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1/1/2016 to 1/10/2016
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January 10, 2016


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

True Blood star vacation in La Isla Bonita
2016 is definitely the year for celebrity vacationers to come to Belize, as yet another actor choose the Jewel as their vacation destination. Alexander Skarsgård, best known for his role in HBO series ‘True Blood’s vampire hottie, Eric Northman was spotted enjoying the first days of 2016 in Belize. The 39-year-old Swedish actor also had roles in movies such as Zoolander, 13, Battleship, The Giver, Hidden, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and War on Everyone, among others. His most recent performance is as the lead in the upcoming film ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ which is scheduled to premiere in July 2016. While in La Isla Bonita, Skarsgård enjoyed the best the island has to offer up at Mata Chica Resort on Northern Ambergris Caye. Skarsgård is an avid diver, and as such, came to Ambergris Caye to dive Belize’s top sites including the Great Blue Hole. The celeb driver enjoyed a great dive trip with Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop on Wednesday, January 6th.

Belizean Sailors perform with pride at ISAF Youth World Championship Regatta
The 2015 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Championship Regatta took place in Langkawi, Malaysia from December 27th to January 3, 2016. 76 countries sent 443 sailors and 126 coaches to the event, which even saw the participation of a delegation from Belize. Sailboat manufacturers supplied race-ready boats in nine different classes, for a total of 311 vessels. Representing Belize at the regatta were 15-year-old Antonio Ricardez from Belize City who participated among sailors from 67 other countries in the Laser Radial male’s field, and 15-year-old Blanca Velasquez of San Pedro Town, who participated among sailors from 54 other countries in the Laser Radial female’s field. Events leading up to the big race commenced from Monday, December 28th, with the official registration, boat assignment and preparation of all sailors. A practice race was then scheduled for Tuesday, December 29th for the sailors to test the Malaysian waters.

Letter to the Editor: Bicycle riders disappointed with traffic conditions
Letters-to-the-EditorDear Editor, We are passionate bicycle riders and were dearly disappointed with the traffic conditions on this island. We thought bicycling was way too dangerous. We would have expected dedicated bike lanes which would be beneficial for locals and tourists for their safety. Supporting safe biking would improve the overall low road appeal on the island and reduce your bad and congested traffic situation. It would also make San Pedro more attractive to visit. We thought that traffic behavior by truck and taxi drivers was very dangerous. That also includes way too high dust development and exhaust from fast driven cars. This is not what we anticipated for an ecological and relaxing vacation. We came to recuperate but felt rather stressed. The island seems to be on a very misguided path to responsibly attract tourists.

David Nanes Schnitzer’s bail revoked after weeks on the run
David Nanes Schnitzer remains on the run after being granted bail in Belize’s Supreme Court. He is believed to have defrauded Mexican investors of millions of dollars through the Allen Stanford Ponzi Scheme and now the Director of Public Prosecutions in Belize has managed to have Nanes Schnitzer’s bail revoked. But this may have come too late as neither Belize nor Mexican authorities know anything on the whereabouts of the fugitive. Nane Schnitzer’s bail was revoked by Justice Herbert Lord on Thursday, December 31st. His bail was revoked on the ground that Nanes Schnitzer did not comply with the conditions set by Hamomansingh neither did he appear at the next court hearing which was scheduled for November 23rd. A $10,000 surety was forfeited to the state.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The UBAD Educational Foundation presents a dynamic evening of Belizean voices
With its monthly open mic poetry night fundraiser on Thursday 14 January from 6pm to 9pm at Spoonaz on North Front Street to raise funds for the Library of African and Indian Studies. Come for an exciting evening of the voice in verse! Come to share your writing! Come to the UBAD Educational Foundation open mic poetry night fundraiser for an exciting evening of blazing words! See you there!

Amandala

Tragedy in Selena
As we go to press tonight, Belize police are still trying to piece together what transpired in the vicious stabbing murder of the famous Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck, 37, who had migrated to Belize in 2011. Two males from the Santa Elena/San Ignacio area have been detained, pending charges. Klinck was a film producer, and through his company, Make-Belize Films, he had produced a number of films and a soap opera. An article appearing in the Globe and Mail this week says that Klinck’s upcoming project was CBS’s new primetime drama, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, due to premiere March 2 in the US. Klinck, who had been living in the remote area of Selena, in the area of Spanish Lookout, Cayo, was found dead and decomposing near his home at about 8:30 Sunday night by friends who could not reach him on his phone. He had been stabbed 14 times in the upper part of his body, mostly his neck. Edwin Paz, the caretaker of the property, who is stationed at its entrance, told police that he last saw Klinck at about 4:00 Saturday evening, when Klinck drove up to the property in his vehicle. Klinck was alone at the time, he said.

Jack Charles fights Customs’ attempt to seize and destroy $70,000 worth of rice
The three containers of Guyanese rice that were brought to Belize by businessman Jitendra Chawla, aka Jack Charles, and which have been sitting at the port in Big Creek for the past three weeks, while Charles makes the legal rounds in the courts to get clearance, were almost wrestled out of his control today, when the Customs Department obtained an ex parte order from the Magistrate’s Court to seize the imported rice, presumably to destroy it—amid public outcry against what many deem to be a wasteful, senseless, almost obscene act. On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young denied Charles’ request for judicial review of the refusal by the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) to allow him to unload the rice for sale on the Belizean market. The court ruled that Charles was in violation of the BAHA Act when he brought the rice into the country without first getting the necessary permit. The Customs Department’s legal advisor, attorney Tracy Sosa, made representation before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser this morning, without notifying Charles or his attorney; and by the time Sosa left court, the Customs Department was armed with a court order to seize the rice.

Gus Tabony, Belize businessman, nabbed with US$16,490 in Honduras
August Henry Tabony, popularly known as “Gus,” a well-connected American businessman who operates in several Central American countries, including Belize, is reportedly under investigation in neighboring Honduras after he was allegedly detained there today with a stash of cash at the country’s international airport in the Bay Islands. Multiple news sources in Honduras reported that Tabony, 65, was detained at the Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport, of Roatán, Islas de la Bahía on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 with US dollars in various denominations which together exceed the US$10,000 limit beyond which which travelers are required to file a declaration with the relevant local authorities. At the time of his detention, Tabony was traveling with a Belizean passport, P0291601, the reports said. According to La Prensa, Tabony was detained in the area of the airport where departure flights are inspected and he was taken into custody by police investigators there.

Rita Maehetibel Flowers, Belizean icon, dead at 75
The well-loved Belizean personality, Rita Maehetibel Flowers, died on Tuesday, January 5, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, four days after she celebrated her 75th birthday. Flowers had been ailing for some time, a family member told Amandala tonight. In life, Miss Rita, as she was affectionately known, wore many hats and she will be remembered for her dedication, charisma, vigor and virtuosity as the mistress of the Minorettes Marching Band. In the mid-1970s, Flowers was an active member of the Square Peg Players, but her love for music and the arts did not stop there. She was also involved in choreographing square dance and she was also involved with the D-Revelation Gospel Band. Her working career began in 1963 when she was first hired at the National Library Service, and for many years, as a library assistant, she was the face of the Children’s Library on North Front Street in Belize City, where she presided over all children who frequented the library, instituting her own brand of discipline in her silent zone.

CARICOM Secretary-General on rice importation dispute
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, arrived in Belize this Tuesday, January 5, to meet with Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who assumed the rotating chairmanship of CARICOM on January 1, and to discuss with him plans for the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting due to be held in Placencia, Stann Creek, on February 16 and 17. Upon his arrival, LaRocque found that there had been a legal dispute between the Customs Department and Jitendra Chawla, a Belizean importer whose three containers of Guyanese rice valued at roughly BZ$70,000, had been blocked at the port of entry, on the claim that he had not obtained the requisite importer’s permit. Speaking with journalists today outside the headquarters of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), where LaRocque had paid a courtesy call on the regional organization, the CARICOM Secretary-General was very cautious about passing judgment on the situation. He was adamant, though, that sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, which govern the safety and health standards of food imports “cannot and ought not to be used as a protective mechanism and [permits] ought not to be withheld based on protecting a particular sector…”

Amandala’s Year in Review, 2015
There were many important stories that captured the headlines in 2015, but the year’s biggest story is the one that had the greatest national importance and the one which also incidentally captured the most headlines in 2015: the controversy between Belize and Guatemala over the construction of a law enforcement base at the Sarstoon. That story began to unfold in June, 2015, when Guatemala naval officers ordered a senior Coast Guard and his crew off Sarstoon Island while the Belizean team was doing reconnaissance in the area for the construction of a forward operating base. That trip was cut short, on orders from Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also the head honcho for the National Security Council. In the weeks leading up to the nation’s 34th Independence Day celebrations, the Belize Territorial Volunteers led an expedition to the island, and similarly met resistance from the Guatemalans, who challenged Belize’s longstanding jurisdiction over the island. On Independence Day, September 21, Barrow announced that the base would be built.

CSSSA football tournament kicks off at MCC
This afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at the MCC Grounds, the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) kicked off its 2016 football tournament with one game only, a male match-up between Gwen Lizarraga High and Wesley College. Due to the lack of lights at the MCC, only one game can be played after school in the evenings. There are 4 female teams and 7 male teams registered in this year’s tournament, and both females and males are playing a single round-robin regular season, after which the 4-team playoffs will be held according to teams seeding. Female (F) school teams are: Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLH), Ladyville Technical High School (LTH), St. Catherine Academy (SCA), and Wesley College (WES).

Mike’s 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan – Special Effects champs!!!
The Mike’s 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan concluded with a bang, as Special Effects showed they are special and effective, as they defeated Las Flores team; but it was not as easy as 1,2,3, with the championship game going into a tie-breaker in the best-of-two matches. Here’s more. Match #1: Special Effects won Las Flores, 2-1. For Special Effects, it was Wayne Wiltshire over Ernest Borland, 4-1; then Erwin Woodye, Jr. won Oscar Avelar, 4-2. Las Flores got their only win in the first match, as Salvador Orellana edged David Fernandez, 4-3. The MVP award was won by Wayne “Mangis” Wiltshire of Special Effects. He received a unique and special trophy donated by Pelayo’s and Associate, owned by Mr. Arturo “Bruce” Pelayo, to whom we say thanks. Much and big thanks to Mike’s Cue Club for donating $2,000.00 cash, Bowen and Bowen for 5 cases of Belikin beer, Hon. John Saldivar for individual trophies, the umpires – Mr. Dean Flowers, Mr. Danilo Rivera, Mr. Jose Alvarenga, Mr. Moises Aguirre and Mr. Victor Orellana. Thanks also to Amandala for always publishing our results, and to Love FM sports update.

Burger or Leechi?
It was a tough choice for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) awards committee members on Sunday evening, December 27, at the FFB Stadium, after Police United clinched the 2015-2016 PLB Opening Season championship with a nil-nil draw against defending champions, Verdes FC. (Police had taken game 1 by a 1-nil score the previous week at the Norman Broaster Stadium.) Would it be Leechi or Burger who would be chosen as the Playoff MVP? All regular season awards had been decided a few days before, most from votes cast by the six coaches of teams in the PLB Opening Season 2015-2016 tournament, while some were decided by game statistics, like goals allowed (Golden Glove), goals scored (Golden Booth), and least cards received (Fair Play). But the Playoff MVP was to be decided right after the championship game; and, in keeping with tradition, it would have to be from the championship team.

Rice and r_ss
The world has changed since the end of World War II in 1945. There have been native leaders in the non-European areas who managed to achieve some socio-economic progress for their peoples. These included Mahatma Gandhi in India, Mao Tse-tung in China, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Julius Nyerere in Tanzania, Robert Mugabe in Rhodesia, and so on. On the other hand, there have been many dictatorial leaders who have betrayed their native peoples and accumulated obscene wealth for themselves in Western banks. These included Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, the Shah (Pahlavi) in Iran, Mobutu Sese-Seko in Zaire, Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Anastacio Somoza in Nicaragua, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in Haiti, and so on. Still, by and large the financial wealth and military power configurations of planet earth have remained basically the same. Europe, the United States, Canada, and what we call the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations still control planet earth, although challenged by Russia and China in different instances.

From the Publisher
On New Year’s Day 1969, there would have been, at most, 30 or 35 native university graduates in British Honduras. At least five of these graduates participated in an unprecedented demonstration that New Year’s night in front of the Eden Theater on North Front Street. The graduates were demonstrating against the Vietnam War, which had reached Belize by way of a John Wayne propaganda film extolling the American war effort in Southeast Asia. The university graduates I remember from that New Year’s night would have been Assad Shoman, an attorney who led the internationalization of Belize’s independence campaign in the 1970s and later became a doctoral scholar; Said Musa, an attorney who served as Belize’s Prime Minister for two terms, between 1998 and 2008; yours truly; Derek Courtenay, one of Belize’s highest ranking attorneys; and Lionel Del Valle, an economist who was trained at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Shoman, Musa, and Courtenay had been trained in the United Kingdom, and myself in the United States.

Two young burn victims find hope in tragedy
In the April 12, 2015 edition of Amandala, we told you of the April 3, 2015 tragedy suffered by Katerin Michel Perez, 9 at the time, who was severely burnt after the flammable gasoline used to kill lice in her hair was set ablaze when she passed in front of a lit stove in her family’s kitchen. Perez, who had received burns to 53% of her body and injuries to her arm, hand and face, was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic and then transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for urgent treatment. On April 5, Perez was flown out to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, for specialist care. She also received several reconstructive surgeries, and today, we are happy to report that her prognosis is much better. On October 17, Perez returned to Belize; however, she will be making frequent visits to Shriners Hospital for Children for medical check-ups until she is 21 years old, Yvette Burkes of the Burn Victims Unit Belize told Amandala.

2016 newborns receive special packages
The New Year brought special blessings to the mothers and babies who were the first to be born in 2016. It is customary that Santiago Castillo Limited (San Cas) gives a gift package to the mother of the first new born for the year, and this year, they continued with that tradition. Aisha Trapp-Rudon, San Cas brand manager, told Amandala that for the second year in a row they have extended their generosity to the districts and all newborns from each district get the same package, which includes items such as Huggies wipes and diapers, Seven Seas multivitamins for mother and baby, Kotex pads and ginger tea. The first newborn in Belize for 2016 was Nathan David Casanova, born at 1:23 a.m. with 6 pounds and 4 ounces to Jonathan and Carla Casanova. He was born at a private hospital, Correa Clinin, in Orange Walk Town.

Rural Eastern Division also employing community approach to combat crime
It has long been said that the police need the participation of the community to tackle the crime problem, and this community-based approach, which has apparently helped to drastically reduce the murder rate in Belize City, is also being employed in other parts of the district, namely the suburban environs of Ladyville, which had in the past seen a spill-over of crimes into that jurisdiction. Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Broaster, who was appointed to serve as the commanding officer of the Police Department’s Rural Eastern Division on July 1, 2015, told Amandala that 12 murders were committed in the area in 2015; however, he and his officers aim to decrease that figure in 2016. The Rural Eastern Division encompasses the area outside of Belize City and beyond Haulover Bridge and Burton Canal, covering 22,000 square miles and 32 villages. It borders Orange Walk at Mile 38 and the Cayo District at approximately Mile 31. It is one of three units within the Eastern Division. The other two are North Eastern Division and South Eastern Division.

Belizean inventor, Andre Gray, launches new invention for 2016
Noted Belizean inventor Andre Gray—the man who is credited for the invention of mobile ringtones and ring-backs as well as the iBelizean social media site—is “turning the tables again” with the introduction of three world-class vinyl record formats: Microgrooves HD, Microgrooves Digital and Microgrooves Green T vinyl record formats nomenclature, launched exactly at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1, 2016, eastern standard time, said a press release issued by his publicist this week. Casual vinyl fans, serious record collectors or the elitist audiophiles would enjoy the invention, the release, published by American Banking and Marketing News out of New York, added. “These three formats join Microgrooves Electronic, or Microgrooves-E, the world’s very first mobile phone music player that was invented by Andre Gray and introduced to the public on July 16, 1998 at the Jupiter Communications Plug In, Digital Music conference in New York City,” it said.

Dennis Morrison, former Belize Court of Appeal judge, sworn in as president of Jamaica Court of Appeal
Justice Cecil Dennis Morrison, who served on the Belize Court of Appeal for roughly 11 years, from 2004 to 2015, was this week Monday, January 4, formally sworn in at the King’s House in Jamaica, to head the Court of Appeal in his native country. Information published by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) announced that Morrison had been sworn in by Jamaica’s Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who simultaneously presented Morrison with the fifth highest national honor, the Order of Jamaica. “Although Justice, you would have seen, studied and admired the work of your predecessors, you are standing alone in the limelight now, starting January 4, 2016… to make your mark on that dash, and that will be largely defined by your qualities, character and scholarship,” Allen told Morrison. “The wonderful thing about that is that you have a supporting team of very sharp judges who are not just ‘reflectors of others thoughts’ but are original, passionate thinkers who will make your journey a rich and rewarding one,” he added.

Family fears the worst for missing Caledonia man, Luis Alcoser, 32
Luis Alcoser, 32, of Caledonia Village, Corozal, who left home at about 6:00 Tuesday morning in his KIA Sportage, reportedly to buy goods for the shop he operates out of his home, has still not returned, his family has told police. Alcoser’s loved ones now fear for the worst, after his vehicle was found on Wednesday morning, abandoned on the road to the village and riddled with bullets. At around 6:00 yesterday morning, a man known to the family visited the home and alerted them that Alcoser’s vehicle had been spotted riddled with bullets and abandoned, relatives said. Alcoser’s father immediately went to see what was happening, and saw the vehicle in the bushes, about 10 feet off the road, at the junction of the roads leading to Buena Vista and Caledonia Village. In the abandoned vehicle, he found his son’s driver license.

Joy Grant replaces Eric Eusey as FIU director
Amandala has been reliably informed that former Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities, Joy Grant, is the new director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, replacing former director, Eric Eusey, who assumed the post in January 2014. Grant, the fifth person and third woman to have been assigned to that post, was unavailable when we called her office today. Apart from having served as Senator and Minister under the Barrow administration beginning in 2012, Grant was also appointed to serve as chair of the National Bank of Belize. In November 2008, she was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belize in Brussels, Belgium, accredited to the European Communities.

Mechanic, 37, remanded for unlawful sexual intercourse with minor, 15
A Belize City mechanic and resident of Evergreen Street in the Lake Independence area was remanded to prison this morning after he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned on four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl, 15. Enfield Davis, 37, could not enter a plea when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser read the four charges of unlawful sexual intercourse to him, because the offence is indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court. In addition to the four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with which he was charged, Davis was also charged with grievous harm upon the minor. Police are alleging that in the first count, Davis had sex with the minor between July 22 and July 31, 2015. The second incident allegedly occurred between September 1 and September 30, 2015, when Davis again had sex with the minor.

Diesel down by 42 cents on the gallon
As of midnight on Monday, January 4, 2015, the controlled price for a gallon of diesel was down by 42 cents, with Belize City prices falling from $7.00 a gallon to $6.58. Prices will vary by municipality, because of varied distribution costs, with the cost for diesel being the highest in Toledo, where it fell from $7.25 to $6.83. According to a release from the Ministry of Finance, the price fall on diesel was due a reduction in the cost of importing fuel into Belize. Diesel prices held around $7 to $8 in 2015 but further price falls are expected, due to the continuing dip in world market crude prices.

What will it take?
The Belize City high school (CSSSA) football tournament kicked off this evening at the MCC Grounds, where, since the weekend of October 4, 2015, there has been a three-feet deep, and a foot and a half wide trench around the field, just about three to five feet from the sidelines. In a city where gang turf tension is a stark reality, the well fenced MCC remains the most secure venue for young men from all parts of the city to congregate for supervised sports competition. The Premier League of Belize team, Belize Defence Force FC decided to cancel its home games at the MCC after the trench was dug one Friday evening, so city fans got to see no more PLB games at the MCC since October of last year. But amateur football continues to be played at the MCC, with the Smart 13 & Under, CYDP Peace Cup, the BDFA Interim U-15, and now the high schools have started their CSSSA football tournament. There have been a few incidents where players have fallen into the trench; but, as far as reports received, there has not been any serious injury.

CARICOM Secretary-General on rice importation dispute
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, arrived in Belize this Tuesday, January 5, to meet with Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who assumed the rotating chairmanship of CARICOM on January 1, and to discuss with him plans for the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting due to be held in Placencia, Stann Creek, on February 16 and 17. Upon his arrival, LaRocque found that there had been a legal dispute between the Customs Department and Jitendra Chawla, a Belizean importer whose three containers of Guyanese rice valued at roughly BZ$70,000, had been blocked at the port of entry, on the claim that he had not obtained the requisite importer’s permit. Speaking with journalists today outside the headquarters of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), where LaRocque had paid a courtesy call on the regional organization, the CARICOM Secretary-General was very cautious about passing judgment on the situation.

The Reporter

Two teens charged with murder of Canadian film maker
A 16 year-old high school student and another, aged 19, were remanded to the Hattieville Prison on Friday, for the murder of Canadian film maker, Mathiew Klink. Officer Commanding the San Ignacio police formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez confirmed that the two teenagers appeared before Magistrate […]

Ministry of Agriculture regrets loss of production to small farmers
The Ministry of Agriculture released a statement on Saturday, stating that they regret the loss of production, especially to small farmers. Following the wastage of carrot production in the north of Belize surfacing last week, the Ministry explains the cause of the wastage as an […]

Stabbing on Antelope Street Extension leaves man critical
A man is critically wounded after he was stabbed on Antelope Street Extension on Saturday night. Sketchy information is that the man, yet unidentified, was attacked ay around 8:30 p.m. and left at the scene for several minutes before he was taken to the Karl […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Lucky Strike “snakeman” gives up on poisonous pets
Lucky Strike’s Gilbert Usher says he is giving up handling poisonous snakes for a living. That is to be expected, after he landed in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for the fourth time in several years this week to be treated for bites from […]

As National Party Council meets, People’s United Party supporters warned over infighting
The People’s United Party’s (PUP) National Party Council met today in Belize City to ratify the decisions of the National Executive made in December, following the nomination of candidates to contest open posts on the Executive at a special convention slated for January 31 […]

Feinstein: I’ll stop Stake Bank without Gov’t support
According to developer Michael Feinstein, if the Government of Belize cannot assure him of its exclusive support for his hundred-million dollar investment in the Stake Bank cruise port project, then it will remain on indefinite hold. Feinstein won a case last year against his […]

Why no Senator for trade unions, civil society?
The Senate has met twice since the new government took office last November, but there is still no senator representing the trade unions and civil society. The grouping has been unable to name its senator because they have been unable to put in motion […]

Former Minister now leads Financial Intelligence Unit
Joy Grant most recently served as a Senator and Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities between 2012 and 2015. But we understand that she has accepted the post of Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), succeeding Eric Eusey, who assumed the […]

Student, Belmopan man reported missing
Police are investigating the disappearance of two persons from the Cayo District. 33-year-old Sonia Reyes of Valley of Peace Village reported that on Wednesday about 6:20a.m., her 15-year-old daughter Seily Jozeline Aguilar, a third form student of Belmopan Comprehensive School, left home for school […]

Police recover firearm from suspects in vehicle
On Friday personnel from the Police Quick Response Team were conducting a vehicle check point in Ontario Village, when a maroon Toyota Rav4 SUV with Belmopan license plates ran the checkpoint with three occupants. Police pursued the vehicle and it came to a stop […]

Taxi driver murdered in Belmopan
Police are investigating a reported murder in Belmopan. On Friday night at about 11:15, police visited George Price Boulevard and found 28-year-old Isidro Suar, taxi driver of Peru Street, Salvapan area, Belmopan lying on the side of the street, fatally shot multiple times. Suar […]

Moist weather expected as cold front settles in
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies with little or no rainfall this afternoon, then partly cloudy skies tonight and tomorrow morning with only isolated showers. Winds will be blowing from the Southeast at 5-15 knots, becoming easterly tonight and […]

Blogs

Flying to Belize in 2016
Traveling from the United States to almost any country has never been easier, and with additions of even more airlines flying to Belize last year, so many more folks are sure to discover this little slice of paradise in 2016.

2015: What a Year to Be in Belize! Part Three
But since it is a Saturday, I won’t tell you about my recent trip just yet…Saturday is one slow day for blog reading. So I’ll continue my recap of 2015 – One Great Year to Be in Belize. Or…in Rhode Island…where I left off. I usually go to the states to visit my nephews once (and if I’m lucky, twice) and May is the perfect time to do it. It almost assures great weather. And then I wrote a post about things that I bring back from the states. Ugh…reminds me that I JUST broke the Bodum three days ago.

Chunky Mexican Pork Stew
Trim off unwanted fat from pork, then cut into generous bite-size pieces. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, seasoned salt and pepper. Add pork chunks to a large mixing bowl. Coat with flour mixture by adding a little flour mixture at a time while moving the pork pieces around. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large soup pot). When oil is hot, add pork and cook on medium-high until browned, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, salt, cumin and chili powder to pork. Cut onion into 8 wedges and add to stew. Heat stew to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer on a gentle boil for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is almost tender.

A legacy of the rainy season on Ambergris Caye yields an avian wonderland
When the rains came, starting in November, they filled the front lawn of our condo complex with water that has never gone away. As with any standing water it quickly became an aquatic microcosm. Algae, larvae, little tiny fish all exploded on the “pond.” Not far behind were the mosquitoes and little frogs that sprang from the various larvae and they were soon followed by the birds. They all feed on each other. The rains have abated and the pond has begun to shrink, though it doesn’t look like it will entirely go away. As you pedal north, the amount of standing water beside the road is really noticeable. Stagnant pools of dark orange-reddish water are everywhere. Over-saturated vegetation is dying and the oxygen starved ponds are eutrophicating.

International Sourcesizz

Underwater hunting safari in Belize
A school of shimmering silver jack had just glided by overhead as I crested the reef, where a trio of tall orange sponges rose toward an outcropping of coral and a pair of purple sea fans framed the opening of a dark nook. My heart raced and my breath quickened, a rush of bubbles streaming upward as I caught sight of my prey. The billowy fins, the showy spikes shooting from its spine, the majestic stripes flowing into the distinctive mane. The lionfish. It hovered carelessly in the pristine, bath-warm waters, this sea creature of local legend. I raised an arm, stretched a small piece of elastic cord, and sent a spear through the back of its head. Success! Death at 60 feet below the surface. I was now more than just a scuba diver. I was a trained killer. Diving, in its common form, is a gentle adventure. I've heard many experienced divers liken it to an underwater hike or safari. Thrills come from spotting a rare fish, marveling at a soaring ray or spying a reef shark as it slips by. One of the main tenets of scuba diving is that you are to look and not touch. Leave the ocean and all its inhabitants as you found them. Visit and admire their world, let them live in it. That is, except for the lionfish.

Friends of Matthiew Klinck gather to remember murdered Gatineau filmmaker
Friends of Matthiew Klinck gathered on the Ottawa River shoreline Saturday to remember the Gatineau filmmaker, six days after he was found stabbed to death outside his home in Central America. "His mother, his dad, and his brother are in Belize — they're having the funeral this afternoon," said Howard Powels, Klinck's friend and neighbour. "And we thought it would be appropriate to do a memorial thing by the river here [today], which he loved." Klinck, 37, was found lying face-up outside his home in the Belizean village of Selena, in the west part of the country, on Jan. 4. "Matthiew was up for anything. That was one of his strong points. He was just up for any adventure — any crazy thing you could think of, he would be up for it." Christiane Charest knew Klinck's mother Louise well, and said she'd spent the past few days trying to find out more about what happened to the son of her friend. She hoped Saturday's ceremony would give her and those who knew Klinck some comfort. "It's important to be here, to be present, to give love and energy and courage," Charest said. "I pray that he's okay, somewhere, in the universe."

Local Teacher Worried About Security for International Flights After Major Mistake During Holidays
A Kennewick substitute teacher retold to us what can only be described as a horror story when she tried to get back to the Tri-Cities after an adventurous trip to Belize during the holidays. What she had to say will make you cringe just for what she had to go through, and will also leave you wondering just how safe and secure our international flights are. It wasn't Krista Williams' 10-day backpacking trip to Belize that was the problem. "Overall an amazing experience, and I also went to Guatemala," Williams said. The problem was the trip home. "My mom wanted me to be home for Christmas," Williams said. Krista's long, strange story started on December 23rd. "I went to check in and I didn't have my debit card with me," Williams told us.

Videos

  • Morning Matters of the Day, 64min.

  • The largest ocean sinkhole in the world. The Great Blue Hole - Belize, Central America., 1.5min. World Heritage site Blue Hole, Belize, Central America from 1500 feet.

  • World Famous Botanical Gardens 20: Belize Botanic Gardens (Belize), 1.5min. Belize Botanic Gardens, located at DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge, made the best botanical gardens list. As they should have. Worth a watch, and the BBG is definitely worth a visit.

  • Belize w/ Turneffe Island Resort Nov 2nd 2015, 7min. Day 2 of diving w/ TIR. Dive buddies Judy & John, Divemaster Brad diving 2 dive sites. The Elbow and South Cut Wall. Google Pics by Tim Hupe. Enjoying the reef life and numerous fish, Eagle Rays and Swimming Moray Eels. Happy & Safe Diving! Enjoy

  • My Trip to Belize, 12min. In winter of 2015, I went away to Belize! Van - Texas - Belize ....Belize - LAX - Van I stayed in a village named Placencia.

