segment, we told you how the former owners of BTL and BEL want the Caribbean Court of Justice to return the companies back to them if it rules that the Government should not have nationalized. Well, while we were in our interview with Eamon Courtenay, who is one of the attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance, he told us that even if the company is returned to them, that wouldn't be enough. That's because according to the Alliance, the new management, controlled by Government, has mismanaged the companies. Now, since the Government take over of the telecommunications company in 2009, Digicell4G was launched. The company tried to make DSL internet more affordable by doubling the internet speeds 3 times for the same price, which means that it has reduced 3 times. Digicell 4G has been reduced, and GST was taken off the service. Text bundles have gone down, and International calls went down twice also.

    No Jail For Jade Pieces
    37 year-old Godwell Flores Jr., the food vendor who was charged with failing to produce a license for 2 jade figurines, got a lucky break in the Magistrate's Court when the charges were dismissed against him. On January 21, 2014, Flores was found with 2 green Mayan antiquities. One of them was Jade mask broken in 3 fragments and the other was a jade figurine that was intact. Woman police Corporal Popper testified that she received a call while she was on patrol on Freetown road and she apprehended Flores and searched a back pack he had on his shoulder, and that led to the discovery of the antiquities. Archaeologist Oscar Ramos testified that on January 22, 2014, he examined the 2 pieces and verified that they were antiquities. Scenes of Crime technician Devon Westby testified that he took photographs of the pieces and the photographs were admitted into evidence as exhibits.

    The "incredibly cowardly" Murder Of Alvin Robinson
    Today, the Court of Appeal handed down its written decision to affirm the murder conviction against 28 year-old Gregory August, who was found guilty of killing 73 year-old Alvin Robison at his home near mile 8. The judgment calls the murder, quote, "incredibly cowardly" because August had only one eye, stood five feet five inches and was physically challenged. But all that didn't matter to his killer who stabbed him 9 times in the face and neck. On November 21, 2012, August was convicted by a jury of murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

    The Gay Man And Woman's Burden in Belize
    "My Story": That is the title of the art exhibit being featured at the Image Factory. The exhibit centers on the challenges and burdens homosexuals face in a homophobic society. It is a topic that has sparked debate across different sectors of society but according to artist Briheda Haylock, her aim is not to fuel that debate or evoke sympathy or pity, but to reveal the stories that have been buried by fear and discrimination. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Many Belizeans are walking in his shoes. Feeling hopeless and alone. And artist Briheda Haylock wants to tell her story and the story of those who face this reality every day.

    Museum Turns 13
    A couple weeks ago we reported on the forum held at the House of Culture on devising a master plan for a national museum. Well, the existing museum celebrated its 13th anniversary today. In keeping with this proposed plan of making a visit to the museum fun and interactive for kids, the directors invited pre-school and primary school students to celebrate their anniversary. Director of the Museum, Sherilyne Jones told us why it is important for children to visit the museum. The museum catered for about 400 students today.

    Crystal Came Home
    Last night we told you about Crystal Faber, the 14 year old who went missing after a visit to the internet café. Well, police report that she is safe and sound last night on Central American Boulevard.

    New Mexican Ambassador Talks Partnership
    The new Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel Melendez, today presented his letters of credence to Governor General, Sir Colville Young. In his presentation, Ambassador Melendez expressed his commitment to working hand in hand with local authorities to develop the bilateral agenda between Belize and Mexico for security, education, health and culture. He also committed to "reinforcing the positive interaction that exists especially between Belize and the southeastern states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche."

    Channel 5

    Supreme Court Rules on G.O.B./Belize Bank International Arbitration Award
    This morning the Supreme Court issued a ruling declining an application by the Belize Bank for enforcement of an award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration. The L.C.I.A. [...]

    Attorneys Denys Barrow and Eamon Courtenay on Nationalization Cases at CCJ
    While this particular piece of litigation is just the first engagement in what promises to be a complicated and protracted war, another battle in another arena is nearing its end. [...]

    What Can the Damages in Nationalization of BTL Amount to?
    The Court requested full submissions from all sides as to what remedies they should give in the event that they rule one way or the other. Whichever way the C.C.J. [...]

    Fake Red Potatoes Discovered in San Ignacio
    There is a disturbing report tonight about those red Irish potatoes. Earlier this week, a resort owner in the Cayo District purchased potatoes at a vegetable stall in San Ignacio [...]

    …BAHA Issues Food Safety Alert and Commences Investigation
    Late this evening, BAHA and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued a food safety alert informing the public of the troubling find of the tainted Irish potatoes.  News [...]

    Is Another Passport Scandal Looming Over Immigration Department
    There is a very credible report into our newsroom tonight and it is that another passport fiasco is swirling around the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse.  It involves the illegal [...]

    Eamon to G.O.B., “Pay Your Debt!”
    As we told you earlier in the newscast, the acquisitions of Fortis and B.T.L. by Government are on centre stage at the Caribbean Court of Justice, with a decision expected [...]

    …Comments on BEL Nationalization
    Courtenay also weighed in on the nationalization of B.E.L. In June 2011, government took over the utility company which it claimed was floundering and in a financial mess. But Courtenay [...]

    What if BTL Returns to Private Ownership?
    With the decision by the C.C.J. imminent, there are already questions about the real, on the ground situation with Belize Telemedia Limited. One scenario based on a ruling that the [...]

    A look at the Petrocaribe agreement
    The debt crisis that is gripping Venezuela is casting shadows on the future of the Petrocaribe agreement with Belize. While there is no clear indication that the program that extends [...]

    Godswell Flores Acquitted of Unlawfully Possessing Antiquities
    Belize City resident Godswell Flores was today acquitted of Failure to Produce a License for Possession of Antiquities. Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the charge against Flores because the prosecution failed [...]

    New Mexican Ambassador to Belize Introduced
    There is a new kid on the block, the newly appointed Mexican Ambassador to Belize is Carlos Quesnel Melendez, who arrived a few days ago and is now duly accredited [...]

    Nineteen year old Loses Life in Traffic Accident
    There was a fatal traffic accident in the Spanish Lookout Community in the west. On route fourteen, several miles into the community, police found the lifeless body of nineteen year [...]

    What’s the Fate of Grounded Vessel Near Caye Caulker?
    Earlier this week we reported that a steel hull vessel remains aground on the reef near the island of Caye Caulker. A French captain reportedly crashed into the reef near [...]

    …French Boat Captain No Longer in Country
    The Westerhaven, the Great Escape and the Azteca are three well-known vessels that ran aground on Belize’s barrier reef in the past six years. In the case of the Westernhaven, [...]

    Dara Kicks Off 13TH Annual Tribute to Bob Marley this Weekend
    The Thirteenth Annual Tribute to Bob Marley kicks off this Friday in Belize City and is set to coincide with a massive fundraising event to aide Dara Robinson’s feeding program.  [...]

    Art Exhibition Sheds Light on Plight of LGBT Community
    There is another event taking place in the city over the weekend. An exhibition entitled “My Story” opens at the image factory on Friday.  Not many L.G.B.T. persons are open [...]

    Healthy Living takes a look at Screening for Cervical Cancer
    World Cancer Day was celebrated on February fourth around the world to raise awareness on the detection, prevention as well as treatment of cancer.  Locally, cervical cancer is one of [...]

    CTV3

    Lobster Season Is Closed
    Lobster lovers will have to wait several months to consume the crustacean since the Fisheries Department announced today that the season is set to close on February 15th. The department says that any person found in possession of lobsters during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations. The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2015, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period. The Fisheries Department hereby makes a special appeal to fishers and the public to uphold the Fisheries Regulations in regards to lobster and other marine products, and urges all responsible citizens to call the Department at 224-4552 or 223-2623 to report any infractions. The season will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2015.

    Corozal Sports Council And Campeche Sport Council Exchange Program
    By the end of February of this year, the first sport international exchange between the Corozal Sports Council and the Campeche sports council will come to fruition. This is because an agreement between Carlos Acosta from the Corozal Sports Council, International Coordinator, David Magana, and president of the Lima Lama Association in Campeche, Candelario Ordonez Flores has been reached. Today we caught up with organizers who shared with us how it will work. “This exchange has been for a long time from 2001 that we have been doing the exchange with Campeche but this time we have met with the Federation, SAGAR, with the architect that is the President of the Federation of sports in Campeche and our planification for sports was to develop the Infantile which was the U10, college sports, karate, football, basketball, volleyball and baseball, these are the sports that we will be exchanging with Campeche in this year 2015, for the 27th and the 28th of February which is this month the Corozal Junior College will be travelling to Campeche to participate in an exchange program in football female/male, basketball female/male, volleyball female/male and baseball male and also the karate academy of Corozal will be going in this trip.”

    Ministry Of Health Issues Warning On Painted Potatoes
    Reports from the Cayo District today revealed that visiting guests to Western Belize are falling ill and upon an intensive investigation revealed that the cause is said to be that of contraband, dyed potatoes being consumed. A release from the owner of the Maya Mountain Lodge, Bart Mickler says he has written to the Agricultural Coordinator for the Cayo district, Fay Garnett to report the matter. He says and we quote, “ We would like to make a report to you of a serious breach of several laws in regards to produce sales in the Cayo District. We understand that you are the person in charge and able to direct our concerns to the appropriate agencies of government for action. We hope that the public can be made aware as well so that potential poisoning can be avoided” end quote.

    Orange Walk Mayor In Agreement In Municipal Autonomy
    For the past two Municipal Elections Great Belize Productions has held a special program where the host interviews Mayoral candidates from both major political parties. The format of the program is that both candidates are asked the same questions and given the same amount of air time. The Mayoral candidates from each municipality and political party are interviewed on the same program one after the next. A coin toss determines which candidate is interviewed first. That is how the show has been produced for the past two municipal elections but this year there was no coin toss because all mayoral candidates of the United Democratic Party including Mayoral Candidate Yvette Torres decided not to partake in this year’s rounds of interviews. But the show proceed anyway and kicked off this morning with P.U.P’s Orange Walk Mayoral Candidate and current mayor Kevin Bernard who answered a number of questions which ranged from accountability and transparency to infrastructural works.

    COBEC Holds Winter Conference 2015
    Over 2 dozen representatives from various universities in the United States of America gathered today at the Corozal Junior College for the annual Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) Winter Conference 2015. Every year a secondary and tertiary educational institution is responsible of hosting the conference and this year it is the turn of the Corozal Junior College to do so. But what is COBEC and what role does the organization play here in Belize? Jane Bennett, Co-Chair for Belize COBEC explains. Jane Bennett - Co-chair for Belize COBEC “The Belize co-chair of COBEC which is the Consortium of Belize Education and Cooperation, is an organization that was formed back in the 80’s to support the educational system in Belize, it was a bunch of Universities and some officials in Belize that created this collaboration between the Junior Colleges and our Universities with the US Universities and it has survived the test of time still going on.”

    New Ambassador To Belize, His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez
    There is a new chief in town as it pertains to taking over the reins at the Embassy of Mexico to Belize. His Excellency Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, today presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize at the Belize House in Belmopan. In his presentation, Ambassador Melendez expressed his commitment to working hand in hand with local authorities to achieve the goals of the bilateral agenda, which exists between the two nations. He further stated that priority will be given to “the strengthening of our bilateral legal framework and enriching our areas of cooperation” that encompass security, education, health and culture. Ambassador Melendez also conveyed his government’s commitment to “reinforcing the positive interaction that exists especially between Belize and the southeastern states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche.”

    New Show In Town, Meet The Candidates With Dr, Carl Meggs
    With only weeks away from the anticipated Municipal Elections, political machines have been revving in high gear as the countdown for decision day draws near. But who are the candidates and what do they have to offer to the community? That is what you will find out if you tune in tonight our new show “Meet the Candidates” which will air live from our studios. The show promises to be educational and informative and is being hosted by Dental Surgeon by profession, Dr. Carl Meggs. We caught up with Meggs today who told us that the show will primarily be centered on real issues and finding solutions for them. Dr. Carl Meggs – HOST “The show is not going to be a raga raga morning talk show calling names and slandering and all of that, it is informative and hopefully educational because we want to show topics and we want to show real solution to issues and problems that cause these issues to come about without having to get into name calling and all that there is enough room for education and there is a lot of young people out there and older folks who honestly does not understand governance and that is basically where it is coming from we want to reach out to those people who as the introduction of the show has Bob Marley singing Emancipate yourself from mental slavery and that is basically the jest of it, give people material and discuss it openly that they can understand and make their decision based on acquired knowledge.”

    Briceno Confident Of P.U.P's Victory In O/W For Municipal Elections
    With Municipal Elections right around the corner, today we asked Briceno if his case and that of Doctor Mendez could affect the chances of the Orange Walk P.U.P Seven Team being sent back to town hall. Seemingly unfazed for the entire interview, Briceno stated he is confident that the people will once again put their trust into the People’s United Party to represent them in the upcoming Municipal Elections. “I want to make it abundantly clear, absolutely clear that the people of Orange Walk Town they know me, the people of Orange walk town they know they have a great Mayor by Kevin Bernard and six excellent candidates that are vying to represent the people of Orange Walk Town and that irrespective of what the UDP tries to do it will not stop the people of Orange Walk Town to come out and vote for Kevin Bernard and the other six PUP candidates...”

    LOVE FM

    La Ruta Maya; TWCSH Participates to Raise Awareness
    Together We Can Solve Hungry, a non-governmental organization that aims in helping the needy and the homeless, is participating in the Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2015. Founder and President of TWCSH, Shaheed Mai, spoke to Love News about the objective of the group in this year’s River Challenge. SHAHEED MAI “The Belize community already knows that together we can solve hunger and what we are about and we are just here basically trying to seek sponsorship as it relates to getting supplies for training and for the actual race and also any financial donations to help the organization as well because we are paddling yes, throughout the race but we are also trying to bring awareness to the organization and try to secure sponsorship. We are paddling not only for the awareness but like I said to continue bring in funds and items that the organization needs to if anybody would like to assist us they could do the same thing as usual, call us and say what they want to give whether it is their time or funds or food items and clothing. We are just paddling to continue to build the organization and get ourselves more acquainted with the public. Items like Gatoraid, Powergels, energy bars, and water.

    Ashcroft Wants His 39 Million from GOB
    Justice Shona Griffith handed down her decision in regards to a claim brought against the Government of Belize by the Belize Bank Limited. The case revolves around a handsome figure of 39 million dollars, a loan from the Belize Bank and the former Universal Health Services Limited. Back in September, the matter was heard in the London Court of International Arbitration which ruled in favor of the bank. Later on the claimants sought to have the arbitration award enforced in Belize through the Supreme Court. That matter ended this morning and Senior Counsel Denys Barrow who represented the Government of Belize, updated the media. SENIOR COUNSEL DENYS BARROW “The court said that the executive is basically always entitled to enter into agreements including loan agreements, the problem is that entering into an agreement, making an agreement and enforcing that agreement are two separate stages.

    PlusTV

    Supreme Court declines to enforce Belize Bank arbitral award
    A $39 million BZ arbitration award granted to the Belize Bank Limited by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in January of 2013 cannot be enforced because, according to Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith, it would be contrary to public policy, specifically the need for parliamentary approval to enter into a loan guarantee with the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of Belize Healthcare Partners Limited. Belize Healthcare Partners Limited bought the assets of the former Universal Health Services in 2008 under a settlement agreement. The Bank was gifted $40 million from the Government, consisting of separate US$10 million amounts from Venezuela and Taiwan, but the Venezuelan money was ordered to be returned by the Central Bank as it was intended for a different purpose. Additionally, Belizeans greatly disliked the notion of public funds being used for private ventures such as BHPL/UHS.

    Shane Bennett: Caught and Charged for Rape
    Shane Bennett, a rape suspect, was apprehended on Wednesday in the village of Independence, Stann Creek District. The incident is related to a report made on Tuesday last week, where a 25 year old woman of Dangriga reported to police that on Sunday January 25th., at about 8 pm, she was along with a friend in his vehicle, whom she had asked to take her to the Benguche Area in Dangriga. While he was driving on Front Street, Dangriga Town, he reportedly made a left turn driving in a Western direction on an unknown street leading to Casa Bridge, and while travelling on the street she heard a banging sound of a rock hitting underneath the vehicle.

    19 year old dies after crashing motorbike into truck
    There was a fatal traffic accident in Spanish Lookout Wednesday evening. On Route 40, Spanish Lookout, a white Ford truck collided into a motorcycle, killing the motorbike driver, 19 year old Josue Gilberto Garrido. Jouse Garrido, a Belizean laborer of Duck Run II, on was driving his red and black Meilun motorcycle sometime around 3:30 p.m. Gladimir Cano was driving the white Ford truck on Route 40, and when he reached in front of Country Meats Farm, the motorcycle collided into the left portion of the truck.

    Murder appeal case dismissed
    On Thursday he Court of Appeal handed down its first decision for 2015, deciding to dismiss an appeal against a conviction of murder and sentence of life imprisonment against 28 year old Gregory August, convicted of the murder of 73 year old Western Paradise Village resident Alvin Robinson. Gregory August’s conviction and sentence of life imprisonment were affirmed. Alvin Robinson, who was physically disabled and blind in one eye, was stabbed 9 times in his face and neck. He was found on his bed clinging to life and died while on his way to the hospital.

    Tourists fined for cocaine possession
    A trio of visitors to Belize is out $500 each after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 0.6 grams of cocaine, while on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District. American nationals John Conner and Chelsea Fitch, and Swedish national Johanna Holst were at the dock on Caye Caulker while a special constable and some police officers were patrolling the area. The special constable saw a member of the group containing Conner, Fitch and Holst kick away a transparent plastic bag. On retrieving the bag the cocaine was discovered, but the person who kicked the bag escaped before he could be detained.

    7 year old Belmopan girl raped on way to store
    On Tuesday we told you about the 7 year old child who had to undergo surgery after her hymen was violently torn. That’s because the child was raped on Monday night in Belmopan. According to police reports, on Monday 2nd February, sometime after 6:00p.m., the child’s mother sent her 7 year old daughter to the nearby store to buy an exercise book. While on her way, a man of dark complexion, who the child does not know, grabbed her from behind and put his hand on her mouth, and took the five dollars from her. He then pulled her off to an area and raped her.

    COLA asks Marco Tulio Mendez to make public statement on allegations
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action also weighed in on the allegations and charges against the Orange Walk East Representative. Via a press release on Wednesday, COLA says it, “views with concern the news of the arrest and arraignment of the Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez,” It says that, “Assault on a child is especially loathsome because of the child’s inability to understand what is happening to them, often from an adult or authority figure that they trust. Medical practitioners have an especially important role as the guardians of our country’s health and must be held to a greater standard. In this light the allegations raised against Dr. Mendez are especially serious and damning and no amount of hiding away and calls for privacy is going to change that. As a representative of the people of Belize and particularly Orange Walk East, Dr. Mendez answers to his constituents even if he no longer wishes to serve them. COLA therefore calls on Dr. Mendez to make a public statement to the media on these allegations and begin the process of accountability and transparency so often advocated by his party, the People’s United Party”

    Is the PUP ready for another bi-election?
    A few weeks ago the people of Orange Walk East elected the new PUP standard bearer for that constituency, where Josue Carballo beat Dave Burgos by a very slim margin. This is after Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez , current Area Representative, announced last year November that he is stepping down due to medical reasons. Since being charged for aggravated assault upon a minor and common assault upon another minor, the Senior politician and professional pediatrician has been removed from his position as the chairman of the Northern Caucus, and has been suspended from all other party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The case resumes on April 13th. In the mean time, Dr. Mendez remains as the Area Representative for Orange Walk East. On Wednesday we asked Josue Carballo if his team is ready in the event that there should be another bi-election in the near future.

    Prison escapee formally charged
    Police have brought 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, accused of escape from lawful custody, to court in relation to his alleged breakout from the Central Prison at Hattieville on New Year’s Eve...

    Placencia Food Vendor Complains
    50 year old Brenda Muscham, was born in the community of Placencia, and for over 15 years has worked as a food vendor, selling Caribbean style delicacies to locals and tourists alike for Brenda’s Kitchen, a business she started...

    How Excelsior student was motivated to Do The Right Thing
    The Police Department’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ Initiative was started in 2011, through the Community Policing Unit, as a means of reaching young people starved for role models in society. Four years later the program is still going strong and finding young people who have turned their lives around and...

    Ontario Village man robbed at gunpoint in Dangriga
    A 28-year-old Belizean Collector for Neutralize Belize of Ontario Village, Cayo, reported that he visited A Cool Spot in the Backa Town area, Dangriga, in order to do business. However, the bar was closed. He then began to ride his motorcycle to the Backa Town Basketball Court, when he was accosted ...

    Police looking for missing 83 year old man
    Police are asking the public’s assistance in locating a missing man. 83 year old Cayetano Nah has been reported missing since Tuesday, February 3. According to 43-year-old Alexander Sheppard , on 2nd February, at around 9:00 a.m...

    Teenager faces gun charges again
    19 year old Malik Stuart pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, for which he was re-arrested this week. The original charges were dismissed, but police elected to bring them back. Malik Stuart was seen by police on April 23, 2014, handing over a 9 millimete...

    Jury acquits security guard of aggravated assault
    37 year old Harvey Sambula was acquitted of aggravated assault with a firearm and common assault, on Tuesday afternoon before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. After nearly three hours, the jury voted seven to two to acquit Mr Sambula of the first charge, and took another 30 minutes to reac...

    Watchman charged for boss’s bullet
    The .22 caliber bullet he was charged for is not technically his property, but 51 year old Luis Rodriguez, a watchman at a farm at Mile 12, George Price Highway, Belize District, is in prison nonetheless. Luis Rodriguez appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Herbert Panton, and attempted to plead gui...

    Handyman pleads guilty to theft with ATM card
    32 year old Floyd McNab could not avoid jail time on 22 counts of theft related to use of an ATM card he said he happened to find on the street, even though he plans to pay back what he used. The father of two, employed by the University of Belize as a handyman, entered a guilty plea, and was senten...

    The Guardian

    Non-Custodial sentence for accused rapist
    Records show that horse and carriage businessman, Dennis Gabourel, 57, has faced over 50 charges and has been convicted of a crime at least 10 times since 1997. His latest conviction is for grevious harm upon a woman who accused him of rape and for that conviction he may not serve a minute in prison. Gabourel has been charged multiple times for charges such as theft, harm, assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape but Justice Troadio John Gonzalez decided that he is the type of individual deserving of a non-custodial sentence for being convicted of grevious harm upon a woman who claims he raped her.

    Men to Stand Trial for Murder of Jorge Blanco
    A Preliminary Inquiry (PI) for the case against four men linked to the murder of Jorge Blanco, 57, concluded on Tuesday, February 3, with a decision to commit the case to the April 2015 session of the Supreme Court. In October of 2013, police arrested and charged four men for their part in the robbery of three shipyard farmers and the murder of their employee. On Friday, October 25th, Shipyard farmers John, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were returning home along with their truck driver, 57-year-old Jorge Blanco, when they were ambushed on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The robbery took place sometime around 12 noon. The cargo truck was passing the speed bump at mile 19 in Sandhill Village when a gunman approached and fired a shot at the driver.

    Fined for Selling PUP Boledo
    Chinese grocer, Jia Bi Wang, 46, is facing a possible prison term of six months for selling illegal boledo at her establishment. Wang pleaded guilty to one count of selling illegal lottery when she appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, January 30. According to police report, on July 13, 2014 PC Hyde saw Wang sell lottery to a customer on a white paper at her shop, Kim’s Store, on Iguana Street Extension. According to PC Hyde, when he saw the transaction he approached the counter and informed Wang that he was a police officer. Hyde took the paper from the customer and took the money from Wang. He informed her of the offense and made the arrest.

    Carjacking and rape in Griga
    Police continue an intense manhunt for Dangriga Resident Shane Bennett who is believed to have been involved in a carjacking, which led to anal rape of a young woman, and a police shoot out. It’s compounding a heinous act to a deadly crime. It all happened Sunday January 25, at about 8 p.m. when a 25 year-old woman was with her male friend in his vehicle. She asked him to take her to the Benguche Area of Dangriga Town. While on the way there, the friends heard a rock hitting the chassis at the vehicle. When the man stopped the vehicle, and stepped out to check what happened, 2 men, one armed with a knife, and the other with a gun, held him up and ordered him to get back into the vehicle.

    Laboratory technician accused of bad touch
    Lab technician Albert Genity is out on bail after he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Thursday, January 29, to answer to a single charge of sexual assault. A woman reported to police that she visted the Matron Roberts Health Center on Friday, January 23, to get a lab report. While she was there she went into an office to see Genity and while conducting a test he touched her vagina in a sexual nature without her consent. The woman was offended and reported the matter to police. Genity was arrested and charged.

    Upliftment for Lakeview and Trenchtown!
    Any investment in infrastructure is an investment in job creation and long term upliftment for people who depend on them. Across the length and breadth of Belize the Government is investing in meaningful infrastructure projects which have created thousands of jobs for residents and transformed communities. The infrastructure of major highways, main roads, tourist sites access roads, main streets and development zones have seen major upgrades but also have minor streets, village roads and unplanned communities. For every part of the country there is an infrastructure project ongoing right now. The most recent project is the concrete lining of Lakeview, Prisoner Creek & Trenchtown Canals in Southside Belize City.

    Agric changes show dates
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture hereby informs the general public that the dates for the 2015 show has been changed to May 1, 2 and 3. The theme of the show remains as “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public Private Partnership”. The grounds are currently being prepared and concessioners and food vendors are advised that sale of booths will begin February 23, 2015.

    Belmopan Market has been improved
    The residents of Belmopan are now happy that their market on market square is finally operational. Just recently opened, the market in Belmopan now covers the Civic Center parking area beside the Post Office, Civic Centre Verandah and the new Gazebo surrounding. The much improved Belmopan market opens on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Existing at the Belmopan Market are stalls dedicated for vegetable and fruit (38), food (12), meat (4), clothing (59) and dry good products (17). Both a market manager from the Belmopan City Council and a vendor’s committee has been assigned to ensure that the market is highly organized and sanitary. Indeed; for those heading to Belmopan, the market now stands out as a place to go. Today, Belmopan market vendors and residents can enjoy green areas lined with flowering plants, a renovated Belmopan Civic Center and a renovated market.

    Clarification on statements made against the SPTC and Mayor by Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras
    It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP.

    Normal Course of Business Paving of Hopkins Road Full Speed Ahead
    With the Municipal Elections approaching, infrastructure works in the cities and towns have understandably been receiving a disproportionate amount of attention these days. But as Prime Minister Dean Barrow once put it, such works under this administration occur as part of the normal course of business. Indeed, countrywide, not just in the municipalities, these works have been proceeding as per normal. In Hopkins, for example, the long-anticipated paving of the access road has been moving full speed ahead. Some portions have already been fully paved and others are in progress. In accordance with the design which takes into account the seasonal flooding that occurs in the wet-land area at the entrance of the village, a 300 foot long structure is being incorporated to permit water to effectively roll off without causing structural damage to the pavement.

    PUP can’t get anything right!
    There is nothing that gets past the eyes of those engaged in the social media, and in particular Facebook. Our attention was drawn by one such posting where an observant member of Facebook posted a picture of a PUP poster in San Pedro. We have no idea how the fact that the sign was posted upside down could have gotten past those who were organizing the work but what we can surmise is that if they can’t get a simple task as putting a sign up right then they stand not a ghost of a chance of being able to run a municipality.

    Santi Inaugurates Drainage Project for Buttonwood Bay
    Hon. Santiago Santino Castillo pledged to the residents of Caribbean Shores when he was on the campaign trail in 2011 that he would lobby tirelessly to see that the infrastructure in the area is improved. He says, “The two most common concerns are street infrastructure and drainage.” Central Government has worked with the Belize City Council to keep Santi’s promise with the Council’s extensive street rehabilitation program very visible in Caribbean Shores. The drainage component has been lagging behind; however, on Saturday, January 31, Castillo and residents of Caribbean shores celebrated the completion of a million dollar comprehensive drainage project for the Buttonwood Bay area.

    Sexual assault has serious consequences
    On Tuesday December 23, 2014, 41 year old Carlos Perez Sanchez pleaded guilty of sexual assault of a 39 year old woman and her 11 year old daughter. For his crime he was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The crime that Sanchez had committed was to touch both of the females on their buttocks while they passed in front of him.

    Deafening silence from the Noise Makers!!!
    Dr. Tulio Mendez is going down in history as the first sitting Area Representative in Belize to be charged for child sexual molestation. On Tuesday, January 3, the Area Representative of Orange Walk East was charged with aggravated sexual assault upon two very young children. It is the most shameful allegations ever brought up against a member of the House of Representatives; it was the headline story of all independent media houses and it was the most discussed topic on social media in Belize on Tuesday evening. However, it seems as if no morning talk show host or producer in Belize was aware that a Member of Parliament is being labeled a child predator. No women rights group, children rights activist, church organization, union or any other social partner representative issued a single statement. Compare that to the treatment of UDP officials.

    Attorney gets paid $250,000 and does not deliver to his client
    On July 8, 2013, a property located at 12B Douglas Jones Street in Belize City was put up for sale by the owner, Rita Mcfield. It was not two days later that a church group, Forward in Faith Ministries, approached the seller expressing interest to purchase the land and the legal transactions began. The prospective new owners were so eager to seal the deal that they would soon deposit $250,000 under the care of attorney Ernest Staine. While the land documentation was proceeding, the money was held in escrow, meanwhile an agreement was reached where, to prevent the property being sold to anyone else, $10,000 was given to the owner with a monthly payment of $1,000 being paid while the paper works were completed. A year later the paperwork is all completed but at this point in time the owner is refusing to sign over the ownership since the payment has not yet been made.

    VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament set for February 8
    The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to announce that it has rescheduled the VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Invitational Tournament for Sunday 8 February, 2015, at Rogers Stadium. The tournament was originally scheduled for 26 October, 2014, and had to be postponed because of the weather. The VII Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will feature the Belize Bank Bulldogs the national softball champions of Belize, Beacon from Belize City, Lord’s Bank Sunrise, Camalote United, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the champions from the Orange Walk Association. The tournament is scheduled to commence at 9:00 am and will utilise an abbreviated Double Elimination format.

    OW’s New Mayor
    It has become glaringly obvious even to the casual bystander that the People’s United Party is in crisis mode. A succession of recent events has rocked the Party to its core, and is even threatening to weaken the Party’s viability to mount a credible challenge in any election. The most recent event surrounds the Doctor from the East. This man is in an unenviable position, and is facing serious criminal charges and a dark future as a professional. Now, because of the protracted outrage levied against Penner by its covert apologists, the PUP leadership has had to react with drastic measures against one of their own. Hon. Mendez has been suspended indefinitely from the Party and from any of its activities, and is now a political pariah.

    Polyclinic in San Pedro Now Provides 24-hour Emergency Service
    A short ceremony was held on Monday, February 2, 2015 in San Pedro Town to officially announce the extension of emergency services to 24 hours at the Dr. Otto Rodriquez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Opening remarks were delivered by His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero. He spoke on the many discussions held to ensure this reality, and on his commitment to continue to guarantee that healthcare services remain a priority for the people. Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts was also in attendance. He expressed his honour to be a part of the team focused on improving and expanding the services at the Polyclinic. He also committed to continuing the work to provide necessary additional healthcare services to the island.

    Ground breaking at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio
    There was a ground breaking ceremony for a kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town on Sunday evening of this past weekend. Present for the ceremony was Evan Dakers, the Director of Help Age Belize, who thanked the Gobie Foundation for its ongoing efforts to raise funds towards the building of the kitchen. Alan Gobie, the representative from the Gobie Foundation, reports that from the bike ride held in November of last year, some $50,000.00 was raised, which will now go towards the kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center. Additionally, the Gobie Foundation and its many partners will be having a Valentine’s Day dance on February 14th at the Octavia Waight Center. The event has been programmed to start at 8:00 pm and will feature a live auction of prizes. Tickets are now going for $75.00 each and can be obtained from any of the Octavia Waight Board members. From this effort and others, it is hoped that an additional $30,000.00 can be raised, which will also be going towards the new kitchen.

    How long did PUP know of the molestation allegations?
    Even if, when and after Dr. Tulio Mendez is tried for child molestation charges there will be more questions than answers about the series of events that led to him being charged on Tuesday, January 4. These questions have been pouring in to Wave Radio’s “Fus Ting Da Mawnin” and to the Guardian Newspaper. Belizeans have a list of questions they want answers to. - How long was the children’s guardian who made the report aware of the act committed upon the girls? - When was the PUP Executive made aware of the allegations of child molestation against Hon. Tulio Mendez? - Did the guardian of Mendez’s accusers use the children’s allegations to hold Mendez at ransom for some time? - Did Mendez really resign for health issues or was his resignation as Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East forced because of this bombshell?

    Jaguar Paw road paving to start
    A contract was signed between the Ministry of Works & Transport and Belize Roadway construction Ltd, for the paving of the Frank’s Eddy/Jaguar Paw Road. The paving of the road will be done at a cost of $4,864,644.92 and is expected to be complete in six months. The project entails the Paving of 9 km of roadway ; the rehabilitation of base course to remove undesirable soft material; the Placing of culverts and crossings into properties adjacent to roadway improvement drainage alongside road; establishing of drains to evacuate water from alongside roadway throughout the length of road; the placing of road furniture throughout the length of roadway (signs, guardrails, etc); painting of road to define carriageway; Placing of speed bumps for the traffic control; and the widening of the existing carriageway.

    Tulio Mendez’s wife subject of attacks
    In the wake of the child molestation scandal that has emerged against the good Doctor from Orange Walk East, Marco Tulio Mendez, his family has been taking some of the blowback from the political consequences of the accusation. On Friday, Dr. Lesly Mendez, Marco Tulio’s wife, granted an interview to Channel 7 News in which she discussed that her family is being targeted by residents of Orange Walk Town. Those residents are sending her threatening messages, phone calls and remarks which are demeaning, disrespectful, and full of hate.

    PUP’s feeble attempt to boot out Marco Tulio Mendez
    On Tuesday February 3, the People's United Party made the most feeble attempt to get on the right side of history in the whole debacle surrounding Marco Tulio Mendez and the charges he is now facing of Aggravated Assault against two young girls. The PUP statement said that the Party Leader, Francis Fonseca was with immediate effect removing Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and suspended him indefinitely from all of their party related duties, responsibilities and activities. What we can say about this is that the PUP needs to wheel and come again, it should be remembered that for all intents and purposes Marco Tulio Mendez had already told his party that he no longer wanted anything to do with them. He in fact had told them that he would no longer represent them in the next general elections. In effect he was withdrawing from the PUP. The lame declaration by the PUP yesterday was in fact moot and pointless.

    PG Magistrate’s Court remodeled
    The Magistrate's Court in Punta Gorda has been fully retrofitted and on Friday January 30th it was officially opened. U.S. Ambassador, H.E. Carlos Moreno along with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Solicitor General, Anita Johnston, did the honors of ribbon cutting. For years the court had fallen into disrepair and there was an urgent need for attention to be given to the building to bring it up to standard. After much seeking assistance it came by way of the U.S' Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) which invested in the renovation of the building both inside and outside. The court is now fully air conditioned with internet and wifi access as well as wheel chair access. The court will also be doubling to accommodate Supreme Court hearings. Aside from the renovations at the magistrate's court building, work is also currently underway through financing from UNICEF for the construction of a child friendly court to accommodate the family court in PG.

    The nuts take over NTUCB
    Belizeans will be seeing some very extreme positions taken by the unions in the weeks and months ahead because the crazies have taken control of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB held elections for officers on Sunday, February 2, and Marvin Mora was elected President with Audrey Matura-Shepherd as 2nd Vice-President. Mora and Matura-Shepherd have been the union leaders most hostile towards government in the last 14 months and they seem to have formed a mutual relationship. Since the two have started making appearance together, Matura-Shepherd’s most trusted associate, Floyd Neal, has been appointed by the NTUCB’s Mora alliance as a Director of the Social Security Board. Then Marvin Mora received the support of the largest union, Christian Workers Union, for Presidency of the National Trade Union Congress. In turn, Matura-Shepherd received the Mora alliance bump and was elected to the position vacated by Mora, 2nd Vice-President.

    Attorney gets paid $250,000 and does not deliver to his client
    On July 8, 2013, a property located at 12B Douglas Jones Street in Belize City was put up for sale by the owner, Rita Mcfield. It was not two days later that a church group, Forward in Faith Ministries, approached the seller expressing interest to purchase the land and the legal transactions began. The prospective new owners were so eager to seal the deal that they would soon deposit $250,000 under the care of attorney Ernest Staine. While the land documentation was proceeding, the money was held in escrow, meanwhile an agreement was reached where, to prevent the property being sold to anyone else, $10,000 was given to the owner with a monthly payment of $1,000 being paid while the paper works were completed. A year later the paperwork is all completed but at this point in time the owner is refusing to sign over the ownership since the payment has not yet been made.

    American nurse in jail for overstaying her time
    American nurse, Tessa Kenny, 38, is serving the first days of a one year prison sentence for failure to comply with a visitor’s permit. Kenny appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, January 30, and pleaded guilty to the offense. According to immigration records, Kenny arrived in Belize sometime in 2013 and after spending the time granted to her she received extensions up until October 2014. According to immigration officer Roberto Gurnsey, though Kenny has been granted extensions when requested, she has not visited the Immigration Department since October, 2014. On Thursday, January 29, police on patrol in the Belama area had a run in with Kenny and requested that she provide her immigration documents. She could not produce any documents; therefore, she was handed over to the Immigration Department and it was discovered that her visitor’s permit had expired.

    Floyd McNab Pleads Guilty to 22 Counts of Theft
    Monica Santos, 27, left a purse in her dad’s DMAX pickup truck on January 16 and before she could go back to get it the purse vanished. Police investigation led to Tow Tow store on Mahogany Street where surveillance cameras showed Floyd McNab, 30, making purchases with Santos’ ATM card. According to police, McNab swiped the woman’s card 22 times from January 16 to January 20. The most he spent at one time was $302. The total amount he spent over the period is $2,912.70. Floyd McNab is a handyman familiar to the Santos family. He was arrested and charged with 22 counts of theft. On Tuesday, January 3, McNab appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton where he pleaded not guilty to the 22 counts.

    Tattoo Artist Out on Bail
    After seven nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a sexual assault charge, Estevan Mossiah, 45, businessman of Barracks Road is out on bail. Mossiah is in trouble for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl twice in January of this year. According to a report to police by a minor, 15, Mossiah engaged in sexual intercourse with her on two separate occasions, January 6 and January 9, 2015. Mossiah was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault upon a minor under the age of 16. He was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Friday, January 23. Since the charge is a matter that will be dealt with on indictment, no plea was taken and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 24, 2015. However, attorney Oscar Selgado filed a bail application on his behalf at the Supreme Court.

    Brutal Murder in Belmopan
    Feliciano Richard Noralez McKoy, better known as “Mac”, met an unusually violent death on Tuesday, February 3, while he was on the job in the City of Belmopan. The 59 year-old Anchor Security Guard was mutilated by his killer(s) and left dead inside the building belonging to the company he worked for. Noralez, who had been employed with Anchor Security for almost a year, was posted at the Company’s Belmopan Headquarters, and he reported promptly for work on Monday at 6 p.m., and he was supposed to work a 12 hour shift until 6 a.m. The first 8 hours of his shift passed without incident, and at around 2:30 he was with Mr. Munnings, his supervisor, who had to go around checking on the security guards posted at different locations in the City. When he returned an hour and a half later, he found Noralez lying on the floor of the office area in a pool of blood. He had been killed, chopped multiple times to the head and arms – his right hand severed.

    Gregory Lovell wins C-Ray’s 4th Test Race
    The C-Ray Cycling Club held its 4th Test Race on Saturday 31st January, 2015. The race started from in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway to the Hattieville Round-About, making a left turn onto the Burrell Boom Road unto the Boom Bridge making a turn back to the George Price Highway and then to Leslie’s Imports for the finish. In the Junior Category, first place went to Anthony Marin, second place went to Yan Cattouse of C-Ray and third place went to Brian Sutherland. In the Female Category, first place went to Kaya Cattouse with second place going to Alicia Thompson.

    Belize Elementary girls and Holy Cross Anglican boys are the Belize District primary schools basketball champions
    The Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Championship came to an end on Tuesday 3 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing Belize City defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 10-5 to capture the Belize District Basketball Title. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 8 points, while the top scorers for Holy Redeemer School were Wareyni Gillett and Yu Ting Li with 2 points. In the first game in the girls’ competition played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist School by the score of 8-6. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Yu Ting Li with 4 points and the top scorers for Burrell Boom Methodist were Ivana Baptist, Lorraine Stephen and Amber Arnold with 2 points each.

    Elite Basketball Competition opens this weekend
    The 2015 National Elite Basketball League Competition is scheduled to open this Friday 6 February at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town between Belize Hurricanes from Belize City and the Cayo Western Ballaz. The official Opening Ceremony is set to commence at 8:30 pm and this will be followed by tip-off at 9:00 pm. The competition will then continue on Saturday 7 February, 2015 with three more games on the schedule.

    Verdes FC early leaders in the Premier League of Belize Closing Season
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Tournament commenced on Saturday 31 January, 2015, with a single game on the schedule. The game was played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, between the national football champions of Belize, the Belmopan Bandits and the sub-champions the Police United. At the end of the long whistle, which signalled the end of play, the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits and the Police United played to a 0-0 draw. The tournament then continued on Sunday 1 February, 2015, with three games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Verdes FC edged out the San Ignacio United Team by the score of 2-1 to take an early lead in the Closing Tournament. The visiting Verdes FC got on the scoreboard first when Ryan Gill scored the 1st goal of the game in the 7th minute of play to give Verdes FC an early lead.

    National Primary Schools Basketball Championship this Friday
    The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Basketball Competition will come to an end on Friday 6 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle here in Belize City. The Opening Ceremony will commence at 8:45 am and it will include all the champions of the six districts of Belize. The girls’ competition will be played at the Bird’s Isle while the boys’ competition will be played at the YWCA Court with both championship games being played at Bird’s Isle. The schools that will participate in the championship includes from Belize District- Belize Elementary School (girls) and Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro (boys); from the Corozal District- Libertad Methodist School (girls and boys); from Orange Walk District- Louisiana Government School (girls and boys); from the Cayo District – St. Jude Roman Catholic School from Camalote Village (girls) and Mount Carmel Roman Catholic from Benque (boys); from the Stann Creek District- Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School from Dangriga Town (girls) and Holy Family Roman Catholic from Hopkins Village (boys) and from the Toledo District- St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic School (girls) and Punta Gorda Methodist (boys).

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Dyed potatoes spark public health advisory
    We’ve heard of counterfeiting money; but fake local potatoes? That’s a first and tonight there is a public health advisory about what is being described as tainted potatoes. The local Irish potatoes harvest just started last week, and the variety being produced by farmers in San Antonio, Cayo and in […]

    Supreme Court declines to enforce arbitration award
    The former administration of Prime Minister Said Musa should have gone to the House of Representatives for approval of a settlement agreement and loan note guaranteeing BZ$39 million in funds to the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of the Belize Healthcare Partners Trust, which bought out the assets […]

    Tourists fined for cocaine possession
    A trio of visitors to Belize is out $500 each after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 0.6 grams of cocaine, while on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District. American nationals Johnny Conner and Chelsea Fitch and Swedish national Johanna Holst were at the dock […]

    Belize City man beats charge over jade
    A Belize City man was brought to court over possession of Mayan antiquities found on him on January 21, 2014. But he was acquitted of a charge of failing to produce a license to possess antiquities, because he was never actually asked whether he had one. 37 year […]

    Murder appeal case dismissed
    The Court of Appeal today handed down its first decision for 2015, deciding to dismiss an appeal against a conviction of murder and sentence of life imprisonment against 28 year old Gregory August. August is convicted of the murder of 73 year old Western Paradise Village resident Alvin […]

    Cold front will bring changes in the weather
    A change in the weather is expected heading into the weekend as a cold front crosses the country tonight. As a result skies will become cloudy to overcast and a few showers, periods of rain will affect the country tonight and on Friday. Winds will be gusty tonight but generally […]

    Supreme Court declines to enforce Belize Bank arbitration award
    This morning Supreme Court Justice Shonna Griffith declined to enforce the BZ$39 million arbitration award granted to the Belize Bank Limited by the London Court of International Arbitration on the basis to do so would be contrary to public policy. The Court held that there was no evidence that the administration of former Prime Minister Said Musa had sought parliamentary approval to enter into a loan guarantee with the Belize Bank Limited on behalf of Universal Healthcare Partners which bought the assets of the former Universal Health Services in 2007. The Court said that without such approval there was no way to enforce payment of the monies granted under the arbitral award. This is because the Finance and Audit Reform Act legislates that such approval is needed for any over BZ$10 million.

    Blogs

    Belize: A Must See Destination for 2015!
    “Inside Toronto” agrees that Belize is the place to go… There’s no doubt that Belize’s reputation as the “must go to” destination is spreading – East, West, South and especially North, where major airlines are continually expanding services to accommodate the growing number of people who want to see for themselves why Belize is becoming so popular. Then, of course, there’s all those travellers who are returning after seeing just how much there is to do in a little country with such a huge diversity of scenery, cultures and activities. Let’s face it, with vast rainforests, the world’s second largest barrier reef, a wealth of ancient Maya temples and cities, a stunning Caribbean coastline with hundreds of islands and so much more, Belize is the sort of country that just keeps calling you back. But we were talking about Belize’s growing reputation with our northern neighbours…

    San Pedro’s Wonderful House of Culture Celebrates Rastafarianism & World Icon Bob Marley
    Yesterday I stopped by San Pedro’s relatively new House of Culture – to me the highlight of the new Sacas Chispas/Old Football field/Boardwalk project on the back side of town – to check out a display about Bob Marley and the Rastafari culture. Mito Paz has been doing a wonderful job putting together interesting exhibitions. All around Belize, you meet Rastas but this was a great chance to see and learn a bit more…and to send me home to get googlin’…to find out about the movement and the culture. The San Pedro House of Culture is celebrating Rastfari culture. And there are no bigger icon of Rastafarianism than Bob Marley. His music and image is recognized world wide.

    Belize Images
    Belize is home to one of the best relaxed island lifestyles you will find anywhere in the world. From its many beautiful Cayes—like Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker—to the stunning Placencia peninsula…Belize is full of breathtaking scenery. Picture miles of virtually unspoiled coast, Maya ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, and exotic wildlife—they’re all part of Belize. If it’s a Caribbean lifestyle on a budget that you are looking for—you’ll find it in Belize. Below you can enjoy a selection of images and slideshows from the different parts of Belize.

    Police get new motorcycles in San Pedro
    Just in case you haven't read the local media...that's right! The San Pedro Transport has upgraded its fleet of motorcycles to four (4) brand new motorcycles. Each warden will now have his/her own motorcycle. These motorcycles will help the SPTD monitor the traffic on the island.

    Juan Carnaval
    The Corozal House of Culture in Association with the Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art(COLCHA) present the lost tradition of Juan Carnaval. On Sunday February 15th at 6 p.m. our stage presentation will entertain and educate attendees as we reintroduce components of the cultural celebration, Juan Carnaval. You are cordially invited to our presentation as we continue to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Corozal.

    Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrates his birthday, island-style
    No sooner did saltwater-veined Texas singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker blow town than another popular salt-water singer-songwriter from Texas strode in to take his place, Kelly McGuire. The pattern is similar. Texan McGuire will be showing up at venues around town to sing some of the popular stuff from his Belieze-inspired songbook, like “A Boat in Belize, ” “Daddys & Daughters,” “King of the Island,” “Blame It On Buffett,” and “Girls of the Island.” Wednesday afternoon was given over to celebrating McGuire’s birthday at the perfect haunt, The Palapa Bar, about a half-mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge (if you believe the signs).

    International Sourcesizz

    The Big Number That Shows Just How Much Cruise Ships Are Polluting the World’s Oceans
    A new report reveals that the “floating cities” dump a billion gallons of sewage a year—and it’s all perfectly legal. They say cruise ship passengers put on a pound a day while sailing, but that’s not nearly as much as they’re leaving behind. Those all-you-can-eat buffets and open bars add up to a lot of waste, and when you’re out at sea, it has to go somewhere. For cruise ship operators, that usually means dumping sewage in the open ocean—which is legal. Cruise ships dump about 1 billion gallons of sewage overboard every year, and much of it is raw or poorly treated, according to federal data acquired by the environmental group Friends of the Earth. The watchdog group released a report card looking at the 16 biggest cruise line companies, giving each one letter grades for sewage treatment, air pollution reductions, and water quality compliance. FOE also assigned individual grades to each of the 167 cruise ships in operation. The 2014 report found a steady improvement for cruise lines sailing newer, energy-efficient ships. But 40 percent of the global cruise ship fleet is outfitted with waste-treatment technology more than 35 years old. “Such antiquated treatment systems leave harmful levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals, and other contaminants in the water,” the report stated.

    Commentary: Belize on drug trafficking
    Currently, Belize is struggling with an onslaught of drug trafficking, a common theme experienced by many Latin American countries, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. You can now add Belize to the list that is now caught up in the “War on Drugs.” Geographically, Belize shares a northern border with Mexico, a western one with Guatemala, and access to the Gulf and several Caribbean countries. Its physical location and the increasing violence in Mexico and Guatemala make Belize an ideal transshipment point to the US market. To counter the drug trafficking threat, Belize has followed the US’s policy by adopting a hardline approach and cracking-down on drugs. Belize has looked to its allies – the US, Canada and the UK – to help strengthen its military, called the Belize Defence Force, and the country’s police force. The question is whether this militaristic approach is the best option for tiny Belize because the same approach has arguably failed in Mexico and Guatemala. After laying out the facts, Belize may want to look at other options, like marijuana legalization and investing in new social programs, to combat the drug problem into which it has fallen.

    Fish expert sounds off on seismic surveys
    This week, the federal government decided to exclude waters off Florida from the next five-year plan for oil and gas drilling leases along the Outer Continental Shelf. But offshore oil exploration is still on the table. Nine companies have applied for permits to use seismic air guns to survey for oil and gas from Cape Canaveral to Delaware. For days, weeks or months at a time, the surveys shoot pulses of compressed air from the ocean’s surface in 10 to 15 second intervals. The sound reflects back information to create 3-D images of the ocean floor. The impact of the surveys on whales and other marine life has been hotly debated. In August, William Yancey Brown, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s chief environmental officer, asserted in an agency newsletter that there’s no documented scientific evidence of noise from air guns used in seismic surveys “adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities” or commercial fishing. But Grant Gilmore, a senior scientist with Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Science, Inc. in Vero Beach, says the impacts to fish could be significant but haven’t been sufficiently studied. He’s studied Florida and Caribbean fish and the sounds they make for four decades, working at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce and Dynamac Corp. at the Kennedy Space Center. FLORIDA TODAY asked Gilmore to weigh in on the potential impacts of seismic surveys on migratory fish.

    Caldwell students serve the poor in Belize
    A group of Caldwell University students spent nine days of their winter break in a remote village in Belize rebuilding a church, making friends with villagers and sharing food and games with children. The students did service work in Santa Cruz replacing the wall of a church with cinder blocks and making mortar from scratch with limited tools. "They have so little and are so happy," sophomore Sean Puzzo said. "Yet in America, people have so much (materially) and are often so sad." Students Jessica Marco, Crista Cattano, Kaitlin Rodio, Catherine Ringhoff, Debra Pellegrino, Virginia Johnson, Emma Clarke and alumnus Patrick Lehosky took the trip. They were chaperoned by Tim Kessler-Cleary, director of student engagement, Meghan Moran, assistant director of student engagement, and Amy Rizzo, athletic administrator and women's lacrosse coach.

    Videos

  • Assessing Data-Limited Fisheries: the Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE), 60min. This webinar originally aired on 5 February 2015. It was presented by Rod Fujita, Kendra Karr, and Willow Batista of Environmental Defense Fund. Thousands of commercial and recreational fisheries exist worldwide, representing an important component of many countries' economies and supporting billions of people around the world who rely on healthy oceans for food and income. Yet the health and status of most fish stocks remain unknown due to the high cost and complex nature of stock assessments. Stock assessment information is vital as it informs important decisions on how fisheries are managed, impacting species’ ability to recover, fishermen’s ability to make a living and the availability of fish which billions of people around the world rely on as a source of protein. The Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE) equips fishery managers with a low-cost and highly effective online resource to assess and sustainably manage their data-limited fishery. FISHE simplifies the intricate fishery assessment process by walking users through a structured step-by-step framework that combines multiple methods. This webinar will walk users through the FISHE framework and describe how EDF has worked in Belize to implement this data-limited approach.
  • Belize City Harbour Timelapse, 1min. A Timelapse of the Belize City Harbour on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Caye Caulker Belize Snorkel Sailing Trip Raggamuffin Tours, 2min. Beautiful Caye Caulker Belize. Took a tour out on a sailboat and explored the reef. Rays, Turtles, Sharks and more.
  • "I'm All Into You" - First Live Performance Kelly McGuire in Belize, 1min. Kelly plays a song from his new album (to be released April 1st 2015) on a palapa over the water in Belize. Ambergris Caye's famous Palapa Bar.
  • "Boat in Belize" Performed in Belize by Kelly McGuire, 1min. February 5th, 2015 at the Palapa Bar, Ambergris Caye Belize.
  • Belize City, 2min. City tour 2015.
  • My Body Is Precious, 4min. As part of the efforts of the Belize government to fight sexual violence against children, this video makes the book My Body Is Precious available to children and parents in indigenous communities. This video is the result of a collaboration between the Belize Special Envoy for Women and Children, the IDB and Maya and Garifuna communities in Belize.
  • My Body Is Precious - Maya, 5min.
  • My Body Is Precious - Garifuna, 6min.
  • A Raggamuffin Birthday... in Belize, 2min. Highlights from my three-day overnight sail from Caye Caulker to Placencia with Raggamufin Tours– and one of my most memorable birthdays in Belize.
  • Boa Belize's Jungle, 1min.
  • JHU Carey Students Lead the Pack in Belize - Experiential Learning 2015, 3.5min. Twelve JHU Carey students journey through the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, paddling from caye to caye and setting up camp to build an All Star Team! Seeing the big picture, challenging the process, modeling the way, empowering others to act, and encouraging the heart!
  • Caribbean Cruise Holiday- Belize Rainforest Howler Monkeys -Carnival Splendor- The Marketers Cruise, 1.5min. During the Annual Marketers Cruise January we landed for one day in Belize, and set off along the Belize River for the Rain Forest Sanctuary at Big Falls, St Pauls Bank.Here the local mcommunities have banded together in a bid to save the Howler Monkeys, or Baboons by preserving their habitat alongside the river banks...After much searching our guide was able to attract the attention of a Howler monkey family high in the Caribbean rain forest tree tops, and persuade them to come and eat some leaves.
  • Belize, 2.5min. Clips from my trip to Belize in April, 2014. The snorkel is near Bread and Butter Caye and the Jungle footage is from our farm off the Hummingbird Highway.
  • TOINI FABIO. GUATEMALA HONDURAS & BELIZE, 4min.
  • Belize 2014, 9min.

    February 5, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    SP Sun 2015 Valentine's Day Poetry Contest
    Submit your poetry and win fabulous prizes!

    The Electronic Music Scene has hit Belize
    The weekend continued with the After Party at Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar on Saturday, January 31st with Memo Bacca from Nicaragua, Filipa Lazary of Spain, Ominous from Puerto Rico, Mar-C from Mexico and Luis Maier of Honduras entertaining the crowd. The festival closed on Sunday, February 1st with the Deep Chill Pool Party at the Belize Ocean Club with the musical stylings of Sisimito’s Sunday Session and Uwe K from Hopkins. This was definitely an event I would not soon forget! Throughout the weekend I made new friends, fell in love with new mixes and danced till my feet hurt. I might be biases with this statement, but electronic music is best and electronic music lovers are clearly some of the must friendly, accepting and fun people out there.

    San Pedro Red Cross to host Blood Drive
    The San Pedro Red Cross and Belize Blood Services will be holding a blood drive on Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9AM to 3PM. Healthy donors from the ages of 18-65 are invited to come out and support the cause. All blood collected is stored at the Belize City blood bank and is allocated for Ambergris Caye residents or tourists in need. Here are some helpful tips for those wanting to donate, remember RED: Rest- get a good night’s sleep the night before you donate, Eat a healthy meal before you donate (eating iron-rich foods helps strengthen iron levels for safe and successful blood donation) and Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages (water is best, or fresh juice).

    Brain training through an Art Program
    The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. is working along with the San Pedro Town Council to provide an art program for the island’s children. Under the guidance of Mexican art professor Daniel Portillo, the program began on Monday, January 19th and is based on the studies of plastic arts. The goal of the program is to enrich the lives of youth across the island. The free workshop is being offered to children between the ages of 6 to 16 years at the San Pedro House of Culture. Classes are held daily from 4 to 6PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, a special class is offered for children living with disabilities. Through this class participants will learn the basic concepts of art including painting and molding, with the aim to build up a child’s concentration and focus.

    Who dropped the ball in the burial of Silvia Benitez?
    The council also addressed Ambassador Abella’s remark about the Mayor refusing to assist in the exhumation of Benitez. “For the record, there was never direct communication between the Ambassador and the Mayor. On January 29th, a secretary of the Honduran Embassy requested a meeting with the Mayor for 10AM on January 30th. Because the Mayor had other prior commitments of similar importance, he indicated that it would be difficult at that time. Having knowledge of her presence on the island, the Mayor suggested that they meet that very evening but that offer was turned down by Ambassador Abella. At that time, the Honduran Embassy had already secured all the necessary documents and approval from the relevant authorities for the exhumation process. It was through an unofficial government source, that the SPTC learned that the Honduran Embassy contracted the services of a medical doctor to oversee the exhumation process, along with other authorities. At no time, did the Honduran Embassy ever communicate verbally or in writing about their plans to exhume the body. Similarly, at no time did the Honduran Embassy request for our assistance in the exhumation process… it is very sad that the memory and the incident surrounding Benitez’s demise are being exploited by a few irresponsible and heartless political individuals. In so doing, they have cast blame on several entities including the SPTC, which clearly has no jurisdiction over these police and foreign affairs matters.” The SPTC ended it lengthy statement indicating that they are registering its protests to the Government of Honduras in regards to the misconstrued and offensive remarks made by Her Excellency Abella, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize.

    Ambergris Today

    Letters To The Editor: San Pedro High School Receives Sports Equipment Donation
    Dear Mrs. Jean Marconett, San Pedro High School extends its heartfelt gratitude to you and friends for the assortment of sporting equipment and materials which you brought down during your visit at San Pedro High. Needless to say our sporting director, Mr. Paul Kelly and our coach Mr. Alex Noralez are very grateful and pleased that their practices will now be more efficient and fun. We thank you and pray for more philanthropists like you to visit our island and our school. Once again, on behalf of the young people of our Island town, we thank you most sincerely for your invaluable donation. God bless. Mr. Emil Vasquez. Principal San Pedro High School

    New Laser Sailboat Fleet Arrives in San Pedro
    With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize's new fleet will make that 141. On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye.

    Stranded Vessel Poses Threat to Reef off Caye Caulker
    Oceana Belize Supports Calls From Caye Caulker Residents To Remove Stranded Vessel From Reef - Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, and may be one of the last countries in the world to have extensive areas of pristine reef. Oceana Belize is working to protect this vulnerable but economically important natural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of Belizeans and her future generations. However, such fragile ecosystems are constantly at risk of being damaged from both natural and man-made threats.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Ambergris Caye February Blood Drive
    In an ongoing efort to build our blood supply for Ambergris Caye Residents and tourists, the San Pedro Red Cross has teamed up with Belize Blood services for our first quarterly Blood Drive of 2015. Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9:00am - 3:00pm. During the blood drive, Wendy Alter our youth committee leader will have 12 kids from our San Pedro Red Cross Youth group placed at strategic places around town and directing people to donate blood as well as taking donations. They will be at Island City, Carlos & Ernie's and Clock tower. Thanks for your continued support.

    Screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems
    Feb 6 Northern regional Hospital will be screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems and for persons needing plastic reconstructive surgeries. Please contact Lupe Ack at 661-6518 for more info. Surgeries will be from feb 7 to feb 10 at Northern Regional Hospital.

    Fake white kidnapping van in Yucatan
    It seems the mysterious white van has left Belize City's Queens Square and the northern districts. The kidnapping rumour , without a valid visa, crossed the Santa Elena border with Chetumal. On Thursday January 23rd, a rumor of a white van driving around Merida, kidnapping children was spread on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. Translation: “You will not read or hear this in the local media, because these news as many others are been hidden to avoid panic among the citizenship, but you need to be aware in order to protect innocent lives. Beware! A white van with several men, equipped with a refrigeration unit, without license plates, is driving around Merida and other municipalities. These guys belong to a dangerous gang of organ trafficking, seeking mainly young people and children walking around the streets to kidnap them.

    Should Mendez say "I'm innocent"
    Marco Tulio Mendez gave an exclusive interview following being read and receiving bail for six charges, 4 against one girl and 2 against another. At no point in the interview did he say "I'm innocent. I'm being framed." Or it's all a misunderstanding." He said he didn't want to address the charges. Specifically he said “Well, basically the charges were read to me and bail was offered. I can’t go into the details of the charges, due to the fact that the lawyers have advised me not to speak on them because it is before the courts of law.” Claiming innocence can't be used against him in a court of law. But he failed to make that one basic statement in his interview. He went on to thank his supporters. He did say something very telling. Mendez said "I have spoken to the Party Leader and I told him that basically I will be removing myself from all active political campaigning."

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, February 4, 2015: 81

    Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015 INVITATIONAL REGATTA
    It promises to be a fun and exciting weekend on the the Corozal Bay. Bring out the entire family and make it a fun weekend. See you out there!!!!!

    Are you a Belizean Artist?
    (do you work in paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, prints, mixed media...just to name a few)? Then you might be eligible to win $40,000 if your work shows outstanding talent and further the understanding of the region! The inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards aims to recognize extraordinary artistic talent..for more information visit this link.

    KEVRIS: A BELIZEAN DESIGNER IN THE L.A. BELIZEAN COMMUNITY!
    Belizean Kevin Morris became an underground Belizean designer in the Los Angeles in the 1980's who was designing for many top American celebrities like artist Stevie Nicks backup singers, and others in the music world. He crafted a style of using lace and sequnces, and cut out a line of costume style fashion mostly used by musical artists. His style influneced by the Minneopolis trend used by artists like Prince and Morris Day of the Funk band the Time became a popular look in he 1980's. The 1986 Fashion that placed Morris as the cutting edge designer in the Los Angeles Belizean Community stood out as one of the best that any Belizean had presented of its kind. The expose here reflects Morris's unique style in cloth, and one who pushed the envelope even in American style desining that would have fetched a hefty price in the fashion industry if it had developed into a brand. Belizean Legends celebrate the work of this Belizean designer in the diaspora. You had that touch Kevris!

    THE TOKTEN BLUEPRINT FOR DIASPORA BELIZEANS!
    The 1991 workshop that was organized by the Price administration through the efforts of ambassador Bert Tucker who was a United Nations Economic Consultant at that time, in conjunction with the Consortium for Belizean Development, has been the best effort made so far by Belizeans in the diaspora and its government at home to organize for Belize's development. Not only did it materialized from its planning stage but the government of the day kept its promises unlike the 2011 Homecoming Conference organized by the same ambassador Bert Tucker in conjunction with the Barrow administration, but which died in childbirth so to speak. Between 1991 and 2011, which is a twenty year span, there has been no meaningful progress to date since the Barrow administration resurrected the constitutional 'monkey wrench' called the 7th. Amendment that would have reinstate the constitutional right of Belizeans living abroad to vote in their country's elections, and participate meaningfully in its development. But unfortunately the motion was knocked down in the government's House of Representative with the help of a group of Tea Party Belizean political pundits who expressed passionate hostility towards their own people, the Diaspora Belizeans, who have been pushing from one administration to another for its establishment in Belizean law.

    Channel 7

    Hon. Briceno Criminally Charged For Running Over Vega's Driver's Foot
    Yesterday Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez became the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to be charged for child molestation offences - specifically six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature against two girls who were 10 and under at the time. Well, today, his Orange Walk PUP counterpart John Briceno was also criminally charged – but his charges weren’t exactly history making. He got charged for a trio of traffic offences – but it’s not any old infraction: he’s accused of driving over the foot of the Deputy Prime Minister’s driver. That’s Chris Hendricks, Gaspar Vega’s driver. Hendricks says that Briceno ran over his foot on Thursday, January 22 in Trinidad Village, Orange Walk. Hendricks’ says he was standing near the gate of a school compound after an event when Briceno ran over his foot and then drove off.

    Briceno Calls Out Police For Preferential Treatment
    Briceno was charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident, and harm upon Christopher Hendricks. He was arraigned before Magistrate Merlene Moody where he pleaded not guilty. Because the charges are traffic offences, bail was not an issue, and Briceno was ordered by the Magistrate to return on April 13. During the interview, Briceno called out Orange Walk police for following up on this report made by Chris Hendricks, reminding them that in April of last year, a 14 year-old minor drove Hendrick’s Ford F-150 pick-up and knocked down the two year old toddler Rachel Chan. Briceno says that police should spend their time pressing that issue, instead of following up Hendrick’s report, which he asserts is totally false:

    COLA Calls Out Hon. Marco Tulio
    And while Briceno had plenty to say to the media today, his colleague Marco Tulio Mendez only appeared on Channel 5 for what had all appearances of a media manicure. Now, the advocacy group COLA has called on Marco Tulio Mendez to address the media generally. COLA issued a statement today saying, quote, “COLA views with concern the news of the arrest and arraignment of the Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez… It continues to say, “Assault on a child is especially loathsome…Medical practitioners …must be held to a greater standard.”

    File Under: "Politicians Who Play Hard To Get"
    And while Dr. Mendez is under pressure to speak up – here at 7news we like it just fine when politicians play hard to get – that’s what makes news, after all. But when Mendez joins the ranks of disgraced area representative Elvin Penner as a media dodger, it doesn’t quite put him in the best public light. Tonight we’ll compare the great escapes of Penner and Mendez:… Jules Vasquez Reporting…. When you’re a politician, there’s no graceful way to dodge the media – Elvin Penner learned that in March of last year. He appeared with political muscle to run interference for him, but still had to run the media gauntlet – which turned into the pushing and shoving which the press loves, but only makes politicians seem guilty in the public eye. That’s the route Marco Tulio Mendez took yesterday when he got his version of political muscle Sani Baeza to try and block us out – which on this day backfired and forced a hasty retreat.

    Escapee Gets Shot + More Charges
    25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, who escaped from Belize Central Prison on December 13, OF 2014 and who was recaptured about 7 weeks later, is back in Prison tonight. That’s after he was arraigned on the charge of escaping from lawful custody when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Willoughby pled not guilty to the charge his case was adjourned until April 20, but he was sent to jail to continue his prison sentence. Willoughby escaped by cutting a hole in the door of his cell. And then, last week, later Police found him in an abandoned house on Arlington Drive in Belize City. When they went to apprehend him, they claim he had an object in his hand that resembled a weapon and he resisted arrest. As a result, police shot Willoughby in the arm and leg. He was admitted to ward at KHMH and he was brought to court today after he was discharged from the hospital.

    Belizean Passport for American Under Suspicion
    The Immigration Department has flagged the passport of 64-year-old American Tony Alan Puglisi. That’s because there are questions about his place of birth. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told us that his Belizean passport says he was born in Italy, but the US Embassy has indicated that he was actually born in the state of Virginia. Hulse says because of this, the Department of Immigration has put out a notice at all its ports of entry that Puglisi is a person of interest wanted for further questioning about that discrepancy. He left the country on January 9th, 2015 after getting his new Belizean passport a week earlier. But, there’s a little more to the story. Turns out that Puglisi had a Belizean passport issued in 2005 - which, Hulse explains was under the old handwritten system – meaning it was not a machine-readable passport. He says because of this there is no record of it – yet nonetheless, Puglisi was given a new machine readable passport based on the strength of that 2005 document alone.

    OW East: What Next?
    In our last segment we showed you how Marco Tulio Mendez escaped the media at his arraignment yesterday, but for the PUP there’s no escaping the political consequences that are sure to ensue in the coming weeks or months. What will those consequences be? If any? We got a reaction from his fellow politician and close friend John Briceno. He was not prepared to make any in-depth statements, but he did address it when the question was asked: Hon. John Briceno - Orange Walk Central Area Representative "These in the courts and it's something the courts will have to deal with. But yes, I can tell you that Marco Tulio is my friend, he's my colleague. We need to think about the human element about this. We need to think that here is a family man, the entire Mendez family, that they are going through a trauma. It is a very difficult time for them and I think all of us, including you journalists should also be praying for them. Praying for Dr. Mendez, praying for the children and praying for the entire family. Hopefully some day soon that what ever troubles that they have, what ever hurts that they have that they can mend, that they can heal.”

    Malik Back To Jail
    Nineteen year old Malik Stuart, who was charged with firearm and ammunition offences and the charges were dismissed, has been rearrested and charged with the same offences. So tonight, he’s back in prison on remand. Stuart pled not guilty to the charges when he appeared yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Due to the nature of the offences, He was remanded into custody until April 2nd. Stuart was busted with the firearm on April 23, 2014. According to the allegation, police saw him handing a 9 millimeter pistol to 54 year old auto mechanic Edward Westby.

    Grandmother Pleas For Missing 14 Year Old
    Tonight we report on another missing teenage girl. 14 year old Crystal Faber left home yesterday evening and has since not returned. The first form student told her grandmother that she was going to the neighborhood internet café to do a homework assignment – and that was the last her family heard from her. Tonight they are asking the public’s assistance to help locate the teenager. Ann Bowen- Grandmother of Crystal Faber "I last saw Crystal 6 o'clock yesterday evening. She told me that she was going to do her homework at the internet on Antelope street, that was the last time I saw her." Monica Bodden "Since then, you haven't been able to reach her?" Ann Bowen "No ma'am, I haven't. This morning we went to look all around along with the officers and I haven't found her no where."

    When Doing The Right Thing Pays Off
    He was a high school dropout at the age of 15, immersed in the gang life. It is a downwards spiral we often hear young Belizean men falling into, and only a few manage to get out of it. 18 year old Justin Marin is one of them. He is the recipient for the “Do The Right Thing Award” for September 2014. It has been a challenging journey for Justin but he persevered and is now in 4th from at Excelsior High School. The principal of the school, Gayle Thompson discussed why Justin was chosen to represent the school in this program. PC Jose Vasquez - Community Policing Officer "Do the right thing programme will help you as motivating other students both in the near future. The police department now is working along with students trying to make a change in the environment and actually not for their communities but this will be country wide."

    How To Be In The Film Festival
    If you flip through the channels on your television, you’re sure to find a bewildering buffet of American produced movies, documentaries, and shows. But the Belize International Film Festival, is trying to bring Belizean films to the forefront. The 10th annual festival will take place in July and January marked the opening date for submissions. The organizer of the festival, Suzette Zayden says despite the financial constraints, this festival creates a platform for aspiring Belizean movie producers and directors to promote themselves.

    Politicians Walk The Hundred Yard Line
    If you know the rules of an election, then you’ll know about the hundred yard line. That’s the area closest to the polling station, which is supposed to be something like a safe area for voters – away from the signage and campaigning that smother the voter out on the street. But, in the recent bye-election in Cayo North when the UDP put on a full court press – the hundred yard area seems more like a suggestion than a rule. Will the same thing happen for the upcoming municipal elections? Yesterday the chief elections officer told the political parties and the media that it must be observed – but the political parties who complain about the infractions are the same ones who break the rules:… Josephine Tamai - Chief Elections Officer "What we find in past elections is that, for some reason, the political parties don't adhere to the 100 yards line when election day comes around. What I have asked them to do because the process can only be as good as they help us to make it be. We have to ensure that persons are not allowed within the 100 yards line, not allowed to campaign within that 100 yards line.

    Channel 5

    John Briceño Arraigned in Orange Walk on Traffic Offences
    The former Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the former leader of the People’s United Party, is the second Opposition parliamentarian to be charged in the last twenty-four hours.  John [...]

    Support for Marco Tulio Mendez Despite Legal Drama
    The political, professional and familial demise of P.U.P. Orange Walk East area representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, continues to unravel.  On Tuesday, the pediatrician, who was elected in 2012, was [...]

    Josue Carballo Replaces Doc Mendez in Orange Walk East
    Josue Carballo may not be a household name outside of Orange Walk, after all the incumbent town councilor is still considered a newcomer to national politics.  But, he was recently [...]

    …Outlines Strategy to Retain P.U.P. Stronghold
    According to Carballo, the primary focus of his campaign is securing his reelection to the town hall. Once reelected on March fourth, his efforts will return to Orange Walk East [...]

    Attorney Discusses Impact of Allegations on Mendez’s Professional Life
    On Tuesday night, we shared with you an exclusive sit down with both Marco Tulio Mendez as well as with Andrew Bennett, attorney for Marco Tulio Mendez. Following Tuesday’s charge [...]

    Former Anchor Security Employee Detained in Belmopan Murder
    A former employee of Anchor Security tonight remains in custody pending investigation into the murder of sixty year old Feliciano Richard Noralez. Mister Mac, as he was affectionately known, was [...]

    Friends of Belize Hosts Business Conference in the Jewel
    Today, the organization known as Friends of Belize hosted a business luncheon under the auspices of the Belize Leadership Institute. That institute was formed to target leaders in the community [...]

    U.S. Ambassador Speaks on Security of Tenure for Judges in Belize
    In speaking on the rule of law, Ambassador Moreno also had reason to touch on the role of the judiciary. Currently judges in Belize are appointed by the Prime Minister, [...]

    Is Marijuana Legalization a Good Thing?
    The debate on the legalization of marijuana has been reborn in Belize, while in the U.S. several states, including Colorado, have already gone that route. Today we asked Moreno for [...]

    7 Year Old Girl Allegedly Raped in Belmopan
    Tonight, a disturbing report is coming out of the Belmopan area. In the police blotter today, it was reported that a seven-year-old minor accompanied by her mother visited the Belmopan [...]

    World Cancer Day, Meet the Survivors
    Around the globe activities were held today to bring attention to the issue of cancer. “Cancer Control-Not Beyond Us” is the theme that resonated throughout the activities that encourage its [...]

    Toledo Man Charged for Public Drinking and Bribery
    A resident of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, is lucky to have escaped jail time for attempting to bribe a cop. Twenty-six year old Hilberto Kim was recently caught drinking in [...]

    Emmanuel Willoughby Gets Additional Jail Time for Escape
    After more than a week under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, tonight twenty-five year old Emmanuel Willoughby is back behind bars. Willoughby was serving a five-year jail [...]

    ICA Calls for Entries for Belize International Film Fest
    The dates are set for the 2015 Belize International Film Festival. The tenth edition of the popular festival will take place from July seventeenth through the nineteenth in Placencia. It [...]

    Suzette Zayden on Training Up-and-coming Filmmakers
    While the festival will be limited to three days, the film and media arts unit has been working around the clock with young film makers and animators as well as [...]

    Elderly Man from Camalote Village & Gwen Liz Student are Missing
    An elderly man has been reported missing in the Belmopan area. According to caretaker, forty-three year old Alexander Sheppard, on Monday afternoon he went to deliver lunch to eighty-three year [...]

    CTV3

    Charitable Root Foundation Recovers Big Screen
    The inflatable projector that went missing during the wee hours of Sunday morning from the East Sports Centre after the 4th Annual Bob Marley Tribute event has been found. Today a good citizen visited our studios and handed over the object to our Video Editor Fernando Sanchez. Members of the organization have been given the good news and are expected to pick up the projector sometime soon. Viewers might recall that yesterday Omar Ayuso, member of the Charitable Roots Foundation, pleaded to the public for assistance in finding the costly object which if not found they would have had to pay.

    BTIA Corozal Chapter To React Mayan Wedding
    Students from Corozal Junior College are tonight preparing for the much anticipated and spectacular display of a Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park, now the official site for the Maya Wedding Garden. According to Sylvia Mai, Coordinator for BTIA Corozal Chapter, this will be the third year that the event is hosted at the Santa Rita Maya site. “Tomorrow we will have a presentation of the enactment of the Maya wedding the way it was historically done, we have done research and we are using the Professor of the folklore ballet in Mexico because they are the ones with the knowledge of what it was like in the 15th century and he is the one that has been teaching the dances at CCC Sixth form students that have been participating for the third time. This reenactment is based on the historical wedding of the Princess Axilha to Gonzalo Guerrero that took place at Santa Rita Reserve, it is documented and they had the first three Mestizo Children of Belize.”

    World Cancer Day Observed In Belize City
    Around the globe, today is observed as World Cancer Day. This year's theme is “Not beyond us”. Cancers are among the leading causes of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Yet thanks to breakthroughs in research and treatment, cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. In commemoration of today’s event, the Belize Cancer Society held a press conference in Belize City where the organizations President, Laura Longsworth, shared on the significance of this year’s theme. “Not beyond us is extreme significance because it means we have advanced scientifically and technologically and we know for sure what we need to do to reduce the incident of cancer and to make sure to detect cancer a little earlier and also to reduce the burden of cancer on people and country so that is really the crooks of it. The World Cancer Day is really to bring attention to the issue of cancer globally; countries like Belize the burden of cancer is heavy enough and it is expected to grow unless we reverse it so globally there is a movement to put systems and structures in place to ensure that by 2025 we start to see the results of the initiative that we put in place.”

    First Crop Review For 2014/2015 Crop Season
    After weeks of delay and high tensions the 2014/2015 crop season finally got underway on January 26th after the manufacturer BSI/ASR signed a seven year commercial agreement with three associations. That paved the way for the commencement of the much anticipated crop season which now under full swing. In sight of how important the Sugar Industry Is for the Northern part of the country tonight we bring back our weekly crop review every Wednesday during our newscast. February 1st 2015 marked the end of week 1 of the 2014/2015 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 1 which started on January 26th, the factory milled forty one thousand seven hundred and eighty four tons of cane. That is five thousand three hundred and eighty four tons less than what was produced last year when the factory milled forty seven thousand one hundred and sixty eight tons of cane during the first week of crop.

    O/W East Is Ready Whenever Prime Minister Calls Election, Says Josue Carballo
    Yesterday after Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez was arraigned on six charges of aggravated assault in relation to allegations of unfitting conduct against two minors, the Orange Walk East Area Representative was immediately removed as chairman of the P.U.P’s Northern Caucus. The announcement was made People’s United Party via press release which also stated that Mendez was suspended indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The release also highlighted the fact that Doctor Mendez has already stepped down from his position as the Standard Bearer for the Party in Orange Walk East and the Party has elected a new Standard Bearer in that Area in the person of Mr. Josue Carballo who has from the date of his election assumed full responsibility for the work of our Party in Orange Walk East.

    PUPTown Council Will Be Put Back To Town Hall, Says O/W Central Area Rep.
    With Municipal Elections right around the corner, today we asked Briceno if his case and that of Doctor Mendez could affect the chances of the Orange Walk P.U.P Seven Team being sent back to town hall. Seemingly unfazed for the entire interview, Briceno stated he is confident that the people will once again put their trust into the People’s United Party to represent them in the upcoming Municipal Elections. “I want to make it abundantly clear, absolutely clear that the people of Orange Walk Town they know me, the people of Orange walk town they know they have a great Mayor by Kevin Bernard and six excellent candidates that are vying to represent the people of Orange Walk Town and that irrespective of what the UDP tries to do it will not stop the people of Orange Walk Town to come out and vote for Kevin Bernard and the other six PUP candidates that is a given anybody that you ask they will tell you that the PUP s going to win in Orange Walk...”

    O/W Area Representaive Charge With Traffic Offences
    Following being criminally charged for 6 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature yesterday, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez’s fate now rests in the hands of the judicial system. He is scheduled to go back to court on the 13th of April and this morning the same date was given to another high ranking politician who appeared at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court to answer to traffic related charges. Incumbent Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno appeared in court to face charges on traffic offenses filed against him by Christopher Hendricks the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. As reported last night Hendricks is accusing Briceno of driving over his foot with his gold Prado. The incident is said to have occurred on January 22nd, as Briceno was driving out of the Belize High School of Agriculture compound after attending a function. This morning, a decent crowd of supporters gathered around the court to show support for Briceno. The media caught up with him as he exited the court where he told us that while evidently the move is an intimidation tactic by the Unite Democratic Party, he is unfazed and there is no truth to the trumped up charges against him.

    LOVE FM

    Driver for Deputy PM Takes Former Opposition Leader to Court
    Former leader of the People’s United Party and Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno appeared in court today. Reporter Arturo Cantun was there and has the story. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “Yesterday Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez appeared before the magistrate court to be ready six charges for indecent assault on two minors. Less than 24 hours after, another PUP area representative was in court to respond for criminal charges as well. Orange Walk Central area rep. John Briceno was served a summons to appear before the court to answer to charges for allegedly running over the foot of Christopher Hendrix, the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Briceno arrived a few minutes before the magistrate court was in to session accompanied by some relatives. Outside his supporters gathered in a crowd of approximately 50. Inside the court John Briceno was read one charge for driving without due care and attention. A few minutes before 10, Briceno along with his family exited the Magistrate Court and he told the media it’s all a political gimmick orchestrated by the United Democratic Party.”

    PlusTV

    Briceño taken to court for negligent harm
    On Tuesday Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, appeared before Magistrate Moody, where he was formally charged for damning allegations including four counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor and two counts of common assault upon another minor. Less than 24 hours since then, another PUP elected area representative was charged for a lesser offence. Last week Hon. Johnny Briceño, Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, was served with a notice of intended prosecution for negligent harm. The allegations are based on an incident that dates back to January 22, when the Area Representative was heading to an event to mark the opening of the Yo Creek and Trinidad Road. The story goes that on that date Johnny Briceño asked a group of men to make way for him to drive pass. Among the men was Christopher Hendricks, the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega, who is claiming that Mr Briceño ran over his feet.

    Waste Control truck injures family of three
    A truck driver for Belize Waste Control may face charges over a traffic accident which occurred on Tuesday morning around 8:16 a.m. at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City. 48 year old Orlando Pech was driving the garbage collection truck when he collided with a bicycle being ridden by Reyna Savala, who was accompanied by her three-year-old twin daughters Maria and Reyna. An eyewitness spoke to us off-camera about the aftermath of the incident.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Watchman charged for boss’s bullet
    The .22 caliber bullet he was charged for is not technically his property, but 51 year old Luis Rodriguez, a watchman at a farm at Mile 12, George Price Highway, Belize District, is in prison nonetheless. Rodriguez appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Herbert Panton and attempted to plead guilty to […]

    Handyman pleads guilty to theft with ATM card
    32 year old Floyd McNab could not avoid jail time on 22 counts of theft related to use of an ATM card he said he happened to find on the street even though he plans to pay back what he used. The father of two employed by the […]

    Jury acquits security guard of aggravated assault
    37 year old Harvey Sambula was acquitted by a jury of aggravated assault with a firearm and common assault on Tuesday afternoon before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. After nearly three hours the jury voted seven to two to acquit Sambula of the first charge, and […]

    Prison escapee formally charged
    Police have brought charges against 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, accused of escape from lawful custody. As we have reported previously, Willoughby escaped from the Belize Central Prison at Hattieville last December and had been on the run until his capture on Lacroix Boulevard last week. He was […]

    Teenager faces gun charges again
    19 year old Malik Stuart pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition for which he was re-arrested this week. The original charges were dismissed but police elected to bring them back. Stuart was seen by police on April 23, 2014 handing over a […]

    Teenager dies in traffic accident in Spanish Lookout
    A collision this afternoon between a truck and a motorcycle has claimed the life of one man in Spanish Lookout. The victim has been identified as 19 year old Joshua Garrido, a resident of Duck Run 2. The crash happened just after three o’clock this afternoon. Preliminary reports are that […]

    Police look for man who assaulted minor in Belmopan
    Belmopan police are investigating a report that a 7 year old girl was attacked, robbed and raped earlier this week. The incident, as reported by the child, happened after 6 o’clock on Monday night. The girl, accompanied by her mother, went to the Belmopan police station to report the crime. […]

    Orange Walk central area representative appears in court
    The Honorable the member for Orange Walk Central Mr. John Briceño was arraigned on a charge of negligent harm when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning. The charge against the former Deputy Prime Minister stems from an incident on January 22, 2015 when it is alleged that he […]

    Family of Camalote man seeks help in locating him
    The family of Camalote village resident Cayetano Nah is asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. The 82 year old former taxi driver, also known as “Caye” has not been seen by his family since Monday. His family believes that he may be suffering from memory loss and is […]

    Blogs

    What’s New In Placencia, Belize & Fantastic Meals at Maya Beach Bistro: Part Two
    We first stopped in Singing Sands in Maya Beach. Not a new place but new to me! And beyond this sign is absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea. I SO need to visit the restaurant at night. With the trickling fountains, the lush jungle atmosphere and all the hanging lamps…I bet it is beautiful. Next stop Fusion Beach just outside Placencia Village proper. Here is what it looks like now. Open and seemingly doing quite well. It’s looking fantastic. And the Arts and Music Festival is coming up soon in Placencia. I went down last year for the event and to ALMOST see Chelsea Handler at the Tipsy Tuna! Super fun.

    “It’s Over” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    It strikes me that for the last few editions I’ve been regaling (more like boring I suppose) you with tales of my medical woes. For someone who, I’m pleased to say, has enjoyed good health through a forty-five year working career – two weeks off in 1971 to have a twice broken nose straightened and one day off in 1997 for twenty-four hour flu that, try as I might, I just couldn’t beat to go to work- the last few weeks have felt alien to me. The latest malaise ‘hit’ me at the back end of last week when, and I haven’t a clue how, I managed to contract a cold. But this one was different. Way beyond that blocked up feeling. With this ‘baby’ I had pains in my middle back area, I was heavily congested and quite frankly I felt knackered.

    Stewed Beef n Sweet Potatoes
    Stewed beef and sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative for any eating plan. I added some red bell peppers and okra/okro.

    CABO Executive Board Meets in Nicaragua
    Central America is home to more than 3 million of African descent people. For 19 years the Central American Black Organization (CABO) has been the umbrella organization unifying Black people in the region. CABO’s first female president Honduran Mirtha Colon chaired two days of intense and creative dialogue and debate on January 23 and 24, as policies, activities, and budgets were formulated. President Colon also had the task of introducing CABO’s bylaws, rules and regulations to new members as they evaluated CABO’s progress report card. The communal participation of this board from 7 countries was realized with five women and eleven men. Some board members joined via group virtual video conference. This was the first time that this media medium was utilized in a CABO board meeting. The essence of this plenary session was the International Decade of African Descent.

    Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrates his birthday, island-style
    No sooner did Jerry Jeff Walker blow town than another popular salt-water singer strode in to take his place, Kelly McGuire. The pattern is similar. Texan McGuire will be showing up at venues around town to sing some of the popular stuff from his Belieze-inspired songbook, like “A Boat in Belize, ” “Daddys & Daughters,” “King of the Island,” “Blame It On Buffett,” and “Girls of the Island.” Wednesday afternoon was given over to celebrating McGuire’s birthday at the perfect haunt, The Palapa Bar. The place was packed and even the stilts were swaying to the music. He not only has a decent voice and some pretty nice Ambergris Caye-inspired songs, but Kelly McGuire also sincerely likes his fans. On a break, he walks through the bar calling some folks by name, shaking hands with everyone and just plain enjoying the pleasure of the company at hand.