  • gopro ALL Belize 2015, 15min.

  • Green Sea Turtle at Hol Chan Cut near Ambergris Caye, Belize 12-20-2015, 2min. On a snorkel trip we spotted a beautiful green sea turtle eating grass and surfacing for air at the Hol Chan Cut near Ambergris Caye in Belize.

  • Fish, Sharks & Stingrays at Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye, Belize 12-20-2015, 2.5min. On a snorkel trip we saw tons of fish, nurse sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye in Belize.

  • Belize cave tubing, 5min.

  • Docile nurse shark at Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye, Belize 12-20-2015, 1.5min. On a snorkel trip to Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye, Belize our guide grabbed a nurse shark, turned it upside down, and the nurse shark became completely docile. We petted the soft belly before our guide released the shark unharmed.

  • 2015, 12-26, Wall Dive with Sharks, Belize, 4min. Caribbean Reef Sharks at 1:35 2015, 12-26, Diving Cathedral Wall, Lighthouse Atoll Belize.

  • Belize w/ Turneffe Island Resort Nov 2nd 2015, min.

  • Belize w/ Turneffe Island Resort Nov 2nd 2015, 7min. Day 2 of diving w/ TIR. Dive buddies Judy & John, Divemaster Brad diving 2 dive sites. The Elbow and South Cut Wall. Google Pics by Tim Hupe. Enjoying the reef life and numerous fish, Eagle Rays and Swimming Moray Eels. Happy & Safe Diving! Enjoy

    January 9, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Atlantic Bank San Pedro receives bomb threat
    Part of Barrier Reef Drive and Pescador Drive are currently on lockdown following a bomb threat issued to Atlantic Bank San Pedro Branch. Reports of the threat emerged on Friday, January 8th shortly before 4PM. The San Pedro Police Department and San Pedro Fire Department personnel were quickly deployed to secure the area and evacuate civilians. San Pedro Police has told The San Pedro Sun that they are currently awaiting the arrival of the Belize Defense Force Bomb Squad to inspect both the Atlantic Bank main office and sub office for explosive devices. Police are also investigating who made the threat call by tracing the phone number.

    San Pedro House of Culture features New Exhibition
    The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), under the auspices of The National Institute of Culture and History, has launched a new exhibition titled “Art Show and Reception.” The exhibition is the art work of Katrina Samuels Ancona, an artist originally from Greenwich Village in New York who has been on the island for over two decades. The art collection includes seventeen pieces of beautiful paintings on canvas, fish plates and colorful gold vases. It was officially launched on December 22nd just before the Christmas holidays. According to Ancona, the beauty of Belize has influenced her work, along with her Christian life on which she reflects in most of her work. At the SPHC, the different artistic creations vary in forms, from acrylic on canvas and murals, to furniture and work on three-dimensional objects. Some of the paintings featured were themed with names such as Belizean Leaves, Purification, Sleeper, Coral Garden, The Colors of You, Roaring like a Lion and even the Simplicity. Most of the pieces are for sale at a special price. The Arts Show and Reception exhibit will be open for view till Friday, January 22nd. Those interested in viewing or purchasing products can visit the SPHC on Angel Coral Street.

    San Pedro Community Policing Unit brings Christmas cheer to islanders
    During the Christmas holidays, many organizations on the island brought joy to the less fortunate children and residents of the Ambergris Caye. The season of sharing and giving, once again brought people together and sprinkled the love of Christmas. On Wednesday, December 23rd, the San Pedro Community Policing Unit, along with Britney O’Daniel from the San Pedro Food Bank, shared the Christmas cheer with as many residents as possible and distributed gifts and food. According to PC Juan Chuc from the Community Policing Unit, following a successful toy drive, the distribution of presents and food for families took place in the areas of San Juan, San Pedrito, and DFC. PC Chuc stated that it was yet another successful event which they plan to continue doing year after year. But he reiterated that special recognitions must be given to all the people who make such a charitable function possible.

    Actors Charles Michael Davis and Travis Von Winkle vacay in the Jewel
    Ambergris Caye has been a coveted destination for many, and over the years, has seen its fair share of A-List visitors. Needless to say, 2016 started with a bang as Hollywood actors Charles Michael Davis and Travis von Winkle along with their group (very hot group) of friends enjoyed a guys’ getaway in the Jewel. Davis is best known for his roles in the CW original series “The Originals,” and Grey’s Anatomy, among others, while Von Winkle is known for his performances in Meet the Spartans, Friday the 13th and TNT’s original series “The Last Ship.”

    ICSC Five-a-aside- Football Tournament picking up speed
    The third round of the Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) and San Pedro High School (SPHS) Five-a-side Football Tournament has come to an end. This past weekend saw intense matches as the road to the championship starts to narrow. Football fanatics convened at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium during the two day sporting event to cheer on their favorite teams. One under 13, and four senior matches, were played on Saturday, January 2nd. The footballers gave it their all to try to stay on top of the competition. In the first game, in the junior category, Inter Milan A defeated Scorpion Touch by default. The matches for the seniors started with the game between San Juan FC against Harmouch ending in a 2-2 point game. In the second game, Mata Chica faced United FC, who walked away with the victory over Mata Chica by default. Island Pure 3 narrowly beat E and L Boys with a tight score of 3-2; meanwhile Pro Divers crushed Scorpions FC with a 6-1 point game.

    Travel publication My Beautiful Belize sports a new look for 2016
    On January 4, 2013 The San Pedro Sun launched their new travel publication, My Beautiful Belize. The monthly, full color publication evolved from The Sun’s popular weekly Visitor Guide, which originated in 2004 as a tabloid sized insert, printed in black and white with spot color. Now entering their fourth year of publication, My Beautiful Belize has again evolved into a higher quality tourism publication. The January 2016 issue has just been released, and readers can now enjoy the popular travel publication as a glossy-paged magazine. “We are always looking at ways to improve our product, and with our My Beautiful Belize publication it’s all about sharing the beauty of Belize through colorful photos and engaging travel stories,” commented editor Tamara Sniffin. “My Beautiful Belize is the only monthly travel publication in the country, and we are committed to providing a superior product that not only beautifully showcases destinations and adventures from all over the country, but serves as an attractive medium for stakeholders to promote their businesses through advertising.”

    Ambergris Today

    Bomb Scare at Atlantic Bank San Pedro
    A bomb threat was called in at the Atlantic Bank San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, branch located on Pescador Drive at around 4p.m. today Friday, January 8, 2015. The San Pedro Fire Department, San Pedro Police have blocked off the entire block in downtown San Pedro as they await the presence of the Belize Bomb Squad to conduct a thorough search of the area. Meanwhile the area has been cleared off. More updates as they become available.

    True Blood Superstar Alexander Skarsgard Vacationing in Belize
    Will 2016 be a year filled with celebrity visits for Belize? Already a couple of TV stars brought in the new year in San Pedro while hunting for Lionfish and this week True Blood famed actor Alexander Skarsgard went diving at the Blue Hole. Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, boasted pictures of Alexander boarding their dive boat, readying for a day out at the Great Barrier Reef of Belize to dive the Blue Hole. The towel around his neck indicates that he stayed at the chic boutique resort of Mata Chica in north Ambergris Caye.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Introduction to Accounting: SBDC Workshop
    The Introduction to Accounting course is a series of three workshop's which include: Part 1 - Introduction to Accounting, Part II - Introduction to Financial Statements, Part III - Developing Financial Statements. On January 14th, 2016 from 9am to 12pm at the ITVet compound we will be presenting the Introduction to Accounting workshop which will cover the following outlines: Definition of Accounting - Purpose & Objective, Terminology, Double Entry Account, T- Accounts. This training will be covered by: Ms Corinne Wright, Lecturer, University of Belize - Faculty of Management and Social Sciences. Cost: $20.00. Jan. 14th, 2016. 9am to 12pm.

    BPP statement on the rumoured destruction of rice
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) vehemently objects to any assertion or intention by the Government of Belize, to destroy the containers of rice that have been a point of contention over the past several weeks. Belizeans from all corners of this nation who are facing economic hardships could certainly benefit from the distribution of this staple, via a coordinated and humanitarian effort. Undoubtedly, there are non-governmental organisations that can aid the distribution. We therefore call on Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow to reconsider any such move to lay waste to the shipments of rice.

    Ministry of Agriculture Statement on Carrot Producers Situation
    The importation of fresh vegetables is necessary to supplement domestic production as Belize does not have sufficient year round production. Importation is usually carefully timed to avoid oversupply or shortage of produce. There are periods when both imported and domestic products are on the market, usually at the start of or at the end of harvest. This period is most difficult to manage as a third factor -illegal contraband -imports also affect supply. This system of balanced importation is managed within the Ministry of Agriculture by the Chief Agriculture Officer and the Director of Extension. The current problem being experienced by the carrot producers in San Carlos, Orange Walk District is being thoroughly examined to determine the cause, the impact and corrective measures necessary. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development sincerely regrets any loss of production, especially to small farmers.

    Belize Duck Race 2016
    The Belize Duck Race is only 4 weeks away. They had to reschedule to February 6th, and all the early tickets are valid. You can still get tickets, and possibly win $1,000,000. "The 2nd Annual Belize Duck Race is now scheduled for February 6th, 2016, so mark your calendars and invite family and friends to adopt a duck and come witness this amazing event!"

    Tour Operator's Notice!
    Make sure your Tour Operator's License is valid for 2016!

    2016 TAIWAN SCHOLARSHIPS START FOR APPLICATION
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that 2016 TaiwanICDF Scholarship and Taiwan (MOFA)Scholarship start for application from now, and their application deadline will be until March 18, 2016 and March 31, 2016 respectively. In 2016, there will be 20 schools of 8 Bachelor, 21 Master and 2 PhD programs open for application of TaiwanICDF Scholarship. Both scholarships are full scholarships and will provide a round trip economy class air tickets, housing, tuition fees, credit fees, insurance, textbook costs, and a monthly allowance which varies for different study programs. There have been hundreds of Belizean students from different schools and fields come to apply for both scholarships in the past years till now. This Embassy encourages all the outstanding young Belizean students come to apply for pursuing their study and fulfill their dreams in Taiwan.

    Third Scout Inter-American Leadership course
    The third Scout Inter-American Leadership course (ILT) has now concluded. The Belize participants are back home and we want to congratulate them for their excellent performance at the course that was held at San Jorge Muxbal, in Guatemala. Special mention and congratulations to Kesilyn who was selected to serve as Assistant Senior Team Leader for this course. She was a participant at the 1st Course that was held in Houston Texas in 2013. Congratulations and welcome back Jaialai, Immer and Kesilyn.

    Candlelight Vigil for Matthiew Klinck
    If you knew Matt, you knew he was as positive as they come. It's shocking that a person so full of life is gone. There will be a candlelight vigil in his honor at the Cayo Welcome Center tonight at 6:30pm. Earlier, in Spanish Lookout, they'll have the funeral and celebration of life. We'll all miss you, Matt!

    Celebration of Life for Matthiew Klinck
    The Celebration of Life for Matthiew Klinck shall be at: 2pm Saturday January 9, 2016 Location: Fountain of Life Church in Spanish Lookout Friends are asking, if you wish, to bring a plate of pastries or cookies as there are many people that have expressed their desire to share in the Celebration of Life for Matthiew Klinck. Directions to the Church are: Once you get to Spanish Lookout with Caribbean Tires being on your left hand side- make a right on the main road in Spanish Lookout- then make your 1st left hand turn. Continue on this road for 1 mile and when the pavement ends go another 1/8 of a mile and make a right hand turn when you see the sign for Fountain of Life Church Retreat Center

    Channel 7

    Snakeman Speaks! No More Tommy Goff!
    No more poisonous snakes! That's what snakeman Gilbert Usher declared today at the KHMH. After five days in the hospital, Usher was finally able to speak to us about what happened last week Sunday. Usher told us he doesn't remember much - only that he had a Tommy Goff snake for 3 years and Sunday was the first time he took it out to show anyone. And that's the last thing he remembers. Today, Usher told us it will be the last time he takes that snake, or any other poisonous snake out, for that matter -because those days are over. Gilbert Usher, "I was bitten by Tommy Goff "There comes a time when yeah, if I keep dealing with venomous snakes, one day I might just cash out. I can't recall what happened. I had that snake for about 3 years."

    Two Arrested For Killing Kinck for Money, One Is A Minor
    3 days ago, we told you about very violent murder of Canadian Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck in a village just outside of Spanish Lookout, Cayo. Well, after 3 days of investigating, Police have arrested and charged 2 young men from San Ignacio for his murder. They are 19 year-old Brandon Anderson, and a 16 year-old minor, whose identity we cannot reveal. They have since been arraigned in Magistrate's Court, and as soon as police are able to make arrangements, they will be escorted to the Belize Central Prison. But, as viewers will recall, when Klinck's body was found, the police were concerned that it would be a very difficult investigation since Klinck lived on a very secluded property in Selena Village. So, what changed for investigators to progress to an arrest so swiftly? That's what our news team travelled San Ignacio Town to find out. We spoke with the lead investigator about the case today:

    Stake Bank Sayonara?
    Tonight, the cruise future for the Belize District is more unclear than ever - and that's because the Stake Bank project - which was thought to be a sure thing just a few months ago - is once again on the back burner - and the developer Mike Feinstein says he expects that it will stay there. And that's because government is now looking at another project - one that will be based at the Port of Belize. Now, if that sounds familiar, it is. In 2004, then Port owner Luke Espat and carnival Cruise Line broke ground for a port at that very spot. It never worked out, but what you see here now on the map - the part that juts out - is the product of that idea. That was supposed to be the apron for two ships which would pull up directly to the terminal - right there at the southeast end of Port Loyola. But, the project was effectively abandoned for a number of reasons. Well, now Government wants to resuscitate it, and with guess who? None other than Michael Ashcroft. That's right, reliable reports tell us that Ashcroft and the Government are looking at a possible partnership in the venture, which the Prime Minister mentioned only in passing in his New Year's address.

    Mother And Family Car Jacked At Speedbump in Armenia Village
    All this afternoon, Belmopan Investigators were out in Armenia Village following up on leads involving a crazy car jacking which happened last week Saturday. 38 year-old Melonie Popper Coc, a Puma Energy employee reported to police that at around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 2, she was driving her company vehicle, a grey Isuzu D-max pickup truck, along with her mother, and her 4 children. They were heading to Pomona Village, and when they arrived at the second bump in Armenia Village, which is 8 miles south of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway, she received a phone call. She told police that she stopped the vehicle and pulled off the road to answer the phone. While she was speaking with the caller, a man snuck up on her, and took away the cellphone at gunpoint. She reported that she looked over to the vehicle, and that's when she saw that her entire family had been removed from the vehicle by another car jacker. They ordered her out of the car, too, and then both men sped off towards Belmopan.

    The World's Most Wanted, El Chapo Caught In Western Mexico
    He was possibly the most wanted man in the world, and this afternoon news broke that Mexican authorities had caught Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Mexican Navy led an operation at 4:30 this morning which found el Chapo in the town of "Los Mochis", which is on the west coast of Mexico in the state of Sinaloa. Reports from Mexico say it was a bloody raid and at least five of Chapo's men were killed. Five other men were arrested, and El Chapo was taken immediately to Mexico City for security reasons. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto broke the news with a Tweet saying, "Mission accomplished. We have him."

    14 Homeless After Fire In Trailer Home
    There was a fire last night in the Queen's Square area of Belize City, and, tonight, 14 people are homeless because of it. Now, with that many people left out of door, you might think that this was some big two-storey house - but it was just a decades-old trailer home. Here's what happened:... Shirley Flowers, Fire Victim "Well I feel the heat. I felt like I was already burn - I felt like I wanted to die." Jules Vasquez reporting It's very fortunate that no one did die - 14 people, 8 of them children were cramped inside this two bedroom trailer home last night at 9:30: Shirley Flowers, Fire Victim "By the time we reach out, the fire was already bolted out on the side and coming our way. But I hollered and told the kids to please hurry come out because its danger and we will get hurt. My stepdaughter ran back for my 5 year old baby. She managed to get her and so we came out."

    7 Firemen Responded
    The Fire Department can't be criticized for this fire; they only needed a few minutes to put it out. Station Chief Orin Smith told us more:.. Emanuel Pech "How many fire fighters were deployed and how long did it take to control off the flames?" Orin Smith, Station Manager, Belize National Fire Service "Seven. Only about 5 minutes after we arrived on the scene, the main body of the fire was already extinguished and map up process continued. Preliminary investigations reveal that the fire originated within the kitchen and as a result of a lit candle that had fallen over. We were very grateful that no one was hurt. Perhaps they may have taken quick action to evacuate the building when the fire was discovered. With that many persons in there, certainly the fire wouldn't have gone undiscovered. So that was very fortunate."

    Every 93 Year Old's Dream: A Massive Weed Whacker
    Only last week, 93 year old Patrick Grant was clinging to dear life after he was viciously attacked by one of his neighbors. Today Grant is back home at number 12 Fern Lane with no visible reminders of his ordeal other than a swollen left eye and a scab to the left side of his temple. In fact today seemed to be one of his happiest as he swung his brand new and rather large weed whacker with the kind of strength you wouldn't expect from a man in his 90's. Emanuel Pech has the full story:... Hope - that is what this simple weed trimmer has brought to this man, who two weeks ago was the victim of a vicious beat down. Today the Patrick Grant wore a big smile on his face; a sharp contrast from the face we first saw on the news. His excitement was unmistakable. After a quick breakfast, Grant was helped into his weed whacking attire. After his son in law struck up the weed whacker, Grant was off. It took a little while for him to get adjusted to the weight, but he was determined. Swinging his weed whacker to and fro he managed to trim at least 3 feet of grass before his first break. Patrick Grant - Beat Down Victim "Now I can keep my yard down the way it should be because back in this area there are lizards, there are snakes and everything. So once you got it like there, you're in danger or one of these insects, but with that I'll be free. I'll be most wonderful."

    Four of Five Get Off For Vitalino Jr.
    It made huge news in June of 2014 when six of Yohnny Rosado's employees from CaveTubing.com were accused of badly beating up their competitor's son, Vitalino Reyes Jr from Cavetubing.bz. Reyes Jr. ended up in a coma. Well, tonight, five of them are free. Charges of harm have been dropped against 43 year old Jimmy Cortez, 41 year old John Frazer, 24 year old Christopher Williams, 38 year old Evan Williams and 39 year old Keith Vairez. This happened during the Preliminary Inquiry and they were told they were free to go. So, the charge now only stands against 32 year old Leon Gentle. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser told Gentle that one witness told police in his statement that he only saw Gentle beating up Reyes Jr. Gentle was offered bail of $6,000 which he met after told his case was committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for the April 2016 session. Gentle had been initially charged for attempted murder, but that was downgraded to dangerous harm.

    Recent Newsmakers Get Supreme Court Bail
    Today, the Supreme Court granted bail to 6 persons, 4 of whom made our newscast within the last 3 weeks. They are Richard McDonald, who was charged with drug trafficking of over 11 kilos of heroine - valued at possibly a over a 1 million US Dollars; Police Constable Luke Moreira who was charged for allegedly raping Vanessa Evans in the San Ignacio Police Station; Police Constable Kyle Serrano who was charged with 3 counts sexual assault against a 13 year-old girl in San Pedro; Denfield Davis, who was charged with 4 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse; Ariece Martinez who was charged for handling stolen goods, and Angel Ruiz, who was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm. All of these defendants appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore, and after the court heard from their attorneys, and the Crown Counsel, they were given Supreme Court bail.

    San Carlos Carrots Crisis: Ministry Says It Wants To Help
    Yesterday we gave you a snippet of the expedition to the farms of San Carlos Village where trouble is brewing for carrot farmers. Today the Ministry of Agriculture sent out a release saying that the matter is being thoroughly examined to determine the best course of action. We spoke to the Chief Agriculture officer via phone who explained the Ministry's position in further detail. But before we get into that interview we will revisit the farmers' side of the story. According to the farmers of San Carlos, Orange Walk, some $30 thousand dollars' worth of carrots currently sit on their farms. Out of this some $20 thousand dollars' worth of these carrots are already going bad. This is because of the local market is saturated with carrots - and they say the culprit is the importation of legal and illegal carrots.

    A Tale Of Two Accidents
    There was an accident this afternoon at mile 3 and a half on the Northern Highway. Mark Sutherland was heading to the city in this white truck when his back tire blew out. The truck then flipped and ended up in the drain. The driver, along with the 2 passengers Glenda Torres and Lloyd Myvette are lucky to be alive - they only received minor injuries. And this morning in Belize City, a Crystal Water truck tore up the side of a Nissan Frontier. The truck was approaching the Cemetery Road Roundabout when the Frontier seemed to be trying to overtake inside the roundabout. When the water truck made a wide turn, it bushed the Frontier unto the sidewalk. No one was hurt, but it did stop traffic.

    Briceno Says 20 Year Old Price Push-Out Letter is Fake
    The race for PUP Leadership is heating up - and the campaign's getting dirty on Facebook. Today, opponents of John Briceno - and we're not sure which ones - circulated a letter that's almost 20 years old! Dated August of 1996, Briceno writes to George Price, then leader of the PUP. In it, the letter writer urges Price to step aside and let Deputy Leader Said Musa step up. The writer says, quote, "with all respect to you, I feel that now is the time to hand over the reins to our Deputy Leader said Musa." End quote. Now, in the PUP - anything to offend the venerated Mr Price is seen as a cardinal offence - and we imagine those who posted the old letter on Facebook are tying to make the case that Brceno is not loyal. We asked Briceno about it today and he said that the letter was a fake in 1996, and it is still so now. He says he had nothing to do with it. He says whoever sent it out this time is grabbing unto straws.

    Channel 5

    A Duo of Friends Arraigned for the Murder of Matthiew Klinck
    On Wednesday, two teenagers from Santa Elena, Cayo were detained for the vicious and sensational murder of Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck. Klinck’s body was found at the house he lived [...]

    Is There a Shortage of Carrots on the Local Market?
    There is another looming crisis within the agriculture sector to report on tonight, involving vegetables, particularly carrots, being imported from neighboring Mexico.  The importation of produce from across the northern [...]

    Chief Agriculture Officer Says Local Farmers Control Vegetable Market
    Harrison says that while there are approximately ten acres awaiting harvest in the north, there are other communities producing vegetables in various parts of the country.  The issue, he concludes, [...]

    Jack Charles Wheels and Comes Again but COLA Supports Belizean Rice Producers
    Is Jack Charles gearing up for another wave of attacks on the local rice industry?  News Five can confirm tonight that the businessman has lodged a formal request to import [...]

    Stake Bank is On Indefinite Hold
    Developer Michael Feinstein, the man behind the mega-million dollar Stake Bank Tourism Project, today told News Five that as far as he is concerned the project is on indefinite hold. [...]

    An Overnight Fire on Boots Crescent Leaves Family Homeless
    A fire swept through a mobile home on Thursday night on Boots Crescent, Belize City. In the blink of an eye, the Flowers family lost everything as the flames quickly [...]

    P.U.P. Race for Leadership Gets Ugly on Facebook
    In twenty-three days, the People’s United Party will have a new leader or a new old leader, as the case may be. Two of the men vying for the position, [...]

    Tropic Air Pilot is Reported Missing
    A Tropic Air pilot is said to be missing and efforts are underway to locate him. He is Guilherme Duarte from Portugal who was last seen in San Pedro at [...]

    Cops in Separate Sexual Assault Cases are Granted Bail
    Today, two cops at the center of allegations sexual abuse were granted Supreme Court bail by Madam Justice Antoinette Moore of the Supreme Court.  San Pedro Cop, twenty-six year Kyle [...]

    Tour Guides Beat Charges of Harm Against Vitalino Reyes Jr.
    Also from the courts today, five of six men, all tour guides, accused with the beating of Vitalino Reyes Junior in May 2014 are free of the charge of harm. [...]

    Patrick Grant Gets a New Lease on Life
    The elderly resident of Fern Lane in Belize City, Patrick Grant was left comatose for days after a home invasion on December twenty-seventh. Grant has miraculously recovered and is back [...]

    One Month After General Elections and Still No Union Senator Appointed
    There have been two senate meetings since the new government took office last November, but the senator to represent the unions and civil society has been conspicuously absent. The unions [...]

    BEWU’s Take on Rice War
    Mora, as Secretary General of the Belize Energy Workers Union, also addressed the issue of the Guyanese rice sitting at the Big Creek Port in Independence. He says first, that [...]

    El Chapo Recaptured in Mexico
    There is major news and cause for celebration today in Mexico where the world’s most wanted man is back in the hands of the police. At a predawn operation around [...]

    LOVE FM

    Friend and Minor Charged for Matthiew Klinck’s Murder
    Two persons were charged for the murder of Canadian Matthiew Klinck. Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING After several days of intensive investigation, this morning, San Ignacio Police, charged two persons for the murder of 37 year old Canadian Filmmaker, Matthew Klinck. Nineteen year old Brandon Anderson and a 16 year old male minor, both […]

    Home of 14 Persons Goes Up in Flames
    Three separate families living in one house were left homeless last night after a raging fire destroyed almost everything they had. At around 9:30 last night, a small mobile home housing three adults and more than ten children on Boots Crescent in Belize City, caught on fire. Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO “Video taken by […]

    CCJ – Proud Accomplishment for the Caribbean Community
    During a discussion with CARICOM’s Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque, the Dominican national spoke on the Caribbean Court of Justice, expressing pride in the Caribbean having its own final appellate court while speaking of other countries that are in the process of coming on board. IRWIN LAROCQUE : “I am very proud with the fact that […]

    Belize to Host Climate Change Meeting Under CARICOM
    Earlier we told you of the reforms that the Secretary General for CARICOM spoke of as it relates to the Caribbean Community. Aside from that being a crucial undertaking that began in 2015, Irwin LaRocque also spoke of the COP21 Conference on Climate Change that took part in Paris, France in the latter of 2015. […]

    Upcoming Convention Sparks Social Media Attacks Within the PUP
    The PUP’s National Party Council meeting is set to start on Saturday morning in Belize where several points will be ratified and other matters discussed. This meeting falls in line with the upcoming Special National Convention that comes up at the end of the month …. But the campaign has been heating up and the […]

    Dr Jorge Hidalgo Dubbed Master of Critical Care Medicine
    In mid-November we told you of the prestigious award being bestowed upon Dr Jorge Hidalgo Marroquin by the Council of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. That award has named Dr Hidalgo as the Master of Critical Care Medicine. Earlier this week we spoke with Doctor Hidalgo who explained the works he along with Dr […]

    Bail Granted to Several Who Were on Remand
    Several persons who were remanded into custody on different charges were released on bail after their applications for bail were heard by Justice Antoinette Moore. They are Richard McDonald, a tour operator who was charged with drug trafficking for eleven thousand one hundred and fifty five grams of heroin; Police Constable Luke Moriera, charged with […]

    Agriculture Ministry Cites Contraband As a Factor in Carrots’ Surplus
    Last night Love news told you about farmers from the Orange Walk District, who are frustrated about not being able to sell their carrots. Their concern is that their produce is going to waste, due to the increase in imported carrots. We heard from Chief Agricultural Officer Roberto Harrison who gave us reasons of the […]

    PlusTV

    Police detain 2 youth in Mathtiew Klinch murder
    Police say they are making progress in the Matthiew Klinck murder case. 36 year old Klinck was an experienced Movie maker and had taken up residence here in Belize, producing a movie in 2012 and a Novela called “La Isla Bonita” . Late last year Klinck had even closed a deal with Amazon, ...

    Prisoner escapes from Independence holding cell
    The public is cautioned to be on the lookout for 29-year old Shane Bennett. Bennett is a Belizean of Independence Village in the Stann Creek District and he escaped from the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station. Bennett was on remand for the crime of Burglary, Theft and...

    Commissioner of police discusses rogue police behavior
    Within the last few weeks, the country has heard of two police officers, both recipients of the Police Officer of the Month awards, who were accused of sexual crimes. The first was from San Ignacio, where an officer was accused of raping a woman who was being detained in the holding cell at the San ...

    Police are commended in reducing crime
    Yesterday ranking police officers from across the country of Belize met in Belmopan at the Police training Academy to attend the Regional Commanders Conference. The event was hosted by Minister of National Security – Hon John Saldivar with an aim to go over the successes of the past year and t...

    Cruise ship passenger dies while snorkeling of Sergeants Caye
    The body of a Princess Cruise Line passenger, 67 year old Janice Mittelstadt, lies at the Morgue at the KHMH awaiting a post mortem examination following what police is initially calling a “snorkeling accident”. The South Dakota resident arrived in Belize sometime this morning aboard the Caribbean P...

    Michael Arnold charged in Maria Pou robbery
    Twenty-three year old Michael Arnold, a labourer of the Pickstock Apartments, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of robbery and wounding. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until March 9. On January 5, fifty-six year old Maria Pou,...

    Caye Caulker residents pressure leaders for new police barracks
    Tomorrow marks exactly seven months since the death of 18 year old Hilberto Sotz inside the Caye Caulker Police Station, an incident which shook up a normally quiet and friendly corner of the Jewel. In the wake of that tragedy was formed a People’s Coalition to work with police to address issues of ...

    The Reporter

    Princess partners with police
    The Princess Casino donated over $13,000 worth of equipment to the Belize Police Department this week. The casino’s representative presented the equipment: 10 cell phones and 10 tablet-cellphone hybrids, at the Princess Ramada Belize City on Thursday afternoon. The  donation is valued at $13,500. Necip […]

    Police Department will not condone illegal sexual behavior, says Commissioner
    Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, this week, said the two officers from San Ignacio and San Pedro accused of rape and carnal knowledge respectively, have been dealt with accordingly and do not accurately represent the Department. Speaking at the Regional Commanders meeting at the Police […]

    COLA blames Belize Marketing and Development Corporation for Guyanese rice incident
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), this week, said the issue with the imported Guyanese rice by businessman Jack Charles, is the result of the shortcomings of the Government of Belize. COLA said there are various issues within the rice industry that should have […]

    Family of 14 homeless after fire destroys their house
    A fire at around 9:30 p.m. on Boots Crescent in the Port Loyola area on Thursday consumed a mobile home where 14 people lived and now the family is asking the public for assistance to get back on their feet.  Shirley Flowers, 31, speaking for […]

    “El Chapo” recaptured!
    Mexican authorities snared drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a bloody raid Friday, recapturing one of the world’s most notorious and slippery criminals. “Mission Accomplished,” President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter. “We have him.” Members of Mexico’s navy caught Guzman in an operation at about 4:30 a.m. (6:30 […]

    Three suffer minor injuries in traffic mishap
    Three persons narrowly escaped serious injuries after the vehicle they were traveling in on Friday morning had a tire blow-out, causing it to flip several times. Precinct IV police report that at around 11:00 a.m. the white Ford Ranger, driven by Mark Sutherland, experienced the […]

    Vehicle flips on Phillip Goldson highway; persons injured
    At least one person is receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after a traffic accident at around midday on Friday on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Preliminary information is that a white van flipped over several times, before it landed on its side […]

    Prisoner cuts himself free from Independence police station
    Police of the Intermediate Southern Formation in Independence village are asking the public to help them recapture an eacaped prisoner, considered armed and dangerous. Shane Bennett, 29, escaped from police custody between midnight and 12:25 a.m. on Thursday January 7th. According to Officer in Charge […]

    First babies of 2016
    While many Belizeans celebrated the New Year at one function or the other, several women celebrated 2016 giving birth. Reports are that the first baby for 2016, Nathan, was born in Correa’s clinic in Orange Walk at around 1:23 a.m.  The first child to be […]

    Art and book presentation at Image Factory
    The Image Factory hosted a combined children’s cultural book launch and art presentation by Ingrid, Mali and Obi Cayetano on Thursday morning in Belize City.  The book, “We are Free”, which according to author Ingrid Cayetano, aims to educate children about their culture and ensure […]

    Popular City loan shark and Burrel Boom entrepreneur killed in traffic accident
    Two persons, Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, 45, a popular “loan shark” (lending agent) of Belize City, and Alfredo Navarrete, 80, a highly regarded businessman and resident of Burrell Boom village, were killed when their vehicles collided on Sunday, January 3rd. The accident happened between miles […]

    Mediterranean Cruise Line’s first landing in Belize
    The cruise tourism industry is set to have a busy year in 2016, with the entry of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) cruiseline into the market, which called on Belize for the first time on New Year’s Eve. The MSC Divina made its maiden voyage […]

    BBS Metrology lab construction on schedule
    The country’s new state-of-the-art metrology laboratory is on schedule for completion by the end of the month, according to the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS). The BBS said this week, that the construction, which was slated to be finished by the end of January, will […]

    Belizean arrested for money laundering in Honduras
    A Belizean businessman has been arrested for money laundering in Honduras, according to a publication in that country. Honduran newspaper, “Diario La Prensa” publicized the arrest of Henry August Tabony, 65, who was apprehended at the Juan Manuel Gálvez de Roatán International airport in Isla […]

    Starret Green shares the key to success in business
    Belize Invest, this week, shared words of wisdom from Organization of American States (OAS) representative in Belize, Starret D. Greene, on how to achieve success. Speaking at a training program conducted by the Young American Business Trust (YABT), which operates under the OAS, Greene emphasized […]

    CTO says 2016 is the “Year of Romance”
    The Caribbean Tourism Association has declared 2016 as the “Year of Romance” for tourism in the Caribbean, ushering in a year-long marketing pitch for the region to be the world’s premier romantic tourist destination. The CTO made the announcement this week, that it envisions 2016 […]

    Teacher, boyfriend knocked down and killed; businessman charged
    The families of a couple that was knocked down and killed January 2nd on the Philip Goldson highway, are irate with Perry Gibson, 44, the businessman charged with their deaths, because they say he tried to flee the scene of the incident. Lea Crawford, […]

    Access to Credit Pt. 3: Legal framework for Secured Transaction Reform
    Without any doubt there is a type of global consensus on a couple things regarding Micro, Small, and Medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Firstly, there appears to be no disagreement about the essential role that MSMEs play in both developed and developing economies, as global estimates say that roughly two out of […]

    Fuel price change for 3rd time
    The price for fuel in Belize has changed for a third time in less than a week. The Ministry of Finance announced on Monday that the pump price for diesel fuel decreased by 42 cents, bringing it from $7.00 to $6.58 per gallon. The Government […]

    Community has made a difference in the fight against crime, says Commissioner Whylie
    Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, gave the public its due share of merit in the fight against crime, during the Commanding Officer’s meeting in Belmopan this week.  Whylie emphasized on the impact and difference that such programs under the Community Policing strategies, specifically the “Meet […]

    Rice Wars
    The recent Rice War was never about the Belizean consumer, but rather a plain case of greed and power. Rice is big money and that’s because Belizeans consume about 24 million pounds of it annually, which is around 77 pounds per person. At the current price per pound of rice, […]

    What will happen to 75 tons of rice?
    The fate of 75 tons (150,000 pounds) of Guyanese rice, imported by businessman Jack Charles (Jitendra Chawla) remains unknown, following a court ruling on Monday by a Supreme Court judge, who rejected an application filed on Charles’ behalf, which sought judicial review of the decision […]

    Taiwan offers more scholarships to Belizeans
    The Republic of China (Taiwan), is offering scholarships for 2016 to 31 Belizean students who wish to further their education and are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The government is offering scholarships from two separate soures : the International Cooperation and Development Fund […]

    San Pedro cop sent to jail for fondling girl, 13
    A San Pedro cop, accused of sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison. He was denied bail and sent to jail for his own safety, after residents learned of the news. Kyle Hubert Serrano, a police constable […]

    Editorial
    Whatever happens, we hope that he Government of Belize will not be persuaded to destroy the 75 tons of imported rice from Guyana which it has confiscated. The rice was imported by Indian businessman Jack Charles, in defiance of the Department of Belize’s Bureau of Standards, which has legal responsibility […]

    Canadian film maker stabbed to death
    As of press time on Thursday night, two teens from Santa Elena are in the custody of San Ignacio police, being questioned about the the murder of Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck. Credible sources from within the department indicate that one of the men in custody is 19-years-old while the other […]

    Police porn stars on patrol… Commissioner says social media is dangerous!
    Belizeans have always been proud of men and women in uniform, the members of the Belize Police Department who take on the unenviable task of maintaining law and order. But sometimes when these men and women are not in uniform, they act outrageously on the social media, and this conduct […]

    US woman dies while on vacation snorkeling
    A 67-year-old American tourist vacationing in Belize drowned while snorkeling with her family on Thursday morning at Sergeants Caye, reports say. Queen Street police received the body of Janice Mittelstadt, a South Dakota resident, at the Radisson Pier after she was rushed from the island […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Leon Gentle to Supreme Court in tour guide brawl; five others walk
    Tonight 5 of 6 men, all tour guides, accused of being involved in connection with the bad beating of a tour guide’s son back in late May 2014 are free of the charge of harm; the sixth, 32 year old Leon Gentle, is out on […]

    American pleads guilty to causing traffic accident
    50 year old American national Stephen Lowe of Utah in the United States pleaded guilty today to charges of negligent harm and driving without due care and attention. Lowe told Magistrate Carlon Mendoza that he took responsibility for his actions in causing an accident […]

    Bail for multiple accused
    Several persons who were remanded into custody on different charges were released on bail after their applications for bail were heard by Justice Antoinette Moore. They are Richard Mcdonald, a tour operation who was charged with drug trafficking for 11,155 grams of heroin, Police Constable […]

    Fire in Belize City wipes out family trailer
    A family of 14 – three sisters, their husbands and 8 children who lived off Boots Crescent in Belize City are fortunate to be alive after a fire engulfed and destroyed the contents of a container and board trailer house they occupied. It happened after 9 […]

    Government of Belize assesses carrot crisis in Orange Walk
    Government says it is assessing the situation with carrot producers in San Carlos village, Orange Walk District. In a release issued today, GOB said the matter is being, “thoroughly examined to determine the cause, the impact and corrective measures necessary”, adding that the Ministry […]

    Two teens reportedly charged for Mathiew Klinck’s murder
    Belize Media Group has received confirmed reports that 19-year-old Brandon Anderson of a Loma Luz Boulevard address and a 16-year-old student will spend their first night in prison after they both were slapped with charges of murder and conspiracy to murder in the death of […]

    El Chapo re-captured six months after daring escape
    A little after midday, Mexican President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted on his twitter account “”Misión cumplida: lo tenemos. Quiero informar a los mexicanos que Joaquín Guzmán Loera ha sido detenido”. (” Mission accomplished. We want to inform the Mexican public that Joaquin Guzman […]

    Hurricane Center tracking unusual January storm
    According to the United States National Hurricane Center, a low pressure system stationed between that country and Bermuda, has a chance of developing into a subtropical storm which is rare for the month of January; so rare that only five have developed around this […]

    New water system for Aguacate residents
    A government press release issued this morning, announced its expansion and upgrading project on the Aguacate village Rudimentary Water System with assistance from the Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), which will be contributing $12,400 for trenching and will be implementing this project. Located in […]

    San Ignacio police close to charging two for Klinck’s murder
    San Ignacio Police has confirmed that two teenagers, 19-year-old Brandon Anderson of La Loma Luz Boulevard and a 16 year old male minor, have been detained and are currently pending charges of “murder” and “conspiracy to commit murder” for the death of 37-year-old Canadian film […]

    Belize Progressive Party (BPP) calls on government to distribute rice to the poor
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has joined other organizations in objecting to the destruction of Guyanese rice that has been in storage at the Big Creek Port. The BPP, like others, argues that there are many Belizeans facing financial challenges who can benefit from the […]

    Benque Police bust one for weed plantation
    The Benque Viejo Del Carmen police Quick Response Team (QRT) has destroyed a small marijuana plantation on the out skirts of that municipality. QRT, on a routine check on the Hydro Road in Benque, searched a small house on a farm where they discovered […]

    Fair weather conditions to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting partly cloudy skies today and tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected around 87 degrees […]

    Blogs

    Sleeping Giant Lodge In the Maya Mountains Continues to Amaze Me
    This past Monday, after dropping my passport off at the US Embassy for renewal, I was picked up for transfer to Sleeping Giant Lodge. Just about 20 minutes up through the foothills of Belize’s Maya Mountains, a turn up a short driveway and…we were there. I was here to check out their newest rooms…up the side of the cliff, almost, but, again, ridiculously beautiful. Sure…Sleeping Giant Lodge is an amazing place to go to the ATM Cave, to visit Maya sties like Xunantunich or Tikal, to tube through St. Herman’s Cave (which is amazing and actually next door)…the lodge is basically sitting on a giant cave system. But I decided to spend my two days and nights enjoying gorgeous suite…oh and yes…the grounds.

    Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
    Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl with tight fitting lid, put the flour. Add chicken, in batches, and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place pieces in a greased 8x8 baking dish,. making sure not to lay them flat. They should have the same shape as they were in the package. In a small bowl, mix the honey, soy sauce, garlic and seasonings. Pour evenly over the chicken. Cover and bake 30 minutes.

    Chunky Mexican Chicken Soup
    Roast chicken breasts at 400°F for 50 minutes. (Prepare all the vegetables needed while the chicken is roasting in the oven.) Tear the chicken meat off the bones. Shred the chicken with your hands or tear them into chunks. Place chunks or shredded chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. Discard bones and skins. Heat a large pot and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Saute chopped onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute few more minutes. Add chopped celery, carrots, and jalapenos.

    Just a whole lot of great people showing some #islandlove today
    Road trip: It is crazy wonderful how many people showed up this morning to pick up roadside and beach trash north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye today! Certainly our hard-core regulars were out in force. And so many folks were here for the first time. Including the drone. That’s right. We had a drone filming us as we picked up trash! Watch for the live action, heart-stopping drama of the “Tres Cocos First Friday Roadside Trash Pickup” Experience. Coming to a streaming site near you! We be so bad! After two holidays and six weeks off, the trash was spectacularly bad today. But right now, the road looks spectacularly clean, at least as far north as the old Palapa Bar turnoff. There was some serious energy and determination in this gang today. And I can’t begin to say, again, how gratifying it was to have fresh faces pitch in and make new friends along the way.

    International Sourcesizz

    Victoria House Belize: A Top Accommodation Option on Ambergris Caye
    The Central American country of Belize, and in particular, its northern cayes are popular destinations for tourists. Caye Caulker is known for being the more budget/backpacker option, while those looking for more amenities and upscale accommodations are often drawn to the neighboring Ambergris Caye. In our opinion, there is only one resort to consider when coming to Ambergris, and that's Victoria House. Most of the resorts on this caye are set outside of the main town of San Pedro, and this resort is no exception. Although Victoria House is set two miles outside of town, you'll have no problems with transportation to the resort. The staff will be there waiting for you in a golf cart! If for some reason no one is there to collect you, hop in one of the many taxis lining the street and the resort will pay the fare when you arrive.

    Princess Cruise Passenger Dies While Snorkeling Near Belize
    Cruise Hive is sad to report that a female passenger from the U.S. has died while snorkeling just off the coast of Belize. 67-year-old Janice Mittelstadt from South Dakota was doing a shore excursion from Caribbean Princess on January 7. The ship which is operated by Princess Cruises was making a port of call at Belize. The woman was snorkeling at Sergeants Caye where visitors can experience one of the world’s most famous barrier reefs. Authorities have said that the woman was snorkeling near the Caye and then suddenly went under the water. By the time she was pulled out it was too late and she was sadly pronounced dead. CPR was done by those who pulled her out but there was no response. Caribbean Princess called at Belize from 7 am until 5 pm. The 113,000 gross ton vessel is sailing a 7-day western Caribbean cruise which departed Houston, Texas on January 3. The ship is scheduled back on January 10. Other port of calls include Cozumel and Roatan.

    Québécois tué au Belize: deux adolescents accusés
    La police du Belize a formellement accusé deux adolescents en lien avec le meurtre du réalisateur québécois Matthiew Klinck. M. Klinck a été poignardé à mort à la suite d'un vol présumé à sa résidence, lundi, dans le village de Selena, au Belize, un petit pays d'Amérique centrale situé à proximité du Guatemala. Le surintendant adjoint Reymundo Reyes a précisé qu'un jeune homme de 19 ans et un autre de 16 ans avaient été arrêtés et interrogés par la police, mercredi. Les accusations ont été déposées vendredi. Les deux jeunes suspects ont été accusés de meurtre et de complot de meurtre en lien avec la mort du Québécois. M. Reyes a identifié l'homme de 19 ans comme étant le Bélizien Brandon Anderson. Le nom du jeune de 16 ans, également Bélizien, n'a pas pu être révélé en raison de son âge.

    Where History Buffs Should Go in 2016
    Just 35 years ago, Belize gained full independence from Britain, and since then, tourism has soared. But don’t expect to find a Starbucks on what was once known as Mother Nature’s best-kept secret. The Belize government and the tourism board have managed to keep chain establishments away, while drawing a surplus of independent luxury resorts and restaurants. Independence celebrations include parades and street festivals throughout September, notably the Jouvert (Sept. 17) in Belize City, an early-morning street party that has participants sporting paint, mud and chocolate. Costumed dancers and musicians follow during what is to be an amped-up version of its annual Carnival. And on Sept. 21, the festivities culminate in a nationwide party of barbecues, concerts and ceremonies.

    The View from Europe: International banking and the threat to the Diaspora
    Imagine this. You, a partner or family member is working overseas. You have been sending money home to support an aging relative or to make a regular payment on a mortgage. You go to the Caribbean money transfer business that you have always used, only to be told your money can no longer be accepted because there is no intermediary bank in Europe or the US willing to work with it despite its absolute reliability and positive track record. Although oversimplified, this scenario is not impossible, as changing international regulations and risk aversion are having the effect of disconnecting Caribbean financial institutions from the international correspondent banking services that are necessary for them to clear or transfer money. In the last year the issue has become a significant problem that potentially threatens to touch significant numbers in the Diaspora who send money home, or small businesses that need to make international payments. It is also a development that has much broader significance for many economies in the region, as central banks and governments for reasons of macro-economic and social stability have come to rely on a constant flow of remittances.

    Videos

  • Eagle Ray, 1min. Eagle Ray on the outside barrier reef of Belize

  • Ocelot Growl, 40sec. An ocelot pacing and growling at the Belize Zoo

  • Toucan Squawking, 1/2min. A noisy toucan at the Belize Zoo.

  • TAS Belize Video Reel, 2min. A compilation of videos we have done. Clients include Builders Hardware, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Belizean Dreams Resort, Cayo Adventure Tours, Legacy Youth Ministries, Roots and Honor Records to name a few

  • Liberty Hall Community Center in Belize City, 4min. The Belize City branch of the United Negro Improvement Association had been opened in 1920 in the wake of the riot of 1919 which had protested the treatment of the British Honduras servicemen during the First World War.

  • Morning show -The CARICOM Secretariat, the Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, 40min.

  • GARINAGU ANCESTRAL LANDS UNDER ATTACK IN CENTRAL AMERICA!, 240min. The feature is a radio program on the plight of the Garinagu people of Central America, and how European aggression from North America and Europe are marginalizing them on their ancestral lands. Bilal Morris of BREDAA (Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance) appeared as a guest of host Sista Nana Gyamfi of the radio show, Conversations On The Way, on January 7, 2016 to addressed the issue on Inner Light Radio which is an Pan African radio network that serves as a resistance and communication medium for black and indigenous peoples all over the world.

  • Scuba diving with Amigos del Mar, 1.5min.

  • Hidden Porcupine Fish, 1min. A Porcupine Fish hides amongst coral off of Glovers Reef, Belize.

  • Students working across borders in community geography and GIS, 2min. UB and US students discuss their experiences working together in Belize.

  • Belize Scuba Highlights, 1.5min. Sharks, eels and turtles were some of the sights I saw diving in and around the Blue Hole in Belize.

  • The Great Blue Hole, Belize, 4min. Caribee Air Services Tour, Blue Hole seen from above, videos gotten using an iPhone 5s, homemade with moviemaker!! "The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 m (984 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep."

  • Saint George Caye Belize Resort, 2.5min. walking from one side of the island to the other.

  • Belize dive clips with sharks, 3.5min.

  • Swiming with the Sharks Belize, 2min.

    January 8, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Police Report
    On Thursday, December 24th, 29-year-old Gerson Cordon visited the San Pedro Police station and reported that on Wednesday, December 23rd at about 10:30PM while he and his brothers-in-law, 32-year-old Jose Quiroz and a 17-year-old minor were all watching a comedy video at his home, they heard one single gunshot. The gunshot hit the lower part of his front window and upon hearing the sound, of his brothers-in-law saw two male persons of dark complexion on their bicycle staring at the house, one of them armed with what appeared to be a firearm and pointing it towards the house.
    At about 5AM on Sunday, December 27th police received report of a fire in the Escalante Sub Division, San Pedro Town. Reports indicated that 34-year-old Ricardo Valladarez was woken up by the smell of smoke when he noticed that the inside of the house was on fire. The house is a plycem and wooden building measuring 24X26 feet with an attached garage and a store room at the back where three vehicles that he was repairing were parked.
    On Monday, December 21st at about 10:05PM, based on information received, San Pedro Police personnel visited the San Pablo Area where they met one 42-year-old Neptali Acosta who indicated to them that a foul smell was coming from a wooden structure in the area. Upon making checks at the house, police noted that the front door was secured and locked from inside.
    On Saturday, December 26th at 3:45PM, San Pedro Police received information of a motionless body lying on the side of the road six miles north of San Pedro Town. San Pedro Police personnel proceeded to the area and upon passing the Tres Cocos area about ¾ miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, police met a red Polaris which was transporting a male person to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II to receive medical attention.

    Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup hold second round of games
    The San Pedro Sports Council held the second round of games for the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup on Wednesday, December 23rd at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. Island football fans enjoyed a fun night of football as the last two games of the year brought much enthusiasm. The tournament ended the year with two energetic matches between Jokers against San Mateo and Ambergris Divers against Catrachos. The first match started at 7PM and saw The Jokers facing San Mateo. The exciting match saw San Mateo team opening with a score. Jokers answered with a goal, determined to take the win away. But by the end of the second half, San Mateo had scored, taken the lead and ended beating Jokers with a clean score of 3-1. The sporting action will continue on Sunday beginning at 3PM, with Peace Makers taking on Veterans and Progresso Boys facing Sky Energy Team. All fans are encouraged to come out and support their favorite teams every weekend. For more information on the tournament, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-San-Pedro-Sports-Council or contact Wilbert Magaña at the San Pedro Town Council during normal working hours.

    STANN CREEK ESCAPE FOM LAWFUL CUSTODY
    Please be on the lookout for one 29-year-old Shane Bennett, Belizean of Independence Village, Stann Creek who had escaped from the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. on 06.01.16. He was on remanded for the crime of Burglary, Theft and other crimes. If seen, kindly detain and informed the nearest police station. Also be informed that he should be considered armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms.

    The San Pedro Sun announces new delivery day
    After much deliberation and unofficial surveys, the management of The San Pedro Sun has decided that effective January 8, 2016, the popular weekly paper will be changing their delivery day from Thursdays to Fridays. Now in their 25th year of publication, The Sun has been coming out on Thursdays for as long as anyone can remember. “We have big plans for The Sun this new year, and the first one is to change our delivery day,” commented editor Tamara Sniffin. “All of the mainland papers come out on Fridays and we decided to maintain the continuity by delivering on that day as well.

    Supreme Courts denies entrance of Guyanese Rice into Belizean Market
    Since Thursday, December 17th, Jack Charles (Jitendra Chawla) has tried to clear the release of three containers of Guyanese rice from Big Creek Port. After not receiving the necessary permits from the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), Charles took the matter to court where his case was completely shut down. Charles wanted to import cheap Grade A (premium quality rice) rice to be sold in the Belizean Market in time for the holidays, but the Government of Belize is not allowing this as it may damage the existing rice industry. With the outcome at court, Charles has sustained significant losses in his business venture and still does not know what will happen to the rice which is still being stored at the port.

    Bowen and Bowen experiencing product shortage
    Over the Christmas holidays, residents observed long lines at the Bowen and Bowen distribution center in southern San Pedro Town. Businesses and residents alike were lined up to get their stock of Belikin beer. However, many residents were not happy, as the purchasing of Belikin beer was limited and strictly for businesses only. Residents are stating that this is a yearly occurrence, which Bowen and Bowen has yet to address. At the end of last month, many establishments complained about product shortages, poor service and lack of response from Belize’s Bowen and Bowen Limited. The complaints expressed by many customers range from the long waiting lines, to the lack of one or more products bottled by the company. In the few days after the holidays, there was also a shortage of Lighthouse Lager and regular Belikin beer on the island, and some businesses were forced to turn down patrons seeking the Belizean beverage.

    Ambergris Today

    Celebrity Spotting: Actors Go Lionfish Hunting in Belize Vacation
    The New Year saw the visit of actors Charles Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle who vacationed in Belize and also partook in a lionfish hunting expedition in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Davis, Van Winkle and a group of three friends arrived in Belize on December 26 and spent their first few days in the Cayo District enjoying jungle tours, cave and Maya archaeological site explorations. It was until December 30 that the group made it to Ambergris Caye with plans of ringing in the New Year on the island. They also went diving and enjoyed Snuba, amongst other activities arranged for them by Belize it Yourself concierge services. Travis Van Winkle is best known for his performances in movies such as Transformers, Friday the 13th, and Meet the Spartans and is currently involved in TNT’s drama series The Last Ship, whose third season will air in summer of 2016. Charles Michael Davis is an American actor and model. He’s best known for his role on The CW television drama, The Originals and has been featured in shows such as Battle Scars, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth and The Game.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Visit from Anteater!
    We do get the loveliest and most unexpected visitors to our beachside location! Our dogs were not the most hospitable but I think we may have rescued it in time and driven it to caring hands of Ella Baron Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.

    Great Belize Productions looking for Computer Graphics Technician
    An employment opportunity exists at Great Belize Productions for a Computer Graphics Technician/Teleprompter operator. This is for a PART TIME position to work on Open Your Eyes (6:00 am - 8:30 am) and News 5 Live (5:00 pm - 7:45 pm) Interested applicants must be computer literate, Experience with Computer Graphics programs would be an asset. Please call 280-0014 for more information.

    Hakim Bellamy Beyond Poetry
    Hakim Bellamy, 2 time U.S. poetry slam champion, will be in Cayo next week. Not only will he be performing at the Soul Project and Wildfire, but he'll have a performance poetry workshop on the 16th. His 'Welcome to Cayo' party will be Monday at the Soul Project. "HEY FOLKS- PENCIL IN THESE DATES FOR ARTZ! NOTE TIME CHANGE FOR "SLAMJAM" EVENT. SEE YOU THERE...STAYED TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS"

    Street Art Festival in Belize City Feb 27
    Mark the date!

    CARICOM Chairmanship handed over to Hon. Dean Barrow
    Yesterday the CARICOM Chairmanship was officially handed over to Hon. Dean Barrow by CARICOM Secretary General H.E. Irwin LaRoque at the Prime Minister's Belize City office. Also present for the handing over were Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, CEO Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Glenda Itiaba from the Office of the Caricom Secretary General.

    A reminder to all Liquor License holders!
    Trade License holders that have not yet paid for trade license fees, please note that it is now past due and you are operating illegally. Please visit the Town Council's office to make payment at your earliest.

    Music classes on Caye Caulker
    A few spaces are still available. If you would like to sponsor a child kindly contact me at 605-5904 for more information.

    Rageology
    Rageology is Saturday at Thirsty Thursdays. They are having tons of specials. DJ Mesmerize will spin for his birthday.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Goosebumps, Irrational Man, The Danish Girl, Straight Outta Compton

    Channel 7

    CARICOM Sec Gen Says BAHA Playing It Close With Guyanese Rice
    Tonight, the 75 tonnes of Guyanese Rice imported by businessman Jack Charles remains under a Supreme Court injunction. That's the only thing stopping the Customs Department from destroying the rice. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hear arguments next week Tuesday on whether or not the Order of Forfeiture was lawful or not. But in the meantime, this dispute has caught the attention of the Secretary General of CARICOM. He's Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and he was in Belize for the past 2 days to meet with the Prime Minister, other Government officials and the CARICOM representatives in Belize. That's because Belize's Prime Minister, Dean Barrow has taken over the Chairmanship of CARICOM, a position which he will hold for the next 6 months. So, while the Secretary General was in Belize on official CARICOM business, the Customs Department moved to get the order of forfeiture to destroy Charles's Guyanese Rice - which is imported under CARICOM Single Market and Economy provisions. That's why it has the shading of a CARICOM trade dispute, and Ambassador LaRocque took notice.

    Foreign Minister's Flip-Flop on Rice
    The CARICOM Secretary General's warning sounds very similar to what Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington said in the House of Representatives about 9 months ago. For context, we repeat his comments - which were made when Jack Charles first began agitating against the prices charged by the Local Producers. Here's what he had to say then: FILE: March 27, 2015, Hon. Wilfred Elrington: "Clearly that is a matter that the government has got to look into to ensure that in fact the people get the best deal. But I would also like to say at this point in time, that I find it incomprehensible that in fact the Guyanese are able to land rice here at 60 cents or 63 cents a pound in sacks and we cannot produce it for less than 80 cents. It's a Caricom sister nation. We are competing against that Caricom sister nation and certainly, it is the entitlement that the Belizean public to get the cheapest rice from Caricom.

    Singing "A Different Sankey"
    Well, since then, a lot has happened, and right now, his very government, represented by the Customs Department, is trying to destroy the same rice that he warned the country may not be able to reasonably stop from entering the Belizean Market. So, is he still reminding his peers in Cabinet of Belize's trade obligations to the Caribbean Community in the context of the Guyanese Rice issue? That's what we asked him today, and he this time around, he appeared to have walked back significantly from his strident position in March of last year. When he put the question to him directly, he carefully toed the line of the official position from the Government. Here's that back-and-forth: Hon. Wilfred Elrington: "Fortunately for me I was parted to discussion with cabinet on Tuesday in which we got details of the issue and it seems to me that what really transpired what that the importer proceeded to import the rice without getting the requisite permission from BAHA. That is like a person wanting to import guns into the country, but don't get a license from the commission of police to bring in the guns. That cannot be allowed, because it is not following the legal process."