    International Sourcesizz

    Life on a Pristine Beach in Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Two years ago, Duane and Judy Allen moved full-time from Tampa, Florida, to Ambergris Caye, Belize. "I always wanted to live right on the beach, but not in a condo," says Duane. "I wanted a home, and space around me to roam. For years, I scoured Florida's coasts, looking for an affordable property. But everything was out of reach." As luck would have it, Judy's sister and her family had moved to Ambergris Caye before "Temptation Island" put it on the map... Judy notes, "We chose San Pedro because we had been visiting my sister and her husband since they moved to Belize about 23 years ago. We fell in love with the island through those many visits." Duane started checking out the island's beachfront property and found that it was still affordable. In 1999, the Allens snapped up a stunning beachfront lot south of town, in an undeveloped area. They weren't yet thinking about retirement. But since Judy's sister's family was already living on the island, the Allens moved up their schedule and built their house in 2004. Judy's sister and family live in the downstairs unit. The Allens live upstairs. At first they came for vacations, before finally retiring full-time.

    Caldwell University Students Help Build Church in Belize
    Students from Caldwell University participated in a service experience in Belize over their winter break where the group stayed in the port town of Punta Gorda and did their service work in Santa Cruz.. Participating studens included: Sean Puzzo, Jessica Marco, Crista Cattano, Kaitlin Rodio, Catherine Ringhoff, Debra Pellegrino, Virginia Johnson, Emma Clarke and alumnus Patrick Lehosky. Caldwell University Athletic Administrator and women’s lacrosse team coach Amy Rizzo, as well as Tim Kessler-Cleary and Meghan Moran of the student engagement office chaperoned the trip. The students spent nine days over the break rebuilding a church, replacing the disrepaired wall with new cinder blocks and making mortar basing from scratch with only limited tools. They also spent significant time with the natives of the village, talking and exchanging cultural ideas.

    A NEW BEGINNING FOR THE UNITED STATES IN CENTRAL AMERICA?
    The announcement by the White House on January 29 that it would ask Congress for $1 billion for Central America in its FY2016 budget is welcome news for the region, and for the United States. The proposed request would triple the resources earmarked for Central America by the U.S. government in recent years, although the amount of money contemplated remains modest by comparison to the magnitude of problems that those countries face. The administration’s declaration on Central America, in combination with its restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba, creates the opportunity for the United States to forge a new relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean. With both initiatives, and the possibility of more surprises on Latin America policy yet to come, the upcoming Summit of the Americas in April in Panama City could be one of the most productive multilateral engagements the United States has had with the region in years.

    The 8 Most Romantic Escapes for Valentine's Day in the World
    alentine's Day is just around the corner, and here at Oyster we believe there's no better way to celebrate than with a romantic escape -- and we think your significant other would agree. Last week, we gave you the inside scoop on America's Best Hotels for Valentine's Day, but this week, we're expanding our horizons a bit (and maybe stretching our budgets just a tad). These eight hotels -- whether perched on the rocking outcroppings of the Italian coast or hidden away amidst the rice fields of northern Thailand -- are some of the most romantic in the world and are the perfect places for a romantic rendezvous... with a little international flair. Well-known throughout Belize, Turtle Inn is one of the country's top resorts. The Balinese-style hideaway is where celebrities, honeymooners, and families peacefully coexist thanks to the property's 25 secluded thatched-roof villas. Each private cottage features stunning decor and luxurious outdoor bathrooms. Here, you and your love can spend your days lounging in seaside hammocks in the shade of swaying palms, take a dip in the pool, relax at the spa, or even learn to scuba dive. As you soak up the sun, you might begin to notice the lack of technology around Turtle Inn -- there are no televisions, telephones, or air conditioners -- but that's the point. You come to Turtle Inn to unplug... Instagram will be waiting for you when you come home.

    Fires in Central America May Fuel U.S. Tornadoes
    We already know that deforestation is contributing to major environmental problems, ranging from soil erosion to climate change. But here’s another scary effect. Burning down forests in one place apparently can cause tornadoes thousands of miles away to be more dangerous. In the study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, University of Iowa researchers focused upon a weather catastrophe in the southeastern United States on April 27, 2011. That event, which cut a swath of carnage from Mississippi to Virginia, produced 122 tornadoes which resulted in 316 deaths, more 2,400 injuries and $4.2 billion in property damage. A NOAA report on the disaster called it one of the deadliest in the country, since systematic tornado record-keeping began in 1950. Co-lead authors Gregory Carmichael, an Iowa professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and Pablo Saide, a postdoctoral fellow, say the event was caused mainly by regional conditions that were conducive to the forming of supercell thunderstorms and created the potential for tornado formation. But the tornadoes were intensified by smoke from fires set to clear land for farms in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, which winds transported across the Gulf of Mexico. The smoke lowered the base of the clouds and increased wind shear, a change of wind speed or direction that is important to tornado development.

    Faculty Forum: Rehabilitating a Belizian prison
    For this month’s installment of the Faculty Forum lunchtime lecture series on Thursday, two faculty members from the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice will share the results of an interesting project undertaken last year in Central America. Associate Professor Kevin Whiteacre and Assistant Professor Amanda Miller led students on a 2014 Spring Term trip to Belize, where murder and incarceration rates are among the highest in the world. They gathered oral histories from current and former staff and inmates at the Belize Central Prison, which saw a positive change in conditions and culture after the government turned over management to a nonprofit group founded by local Rotary Club members. The interviews explore the nation’s approach to violent crime and the prison staff’s attitudes toward inmates and rehabilitation.

    The Human Cost of Sugar Harvesting
    Sugarcane harvesters in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, have a life expectancy of only 46 years, with many of them dying from chronic kidney disease. Experts think they may have figured out why the workers are being afflicted at such an alarming rate. But the plantation owners have their own ideas about the root cause. Regardless of who's right, the toll on the community has been grief and heartbreak for those suffering from the disease and for their families.

    Videos

  • Stranded Vessel Poses Threat to Coral Reef off Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min. Oceana Belize Supports Calls From Caye Caulker Residents To Remove Stranded Vessel From Reef. The organization supports the recommendation that the vessel be removed as soon as possible to avoid any further degradation to the site. This assessment is independent from any other investigation being carried out by any other relevant government agencies.
  • Carnival Magic Cruise To Honduras, Belize, Cozumel 2015 - Day 7, 18min.
  • Christmas Eve in Belize, 6min.
  • Belize Scuba Dive 2010, 21min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 Kayak Fishing, 16min.
  • Belize Scuba Dec 2010 dive 1, 28min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 Snorkel 2, 11min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 snorkel 1, 30min.
  • Jalsa Salana Belize 2015 - Speech by Mayor Darrell Bradley, 5min. 1st Annual Jalsa Salana (Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Belize (2015) Speech by Mayor Darrell Bradley, Belize City
  • Jalsa Salana Belize 2015 - Guest Speakers, 9min. 1st Annual Jalsa Salana (Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Belize (2015) Presentations by guest speakers.
  • Flying from Kanantik Belize, 2min. Flying from Kanantik Belize to Belize City
  • Have a Taste of Belize in Elvi's Kitchen in San Pedro, 2min. Elvi's Kitchen perhaps the most famous restaurant on ambergris caye. Mrs. Elvia Staines, more populary known as Doña Elvia, is the proud owner of Elvi's Kitchen.

    February 4, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Getting CANDY-wasted on La Isla Bonita! (Part II)
    Through my sugar haze, I watched them crunch on the treats as we drove down to Annie’s Pastries just a couple blocks away. They said the treats were super tasty – more sweet than sour. I believed them…they were certainly looking extra happy. Annie’s beckoned, with its window full of caprichos, sesame seed rolls stuffed with cream cheese, tarts, buns as big as my head, jam rolls…*choir angels welcomed us with song* Inside, the cooler held tiny cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes and more. But what did the girls go for? Maja Blanca. I was still feeling the marquesita, and once again waved my white flag (the fact that I don’t like maja blanca may have played a huge part in this too).

    San Pedro Traffic Department receives new motorcycles
    The San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) is now equipped with four new motorcycles financed by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The addition to the SPTD’s fleet is part of the SPTC initiative to upgrade the department. Currently the SPTD has a crew of ten traffic wardens, eight motorcycles, one pick-up truck and other equipment used to enforce traffic regulations and ensure the safety of the community. According to Councilor in charge of traffic, Kenrick Brackett, the addition of the new motorcycles will allow each warden to have his/her own vehicle and reduced the stress placed on them when used by more than one person. He also stated that each warden is responsible for the proper use of the motorcycles as they are property of the SPTD.

    Ambergris Today

    Letters To The Editor: Public Transportation: A Backward Industry in Belize
    It’s a frustrating scenario on repeat with nothing being done to alleviate it. The current bus schedule and the amount of buses running are clearly not meeting the public’s demand. A herd of people waiting at the bus terminal for ONE bus that cannot accommodate all of them is the daily struggle. It becomes a situation of “Survival of the Fittest” where people run, push and curse each other just so they can get in the bus. All respect for grandma, grandpa and children is thrown out the window as they are pushed and shoved around in all the commotion. The number of standees and people that get left behind can easily fill another bus or two but no extra buses are sent. How difficult can it be for the Ministry and bus companies to solve this issue?

    Quintana Roo Mexico Changes Time Zone, Travelers Advised
    The Embassy of México informs that on January 31 the Mexican Federal Official Gazette published the amendment to the Mexican Time System Law whereby Southeast Time Zone was created, based on the 75th meridian west and which corresponds only to the State of Quintana Roo. As such, beginning at two o'clock on February the first, "the clocks were advanced one hour" in the neighboring State of Quintana Roo, this includes the cities of Chetumal, Tulum and Cancun. It is projected that this measure will save energy and promotes a growth in the tourism sector, while using the time of the Eastern US coast.

    Culture Day in San Pedro
    Students of Isla Bonita Elementary School celebrate the diverse cultures that make up Belize by observing Culture Day on Friday, January 30

    San Pedro Mayor Makes Clarification on Statements by Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras
    It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP. The Ambassador expressed that the SPTC and Mayor Guerrero, following the discovery of the decomposed body of Benitez, rendered no support to have the body decently buried. In addition, the diplomat stated that the SPTC and the Mayor allowed for the immediate burial of Benitez without notifying the Honduran Embassy. She further explained, that the Mayor of San Pedro Town refused to meet with her to facilitate the exhumation of Benitez for a proper burial. Given the circumstances, the SPTC would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation, misleading and false statements made on both forums.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    GREAT JOB OPPORTUNITY IN SAN PEDRO
    Department Manager - Guest Relations Job Description: Management of Front Desk, Tours/Concierge and Housekeeping Staff; Marketing and Sales for the resort; Inventory Controls for Housekeeping department; Wedding Coordination of onsite weddings; Customer Service; Staff evaluations; Manage daily guest operations. Minimum Requirements: Age 30 to 50; Associates Degree (minimum); 5 years minimum experience in Hospitality and Tourism Industry; 3 years minimum experience in Management; Excellent Communication and Public Relation Skills; Possess great organizational, motivational and time management skills; Ability to coordinate and manage a staff of at least 25 persons or more; Must possess excellent command of the English Language; Must be computer literate; Willing to work flexible hours including holidays; Professional & personal recommendations required.

    December 2014 CPI & External Trade Statistics
    SIB’s most recent statistics: December 2014 Consumer Price Index and December 2014 External Trade Bulletin.

    New Fleet of racing sailboats arrive
    With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize's new fleet will make that 141. On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye. With the new arrivals it is the “coming of age” for the sailing club as we have boats for sailors of all ages and the focus this year will be on adult participation. The club now has 27 boats ranging from Optimists to Hobie Catamarans. Last Sunday we saw 30+ sailors on the water, ranging between 8 and 72 years old! Reasons why the Laser is so popular are its speed, fun and also the simplicity with which it can be transported and assembled. Although simple, a Laser can provide many challenges for top sailors at the Olympic level.

    Dr. Marco Tulio about to be charged in court
    Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has just walked into an Orange Walk court where he faces charges of molestation by two teens. At the left rear of the PUP elected Area Representative for Orange Walk East is attorney Richard 'Dickie' Bradley. Standing on Marco Tulio's left is former UDP Campaign Manager and former Associated of Concerned Belizeans (ACB representative) Karim Berges. The UDP flag flies in the background. An interesting composition indeed.

    Work on Albert Hoy Street starts Feb 4th
    The Ministry of Works and Transport would like to inform the general public, particularly residents and visitors to the Belama Area of Belize City, that infrastructure works will commence on Albert Hoy Street as of Wednesday, February 4, 2015. As such, Albert Hoy St. will be turned temporarily into a "One Way Street" from TV Ramos Street to Chetumal Street in that same direction.

    Belizean Students to be Taught about Their Rights and Benefits as CARICOM Nationals
    Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following a two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshop in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30. The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States.

    Polyclinic in San Pedro Now Provides 24-hour Emergency Service
    A short ceremony was held on Monday, February 2, 2015 in San Pedro Town to officially announce the extension of emergency services to 24 hours at the Dr. Otto Rodriquez San Pedro Polyclinic II.

    Belizean students to be taught about their rights and benefits as CARICOM nationals
    Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following two two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshops in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30. The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, February 3, 2015: 32. FANTASY 5: 35 37 11 16 31 T

    Famous Belizean Artists
    BLACK HISTORY MONTH :MI KUZIN ,GEORGE GABB AND MI KUZIN BELIDE BELIZE TWO GREATEST ARTIST IN THERE TIME !!!THEY WERE BOTH TAKEN TO ENGLAND BY THE LEGENDARY SHIRLEY WARD,QUEEN OF ARTS.THAT IS WHERE THEY SHARPENED THERE SKILLS IN THE ARTS!!! GEORGE GABBS "SLEEPING GIANT" LIES INSIDE THE BELIZEAN DOLLAR BILLS !!!

    Jan 25, 2015 - Jan 31, 2015 Fishing Report
    It is hard to believe we are fishing into 2015 – Happy New Year to all of you! It was a pretty quiet week here at the lodge with only a couple boats going out each day. Congratulations to Jennifer our most improved caster this week, she went from never holding a fly rod to double hauling in 3 days!

    Channel 7

    Hon. Tulio Mendez Makes History Charged For Indecent Assault
    Last week Monday, 7News broke the story of complaints against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - the PUP Representative for Orange Walk East. And today - eight days later, he was criminally charged for 6 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, becoming the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to be accused of child molestation. 7News was in Orange Walk Town when he was taken in for arraignment - and Jules Vasquez has the blow by blow account:.. Jules Vasquez reporting At 1:35 pm Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez pulled up at the Orange Walk Police Station - he was flanked by two attorneys while his nephew Karim Berges walked beside him. He walked into the police station, which would also act as the courtroom today - since the Supreme Court was occupying the courthouse. The media was not allowed in - we were told it is a private matter.

    PUP Suspends Hon. Mendez, Wishes Him Well
    And so, what does this mean for him as a doctor and a politician? He practices as a neurologist and a pediatrician - but will his medical license be suspended? Well that is a decision for the Belize Medical Council - headed by Dr. George Goff who we could not reach for comment. As a politician, he remains the area representative for Orange Walk East - and only he can choose to resign this seat. If a member of the House is criminally charged he is not required to vacate his seat. In fact, if he is convicted - the sentence must exceed 12 months to force a member to vacate his seat. So, unless he resigns - and he is not expected to - he will continue to collect his pay as a member of the House of Representatives, and will continue to get his community vote of seven thousand dollars a month.

    Hon. Briceno Will Also Be Charged
    And Dr. Mendez isn't the only Orange Walk politician facing criminal charges this week. John Briceno will be charged tomorrow - but for a far different much lesser offence. Briceno is accused of driving over the foot of Gaspar Vega's driver - former footballer Chris Hendricks. He will be charged for negligent harm, failed to report an accident, and drove vehicle without due care and attention. Here's what happened. On January 22nd, Briceno was leaving a function at the School of Agriculture, when he brushed Hendricks and allegedly ran over the former footballers foot as he was driving off.

    Mother And Daughters Almost Crushed By Garbage Truck
    A mother and her kids were almost crushed in a road traffic accident this morning. Reyna Savala was taking her two 3 year old daughters to school on a bicycle at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street when a garbage truck hit her. It is the kind of accident that seems to always be waiting to happen: a parent juggling two kids on a too-small bicycle, in a vehicle's blind spot at the height of the rush hour. And this one could have been a terrible calamity: they were almost crushed by the garbage truck. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This now mangled red bicycle looked like it could only carry a small child. But, this morning, it was carrying a woman and her two daughters when they were knocked down by a waste control truck.

    Security Guard Hacked To Death in Belmopan
    Tonight, Belmopan police have one man detained, and are looking for another in connection with the savage machete murder of a security guard that was discovered early this morning. Feliciano Noralez, better known as "Mac" was a well-known and well-liked resident of Belmopan, but he met an unusually cruel end last night. This morning when his employers reported to work, they found him dead, he had been chopped multiple times in the head, and his right arm was severed. It's the kind of end not expected for a man, who by all accounts, was a quiet law-abiding citizen. So, why was he murdered? That's what our news team spent the entire day in Belmopan trying to piece together. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting This picture of 59 year-old Feliciano Noralez/McKoy, better known as "Mac", is how his loved-ones will remember him, peacefully asleep after a long day of family-filled quality time.

    The Difference A Pave Will Make
    The woeful condition of Frank's Eddy Road, which leads to the Nohoch Che'en archaeological reserve, has caused great inconvenience and discontent among tour operators over the years. This site is one of the leading destinations for tourists but the conditions of the route to get there …are deplorable. FECTAB along with other organizations have been pressuring the government to upgrade the road and finally a contract was signed to do so yesterday. President of FECTAB Tom Greenwood came to our studios this evening to discuss the positive impact this road project will have on the tourism sector. Tom Greenwood, President - FECTAB "We went the first time to the Prime Minister and he helped by getting the road scratched over nicely, lasted for some time, but the it went really bad and it got the point where as you know people have been kicking up a fuss and we certainly contributed to get this thing fix. Now that I know the contract has been signed for 4.8 million for 6 months of heavy work on it, we are absolutely relieve, because my goodness, some of the members of the federation operate many busses and vans and they've been paying a terrible price.

    Ex-Soldier Free of Charges
    37 year-old Harvey Sambula, an Ex-Soldier who was accused of aggravated assault with a firearm, was able to walk out of court today a free man after a jury acquitted him. The incident happened in the early morning hours of May 6, 2011. The complainant, Dean Smith, testified that he went outside the Princess Casino to urinate and while he was there a misunderstanding ensued between him and Sambula, who was a security guard. They got into an argument where Sambula assaulted him with a 9 millimeter pistol. Smith said Sambula struck him in his mouth with the gun and knocked out 5 of his teeth. In his defence, Sambula testified and admitted that he was at the scene. He said Smith went by the fountain to urinate and after Smith did so he told Smith not to do it again because there is a restroom inside. Sambula said Smith got angry and pushed him twice in his head and he struck in his mouth with his fist.

    Help For Boy With Brain Tumor
    Tonight an 11 year old boy is fighting for his life at the KHMH after he was diagnosed with a highly malignant primary brain tumor. It is called Medulloblastoma -a type of cancer that originates in the part of the brain that is at the posterior base of the skull. The cancer was first detected in September of last year when 11 year old Orlando Alvarado began complaining of headaches and pain in the shoulders. Since then he has been in and out of the hospital. His mother is asking for any assistance to help her only child get the surgery he needs. Rosalba Jimenez - Mother of Orland Alvarado "On the 1st September I notice that he had headaches and he had pains in his chest. We took him to the hospital and they told us that he has a tumor in his brain, in the heart of his brain. I am asking for help for him to take surgery. I don't have the finances to take him somewhere else and that's why I am asking for help to take him out of the country.

    Getting Ready For Elections
    Municipal elections are just four weeks away and today, the elections and boundaries office sat down with all political parties today to discuss the rules. The meeting was held at the Coastal Zone training office and when it was done we spoke with a cross section of participants including the chief elections officer who chaired the meeting:…. The meeting lasted all morning until the early afternoon.

    24 Hour Medical Care In San Pedro
    The emergency services at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic 2 in San Pedro has been extended to 24 hours. The staff has also been expanded to include two medical doctors, additional nurses and other support staff. The government funded expansion project costs 1 million dollars and it was opened yesterday. The project included the expansion of the emergency clinic, the purchase of new furniture and equipment and salary for additional staff.

    OCEANA Calls On GOB For Caye Caulker Rescue
    Right now, this vessel is stranded on a part of the barrier reef system just off the coast of Caye Caulker, and it has been there since New Years Eve. The conservation organization, OCEANA Belize, wants the Government of Belize to remove it immediately to stop the harm to the portion of the reef it is trapped on. A release from the organization says that based on request from residents of Caye Caulker, Marine Scientist Dr. Isani Chan led an expedition to the site. They went there to catalog the damage that this boat continues to do to the reef. According to Dr. Chan's report, quote, "The vessel sits in approximately 5' of water in low tide… While the sailboat is currently lodged on coral "rubble", increased wave action could push the vessel into living coral." End Quote.

    Channel 5

    Beleaguered Politician Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Is Arraigned on Six Charges
    This afternoon, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez handed himself over to Orange Walk Police flanked by two of his attorneys, Dickie Bradley and Andrew Bennett.  His surrender and the wrangle which [...]

    Exclusive: Dr. Mendez Speaks on Arraignment and Political Future
    Following his arraignment and the glare of the media, we got an exclusive interview with the politician who announced that he won’t seek reelection last November. Obviously affected by the [...]

    Mendez’s Case Could Be Heard in Orange Walk Supreme Court
    As we said, six charges have been laid on Doctor Mendez. Four counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor sometime between 2006 and 2007, in November [...]

    P.U.P. Suspends Orange Walk East Area Rep Indefinitely Following Indictment
    Doctor Mendez is tonight on bail of five thousand dollars and is due back in court on April thirteenth, but it is expected that the matter will be elevated to [...]

    Another P.U.P. Area Rep to be Charged in Orange Walk Town
    While Marco Tulio Mendez is out on bail, another high ranking member of the People’s United Party is to be charged on Wednesday in the Magistrate Court. Last week, former [...]

    Security Guard Mutilated Overnight in Belmopan
    In the capital, a vicious murder occurred overnight and one person has been detained for questioning.  A security guard was hacked to death and his body left at the premises [...]

    New Leads in New Year’s Day Murder of Teakettle Resort Manager
    Like we said, that brings the murder count for the Belmopan jurisdiction to three. The first occurred on New Year’s Day at the Dream Valley Resort in Teakettle. Resort manager, [...]

    Belmopan Police One Step Closer to Solving Emerson Daly’s Murder
    Belmopan police also believe that they are wrapping up the investigation into the murder of Roaring Creek resident, Emerson Daly. The twenty-four year old was reported missing on Monday, January [...]

    Garbage Truck Knocks Down and Drags Toddlers in Belize City
    There was a traffic accident early this morning in the south side of Belize City.  Maria and Reyna, three year old twins, were riding with their mom, Reyna Savala, when [...]

    Floyd McNab Gets One Year in Prison for Theft
    In the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, thirty year old Floyd McNab, a car washer, was today sentenced to one year imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to twenty-two counts of theft. [...]

    OCEANA Assesses Damage to Reef Caused By Grounded Sailboat
    For over a month now, a boat, a steel hull vessel, has been aground on the reef near the island of Caye Caulker. Word spread like wildfire in early January [...]

    Potential Impact of Grounded Vessel Discussed
    Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world and is considered part of a world heritage site. The steel hull sailboat measures at approximately thirty-five feet in length [...]

    Founder of World Famous Hummingbird Highway Tamales Passes
    Her tamales have been featured on CNN, Afar dot com, right here on Channel Five, and even have reviews on Trip Advisor. But the lady behind the famous tamales has [...]

    CTV3

    Corozal Community Hospital Conducts Public Relation Training
    When we visit the public hospitals seeking medical attention we crave for good service but a smiling face is not what we often meet when we visit the community hospitals. The list complaints lodged aginst public hospitals across the country is huge and it varies from negligence to bad service. But In the Corozal District efforts are underway to curb the bad image created by unprofessional staff. Today over 13 members of the Corozal Community Hospital gathered at the Corozal Community College conference room to undergo training in Public Relations. Facilitaiting the training was Roger Duran.

    Belize Red Cross & American Red Cross Donates Garbage Bins
    Improper disposal of Garbage has always been an issue for many residents in the surrounding villages of the Orange Walk District and for that reason; today some 73 families from the Village of Santa Cruz were recipients of garbage bins on their properties. According to a release from Red Cross Belize, these were made possible through the Resilience in the Americas (RITA) Project a collaborative initiative between the Belize Red Cross and the American Red Cross. The garbage bin project was carried out at the request of villagers in an Integrated Participatory Assessment (IPA). The Garbage Bins are mounted onto wooden elevated columns embedded into a cement foundation for easy access by collectors and residents. Director General Ms Lily Bowman handed them over to the Secretary of the Village Council, Ms.Yesenia and called on villagers to use them wisely and to keep their village clean and beautiful.

    PUP Town council Plans To Expand Traffic Department
    Apart from property taxes, revenues collected from the Transport Department are one of the major financial boosts for the Orange Walk Town Council. Since they took office in 2012 the town council has transformed the traffic department. Motorcycles have been bought, a new driver’s license and motor vehicle system has been set in place and have even obtained new equipment to assist with the monitoring of traffic regulations. But the there is no doubt that the community is growing and it requires a comprehensive plan to address traffic related issues and that is exactly what the council intends to do. Joe Urbina- Councilor “Our rapidly expanding community requires a comprehensive plan to address traffic related issues, your PUP town council will; aim to regularize the taxi industry in Orange Walk town in order to have a more level playing field; enforce local traffic regulations to ensure orderly and safe traffic; broaden the representation of key stakeholders in the Municipal Transport Committee; identify new parking areas in down town Orange Walk; renovate the traffic department to offer more comfortable and improve services to our residents.”

    Speed Bumps Place Across Orange Walk For Traffic Safety
    If you have taken a drive through the Marcus Canul Area and the hospital area, you may have come across several speed bumps that have been placed over the course of a few days. And while these bumps are indicators to slow down drivers, it has caused quite a stir amongst residents of the aforesaid areas. The gist of their concerns were based on unnecessary speed bumps being implemented on streets that have no use for them, we asked Mayor Kevin Bernard about this move from his council and here is his response. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, OW Town “I will answer with one plain thing, recently with the incident for example with the child that was knocked down parents called and asked us to put up bumps in that area for the safety of the children and yes the bumps have gone up and we are actually building the signs and those signs will go up in the areas of Marcus Canul area and these are white marl street and because the streets are fixed they tend to drive hard in these areas and create a lot of dust, yesterday we were at the San Francisco Street and the same thing residents are asking for us to put up two bumps in the area because the bumps is killing them and so we are trying to address the issue with the resident but the same time yes we do need to put up the signs that a bump exist there and these are just temporarily solutions finding at least to alleviate the dust in some of these areas and that is what we are doing.”

    More On PUP Orange Walk Town Council Manifesto
    On Friday the P.U.P Orange Walk Town Council launched their 2015-2018 Manifesto. With the aim of continuously serving Orange Walkenos, the P.U.P team, who with the exception of Councilor Neri Ramirez is seeking re-election. As mentioned last night, the team’s social contract with the people covers the areas of financing, parks and playgrounds and even tourism culture and economic activities. Gian Vasquez- Councilor Candidate “In order for Orange Walk to prosper there must be opportunities for all the people, the citizens of our town should benefit from our many rich cultures and tourism opportunities that exist here, we should move Orange Walk in trying to be a cultural hub, your PUP town council will; continue supporting the BTIA Orange Walk and other stakeholders in the tourism industry in promoting Orange Walk as a preferred tourist destination for both local and international visitors, encourage hotel and tour operators to offer more attractive packages to tourist including more overnight stays, collaborate with other organization for the promotion of culture, support local economic activity such as Fiesta Rama, Business Expo and Carnival on 21st September and attract more tourist to our town by promoting cultural events that will showcase our local artist, crafts people an musicians.”

    PUP National Executive Removes Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez As Chairman Of The Northern Caucus And Other Related Duties & Resposibilities
    And as word spread like wild fire that Dr. Mendez was going to be charged today, the People’s United Party acted swiftly and issued a statement which states that Mendez has been removed as Chairman of the Northern Caucus. The release states and we quote "It has been confirmed to Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca that today, February 3rd, 2015, the Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, has been formally arrested and charged with certain criminal offences. On the basis of this development the Party Leader, in accordance with the power vested in him by the National Executive, has with immediate effect removed Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus and has suspended him indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities.” End quote.

    O/W Artisan Files Civil Suit Against UDP Mayoral Candidate, Yvette Torres
    But Doctor Mendez is not the only person facing the long arms of the law tonight, so is UDP’s Mayoral Candidate Yvette Lui Torres who is being taken to court for the non-payment of $208.00. The civil suit was placed against her today by an artisan of the Sugar City Artisans Group which Torres Chaired up until July 15th 2014 when she allegedly resigned from her post. But even before her resignation we understand that Artisans had problems collecting payment for their art pieces sold at the Sugar City Art House located on Queen Victoria Avenue. To date there are a number of artisans who have not been paid. Reports show that one artisan is owed more than a $1000.00 while others are owed anywhere from $883.00 to $113.00. With the aim of getting his money one artisan decided to take the matter to court. Afraid of being victimized, today the individual spoke to us off camera.