    Owner Of Bullet Riddled KIA, Alcoser Still Missing
    31 year old Caledonia villager Luis Alcoser is still missing - and tonight all police are saying is that they believe he is still alive - but they can't tell us where he is, or who has him. As we showed you last night, Alcoser's bullet riddled Kia Sportage was found on the road to his village yesterday morning. There were no bloodstains inside the vehicle but there were at least 4 bullet holes in the vehicle. He has not communicated with his family, and today we learnt that they have moved out of their home in Caledonia village fearing for their own safety. The backdrop to all this is that four days ago, police made a bust of 183 pounds of marijuana in Orange Walk with a street value of more than a quarter million dollars.

    Is Transnational Narcotics A Foreign Affairs Issue?
    So, while police and the Alcoser family continue to look for the missing man, law enforcement are still trying to confirm where the 183 pounds of marijuana came from, and where it was headed. But, the working theory at this time is that it came from Mexico, and the "J" imprint is believed to be connected to one of the drug cartels in Mexico. And, most likely, it was destined for drug peddlers in Belize City, San Pedro and Placencia. And while it's a law enforcement problem, it's also engenders an aspect of international relations - since the cartels now appear to be a factor in Belize's domestic weed supply. We asked Foreign Minister Elrington, about his thoughts on the very real possibility that a new feature of the drug trade is developing. Here's what he had to say:

    Alleged Pou Robber To Court
    Last night, we showed you our interview with Maria Pou, one of the family owners of the very popular, Pou meat pie, who recounted that moment when she was robbed on New Road 2 days ago. Well, the man who police believed attacked her is 23 year-old Michael Arnold, and though he was fresh out of prison, he's back there tonight. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read charges of robbery and wounding. He pleaded not guilty, but he was denied bail and remanded to prison until March 9. As we reported, 56 year-old businesswoman Maria Pou had just received a cash payment of $500 from a tenant right near her home on New Road. She was heading back when someone held her from behind and grabbed her hand with the money in it. They struggled briefly, and the assailant threw her on the ground, to get the money away from her. She burst her head, and he left her there while he fled the scene.

    Another Tourist Drowns While Snorkeling
    Another cruise tourist has died while snorkeling. 67 year old American National Janice Mittelstadt died while snorkeling near Sargeant's Caye. She had arrived to Belize on the Princess Cruise Line and was on a tour with Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection when the incident occurred. Tour guides report that she was snorkeling when she suddenly went underwater. Superintendent Gualberto Garcia, the Officer Commanding the Tourism Police Unit told us more. Supt. Gualberto Garcia, OC - Tourism Police "Basically what happen is that the Tourism Police officers were performing duty and at about 9:35 this morning, we received information of a body at the Radisson Pier. As a result of that police visited the scene and upon our arrival there, we discovered the body of a white female who was apparently dead." Emanuel Pech "What happened?" Supt. Gualberto Garcia, OC - Tourism Police "Based on that we had to conduct an investigation which is still ongoing. It is very young at this time. However what we can say at this moment is that this person is an American tourist. She has been identified as one Janice Mittelstadt. She is 67 years old. Her date of birth is the 14th March, 1948. She has an address in South Dakota in the United States of America. Indication is that she came on a cruise ship this morning - since we had 4 cruise ships. She was picked up there some time this morning and went on her tour.

    Ministry Of Health Says Siera Didn't Follow Up
    Health Officials say they did try to contact the family of missing Palm Center patient Mary Castillo. Castillo went missing on October 2nd 2014 and her daughter Siera Hodgson - who lives in the UK - had no idea. Hodgson found out a couple weeks ago on Boxing Day when she came to visit her mom. When she got to the center is when she learned her mom was missing and could be dead. Now the only possible link to her mother's whereabouts is the discovery of skeletal remains near the Palm Center. These remains were found in August of last year and Hodgson has given a DNA sample to verify. But what Hodgson can't understand is why the Palm Center didn't inform her of this situation. She told us no one from the center contacted her - not by phone, not by email, not by letter. Well the report from the Palm Center says that they had no telephone number for Siera but that they sent a Facebook message to both Siera and her adopted mother Shauna on October 6th and on October 22nd, 2015 and got no response. As we told you Siera said that they had her number and that she had spoken with her mother over the phone on several occasions. While Siera says she stayed in contact with her mother via phone and letter, the center says that wasn't the case.

    CARICOM Boss's Business In Belize
    At the top of the news, we showed you our interview with the CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque where he commented on the rice fight that importer Jack Charles is having with the Belizean Government. But, we caught him at the tail end of an official visit to Belize, where he was visiting the Prime Minister to discuss what his duties will be for the next 6 months as the Acting Chairman of CARICOM. This afternoon before he left, he discussed a bit of the activities that the regional organization will be conducting while PM Barrow is at the helm. Here's what he told us: H.E. Ambassador Irwin LaRocque - Secretary General, CARICOM "The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow is now the Chairman of CARICOM as of 1st January. And as is customary when a chair comes on board as soon as he get the position, I would come to brief the chairman and to begin planning as well or continue planning the hosting of the meeting of the heads of government which will take place here in Belize on the 16th and 17th February. The intersession meeting of heads of government will take place in Placencia and as chairman, the Prime Minister has a very critical role to play, not just in chairing the meeting, but being the head of the community over the next 6 months.

    The Carrots Crisis
    For the past 5 weeks we have been following the case of importer Jack Charles and his Guyanese Rice that customs now wants to destroy - basically so that they can protect local rice producers. Today we look at quite the opposite scenario. In the north Carrot producers are crying out because their carrots are being under-sold by carrots imported from Mexico. Now, there's no protection for them - and some 10 acres of carrots worth $20 thousand dollars is rotting in the field. Today the media was invited to a press brief on the farms of San Carlos in Orange Walk where farmer Max Hernandez explained our colleagues at CTV3 the plight of the San Carlos Carrot farmers. Here is what Hernandez told them. Max Hernandez, San Carlos Community "The problem here in San Carlos is that we started the cultivation of carrots some years ago and the problem now is that there is no market. We've given a report to the Ministry of Agriculture saying that we start the harvest on the 15th December each year. But this year since the start of the season, we haven't sold a thing. Now up to 70% of the crop has gone bad due to the fact that they are importing carrots and they are giving license to import carrots. This is affecting us."

    Commish On Drug Totals
    In last night's news, you heard a lot from Police Commissioner Allen Whylie who doesn't usually do interviews. But, he was discussing the crime statistics for the year 2015, and one element of the very extensive crime profile for the last 12 months was the narcotics seizures. Here are the numbers of marijuana and cocaine busts that the police made last year: Interestingly, the statistics show Police made three hundred fewer arrests for major crime in 2015 than they did in 2014. There were 12% fewer major crimes in 2015, but 45% fewer arrests.

    GSU Got Gun, They Say It's For Meighan
    The GSU picked up a gun today in gang turf. At about 4:30, the chrome 38 Colt revolver was found in a search of an abandoned empty lot on Banak Street. According to the GSU, quote, "The firearm is believed to be the property of members of the Banak Street Crips Gang headed by Ellis and Tyrone MEIGHAN." End quote. And also yesterday, the GSU found 12 ounces of weed in the turf of the George Street Gang. They searched an abandoned empty lot on West Canal where they found a black plastic bag with 349 grams of what is described as "Hydro Type Cannabis". The drugs were labeled as "Found Property" but the GSU says it is believed to be the property of members of the George Street Gang.

    Police In South Seeking Shane
    Police in Independence Village say that this man, Shane Bennett, has escaped. The 29 year old was in the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station when he slipped out. It happened sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. yesterday. Police say, quote, "If seen, kindly detain and inform the nearest police station." And then they add, quote, "he should be considered armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms." So we would ignore that first piece of advice on "detaining" him - and if you see him, just lock your door and call the police. He was on remand for Burglary, Theft and other crimes.

    Rugged Phones For RED Cops
    Before Christmas, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster was the one giving gifts - you'll recall the commuters he gave one hundred dollars each. Well, today he was on the receiving end. The Princess Ramada Hotel today donated 10 rugged phones and 10 rugged phone tablets to the Eastern Rural Division. Superintendent Edward Broaster was on hand to receive the devices and said this will be useful for their ongoing technological campaign. The Executive Coordinator for the Princess Hotel and Casino spoke to us about the generous donation. Then devices donated today are valued at $13 thousand dollars.

    Reading With the Cayetanos
    Cultural icon Pen Cayetano is known for his music and paintings but he is not the only one in the family recognized in the art world. His wife Ingrid Cayetano and their daughter Mali Cayetano today launched 2 children's books at the Image Factory: the second edition of "We Are Free" And "Wanaragua" .The wife Ingrid wrote the book and Mali did the illustrations. Pen Cayetano was there of course to enliven the book launch. When we dropped by the Cayetano's told us these books are about accepting your identity. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Freedom: that's what the Cayetano family wants you to embrace. The freedom to be who you truly are without shame or fear. And that's the concept behind these children's books: "We Are Free" and "Wanaragua". They were both launched today at the Image Factory. These books tell the story of what it means to be a Garinagu, how vibrant and sacred the culture is, and how important it is to preserve it. Ingrid Cayetano, Writer "So the "We are free" is just telling you the origin of the Garifuna people. I am Germany, but my husband is the master Pen Cayetano from Dangriga, now the Garifuna icon and so on. So we grew up with this culture and even though we lived in Germany for 20 years we focused on Garifuna culture. So the first book "We are free" is telling you the journey from Africa coming to the Caribbean and later on to Belize. The second book "Wanaragua" explains itself. It's about the famous John Canoe dance the Garifuna people do around the Christmas time."

    CARICOM On Sargassum Scourge
    4 months ago, we told you about the sargassum phenomenon which was swamping beaches all over Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Belize wasn't spared, and though it affected the tourism industry, we weren't hit as hard as the other countries in the Caribbean. Well, CARICOM immediately activated to try to come up with a solution to the problem, and today, we asked the Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism about it. Here's what he told us about the possible fix to what as been described as an "sargassum seeweed invasion," by some Caribbean leaders: Milton Haughton, Exec. Dir., CRFM "The Sargassum situation is a challenge for all of us in the region. We first had a massive inundation of Sargassum seaweed in 2011. For 2012, 2013 we did not have much. 2014 we had a little more and last year it was a major problem throughout the Caribbean region, massive problem and based on the scientific information that we and our partners have been able to gather we know that the Sargassum is coming from, not the Sargasso Sea as was initially thought but an area in the Atlantic, just in the southern Atlantic. It seems clear that this is associated with climate change but also with other factors such as nutrient enrichment in the ocean and the elevated temperatures of these Sargassum seaweed they grow, they proliferate in that environment with a high level of nutrients and a higher level of nutrients and warmer waters.

    Remembering BQ
    10 days ago, we told you about the passing of Bernard Quentin Pitts Sr., the Belizean attorney who had a long and distinguished career as a private attorney and in Public life. Well, the Legal Fraternity in Belize held a memorial ceremony for him at the Supreme Court, and this morning we caught up with his long time law partner, Wilfred Elrington. He told us more about the ceremony: And that's all we have for you tonight. Thanks for watching, I'm Courtney Weatherburne

    Channel 5

    CARICOM Secretary General Weighs in on Rice War
    The rice war between importer Jack Charles and various stakeholders, including producers in three Mennonite communities within the local industry, has been covered extensively since the issue resurfaced in early [...]

    Can Belize’s Local Rice Industry Be Protected from Infiltration?
    Among other issues pertaining to importation are specific conditions that safeguard markets within Lesser Developed Countries from being penetrated by goods being exported from More Developed Countries.  Such is the [...]

    Rice War is not a Trade Dispute Says SecGen LaRocque
    While a resolution in the Caribbean Court of Justice has not been determined, LaRocque says that the present issue is not a trade dispute.  Instead, it primarily revolves around the [...]

    2 Men Detained in Murder of Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
    Police are remaining tight-lipped on the investigation into the shockingly brutal murder of Quebec native Matthiew Klinck. But reliable sources tell News Five that there has been a breakthrough in [...]

    An Elderly Tourist Dies While Snorkeling off Sergeants Caye
    What should have been a memorable holiday in the Jewel, ended tragically for a U.S. visitor, who arrived early this morning on the Princess Cruise Lines. Sixty-seven year old Janice [...]

    Where is Luis Alcoser? Still no Clues in His Mysterious Disappearance
    Tonight, the whereabouts of thirty-one year old Caledonia resident, Luis Alcoser remains a mystery and police are nowhere closer to cracking the case. Alcoser disappeared on Monday after he left [...]

    PM Barrow Assumes Pro Tem Chairmanship of CARICOM
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as of the first of January, assumed pro tem chairmanship of the Caribbean Community.  For the next six months he will preside over a series of [...]

    Sargassum: A Regional Phenomenon Due to Climate Change
    Still on issues impacting the CARICOM states…the explosion of Sargassum, otherwise known as gulfweed, across the Caribbean, is a phenomenon that is believed to be a direct result of climate [...]

    Investigations Continue in Youth Hostel Tragedy
    The special investigation into the fire which claimed the lives of three minors at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel commenced five weeks ago, on December first. To date, no information [...]

    An Armed and Dangerous Prisoner Escapes from Lawful Custody
    Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for an escaped prisoner. He is twenty-nine year old Shane Bennett, who is described as armed and dangerous and known [...]

    Teetie Arrested for Jacking Pou Meat Pie Vendor
    Late this evening, twenty-three year old street figure, Michael Arnold, aka “Teetie,” a Pickstock resident, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. He is [...]

    Pen Cayetano and Family Launch a Pair of Garifuna Children’s Books
    Pen Cayetano is an icon in the Garifuna community. Pen, the patriarch, is a prolific musician and artist.  His wife Ingrid and children have followed his footsteps in promoting and [...]

    ComPol Whylie on Dangers of Drunk Driving
    Over the past weeks, there have been multiple road traffic accidents where lives were lost, and alcohol was involved. Alcohol, unfortunately, is almost as much a staple of Belizean life [...]

    Is There a Need for Stronger Legislation on Drunk Driving?
    While there is certainly a need for more vigilance, cooperation and enforcement from Police and related traffic entities…is there a need for stronger legislation, or even new legislation? Here at [...]

    Rural Eastern Division Police Receive Significant Equipment Donation
    The Rural Eastern Division today received a very significant donation from the Princess Hotel and Casino. There are thirty-two communities in that zone, spread over many miles. It’s a challenge [...]

    31 Taiwanese Scholarships Available for 2016
    Tertiary level students interested in furthering their academic pursuits abroad are being encouraged to apply for a scholarship opportunity in Taiwan.  The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has [...]

    Get Fit for 2016 with Healthy Living
    Whether you believe in New Year resolutions or not; making a commitment – at anytime in the year – to get healthy is commendable. So if you’re interested in becoming [...]

    CTV3

    Luis Angel Alcoser Still Missing, Family Unaware Of His Whereabouts
    More than twelve hours have passed since the disappearance of 32 year old Caledonia resident, Luis Alcoser and still his family has received no word from him. Tonight, as uncertainty looms, both authorities and Alcoser’s family are being tight lipped about his disappearance. What we can tell you is that there are high speculations that his vanishing has to do with the nine parcels of compressed marijuana that Orange Walk Police confiscated over the weekend. The nine parcels of drugs, weighing 23 pounds each and valued at more than $300,000 all carried the marking J on them signalling a Mexican Cartel. Viewers might recall that yesterday Alcoser’s recently bought dark blue Kia Sportage was found just a couple of yards off the road leading into the Village of Caledonia in the Corozal District. It had four bullet holes, three on its windshield and one on the side of the driver’s door yet no blood was found inside.

    Dean Barrow Officially Handed Over Presidency Of CARICOM
    The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, is now the new President of the Caribbean Community. He will assume this responsibility for a period of six months in an effort to strengthen the CARICOM and provide greater benefits for its people. Yesterday the official handing over ceremony of the Chairmanship took place and present at the service were Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, who is the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the office of the CARICOM, Secretary General, Glenda Itiaba. In his speech upon being named the new Chairman of CARICOM on January 1st P.M Barrow stated and we quote “The resolution is to continue to strengthen our integration movement to deliver ever-increasing benefits to the people of our community. We will continue our quest to improve our standard of living through providing a safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community, in doing so we will build on our successes and will be moving forward with a number of initiatives to achieve that aim”. End quote.

    Football Players And Team Owners Calls For A New District Football Federation
    The time to elect a new chairman for the Orange Walk Football Association is almost near; however, members of the congress of the OWFA are upset about the fact that they are being left in the dark, since they are alleging that nine of the teams that make up the congress are no longer eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. Last night a meeting was held at the Orange Walk Town Council office with members from the Football Federation of Belize in order to search for a solution in regards to this problem, as well as to incorporate all other football activities that occur in this region. Michael Blease – General Secretary, FFB: “My sole purpose of being here is to try to clarify and verify the reasons why the Chairman Mr. Avila has stated that the team missing it status cannot participate in any Association business. N: Our key interest is to bring football under one administration we are aware that a lot of football is being played; the Aragon cup, Vega Cup, Mundialito, a lot of organizers are here so football is being played but not under the Association but for us at the FFB that is not good for football, that is not developing football under the Association and so our key goal is to ensure that football is managed under the Association.”

    Peace Work International And Gateway Technical College Continues Assisting Orange Walkenos
    Peace Work International and Gateway Technical College have been carrying out works in various communities here in Orange Walk through out this week. One such activity was held today at the Orange Walk Town Hall where Information Technology students from Gateway Technical College held an IT clinic. The purpose of the clinic was to assist the residents of Orange Walk with diagnostics, repairs and education about problems with computers and other devices. One of the students from Gateway spoke to us about the clinic and how residents benefited from the activity today. Jonathan Wallner- IT student: “We are doing an IT clinic where we have local people from the community and bring their PC in and we try to fix them the best we can and doing virus scan and malware removal and so it can run faster. There have been a lot of viruses and just general mismanagement of the machines but the turnout has been very well.”

    LOVE FM

    CARICOM’s Sec Gen In Belize on Working Visit
    On May 1, 1974 Belize became a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARICOM is an organization that seeks to integrate cooperation among its member countries in various sectors including but not limited to education, economics and trade, among others. With Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow recently taking over the Chair of the CARICOM Secretariat, […]

    CARICOM Tackles Concerns Including De-Risking of Member States
    Like every organization, there are concerns and challenges that will be experienced as the work progresses in meeting its objectives. The CARICOM organization is no different as they too have concerns ranging from the debt of its 15-member states to climate change, free trade and access to financing. Secretary General Irwin LaRocque spoke of those […]

    SG LaRocque Says Debt Reports are Not an Accurate Reflection of Reality
    Throughout the course of the year we would bring to you reports published by rating services and other financial institutions as they relate to our local economy, the country’s spending and deficits. In a discussion with the CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque, he spoke of some reports made and how those are not necessarily a […]

    Customs Controller Says Fate of Imported Rice Undecided
    On Wednesday we told you of the injunction that the Chief Justice had granted to Jack Charles as it relates to the forfeit order that was given to the Customs Department by Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. We spoke to two attorneys well versed on the issue, namely, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents the local […]

    Teck and the 30K Dilemma
    Veteran cane farmer of the north, Lucilo Teck, owes the court thirty thousand dollars. His debt stems from a case he brought before the courts against the Sugar Industry Control Board. This was during the standoff between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries Limited. His aim, along with Attorney Audrey Matura […]

    Carrot Wastage Due to Surplus
    Farmers from the Orange Walk District, mainly San Carlos Village are frustrated about not being able to sell their carrots. Their concern is about their produce going to waste, due to the increase of imported carrots. Chief Agricultural Officer Roberto Harrison says that the only reason for the importation of carrots was because there was […]

    Investigation Launched Into American’s Death in Belize
    Sixty seven year old Janice Mittlestadt died out at sea today. Police were called out to the Radisson Pier in Belize City and there they say Mittlestadt dead. Commander of the Tourism Police Unit, Superintendent Gualberto Garcia shared more details surrounding her death. GUALBERTO GARCIA “We had to conduct an investigation which is still ongoing. […]

    Man and Minor Questioned for Klinck’s Death
    Two persons have been detained for questions for the murder of 37-year-old Canadian Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck. The persons detained are a 27-year-old man and a 16-year-old male, both from Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Lead investigating officer on the case, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, told Love News that they are preparing to record a statement from […]

    University’s VP Gone After First Semester
    Winston Bennett is no longer the Vice President of the University of Belize. On Tuesday the Office of Public Information sent out a notice from the office of the President via email to the UB community informing that quote, “Bennett no longer serves as Vice President of the University of Belize’, end of quote. In […]

    Police Nabs Arnold for Robbing Pou
    Twenty-three year old Michael Arnold, a laborer of Pickstock Street apartments who was recently released from prison, went back to jail today after he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of robbery and wounding. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until March 9. His incarceration comes […]

    The Guardian

    Supreme Court says Jack Charles was wrong in importing rice: the rice fight continues
    The 75 tonnes of Guyanese Rice that importer Jack Charles brought into Belize is at risk of being disposed of by the Customs Department. The only thing stopping this Government agency from doing that is an interim injunction which was granted by the Supreme Court to restrain them until further notice. After waiting for 2 weeks, since Christmas Eve, Charles and his attorneys were finally given their day in court before Justice Sonya Young. They were trying to convince her to grant them permission to bring a case for Judicial Review against the Customs Department, and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). They continued to assert that these government bodies overstepped their mandate given to them by the importation laws when they detained his cargo. He and his advisors say that he had a reasonable expectation to be given an importation permit to bring in the Guyanese rice for sale in the Belizean market, but BAHA and Customs did not take the options granted to them under the law to refuse him this permit.

    Matura: from ambulance to hearst
    Is Audrey now an undertaker or funeral director? According to News 5 the family of recently deceased Mrs. Pamela Cumberbatch, they are upset about attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd entering the late Miss Pam’s home along with another person they referred to as a stranger. According to them the attorney along with a stranger were there on the instruction of Miss Pam’s husband who is recovering from the very same traffic accident that claimed the life of Miss Pam. They say the attorney said she was there to get Miss Pam’s wedding dress for her to be buried in. For clarity we will quote direct from the News 5 story. “Pam’s Siblings Incensed that Attorney and Unknown Person Entered Their Sister’s Home Even in death, controversy seems to surround Pamela Bennett. Late this afternoon, police were summoned to the businesswoman’s residence where irate members of her family were gathered. Their bone of contention is that attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, along with someone considered a stranger to Bennett’s siblings, had entered the house on Caesar Ridge Road and removed several articles.

    Belize City Murders Down by 65 Percent in Second Half of 2015
    Major crimes are down nationally by 11 percent, according to the Reported Crimes Comparative Statistics of the Belize Police Department. Major crimes are murders, rape, robbery, burglary, theft and carnal knowledge. In 2015 there were 2,216 major crimes, 278 less than the 2,494 such offenses reported in 2014. In 2014 there were 245 violent crimes committed against people. Those include 123 murders, 43 rape cases and 79 incidents of carnal knowledge. In 2015 there were 233 violent crimes against people reported. Those crimes were 119 murders, 40 cases of rape and 74 reports of carnal knowledge. There were 2,249 crimes committed to obtain property in 2014. These include 291 robberies, 835 burglaries and 1,123 reports of theft. There were only 1,983 crimes committed to obtain property in 2015. Those are 214 cases of robbery, 742 cases of burglary and 1,027 theft. Major crimes to obtain property decreased by 11.8 percent when comparing 2015 to 2014. Violent crimes against people only decreased by 4.8 percent in that same period. There were only four less murders in 2015 than in 2014. That is a decrease of 3.3 percent.

    Cop accused of sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl
    San Pedro police officer Kyle Hubert Serrano, 26, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of engaging in sexual activities with a 13-year-old girl. The child reported that Serrano sucked her breast on November 27, 2015. She alleges that he sucked her breast again on November 30 and on December 3 he took his penis and rubbed it on her body. Serano was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault upon a minor under the age of 14.

    BDF loses soldier in traffic fatality
    The Belize Defence Force continues to mourn the loss of one of their own, Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, who died in a traffic accident on Wednesday, December 30, sometime after 8 p.m. It happened just outside of Orange Walk Town at around mile 42 on the Northern Highway. Sgt. Mendez was driving an unmarked BDF-owned Mahindra pickup truck, as they were heading from Orange Walk to the Price Barracks compound in Ladyville when they crashed head-on into an ADO-Bus. The bus, which was heading from Belize to Cancun Mexico, was carrying, about 34 tourists, which included Belizeans. It was being driven at the time by Mexican, Mathias Gaspar Marcus. Inside the BDF Mahindra Pickup with Staff Sgt. Mendez was his colleague, Lieutenant Argel Flores. The front portion of the pick-up was crushed after the accident. The impact did not cause anyone to be injured in the bus, but both BDF soldiers suffered head and body injuries.

    Body found in Cayo
    After spending 5 years in Belize making films, 37 year-old Canadian Matthiew Klinck was killed at his home on the outskirts of the Spanish Lookout Community in the Cayo District. Klinck was renting a house in Selena Village, a community which is a very short distance from Spanish Lookout. His residence is very remote, to get to the location, one has to pass through a gate area, which is secured by a caretaker who is on duty all the time. Klinck had moved there a few months ago. On Monday of this week at about 8:40 pm, information was received of a male person found at his residence in Selena Village, Spanish Lookout, apparently dead. As a result, San Ignacio Police visited the area where they observed the lifeless body of a male Caucasian man lying motionless and face up about 15 feet from the house dressed in a blue jeans pants and an off white T-Shirt. It was in its initial stage of decomposition and had what appeared to be multiple cut wounds among them was a cut wound to the left side of the neck.

    Cayo man dies after being “clotheslined”
    Belize’s health authorities have now discovered the cause of death of a resident from the Cayo District. A post mortem examination conducted just last week Wednesday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue by Dr. Mario Estradabran now confirms that Eddie Alberto Sanchez died as a result of massive pulmonary edema, due to massive brain hemorrhage due to head injuries. Sometime around 5:00 pm on Saturday 19th December 2015, Eddy Alberto Sanchez, 29 year old of Buena Vista Village was involved in a Road Traffic Accident and was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. An investigation was carried out where it was learnt that Sanchez was riding his grey in color Meilun 125 Motorcycle, into the compound of Belize Concrete Ltd located at the outskirts of Spanish Lookout and off the Iguana Creek Road. Upon reaching the entrance of the said compound, he collided into a cable wire used as a barrier to the compound which was across the road. The Belizean carpenter sustained serious head and body injuries.

    Drugs found in Roaring Creek
    Security forces continue to find marijuana in Cayo. On Saturday of this past weekend, the Special Branch Tactical Response Squad (TRS) conducted anti-crime operations in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District, where the residence of Andres Garbutt of Cooperation Avenue, Roaring Creek Village, was searched which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. The substance was found under a cushion in the sofa. Present at the time of the search at the same address was 39 year old Andres Edward Garbutt Belizean Taxi Driver and 37 year old Janet Greta Cadle, a Belizean teacher. They were informed of the offence committed and escorted to the Belmopan police station along with the suspected drugs, which was weighed in their presence. Both Andres Garbutt and Janet Cadle were jointly charged for the offence of “Possession of a Controlled Drug” amounting to 34 grams.

    Perry Gibson charged for death of young couple
    Businessman and cycling enthusiast, Perry Gibson, 44, is out on bail after he was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter for running over and killing Adrian Wade, 22, and Lea Crawford, 27, on January 2 in Carmelita Village. On their way to a wedding reception, Wade and Crawford were double riding on the road side in Carmelita Village sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 2. At this same time, Perry Gibson was driving his 2013 Toyota 4 Runner towards Belize City. He lost control of the vehicle between miles 49 and 50 and veered unto the side of the road where the couple was riding. The SUV struck the couple at high speed causing them to fly off the bicycle up into the air. The momentum of the vehicle then caused it to drag the bicycle a couple hundred feet further. According to eyewitnesses, Gibson then attempted to drive off from the scene but his vehicle shut down a half mile later due to mechanical malfunction.

    Charged for attempted rape of ex-girlfriend
    Allen Martinez, 32, of #6 Swan Street, San Pedro Town is out on bail after he was arraigned for attempting to rape his ex-girlfriend. A 32-year-old woman visited police and reported that Martinez physically assaulted and attempted to rape her. She informed police that she knows her attacker well because he was her ex-boyfriend. Police acted upon the report and detained Martinez for attempted rape and wounding upon the complainant. Martinez was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, December 31, where he was read two indictable offenses of attempted rape and wounding.

    Murder in the city…
    Kieron Moss, a 21 year-old resident of Freedom Street, was killed a very short distance from his house on New Years Day. According to those who know him, Moss was a respectable young man who was doing all the right things to stay away from the street life. Yet, try as he might, he was gunned down by shooters who treated him like just another gang affiliated youth. According to Police it happened at around 5 a.m. on January 1, 2016. He was in the company of two girls, and they were walking on Levi Slusher Street, when 2 unknown assailants rode up on motorcycle. One of the men pulled out a weapon and fired several shots at Moss, targeting him directly. He was injured several times in the head and body, and he collapsed as soon as the bullets struck him. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Money lender Pamela Bennett dies in traffic accident
    Well-known moneylender Pamela Bennett—Cumberbatch was killed along with an octogenarian during the New Years holiday weekend in a traffic accident on the Northern Highway. That double fatality happened as a second accident which happened on the very same day near the very same portion of the highway. This accident happened at around 9 a.m. on Sunday, January 3 between miles 5 and 6, around a curve. 80 year-old Alfredo Navarrete was driving in his Grey Dodge Caravan, and he was heading from his house in Burrell Boom Village to Belize City. His intention was to meet up with some relatives for the day. His family has told the press that he has a reputation being a very careful driver, who does not speed on the highway. They think that because the accident happened right after a curve, he most likely did not see the other vehicle coming. That other vehicle was a white Toyota Tundra Pick-up truck which was being driven at that time by Belize City resident, Calvin Cumberbatch. His wife, Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, a well-known moneylender from Caesar Ridge Road, was in the passenger seat. They were on their way to Sandhill Village on business.

    Mr. Program in jail for assaulting police
    Gilbert Alamilla, 30, better known as “Mr. Program”, greeted the New Year in jail at the Belize Central Prison after he failed to pay a fine for assaulting a police officer. The local musician was convicted on November 10, 2015 for assaulting a police officer and using obscene words. He was convicted in absencia by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he failed to show up at his own trial and forfeited his rights to put up a defense. The Chief Magistrate fined Alamilla $810 and immediately issued a warrant for his arrest. Upon arrest, he was to pay the fine or serve five months imprisonment. Alamilla was arrested on Thursday, December 31. He could not make the $810 payment; therefore, he was sent to prison to begin serving five months imprisonment.

    Bradley Roe busted with cocaine
    River View Estate resident Bradley Roe, 25, of the wealthy Roe family is out on bail of $500 after police allegedly busted him with cocaine at the Princess Ramada Hotel and Casino on Sunday, January 3. Roe was released on police bail Sunday night and walked into the Belize City Magistrates Court with his attorney Leisja Barrow-Chung on Monday, January 4, to answer to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, 0.02 grams of cocaine. He appeared before Magistrate Carlin Mason where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail by the prosecutor, Inspector Pablo Pinkney. Mason granted bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount which he was able to meet immediately.

    Joel Borland is the 2016 KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic Champ
    The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 26th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic on Friday 1st January, 2016, in the Elite Open, Masters, Female, Junior and Youth categories. The Elite Open, Under 23 and Master riders commenced the 96 miles journey from the Belize –Mexico Border at 9:00 am and concluded in front of Santos Diaz on the Central American Boulevard in Belize City. In the Elite Open, U-23 and Masters categories some 58 riders started the course with 37 riders completing the event. At the end of the race, it was Joel Borland of Belmopan DigiCell 4G Elite Cycling Team that captured first place in a time of 3:53:42. Borland made his move for the coveted title at Sandhill and rode solo into the city for a comfortable win. Borland was followed by his team-mate Gregory Lovell who completed the event in a time of 3:54:28. The third rider to cross the finish line was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes and he was followed by Justin Williams who is unattached and then by Johnny Joan Valencia a Mexican who rides for Boarder Town to round off the top five finishers in the event.

    Nia Fairweather-Erwin and Marvin Hope capture Athletics Association 5K and 10K run
    The Belize Athletics Association sponsored a 5K and 10 K runs on Friday 1st January, 2016. The Belize Athletics Association utilised the Central American Boulevard for the event. In the 5K run for female athletes between the ages of 15-19 years, Ashonti Carr captured 1st place in a time of 25:21:69. In the female Open event, 1st place went to Nia Fairweather-Erwin in a time of 30:15:41. The 2nd runner to cross the finish line was Teresita Grajalez in a time of 31:55:91 while third place went to Vernice Rodriguez in a time of 35:11:66. In the male Open category, 1st place went to Joseph Carr in a time of 21:02:69. Larry Erwin finished 2nd in a time of 23:30:63, 3rd place going to Andres Grajalez in a time of 26:49:26 while 4th place went to Ian Morrison in a time of 30:15:41.

    Elite Basketball Competition to commence on 16 January, 2016
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence its third, annual basketball competition on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The opening game will feature the newly added franchise the Independence Thunderbolt against the back-to-back defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks out in San Pedro. The 2016 Season will see the participation of eight teams which includes the San Pedro Tiger sharks (the back-to-back champions), Belmopan Bandits, Cayo Western Ballaz, Independence Thunderbolt, Dangriga Warriors, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes and the Belize City No Limit Team.

    Kraal Road FC top team in CYDP Quarter-final Round
    The CYDP Peace Cup Tournament Regular Season came to an end on Saturday 2 January, 2016, with four games on the schedule at the MCC Grounds. In game one, West Lake and Lake I Rising Stars played to a 1-1 draw. The only goal of the game for West Lake FC was scored by Floyd Jones while Michael Hernandez scored for Lake I Rising Stars. In game two, Exodus United won over the New Revolution via the default route. In the third game of the day, King’s Park Strikers blasted Hattieville United by the score of 6-1. The goals for King’s Park Strikers were scored by Latrell Middleton (3), Shemar Thompson, Mark Chaneb and Tyrone Armstrong. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for Hattieville United was scored by Clive Rogers.

    Same Old, Same Old
    Tuesday morning past a caller to Wave TV attempted to chastise the hosts during a period when the two gentlemen were discussing the PUP’s list of delegates for their upcoming national convention. The caller angrily demanded that Wave stay out of PUP business, and to stop “slander” the PUP leadership candidates. If the caller would take a quick peek around at most of the other media outlets, he would get even angrier, since several political pundits on those radio and television stations are too discussing the PUP’s unfolding, public drama leading up to January 31. So what is it about the politics of the PUP that seems to attract so much attention? One theory which older people like me hold is that for decades the PUP was the most powerful political Party in our country and it operated under a strict code of silence. All local news were carefully censored, and we only heard from Ministers during House meetings. This cabal type of Government gave the Ministers an aura of supremacy over the common man, and they were held in sort of reverence. To see them now as mere human beings with all their imperfections of arrogance, pride and greed makes for good entertainment.

    Prime Minister's New Year Message
    Sugar is not currently fetching the optimum returns in the European market that we would like. Nevertheless, the huge Santander investment in a factory and cane fields in the Cayo District has now come to fruition. Grinding operations are set to start by February. And the initial amount of 350 thousand tonnes of cane to be milled, should go up in year 2 to as much as 800 thousand tonnes. Apart from the foreign exchange earnings and permanent employment that the coming of sugar to the West brings, Santander is also negotiating a power purchase agreement with BEL to supply cheap co-generation energy to the local grid. Overall, then, and despite the volatility inherent in the commodities sector and the temporary hole left in banana production by the suspension of Meridian farms, our agriculture is again proving its resilience and viability. But it is in tourism that our prospects continue to shine brightest. In September, October and November of 2015, overnight arrivals exceeded the 2014 numbers for the same three months by 19.2%, 22.1% and 33% respectively. With the new Southwest and Copa airline services from the US and South America to Belize already launched; and with the scheduled commencement of direct flights from Canada in 2016, we expect to maintain and better the record breaking, year-over-year increases in stayover tourism.

    A resounding approval to San Ignacio Police
    With the increased security within the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the authorities have signaled their approval for the extra efforts that have come from the San Ignacio Police Formation. In a recent letter sent to Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer in Charge of the San Ignacio Police by Earl Trapp Jr., Mayor San Ignacio and Santa Elena, there is expression of delight. “It gives me great pleasure to extend my most sincere gratitude to your office and the San Ignacio Police Station for the level of service provided over the Christmas Holidays. I commend you for having teamed up with the officers of the Belize Defense Force and for taking the proactive approach in making our municipality safe throughout the Christmas weekend.”

    Hope for Humility
    In society, people often times engulf their lives in too much pride and self interest that people forget to act out of humility. Humility is the act of being modest, reverential, even politely submissive. It is the opposite of aggression, arrogance, pride, and vanity. Although it is the most vital trait to possess, humility is often overlooked in modern society. The general public is so used to being subject to the arrogant, authoritative, and selfish opinions of celebrities seen in the media that the idea of a “down-to-earth” person sounds almost refreshing. The same applies to everyday life when millions of people on social media websites post every good deed they have ever done online in order to provoke response from peers. Each of these truths reside on one common factor; the natural instinct of humans to desire praise and approval from others. Though some are reluctant to admit it, there is truly no denying that deep down, each person yearns to have his or her work noticed by someone else. This natural need is difficult to tame for many, considering the dissociation of many from flashy celebrities and the public annoyance with social media.

    Let the horse trading begin
    With the January 31st convention date in sight the greasing of palms, scratching, clawing and name calling are now on in earnest. The names of the delegates and the alternates (alternates are called if delegates don’t show up then and alternate votes in that slot) are in. Some camps are now afraid of what may happen to the list between now and convention date, they are afraid that it may be tampered with. So they want certified copies be made available to them, because they don’t trust the people in charge of the process. Some have suggested that the list be held in a safety deposit box and locked up in a bank vault. However there is even a controversy over the actual amount of delegates (voters) that should comprise the list. Some PUP deep throats we spoke to have told us the total amount of persons on the list should be around 2800 while others have said just above 2900. We don’t understand why the discrepancy, but it would not be a PUP operation if there were not a controversy.

    Queen’s New Year’s honors
    In a news release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of NEW YEAR HONOURS 2016.

    Year in Review 2015
    2015 has been year jam packed with events that have shaped the country’s psyche, its understanding of itself, its appreciation of the journey we’ve travelled as a people, and history being made. It was a loaded election cycle with two bye-elections after PUP parliamentarians decided to leave the fold, a municipal election that served as a litmus test for the United Democratic Party administration of Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, and a general election which saw more than 71,000 residents give their stamp of approval to Prime Minister Barrow’s policies of social development, infrastructural transformation, and ensuring equity, transparency, and democracy alive and well. It was also a year for citizens to get actively engaged in the charting of the course in which our nation will take going forward, expecting only the best from our leaders – and certainly from ourselves. The Guardian revisits some of the most important stories of 2015, an exciting election year, a year of the youth, and a year of citizen participation especially through social media.

    Roaring Creek cleared of high bush
    Crime infested areas in Roaring Creek Village have been cleared thanks to team effort. A parcel of land in Roaring Creek measuring 2 acres was cleared by inmates of Kolbe Foundation on Wednesday of last week. It was done after Officer Commanding of Belmopan police, Howell Gillett, became concerned that criminals were finding refuge in the high bush. Chief Executive Officer of Prison Virjilio Murillo made it possible for the inmates to work in Roaring Creek last week. His countryman, the Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle, provided both food and drinks for the inmates; even though that section of Belmopan is not within his jurisdiction as it relates to the City Council. Mayor Belisle nonetheless assisted, as much of the crime that affects Belmopan City has to do with activities in neighboring Roaring Creek. Inmates were able to clear much of the high bush and even killed a large snake from therein.

    Words of Hope
    Our world is teaming with refugees. Anyone who spends time watching the cable news networks is aware of the movement of many individuals from one country to another. We see migrations from Syria and Arab nations to Europe, Africa to Europe, and Central America to the United States. There are many opinions among U.S. Presidential candidates on how to deal with this crisis. Many people do not realize that Jesus was once a refugee. After the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, he was visited by several learned astrologers from Persia. After this, Joseph was instructed by an angel to take Mary and the child Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt, to escape from King Herod who sought to kill the child.

    Amandala

    What will it take?
    The Belize City high school (CSSSA) football tournament kicked off this evening at the MCC Grounds, where, since the weekend of October 4, 2015, there has been a three-feet deep, and a foot and a half wide trench around the field, just about three to five feet from the sidelines. In a city where gang turf tension is a stark reality, the well fenced MCC remains the most secure venue for young men from all parts of the city to congregate for supervised sports competition. The Premier League of Belize team, Belize Defence Force FC decided to cancel its home games at the MCC after the trench was dug one Friday evening, so city fans got to see no more PLB games at the MCC since October of last year. But amateur football continues to be played at the MCC, with the Smart 13 & Under, CYDP Peace Cup, the BDFA Interim U-15, and now the high schools have started their CSSSA football tournament. There have been a few incidents where players have fallen into the trench; but, as far as reports received, there has not been any serious injury. Today, it might have been different. Less than a minute after kick-off this evening, with adrenalin high, two opposing players chased a ball toward the western sidelines, and after a hard tackle, one went crashing down into the trench. His lower body was out of sight inside the trench, while his upper left rib cage was jolted against the vertical earthen embankment. Visibly shaken and holding his side, the player, Wesley captain Deandre Pitter had to leave the game for a few minutes. Luckily, it appeared that no bones were broken, and he returned to the game nursing a bruised rib, and played the rest of the game.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize chairs CARICOM secretariat
    Belize on January 1st took over the chairmanship of the CARICOM secretariat under Prime Minister Dean Barrow. CARICOM Secretary General Irwin Larocque is in Belize for the Intersessional Meeting of heads of Government to be held here on January 16 and 17. Secretary General […]

    Cruise ship passenger dies while snorkeling of Sergeants Caye
    The body of a Princess Cruise Line passenger, 67 year old Janice Mittelstadt, lies at the Morgue at the KHMH awaiting a post mortem examination following what police is initially calling a “snorkeling accident”. The South Dakota resident arrived in Belize sometime this morning aboard the Caribbean […]

    Rural Police gets communication division
    Red Ice, that’s the name that the Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department is giving to its new communications network. That system is augmented by newly acquired communication equipment. A donation was made by the Princess Ramada Hotel this afternoon in Belize City. […]

    Caye Caulker residents call for new police barracks
    In Caye Caulker, yes, perhaps. But certainly not in the aging and dilapidated cluster of wooden buildings at the corner of Avenida Mangle or Back Street and Luciano Reyes Street which serves as home to the island’s police contingent and their families. Made almost […]

    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) weighs in on the rice issue
    The originators of the rice dispute involving Jack Charles, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), have weighed in on the most recent developments in the case. The organization says that it respects the decision of the Court on Charles, and says that the importer […]

    Michael Arnold charged in Maria Pou robbery
    Twenty-three year old Michael Arnold, a labourer of the Pickstock Apartments, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of robbery and wounding. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until March 9. On January 5, fifty-six year old […]

    Luis Alcoser still missing
    Thirty-two-year-old Luis Alcoser, who went missing before making it to his destination early Wednesday, is still missing and his disappearance remains a mystery. Alcoser’s blue KIA Sportage SUV, with license plates CZL-16979, was found about five to six feet off the road at the entrance […]

    No one charged for 183 pounds of weed
    Orange Walk Police have released the two men who were arrested following the discovery of a little over 183 pounds of weed. The discovery was made last Sunday by the Orange Walk Formation’s Quick Response Team on a feeder road off the Philip Goldson Highway between […]

    Two to be charged for Canadian producer’s murder
    By BMG Staff. Belize Media Group has received unconfirmed reports that charge sheets are being prepared for two men in-connection to the murder of Canadian film-maker Mathiew Klinck. This is a developing story and more details will be posted as they become available. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article […]

    Belize Energy Workers Union calls on government not to destroy good rice
    The Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) issued a press release yesterday afternoon stating its position and giving its opinions on the matter of Jack Charles’ imported Guyanese rice being considered for destruction after he lost his plea to the courts. In the release, BEWU […]

    21 year old woman recovering from injuries sustained in traffic accident
    Twenty-one-year-old Sheri Patt is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she was hit by a vehicle last night on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District. Police report that the incident occurred between miles 71 and 72 on the Philip Goldson […]

    Stann Creek police seek public help in finding escaped prisoner
    Stann Creek police are asking the general public to assist them with information as they search for 29-year-old Shane Bennett of Independence village who escaped from his holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station yesterday, sometime between 12 and 12:25 a.m. Bennett, […]

    Blogs

    Belize Whale Sharks 2016 Diving Adventure!
    The annual Whale Shark migration is heading to the waters of Belize and you cannot miss the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants of the sea. Each year during the months of April, May, and June these docile behemoths visit the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve to take advantage of the annual fish spawn, straining plankton and other nutrients through their massive four and a half foot mouths. While a true shark, unchanged for over 60 million years and still the world’s largest fish. The largest measured whale shark was 40 feet long and 5 feet wide, that’s bigger than a school bus! These creatures are known to swim right up to divers, but they are not aggressive only curious.

    Househunters International makes stuff up? Shocked, shocked, shocked.
    Well here’s a shocker: The popular HGTV program “Househunters International” makes stuff up. Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming . . . until about three years ago. No, it is true. You can read here about one couple who moved to Fiji and were living in their house for four months before the crew from “Househunters International” came along and said something like this: HGTV: “Let’s go out and pretend to look for a house to live in. You can look at three, including the one you are already in and argue about which one you want. It will be fun!” Couple: “Well . . . ” HGTV: “And we’ll pay you $1,500 to be on the show.” Couple: “OK!” Maybe you knew this already. Your first clue would be that every “Househunters International” show is almost exactly the same.

    International Sourcesizz

    Where to Retire Overseas in 2016
    Moving overseas gives you an opportunity to reinvent your life in retirement. In many places you will also be able to significantly reduce your cost of living. Here are my picks for the world's top retirement havens in 2016. Cayo, Belize. Belize is one of the quirkiest countries in the world. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City's roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. English is the country's official language. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are diverse and include the descendants of migrants from Britain, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land. Belize is a sunny country that's easily accessible from the United States and the folks all speak English. It's also one of the easiest places in the world to establish foreign residency, as well as a banking and tax haven. You could live and run a business here tax-free.

    As Climate Change Hits the Caribbean, Partners Collaborate To Boost Resilience and Rejuvenate Coasts
    Even before Hurricane Joaquin’s catastrophic flooding of South Carolina in October, the storm had hit ten islands of The Bahamas with brute force. On Crooked Island, 85 percent of the homes were destroyed. Over 36 hours, the storm rested menacingly over the islands, closing airports as well as destroying communications and electrical infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Environment and Housing in Nassau. Currently in the design phase, the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST) proposes to promote the resilience of the small-scale fisheries sector in the Caribbean against increasing climate-change related disaster risk. The objective is to create a platform for innovative insurance financing that also incentivizes small-island governments to support coastal management and reef restoration for climate resilience among other activities.

    Videos

  • BELIZE, 8min.

  • Dusk falls in San Pedro, 6min. Footage taken from DJI Phantom 3 Advanced as the sun goes down in San Pedro Town, Belize. The Phantom is launched and recovered at Ramon's Village Resort in San Pedro and it takes a swivelling aerial view of nearby San Pedro Town.

  • DIVING IN BELIZE-PART 2-NIGHT DIVING, 2min. Here are some of the cool underwater creatures that are seen while diving at night in Belize.

  • Arpana &Kim in Belize, 4min.

  • Belize River part 01, 10min.

  • Belize River part 02, 11min.

  • The Impact of Media | Kalilah Enriquez | TEDxBelmopan, 27min. In her talk, Belizean journalist, writer and poet, Kalilah Enriquez discusses her journey to journalism in both Belize and Jamaica to help us understand the impact of media, addressing the issue of news standards, and the idea of subjectivity versus objectivity in journalism.

  • Belize Honeymoon, 4min.

  • CARICOM Secretary General wraps up working visit to Belize, 11min.

  • Krista & Cody In Belize 2015, 15min.

  • Belize Farm, 4min.

  • Two Backpacks In Belize, 4.5min. Skulls in caves, jumping nude off of waterfalls and living out of a small backpack are a few things that create a brother's trip to Belize. A laughing monkey and treehouse production

  • Open Your Eyes: The folks from Belize Urban Gardens tell us about their project, 40min.

    January 7, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Wine and Dine at Mesa
    Mesa, located on Tarpon Street at the Vilma Linda Plaza is the ideal spot to sit down to a fabulous breakfast, brunch or lunch and enjoy some fine wine. Enjoy their signature eats in a relaxed, air conditioned café or soak up some Caribbean sunshine with outdoor patio seating. Whichever you choose, you are sure to have a one of a kind dining experience! Janelle and I were invited over by owner Sheldon for a Wednesday afternoon lunch. We had the lobster special of the day which happened to be tacos, yum! And an apple pork burger, both complemented by a glass of Australian Chardonnay (of course he’d give us Aussie wine, we see you representing Sheldon. Now, let me be forward and admit that this isn’t your typical Belizean lunch, every now and again we like to switch it up, and Mesa definitely offers us a welcome change from rice and beans, and it’s taste is truly signature.

    Commercial Fisher Folk License
    The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs the Public that it will commence the renewal of fisher folk licenses on January 4th, 2016. A grace period for renewals will be in place until January 31st, 2016. Starting January 2016, fishers will have access to their two main fishing areas. This process seeks to formalize the current fishing patterns and give fishers the opportunity to collaborate in the management of the resources in their respective areas. Fishers are advised to bring along all pertinent documents upon renewal to facilitate the process. Licensing will be carried out for the following communities at the Belize Fisheries Department Office in Belize City on the dates specified below:

    Two time defending champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks win NEBL opening
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted its opening marathon on Saturday, December 19th at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan City. Five of the eight teams that will participate in the upcoming season attended the marathon. In the end it was defending NEBL Champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks who took top honors at the marathon. The third annual NEBL season will tip off on Saturday, January 16 at the Orange Walk Town Multi Purpose Complex. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks will be facing the Orange walk Running Rebels in the first match of the season starting at 9PM. On Saturday, January 9th, the other six teams will take the court, as Cayo Western Ballaz will host the new franchise, Independence Thunderbolts, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium at 8PM; Dangriga Warriors will take on Belize City No Limit at Bird’s Isle, in Belize City, with tip-off time set for 8PM; and Belmopan Bandits will host Belize Hurricanes at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan at 8PM.

    NICH Mourns the Untimely Passing of Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
    The National Institute of Culture and History, the Belize International Film Festival and the Belize Film Commission wish to offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and associates on the untimely death of resident Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck. Matthiew was a visionary with a passion to create Belizean films as the name of his production company MAKEBELIZE FILMS proclaimed. At times his extraordinary passion was incendiary, but the vision of strengthening Belize’s film industry was mutual. His enthusiasm and willingness to help to train young people facilitated a partnership with us to teach ANIMAGIC: the first Belizean clay animation workshop in April 2012 in Belize City shortly after his move to Belize and was also the genesis of 2012: THE CURSE OF THE XTABI, a Kriol language Belizean horror film he directed and produced with a vibrant group of budding Belizean filmmakers in the Cayo district. Though he continued to be based in Cayo, Matthiew also collaborated with similarly enthusiastic members of the San Pedro community to direct the first Spanish Language Belizean telenovela called LA ISLA BONITA which was one of the Opening Films for our 10th Anniversary Edition of the Belize International Film Festival in July 2015 and also the winner of our Best Dramatic TV Series award.

    San Pedro Police Constable, Kyle Serano remanded for Sexual Assault
    Former San Pedro Police Officer of the Month, 26-year-old Kyle Hubert Serano has been arrested, charged and remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the crime of “Sexual Assault”. On Wednesday, December 9th, San Pedro Police reported that following investigations of a 13-year-old female having been sexually assaulted, Police Constable #1661 was formally charged with three counts of “Sexual Assault”. According to the report, the minor reported to police that she was sexually assaulted by the officer on three occasions: November 27th, November 30th and December 3rd of 2015. With this information, San Pedro Police conducted a thorough investigation into the matter before pressing charges. It was not until police had gained enough evidence to support the matter in court that they proceeded to formally arrest and charge Serano on Wednesday, December 30th. Serano appeared before Senior Magis

    American Actors Charles Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle vacation in Belize
    Each year, more and more visitors are attracted to Belize’s beautiful island of Ambergris Caye, where they can enjoy a unique travel and vacation experience. The great opportunities the island offers to all types of travelers has grown to even attract a few celebrities ever, now and then. The most recent celebrity vacationers touching down on La Isla Bonita’s shores were Charles Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle, who were here enjoying a boys’ getaway. Of course, The San Pedro Sun had an exclusive opportunity to meet up with the American actors. 31-year-old Charles Michael Davis is an American actor and model. He’s best known for his role on The CW television drama, The Originals. Davis has also been featured in shows such as Battle Scars, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth, The Game, and Ur in Analyzis.

    Ambergris Today

    NICH Mourns The Untimely Passing Of Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
    The National Institute of Culture and History, the Belize International Film Festival and the Belize Film Commission wish to offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and associates on the untimely death of resident Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck. Matthiew was a visionary with a passion to create Belizean films as the name of his production company MAKEBELIZE FILMS proclaimed. At times his extraordinary passion was incendiary, but the vision of strengthening Belize’s film industry was mutual. His enthusiasm and willingness to help to train young people facilitated a partnership with us to teach ANIMAGIC: the first Belizean clay animation workshop in April 2012 in Belize City shortly after his move to Belize. He was also the genesis of 2012: THE CURSE OF THE XTABI, a Kriol language Belizean horror film he directed and produced with a vibrant group of budding Belizean filmmakers in the Cayo district.

    25 Years Ago - Remembering When WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village No. 10
    Dutch Cheese Was King: Today if your mom were to send you to the shop to buy some cheese, you would obviously have to ask her what kind since there are so many kinds to choose from. Depending on your day's menu, you might want cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan or Swiss cheese. However, I remember when Dutch Cheese USED TO BE the only cheese on the Island. We used to call it by different names- queso de calavera, queso colorado, queso de bola.
    Fun with Tin Cans: Tin cans and some string can provide you with lots of fun. Try them; you won't regret: 1. Attach a price of string through the sides of the top of two tin cans of the same size. Place your feet on the tin cans and hold on firmly unto the strings. You have now made a pair of toys we called sancos, the Spanish word for stilts. Now you can walk about feeling 5 to 10 inches taller, sort of like wearing high heels. Trust me, children love to feel tall.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    MCCAP Consultation Dates for Southern Communities
    The Belize Fisheries Department invites all commercial fishermen in the South that uses the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve to attend an important community consultation to discuss the re-adjustment, the possible expansion and creation of zones within the two (2) targeted protected areas. The dates are as follows:

    Corozal Internet Speeds on Smart
    Here is a test we conducted today on the new SMART 4G LTE service on some of Smart LTE capable devices like the Samsung Galaxy(s) , etc. Upload speeds of up to 59 MEGS and downloads of up to 16 MEGS! Impressive.

    Oxymoron
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. I hate to be the bearer of bad news Belize acting like we’ve living in a cocoon We’ve been too long on a honeymoon We’re acting like a bunch of buffoons The entire world looking at us like bunch of cartoons Our PM is CARCOM’s Chairman, just watch the news If the rice is destroyed the entire country loose There is varies way that rice could be used School feeding program, Hostel, Prison you choose NEMO, CEMO hurricane relief and Ole folks homes, This dah maga season many have no food in their homes Weh happen to the CSME agreements, freedom of good management Destroy the rice will cause a major disagreement Not to mention God’s punishment

    WCS, Belize is seeking to fill a position of Boat Captain at the Glovers Reef Research Station on Middle Caye, Glovers Reef
    Requirements for this position are: Clean police record, Good communication skills, Ability to properly fill out log sheets, Boat Captain license, Dive certification (an asset), Training in First Aid (an asset), Minimum of 5 years boat handling experience, Experience in working in a remote island setting for extended periods of time, Extensive knowledge of the Glovers Reef atoll and southern waters of Belize. Candidate should be ready to assume duties on short notice. Application forms are available from the Belize City office at 1755 Coney Drive, 2nd Floor, Belize City; or via email from ndennison@wcs.org

    Discussion of Salt Water Caye & Turneffe Marine Reserves
    The Belize Fisheries Department invites all commercial fishermen in the South that uses the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve to attend an important community consultation to discuss the re-adjustment, the possible expansion and creation of zones within the two (2) targeted protected areas. The dates are as follows:

    Dr. Aaron Lewis Awarded
    Congratulations, Dr. Lewis! Dr. Lewis, who works at the University of Belize, was made a member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Keep up the outstanding work! "UB's very own Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Dr. Aaron Lewis, has received the distinction of being a member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contribution to science. Dr. Lewis has made many contributions to science including a proposal he wrote to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) for the technical cooperation program for the 2014-2015 biennium, which was approved by the Board of Governors of the IAEA."

    Channel 7

    Kia Found Shot-Up Near Caledonia, Driver Missing
    On Monday we told you about the major drug bust in Orange Walk where police nabbed 183 pounds of compressed marijuana. The drugs have a street value of more than a quarter million dollars, and the packages were imprinted with a “J” – which police believe is the sign of a Mexican cartel. Now, the historical trend is that whenever a large and valuable amount of drugs ends up in the wrong hands, that’s when people start disappearing. It’s happened plenty of times on San Pedro – and some are wondering whether that’s what happened this morning when a Caledonia villager disappeared. Luis Alcoser’s vehicle, a recently acquired Kia Sportage was found riddled with bullet holes on the road to his village this morning – and tonight – his family doesn’t know where he is. Emanuel Pech went looking for answers:….

    Commish, Is The Cartel Running Weed Through Belize?
    So, while that family worries about their loved one, the police are still trying to piece together this quite unusual bust. Unusual because cartel stamped weed being imported into Belize is not known to be a standard featured of the drug trade. We asked the Commissioner of Police whether the Mexican Cartel is now supplying the majority of Belize’s marijuana. "We are concerned because we know Belize has been a trans-shipment point for drugs for many many years and again we know that some portion of that drugs do stay in Belize and are consumed by the local population. I can't say where those drugs were heading because I have not been informed so if someone informed you of that then kudos to you and that person but I don't know where they were heading."