    Traffic Related Charge Filed Against Hon John Briceno, By DPM Driver
    And in other court matters, today Attorney Dickie Bradley conveyed to the media that another political figure will have to face a judge to answer to charges. That is because Christopher Hendricks, driver for Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Gaspar Vega has filed a complaint to police against Honourable John Briceno for a traffic violation. According to Hendricks, the incident occurred on January 22nd, 2015 at the Belize High School of Agriculture Compound where it was alleged that Briceno negligently and unlawfully caused harm to Hendricks with his Prado Vehicle. Briceno has been summoned to answer to the charge of “Negligent Harm” tomorrow at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court.

    LOVE FM

    BSI/ASR Speaks on Process of Sugar Production
    The new sugar cane crop season began last week Monday, and today, BSI/ASR has release it latest information when it comes to the amount of cane ground to the quantity and quality of sugar produce. (VO STARTS) According to the release, this past week, more than 41 thousand tons of cane was ground producing 4 thousand and 4 hundred tons of sugar. The factory ground close to 6 thousand tons per day. The total tons cane per ton sugar, TC/TS was 9.37. According to BSI/ASR, the cane quality is excellent which has resulted in the very best TC/TS for the first week of all times. The factory is planned to take temporary paused on grinding o Monday February 9, from 7am to 1pm. The reason for this was not specified.

    Security Guard Meets Gruesome Death Whilst On Duty
    The wee hours of this morning saw the brutal murder of an on-duty security guard attached to Anchor Security Services in Belmopan. Renee Trujillo travelled to Belmopan today to see what answers could be had from this latest homicide. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “It was a gruesome scene that the supervisor on duty for Anchor Security, Mr Munnings, encountered at around four o’clock this morning when he returned to the office after making his rounds within Belmopan. His colleague, Richard Noralez, who also goes by the name of Richard McKoy, was lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the office with tresses of his dreadlocks scattered around him, his hand almost severed, the top of his head bearing a chop wound so deep that the crown of his head was evident and his face was disfigured. Munnings, had only been away from the office an estimated forty five minutes and when he left, Noralez was alive and well. Love News went to the crime scene and spoke to the Managing Director for Anchor Security, Gary Gentle.”

    Police Updates on Dream Valley Murder
    It was reported as the first murder for the year 2015 when the manager of the Dream Valley Resort, 30-year-old, Yaima Duany Ledesma was shot to death at the establishment on New Year’s Day. There were many speculations at the time surrounding this incident including that it was a hit placed on the Cuban national but according to the Officer in Charge of the Belmopan Police Station, Superintendent Howell Gillett the investigation turned out to be a sophisticated one; albeit brief, he did give our reporter, Renee Trujillo, an update on that investigation. SUPT. HOWELL GILLETT “Well I can tell you that we are much closer to bringing this matter to closure. The investigation has proven to be a bit sophisticated but we are dealing with it and we are awaiting forensic results. Following those results I believe we could come closer to having an arrest in that case.”

    Garbage Truck Knocks Mother and Twin Girls off Bicycle
    Prime time traffic and pedestrians were halted and delayed this morning just after eight o’clock at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City when a mother and her two children were knocked off a bicycle by a garbage truck belonging to Belize Waste Control. For those familiar with the area, you would know that the flow of traffic and pedestrians is at its height between the hours of seven and nine in the mornings ….. but all that came to a halt as the girls, three year old twins, Maria and Reyna, fell to the pavement and the bicycle they were on laid some feet away, broken in two. According to police reports, the driver of the truck was 48-year-old, Orlando Antonio Pech of a Belize City and the garbage truck collided into the bicycle, injuring the children and their mother, Reyna Savala of a Holy Emmanuel Street address in Belize City.

    Vasquez’ Death Ruled as Case of Self Defense
    On January 5, 2015, our Belmopan correspondent reported that Belmopan police officers were investigating what had preliminarily been categorized as a murder when 19-year-old, Kevin Vasquez was killed on January 4 inside a house in Belmopan. But as the investigations evolved, it turned out that the case went from a murder to one of self-defense. According to the officer in charge of Belmopan Police Station, Superintendent Howell Gillett, directives came from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to not levy charges against the accused, 31-year-old, Mark Conorquie, as it had clearly been a case of self-defense. The incident occurred on the Sunday evening when neighbors reported the sounds of gunshots coming from inside the house. Police indicate that Vasquez had gone to the house with the intent to kill Conorquie and was subsequently shot in his leg where a main artery was ruptured, leading to his death. The case was closed and labelled as self-defense. Vasquez was a Honduran national who had taken up the welding trade in Belmopan. He had faced charges prior to his death for kidnapping and attempted murder and was a person of interest in a burglary incident in Belmopan.

    Vessel Lodged in the Reef Causes Major Concerns
    On January 19 of this year, we told you about the concerns raised by residents of Caye Caulker about a boat that had crashed in the reef. Approximately a month has passed since this incident has occurred on December 31, 2014 and the vessel can still be seen lodged in the reef. Belize having the second Barrier Reef in the World, it may be one of the last countries in the world to have extensive areas of pristine reed, however, having such fragile ecosystems, the reef is constantly at risk of being damaged from both mother nature and mankind. Due to the delicacy of the reef, there have been repeated request from residents of Caye Caulker to Oceana Belize regarding the stranded vessel near Caye Caulker, which lead to an expedition on January 29 2015 by Marine Scientist Dr. Isani Chan with Oceana’s Videographer Alexander Ellis and Project Assistant Alain Alexis to the site of the incident to conduct an assessment on the damage of the reef. According to Dr. Chan, the Steel hull for the sailboat measures approximately 35’ in length, the vessel sits in approximately 5’ of water in low tide, while the sailboat is currently lodged on coral “rubble”, increased wave action enables the vessel to move inward into living coral, and Subsequent efforts for an independent contractor to safely remove the vessel without causing further damage to the reef, from the site have so far proved unsuccessful.

    PUP Swiftly Strips Tulio Mendez of Chairmanship
    We contacted PUP Leader Francis Fonseca and asked for a comment about the entire situation involving Marco Tulio Mendez. Fonseca told Love News that the party had sent out a release and he had nothing to add because now the matter is before the court. The release that the PUP sent makes two major declarations against Mendez. The first one was that with immediate effect, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been removed from his position as Chairman of the Northern Caucus. The second was that he has been suspended indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The release makes no mention of who will take up Mendez post as the Chairman of the Northern Caucus. Before the scandal, Mendez had already made the decision not to contest the next general election. His replacement is Josue Carballo.

    PlusTV

    Independence girl says father sexually molested her
    In Independence Village, on Monday 2nd February, a minor along with her mother visited the Bella Vista Village Police Station accompanied by a Social Worker. The child reported that during the Month of October 2014, while at home along with her father, he grabbed her and touched her private part. Police investigations continue.

    Belmopan police investigate possible sexual abuse of 7 year old
    In another report of alleged sexual misconduct against a minor, there is another disturbing report coming out of Belmopan. According to police sources, a 7 year old had to undergo surgery on Monday night in the capital city, after her hymen was ruptured. Police have not released any other detail at this time as to how that occurred, but say they are investigating the circumstances.

    16 year old sexually abused by stepfather
    There is a disturbing report of rape coming from the southern District of Stann Creek, where a 37 year old stepfather is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with his 16 year old stepdaughter against her will. Often when disparaging reports of rape reach our desk we do well to expose these perpetrators. However, in this case, for the sake of the victim, we cannot reveal the perpetrator’s particulars.

    Security Guard chopped to death in Belmopan
    60 year old Feliciano Richard Noralez/McKoy, a security guard for Anchor’s security, was hacked to death in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. According to reports, Mr Noralez was alone on the second floor of the office of Anchor’s security, situated on Entrepreneur Street, just off Forest Drive, Belmopan, when at around 3:00 a.m. a man armed with a machete went up the steps to the second floor where Feliciano Noralez was brutally chopped to death. The perpetrator escaped, but not before taking several items from the office. An eyewitness claims to have seen a man in a hooded shirt running away from the building in a northerly direction with a long sharp object in his hand resembling a machete. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez formally charged for sexual offences
    In a high profile allegation of sexual misconduct at one of the highest levels in the country, the House of Representatives, Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez was officially charged on Tuesday. Dr. Mendez has been accused of inappropriate relations with two minors, and calls have been coming hard and fast for his resignation from the House of Representatives. But Dr. Mendez has been on record insisting that he will fight the charges and clear his name, and has no intention of resigning. Even before the charges were officially made on Tuesday, we spoke to Mr Mendez’ attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, who addressed the nature of the charges, which he says concerned incidents that reportedly took place several years ago, and are now only possibly being resurrected to tarnish his client’s name, character and reputation.

    New land leases for Caribbean Shores residents
    On Saturday, 30 residents of Caribbean Shores became proud owners of leases for land in the Cotton Tree area. It is part of the same parcel of land that was subject to contention from the village’s council, because they claim they were not consulted. The matter is still in litigation, but that did not stop Area Representative Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr. from handing out the leases, the first four of which went to loyal precinct captains, who also happened not to be landowners. “Many months ago, the Prime Minister in Cabinet issued to all Ministers 30 parcels of land in Cotton Tree, to give out. It was very hard to share so many fish among so many residents, but we did the best we could. I’m going to start by calling out on my four captains. Without them I would not be where I am. They worked very hard with me.

    Mediation proceeds in Harmonyville dispute
    Last July, Nigel Petillo and executive members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) were hauled to court by the Government, over alleged violation of the road reserve, in a plan to plant and harvest corn in the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision at Mile 41, George Price Highway. Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ordered mediation between the sides thereafter, but actual sessions did not get underway because of an objection by the Government to the chosen mediator. On Monday both sides were back before Justice Abel in chambers for a pre-trial review, which was intended to update the court on the mediation process. The two sides have finally met in mediation, and while exact details are not available, attorney for BGYEA and Nigel Petillo, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, expressed relief that it has finally begun.

    New president promises NTUCB will be “powerhouse”
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) held its Annual General Meeting on the island of Caye Caulker this past weekend, highlighted by the election of a new executive. Former vice-president Marvin Mora stepped up to the post of president, replacing Dylan Reneau, after running unopposed. The representative of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU) is eager to begin the process of turning the NTUCB into a “powerhouse” in Belizean politics and society. In an interview on Monday afternoon he expounded on his plans.

    Prisoners pepper-sprayed by police?
    The bus coming from the Central Prison at Hattieville to Belize City’s Magistrate and Supreme Courts is a well-known sight, and so too are the family members who come to court to encourage their imprisoned loved ones and offer them some of the comforts of home, whether money, clothes or even food. There are strict rules instituted by the courts and Police Department to regulate such deliveries. But on Monday morning, one family alleges, their loved ones were targeted with pepper spray, after a police officer refused to allow them access to give the prisoners money.

    Accused thief free after complainants drop out of trial
    On Monday, Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed charges of theft and attempted suppression of evidence against 49 year old Carl Gordon, a laborer of Partridge Street in Belize City, at the start of trial. On February 21, 2014, Carl Gordon was accused of stealing a small black purse containing $70 from a table in the living room in the home of 81 year old Effie Pollard of Corner Tigris and Basra Streets in Belize City. Effie Pollard told police that a dark-skinned man visited her home claiming to represent Belize Water Services, asking to check her premises for leaks. She agreed to allow the man to inspect the water meter and then inside her home, but her purse went missing after the man left.

    Chinese shop vendor pleads guilty to illegal lottery selling
    The phenomenon of illegal selling of lottery continues under the radar in some areas, but a rare victory was scored on Monday when a Chinese shop vendor pleaded guilty to the charge, after changing her original plea. 47 year old Jia Bi Wang, owner of Kim’s Shop on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City, was fined $5,000 for the offense by Magistrate Herbert Panton. On July 13, 2014, a police constable reported personally seeing Jai Wang at her establishment sell a dark-skinned man lottery numbers on a white paper that did not match the official tickets printed by official lottery proprietors Brads Gaming Company. The officer intervened and retrieved the paper as well as the money the man had paid over, then informed Ms Wang of the offence committed and escorted her to Racoon Street Police Station.

    Amandala

    6 men attack elders, 57 and 75, in their home
    Police have reportedly detained three of six young men who allegedly attempted to rob an elderly homeowner at his two-storey home on the Old Northern Highway in the early hours of yesterday, Sunday. Just after midnight on February 1, the attention of Marilene Rufenucht, 57, a caretaker and resident of Mile 20 on the Old Northern Highway, was drawn to six dark-complexioned men, armed with sticks, entering the property. She told police that one of the men walked upstairs and stated that he was a police officer; however, she became skeptical, and refused to open the door when he told her to do so. At that time, the assailants then decided to forcibly enter the home by breaking down one of the doors of the lower flat using a cement block.

    Ashcroft Alliance and Fortis ask CCJ for BTL and BEL
    Belizean attorneys Eamon Courtenay, SC, Denys Barrow, SC, and his daughter Naima Barrow traveled to Trinidad recently for the conclusion of the hearing by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) into the nationalization of two utility companies – Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) – in a landmark case for the region emanating from 6 consolidated claims filed by the Ashcroft Alliance, Fortis International and the Government of Belize. Initial hearings were held last year, and the parties had to return in late January to make final submissions before the court. The former owners of the utility companies contend that the nationalization of the companies was illegal and they have argued before the CCJ for the return of the shares, which had been compulsorily acquired by the Barrow administration through constitutional amendments.

    S/Pedro Town Council vs Honduran Ambassador
    The San Pedro Town Council, on Friday, January 30, issued a release condemning allegations made by the Honduran Ambassador, Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella, that a Honduran national, Sylvia Benitez, a single mother of three whose body was discovered about 15 feet off the Mata Grande Road, 3½ miles north of San Pedro Town, had not been “decently” buried. On January 17, after San Pedro police reported that they found Benitez’s partially nude and decomposing body, police coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran and his team from the police’s forensic unit conducted a post-mortem exam at the scene of the discovery of the corpse, and found that the body had bruises to the face, neck and back, and that there were multiple blunt force injuries to the right side of Benitez’s face, as well as to her neck and back, and injuries to her shoulders and inner thigh that seemed to have been caused by restraint by force.

    Return $230,000, or go to jail!
    An attorney who has failed to hand over to his client $230,000 – proceeds of a land transaction which were being held in an escrow account – is at risk of being cited for contempt of court and could be sent to prison if he fails again to meet the court-ordered deadline of February 13, 2015, to hand over the money. Attorney Ernest Staine, 77, who has been practicing law as a member of the Bar since the early 1970s, has found himself in contempt of court for failure to obey a court order to pay the remaining $230,000 from a $250,000 land transaction. He had promised on two separate occasions that he would pay his client, but has failed to do so. The matter came up today before Justice Courtenay Abel, but Staine was a no-show. Staine cited ill health as the reason for not attending the hearing this afternoon.

    Arthur and Melonie “kiss and make up”
    After battling the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)’s money laundering charge against his clients from January 2009 up to March 2014, in a legal saga that turned out to be downright acrimonious at times, attorney Arthur Saldivar and one of his clients ended right back where it all started—in court. Melonie Coye, after regaining her freedom and being cleared at the Court of Appeal of the money laundering charge brought against her and her family, not long after accused her attorney, Arthur Saldivar, the former People’s United Party (PUP) Belize Rural North standard bearer, of making off with almost one million dollars of her money. Coye’s allegation set in motion events that would later prove to be Saldivar’s political unraveling, as the PUP removed him from his post as Belize Rural North standard bearer, following an internal party “investigation.”

    Belize receives last shipment of premium from Venezuela
    Venezuela has formally suspended shipments of premium fuel to Belize, with the last shipment of premium fuel having arrived last week via Curaçao, on Monday, January 26, 2015. John Mencias, deputy chairman of Alba PetroCaribe Belize, the joint venture company which Belize and Venezuela had established to manage the PetroCaribe program, told Amandala that the shipment left port on January 22 and arrived in Belize 4 days later, on January 26. Belize had ordered 9,000 barrels of premium gasoline, as well as gasoil (diesel), regular fuel and kerosene from the refinery Isla, a subsidiary of the state-owned Pedevesa (Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.).

    Fonseca installs Michel Chebat as the PUP’s man for Cayo North
    Michel Chebat, the attorney who had stepped down last November to make way for businessman Richard Harrison to run against the UDP’s Dr. Omar Figueroa in Cayo North on January 5, has now been installed by the Opposition People’s United Party as their man in that division for the next general elections, due in 2017. Harrison took a two-to-one beating in the recent by-election, and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had indicated that they would open the candidacy to other persons. Amandala was informed today that Chebat was endorsed as the PUP’s Cayo North candidate after a decision by the party’s executive to authorize Fonseca to execute the installation.

    Rocky start, 1 victory only in Week 1 of PLB Closing Season 2014-2015
    The Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2014-2015 tournament picked up right where the Opening Season had left off, with unbelievable parity amongst the competing teams, and only one of the four Week-1 games produced a winner, and that in injury time. Week 1 of the Closing Season opened on Saturday night, January 31, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, where the finals had been played a couple weeks earlier; and the same two teams, defending 3-peat champion Belmopan Bandits and sub-champion Police United squared off for ninety minutes, with neither team able to score in this one, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The other 3 games were played on Sunday, all scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. At the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga, it was another nil-nil affair, as neither home-standing Wagiya or visiting King Energy/Freedom Fighters from Punta Gorda could find the back of the net.

    Weekend Warriors race results
    Here are the results from Race #2 of the current Weekend Warriors (WW) series of races held yesterday. The “A” & “B” rode from Cotton Tree Village to finish in front of Cisco Construction on the George Price (Western) Highway, for 38 miles; while the “C” class rode from La Democracia junction to finish in front of Cisco Construction on the George Price Highway, for 28 miles. “A” – 1st place Kent Gabourel (Megabytes, 1:50:20); 2nd Colin Maheia (FT Williams/Refretech, st); 3rd Mike Lewis (Smart, st); 4th Robert Mariano (Digicell-4G, 1:51:39); 5th Mark Gentle (FT Williams/Refretech, st); 6th Ray Cattouse (C-Ray, st); and 7th Warren Coye (Santino’s).

    Rurals completed, Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Finals tomorrow, Tuesday, at Bird’s Isle
    The Belize Rural Zone 5 Primary Schools Basketball Tournament was played on Friday, January 30, at the San Pedro Basketball Court. Participating in the double-elimination Rural Zone 5 Finals were the female (F) and male (M) teams of San Pedro RC School and Holy Cross Anglican School (San Pedro). In the female category, San Pedro RC won two straight games, 4-2 and 6-2, over Holy Cross Anglican School. In the male category, San Pedro RC won, 13-8, over Holy Cross Anglican in game 1; but Holy Cross Anglican bounced back to take game 2 by an 8-6 score, thus forcing the deciding game 3. The male game 3 for the championship saw Holy Cross Anglican again prevailing, this time by a 20-10 score. Christian Orellana led Holy Cross scoring with 10 points.

    Launching soon in Belize – BelCare Football Youth Academy
    Making its mark on the local sporting landscape in a few weeks’ time will be a new Belizean football organization, BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare), which has Grassroots Football Festivals scheduled in two districts – Cayo and Stann Creek, on the weekend of February 21-22. On Saturday, February 21, BelCare will host its 2015 Festival in San Ignacio, Cayo, with Adventures Football Club; and on Sunday, February 22, it will host the 2015 Festival in Dangriga, Stann Creek, with Umadagu Football Club. At the festivals, footballs and other football equipment, secured through BelCare’s various international donors, will be distributed to youth clubs and teams in the two districts; and there are plans to expand the program to all other districts in the future.

    Editorial: Some pre-UDP history
    The political parties of Belize, of which the only two national such are the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), are professional organizations which are in the business of competing in the various nationwide elections held in the country of Belize. These include village council elections, municipal elections, and general elections. The most important of these elections are general elections, scheduled to be held every five years. Municipal elections are held every three years. The general elections are the most important, because the most money is at stake: the national tax base is the prize. The political party which wins the majority of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives, forms a government which is sworn in by the Governor-General, who is the local representative of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the head of the Belizean state. Governments have the power to levy and collect taxes from the citizens of Belize. If the citizens for any reason(s) refuse to pay, the governments have permanent, organized bodies, such as the various courts of Belize, supported by the police and the army, to force citizens to do the will of the government, in other words, pay.

    Public transportation: a backward industry
    Dear Editor, It’s a frustrating scenario on repeat with nothing being done to alleviate it. The current bus schedule and the amount of buses running are clearly not meeting the public’s demand. A herd of people waiting at the bus terminal for ONE bus that cannot accommodate all of them is the daily struggle. It becomes a situation of “survival of the fittest” where people run, push and curse each other just so they can get in the bus. All respect for grandma, grandpa and children is thrown out the window as they are pushed and shoved around in all the commotion. The number of standees and people that get left behind can easily fill another bus or two but no extra buses are sent. How difficult can it be for the Ministry and bus companies to solve this issue?

    Ombudsman’s vehicle stolen in broad daylight
    At about 9:30 a.m. today, a brazen crook made a failed attempt to make off with a government-issued grey Nissan X-Terra SUV belonging to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu. The incident occurred in front of Fair Brothers Pawn Shop at the corner of Mahogany Street and Central American Boulevard. An employee of the Ombudsman’s Office had reportedly been using the vehicle at the time. According to police, the employee left the engine running with the keys in the ignition and asked the security guard at the pawn shop to keep an eye on it, but an opportunistic thief who was apparently lurking in the area jumped into the SUV and took off.

    Government agrees to a $200,000 settlement for Crooked Tree boat accident
    Exactly one year after a terrible collision between two Belize Coast Guard boats in the Crooked Tree Lagoon claimed the life of a promising young man, the government has agreed to a $200,000 settlement in a wrongful death suit, attorney Kareem Musa confirmed to Amandala yesterday, Thursday. Government has agreed to settle the claim brought by the father of Benjamin Jerome Gentle, 20, the student who lost his life when the two Coast Guard vessels collided on January 31, while ferrying villagers, due to the flooding of the Crooked Tree Causeway. The government has agreed to pay to the estate of Gentle $200,000 in two installments of $100,000, with the first payment being made on January 30, 2015 and the balance being disbursed in a second payment on April 2, 2015, Musa disclosed.

    Passenger bus slams tour bus at airport junction
    Major tragedy was averted this morning when a sky-blue passenger bus traveling from Sarteneja, Corozal, collided with a white, empty 30-seater tour bus which was about to make its way from the Philip Goldson International Airport junction onto the Philip Goldson Highway. The incident occurred shortly after 10:00 a.m., and while the front ends of both buses were badly damaged, luckily, no one was seriously injured as a result of the collision. Upon arriving at the scene, Amandala spoke to Mario Chan, the driver of the tour bus, who said that he was already turning onto the highway when he noticed the bus traveling at a high speed, and that by the time he tried to avoid the collision, the bus had already hit him.

    Opposition Leader speaks about the troubling allegations against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
    Members of the Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), held a meeting yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, to discuss the very troubling reports coming out of the Orange Walk District that Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, the area representative for the Orange Walk East constituency, is being accused of child molestation. It has been reported in the media that two teenaged girls have made a report to the Department of Human Services that Dr. Mendez has had inappropriate contact with them. Earlier this year, Dr. Mendez cited health reasons for his decision not to seek re-election to his Orange Walk East seat in the next General Elections, scheduled for 2017. If criminal charges are brought against Dr. Mendez, there is a possibility he could prematurely resign from his seat in the House of Representatives, which would trigger a by-election right on the heels of the by-election that was held in the Cayo North constituency that resulted in a massive win for the governing United Democratic Party.

    Bar owner defends himself with a baseball bat
    Antonio Segura, 53, a resident of Frank’s Eddy, is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a bar owner hit him in the head with a baseball bat in the yard of a bar in Frank’s Eddy at about 1:00 Sunday morning. Bar owner Julio Reyes told police that Segura began aggressively demanding rum from him, and when he refused to give him any, Segura took out a knife and came at him, and that was when he took out his bat and hit Segura in the head, causing him to become unconscious. Segura was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was admitted in an unconscious state. He has since been declared to be in a critical condition.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Political parties meet with Elections Department ahead of elections
    The countdown to municipal elections slated for March 4, 2015 is on and the Elections and Boundaries Department which is in charge of overseeing the process to a smooth, free and fair election met with representatives of political parties large and small in Belize City today. grey Political parties meet with Elections Department ahead of elections Josephine Tamai Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai said that it was important for the Department to get the input and cooperation of the political parties and public officers who will oversee and participate in the election on important issues ranging from care of ballots to the all-important ban on campaigning in the 100-yard line surrounding all polling stations.

    Garbage bins for Santa Cruz village, Orange Walk
    Some 73 families in the Village of Santa Cruz in the Orange Walk District are recipients of garbage bins on their properties. According to a press release issued today, the garbage bins were made possible through the Resilience in the Americas Project a collaborative initiative between the Belize Red Cross and the American Red Cross. The garbage bin project was carried out at the request of villagers in what the Red Cross calls an Integrated Participatory Assessment. These garbage bins were installed by women, men and youth of the village.

    Belmopan Methodist School Inaugurates Second Floor
    elmopan Methodist High School held inauguration ceremonies today for the second floor of its first school building. The school started August 2013 with its first cohort of 1st form students with one floor and those students got promoted to second form and had to work in a semi-complete 2nd floor for their classes. Many groups of Methodist Missions from abroad, including the United Methodist Circuit Kentucky Conference, came to assist with the construction plus donated financially to the cause.

    Marco Tulio Mendez arraigned on criminal charges
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has suspended Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez from all “party related duties, responsibilities and activities.” This follows formal charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature being brought against the retiring politician today in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Dr. Mendez was arraigned on six counts, four of the offence allegedly committed against one of the underage girls and two counts allegedly committed against the other.

    Marco Tulio Mendez arrives at Orange Walk police station
    Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has arrived at the Orange Walk police station. It is expected that formal criminal charges will be brought against him. We wait to see what those charges will be.

    Mother and daughters knocked down in Belize City
    Police say that a mother and twin 3-year old girls were knocked down this morning as they rode on a bicycle at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City. Police say that around 8:16 am, Reyna Savala was transporting the girls on a bicycle when a sanitation truck collided into them.

    Charges imminent against Orange Walk East area representative
    It is quiet this morning at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Indications are that charges may be brought against Orange Walk East are representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez during the course of the coming hours.

    Blogs

    What’s New In Placencia, Belize and Fantastic Meals at Maya Beach Bistro: Part One
    It feels like AGES since I’ve been in Placencia, Belize – the peninsula that I must have visited 6…maybe 8 times during 2014? I love it down there. But like San Pedro, Placencia is constantly changing. So here are a few updates and…some pictures of the fabulous food I ate at Maya Beach Bistro. Sigh…I love this spot. And for those who aren’t familiar with Placencia – it really is a long, very narrow peninsula with Placencia Village at the very tip. Ocean on one side… and lagoon to Maya Mountains on the other. Though they do have the only regulation bowling alley in Belize. Jaguar Lanes.

    6 Books To Collect About The Ancient Maya
    There are volumes of books and informational material that will enlighten anyone wishes to learn and who intends to visit the ancient Maya area . Here at Nine we have a rich library. Going through our library today, we came up with a nice “6 pack” reading options for February on the ancient Maya. This is especially important if you are deciding to come visit an ancient Maya Site in Belize or somewhere in the Maya World.

    Belize Tourism and Hospitality Management Leadership conference
    Management and Leadership for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Inspiring peak performance through exceptional leadership and management skills. Dates: March, 24nd, 25th and 26th 2015. Location: Roberts Grove Beach Resort, Placencia Peninsula Cost: $300 BZD $150 USD. Getting Work Done Through Others Hosted By Roberts Grove Beach Resort Belize This Management and Leadership Conference is a program for the tour and hospitality industry that will provide the enhancement of leadership excellence and services capacity sharing for Belize and Caribbean regions.

    Wolverine Slept at My House
    I'm not sure where to go with this blog post - it was a pretty busy week and weekend; plenty of blog worthy bits and at different times thought about going so many different ways with it. So I think I'll just start on the adventures of life on Ambergris Caye side of things and see where it takes me. First I would like the humbly apologize to the lady in the back row of that picture on the left there - see she's picky something out of her teeth...or maybe getting ready to eat a booger...not sure (she's not eating a booger!! That was a joke people!!). Either way - I had to roll with this picture as it's the only one I took. David and Linda were kind enough to invite us on their catamaran (the Cas Cat) for a Sunset Sail. It was a nice little trip. I really enjoy being on the water and the great thing about their boat is being much closer to the water, you can hear and feel it (though once the sun goes away you really don't want to feel it). Fantastic Rum Punch as well!! It was a great time with great friends. Very happy to have them as friends, neighbors and business colleagues.

    There’s no Apocalypse here, people, just move along . . .
    It was just one of those days, you know? When the sun melted the searing white sand into fine crystal glass beads that the natives picked up and made into bracelets to sell to the tourists. Yeah, it was that kind of hot. So hot you saw your breath, only it was steam. So hot, the iguanas were complaining. So hot, the sorgassum dried up into dust as soon as it hit the shore and blew away. Just kidding. Ha! Ha! It never gets that hot on Ambergris Caye. At least as far as I know.

    Happy Belizean Groundhog Day — six more months of fun and sun!
    Happy Belizean Groundhog Day! Yes, this is the Belizean groundhog! After a long night of partying at local island bars, people by the thousands politely waited at sunrise along the shore’s rip-rap walls. As the sun peeked over the horizon, spreading warmth and good cheer, scores of iguanas began to climb tentatively out of their burrows and face the sunlight. Not coincidentally, Sunday marked the end of iguana hunting season in Belize — true story. The newly emboldened iguanas, breathing a little easier on MOnday, but still irritated at being called “Bamboo Chicken” by hunters, are none-the-less ready to make a statement.