    Commish: Klinck Investigation Like Any Other
    Another case with regional implications that police have to investigate is the murder of 37 year-old Canadian Film Maker Matthiew Klinck. His body was discovered in the Cayo District on Monday afternoon, and an onsite post mortem certified that he was stabbed 14 times. The mysterious murder of the Canadian Filmmaker has made headline news outside of Belize. The international profile of his killing is already picking up traction and so, we asked Commissioner Whylie if that somehow gives it priority over the investigation of the murders of Belizeans. Here’s what he said: "We are concerned when any murder has occurred. One murder that occurs is one murder too much. I'm familiar with the case and I believe all crimes once it's reported it goes viral with the kind of technology we have. Today the investigators like all other investigations will be doing all they can to solve that case just as well as the other murders as well as the other cases of burglaries as well as the other cases of robberies. Once we are satisfied that we have done all that is humanly possible to solve the case and if we are unable to then I am satisfied. Where ever you are, you're in Belize crime will occur, you're in the US crime will occur, you're in Europe crime will occur, you're in the Caribbean crime will occur. Murders will occur it's a matter of how you deal with it and so we're dealing with it; as you know it's a remote area but the investigators are out trying to put the pieces together."

    Snakeman Recovering, Prognosis Encouraging
    Belize’s snakeman, Gilbert Usher is improving at the KHMH tonight. Officially, the hospital is saying that his condition has been upgraded from critical to stable, but we have learned that he is out of an induced coma and doctors expect a full recovery. Doctors expect to take him out of the intensive care unit tomorrow. As we reported to you yesterday, Usher, the famous snake man, was bitten on the wrist by a Tommy Goff. He had just caught the snake and took it to a friend's house to show off his latest catch. But when he slipped the snake out of the bag he was carrying it in, the Tommy Goff struck him. Seconds later the Usher was on the ground- the venom quickly spreading through his body. It happened on Sunday morning and he was rushed to the KHMH, where his condition was listed as “very critical.”

    "Ms Pou" Is Shaken But Physically "OK" After Robbery
    Last night we told you about the brazen robbery on New Road. Yesterday around 2:00, one of the family owners of the very popular Pou Meatpie, Maria Pou went across the street to collect $500 dollars from a tenant. That’s when a man hugged her from behind and then grabbed on to the bag of money. But she put up a fight, and he threw her to ground and dragged her as she clutched unto the money. The robber then ran into the Jungle area off Pickstock Street where a getaway car was waiting. It was a very frightening experience for Pau and today she told us off camera that she is just grateful to be alive. Maria Pau - Owner, Pau Meatpie: "It never really happened during business time, it happened after 2. I went to do a small errand for someone and unfortunately I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and I got robbed. The good thing of it, the police was right down the street and they picked me up and took me to the emergency. I am very grateful to both the police and the staff of the emergency and the x-ray department and I was out of there by 5 o'clock and I'm alive and well and for that I am very thankful. I thank all the customers who called in and I thank..."

    Energy Workers Say Don't Destroy The Rice
    Tonight, the three containers of Guyanese rice remain in place at the Big Creek Port. Customs got a forfeiture order from the Magistrate’s Court yesterday but Charles scrambled upstairs to the Supreme Court to get an injunction. That stops customs from doing anything until after a hearing next week Tuesday. But, as we reported yesterday, just a few hours after getting the order, Customs rolled down to Big Creek, ready to haul away the rice and destroy it, all 75 tonnes. Well, today the Belize Energy Workers Union got into the mix, urging them not to destroy the rice. A release says, quote, “we recommend that instead of the rice being destroyed that it be distributed to organizations around the country which help feed the children, the elderly and poor. It can also be given to those schools which already have in place a feeding program….we also believe the owner of the rice should at least be compensated for the cost price of the rice.” End quote.

    Belize Murders Down Slightly, Amidst Regional Spike
    Every year in the first week of January, we report on the country’s murder rate. It’s subject of nervous worry since, we imagine every Belizean dreads when we’re right there in the list of the top ten most murderous countries on earth. Well, there were plenty of murders this year, 119 of them but many more in other countries, so, early indications are that Belize will not make it unto that top ten. Of course, there’s nothing to celebrate in 119 murders – that’s dismal, but it is four less than last year’s 123. It also brings down Belize’s murder rate to 32, which is lower than our neighbors, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Those three countries are called the Northern Triangle and they comprise what is widely recognized as the most dangerous area on earth. The Triangle – just those three countries – reported a combined 17,422 murders in 2015. It was worst in El Salvador which reported 6,657 homicides, for a murder rate of 104 per hundred thousand citizens, which is a 67% increase from last year. The murder rate in Honduras went down from 68 to 57, while Guatemala went down only slightly. The murder rate also went up sharply in Jamaica where there were 1,192 slayings, 20% more than the previous year.

    Some Areas Shone In Statistics
    It’s also been a while since the Police Minister’s monthly awards made the news. These are given to the commanders of police jurisdictions who have the lowest number of crimes for that period. Well, the commanders of the different police regions were recognized today at the briefing, and the Commissioner explained that there were some encouraging decreases in crime during different parts of the year in the different jurisdictions. Here are the figures: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "The southern regional command area had a total of 296 major crimes recorded compared to 328 recorded in 2014. This reflects a decrease of 32 major crimes recorded or 9.8% decrease in 2015 on the southern regional command area. The northern regional command area had a total of 200 major crimes recorded in 2015 compared to 327 in 2014. This shows a decrease of 127 major crimes or 38.8% in 2015. The northern regional command area had the greatest decrease in major crimes recorded in 2015.

    Is Community Policing The New National Trend?
    So, how do police explain the decrease in major crimes, and particularly murder? Well, as you’ve been seeing on the evening news, the department is pushing their community policing agenda, to improve their relationship with the general public. Well, the Northern Police Regions of Corozal and Orange Walk had the most noticeable decrease in crime of all the jurisdictions countrywide. The Commissioner told us that the meet and greet initiatives in the north have been paying off: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "We recently did some shifting around with Mr. Arnold left from Orange Walk and went to Corozal. Mr. Tillet who was the deputy became the OC and both of them are committed to the community oriented policing programme. I know both of them have been beating the street with their officers on a weekly basis. They are the kind of officers who are open to the public, they are always assessable, and they can always be contacted.

    City Major Crime Down Also
    So, what about Belize City? Well, in the beginning of the 2015, there was a worrying spike in murders, especially, gang related killings, but as soon as Supercop Chester Williams was given command of the Belize City Southside, he hit to ground running with his community policing focused on conflict mediation between rival gangs. The Commissioner told us today that the Community Policing strategy has been embraced as best as could have been hoped for: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "You could recall in the second half of 2015, first of July to be exact; we create 3 new divisions out of Belize district; eastern division rural which comprise the Hattieville Ladyville area. Eastern division south which was the Southside of the Belize City and eastern division north which is the North side of Belize City as well as San Pedro and Caulker. That allowed the divisional commanders our very senior officers, ACP/Senior Super Intendent to be able to more manage the smaller area and to be more flexible and adaptable to issues of crime. In the second half we were able to see a significant slowing down of crimes, especially in Belize City, Southside in particular in terms of the cases of murder."

    COMPOL Bashes Bad Cops
    But, while the police are managing a downturn in crime right now, they still have to deal with the bruising instances of alleged police wrongdoing. In just the past week, they’ve had to commence criminal prosecution against two of their own for allegations sex crimes, one of which reportedly happened right inside a police station. The commissioner commented on those cases saying that the criminal charges that these officers now face is an expression of the department’s no-nonsense approach to allegations of wrong doing by police: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "As you know the department is a little over 2,000 strong, its 2,000 different individuals with different personalities. The incident that took place were 2 terrible incidents that should have never occurred. The officers both knew better not only as a police officer but as an individual. And they chose to do wrong and the department confronted it head on when it was reported to us. We did our investigation and where the evidence was found, we dealt with both officers. They have both been charged, they have both been interdicted. It is not the first time these incidents have occurred, it won't be the last because individual officers make choices and sometime they make the wrong choices. But once it reaches us, it is not condone and exhaust our investigation and if we are able to deal with it, we deal with them."

    Will Law Enforcement Try To Curb Accidents?
    It wasn’t a topic of discussion at today’s police briefing from the Police Top Brass, but 5 persons died in fatal traffic accidents in less than a week. So, while the media had the opportunity, the Commissioner was asked if he and his commanding officers are taking notice of the spike in traffic fatalities: "What can the department do to perhaps improve traffic safety? Yes in the past we went into schools, we can review that program to go back into schools and the meet and great sessions that the police were about again they can speak to persons in terms of the decision making and the perils of driving and drinking. We can try to increase in terms of our traffic enforcement and the various checkpoints. I'm certain that if they stop vehicles and the people are suspected of driving under the influence, they will call for some assistance to get them tested.

    Court Reports Bad Bailiff
    In April of 2014, we reported on Magistrate’s Court Bailiff, Gabriel Casey who was accused of pocketing money from persons who thought they were paying the court. At least 7 cases of serious irregularities were taken before the public services commission, and today – almost two years later the court sent out a press release saying, quote, “Gabriel Alphonso Casey, former Bailiff employed with the Belize City Magistrates’ Court is no longer an employee with the Government of Belize…he is not authorized to conduct any business on behalf of the Belize City Magistrates Court or the Government of Belize with effect from 28 th December, 2015.” Casey was accused of pocketing thousands of dollars which individuals and institutions paid toward the court, but the monies were never accounted for.

    Baker Says New Price Does Not Go Down Like A Spoonful of Sugar
    Last night you heard from two pastry makers in the city who say the 50% increase in the price of sugar won’t affect them at all. But today the owner of Casa Pan Dulce with branches in San Pedro, Santa Elena and Belmopan told us that’s not the case for him at all. Owner Andre Perez told us via telephone from San Pedro that with this increase he has no other choice but to raise his prices. "Obviously it's not the same with me because of the amount of consumption I do. Especially white sugar is a key component in my bakery and I've been doing those figures since they announced the increase of white sugar and that definitely curves in knocks out on the operating cost for me for the year 2016 and I have the figures here to show you as proof. We're talking about an increase of 30 dollars and 30 cents to be more or less precise on the increase in the sack of white sugar. I am one of those bakeries that are consuming approximately something between 90 to 100 sacks monthly for consumption. If you do the math on that figure it is approximately 2,800 dollars more or less increase in my cost, the cost of goods.

    93 Year Old Patrick Grant Embraces New (Large!) Weed Whacker
    As promised, today we handed over the donated weed whacker to Patrick Grant – the 93 year old who was badly beaten inside his own home a few weeks ago. On Monday night, Superintendent Howell Gillett saw Grant on the news lamenting the loss of his weed whacker – which had been stolen when his house was burglarized. And so with assistance from business man Paul Guerra, they donated a new one to the senior citizen who cuts his own grass and keeps a spotless lawn. Now, we’ll be honest, it’s a big unit – the kind that comes with a handlebar, and we did have doubts that the old man would be able to hold it up, let alone trim his yard with it. But after some masterful adjusting of the strap, the old man left us with open jaws. Here’s how we did it.

    Is Chester's "Man Of the Year" Good For The Department?
    A week ago, we told you that the Amandala Newspaper chose the Eastern Division South Commander, Chester Williams, as its Man of the Year for 2015. So, what does his police boss, Commissioner Whylie, think of that recognition? Does it put the achievements of the one above the many? Well, we asked Chester’s boss today, and here’s what he had to say:

    Watching The Community Watch
    We usually report on Meet and Greet sessions on the Southside – officers going door-to-door trying to mend relations after years of neglect and abuse. But, it’s not just the southside, the officers from the north side are doing it too. This evening about 24 officers were out on Eve Street and Jail Lane talking with the residents and trying to set up a neighbourhood watch. The Neighbourhood watch Coordinator told us why they are reaching out to residents: Pitts expects to have his first meeting for the neighbourhood watch next week.

    Channel 5

    A Caledonia Resident is Missing, Is His Disappearance Drug-related?
    A father of two from Caledonia, Corozal is at the center of a police investigation that could be related to an Orange Walk drug bust late last week in which [...]

    ComPol Whylie: Klinck Murder Case Handled Competently and Comprehensively
    Canadian film-maker Matthiew Klinck was murdered at his home near Spanish Lookout sometime over the weekend. He was last seen alive on Saturday at around four, and on Monday night [...]

    Commissioner of Police Condemns Officers Committing Sex Crimes
    On December twenty-nine, Police Constable Luke Moreira, assigned to the San Ignacio Police Formation, was arraigned on two counts of rape. He was accused of taking a woman prisoner out [...]

    A New Social Media Policy for Police Officers
    From allegations of rape and sexual assault by Police Officers to glaring footage of nude Police Officers on social media…the Police Commissioner has his share of headaches. Just around Christmas, [...]

    Has Gun License of Election Night Shooter Been Revoked?
    More than two months ago on election night, a close affiliate and supporter of Minister of Police John Saldivar allegedly fired his weapon into the air in celebration. The man [...]

    Police Brass Meets to Discuss Crime Reduction in 2015
    The Police Department is generally reticent with statistics and only too happy to keep the media in the relative dark. Of course that’s only when crime statistics don’t look good [...]

    Rice Wars: Attorney Eamon Courtenay Weighs in on Jack Charles’ Injunction
    On Tuesday afternoon, businessman Jack Charles hastily applied for and was granted an injunction by the Supreme Court, restraining the Customs and Excise Department from taking possession of his shipment [...]

    Eamon Courtenay Says Court Order was Avoidable
    According to Courtenay, the proprietor of Xtra House had been given the option previously to seek damages once the cargo is turned over to customs.  Why that alternative has not [...]

    Patrick Grant Recounts Horrific Home Invasion Experience
    Ninety-three-year-old Patrick Grant, a Belize City victim of a brutal home invasion that left him comatose over the Christmas weekend, is on the road to recovery after being badly beaten [...]

    A Workshop on Domestic Violence Sensitization
    Violence against the elderly is cause for deep concern and so is violence against women. A two-day symposium aimed at preparing organizations, as well as other agencies, to deal with [...]

    Former Bailiff Accused of Still Doing Business on Behalf of Magistrate’s Court
    A former bailiff is being accused of continuing with business as usual even though he was released from the government service at the end of last December. Chief Magistrate Ann [...]

    ASR Rep Says Mud and Water Affecting Cane Crop
    The 2015-2016 sugar crop season started on schedule back in December 2015, but all is not well in the industry. Inclement weather has been affecting the crop in the sugar [...]

    Long-term Sugar Industry Strategic Plan being Developed by Stakeholders
    The main stakeholders of the sugar industry in the north; that is representatives from ASR/B.S.I. and the three sugar cane farmers associations met today inside the conference room of the [...]

    Is the Belize Police Department Adequately Resourced?
    There has been a constant cry from Police formations countrywide for resources. It’s no closely held secret that the Department is strapped for vehicles and equipment and even financial resources. [...]

    ComPol Whylie on Community Policing and Use of Necessary Force
    Much attention has been given to the efficacy of community policing – not only today when statistics were released, but through the second half of 2015. Traditionally when crime has [...]

    CTV3

    O/W Police Released Persons Initially Detained For Drug Bust
    On Monday we told you about the 183 pounds of compressed cannabis worth more than $300,000 that was confiscated by the Orange Walk Police formation. The nine parcels of suspected drugs, weighing 23 pound each, were found in the outskirts of Carmelita Village. All parcels came with the marking J symbolizing the name of a Mexican Cartel, according to authorities. Two persons who were found in the area were detained in connection with the incident pending investigations and were expected to be charged.

    Sugar Industry Stakeholders Meet To Discuss Strategic Development Plan
    At the moment if we take a look at all the major industries in Belize we can safely say that the only one not on life support but still suffering from a bad cold is the Sugar Industry. Recently cane farmers saw a drastic reduction in the estimated price of the first payment and in 2017 when the price of sugar reduces even more in the preferential market the industry is not expected to be as sweet as other years. With tough times ahead stakeholders of the industry must prepare to compete in the European Market where Belize’s Sugar is sold and this is where the Strategic Development Plan comes in. In a nutshell the Strategic Development Plan seeks to improve the viability of the Sugar Industry that contributes to the economic and social stability of the North.

    High Percentage Of Mud Continues To Affect Factory Efficiency
    A few weeks ago we told you about the high quantity of mud that was being delivered to the factory thus affecting the quality of cane, the steam generation and the milling capacity. Contributing to the factor was weather conditions and the bad state of the sugar roads. Today, the high quantity of mud delivered to the factory continues to pose a problem for the Sugar Industry and the matter must be addressed instantly, says Mac MacLachlan, Vice President for International Relations for ASR. Mac MacLachlan, Vice President, International Relations, ASR: “Sadly it is and just to give you an insight of that obviously that factory is built to mill sugar cane and it is milling a lot of water and mud and that has an impact on the quality on the amount of sugar coming from that cane but also the cost of actually milling it and this all contribute to increasing the cost of production of sugar and we stand today still very high on that level coming in which is a pity but we are hoping with a little more dry weather and by conscious efforts by everyone involved we can reduce that.” This week mud level passed 4.5 percent.

    Well Known Actors Visit La Isla Bonita, San Pedro
    It is no secret that Ambergris Caye is an island that captures the attention of many people both locally and internationally due to its beauty and the vast amount of recreational activities available. The island has been visited by many celebrities from time to time; and the most recent celebrities who were vacationing at San Pedro were well known actors, 31 year old Charles Michael Davis and 33 year old Travis Van Winkle known actor of the movies Transformers, Friday the 13th, Accepted and Meet the Spartans. According to the San Pedro Sun, both celebrities arrived in Belize on December 26th along with 3 other friends on a boy’s getaway vacation. Upon their arrival, they had the opportunity to visit the Archaeological sites, jungles and caves located in San Ignacio Town. On the 30th of December, they made their way to San Pedro Town where they went scuba diving and participated in other activities. The group were no exception to the New Year countdown celebration that took place on the island and are very pleased with their visit, especially with the hospitality of the Belizeans.

    PAHO Alerts The Caribbean Region About Zika Virus
    The Pan American Health Organization is alerting everyone in the Caribbean region that there are reported cases of the mosquito-borne zika virus which is a virus transmitted by the same vector that spreads both dengue and chikingunya known as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The zika virus can presently be found in the OECS, Martinique and in Puerto Rico and is raising many concerns due to the fact that these islands are in close proximity to the British Virgin Islands. Dr. Ronald Georges, medical officer of Health in British Virgin Islands, believes that this is a matter that needs to be looked into with much care and scrutiny so that the public can become aware about the impact that this virus has on their health. Georges further stated that, quote “The ministry is encouraging persons to take better control of the environment by eliminating mosquito breeding sites in households and common areas. Personal prevention should be heightened by using mosquito bed nets which can also be treated with insecticide; wearing clothing that does not expose the skin, using mosquito repellents as well as installing wire mesh screens at windows and doors.”

    BEWU Calls On GOB Not To Destroy Guyanese Rice
    Belize Energy Workers Union is calling on the Government of Belize not to proceed with the apparent decision to destroy the Guyanese rice now under custody of B.A.H.A, imported by Jack Charles. In a release issued late this evening BEWU states that the destruction of more than one hundred thousand pounds of Guyanese rice currently sitting at the port in Big Creek would not sit well in the eyes of the International Community. BEWU believes that after B.A.H.A. ensures that the rice is safe for consumption, the product should be distributed to organizations around the country which help feed the children, the elderly and poor and to schools which already have in place a feeding program instead of being destroyed.

    Pleasant View Missionary Church Assist Chapel School
    Today members of the Pleasant View Missionary Church from Ohio visited Chapels School where they hosted a feeding program for all of the students who were present this morning. Our news team visited the school where we were able to speak to some of the organizers. Elizabeth – member of Thirst missions: “This week with this group, they are working with the school and then working with ECC church with pastor Chi who is also the Principal here and so we are doing women’s’ ministry and a pastor ministry at the church and then we are helping the kids today we are feeding lunch.” The main purpose of travelling to Belize and organizing these events is to allow the people to experience the love of God as well as to provide them with the assistance that they are in need of.

    Police Figures Show Crime Is Down
    While it seems like crime was very rampant throughout 2015, the Belize Police Department is reporting that crime rate for 2015 was slightly less than in 2014. A total of one hundred twenty three murders were recorded in 2014 countrywide and in 2015 one hundred nineteen murders were recorded. The district with the highest number of murders for 2015 is Belize City with a total of sixty six and Toledo had the lowest with 5 murders. Here in the North Corozal and Orange Walk saw a total recorded amount of six and seven murders respectively. The statistics for other crimes in Belize stands slightly lower in 2015 compared to 2014 as well. The figures for rape in 2015 stands at 40 while in 2014 it was 43, robbery 214 compared to 2014’s 291, burglary 742 while in 2014 it was 835, theft 1,027 and 1,123 in 2014 and Carnal Knowledge 74 for 2015 and 79 in 2014.

    LOVE FM

    Rice Saga Continues
    The fate of the three containers of Guyanese rice brought into the Big Creek Port is now in the hands of the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. Renee Trujillo has the story. Renee Trujillo, Love Fm: Thursday December 17th 2015 saw the arrival of three containers of Guyanese rice coming into the Big Creek port in […]

    Taiwan Seeks Scholarship Awardees
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is accepting applications for its 2016 Taiwan ICDF Scholarship and Taiwan (MOFA) Scholarship programs. There will be 20 programs applicants can chose from for the Taiwan ICDF Scholarship. Both scholarships are full scholarships and will provide round trip economy class air tickets, housing, tuition fees, credit fees, […]

    Rita Flowers Passes at 75 Years
    She made her mark in the local communities and in the local arts …. And tonight, many are mourning the passing of seventy five year-old, Rita Mae Flowers. Her nephew, Paul Flowers spent most of his formative years with Miss Rita Mae and recalls his aunt’s passion for music, the arts and discipline as well […]

    Belmopan Police Fulfills Wish of Recently Assaulted Patrick Grant
    Most may remember the story of ninety three year old Patrick Grant as the elderly man that was savagely attacked in his home in Belize City on December 28. Grant ended up in the hospital in a critical condition. Grant is now recovering at home. Other good news for Grant is that the Belmopan Police […]

    Woman Fined for Slipping Boyfriend Weed Outside Courtroom
    A 21 year old woman who gave her boyfriend, 31 year old prison inmate Ryan Alvarez, two point nine grams of cannabis yesterday morning while he was being escorted from Magistrates’ Court back to the holding cell, was fined ten thousand dollars today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza after she pled guilty to drug trafficking. She […]

    A Look Into the ICU of KHMH
    Love News made a visit today to the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City and had the opportunity to speak with Dr Pedro Arriaga, who manages the ICU along with Dr Jorge Hidalgo. DR PEDRO ARRIAGA: “This is a general ICU. We handle trauma, we have a lot of car […]

    PlusTV

    Canadian Filmaker found dead near Spanish Lookout
    Another Canadian national has been murdered in the Cayo district and police are trying to piece together what happened in the last few moments that 37 year old Matthiew Klinck was alive. Klinck was a movie maker who had recently taken up residence in Belize. The partially decomposed body of Klinck w...

    Decrease in pump prices for diesel oil
    The Ministry of Finance has announced another decrease in fuel prices as a result of lower CIF Prices on a recent shipment of fuels. Last week, regular gas and kerosene saw a decrease and effective midnight on January 4 2016, Diesel Oil prices saw a decrease as well. The new Pump Price for Diesel Oi...

    Belize City Mechanic Charged with unlawful sexual conduct
    A Belize City mechanic of Evergreen Street has been slapped with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of grievous harm upon a 15 year old girl. 37 year old Denfield Davis is accused of having sex on four different occasions with a 15 year old girl. The minor accuses him of initia...

    San Pedro man granted bail on attempted rape, wounding charges
    A San Pedro laborer accused of trying to rape his ex-girlfriend and wounding her appeared in court last week and was granted bail of $2,500 by Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. He is Allen Martinez, a resident of San Pedro Town, who was read two indictable offenses of attempted rape and wounding of ...

    Murder accused’s girlfriend in trouble over marijuana
    A 21 year old woman tried to smuggle marijuana to her boyfriend, accused of murder, in court, after she was not allowed to see him when she visited the Magistrate’s Court today. Meagan Leslie, partner to 25 year old Ryan Alvarez, who is on remand on accusation of murder and other charges, is now in ...

    Boat stolen from Caye Caulker
    A boat was stolen in Caye Caulker. 36-year-old Artemio Marin, owner of Anda De Wata Tours, located in Caye Caulker Village reported that between the hours of 5:30 p.m. on Sunday the 3rd of January, and 8:00 a.m. on Monday the 4th January, someone stole his Baby Dax Boat. The boat is white with red v...

    Fire burns down business establishment
    A fire in the Stann Creek District destroyed a business establishment. 38-year-old Aurora Lisbey, Belizean business woman of Stann Creek District reported that on Thursday the 31st of December, her business place –“Bertha Tamales” which is located at mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway was destroye...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Crime is down, say Police’s official statistics
    Belize Police Department statistics recorded 278 less major crimes across Belize in 2015, but over 2,200 Belizeans were still victims, whether of murder, robbery, burglary and theft, or rape and carnal knowledge. Murder is down only slightly, from 123 in 2014 to 119 in 2015, […]

    Another chance for Jack Charles after Chief Justice stops Customs’ confiscation
    The Customs and Excise Department wants to destroy the 75 tonnes of Guyanese rice currently stored at the Big Creek Port but they must await another court decision. Following Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young’s denying importer Jack Charles application for leave to file for judicial review […]

    Ex-Court bailiff disowned
    Former Government employee Gabriel Casey, who was a bailiff with the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City until he was dismissed on December 28, 2015, has been accused of allegedly still using the name of the court to “do business” though he is officially no longer […]

    Mother of 3 year old girl must pay $10,000 for supplying her boyfriend with cannabis
    A 21 year old woman who gave her boyfriend, 31 year old prison inmate Ryan Alvarez, 2.9 grams of cannabis yesterday morning while he was being escorted from magistrate court # 2 back to the holding cell, was fined $10,000 today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza […]

    San Ignacio police find 4 pounds of weed
    San Ignacio Police acting upon information received, searched an abandoned lot yesterday morning and made the discovery of 19 black plastic bags containing cannabis. The lot located on Dalia Street, was searched around 7:40 a.m. and yielded a total of four pounds of weed […]

    Belize City man arrested for crossing border with weed
    26-year-old Denmark Dougal of Belize City was busted yesterday afternoon with just over two pounds of weed in yellow plastic bags as he walked from the Guatemalan side of Arenal Village, Cayo District, into Belize. Officers on foot patrol spotted Dougal around 2:00 p.m. […]

    Elderly woman robbed in Belize City
    Yesterday afternoon on New Road in Belize City, 56-year-old businesswoman Maria Pau had just collected $500 in cash from a tenant when she was attacked and robbed of her earnings by a male person who then escaped. Police responded to the scene at around […]

    Sugar price gouging reported in Punta Gorda
    Reports have surfaced in Punta Gorda (PG) town of price gouging being done at a certain Chinese owned store, which is currently selling sugar for $1.00 per pound, although a government press release issued late last year, stated that effective on January 1st of […]

    Southern fishermen consultations to begin this month
    A press release issued by the Fisheries Department this morning, served to notify fishermen who use the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, of community consultation dates to discuss the re-adjustment, possible expansion and creation of zones. These consultations already […]

    Corozal Police find abandoned vehicle riddled with bullet holes
    Corozal Police are investigating the circumstances of an abandoned vehicle found with apparent bullet holes to the windshield and the door on the driver’s side. The vehicle, a blue Kia Sportage, was found about five to six feet off the road between the Buena […]

    Cool weather to prevail
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and clear skies tonight. Little or no rainfall is expected. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

    Blogs

    Does Becoming more Resilient Improve Sustainability?
    A reflection on how making society more resilient may be worse than doing nothing at all. In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Often depicted in art, Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’s father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, whereupon the wax in his wings melted and he fell into the sea. What if Icarus’ father —knowing his son would fly too close to the sun — had made the wings he designed more resilient? What if he had used bone and string and not just wax to bind them? Would this ancient myth have turned out any differently? Probably not. Icarus would have simply flown closer to the sun before the sun destroyed his wings — perhaps igniting them on fire rather than just melting the wax. And so the boy would have fallen even further and have been crushed even more brutally by the onrushing wall of ocean below. Let’s apply that question to today. What if we make our globalized consumer society more resilient? That is to say, what if — as more people in the sustainability community are advocating — we make our economic and social systems more able to withstand the inevitable shocks that come with an ever larger human population living within a destabilizing Earth system. What if we build future coastal homes on stilts? And invest billions of dollars and massive amounts of natural capital (in the form of cement and embodied fossil fuel energy) in sea walls around cities like New York and New Orleans. And we even genetically modify crops — even livestock — to withstand drought and heat.

    The deafening noise of the Police and Judiciary sytem in Belize
    There is a large community of Immigrants in Belize and many have given and keep giving lots to Belize. There has been case after case of crime against visitors and immigrants in Belize with nothing much to nothing at all done by the Police or the Judiciary; all while the embassies of their home nation sit by quietly twiddling their thumbs. I know it’s bad enough that the Government of Belize refuses to invest the money to empower our Belize Police Department and to allow the Judiciary to be independent of political games and abuse; but wrong is wrong no matter who does it and something must be said and hopefully done to fix the issues we face in Belize for Belizeans, visitors and immigrants that choose to reside in Belize.

    Three Kings Bread
    preparation: 30min> cooking: 25min> overtime: 1hour 20min leavening> ready in: 2hours15min dissolve the yeast in a little warm water. add 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour. mix well and let the dough stand in a warm place until doubled in size. about 30 to 40 minutes. while on a table heap flour and form a kind of volcano hole in the center. add in the hole the rest of the ingredients except the chopped fruit. with your hands and kneading, incorporate everything. then again let the dough rest to rise to double in size. once ready, you'll work it on a flat surface. extend to form a rectangle. in the center place chopped fruit and make into a roll. place on baking sheet on parchment paper if desired. using a scissor cut into middle at certain parts to place a few infant christ and close the areas.varnish with egg and decorate to your taste with the ingredients you have such as cherries and fruits listed above. bake at 180 ° c for 25 minutes.

    I want to move to Belize, what do I need to know . . .
    Found this question on a Belize expat site to be absolutely adorable: “I am seriously wanting to make the move by the end of the year…what do I need to know?…” It took me back to those very early days when we crossed that invisible line, too. “We’re going to make the move. My, god, I don’t know a thing about Belize!” What do you need to know? In all sincerity, how to use the search mode on the Internet. There is a huge amount of information out there and yes, a lot of it is scattered all over the place and a lot of it is misleading. But it is a good start. When seeking information about Belize, the best thing you can do is read the readers’ comments and other replies to any statement. Chances are, for every statement of “fact” there will be a half-dozen replies taking exception — in a half-dozen different ways. One of my favorite observations about Belize: “For every story, there are three stories.” Which is probably why the gossip is so good. You hear one salacious rumor and then you quietly tell yourself “Wait for it … wait for it …” Then, boom. A whole other version or two or three emerges, completely upending the juicy morsel you were first fed. Rumors, gossip, diatribes, suspicions, conspiracies — these make up a rich diet in some expats’ lives. Sometimes mine.

    Spiral Ham and Cheese (Espirales de Jamón y Queso)
    We leave open a pastry tin so that it now be set at room temperature before unrolling it. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Unroll the pastry dough and cover the entire surface with slices of ham without overlapping them. We cover the layer of ham with slices of cheese, avoiding overlapping them. Roll all the pastry with filling to stay with a thick, elongated loop that you will cut into a few slices approximately two fingers thick. Then put the slices we cut in a baking tray. Paint all over slices with beaten egg and bake for a quarter of an hour. Make sure to watch because you know that every oven is different.

    And the Belize wise men said, ‘Behold we bring you gifts, from Dunkin’ Donuts’
    So I was in downtown San Pedro on my bicycle, running around doing errands when all of a sudden . . . I got hungry. And wouldn’t you know that Estel’s was closed for repairs. I was thinking of pedaling down south to the Coconut Cafe, mainly because I haven’t been there since they moved to Exotic Caye Beach Resort and I always liked the owners — and their food. But as I pedaled down Middle Street, the Lord took control of my bicycle and steered me to Pupuseria Salvadoreno. Good choice, Lord. But, why? I wondered. As the good Lord was guiding my hands to chain up my bicycle to a power pole the answer hit me like Paul on the road to Damascus: I love their four beef pupusas for $15 BZD. With an orange Fanta, the Lord reminded me. My eyes had no sooner adjusted to the darkness inside than the true answer revealed itself. Holy, cripes! That’s a Dunkin’ Donuts dozen box! “Salvadorean donuts,” said one woman proudly with a big smile.

    The Central American yogurt oracle has some bad news, Charger fans
    I have to walk into my local supermarket in San Pedro, Belize, to find the answer to a question that is tearing up my friends back in San Diego: Will the Chargers be moving to Los Angeles? And there it was, the answer. Right in the dairy section. Yogurt containers were screaming it out to me:”L.A.! L.A.!” — or, more like “LALA” — but you can see where this is headed. Yogurt never lies. The dairy section also confirmed the long-standing rumor that the Oakland Raiders will also moving back to Los Angeles and that the Raiders and Chargers will indeed be sharing a shelf . . . erm . . . a stadium. Further, the expiration date on these containers is Feb. 16, 2016. I can only say, watch for a significant announcement on that day from the NFL. Why is there a San Francisco 49ers yogurt container lurking on the edge of this oracle? I can only surmise that it is San Francisco’s compulsive need to be at the center of every discussion in California, whether its presence is relevant or not.

    International Sourcesizz

    Region warned to be on alert for zika virus
    An alert has been issued by the Pan American Health Organisation for the Caribbean region as a result of cases of the mosquito-borne zika virus that have occurred. The zika virus is transmitted by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito that is also the insect vector for dengue and chikungunya and the symptoms are also very similar. It is also suspected to carry the risk of microcephaly, which causes smaller than expected head sizes to occur in infants of affected mothers. British Virgin Islands medical officer of health, Dr Ronald Georges, said, “The zika virus is now present in the OECS, Martinique and Puerto Rico and considering the volume of travel between the BVI and these islands, there is a need for increased surveillance and heightened awareness of this virus and its impact on human health.” Acute symptoms can last from four to seven days and includes fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, eyeball pain, weakness, red rash consisting of small bumps, swelling in the lower limbs, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain and conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is mainly an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye and inner surface of the eyelids with no pus production.

    Following tragedy in Belize, a look back at the career of Quebec filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
    On Monday, police found the body of Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck, 37, near his home in Selena Village, Belize. According to the San Pedro Sun, Klinck was stabbed to death during an apparent burglary. As officials begin to investigate the killing, and Canadian consular officials provide assistance to Klinck’s family, a picture has emerged of a talented filmmaker whose career was just about to enter an exciting new stage. Klinck was from the former city of Aylmer, Que. (the city became a sector of the city of Gatineau in 2002). Along with fellow Aylmer natives Thomas Michael and Paolo Mancini, Klinck created the half-hour sketch comedy series Y B Normal?, which aired on the local Rogers Cable channel before being sold to the Comedy Network in 1998, where it lasted two seasons.

    Canadian filmmaker reported killed in robbery at Belize home
    A 37-year-old Canadian has reportedly been killed in an apparent burglary at his home in Selena Village in Belize. The online edition of the San Pedro Sun says Matthiew Klinck — a producer and filmmaker from Quebec — was found stabbed to death near his home on Monday. The report quoted police reports as saying Klinck’s home had been ransacked and valuables were missing. The San Pedro Sun says police have contacted the Canadian consulate in Belize to inform Klinck’s family. A spokesman for Global Affairs says Canadian consular officials in Belize are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family. The report says Klinck had been living in Belize for about five years and was the producer of San Pedro’s first Spanish soap-opera “La Isla Bonita Telenovela.”

    Québécois sauvagement poignardé au Belize: une culture de bain de sang
    Le meurtre sanglant du réalisateur québécois Matthiew Klinck au Belize est le résultat d’une «culture de bain de sang» qui règne dans ce pays d’Amérique centrale depuis plusieurs années, selon ses amis locaux. «Je souhaite tellement que les responsables soient traînés en justice, mais tristement, tellement de crimes demeurent non résolus au Belize à cause du manque de formation et de ressources», a indiqué sur Facebook Lilia Leslie, une jeune femme originaire du pays. Selon une étude faite en 2014 par les Nations unies et l’Organisation mondiale de la santé, le Belize se hisse tristement au 4e rang des pays les plus meurtriers au monde. Sur 100 000 personnes, 44,7 d’entre elles ont été victimes d’un meurtre en 2014. «Tellement de meurtres et de braquages à domicile ne sont pas résolus, a écrit Richard Young, lui aussi originaire du Belize. Trop de personnes traversent la frontière pour commettre ces crimes et retournent se cacher ensuite.»

    Marine protected areas are helping the Mesoamerican Reef recover
    An assessment of ecosystem health in the Mesoamerican Reef found that marine protected areas (MPAs) are aiding greatly in its recovery as coral cover slowly expanding. Coral cover in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR), which extends across 1,000 kilometers (over 620 miles) of the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras and supports the local economies relied on by nearly two million people, is up 10 to 16 percent since 2006, a new report by the Healthy Reef Initiative says. Coral reefs are some of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems, and the Mesoamerican Reef is the largest in the Western hemisphere — but overfishing, both for commercial and subsistence purposes, as well as increased tourism and economic development have put such great pressures on the reef that experts once predicted it might disappear within the next couple decades.

    Videos

  • US and Belize students discuss their collaboration across international borders, 1min. Katy Nahodyl of Georgia State University and Robert Hernandez of University of Belize offer their thoughts on international community geography and GIS

  • Diving in Cozumel & Belize, 7.5min.

  • Guest Video: Belize Family Vacation, 2min. Guest video from Wildland Adventures' Jungle Tree House and Reef Adventure in Belize.

  • Dolphins en route to Rio Dulce, 1/2min. Dolphins playing in the wake of s/v Zora, Mariner 39 center cockpit sloop. Neil, Stacey and Olivia Collins.

  • Belize 2015, 3.5min. Christmas in Belize 2015.

  • Flying over Belize beautiful ocean, 3min.

  • A Comprehensive Look at the Rice Wars of Belize, 6min.

  • Unite Campaign to End Violence Against Women, min. Last month U.S. Embassy Belize joined the Unite Campaign to End Violence Against Women by highlighting important topics surrounding this issue for 16 Days. Check out the culmination of our efforts in this video highlighting the entire campaign:

  • Central America 2015, 15min. Started this trip on Oct. 15th. Places I've been to: Costa Rica : San José, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Tamarindo. Nicaragua : San Juan Del Sur, Isla de Ometepe, Granada, El Tansito, León, Somoto, Esteli. El Salvador : El Cuco, El Tunco. Guatemala : Antigua, Panajachel, Chichicastenango, Lanquín, Flores Belize : Caye Caulker. Mexico : Bacalar, Playa Del Carmen. Ended this trip on Dec. 17th

  • NYFA (documentary proj.3) Belize, 4.5min. New York Film Academy 12 week digital editing course. Project #3 - documentary.

  • Grace and You Cooking show with Open Your Eyes - Grace Kennedy Belize, 18min. "Grace and You Cooking" show with Open Your Eyes - Grace Kennedy Belize. September 11th, 2015.

  • Tasha's Presentation on her 2015 Mission Trip to Belize, 27min.

  • XSITE BELIZE BLUE HOLE DIVE AND SNORKEL, 3min.

  • XSITE BELIZE HALF MOON CAYE DIVE SNORKEL & BOOBIES, 4min.

  • XSITE BELIZE SCUBA DIVING THE AQUARIUM, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Billy Hawk Caye from Hopkins, 3min.

  • Du Belize au Perou, 9min.

    January 6, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro rings in the New Year
    In true island fashion, San Pedro ushered in the New Year with a grand party. Ready to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, hundreds of island residents and visitors congregated at Central Park on Thursday, December 31st as early as 10PM for the big countdown. The yearly extravaganza organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) keeps getting bigger and better every year, and this year’s celebrations were without a doubt the best one yet. With live music, lots to eat and drink, and a spectacular fireworks display, everyone had the time of their lives. Next to speak was Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. who kept his address very short. “It is indeed a pleasure to address everyone at this event, because 2015 was a year of prosperity for this island. 2016 is supposed to be a year of unity, coming together, forgiving what we have done wrong and trying to see what we can do better. On behalf of the Government of Belize, I wish everyone a happy new year 2016 and hope that the good Lord will bless us all and guide us to a new beginning,” said Heredia.

    Christmas Raffles held around the island
    Several establishments across San Pedro Town held their annual Christmas Raffles to thank their customers for their patronage throughout the year. This year’s raffles gave customers the opportunity to win great some amazing prizes. Castillo’s Hardware held its annual Christmas Raffle on Tuesday, December 22nd where fabulous prizes were won by five lucky patrons. Picking the lucky tickets were different staff members. The raffle started with the fifth prize, which was a Dewalt Heavy Duty Job Site Radio that went to Jamie Cosby. In fourth place was Jose Luis Zapata who walked away with a Charbroil Stainless Steel Gas Grill. Captain Shark’s held their monthly and Christmas Raffle on Wednesday, December 23rd. First prize in the monthly raffle went to Elsa Paz who won a cash prize of $400. The second prize, a $300 dollars went to Elgar while the third cash prize of $200 went to Steve Shuart. There was a fourth cash prize of $100 and this one went J and K Rental. The Marine Department also raffled a Rod and Reel and this went to Jungle Water Adventures.Christmas Raffles-2 For the Christmas raffle, the third prize was a Mask and Snorkel which went to Hillyboo Lara. The second prize, a PennUgly Stick Combo was won by Sheila Del Cid. Then the final grand prize went to Hipolito Ruiz, who walked away with a $2,000 cash prize.

    Isla Bonita Telenovela’s Director, Matthiew Klinck murdered in Cayo
    Director of La Isla Bonita Telenovela, Matthiew Klinck has been found dead near his home in Selena Village in the Cayo District. The body of the 37-year-old Canadian National was found on Monday, January 4th at around 8:40PM lying about 15 feet away from his home. Klinck was apparently killed during a burglary, as his home had been ransacked according to police reports. According to a report by Cayo Police, they received information from nearby residents that the body of a male person had been found. Upon inspecting the area, police found Klinck’s body just 15 feet away from his home in the initial stage of decomposition. Closer observations revealed what appeared to be a stab wound to the left side of the neck. Police also observed that the house had been ransacked of all valuables, indicating that Klinck was murdered as a result of a robbery. Due to state of the body, a postmortem had to be carried out on site which took place on the morning of Tuesday, January 5th.

    Ambergris Today

    Brittney O'Daniel Awarded San Pedro Person of the Year 2015
    This year’s San Pedro Person of the Year almost flew below the radar because her genuine giving soul seeks no recognition. In fact, she pretty much shies away from it any attention. We know Brittney is a model islander who works hard for her community and is always giving of herself for the betterment of others, but it was not until receiving countless nominations from friends that we realized how much she actually does. There was no other person as deserving of this recognition for 2015. Ambergris Today is humbled and honored to present this year’s Person of the Year award to Brittney O’Daniel. Brittney is a community activist, to say the least, who does more for her adopted home than many local island residents. She hails from Dallas, Texas, USA, but arrived on Ambergris Caye in October 2012 when she took over Playa Chel and converted it to Sandbar Restaurant and Bar. In 2014 Brittney remodeled and launched Sandbar as a hostel, still retaining the restaurant and bar. Her business is a favorite local hangout, but also fills a much-needed niche by catering to backpack travelers to Belize.

    Belize Mourns Loss of Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
    His goal was to develop the film industry in Belize by producing more films in the country, making Belize more accessible to the international film industry and bringing more attention to the country through its new film industry. In a shocking turn of events, the 37-year-old filmmaker from Gatineau, Canada, Matthiew Klinck was found stabbed to death outside his home in Belize Monday evening in what is being called a robbery. Shockwaves of disbelief spread through the island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, where Matthiew made many friends while working on his second project in the country. With much work and dedication he completed the first episode of La Isla Bonita Telenovela (soap opera) which was a huge success. That project exploited new talented actors on the island and promised to boost the careers of young actors who were grateful for the opportunity and hopeful for the future of the industry in Belize.

    Pic of the Week - Picnic S'mores on the Beach
    Nothing but smiles and a face-full of melted marshmallow and chocolate, that is what you get when you plan a great picnic outing on the beautiful beaches of Ambergris Caye. Madison is seen here enjoying her third s'more as she and her family roast marshmallows on the beach grill made out of conch shells.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Sisimito Sessions (Belize Electronic Music Weekend)
    The second annual Sisimito Sessions at Belize Electronic Music Weekend held in Placencia, Belize. January 29 - January 31

    GALENT Artist Management Signs Clayton Williams
    GALENT Artist Management is pleased to announce the signing of Garifuna Garifuna musician, singer-songwriter, percussionist and guitarist Clayton “C-Wills” Williams. As exclusive manager, GALENT will look after the business side of Clayton’s career and will interface with all other parties involved in contributing to his commercial success. It will help further his career as a musician, composer, recording, and performing artist, and to develop new and different areas within which his artistic talents can be developed and exploited. Clayton Leon Williams “C. Wills” hails from the village of Hopkins, Belize and follows in the footsteps of the legendary Paranderos of the Caribbean coast of Central America, including his great grandfather the legendary Gabaga Williams, author and composer of the classic Garifuna song Malati Isien (Worthless Love) perhaps the most well-known Garifuna composition and has been described as one of the greatest Garifuna composers of all time.

    WE LOVE BELIZE!
    John Alexander Watler Author and Belizean Folk storyteller and Clyde Gillett Award Winning Filmmaker and Poet.

    DECREASE IN PUMP PRICES FOR DIESEL OIL
    The Ministry of Finance hereby informs the general public that as a result of lower CIF Prices on a recent shipment of fuels, the Pump Prices for Diesel Oil has decreased substantially with effect from midnight on the 4th January 2016. The new Pump Price for Diesel Oil in Belize City is now $6.58 per US Gallon - a decrease of 42 cents per gallon. The Ministry of Finance further advises the general public that it is the policy of Government to pass on all future reductions in the CIF Prices of fuel products directly to the prices at the pump, and that the Government intends to maintain the current level of duties and taxes without change on these products.

    AMAURYS will be playing tonight on Caye Caulker
    AMAURYS will be playing tonight, January 6th at "Il Baretto wine bar @ Oasi Apartments on Back street from 7.00 to 9.00pm. Come and enjoy the great music with our cocktails and wines

    Local Artist Sparks International ‘Painted Conversation’
    The Cayo Mural got great coverage in the Centre Daily Times. Go, Pablo! The most awesome mural ever! "Local artist Natalia Pilato organized a collaborative effort involving more than 175 people to design and create a mural in the town of San Ignacio, Belize... The finished mural helps pay tribute to a midwife who delivered more than 1,000 babies within the town of San Ignacio."

    Full Moon Concert January 23!
    The Corozal House of Culture (NICH) kicks off the New Year with its Full Moon Concert set for January 23rd, 2016! Mark your calendars - January 23rd - the House of Culture's first event of the 2016.... as part of the Full Moon Concert Series!

    Belize Ornithological Tour May 2-11
    Don't say I did not invite you. Its gonna be awesome! Explore the way I do, not the way tourists do...

    Caribbean Travel Marketplace
    The Belize Hotel Association will be attending the Caribbean Travel Marketplace to be held January 22 and 23, 2016 in the Bahamas. It is the Caribbean's largest and most important marketing event and is being organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association ( CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace affords tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings. The BHA has secured appointments with over 60 travel affiliates, during this two day event. The marketplace, seminars and activities leading up to the date, will also provide our members with an insight into tourism activities and new developments in the Caribbean, through interaction with other tourism partners in our region. In addition, the BHA, represented by President, Mrs. Leisa Carr-Caceres, and Marketing Director, Ms. Tessie Tonaco, will be attending Leadership Development Seminars, the CHSAE Roundtable discussions, and meetings with the executive committee of the CHTA prior to the Marketplace days.

    BHA reaches out to the Mexican Market
    The Belize Hotel Association is always seeking new strategies to best position our members in this highly competitive industry.With the increased interest from the South American market and the addition of the COPA flights to Belize, the first initiative taken by the BHA was to provide a digital version of our Hotel Guide in Spanish to appeal to the Spanish speaking travelers. In December 2015, the BHA launched the digital version of hotel guide in Spanish that was first distributed at the Chile - Copa Roadshow that month. In addition a downloadable version was added to our BHA website. Recently, the Embassy of Belize in Mexico, posted the BHA hotel guide in Spanish, on their facebook page in an effort to assist us to promote Belize as a tourism destination for the Mexican traveller. The Belize Ambassador in Mexico, H.E Oliver del Cid, has informed us and our industry partners, that the BHA guide was very well received by visitors to their page, with over 3000 likes, and 93 shares. This is excellent news for our members, and for the country of Belize. The Belize Embassy in Mexico, has expressed much interest in collaborating with the Belize Tourism Board, the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association, in an effort to promote Belize in Mexico, and we look forward to continue working with them towards this goal.

    ROMANCING THE BUSH
    Saturday, February 6th 2016, 9AM to 3PM. Cost $60.00 USD. Spend the day in our private garden - Learn how plants add power to everything! Make your own tinctures and love potions A Mountain Spirit Wellness one day retreat and workshop where participants get to experience bush medicines used traditionally for enhancing loving energies, developing creativity and healing relationships. Those who attend this event will learn identification, propagation, harvesting, preparation and traditional uses of the featured plants: Damiana, Strongback, Yohimbe, Gein Weyu and Wild Yam Things to bring: Bathing suit, Bath towel, Open heart and mind. We will provide the rest!

    Splashers
    This week at Crazy Canucks 2p.m. January 7, 2016. Come join us to paint "Guatemalan Lady" this Thursday at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

    Poets Corner: Responsibility!
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Misinformed citizenry Abrogating their duty To participate actively In the political process of this country Participation does not mean being confrontational Confrontational does not necessarily mean being effectual This principle is universal Democracy is government by the people That why we vote For the people when it benefits the folks By the people, means participating in governance But after elections we go back to being dependence Instead of continue being active participants

    Garinagu Involvement
    The Bible said do not be unevenly yoked The marriage of the Union and the PUP was a joke With 8000 strong the GWU were put to vote To disband or keep the Union The majority won to keep the union strong until 1980- 81 Until Uncle Sam persuaded Price to either disband Or separate himself from the Union This un-holy yoking gave us 20 years of lull leading up to the 2005 confrontation 1922 marked Garvey, TV Ramos and Haynes activation Ramos being the UNIA leader in Dangriga Took the ideas and focused on the Garifuna This birthed the Carib Development Society and the Carib International Society Resulting in Garifuna Settlement Day in 1943 Celebrations began in 1943 moved to Toledo swiftly And by 77 it was celebrated nationally Needless to say the elites in the Garifuna society did not support Garveyism And TV Ramos was mostly grassroots women and Children The movement too roots in 1955 when TV Ramos Joined the Ahrie

    Channel 7

    Snakeman Got Bitten By an Unfamiliar Tommy Goff
    Gilbert Usher, more commonly known as Snakeman, makes his living by performing dangerous stunts involving snakes - putting them inside his mouth and letting them slither all over his body. He is a popular tourist attraction in Lucky Strike Village, a couple hundred yards from Altun Ha. But on Sunday, one of the most poisonous snake in the world, a Fer De Lance, known locally as Tommy Goff bit him, and he has been in a coma ever since. That's where he remains tonight and the KHMH will only say that he is, quote, "very critical." But how did a man who has so much experience in snake-handling get bitten by one? Emanuel Pech visited Lucky Strike village today to find out:... Gilbert Usher has been handling snakes for most of his life. He keeps several of them as pets including a large Tommy Goff which he has been raising for the past 3 years. But on Sunday, another Tommy Goff, smaller than the one he keeps as a pet, bit him. Floyd Herbert is a woodcraftsman of Lucky Strike Village. He told us he was working when Snakeman arrived at his place with his latest catch.

    Customs Moves To Destroy 75 Tonnes of Guyanese Rice
    Last night on the news, you probably heard Eamon Courtney's dire warning about the Guyanese rice that Jack Charles has sitting at the Big Creek Port. He said Customs warned him a week ago that the rice - all 75 tonnes - would be confiscated and destroyed. Here again are those remarks from yesterday: FILE: January 4, 2016 Eamon Courtenay, SC - Attorney for Local Rice Producers "The primary position is that it is to be confiscated and destroyed. They are giving him an opportunity and this was from the 23rd December to take it out and attempt to do something with it. So, Customs once again is bending over backward saying to him listen, you brought this thing in illegally, take it out, we are not going to destroy it. I would think that a week has passed and he has done nothing - I would urge Customs to move with dispatch at this stage and I hope that they do."

    Canadian Filmmaker Murdered near Spanish Lookout
    You may have seen the movie named, "Curse of the Xtabai". The 2012 film was probably the first full length creole language movie which was made completely in Belize. Or how about the first Spanish soap opera filmed in Belize called, La Isla Bonita Telenovela? Well, tonight, the Canadian man who made the ambitious film and television series is dead. 37 year old Matthew Klinck was killed sometime over the past few days - and left dead outside his house which is not far from Spanish Lookout. Daniel Ortiz went there today looking for answers:... Daniel Ortiz reporting Police found the body of 37 year-old Canadian Filmmaker Matthew Klinck here in Selena Village, on the outskirts of the Spanish Lookout Community in Cayo. The last time he was seen alive was mostly likely on Saturday, at around 4 p.m. Klinck drove past the caretaker of the property as he normally does. Since it was not unusual for him to work long hours in total privacy, nothing was suspected to be amiss.

    Ministry of Health: Still No Answers for Siera
    Last night we told you about Siera Hodgson's sad story. Siera's biological mother, Mary Castillo, was admitted into state psychiatric care in 2006. Over the past 6 years since she moved with her foster mother to Scotland, Siera has been visiting her mother and writing letters to her from the UK. But this year - on boxing day - when Siera went to see her mom at the Palm Center in Belmopan, they told her that her mother was missing. Now Siera is outraged because she claims no one from the Palm Center contacted her. She told us that the Center has her home address and phone number in the UK. Today she told us via email " I have received no letters from them about my mother going missing , if I did receive them I would have went on the next plane to see what the situation was about. She adds "In July 2014 my adopted mother Shona gave them our house number again and it has never changed .We used to call the institute too, over the 10 years where my biological mom was living there. I had many opportunities to speak to my mother over the phone. So they are covering their backs by lying about that too. Plus my mom always checks if there were any missed calls and we received none from them." She ends off by saying "It's very frustrating! …I think they thought I wouldn't care or that I would forget my own mother because she must be just a number to them."

    Robbery At Pou's
    One of Belize City's most well liked meatpie makers got robbed this afternoon. It happened around 3:25 PM on New Road at Pou meatpie. According to reports from eyewitnesses in the neighborhood, the woman who runs the business, known to them only as "Ms Pou" walked to the gate of the business to collect five hundred dollars. She was counting the money, and that's when a young man ran up and tried to snatch it from her. But she put up a fight, and he threw her to ground and dragged her as she clutched unto the money and he tried to wrest it away. She burst her head, and he left her on the sidewalk, as he dashed away into the Jungle area off Pickstock Street. That's when a car swooped in to pick him up and drove off. "Ms Pou" had to be taken to the hospital, and there's no update on her condition tonight.

    Cops Busted Bradley
    Yesterday, Bradley Roe, from the family of well-known Insurance Company owners, went to magistrate's court for possession of a small amount of cocaine. The bust was made on Sunday, January 3, at the Princess Hotel and Casino where police responded to a report and searched Roe. He found a small transparent plastic bag containing powdery substance suspected to be cocaine in his pocket. Roe was taken to the police station where the suspected cocaine was weighed in his presence and amounted to 0.02 grams. Roe appeared before the Magistrate with his attorney, Leisje Chung-Barrow. He pleaded not guilty to the single charge and received bail of $500. The court ordered that disclosure be given to Bradley Roe by March 3rd, 2016.

    Bakers and Confectioners Say No Problems With Sugar Price Increase
    75 cents: effective January first, that's the price you are now paying for a pound of white sugar - up from 50 cents a pound, a 50% increase. Now of course, we have gotten some complaints from the consumers about this increase, but how about those pastry makers who have get to get all those sweet treats out to you: Will the increase affect their businesses? When we spoke to a couple today, they couldn't be the least bit bothered. Courtney Weatherburne "So it has increased by 25 cents. Now it's 75 cents per pound. In terms of economics, looking at it from the business perspective, will this increase affect you?" Salvador Cambranes, Owner - Cambranes Bakery "Well probably not. We absorb it. Because it's not very much, so we will probably take the loss. Well it wouldn't be a loss, but the operation cost. Just that the scarcity is an issue right now. But I guess when the price fixed, it will be back to normal. It's not very much readily available. So that's the thing. Apparently, they are storing it. Who knows? The more profit."

    Diesel Drops
    And while sugar is going up, diesel went down on Monday morning. Lower world prices have pushed the pump price down to six dollars and fifty eight cents, which is a decrease of 42 cents per gallon. Government says that despite an increase in import duty on fuel, it will pass on all future reductions in the Prices of fuel products directly to the pump price.

    Weed-whacker For A 93 Year Old
    Last night you saw our interview with 93 year old beating victim Patrick Grant. He's back home recovering after six days in the hospital - and last night he told us that the thing he misses most is the weed whacker that was stolen from him. That's because - the senior citizen still likes to cut his own grass. Well, the Belmopan police heard him loud and clear and today the Officer Commanding called us to say that they're getting him a new weed whacker. They're doing so through the assistance of a generous businessman and this evening, we stopped by to pick up Grant's new weed wacker. Here's what the donors told us about it: Supt. Howell Gillett, OC - Belmopan Police "I don't know Mr. Grant, more than what I've seen on the television and it touch my heart to know that this old gentleman suffered such an attack. Its ruthless, it's senseless in my view and I said you know, we at Belmopan Police has to do something about it to help.