    International Sourcesizz

    TRAVEL trends of 2015 include Panama, Belize, Poland and Havana
    It’s already shaping up to be a busy year for travel. So many are looking for new travel experiences, not just a typical visit to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Although there are still traditionalists, who will visit the same spot every year, this year’s travellers want to experience something different and awe-inspiring. A fantastic destination that saw a spike in travellers last year was the beautiful country of Belize. With English as Belize’s official language and breathtaking landscapes, it’s no wonder travellers feel comfortable and at home. Belize also offers a variety of attractions – San Pedro for the travelling shopper, Caracol for the historian and the Great Blue Hole for the adventure-seeker, there’s so much to see and so much to do in Belize.

    Belize Cruise Port of Call for Ships
    The Belize cruise port of call is small compared to others, but it is absolutely beautiful. It’s a newer destination for ships. Be aware ahead of time that just because your cruise is scheduled to stop at this port doesn’t mean it will. The cruise lines use tenders to take their passengers aboard at this port, as it is not equipped for cruise ships to dock, which means if the seas are too choppy they will not allow you to board the tenders for your safety. It only takes the Belize City Tenders 15 minutes to get a passenger from the ship to the port. We recommend you don’t sit on the sides of the tender downstairs, or you will get wet, and that you take motion sickness medication prior to getting on the tender, if you are prone to getting motion sickness.

    Spiny Lobster Abundance Shows Fishery in Good Shape
    A recent study conducted in the waters of Glover's Reef Marine Reserve in Belize by the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners has revealed good news for spiny lobsters: the abundance of these commercially valuable crustaceans should support local fisheries into the future, an indication that no-take areas and other regulations are protecting the nation's marine resources. While the authors maintain that the current level of fishing is at a reasonable target level, they also note that many of the lobsters caught are on the small side. They recommend that increasing the size limit would make the fishery more sustainable. The study titled "Bayesian depletion model estimates of spiny lobster abundance at two marine protected areas in Belize with or without in-season recruitment" appears in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. "Overall, the fishery seems to be in good shape and the no-take areas seem to be protecting the species from overfishing," said Janet Gibson, Director of WCS's Belize Programme.

    Lord Ashcroft basks in limelight as his polls look set to transform election
    Billionaire Tory peer’s unique constituency-by-constituency polls could see unprecedented tactical voting in marginal seats in May. Lord Ashcroft is having fun. The billionaire Tory peer, who is ploughing a small fortune into the finest-grained polling ever seen at a UK general election, is revelling in his new nickname as Britain’s “Pollfather”. Since resigning from Conservative central office in 2010 where he had run polling and funded a target seats campaign for David Cameron, he doesn’t have to toe any party line. So, as well as publishing a stream of unique constituency-by-constituency polls which many believe will enable unprecedented tactical voting in May, he is enjoying publicly teasing the prime minister.

    Vaginal Steaming Can Revitalise Your Body
    There is an ancient herbal treatment for the uterus that is called vaginal steaming, that can help to heal "almost any aspect of uterine pathology", according to mindbodygreen.com. Also known as yoni steaming, the treatment is used to cleanse and revitalize the uterus, bringing down any discomfort associated with the seasonal cycle. Dr. Rosita Arvigo, "a naprapathic physician, herbalist, international lecturer, author and teacher of Maya medicine", who has lived and studied with ancient Mayan healers in Belize for nearly 25 years, became familiar with this amazing medicine. Dr Arvigo agrees that vaginal steaming is popular in Mayan societies, and is called a bajo in Central America. It is usually used among women.

    Videos

  • Underwater world on Caye Caulker, Belize, 1.5min. The Month of Love is Here – Escape to Belize this Valentine!
  • Corozal (Belize), 13min. Jump across the border from Chetumal, Mexico to Corazol, Belize.
  • Two Months Travelling Belize, 3.5min. I spent two months in Belize, most of my time spent in the jungle up the Columbia River at the Maya Mountain Research Farm where I researched for my dissertation. I also spent a night with a Mayan Family in a village, visited the local towns and villages often, and saw Placencia.
  • Dolphin in Belize, 1/2min. Dolphin having a little fun ..:)
  • Diving Clip, Ray Alley, North Turneffe, Belize, 6.5min.
  • Dolphins Playing with Belize Diving Services Boat, 3min. On the way back from Turneffe Atoll to Caye Caulker, Belize, the captain spotted dolphins and slowed the boat to play with them on request.
  • ENTRANCE OF UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE IN HORRIBLE CONDITIONS, 4min.
  • The Corozal Community College Marching Band !! @Placencia, Belize, 3min.
  • Prime Minister of Belize 2015 Vision, 10min. Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean O. Barrow 2015 vision focused on infrastructure and technology.
  • Dolphins, Belize, Caye Caulker, 40sec. this was Sara's first real open water dive, was a pleasure to share the experience with her, and, as if it couldnt be sweeter after seeing over 7 individual nurse sharks, a few rays & a nice little hawksbill turtle, this happened on our safety stop.
  • DOCTOR MARCO TULIO MENDEZ FACES THE LONG ARMS OF THE LAW, 6min. Orange Walk East Area Representative and Chairman of the Northern Caucus, Dr Marco Tulio Mendez had his judgement day when he appeared at the Orange Walk Police station to face criminal charges on damning allegations of assault of an indecent nature. We will tell you about those charges momentarily but we will show you a timeline of the happenings at the police station today, including the bold move of a fanatical supporter who shielded Mendez from addressing the Media.
  • Underwater in Belize, 4min. Off the coast of Belize, near the Portofino Beach Resort, with Action Diver's amazing guides Roberto and Blinky, my wife learns to scuba dive. An amazing trip!
  • Snorkeling Caye Caulker, Belize, 8.5min. This was a snorkeling trip with The Spear Fishing Shaq of of Caye Cauker island, Belize. Spectacular!
  • Part 2 2015 Pageau Cruise Belize Scuba Diving Navigator of the Seas, 9min. Diving in Belize Mexico. More of the ship as well as Scuba Diving. The dive boat picks you up directly from the ship and takes you to the dive shop on a small island. After gearing up the boat takes you out into the Gulf. I got some shots of and Spotted Eagle Ray, Shark, Sand Rays.
  • Mayan ruins in Belize, 5min. Just practicing some glidecam.

    February 3, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Let’s Party with Supa G’s new video for ‘Party Insane’!
    One of the mainstays in Belize Punta Music, Supa G…the ge-ne-ral…has released the music video for “Party Insane”. This is the first single from his upcoming new album. ENJOY!!

    At last! San Pedro PolyClinic II now offering 24-hour service

    San Pedro PolyClinic Expanding
    Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II officially expanding their services and will now be open for 24 hours.

    San Pedro’s environmental crisis!
    The San Pedro VIP Team calls on the San Pedro Town Board to immediately cease from dumping of garbage for filling of streets. We call on Department of Environment to urgently investigate this matter which scientist predict will cause the economic and environmental collapse of Ambergris Caye. We further call on all residents and developers to be more conscious of the environment and to properly dispose of all garbage at the designated dumpsite. The VIP launched their “Save San Pedro, Embrace the Change” campaign with the Environment as their priority issue.

    Mounting garbage in Altamar continues to upset residents
    The San Pedro Town Council made slight efforts to remove some of the garbage and erected a “No Dumping” sign, but most of the garbage remains and some of it has merely been pushed into an empty lot. Residents say that they remain frustrated after countless calls to authorities, with no positive results. Until the garbage is totally removed, residents claim they will continue to call on the local authority to address the issue. The San Pedro Sun has attempted multiple times to speak to Mayor Daniel Guerrero on this matter but our requests have not been honored.

    NEBL Season to kick off on February 6th
    The 2015 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season is set to kick off on Friday, February 6th. The island is being represented once more by the national defending champion, San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The NEBL 2015 season will kick off with the opening match featuring Cayo Western Ballaz and Belize Hurricanes. Meanwhile the island’s team will play their first game at home on Saturday February 7th against Belmopan Red Taigaz. According to the NEBL there will be eight teams participating in this year’s tournament, which include Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit Soldiers, new comers Belize Hurricanes, defending champs San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Red Taigaz, defending sub champs Cayo Western Ballaz, Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats. Throughout the tournament, teams will play each other in a home and away format, with each team playing a total of 14 regular season games. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs in a best-of-three series to decide who will reach the finals, which will be a best-of-five series. The playoffs are scheduled to commence on May 22, 2015.

    Ambergris Today

    24 Hour Medical Services Commence at San Pedro Poly Clinic
    The keynote address was delivered by the Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin who expressed his gratitude to his colleagues, Manuel Heredia and the Prime Minister Dean Barrow for their unwavering support to all projects involving health, including San Pedro. “The ball is rolling,” stated Minister Marin, “and there is a lot more in store for San Pedro.” The vote of thanks was offered by Mrs. Oneida Smith, Regional Health Manager, and that was followed by the cutting of ribbon. Snacks and refreshments were then provided to the attendees, which included invited guests, residents, students of the Medical School in San Pedro and personnel of the Ministry of Health.

    Satisfy your Conch Fritter Cravings with this Simple Recipe
    One of the most sought after marine delicacies in Belize is the conch. It’s sweet, flavorful and delicious; hard to think that there are some people who don’t like it. One of the most popular and delicious ways to prepare conch is in a ceviche, but the conch fritter rivals the ceviche as one of the most asked for bocas (appetizers) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Once the conch goes out of season in Belize, people start craving for it bad and cannot wait for the season to open in order to start devouring the delicacy.

    Pic of the Week: Let's Go Diving in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
    "Another Beautiful Day in Paradise.... Hope you all enjoy your day wherever you may be..... Have a great day from our BPDC Family to yours" - is the message Belize Pro Dive Center posted along with this picture on their Facebook Page. It's that of another beautiful sunrise in Ambergris Caye, viewed from their dock facilities at The Villas at Banyan Bay. Who is ready to go diving the Great Barrier Reef of Belize?

    Emerging Tourism Trends for Belize
    Before the end of last year, I wrote an article naming six travel trends that are going to be important in 2015. I did this in hope that Belize tourism stakeholders would exploit them for the New Year but after visiting in January I realized that there are a few more things I should add to that list. If you weren’t interested in clicking above, here’s a recap of my original article: I mentioned that small businesses will be favored over large ones, authentic eating experiences will tromp fancy restaurants, demand for food tours will increase, offering free WI-FI is no longer a luxury but a must, requests for vacation rentals will continue to rise, and local travel is getting more popular. 1. Active Tours, 2. Mobile , 3. Boutique Hotels and Restaurants, 4. Video, 5. Craft is King.

    San Pedro Traffic Dept. Upgrades with Four New Motorcycles
    With a crew of ten traffic wardens, the new motorcycles should allow for each warden to have his/her own transportation or allow for the bikes to undergo proper maintenance cycles. Councilor Brackett says he is lobbying the Town Council for two new wardens which he wants to station in North Ambergris Caye, across the Boca del Rio Bridge. The new motorcycles were financed by the San Pedro Town Council.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Southside Poverty Alleviation Project – Phase 2
    Dredging & Lining (Lakeview, Prisoner Creek & Trenchtown) Canals The Government of Belize secured a loan with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for the implementation of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project – Phase 2. Through the Ministry of Works the implementation of the dredging & lining of Lakeview, Prisoner Creek & Trenchtown Canals, as well as the upgrading of streets adjacent these canals, is set to commence immediately. The successful contractor for this project is CISCO Construction Ltd. It is anticipated that these civil infrastructure upgrades will be done within the next 15 months. The cost of works is BZ$4,823,065.12.

    Paving of 9 KM of Frank’s Eddy Road (Jaguar Paw Road)
    A contract was signed this morning between the Ministry of Works & Transport (GOB) and Belize Roadway construction Ltd. for the paving of the Frank’s Eddy/Jaguar Paw Road. The paving of the road will be done at a cost of $4,864,644.92 and is expected to be complete in six months.

    Apply for the Atlas Corps Fellowship in the U.S. or Latin America
    Are you ready to develop your skills and join a global network of leaders?AtlasCorps, in partnership with the U.S. Government, seeks emerging civil society leaders for a funded, prestigious leadership development program in the United States—the Emerging Global Leaders Initiative (EGLI) Atlas Corps Fellowship.

    Seniors experience the Zoo
    Both the weather and the mood of our elderly visitors was sunny and bright, as Ms. Rosinell Craig, the General Manager of My Cielo Blue Senior Center led this excited group into The Belize Zoo recently. Coming all the way from the peaceful village of Gardenia, the seniors experienced the Zoo with personal guides, Director Sharon Matola, and Animal Management Supervisor, Tony Garel. The happy tapirs received carrot and sweet potato treats, and then the thrill of watching acrobatic spider monkeys was next on the list. Getting around the zoo was not a problem, thanks to the visitor-friendly accessible pathways. No visit to the Zoo is complete without a fun stop to meet our beautiful jaguars. Lucky Boy, and our rehabilitated “Problem Cats”, Lindo and Springfield, all came to say hello. While Brutus, our 12 foot long American crocodile, brought forth a gasp or two, Sharon added even more zest to the crocodile close encounter. Out came our sweet Crocodile Rose! At first, there was a bit of stunned silence. Then, the group took turns stroking two year old Rose, and some even held the reptilian babe!

    Spiny lobster abundance study at Glover's Reef, Belize finds fishery in good shape
    A recent study conducted in the waters of Glover's Reef Marine Reserve in Belize by the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners has revealed good news for spiny lobsters: the abundance of these commercially valuable crustaceans should support local fisheries into the future, an indication that no-take areas and other regulations are protecting the nation's marine resources. "Overall, the fishery seems to be in good shape and the no-take areas seem to be protecting the species from overfishing," said Janet Gibson, Director of WCS's Belize Program. "One regulatory change that would strengthen protection for the spiny lobster population would be to increase the size limit of lobsters taken, a small adjustment that could ensure a future for the species and the fishery." This recommendation is also in keeping with that of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA).

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, February 2, 2015: 00

    Clarification on statements made against the SPTC and Mayor by Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras
    It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP.

    Maya Wedding Re-enactment Ceremony at Santa Rita Reserve
    BTIA Corozal would like to invite you and all of your friends to a Maya Wedding Re-enactment Ceremony at Santa Rita Reserve on Thursday Feb 5th starting at 8:00 p.m.. Our vision is for Corozal to develop a sustainable cultural tourism product and this requires the support of the whole community. We have fantastic natural and historic resources which could provide employment and economic benefits to our district. Please take this opportunity to attend the Maya Wedding Re-enactment and be inspired to commit fully to our development as a community. See you there...

    Who is this famous Belizean painter?
    He started painting at the age of 5 in Punta Gorda, and later attended Holy Redeemer School. He filled hundreds of canvases with his images and vision and was called Belize's Van Gough, his work has been compared to Gaugin, and Monet. He paved the way for future generations of artist in Belize. Today one of his paintings sell for thousands of dollars. Can you name him?

    Channel 7

    When Will Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez be Charged?
    Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez and his attorney are waiting tonight for police to inform them when they will formally charge him for child molestation. The allegations against him are that two teenaged girls have accused him of inappropriate behavior which supposedly took place when they were little girls. Mendez, who is the Area Representative from Orange Walk East, waited most of today to hear from police if they had completed their paper work for the charges, and we're told that police may bring as many as 9 separate offences against him. The expectation was that Mendez was to have been requested to come in today to be arrested. That didn't happen because, according to our sources, the investigators encountered legal issues, which required legal advice.

    Hon. Santi To Mayor Darrell: The Road To Cari Shores Comes Through Me
    April of 2013 - that's when we first reported on Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley's interest in running for Caribbean Shores. And in fact, that's what made it so tough for him to decide to run for another term as mayor, because the general election would come at the end of that second term, or earlier. But, the mayor decided he would do both: try and hold unto the mayor's seat and get into a division. That path seemed to have been simplified somewhat when word came from the Santino Castillo camp that he would not be running again. But Castillo never said it - and he remains the elected representative for Caribbean Shores. On Saturday at an event to declare open a drainage project in the area - he made it clear that if Bradley wanted a seat in the Shores - he would have to fight him to get it. Here are his remarks:.. Hon. Santino Castillo, Caribbean Shores Area Rep. "The work of transforming and modernizing Caribbean Shores have only just begun, so don't listen to anyone that tells you that I will not be running again. That is what some of them wish. In fact, join me and let's continue that journey in 2015, 2016, 2017 and beyond. Together lets ensure a brighter future for all residents of Caribbean Shores. Anybody that wants to come to Caribbean Shores will have to come through me."

    Senior Attorney In Senior Trouble With Court
    At 77 years old, Ernest Staine is one of the most senior legal practitioners in the country - but he's also in senior trouble tonight - and today the court agreed to an order which would commit him to jail. That's because he has 230 thousand dollars for Rita McField - the proceeds from a land transaction. Staine was holding the money in escrow on behalf of a client for McField. He was supposed to release it when the land title was cleaned up. That happened in the middle of 2014, but he didn't hand over the money. Now almost half a year has passed and he still hasn't handed it over. Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel gave him until the end of January to hand over the money - and still, nothing was forthcoming. Today he sent the court a Doctor's letter saying he's not well enough to appear. And based only on that, he was given a break - but the court ok'd an order which requires him to come up with the money by February 17th, or face committal to jail. Bradley-Ellis explained it to us outside the courtroom:..

    Cops Uses Pepper Spray On Prison Van, to Disastrous Effect
    This morning a group of prisoners - who were being escorted from court to the Belize Central Prison- were pepper sprayed in the prison van. The mother of one the men, Allison Broaster, came to our studios after the incident to complain about a cell block officer who pepper sprayed her son and two other prisoners for no reason. She told us that all she was trying to do was give the officer money to give her son, but apparently, the officer wouldn't have that - there was some resistance and that is when the men were sprayed and taken away in the prison van. Here is what she had to say. Allison Broaster "We were out there when they bring down the guys from prison. They are not problem guys. They were asking to get some money from me and the officer pulled out the pepper spray and he started spraying them." Courtney Weatherburne "How are these boys related to you?"

    Bad Boledo Business
    A Chinese vendor was fined $5,000 today by Magistrate Herbert Panton for selling an illegal lottery ticket. 47 year old Jia Bi Wang was charged in July of last year with the offence. According to Police constable Hyde, on July 13th, 2014 he was at Kim's Shop on Iguana Street Extension when he saw Wang sell a man a lottery ticket that was reportedly fraudulent. Hyde said he took the ticket from the man as well as the money from the counter that the man had paid with. Hyde said he informed Wang of the offence and escorted her to the Raccoon Street Police Station. Wang has until June 30th to pay the $5,000. If she defaults on payment she will serve 3 years.

    Dr. Lesly Says She Just Wants Her Family Left Alone
    As we told you at the top of the newscast - Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is awaiting a grim court date sometime this week - when he will become the first parliamentarian in memory to be charged for child abuse. Last week, we showed you our interview with his wife, Dr. Lesly Mendez, who told us exclusively that the political operatives from both sides are targeting her and her family. She also revealed to us that her family has been facing this accusation against Dr. Marco Tulio for an entire years. As we told you back in November he announced that he wasn't running for health reasons, and there is no evidence to suggest at this time that these allegations have any connection to that. But, the timing is very important because there is some suggestion from certain quarters that Dr. Lesly Mendez is the one pressing this issue to discredit him.

    Older Couple Home Invaded By Young Boys On Old Northern Hwy
    Ladyville Police continue to investigate a strange home invasion at mile 20 on the Old Northern Highway. Two senior citizens a 75 year-old man, and a 57 year-old woman, were attacked by 6 young men who invaded their house, just after midnight on Sunday. They didn't take anything, but one of the young men assaulted the woman, and they impersonated police to try to get into the house. Today, we got a chance to speak with Hipolito Castillo and Marlene Rufenucht (Roof-en-nut) today about the incident: Hipolito Castillo "I was sick and I ask her to come and stay because I was upset in my stomach and the she said that she saw somebody walking to the garage and then afterwards the dogs were barking and then all of a sudden a door came down. They broke down the door with cement blocks." Marlene Rufenucht "At around 12:30 the dogs start barking. Then I got up. What happen is that he doesn't like his house in darkness. He wanted to have a light or two in there in the kitchen and the middle part where the bathroom is. The glare in the light from dark to clear, you could see movements around inside the house. The problem with me that night when I open the window and I peep through the window, a guy ran from behind the garage straight to the stairs and went up, and he came back down and all this while I am looking at him.

    Ex-Servicemen Dispute Back Court
    The battle for control of the ex-servicemen's league continued in the Supreme Court today before Justice Courtney Abel. The Belize City branch maintains that the national branch has not had proper elections in 8 years - and so they want those elections to be held. But, in the interim the League has to be administered - and the executive members say they need their executive seats restored to get that done. After a quick hearing today in which Justice Abel gave an order restoring normalcy to the organization -w e spoke to the attorney for the Belize City Branch outside the court:.. Naima Barrow, Attorney for City Branch - Ex-Servicemen's League "What we have sought and secure from the court is an order appointing a receiver for the purpose of conducting elections. Elections have not, to our clients mind, been held properly since over 8 years ago. So, Ms. Tamai as the Chief Elections Officer has been named as the receiver because we think that she is most fit to attend to the election of the league.

    Ambitious Drainage Project Will Slow Belama Traffic
    Works have already begun on Albert Hoy Street in Belama. As part of the flood mitigation project, 1600 feet of road will be paved and the entire length will have drainage. Now the only disadvantage that comes along with this project and any road project for that matter- is the inconvenience to motorists. In this case, for the duration of the rehabilitation project, Albert Hoy Street will be turned into a "One way Street" from TV Ramos to Chetumal Street in that same direction. Jose Divas, Technical Specialist of the Flood Mitigation Project discussed the scope of the project with us today. Works are expected to be completed in October.

    Million Dollars In Drainage For Buttonwood Bay
    And another drainage project just across the highway was declared open this weekend. The million dollar Buttonwood Bay Drainage project saw the replacement of 6,000 linear feet of earth drains with new ferro- concrete lined drains, covered sidewalks, installation of reinforced concrete box culverts, as well as removal and replacement of walkways in the area. The project was undertaken by SIF and this Saturday, the Director said it will meaningfully improve drainage in the community:.. William Lamb, Executive Director - SIF "This drainage project will address both health and environmental issues in this area, preventing long lasting flood and reducing stagnant water from around the area. For most of Belize, including this area, is considered to be under sea level, so this project was done mainly to address the surface water to run off into these secondary drains and then into the main drains out to the sea."

    Busy Airport Junction The Scene of Another Crash
    There was an accident this morning in Ladyville at the intersection of the Northern Highway and the Airport Road - which is a hotspot intersection. A crowded Bus from coming from Sarteneja Corozal ended up crashing into a smaller white bus which had just turned onto the highway. Fortunately the accident only resulted in only minor injuries. The suggestion is that the driver of the bus was in the wrong for the speed it was traveling at while approaching an intersection, but also, there are passengers on the bus who say that the driver of the smaller white bus did not indicate while he was turning onto the high way. Police will establish who is at fault, but today, one of the eyewitnesses spoke with us about what he saw: Phillip Diaz, Eyewitness "I was on the opposite side of the street and I was looking and I just notice that this blue bus, the speed that it was going - I want to know if the they don't have any common sense, because I am not saying that the white bus that came out of the airport road was in the right, but if they were using precaution and drive with care, this wouldn't not have happen at all, because he would have had time to stop.

    Belize's Cotton Sought After By Japan
    When you hear the term sea-island cotton - you may think of something from the caye's. But the so called sea island cotton is just an extra long variant of the cotton plant - and, apparently, the type grown in Belize is especially sought after. That's why the government of Japan is encouraging farmers in the north to get into farming it. They today signed an agreement ot provide assistance:.. 6 farmers from Buena Vista, Little Belize and Bomba are currently involved in the project and they have produced 30 thousand pounds of dry cotton fetching a value of 160 thousand dollars.

    Big Bucks For Bribery
    26 year-old Hiberto Kim, a construction worker of San Pedro Columbia, was lucky to walk out of Magistrate's Court with only a fine to pay after he was convicted today of trying to bribe a police officer. Had he not tried to bribe the officer, he would have only had to pay 25 dollars for the charge, but now, he must find $525. The incident happened on New Year's Eve, On January 31. Kim was drinking a Belikin Stout at the corner of George Street and Orange Street when he was approached by a police officer. The officer warned Kim that he was committing a criminal offence, and he called for a mobile. When Kim saw the mobile approaching, he slipped $10 into the officer's hand and tried to bribe him to stand down the police action against him. The officer refused to take the money, and he ended up charging Kim with bribery and public drinking. He pleaded guilty to the charges today when he was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton.

    NTUCB Has a New President
    The national trade union congress of Belize has a new president. Marvin Mora was elected unopposed at the NTUCB AGM this weekend in Caye Caulker. Mora replaced Dylan Reneau who did not seek another term. He told us what will be the priority of his two year term:.. Marvin Mora, New President - NTUCB "It is the time, because I realize that there are certain things that the NTUCB needs and the only way that it can be done is if we have a change way at the top of the leadership. I believe that I understand unionism down to its core and I believe also that a lot of people within the trade union and outside of the trade union have a lot of confidence in me, so I think it was the right time." Jules Vasquez "Will we see increase advocacy from the NTUCB?" Marvin Mora, New President - NTUCB "Oh yes, definitely. You will also see more presence at a social level as well. That is, I believe at the core of building the image of the NTUCB. The new executive is, for the most part, people who had been in the background working who are new and the ones that were within the executive, who were given the all-out. I am pretty confident that I have a very good hardworking team with me now."

    Finally, A New Road For Frank's Eddy
    A contract was signed this morning between the Ministry of Works & Transport (GOB) and Belize Roadway construction Ltd, for the paving of the Frank's Eddy/Jaguar Paw Road. The paving of the road will be done at a cost of $4.8 million dollars and is expected to be complete in six months.

    Channel 5

    When Will Doctor Mendez Be Charged?
    Orange Walk Police have not yet prepared a charge sheet for Orange Walk East Area Representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, despite reports since late last week that charges were imminent. [...]

    Home Invasion on Old Northern Road Leaves Woman Injured
    There was a home invasion very early Sunday morning, at a farm one mile into the old Northern Highway. It happened on the thirty acre homestead owned by Hipolito Castillo. [...]

    Buses Collide near Airport Road, Passengers Escape Unscathed
    Just before nine thirty this morning, two buses collided near the P.G.I.A. junction in Ladyville. A bus from Sarteneja heading into Belize City hit a smaller tourist bus as it [...]

    Was Dylan Reneau Booted Out of N.T.U.C.B.?
    There is a newly elected president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. That election took place over the weekend at the annual general meeting of the umbrella organization. [...]

    Marvin Mora Elected as New N.T.U.C.B. President
    Following the interview with Reneau, News Five caught up with the new president of the N.T.U.C.B., Marvin Mora. He told us that there are a number of issues that they [...]

    Mora Addresses S.S.B.’s Rejection of Floyd Neal as Union Director
    One issue that the N.T.U.C.B. is addressing is the rejection of Floyd Neal’s nomination as a union director on the Social Security Board.  The N.T.U.C.B. believes that Neal can recuse [...]

    Former N.T.U.C.B. President on Postponement OSH Bill
    Another issue that was on the discussion table at the AGM of the N.T.U.C.B. was the Occupational Safety and Health Bill. In January 2014, the OSH Bill was tabled in [...]

    Will Santi and Darrell Duel for Caribbean Shores?
    There is no love lost between Caribbean Shores Area Representative Santiago ‘Santi’ Castillo and Mayor Darrell Bradley. Bradley has made no secret of the fact that he wants in on [...]

    Santi Undaunted By Darrell’s Municipal Road Works
    Castillo says that it was common knowledge in Cabinet that Prime Minister Dean Barrow wanted Bradley to run in Freetown, and never wanted him for Caribbean Shores. The Mayor has [...]

    Darrell Aspires to Central Government
    But this evening, we caught up with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley campaigning in the streets of Caribbean Shores where it is widely speculated that he will also be offering [...]

    CitCo Assimilates Former BML Workers
    Since the cancellation of a burdensome sanitation contract with Belize Maintenance Limited a few weeks ago, City Hall has assumed the salaries of a hundred and forty-seven workers.  Those men [...]

    BGYEA Back in Court
    From the streets to the courts…The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, better known as BGYEA, led by President Nigel Petillo, was back in court today to give an update in [...]

    Chinese Businesswoman Charged for Selling Illegal Lottery Tickets
    In the magistrate court, Belize City businesswoman, forty-six year old Jia Bi Wang, was slapped with a huge fine, many times the amount for selling three dollars and seventy-five cents [...]

    Special Constable Charged for Wounding
    Also in court today, Special Constable Juan Moralez was hit with a single charge of wounding when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Moralez pleaded not guilty to the charge; [...]

    Finally Jaguar Paw Road Will Be Paved!
    The five and a half mile stretch between Frank’s Eddy Village and Nohoch Che’en, known as the Jaguar Paw Road, is among the most trafficked roadways for the busing of [...]

    Buttonwood Bay Drainage Project Inaugurated
    As we told you earlier, Caribbean Shores Area Representative Santiago ‘Santino’ Castillo is campaigning in his constituency tonight. On Saturday, as part of his campaign, he officially inaugurated the Buttonwood [...]

    Grant Signed for Cotton Industry in Belize
    There were numerous agreements signed in the past few days. The Government of Japan signed on to two grants for the agricultural and education sectors. A total of two hundred [...]

    Carmelita Government School Receives Grant Funding from Japan
    Also receiving funding today from Japan was the Carmelita Government School. Currently, the school has sixteen classrooms hosting over four hundred primary school students. With this grant of one hundred [...]

    Fundraising Effort for Ten-Year-Old Cancer Patient
    Ten year old Cleyon Marage Junior is on the road to recover, but he still needs your help to make it to his schedule monthly chemo appointments in Merida. You [...]

    James Adderley has the stats on football, basketball and cycling
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB closing season opened this weekend with 4 matches staged across the Jewel as football seeks to return [...]

    CTV3

    Future Plans In PUP Manifesto In The Infrastructure Aspect
    Since they took office in 2012 the Orange Walk Town Council has been tackling the issue of streets and drains. Working with the limited resources available the Town Council, managed to pave and upgrade some of the worst streets across the municipality and even cemented some major intersections. But as the old saying goes, “The work never stops and there is always more that needs to get done.” When it comes to infrastructure, including streets and drains, the council has a set plan to continue improving the town’s infrastructure. Josue Carballo- Councilor: “Your Orange Walk PUP Town Council will; raise funds from a 5 million municipal bond offered to pave and upgrade major streets within our town; we shall work with a new PUP central government to be installed to raise another 5 million to continue the paving and upgrading of more street...”

    San Pedro Polyclinic To Offer 24 Hour Service
    For years residents of Ambergris Caye have been voicing concerns and clamouring for a 24 emergency health service and today, that dream became a reality. Many have seen family members pass away and others suffering in need of urgent medical attention while the services of 24-hour medical facility is lacking. According to Primary Health Care Coordinator for the Central Health Region, Dr Javier Zuniga the 24 hour clinic insert (pics in folder, including zuniga) Dr. Javier Zuniga – Primary Health care Coordinator for Central Health Region “They didn’t had it before it was just open twelve hours a day and now they are expanding the services to 24 hours so that is great news for the community.”

    Orange Walk Standard Bearers Ready To Support The PUP Seven
    As we showed you at the top of the newscast the Orange Walk Town Council launched their 2015-2018 Manifesto on Friday and while the social contract received approval of those who attended the launching, the team itself received the support of the P.U.P Area Representatives for Orange Walk and there was no shortage of praises for a team that has worked under the mantra of continuously serving the people. Ramon Monchie Cervantes- P.U.P Orange Walk North Standard Bearer “The PUP Town Council can be describe as progressive, creative and responsible, we have seen much progress since the irresponsible UDP went out of office, their record is unmatched and that is why we must make every effort to go out and campaign and to ensure the that the PUP seven is once again put back at the Orange Walk Town Hall, a vote for them is a vote for continuous progress for our town, it is a vote for transparency and accountability and for good governance.”

    Rotaract Inaugurates Mural "Light Up Rotaract"
    On Sunday afternoon, a specially designed mural was inaugurated on Arthur Street in Orange Walk Town. The project is entitled “Light up Rotaract” and one spearheaded by the Rotaract Club in Orange Walk Town and it’s a first in the country. President of the Club, Clarissa Ozaeta says it could not have been possible without the help from the community at large. “The project was brought out last year and they introduced to us to do something like a “Before I die Wall”, like things you want to accomplish before you die, however we cannot use the words “Before I die wall” due to the fact that our theme is light up rotary so we would be contradicting our rotary theme...

    PUP Launches Manifesto
    We are only weeks away from the Municipal Elections and to date candidates of both major political parties have been hitting the campaign trail in hope of garnering that winning vote that will send them to town hall. Here in Orange Walk the ambience is no different. On one side of the ring we have the members of the current P.U.P Town Council, with the exception of Councilor Neri Ramirez, who are seeking re-election on a track record of accountability and transparency. On the other side we have the UDP team who are all new comers and base their campaign on the support of national Government something which the PUP town council has not counted with but proven they can do without. And that is exactly what the P.U.P team intends to continue doing if re-elected, work hand in hand with the community to move Orange Walk forward. On Friday last, the team, headed by Mayor Kevin Bernard, launched their 2015-2018 Manifesto. The Manifesto outlines the team’s social contract with residents and includes from Women’s Affairs and Social Issues to Financial Management.

    Traffic Accident Leaves One Motorcyclist Injured
    Traffic was temporarily interrupted this afternoon on 7th Avenue in Corozal Town sometime after 2:00pm when a red motorbike travelling towards Corozal Town, crashed into pickup truck. Reports are that upon approaching the intersection with 7th Avenue and 6th Street South this blue pickup truck bearing license plate C13028 attempt to cross onto 7th Avenue, when it collided onto the motorbike. While no major injuries were recorded, the driver of the motorbike was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital for medical attention. CTV3 News was made to understand that both parties agreed to settle the matter through Insurance.

    Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Saga And No charges Have Been Made
    Is Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez going to be criminally charged and if yes, what will those charges be and when will they be levied against him? That is the hot burning question tonight which no one seems to be able to answer not even his attorney Dickie Bradley who expected for his client to be charged today. What we understand is that police have not prepared a charge sheet for Mendez despite recording statements from the alleged victims. Since early last week the Orange Walk East Area Representative has been on the hot seat after allegations of unbecoming sexual behavior were made against him.

    PlusTV

    Minor stabbed at football practice
    A 17 year old minor of Indian Ville Area, Punt Gorda, was stabbed on Saturday January 31st., while attending football team practice at the Toledo Union Field. Initial police investigations said that while attending practice, sometime around 10 o clock in the morning, Marlon Ocampos, a 17 year old student of Punta Gorda, was attacked by three men, some of whom are fellow students. Marlon Ocampos was stabbed to the upper left chest and left abdomen. Superintendant of Police Simeon Alvarez told us more. “On Friday, prior to the incident on Saturday, there was a brawl among some students. On Saturday morning, while they were at the Toledo Union Field, the same young man that they had the brawl with was in the area. Four of them attacked the person that is hospitalized, and inflicted stab wounds to him.

    Senior citizens home invaded and ransacked
    57-year-old Marilene Rufenucht, of 20 miles Old Northern Highway, reported that on Sunday February 1st at 12:59 a.m., she was at home with her 75-year-old husband Hipolito Castillo. That is when six black men came in her yard armed with sticks. One of them walked upstairs and stated that he was a police officer but the woman refused to open her door. The men then began to force open he front door of the house, until they gained entry. When the men got inside, they demanded money and proceeded to ransack the house. During the ordeal, Marilene was hit in the face with a stick and she received a cut wound to the right eye in the process. Nothing was taken from the house.

    Toledo man killed by falling tree
    An ordinary day lumbering in the Village of Trio, Toledo, turned deadly. According to reports, on Friday January 30th at around 1:00 pm, 45 year old Jose Angel Lopez, a Guatemalan farmer of Trio Village, and his 17 year old son were cutting lumber in an area 4 miles west of Trio Village. Authorities say that while 45 year old Mr Lopez was cutting a tree with a chain saw, the tree fell on top of him. Jose Lopez was rushed to the Bella Vista Poly Clinic suffering from injuries to his back, hip and legs and while being treated for his injuries passed away.

    Barbecue gathering turns deadly with stabbing incident
    A Barbeque afternoon on Saturday January 31st turned deadly, as a result of a squabble that quickly escalated into a near fatal stabbing. According to reports, 23 year old Amir Tun, a Belizean Construction Worker, who has been living in Maya Mopan for over 9 months, was having an afternoon barbeque at his cousin’s house, located in another area in Maya Mopan. Mr Tun was grilling the chickens at the time when a guy, known to them as Licho, showed up with a couple of other friends. According to reports, some of the men who were drinking started to make mocking remarks towards Amir Tun, which resulted in verbal argument that quickly developed into a fist fight between Tun and the three newcomers. Amir Tun gave us his account of what transpired.

    The Belize Times

    UDP in North Want Barrow’s Head
    Reliable reports from high level sources within the UDP reveal that all is not well in the UDP and KING BARROW’s HEAD is not resting as easy as he would like the world to believe. On Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at around 6pm two luxury SUV’s descended upon a residence in Orange Walk Town. On board were the seven UDP Representatives and Caretakers of the UDP. Four from Corozal and three from Orange Walk. They were there to see the not-normal Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and the only agenda item was: the leadership of DEAN BARROW. The UDP Representatives/Caretakers wasted no time in lashing out at Barrow for his terrible mishandling of the Sugar Industry Crisis and they described his actions and attitude to our cañeros as arrogant, disrespectful, and disgraceful.

    Can’t Cemento Mayor get anything right? – How poor infrastructure work costs taxpayers
    Taxpayers in Belize City are being taken for a ride by the UDP Belize City Council. After spending thirty million dollars on a haphazard campaign to pour cement on streets without building proper drains, the City Council is forced to go back to the same streets and break it up to do “repair” work. This is because of poor quality infrastructure work done, which in some cases is caused by hiring unqualified contractors to do specialised work. This is the UDP way. Today the second round of costly “repair” work is taking place on a number of main streets. Chetumal Street in Belama Phase I, Central American Boulevard, Cemetery Road and Freetown Road – all broken up after being paved. It’s a mess!

    Serious National Security Breach!! – Why is Minister of National Security John Saldivar silent?
    The Barrow Administration and their incompetent Minister of National Security John Saldivar seem to have turned a blind eye to the serious breach of national security that occurred when over 2,000 live rounds of military-type ammunition were stolen from the Belize Defence Force’s compound in Lord’s Bank Village. The BELIZE TIMES has been reliably informed that the deafening silence emanates from a directive given at this week’s Cabinet meeting that no Minister should attempt to comment on the matter, because it is just too embarrassing for the Government.

    Dylan Reneau Abandons NTUCB – New Executive will be elected at AGM this weekend
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is facing a leadership crisis. The very important workers’ representative organisation which should be fighting against the Government’s abuse and discriminatory practices against the workers of Belize has been too quiet for too long. Recently, when the NTUCB stood in solidarity with the cane farmers, the elected leader Dylan Reneau was a no show. When the NTUCB joined cañeros in their protest at the footsteps of the National Assembly building in Belmopan, Reneau did not turn up even though he works inside a comfy air-conditioned Ministry of Education office right next door. When the NTUCB held a press conference in Belize City to make statements on national issues, Reneau was missing in action.

    Think About It
    The greatest writer in the English language who wrote many immortal plays wrote “Macbeth”. Apart from the fascinating and fabulous use of words and insights in human nature, Macbeth is about the ambition of one man and the change he goes through to become the ruler of Scotland. Returning from a battle Banquo, his co-leader of the army, was met by three witches. They told him he will be promoted to become Thane of Cawdor, a high ranking position. They then prophesized that he will become king. Shortly after their two prophesies, news reached Macbeth that he has been promoted Thane of Cawdor. Thereafter his ambition led him to murder the King and continue to murder friends and associates. He becomes King and his destruction thereafter follows, after he has brought misery to the people of Scotland.

    Editorial: A New Charter
    Eight hundred years ago, King John of England was forced to sign a document which curtailed his power, Up to that time, 15 June 1215, Kings of England had absolute power over their citizens, referred to as their subjects. This absolute power allowed King John to raise taxes any time and against anyone. He could wage war abroad and force his subjects to pay for it. He could confiscate lands and farms and castles. He could send his soldiers to arrest and imprison noblemen and other at whim. He answered to no Court, no electorate and no other authority. He was all powerful! The Church leaders of 1215 along with the barons and other influential personalities became fed up with the arbitrary rule of King John. They threatened to stage war against him if he did not give in to their demands. The Archbishop of Canterbury drafted a document with several important issues. By signing that document the King agreed not to interfere with the rights of the Church. He agreed that he could no longer put citizens in prison with proper legal cause. He agreed to ensure there would be speedy justice for all and he agreed that there would be rights for all freemen.

    Cruz brothers wins Haulover-to-Boom race
    Team N.I.C.H.: Alex, Felix and Efrain Cruz won the Haulover to Burrell Boom race in 2:20:16 on Saturday. Here are winners who closed the top ten finishers. 2nd – Westrac Stingers (Jerry Cante, Erwin Cruz, Hener Cruz) 2:22:33 3rd – OCB Wavemakers (Chris Guydis, Jerry Rhaburn, Wilberto Daniels) 2:22:40 4th – Belize Bank Bulldogs (Armin Lopez, Amado Cruz, Daniel Cruz) 2:20:54 5th – BTL Cobb’s Arm (Clayton Cabb, Eric Cano, Roy Cano) 2:21:07

    Brandon Cattouse wins 3rd C-Ray circuit race
    Team C-Ray Road Addikz’ Brandon Cattouse won the C-Ray Cycling Club’s 3rd third Boom circuit race, a 45-mile trek from Leslie’s Imports and back on the George Price Highway on Saturday morning. For the females, Alicia Thompson of Team Belize Bank Swoosh, was 1st place. In the Junior category, Darien Anderson of Team SMART won the top prize. Elites 2nd Gregory Lovell – Team Digicell 4G 3rd Erwin Middleton – Team Benny’s Megabytes 4th Angel Tzib – Team SMART 5th Mark Staine – Team SMART

    National Athletics Championship Winners
    The Belize Amateur Athletic Association finally held its 2014 annual national track and field championships at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City over the weekend, which had been delayed from last December due to rains. Here are the results: Female 100 m Open 1st – Tricia Flores 12.5s 2nd – Shanicka Augustine 12.6s 3rd – Ashantie Carr 13.8s 100m Male 1st – Mark Anderson 10.5s 2nd – James Bregal 10.7s 3rd – Linford Avila 10.8s

    Attention: Hopkins needs their roads fixed NOW!
    Dear Editor, The village of Hopkins’ roads are the worst ever!! This is high season for the tourism industry and running any type of business requires one to go from point A to point B! It is impossible by foot, bike, car, or scooter to drive safely to go anywhere without it being a huge hassle because of the numerous huge deep pot holes. It is not fair for the tourists who came to Hopkins to enjoy the village life, if they cannot move around easily, they should not to be traumatized with the horrendous mobility with these endless huge potholes. If one rents a car they are subjected to returning it without damage. Impossible! Driving anywhere is extreme wear and tear on any vehicle, never mind a real nightmare to drive the slowest possible without bottoming out. Tourists are leaving because of it. Many guests recently made the comment about never returning and leaving earlier than planned. I am relaying their disgust of the road conditions. Locals are trying their best to appease the numerous unhappy travellers. One of the questions on a motor vehicle test is which side of the road does one drive on? The answer should be on the right. But on the conditions of our roads, that is wrong. The answer is: whichever side has fewer potholes!! In our case, when the holes are so deep on both sides, you must drive on any side that you can possible pass to preserve your vehicle.

    Belizean-Americans complain about Belize Mission in New York
    On August 4th of 2008, we wrote you a letter to file a complaint about the lack of representation/ service that we had received from the Permanent Mission to Belize here in New York. At that time the appointed Ambassador to the UN, in New York, was Mrs. Janine Coye-Felson, and Attache Ms. Sharlene Henderson (current). Today, the New Ambassador is Ms. Lois Young. Please allow me to state the obvious and the facts. The Permanent mission in New York was formed/created to represent the Belizean Community here in the State of New York. The people that are employed there were assigned there not just to represent the country, the Government and the interest of Belize, but to also serve the interest of the Belizean community in New York. In short, they work for us. We don’t work for them. Still, they operate as if they are doing some of us a favor. I watched Ambassador Young address the international body of the UN, and she talks about how other countries should behave toward other countries and their own people, but the fact is, she is behaving contrary to what she is suggesting to other leaders. Ambassador Young should be making sure that her Office is looking after the Belizean communities and their interest here in New York first. Bluntly put, my wife Mrs. Alicia Uter’s interest is not being addressed. Here is the story!

    Dean The Unclean
    Dear Editor, No matter what Unclean Dean says, the truth is he is running BELIZE like a DICTATORSHIP. Here are the reasons to support what I say. 1. He has yet to appoint the Integrity Commission although the Constitution calls for it, and as a result Public Accounts Commission is dysfunctional. 2. He promised, then legislated for a 13th Senator but has refused to comply and allow the 13th Senator to be appointed for it to bring balance in the Senate. 3. He was instrumental in the breaking up of the BSCFA and now has legislated a bill to dominate and control the cane farmers.

    The Dangers of One Party Rule at City Hall
    Dear Editor, Nine years, three consecutive terms from 2006 to 2015 is enough time to have the UDP or any party in control of the Belize City Council. Belize has thousands and thousands of intelligent, caring, and responsible citizens who can manage the affairs of the council properly. That simply means many other people know how to develop Belize City for the benefit of all its residents. An endless one-party rule at the Council denies other talented residents of the city the opportunity they deserve to use their vision, new ideas, and managerial and leadership skills to contribute to the development of this municipality as members of the Belize City Council. That needs to change if we truly believe in equal opportunity to serve this city.

    REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – Municipal Elections 2015: An Opportunity for Change to Begin
    By Francis W. Fonseca The Municipal Elections to be held on March 4th, 2015 will be the first opportunity since the General Elections of 2012 for voters living in our Cities and Towns to pass judgment on the UDP local and national governments that narrowly won re-election in 2012 and have governed Belize for 9 years and 7 years respectively. In the case of some municipalities it has been even longer. Voters in 9 municipalities (Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Benque Viejo, Dangriga, Punta Gorda and San Pedro) will go to the Polls and make a choice between endorsing the arrogance, corruption, and failed policies of this UDP administration OR beginning the journey of change by embracing the message of HOPE, UNITY, AND REFORM being carried by the candidates and leaders of the PUP.

    WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – WHO BEX, BEX!!
    I happened to pick up a copy of this past weekend’s Amandala Newspaper yesterday. As I paged through it I came upon the Editorial called “Special Lady.” The writer thereof seems to be extremely infatuated with Doctor Carla Barnett, saying that it “was impossible for the UDP Leader to present a more impressive candidate for the Freetown constituency,” and calling her “the great Dr. Carla Barnett” and “a classy trophy.” He/she even opined that if Dr. Barnett should ever win “there is no one as spectacular in the UDP’s leadership succession wings.” (!!!) (Emphasis mine) Now that is all very well and good. The writer of the Editorial has every right to have his/her opinions. I have over the years read some of their Editorials, many of which at times need to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes they are on point. At other times they are biased and quixotic. Always they promulgate the word according to their Publisher and Editor.

    PUP Leader comments on Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez situation
    The struggling and hardworking cane farmers of the north have collectively delivered a hard slap in the face of cold-hearted Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Despite the wickedness of Prime Minister Barrow who made every effort to break up and weaken the powerful Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the 55 year old organisation is still going strong. It is widely believed by cane farmers that Prime Minister Barrow joined the multi-national American Sugar Refinery (ASR) to divide and destroy the BSCFA by firstly attempting to force the cane farmers to abandon their mother association, BSCFA, and sign an agreement with ASR. When that failed, the UDP Government attacked the credibility of the BSCFA and aided disgruntled farmers to start their own associations so they then sign the unfair an agreement with ASR.

    BSCFA Still Strong!! – Barrow’s efforts to destroy Association fail

    UDP’s Top 50 Ridiculous Moments! – Things have gotten Ridiculous in Belize under the UDP. What is Ridiculous?
    Ridiculous is spending $20 MILLION on cement streets in Belize City, but not a single proper drain! Ridiculous is when Broaster “finds” a grenade on Banak St and invites the entire media to turn it into a show as he plays dare-devil with it! Ridiculous is when Sedi calls our border “artificial” Ridiculous is also when Godwin Hulse says that the cañeros are getting a good deal signing the agreement with ASR More Ridiculous is the Government standing by as millions of dollars of cane is left on fields and no plans are made to make proper use of it

    Why It Is Important to Care for Your Heart
    Over the past nine months, I have struggled to understand the process of the ailing heart. I was challenged as I watched my mother suffer a sudden heart attack. Quickly, I provided her the necessary emergency attention to survive. Many are not as fortunate as my mother, and they do not receive the immediate care for proper healing. I was thankful to be by her side to get her the best medical care. However, I was shaken with concern about other people who do not have the resources for adequate hospitalization. For me, it hurts to witness the impact of financial inequality and the attention a person receives due to wealth. It left me numb, because I pray that all of us in this world would receive fair and satisfactory treatment and the finest medical care in time of need. Today, I write to share what I learned about heart disease and what you can do to prevent a heart attack. I used to think I was in good shape, but I have changed my lifestyle to live heart-healthy. I am more aware now that I am genetically predisposed to have a heart attack, because it is in my genetic DNA. Over the last few weeks, I have questioned and studied many of my family elders to learn more about their inherited medical illnesses. What I found about their health did not surprise me at all. It did not surprise me because of the Belizean diet they ate (rice and beans, potato salad, fried pork, stew chicken, lobster, shrimp, conch fritters, or game meat) and the number of desserts (potato pound, cakes or bread pudding) they made at home. I also learned how dishonest many were about how they followed up with their healthcare providers by not truthfully telling them what they ate. I heard them saying, “I only have a touch of sugar,” or “I am only borderline,” yet they continued to eat unhealthy foods in denial of their immediate illnesses.

    The keys to victory!
    For four decades the Democrats controlled the United States of America Congress. Nothing seemed to be working for the Republicans. They just could not win the house elections and become the majority. Then in 1979 an unknown whipper snapper named Newt Gingrich from the 6th Congressional District of Georgia burst on the political stage and he was determined for the Republicans to replace the Democrats and become the majority in the house. To do this he had several well thought out ideas and implemented them. I don’t think the Democrats took him seriously. They were in control of the congress for so long, they became complacent and blew him off as kooky and crazy. Crazy he was not and the first thing Mr. Gingrich did was to start labeling the Democrats. He and his Republicans’ House members would book time on C-Span (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) after the House work for the day was done. C-Span is a cable TV network that provides live coverage of the House and Senate proceedings. Gingrich and company would use this free cable network to frame the Democrats and highlight everything wrong the Democrats did and after many months of these attacks it started to take hold in the minds of the American people. Of course the Democrats brushed off these attacks thinking “we have too much to do for the American people. We don’t have time to respond to these crazy congressmen”.

    Remarks of the on the Sugar Industry Amendment Bill by Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai
    National Assembly, Belmopan January 19 2015 Mr. Speaker, What should have been an event recognizing progress in our sugar industry. What ought to have been moments of celebration and triumph as we embrace technology. What should have been cause for jubilant moments in the history of the sugar industry has been reduced to a charade. A charade Mr. Speaker by the intentional deception and equivocation in the government’s handling of the sugar industry crisis. If this government, Mr. Speaker, had chosen to act with sincerity to support our cane farmers in their just cause to improve their economic situation this amendment to the Sugar Industry Act Mr. Speaker, would never in the eyes of the entire world appear to be one that appeases and clearly accommodates ASR/BSI’s interest, their masters.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    New Alcaldes take office in Toledo
    Over 78 newly elected Alcaldes were sworn in on Sunday during ceremonies held at the Julian Cho Technical High School Auditorium. The oath was administered by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Ssmith. The Alcaldes pledged their allegiance in upholding law and carrying out a fair discharge of their duties […]

    New president promises NTUCB will be “powerhouse”
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) held its Annual General Meeting on the island of Caye Caulker this past weekend, highlighted by the election of a new executive. Former vice-president Marvin Mora stepped up to the post of president, replacing Dylan Reneau, after running unopposed. The […]

    SIF inaugurates drainage project in Buttonwood Bay
    The Social Investment Fund (SIF) on Saturday inaugurated a completed drainage project in the Buttonwood Bay residential neighbourhood of Northside Belize City. Costing just under $1 million, the project was intended to clear up outstanding drainage issues in an increasingly well-lived section of the Old Capital. William Lamb […]

    Tuberculosis training completed
    The Ministry of Health last week conducted a two-day training on Tuberculosis Infection Control in outpatient settings. The training was conducted with input from the Central American regional office of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A government press release says that TB Infection Control is a […]

    Kitchen expansion project starts at Octavia Waight Center
    Ground-breaking ceremonies were held over the weekend for a project to extend the kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio town. Guest speaker at the event which was held on Sunday was the chairman of Help Age Belize Evan Dakers. The project is expected to cost about one hundred […]

    San Pedro Town Council clarifies statements by Honduran Ambassador
    Municipal authorities in San Pedro town there are not happy … and the full fury of their anger is aimed squarely at the ambassador of Honduras to Belize Sandra Rosalez Abella. The thing that sparked the firestorm is the exhumation of the body of Silvia Benitez that was buried shortly […]

    Toledo man bribes police to continue drinking
    A 26 year old construction worker from Toledo District who, when caught publicly drinking Belikin Stout, attempted to bribe a police officer to look the other way. Hilberto Kib today pleaded guilty to bribery and public drinking charges when he appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Kib, a resident […]

    Chinese shop vendor pleads guilty to illegal lottery selling
    The phenomenon of illegal selling of lottery continues under the radar in some areas, but a rare victory was scored today when a Chinese shop vendor pleaded guilty to the charge after changing her original plea. 47 year old Jia Bi Wang, owner of Kim’s Shop on Iguana […]

    Accused thief free after complainants drop out of trial
    Magistrate Dale Cayetano today dismissed charges of theft and attempted suppression of evidence against 49 year old Carl Gordon, a laborer of Partridge Street in Belize City at the start of trial. On February 21, 2014, Gordon was accused of stealing a small black purse containing $70 from […]

    Woman injured during home invasion
    A frightening home invasion was reported over the weekend along the Old Northern Highway in the Belize district. During the incident, 57 year old Marilene Rufenucht was physically assaulted and sustained a cut wound to her right eye. According to police reports, a group of six men went to Rufenucht’s home at Mile 20 on the Old Northern Highway around 12:59 am on Sunday. Police say that one of the men, who claimed to be a police officer, forced his way into the woman’s house through the front door, after she refused to open the door. Once inside, police say the men demanded money and then proceeded to ransack the house.

    Blogs

    Belize’s First Electronic Music Festival at The Belize Ocean Club, Placencia
    I arrived at The Belize Ocean Club, Placencia at about 10pm on Friday night for the kick-off party of the first Belize Electronic Music Weekend. 10pm and the party and the DJs, who would play until 5 or 6 in the morning, were just getting started. Two full days and nights of events were planned and to be honest…until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know too much about the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scene. Dance music, club music, dance, house, techno… I’ll admit to being WAY behind the curve on this one. When it comes to live music festivals, what young people are listening to and even the Grammy’s (they’ve given a “Best Dance/Electronic Album” award since 2005), EDM is where it’s at. Article after article calls it the new rock n’ roll.

    American Airlines adds six new routes to Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America
    Pending regulatory approval, American Airlines will add six new routes throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, further strengthening its position in these key markets. New service to Barranquilla, Colombia (BAQ), will add a new destination to the airline's global network and customers will have increased options when traveling throughout the region. Expanded service includes new flights to Belize City, Belize (BZE); Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (GCM); Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL); Managua, Nicaragua (MGA); and Monterrey, Mexico (MTY). Customers may begin booking flights for these new routes on Saturday.

    BIG PHARMA BELIZE
    Lets face it, everyone gets sick sometime. The magic is trying to stay away from it as often as possible. Here at Nine, we were with a group of students with this awesome Study Abroad Company and we intentionally went to the largest pharmacy in Belize. Yes, we know how these massive companies work. We understand their business; we think that they are here for a purpose; some of you maybe even work at one of these companies or at least know someone who works at one. In the sleepy, misty Western Village of Bullet Tree Falls in Cayo, Belize, we went to see the doctor. Not any doctor, a natural medicine man, Lucas Medina. A little shy but, man, the knowledge of the plants and the spiritual guidance he received from his teacher, Don Eriberto Cocom who taught him a tremendous amount of his indigenous medicine knowledge, Lucas is a fountain to learn from.

    Baked Custard
    Jada's friend Lewis helps me make Baked Custard. The recipe is very simply and the results are great. Delicious sweet treat for an occasion.

    Happy Belizean Groundhog Day — six more months of fun and sun!
    Yes, this is the Belizean groundhog! After a long night of partying at local island bars, people by the thousands politely waited at sunrise along the shore’s rip-rap walls. As the sun peeked over the horizon, spreading warmth and good cheer, scores of iguanas began to climb tentatively out of their burrows and face the sunlight. Not coincidentally, Sunday marked the end of iguana hunting season in Belize — true story. The newly emboldened iguanas, breathing a little easier on MOnday, but still irritated at being called “Bamboo Chicken” by hunters, are none-the-less ready to make a statement. On Monday, the public remained remarkably restrained, behind the yellow tape barrier. Many of them were sleeping off the night of dancing and rum punch in the sand. A few sold T-shirts and plastic iguanas on a stick, made especially for the day and hundreds more sold the usual jewelry and woven wallets and bags. Some, mostly tourists, had their faces painted like iguanas and a few even wore full-body iguana costumes and practiced the cool shark moves they saw during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Half-time Extravaganza the night before.

    Videos

  • Short and Sweet: Send Me to Belize!, 1min. Please support me as I crowdfund my 6-month internship working for TIDE in Southern Belize.
  • Belize Blue Hole 2014, 5min.
  • Skate Belize, 4min.
  • Carnival Magic Cruise To Honduras, Belize, Cozumel 2015 - Day 6, 28min.
  • Belize, 6min. plavba v Belize po korálovém atolu.
  • History of Miss Belize at Miss Universe., 8min. A look back at all the Miss Belize delegates that have ever represented Belize at Miss Universe. Join our cause to get Belize back into Miss Universe. We have applied for the franchise. Help us let the MUO see that Belizeans and pageant fans want to see Miss Belize compete.
  • home - belize, 6min. belize treated us so well
  • Belize 2015, 1min. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
  • OYE TOPIC: GRASSROOTS HUMAN SECURITY GRANT AGREEMENTS AND BELIZE/JAPAN RELATIONS, 12min.
  • Carey Leadership Development Belize 2014-15, 3min. Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Experiential Leadership. "Business With Humanity in Mind"
  • Cave Tubing Belize, 2min. An amazing river journey through the beautiful Caves Branch system of Belize Central America,
  • Belize Tourism The Main Natural Attractions, 2min.
  • Fishing in Belize, 13min.
  • Fishing in Hopkins Belize, 3min. This video shows how they troll fish on a skiff in Hopkins, Belize.
  • 20150117 Plongee au Belize, 4min.

    February 2, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Jan Brown
    Letters-to-the-EditorThis is a nice note I received from one of the visiting Drake University Students. She experienced a bout of our stomach flu whereupon she became dehydrated and dizzy. By the time of day she finally agreed to seek help she had to go to the San Pedro Polyclinic. Below is her comment about the attention and care she received. I’d like to share it with the public so maybe our officials can see what a difference a full time, 24 hour clinic will make to all needing medical attention. By the way, the clinic stayed after their regular hours to give Ms. Burns the hydrating drip and medication and didn’t rush through any procedure. The Drake student did make a donation to say thank you.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Thieves
    “Charlie called while you were out,” Sherry said. “He has some kind of emergency.” “What kind of emergency?” I asked. “Something about his golf cart.” “Charlie doesn’t even have a golf cart,” I said. “All I know is what he told me. He said someone had stolen his golf cart or parts off of his golf cart. I’m not sure what he was saying.” “Did he sound like he was sober?”

    Letter to the Editor: Sam Trucco
    What is happening to the beachfront in San Pedro? The law states it is Queen’s Land 60 feet back from the high water mark. Yet, past Ramon’s Village north to Boca del Rio we have private individuals/businesses in permanent structures from the water’s edge up. Some sell tours, some sell water, soda etc. We have a proliferation of massage establishments right on the beach inside this 60-foot zone. We have tables upon tables of souvenir stands, some which also offer illegal substances. We also have restaurants with tables on the water’s edge with waiters bobbing and weaving around the locals and tourists trying to make their way down the beach, running back and forth delivering drinks and food. There are actually stretches of the beach that you have to navigate that are less than 10 feet wide where these stands are set up. Why has this situation been allowed to get so out of control? Why have the laws of Belize been completely ignored for the benefit of a few and to the detriment of all?

    Doctor Love
    Dear Doctor Love, I love two different men and I can’t choose one over the other. Is it possible to be in love with two people at the same time? /s/ R. G. Dear R.G., Yes it is possible, but it is certainly not practical. It’s like having one lobster over the limit. If you don’t choose one to throw back into the sea there are stiff penalties to be paid. Make your choice before you take this further.

    CTV3

    PUP Appoints Michel Chebat As Standard Bearer For Cayo North
    There is more discontent within the People’s United Party as the brother of Richard Harrison, who contested the by-election in Cayo North and lost to UDP candidate Dr. Omar Figueroa, is saying the party’s leadership has acted illegally by appointing attorney Michel Chebat as Standard bearer for the constituency. Information provided to us by our colleagues at Krem indicates that Harrison’s brother Orlando took to social media to vent his frustration at the process undertaken by the party. Orlando Harrison is of the view that the people in Cayo North were to have elected the standard bearer in a convention. He adds that theparty should have issued a public notice within a specific time period to allow for persons interested to tender their application.

    Two Females Knocked Down On The Philip Goldson Highway
    A fourteen year old minor and her 44 year old mother Angelica Rodriguez are tonight recuperating at the Corozal Community Hospital after they were both knocked down on the Philip Goldson Highway. Sometime around 2:45pm Rodriquez and her 14 year old daughter from an unknown address in Corozal Town, were on their way back home after trying out her daughter’s fifteen year dress, when they attempted to cross the highway. According to reports, Mijar Tun from the village of Xaibe in the Corozal District was driving his Jetta Volkswagen car bearing license plate czl C 03509, towards Corozal Town; when upon reaching miles 79 and 80 in the village of San Joaquin, he saw both females attempting to cross the highway. CTV3 news was made to understand that Tun attempted to avoid knocking down the minor and the mother but the distance was too close.

    Honduras Ambassador To Belize Discontent About Silvia Del Carmen's Burial
    Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras, was in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, January 29, 2015, to attend an emergency meeting with the Honduran community of the island after learning about the improper burial procedures taken on the body of murdered Honduran national Silvia del Carmen Benitez. Twelve days after Benitez was murdered and buried three and a half miles north of San Pedro, her body was exhumed upon the requests of the Honduran community of Ambergris Caye after they contacted the Honduran Embassy.

    One Person Involved In Traffic Accident
    Up to news time information is still sketchy but we understand that the Philip Goldson Highway was witness to yet another traffic accident sometime yesterday evening. CTV3 news was made to understand that a little after 5:00pm yesterday this blue Chevrolet car, which is believed, was driven at the time of the accident by Custom Officer Zakir Marin, flipped several times and landed on its four wheels after Marin lost control of the steering wheel.

    Missing Teen Found
    In last night’s newscast we reported of a young girl who had gone missing. Tonight there is good news to report in this case as 15 year old Amanda Usher back home. The teenager was found in Dangriga Town on Thursday night. She is reported to be in good health and was transported back to Belize City on this morning at around seven thirty. Fifteen year old Amanda Usher was reported missing by her mother earlier this week.

    The Reporter

    Marvin Mora new NTUCB president
    Marvin Mora was selected as the mew president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) during the union’s annual general meeting in Caye Caulker over the weekend. Mora, who was formerly the union’s second vice president and is the vice president of the Belize Energy Workers Union, has been active and vocal on a number of issues. Most recently, Mora has been vocalizing the union’s support for cane farmers, even participating in the protest on the steps of the National Assembly a few weeks ago. Christian Workers Union President, Audrey Matura Shepherd was selected to replace Mora as second vice president.

    Bobbi Kristina Brown: Whitney Houston daughter’s condition unknown
    Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of late US singer Whitney Houston, is in hospital in an unknown condition after being found unresponsive in a bathtub. Medical privacy laws mean information is restricted, but unconfirmed reports said she was in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling on the brain. Ms Brown, 21, was found on Saturday by her husband and a friend. The incident happened less than two weeks before the third anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death. The singer was found dead in February 2012, aged 48, in a bath in a hotel in Los Angeles. A post-mortem examination later concluded she died of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine use and heart disease.

    Argentina leader wants shakeup after scandal
    Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has proposed the dissolution of the domestic intelligence service, as the country deals with the fallout from the mysterious death of a federal prosecutor who accused its leaders of a criminal cover-up over Argentina’s deadliest terror attack. Kirchner has sent a draft bill to the country’s parliament which, if passed, would mean the Secretariat of Intelligence (SI) is replaced by the Federal Intelligence Agency. In a taped statement aired Monday night on national TV, Kirchner said the service had “not served the interests of the country.” The body of Alberto Nisman, a special prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, was found inside his apartment on January 18 — the day before he was due to testify before Congress about his claims.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Closed season for Iguana hunting starts
    The closed season for the hunting of Iguana in Belize starts today. From now until June 30, when female Iguanas are laying and caring for their eggs, it is unlawful to capture, disturb or hunt Iguana, also known as Bamboo Chicken. The closed season for the hunting of Iguana is part of conservation efforts as the Iguana is listed as a threatened specie.

    Blogs

    The Modern Ruins of Belize
    Belize is a lot more than a physical place full of real people going about their daily lives. If you read the websites and plans from developers and real estate operators, you will find that Belize is also a fantasy landscape, a place where rich foreigners project their dreams of tropical paradise, easy money, and endless opportunity. Forty two (42) years ago when I first came to this wild country, rich hunters from the USA still came to Belize to kill jaguars and crocodiles, living their macho dreams about the untouched tropical jungles full of mystery and danger. In the 1980s when rich foreigners saw the low price of land in Belize, they dreamt of huge herds of cattle grazing lush pastures. Several cleared huge areas – as much as 12,000 acres – were stages for a cattle baron and cowboy fantasy. Of course the pastures grew back full of thorny honey locust, the cattle got screwworms, and the price of beef dropped to the floor. Over the years foreigners have tried hundreds of other fantastic schemes; cohune-oil refineries, shrimp hatcheries, iguana, conch and crocodile farms, organic mango orchards and every imaginable kind of resort, hotel, and lodge. Poke through the bush almost anywhere in Belize and you will find the ruins left behind when these dreams collapsed. Abandoned buildings, development and streets, rotting refineries, rusting vehicles, and overgrown fences. Of course many of these developments were simply scams, but those who fall for scams are usually motivated by dreams powerful enough to make them throw caution to the wind.

    A Walk WAY North: Tranquility Bay Resort to Robles Point, Miles 14 & 15 Ambergris Caye
    It’s just another reason to stay up here…at the very last resort. The beautiful walks along “the road less traveled” in an area where the reef moves closer and closer, finally meeting with the land in a jagged and stunning bleached coral graveyard. We walked from Basil Jones and Tranquility Bay to Robles Point (the first spot where the reef meets the shore) and it is just spectacular. And then the last house before the point curves outward towards the reef. A long dock thru very shallow waters, a wind mill, a boat filled with old collected buoys and an awesome dog Fritz.

    Why Choose Southern Belize
    Southern Belize remains undiscovered and untouched by many travelers who visit Belize. The South as it is known locally, is not only home to the only Jaguar Preserve in the world but also home to a variety of birds, reptiles, mammals and ancient Maya ruins. Lonely Planet describes it as follows: Cultural, social and ecological diversity are the hallmarks of Southern Belize. It’s here in the south that open savannah and citrus-filled farmland give way to forested hills dotted with Maya villages and ruins, while towns like Hopkins and Placencia offer sun, sand and a bit of local culture.

    13 Jaw-Dropping Photos That Will Convince You to Visit This Private Belize Island
    The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-longest reef in the world, and it’s dotted with hundreds of islands, or cays, just off the coast of Belize. If you look out from the mainland, you can identify these tiny islands by their clusters of towering palm trees. The Yok Ha Resort enjoys one of these Caribbean enclaves all to itself 8 miles from the shore. Set on a private 3-acre island called Waterfoot Cay, the resort has exclusive access to some of the best snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving in the world. And a short boat ride away is Dangriga, the cultural capital of Belize. Here are 13 jaw-dropping photos that will convince you to visit this private Belize Island Resort:

    International Sourcesizz

    Google Cuts Google Earth Pro From $400 to Free
    If you like spending your lazy weekends zooming around the Earth and looking up all sorts of places that you've been to, want to go to, or never think you'll ever be able to go to, then Google is going to give you a hand. And if you already purchased Google Earth Pro at some point previously, we feel bad to be the bearers of the news that Google has now made said product completely free. Yes, Google has slapped a $400 discount on Google Earth Pro—presumably because not enough people were ponying up that much to make the revenue all that worth it versus the goodwill Google can receive for the gesture. That, or perhaps Google plans to use some of Google Earth's capabilities in a larger way, like some kind of virtual reality-based announcement that will allow people to soar around the world in an even more realistic fashion. (So, might as well make the entire thing free right now.)

    Videos

  • The Turtleman's House Over the Water, 3.5min.
  • Mayan Discovery, 4min. Trip through the countries of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. This was an extraordinary trip full of fun and know amazing people.
  • Four Voyages, 27min. This film chronicles the underwater wonders of four diverse destinations which my wife Laura and I visited from 2008 - 2012: · The Revillagigedos Islands off the Pacific Coast of Mexico · The barrier reef of Belize in the western Caribbean · The islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean · The Fiji Islands in the Western Pacific Each location is unique and provided something wonderful - including the giant mantas and sharks of Revillagigedos, the beautiful reefs of Belize, the incredible marine life of the Maldives - especially the eels, and finally one of my favourite creatures in the underwater world - the banded sea kraits (sea snakes) of Fiji. Enjoy the magic of the underwater world in the depths...
  • PG Day 2015 in Punta Gorda Belize, 1min. Celebrating the 118th anniversary of PG Day in Punta Gorda, Toledo Province, Belize. Hypnotic Mayan dancing to homemade instruments.
  • Hopkins Students Lead with Humanity in Mind in Belize, 3min. A team of twelve Johns Hopkins Carey Business students who kayak in Belize. They are faced with extraordinary challenges from beginning to end. Take a glimpse of them as they model the way with humanity in mind.
  • Carnival Cruise (Cozumel Mexico, Belize, Roatán Honduras', Grand Cayman) Part 1, 14min.
  • Carnival Cruise (Cozumel Mexico, Belize, Roatán Honduras, Grand Cayman) Part 2, 14min.
  • San Pedro, Belize, 6.5min.
  • GoPro 4 - Black - Driving through the Streets of Belize City, Belize, 8min.
  • Belize 2014, 7min. Scuba diving
  • Landing Sanpedro Airport, Belize - Maya Island Air 1/14/2015, 3min.
  • Belize, 8min.
  • Belize City Municipal Airport Take Off - Maya Island Air 1/14/2015, 3min. Taking off from Belize City Municipal airport on a 15 passenger Maya Island Air single prop plane in the rain.

    February 1, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Under the Sun – Bella Quinceañera
    Happy Birthday to Quinceañera Lisandra Novelo, daughter of Vicky Marin and Sandro Novelo. Lisandra celebrated her special day on Saturday January 17th in the presence of family and friends. The San Pedro Sun wishes Lisandra Novelo the very best entering this new chapter in life.

    Community works to revive long abandoned San Pablo Roman Catholic Church.
    Once again, community members and parishioners from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church have breathed new life into the long abandoned church in the San Pablo area south of town. On Sunday, January 25th, with a good cleaning and a new coat of paint inside the room of worship, Father Scott Giuliani S.O.L.T. likened the renewal of the church to spiritual healing. “It has to begin from within the soul, and work its way out,” he told the standing-room only congregation who attended the blessing of the revived church. “There is still much work to be done, but we begin with the inside, just like when we renew our commitment to God,” he said. Neglected for years and at times vandalized, there remains many repairs for the small community church, both structurally and cosmetically. The new congregation hopes to continue with the resurrection of the church and appeals to the community for any assistance they can provide. For more information on how you can help please contact the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church.

    Police Report
    *At about 5:41PM on Friday, January 23rd, 40-year-old Martin Thomas, owner of Moncho’s Golf Cart rental, visited the San Pedro Police Station. He reported that he rented a white 4-seat golf cart with license plate number SP-C-2540, V.I.N. TG1312353958 with markings 91 on both side of the cart on Wednesday, January 21st to Brian Clark. On Friday, January 23rd Clark reported to him that the golf cart was stolen from him on the day before while parked on Coconut Drive. The estimated value of the golf cart is $15,000BZ. Police investigations continue.

    Brightening smiles at Smile Dental Clinic
    Every year, the Smile Dental Clinic located at Holy Cross Anglican School hosts several groups of volunteer dentists. From January 26th to February 7th, the clinic will be hosting two different sets of dental professionals from the United States of America. The professionals’ visit is coordinated through Dr. Mark Johnson, who has been the head of the dental clinic at the school since November of 2004. The first set of doctors are at the clinic from the 26th to 30th of January and included Dr. Ken Beading of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Dr. Paul Roggow of Jackson, Minnesota and Dental Assistant Rick Bigaouette of Prior Lake, Minnesota. The dentists attended to approximately 100 school children, conducting fillings, extraction, cleanings, applying sealants and giving fluoride treatments.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The health of Belize: An apologue
    How do we measure a nation’s success? How do we measure national happiness? We could look at Gross Domestic Product – in simple terms, the sum of everything produced in a country in a year. We could look at average per head income – in the case of Belize that’s about US$8200 per year. We could look at things like safety, health services, education, environment, civic engagement, a whole list of things which affect our everyday life. What would a successful Belize look like? Let’s contrast the life of a person living in Belize today, under the PUDP, with the life of that same person living under a proper alternative government. Let’s say that person has the average income of around BZ$16,500 – maybe they are a clerk, or a junior teacher. Let’s call our Belizean citizen Marie. Marie wakes up to another day of work. She didn’t sleep too well last night, the gunshots were ringing out and her children were afraid. She turns on the radio to find that there was yet another death in her neighborhood. The two children have their breakfast, and remind her that they need money for lunch – and for that school trip that’s coming up. Marie goes to the old coffee jar she uses for savings, and with a sigh, takes out the last few crumpled notes.

    Merlin Arely Cruz Lopez Missing
    Kindly be on the lookout for Merlin Arely Cruz Lopez 17yrs Dob 5.1.98 Honduran student of DFC Area, San Pedro Town was reported missing by her foster parent Glenda Nunez. Lopez was reported missing on Wednesday 28th January 2015 at the San Pedro Police Station who last saw her on Tuesday 27th January 2015 at 2:30pm wearing a pair of khaki short pants and a black blouse. Merlin Arely Cruz Lopez is of hispanic descent, curly black hair shoulder length, Black eyes, is about 5'4" in height, medium built. She is believed to be in the company of one Maximiliano Erazo 20yrs Guatemalan of DFC Area San Pedro Town.Below is a picture of Merlin Arely Cruz Lopez and the male she is believed to be with Maximiliano Erazo 20yrs of DFC Area in San Pedro Town. They were both seen on the surveillance camera footage from San Pedro Belize Express leaving the Island on the 6:00am vessel on Tuesday the 28.01.15. If seen kindly inform the police..

    SAGA gives thanks
    Saga would like to give a huge Thank You to Jerry Jeff Walker for inviting Saga to come "Pass the hat" again on his concert last night. The generous crowd donated $2247.00. Thanks to all our supporters. Jerry Jeff Walker knows "It's Hip to Snip"

    Combating illegal logging in the Chiquibul National Park
    Rafael Manzanero - Executive director of Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD),shared with TIDE terrestrial staff, the work that FCD does with combating illegal logging in the Chiquibul National Park. He shared information on their joint operations with the police and Belize Defense Force and the importance of collaboration with law enforcement officers. Manzanero emphasized the importance of base line information on resources in protected areas. TIDE’s Executive Director - Celia Mahung highlighted the need to use innovative ways of creating awareness among Belizeans of the economic value of these resources. TIDE staff was also able to share their increased challenges with protected areas management and best practices utilized.

    Chet and Q. Roo now on EST
    At 2am on Sunday, 1 February 2015, Quintana Roo, México, jumped to 3am, making Q. Roo on Eastern Standard Time. We understand they will STAY on EST, and will not change to Daylight Savings. So when it is 10am in Belize, it will be 11am in Chetumal, year round. Thanks to The Chetumal Connection for this tip.

    PlusTV

    Sitting member of Parliament posts bail for accused drug offender
    Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia, has garnered some negative attention, after he posted bail for a man charged with drug possession on the island of San Pedro. Police Officers have been heavily engaged in the war against drug on the small island, which has seen a crime increase over the past few years. Most of those crimes are believed to be drug related. The matter of the Minister’s bail for 43 year old Edwardo Jones came to light when the bail document was leaked to the media earlier this week, showing Manuel Heredia’s signature as the surety. Edwardo Jones ,a resident of San Pedro Town, was arrested and charged by island police on January 17th. , when San Pedro police on patrol saw him at the corner of Almond and Tarpon Streets acting suspiciously.

    Protestors want Hon. Marco Tulio Menedez to step down
    As we have reported, PUP area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez is in the middle of a nasty divorce that has found its way in the media spotlight. That is mainly because, reports have circulated that two minors have accused the Area Representative of inappropriate relations with them. Up to our news time, no report has been made to the police on the matter and no charges have been levied against Dr, Mendez and so, as it stands, the reports are only speculative at this point. But a group of Orange Walk residents are not waiting for any charges to be pressed. They are demanding that Doctor Mendez step down as Area Representative. On Friday, a small group of protestors made its way in front of the Orange Walk Town Hall, demanding that Marco Mendez resigns or is removed as Area Representative. As we have reported previously, long before the rumours of sexual indiscretions began circulating, Dr. Mendez had indicated that he would not be returning to run for elections due to health reasons.

    Maim Victim says he didn’t get justice
    In April of last year, 30 year old Leon Humes, of Belmopan lost his left eye while trying to break up a fight. Since then no one has been arrested. According to reports, Leon Humes left the La Cabaña night club, in Las Flores Belmopan, and made his way to a nearby food stall at around 2 a.m on Saturday morning. But before he could even purchase his food, Mr Humes saw a group of men embroiled in a physical confrontation and reportedly intervened. Upon doing so, one of the men allegedly punched him in the face, but it didn’t end there. Reports have it that the men pounced upon Leon Humes and started beating him up. In the midst of all the chaos, someone reportedly threw an object which caught Mr Humes in the left eye. He was rushed to the Karl Huesnor Memorial Hospital, but despite doctors’ best efforts, leon Humes lost his left eye for good. The injury was classified as maim.

    ATM Shakedown Case Comes to Nothing
    The case of the ATM shake down involving 22 year old Thyrell Hyde came to nothing on Thursday when Magistrate Dale Cayetano received instructions that the accuser wanted no further action against the three police officers, namely Corporal Reymundo Requeña, PC Edgar Teul, and Special Constable Joslyn Gill. In September 2013, it is alleged that Thyrell Hyde was arrested by the three police, taken to the ATM and forced to surrender his Pin number, after which the three officers withdrew money from his account.

    Ombudsman’s vehicle stolen and crashed
    The office of Ombudsman, Lionel Arzu, is without a vehicle, after someone took the Nissan Xterra Trail SUV for a joy ride on Friday morning, and then crashed it on Glynn Street, behind Salvation Army Primary School and the Raymond Parks Night Shelter in Belize City. Senior Superintendent of Police Edward Broaster tells us more. “The vehicle of the Ombudsman was stolen this morning. The suspect who stole the vehicle, crashed the vehicle on Glenn Street. As we speak, police is on the scene and the vehicle is being recovered and taken to the police station.”

    Jasmine Alert ready to receive reports
    On Friday, member of the Eastern Division’s Community and Public Relations (CPR) Unit, Woman Corporal Hortence Hernandez, said the Department has the Jasmine Alert up and ready for use, specifically to address cases of child abduction. While not directly commenting on the alleged abduction incidents reported across the country, Corporal Hernandez explains the importance of the Alert, named for murder and abduction victim Jasmine Lowe, and how the community can help.

    The Reporter

    Agric Show dates changed
    The dates for the annual National Agricultural and Trade Show (NATS) have been changed to the first, second and third of May, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture has announced. The original dates were scheduled for the 24th, 25th and 26th of April but the Ministry changed it after considering the business community’s request for the show to be moved closer to a pay day so as to increase visitors’ purchasing power. The theme of the show is “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public Private Partnership.” Preparations are already being made for the upcoming show. Booths for the show will start being sold to concessionaires and food vendors on February 23rd.

    Chile’s President Bachelet proposes end to total abortion ban
    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced plans to end a total ban on abortions in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Ms Bachelet has tabled a bill in Congress to legalise abortion in cases of rape or when there mother’s life to the mother’s or the baby’s life. Abortion is punishable in Chile by up to five years in jail. The absolute ban of abortion puts the lives of thousands of Chilean women at risk every year, said Ms Bachelet on national television. “Facts have shown that the absolute criminalization of abortion has not stopped the practice,” she said. “This is a difficult situation and we must face it as a mature country.” The draft law faces opposition from Chile’s powerful Catholic Church, from conservatives in Congress and from some inside Ms Bachelet’s own coalition, led by the Socialist Party.

    BLACK March coming to Belize City
    The Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division announced the launch of its latest community outreach effort, a citizen’s march entitled Be Loving and Cease Killing (BLACK) to be held on March 27th. According to Senior Superintendent, Edward Broaster, deputy OC Easter Division, the department will launch a sustained campaign as of next week to raise awareness and get exposure for the upcoming event. Broaster said the department will visit all media houses to ensure that the public knows about the march. Police personnel will also visit schools to spread the word about the march. Broaster said the department would like the participation of the entire City in the event, which he said is geared toward building community moral. According to Broaster, during the march participants will be dressed in black and white. The department produced and distributed t-shirts to be worn at the event, Broaster added.

    Ombudsman’s vehicle stolen and crashed
    A white Nissan X-Trail belonging to the Office of the Ombudsman was stolen early Friday morning, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, deputy OC Easter Division confirmed. According to Broaster, the vehicle was stolen some time in the early hours of Friday and the person who stole the vehicle crashed it on Glenn Street. Police received reports about the crash and when they reached the scene, they were able to confirm that it was the stolen vehicle belonging to the Ombudsman’s office. Broaster said, while he did not have all the details about exactly how the vehicle was stolen or where it was taken from, he could confirm that police have recovered the damaged vehicle and have taken it to the police station for examination for any clues.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Man dies after tree falls on him
    Mayor Anthony Fuentes said the day’s activities celebrating the milestone portrayed deep appreciation for the beauty of Punta Gorda.

    Punta Gorda celebrates 108th anniversary
    Activities were held in Punta Gorda today marking the 108th anniversary of the declaration of PG as a town. Cultural presentations depicting the diversity of the town’s development were on display today at the Central Park and watched by many of the town’s folks as well as visitors to Punta Gorda. Mayor Anthony Fuentes said the day’s activities celebrating the milestone portrayed deep appreciation for the beauty of Punta Gorda.

    Blogs

    Taming the widow maker
    The “Widow maker” has been tamed. That would be the left anterior descendant artery in my heart. The artery that has been giving me problems since — what? — last October? Last week, two talented doctors deployed a 33×3 mm stent right through what I imagine looked like a fairly long, ugly, and unwanted cheerio of calcium that was blocking 95 percent of this particular artery. Success! So, look, I feel as if I have dragged you through way way too much of this story already. And you have been so very patient. So this will be it. I promise. Let’s wrap this thing up and get back to living the dream in Belize. Here’s how it all went down: I was told to check-in at Buttonwood Bay Medical Center in Belize City at 4 p.m. last Friday by my cardiologist Dr. John Gough. Normally, Rose and I would take either the 90-minute water taxi or the 12-minute flight to Municipal Airport. This day held a better adventure. Our friend Rob Eykelbeysh was flying his own plane over to the mainland. Would we like a lift?

    International Sourcesizz

    Central America eyes optical information highway
    A group of Central American countries have agreed to finish building and start operating an optical fibre network across the region. Co-ordinated by the El Salvador government, the project, Autopista Mesoamericana de la Información, was discussed at the Central American Forum of Telecom Authorities, held this week in El Salvador. Participating countries include Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and El Salvador. The information highway is based on the interconnected electrical system, which is already built from Panama to Guatemala. “In a digital era, our biggest challenge is to develop our countries towards information and communication technologies,” pointed out Carlos Castaneda, vice-minister for economic development in El Salvador.

    Videos

  • No 24/7 Health Service on San Pedro, 2min. VIP 2015
  • Rory's Story, 3min. This is a very short documentary on Rory Shortt; about his first expirence with Bonefish on fly, in Belize C.A.
  • Taking off on a Tropic Air flight in rural Belize, 1min.
  • Darryl and Melody's Amazing Wedding in Belize, 10min.
  • Hopkins Bay Belize, Hopkins, Belize, 5min.
  • Maya Mountain Lodge & Tours, San Ignacio, Belize, 2min.
  • Vanilla Hills Lodge Hotel - San Ignacio - Belize, 2min.
  • Belize 2014, 3min. Scuba diving on the Meso-American reef out in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve.
  • Mama Noots Eco Resort Ltd Hotel - Quarry Hill - Belize, 2min.
  • Grand Colony Island Villas, San Pedro, Belize, 2min.
  • Caye Caulker Belize sharks sting rays reef snorkeling, 4min. Sharks and sting rays snorkeling excursion in Caye Caulker Island, Belize.
  • 9 Months in 9 Minutes - Wildtracks Belize 2014, 9min. Wildtracks in Belize is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of primates and manatees. This is a video about the time I spent their volunteering for 9 months in 2014.
  • Innie at the Vet, 2min. This is Innie a baby Yucatan Black Howler Monkey getting his cast removed at the Wildlife Referral Clinic in Belize. Innie, short for innocent, was brought to Wildtracks a primate and manatee rescue center in Belize. He was a victim on infanticide found in a pool of blood with a broken arm. He is now on his way to recovery and eventual release.
  • Carnival Magic Cruise To Honduras, Belize, Cozumel 2015 - Day 5, 21min.
  • Belize 2015 vacation video, 3min. Snorkeling, hiking, drinking and winning the chicken drop on our 2015 Belize trip.
  • Our Honeymoon in Belize - Dave and Lisa, 5min. Right after our wedding in Vermont, we headed to Belize for our honeymoon. We spent half our time on the island of San Pedro at Ramon's Village, and the rest of our time on the mainland near San Ignacio at the Gaia River Lodge. Belize was beyond beautiful, our time there was so memorable and I felt like the luckiest man to be spending my time there with my wife. I hope that one day we get to go back and see more of this beautiful country.
  • Creepy places gallery : Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave ( ATM), Belize, 2.5min.


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