    BAVIA: Killed Canadian Klinck Will Be Missed
    Earlier in our newscast we told you about the murder of one of the film industry's pioneers Matthiew Klinck. Since arriving in Belize 5 years ago Matthiew has produced plentifully, gaining the respect of his colleagues and contributing to the development of the film industry. Today we spoke to Brent Toombs a board member of the Belize Audio Visual Industry Association, BAVIA. He expressed his condolences to the family of Matthiew Klinck and described what this loss means for the film industry in the country. Brent Toombs, Belize Audio Visual Industry Association "I mean we are such a small industry. There is only so many of us working in this industry in Belize, so it's a huge loss. We've lost not just part of our film family in Belize, but we lost a contributing productive member who is actually producing good work. So we've lost that. But like I said, I think it's more in the fact that Matthew is very good at training people, getting people excited and getting people to be attracted to seeing film as an option either as an artistic expression or as a profession. And so we've lost that. We've lost somebody who I think bring a lot of people into the industry and gave them their first exposure to film."

    How To Educate
    Here in the media, we know that it's off-season for workshops, conferences, symposiums and the like, but the organizers of the seventh annual Belizean International Symposium on Education, pulled it off. The event is an ambitious one, covering a wide range of topics about education. We spoke to Pamela Cook, the founder and executive director of the Belizean International Symposium on Education, and to a few of the participating members of the education conference. The Symposium will make donations to the Dorothy Menzie's Child care facility, Liberty Preschool, La Isla Carinosa Academy (LICA), Caye Caulker and the Ministry of Education preschools.

    PUP Chairman, The Unrestricted Free Agent
    Henry Usher is the Chairman of the PUP, but he's also trying to win back that Chairman's seat in the upcoming convention. He's doing so against heavy odds, since the current party leader, Francis Fonseca's slate is backing Oscar Requena for that post. So, Usher has to fall in with one of the other two camps in the three way race for leader. And, he seems to be going with Johnny Briceno. Here's what he said in Corozal over the weekend - which was posted on facebook:.. Usher told us today that he is a free agent, and has to also try and get elected. We note that in supporting Anthony Mahler for Communications director, Usher is thus going against his cousins Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Emilio Zabaneh who are also vying for that post.

    Former Belize Appeals Judge Takes Over High Court in JA
    In March of last year, Justice Dennis Morrison left the bench of the Belize Court of Appeal after 11 distinguished years. Well now, he has been appointed as the President of the Jamaican Court of Appeal. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, who were present at the function praised him for his adept legal knowledge and said that his presence ensures "that Jamaica achieves the best justice system for (its) people."

    Channel 5

    Canadian Filmmaker Matt Klinck Killed Near Spanish Lookout
    Thirty-seven year old film-maker Matthiew Klinck is well known in Belize for the first-ever telenovela, La Isla Bonita, set in San Pedro as well as for the Curse of Ixtabai. [...]

    Local Film Industry Reeling in the Wake of His Murder
    The Belize Audio Visual Industry Association, BAVIA, of which Matthiew Klinck was a founding board member, is tonight reeling from the murder of a colleague.  Klinck rose to prominence in [...]

    Reflecting on Matthiew Klinck
    Klinck, the brain behind Make-Belize Films, also dedicated countless hours training and mentoring young film students and aspiring producers.  Toombs gives a professional reflection of his slain colleague.   Isani [...]

    Klinck Was Stabbed as Many as Fourteen Times
    There is an update to the murder investigation…When we left the scene just after two this afternoon, forensic personnel and Police were still in Selena at the scene of the [...]

    A Belizean Businessman is Arrested in Honduras
    A Belizean businessman was arrested today in Honduras; August Henry Tabony was detained while he was at the Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatan International Airport. According to reports from La Prensa [...]

    Do You Support the Destruction of the Guyanese Rice?
    And tonight’s question is: Do you support the destruction of the Guyanese rice which could not be released for retail? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

    Jack Charles Granted Injunction to Stop Customs from Destroying Guyanese Rice
    On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young rejected an application filed on behalf of businessman Jack Charles who was seeking judicial review of BAHA’s decision to confiscate his cargo of [...]

    A Comprehensive Look at the Rice Wars of Belize
    Businessman Jack Charles’ attempt to bring in the Guyanese rice for retail started months ago; tonight he is seeking to stop the destruction of three containers of the staple. In [...]

    Cost of Diesel Goes Down at the Pump
    The government announced today that it will be passing on to consumers some savings on diesel.  And we say some because on December twenty-eighth, the price of diesel shot up [...]

    Mechanic Remanded for Unlawful Sex with Minor
    A Belize City Mechanic of Evergreen Street, Lake Independence, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison in the wake of an allegation against him by a fifteen year old [...]

    Meagan Leslie Busted Trying to Smuggle Weed into Hattieville Prison
    The girlfriend of a prison inmate is in trouble with the law tonight. That’s because she tried to smuggle weed for him to take back to prison. Meagan Leslie was [...]

    Thieves Hit A US Livestock Exporter in Cayo During Christmas Holiday
    Fifty-eight year old Charles Davison, a US livestock exporter and importer of Ontario Village, Cayo District has suffered significant financial losses. Davison was overseas during the Christmas holiday when thieves [...]

    Snake Man: Will He Survive Another Tommy Goff Bite
    There are fifty-six types of snakes in Belize, eight of which are poisonous. But before you go killing every snake in sight, there are ways to tell the toxic from [...]

    Health Statistics Indicate that Belize District Residents are Severely Overweight
    The health of the Belize District population is at risk. Indicators show that far too many residents are severely over-weight and that in the younger population, more newborns died last [...]

    Dengue and Malaria not on List of Most Prevalent Communicable Diseases
    The report also looked at the top five communicable and non-communicable diseases. Interestingly, dengue and malaria did not make the list of most prevalent communicable diseases for the first ten [...]

    Landmark Bertha’s Tamales Goes Up in Flames
    In February of 2015, the Founder of World Famous Hummingbird Highway Tamales, Bertha Lisbey passed away at age seventy-eight. But business continued as usual as her daughter, Aurora carried on [...]

    CTV3

    Belizean Business Man Detained For Money Laundering In Honduras
    Sixty five year old Belizean businessman Henry Tabony August was arrested in Honduras for money laundering today after he was found in possession of $16,490.00 which he failed to declare at the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport in Roatan, Islas de la Bahia, Honduras. According to La Prensa Newspaper of Honduras, August, who carried a Belizean passport with the number P0291601, was unable to justify the large sum of money and as such was transferred to the Public Ministry charged with the crime of money laundering. According to the Anti- Money Laundering laws, anyone traveling with more than $ 10,000 or its equivalent has to make a statement before the appropriate authority.

    Request Made For Speed Bumps On The Phillip Goldson Highway
    The tragic accident that resulted in the death of twenty seven year old Lea Crawford, teacher of Carmelita Village, and twenty two year old Adrian Wade, has prompted the administration and staff of Carmelita Government School where Crawford volunteered as a teacher, to request for a speed bump. According to the Principal of the school, in order to prevent future accidents from occurring, the pedestrian ramps must be installed in key areas of the Phillip Goldson Highway. Keith Augustine – Principal of Carmelita Government School: “The ministry of works who is the appropriate authority to see if they can install some speed bumps because last year if I can recall correctly I had about three children being knocked down on the side of that road and it was like a broken feet and hand and some couple of years my same teachers was knocked down and she recovered and until today she is still with pain and it is sad to see another teacher who was knocked down and she lost her life and I think about two years ago or a year ago another student was knocked down so too many lives has been lost and I think it is about time that someone stand up and build those pedestrian crossing because it is over like a hundred kids that need to cross that highway.”

    First Earthquake For 2016 Hits Trinidad And Tobago
    The first earthquake for 2016 was recorded this morning at around 10:33am in Trinidad and Tobago. The 5.0 magnitude earthquake shook Trinidad and Tobago but there have been no reports of damage or injuries.According to the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre, the earthquake occurred at a depth of 33 km, about 62 km northwest of Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain; 81 km northwest of Arima, Trinidad; and 103 km south of St. George’s, Grenada.Some people living in nearby Grenada and even St. Vincent and the Grenadines also reported feeling the shaking.

    Canadian Producer and Film Maker Stabbed To Death
    Last night at about 8:40 p.m. authorities were called out to Selena Village in the Cayo District where they discovered the lifeless body of a male dressed in a blue jeans pant and white T-shirt. The body was later identified as thirty seven year old Matthiew Klinck, a Canadian national, producer and film-maker. When police arrived at the residence, they observed that the house had been ransacked. Klinck was stabbed fourteen times on the left side of his face, neck and torso. Police say that the body was in an initial stage of decomposition and remains on the site and under the guard of police officers where it awaits a post mortem examination.

    Woman Attacked In Corozal Town
    Story Corozal Police are today looking for a man accused of attacking a 22 year old woman while in the Finca Solana Area of Corozal Town. According to the victim, 21 year old Joanna Caliz of San Pedro Town, on Sunday afternoon she and a group of friends had just finished swimming when a tall male person of dark complexion came out of the bushes wielding a machete. That is when all hell broke loose. Joanna Caliz: “It happened at Finca Solana and we had just arrived like around 2:20 and thereabout a dark skin tall man approached us with a machete and he just took all my purse with all my belongings, documents and some of my personal belongings and then he threatened us to follow him so that with the machete so that he could do something to us and then he just walked through the bushes. It happened around 2:40 in the afternoon. There were people but very far, there was a man painting but he didn’t saw anything because the man went into the bush, he was a dark skin, very tall and it had a lone blue jeans pants, a dark rag on his face and a black undershirt, I didn’t see any tattoos.”

    Peace Work International Trains Public Officers In First Aid CPR
    As part of a yearly involvement with various institutions here in Belize, Peace Work International and Gateway Technical College conducted a two day training on CPR and First Aid for members of the police department, Customs department and the Nurses from Orange Walk and Corozal. The initiative that started four years ago is focused on arming members of our community with key skills in first response training.Vicky Halback- Nursing Instructor: “We are here working with Peace Corp to do a first aid and basic class for some of the community members, we have members here from Orange Walk and from Corozal and we have been working closely with Mr. Neal and Lupe Ack who organized.”Reporter:“What is some basic stuff that persons will be learning?”Vicky Halback- Nursing Instructor: “Today they are learning CPR and first aid such as wound care.”

    International Group Works On Developing In Early Childhood Education In The North
    Peace Work International and Gateway Technical College commenced works in various communities here in Orange Walk earlier this week. One such collaboration is between the Education Students from Gateway Technical College and the Preschool teachers from Guinea Grass village. The initiative is part of a weeklong partnership focused on developing early childhood education in preschools here in the Orange Walk District, according to Peace Work representative, Jess Falla.Jess Falla- Peace Work: “We have students who are studying to be teachers; they are studying specifically early childhood education and so they have actually created a whole curriculum with hands on activities on a very child centered approached education and so they are working here at Guinea Grass Pentecostal as well as Guinea Grass Roman Catholic School and what they are doing is working alongside with the teachers and so it is a really a two way collaboration and they are specifically working with the senses right now because that is what the Belizean teachers are focusing right now so they created a curriculum that would go along with what the Belizean teachers are doing and they have a whole bunch of activities that they are doing with the teachers and the students in the classroom.”

    LOVE FM

    Infant Mortality on the Rise in Belize … Top Ten Diseases Listed …. 1 of 10 Persons Overweight
    The release of figures at the end of the year on health statistics is not a practice by the Ministry of Health; but in the Central Health Region Bulletin dated December 2015, some figures were released looking at various health aspects ranging from obesity to communicable diseases and infant mortality. The statistics coming out is […]

    Murder #2 for 2016 Marks Canadian National as Victim
    San Ignacio Police is investigating its first murder for 2016. Thirty seven year old Canadian National Matthiew Klinck was found dead in his yard last night just before nine o’clock. Klinck had been murdered. Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Due to the state of decomposition an onsite post mortem was conducted on the body […]

    Snake Man Slowly Recovers from Venomous Bite
    Yesterday we told of the case of Gilbert Usher also known as Snake Man who was bitten by a Fer del Lance snake, commonly referred to in Belize as a Tommy Goff. We were in error when we told you that he was on life support when in fact, he was in an induced medical […]

    Police Harassment for a Roach?
    Just after midday today, members of the Belize Police Department rained down on a residence on Amara Avenue in Belize, equipped with Apollo, the canine. Judging from the number of uniformed officers at the scene, you would get the idea that intelligence was leading them to a big yield of illegal substances or items …… […]

    Travel Pulse Writes on Tourism Outlook for Belize
    Travel Pulse is an online publication headquartered in New Jersey, USA and functions as a news source as it relates to tourism, cruise lines and the travel industry on a whole. At the end of 2015, a publication on the outlook of Caribbean and Latin America was posted with an overview of the areas that […]

    The Argument of Imported Rice
    Businessman Jack Charles got bad news from the court yesterday when Justice Sonia Young denied his application for judicial review as it relates to the three containers of Guyanese rice he has at the Big Creek Port in southern Belize. The court agreed that Charles had put the cart before the horse and proceeded to […]

    Crime Rate Down in the Twin Towns
    Major crimes decreased in 2015 says Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, the officer Commanding San Ignacio Police and the Western Regional Commander. While our news team was in San Ignacio, we got some crime statistics as it relates to the twin towns. ANDREW RAMIREZ: “The loss of one is one too many. We will try our best […]

    “A Painted Conversation” for Meredith Sanz
    “A painted conversation”, that’s the name given to a mural created by students of Galen University and artist Natalie Pilato. The mural design is a collage of photography and drawings which were traced, color coded and hand painted on 800 square feet of wall. Over one hundred and seventy persons contributed to the artwork which […]

    Police News
    Caye Caulker businessman, Artemio Marin has reported that his boat, Baby Dax has been stolen. Marin, who is the owner of Anda de Wata Tours said his boat was stolen between January 3 and 4. The boat is described as white with a red vertical Stripe with black underneath fiber glass boat with green canopy, […]

    Mechanic Charged for Unlawful Intercourse with Minor
    Thirty-seven year old Denfield Davis, an auto mechanic of Evergreen Street who was allegedly having an affair with a 15 year old school girl, was charged with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Davis was also charged with one count of grievous harm. No plea was […]

    PlusTV

    Belize City resident killed on New Year’s Day
    A Belize City resident was shot and killed on New Year’s Day. On Friday the 1st of January 21-year-old Kieron Shaquille Moss of Belize City was walking with two females on Levi Slusher Street when two male persons on a motorcycle approached them. One of the passengers then got off the motorcycle and...

    Well-known City residents killed on highway
    At Mile 5 and a half on the Philip Goldson Highway around 9 Sunday morning, four badly damaged vehicles were all that remained of two separate traffic accidents, one fatal but both equally horrible to view. The first collision involved a Blue Ford escort and a Chevvy Equinnox being driven by mechani...

    Two perish in traffic accident
    A fatal traffic accident in the Orange Walk district has claimed the lives of a young man and a young woman, both residents of Carmelita. The accident occurred on Saturday January 2nd just outside Carmelita village. Witnesses say that Lea Crawford and Adrian Wade were on the highway on a bicycle whe...

    Men shot on New Year’s Eve
    Two Belize City residents were shot at on New Year’s Eve. On Thursday the 31st of December, 31 year old Ryne Mckenzie and 21 year old Ryan Foster 31-year-old Ryne Mckenzie were riding on separate bicycles when two men reportedly fired several shots at them. Mckenzie was shot to the shoulder, while F...

    Supreme Court upholds BAHA decision not to import Guyanese rice
    If you were one of the Belizeans dreaming of 69-cent rice on your dinner table, then we can tell you tonight that the dream is over, at least for now. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young this morning said she would not grant leave to importer Jack Charles to file for judicial review of a decision by ...

    Motorcycles gone missing
    Motorcycles have been going missing around the country as of late. 66-year-old Juan Perez of Bladden Village in the Toledo District reported that on the 30th December 2015 around 7:30 p.m., he parked his red Meilun motorcycle valued at $2,200.00 with his friend in the San Jose Village. Upon making c...

    Orange Walk Police make huge drug bust
    Orange Walk Police make a huge bust of over 183 pounds of cannabis. Two men have been detained regarding the find of the Cannabis. Over the weekend, Orange Walk Police police were making checks on a feeder road off the Philip Goldson Highway when they found the 9 packages that were covered with blac...

    Amandala

    Southside loses Kieron Moss, 21, in first murder for 2016
    After a month-long reprieve in murders on the Southside of Belize City, a young man who was walking in the Jane Usher Boulevard area at about 4:30 Friday morning, after celebrating the New Year, was gunned down in the first murder case for 2016. Kieron Moss, 21, of Freedom Street, Port Loyola, was escorting two women home, on Levy Slusher Street, in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, after they attended the New Year countdown at the Memorial Park and went partying at a local nightclub. Reports to Amandala are that the three friends took a cab to the Jane Usher Boulevard area, and Moss was attacked by two gunmen on motorcycles, one of whom fired several shots at him, hitting him in the head and body, after which they fled the scene. According to police, Moss was shot twice in the head and 6 times in the chest and body, but the girls were not harmed.

    Two remanded for big heroin bust
    Two Belize City men were remanded to prison today, after they were arraigned on drug trafficking charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in connection with a major drug bust which yielded over 11 kilos of heroin, with a potential street value of over US$1 million. The two men, Richard McDonald, 39, a tour operator and resident of Hattieville, and Giovanni Requeña, 25, a fisherman and resident of T- Street, were charged separately for the same offense. They were each charged with one count of supplying a controlled drug, 5 grams of methamphetamine or heroine to Ervin Teck, contrary to The Misuse of Drugs Act. They were also separately charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply 11,155 grams of a controlled drug, being morphine or heroine, on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    Road traffic accident claims two lives near Carmelita
    couple who were riding along the Philip Goldson Highway, in Carmelita Village, were knocked down and run over by a vehicle that did not stop to help them at about 9:30 Saturday night, January 2. Lea Crawford, 21, a teacher of Carmelita Village, died on the spot, while Adrian Wade, 27, was declared dead on arrival at the Northern Regional Hospital. Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett, Commander of Orange Walk Police, said that Crawford and Wade were riding on the same bicycle, when a Toyota 4Runner, driven by Perry Gibson, 44, a businessman of Belize City, who was travelling to Belize City from Orange Walk, knocked them down and did not stop. Tillett said that the vehicle came to a halt about a half-mile from where the accident happened, due to mechanical failure, and so Gibson was promptly arrested and taken into custody. Commander Tillett said that the front of the vehicle, which stopped in front of the Carmelita Supermarket, located along the highway, was damaged.

    2016 brings double tragedy on Philip Goldson Highway
    What should have been a festive weekend in celebration of the New Year, 2016, ended in tragedy for the families of five persons who were injured, two of them fatally, in two separate road accidents on the same stretch of the Philip Goldson Highway roughly 30 minutes apart, on Sunday, January 3. The collisions occurred on the infamous curve between Miles 5 and 6. The first accident reportedly happened at about 8:20 yesterday morning, Sunday, when a Chevy Equinox SUV and a Ford Escort car collided into each other. The driver of the car, Marvin Ramirez, 27, of Tibruce Street, Belize City, was severely injured while the driver of the Equinox, Andre Gordon of Baracat Street, Belize City, suffered minor injuries. Both vehicles were extensively damaged.

    Supreme Court refuses claim of rice importer, Jack Charles
    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young, sitting in chambers, denied the application of businessman Jitendra Chawla, better known as “Jack Charles,” for a judicial review into the Government’s decision to block his importation of Guyanese rice. Jack Charles had applied to the high court seeking permission to file a writ of mandamus, which, if successful, would have the court order the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) to release his three containers of rice that had been held at the Big Creek Port since they arrived almost a month ago. Charles had imported the rice from Guyana without securing the necessary importation permit from BAHA; as a consequence, Justice Young found that Charles was in violation of the BAHA Act and the court would not countenance his application for judicial review. Upon exiting the court, attorney Eamon Courtenay, SC, who was attempting to join the case on behalf of the local rice producers, told reporters that they did not have to present any arguments, since the case was speedily turned down by the court.

    More CARICOM countries should join the CCJ, says Belize PM, as he assumes chair of CARICOM
    Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow assumes chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the start of the New Year, 2016. Barrow—Belize’s first Prime Minister to win three consecutive terms in office and who also served as chair of CARICOM from January to June 2009—will assume the rotating chairmanship from Prime Minister of Barbados and Chair of CARICOM, the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, for a period of 6 months, from January to June. “[Stuart’s] guidance during the past six months has been highly appreciated by his colleague Heads of Government,” Barrow said in his incoming message. Barrow called on more CARICOM countries to join the region’s indigenous court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, which has been Belize’s final appellate court since June 1, 2010.

    KREM Classic 2016 winners
    2016 is under way, and it started with a bang on Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day, as hundreds of fans lined the road-ways “from the border to the boulevard” to witness the 26th edition of the KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, most rooting for a Belizean winner. And they were not disappointed, as Belizean riders took the first 4 prizes from among a field of 57 that started the Elite race from the northern border, including 11 foreigners, from the USA, Mexico and Guyana. Last year’s champion, Mexican Hector Rangel, who rode for the Benny’s Megabytes team in 2015, did not participate this time. By a new rule of the Cycling Association of Belize, foreign riders can no longer ride as part of Belizean teams as in years past. 37 cyclists finished the 96-mile journey, which started at 9:00 a.m. from the Corozal Free Zone, passing through Corozal Town and Orange Walk Town, including all the various villages on the way to Belize City, and ending at the finish line in front of Santos Diaz & Sons on Central American Boulevard.

    BDFA Interim Committee U-15 games results
    The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) Interim Committee U-15 football tournament continued yesterday, Sunday, at the MCC with the Week 9 scheduled games. In game 1, Face of Belize and Hattieville Riverside Boys played to a 3-3 draw. Orlin Garcia scored 1 and Mario Galindo scored 2 goals for Face of Belize, while Mario Rivera got 1 and Jadon McGregor got 2 goals for the Riverside Boys. Game 2 saw Smart Brown Bombers getting the win by default over Ladyville Rising Stars. Game 3 was another default, with Berger United getting the win over Collet Strikers. And in game 4, undefeated City Boys crushed Ladyville Jaguars, 4-1, with Akeem Sutherland and Denroy Lopez scoring a goal apiece, and Kenroy Linares netting 2 goals for City Boys; while Lyndon Flowers scored for the Jaguars.

    Splish Splash
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence its third, annual basketball tournament on Saturday, January 16, and 8 teams are expected to participate. Those teams are: Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit, Belize Hurricanes, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Cayo Western Ballaz, Dangriga Warriors and Independence Thunderbolts. The opening game will feature the newly added Independence Thunderbolt versus the back-to-back defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, out of the island in San Pedro. Cycling news – Krem Classic The 26th annual Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic went down this past Friday, January 1. Elite riders took off from the Corozal border at 9:00 a.m., and shortly after, the juniors and females got rolling from Orange Walk at 9:30 and 9:35 a.m., respectively, all racing to the finish line on Central American Blvd in Belize City. Although there were tons of station prizes all along the route in each race category, the most coveted prizes laid at the finish line, where the top 20 Elite riders and the top 3 in the Junior and Female categories would all be rewarded.

    Editorial: Death trap
    Party politics in Belize is a hell of a thing, as you know, and it affects our traffic and road safety. As far as we know, Ernesto Torres is the only Belizean who has any advanced training where the discipline of traffic is concerned. Because Torres has gotten himself publicly involved with electoral politics, the relevant authorities in Belize have refused to exploit his expertise. Meanwhile, traffic in and around Belize City continues to deteriorate. Many drivers do not know the traffic rules, one reason being that corruption within the system enables many people to become drivers without being properly educated. The taxi drivers have become classic violators of the rules, especially at rush hours, and in their case the immigrants who abound in the taxi business have led the way with their daring and recklessness. Belizean taxi drivers have followed their lead, and the rest of us drivers sometimes feel pressure to participate in our new regime of traffic lawlessness. The bus drivers, apparently because the size of their vehicles inflates their egos, do whatever it is they feel like doing anywhere in the population centers or on the roads, and they continue to race at high speeds from time to time. The “bus stop” at the corner of Regent Street West and East Canal is an area of pandemonium which will create headlines with armed violence between drivers any day now. Overall in Belize, the atmosphere where the driving of motor vehicles is concerned is a reckless one, and the road and driver recklessness increases on weekends and holidays, alcohol use making a significant contribution to that increased recklessness.

    From the Publisher
    Every year when I watch the annual Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day in California, I am struck by the power and wealth and magnificence of the United States of America. There is something that you will not know about the American people, however, unless you live there for a while. With all their power, wealth and magnificence, the American people are a touchy people, a jealous people.a The American people want to be loved by the rest of the world, and when this does not prove to be the case, many Americans are puzzled by the hostility from other parts of the world. The unfortunate case of Marion Jones has always intrigued me, because she was treated manifestly more harshly than other American athletes who were using performance-enhancing drugs. It has been said that Marion went to jail because she lied to federal investigators, but I look at her case from another standpoint. At the moment of her absolute triumph at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Marion Jones grabbed a Belizean flag the Belizean side of her family had brought to the stadium for her to display. She ran around the track with it, and many thousands of miles around the world in little Belize, we were oh so proud of Marion and oh so happy. This was an unforgettable moment for Belizeans.

    A senior Belizean’s plea from Santa Elena
    Editor Amandala, Sir, I would like to ask the Hon. Prime Minister for a bit of consideration for those elderly Belizeans who have played a part in contributing to the Social Security but were unable to complete the five hundred (500) contributions. There are many of us who only managed to reach three hundred and fifty (350) contributions and had to accept a little grant of about three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) about seven to twelve years ago. How could that little grant help a person through the rest of his older years? There is nothing wrong for the non-contributors to be getting a small pension. But why should we, the ones who have worked so hard and contributed for so long, be pushed aside and forgotten? We are human, poor and needy. Please, Mr. Prime Minister, please give us some consideration, just like the non-contributors.

    U.S. history and opinions from a Master’s degree
    Dear Editor, You are correct. Your knowledge of U.S. history needs a lot of help. The Pilgrims and Puritans were not the same people. The Pilgrims had broken with the Church of England and lived in the Netherlands for a while. Bradford’s History of Plimouth Plantation struck me as a colossal piece of arrogance. They definitely felt superior to the Native Americans. The Puritans only wanted to purify, as they put it, the Church of England. They settled in the area of Boston – north of Plymouth. I could be incorrect, but I believe that the oldest city in the United States is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Napoleon sold Louisiana because he needed the money. It doubled the size of the United States. A few U.S. citizens had already moved into that territory. You have a problem, also, calling WASPs elite. Perhaps it’s in your definition of elite – too complicated to take up here.

    Critically ill Lucky Strike “snake man” not so lucky with Tommy Goff
    Gilbert “Baldhead” Usher, also known as “Snake Man,” is clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), after he was bitten, for a second time in 8 years, by a Fer-de-lance, one of Belize’s most venomous vipers, known locally as the “Tommy Goff.” Reports to Amandala are that Usher is currently on life support, and as of 4:00 p.m. today, Usher was still listed in a critical condition at the KHMH’s Intensive Care Unit. Usher, who is a resident of Lucky Strike Village, located on the old Northern Highway, was deported from the United States several years ago and earns his living by taming snakes, which he displays to tourists who visit the Altun Ha Maya temple area. In late July 2008, Usher was showing off a Tommy Goff to a Canadian family, in front of his Lucky Strike home, but as he was explaining how dangerous the Fer-de-lance venom is, the snake crawled up his chin, posed in a striking position and bit him on his nose.

    Amandala interviews our 2015 Man of the Year: Chester Williams
    In the January 3, 2016 edition of Amandala, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams was honored as our Man of the Year for 2015, in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments during the short time that he has been the Police Department’s Southside Commander: specifically the drastic reduction in the murder rate from 23 in the second half of 2014 to 8 in the second half of 2015—a phenomenal drop of 65%. On July 7, 2015, Williams was appointed the Police Department’s Commander of the Southside, which encompasses everything south of the four bridges: Chetumal, Belcan, Bel-China, and The Swing Bridge, all the way up to Mile 6 on the George Price Highway, and which is one of three Eastern Division precincts. In an Amandala exclusive, Williams—a man who came from very humble beginnings, the sixth child born to Isolene Williams, a single mother, who struggled to raise seven of them with the assistance of his grandparents—reflected on his milestone year. He said that “community policing” has allowed the Police Department to make “significant inroads” in solving and/or preventing crimes where the “big stick approach” has failed.

    SSB earns $3.1 mil from $15 mil investment in BEL
    Three years ago, in October 2012, Amandala reported that the Social Security Board (SSB) had moved to invest $15 million in the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)—$10 million in the purchase of preference shares and $5 million in debentures. The SSB, which owns a minority stake of about 27% in the utility company, nationalized by the Government in 2011, had said that it would earn much more than what it had been earning at the commercial banks—a move to which Fortis Inc., the former majority owner of BEL, had strongly objected. “Since 2012, SSB has earned $3.1 million in return on its combined investments, amounting to an average of 6.6% annual interest,” BEL said today, in announcing that it had concluded the three-year arrangement with the SSB.

    Depressed PetroCaribe flows won’t dampen 2016, says PM Barrow
    Even as Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela are advocating for a pullback on the PetroCaribe accord with foreign states, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow in his New Year’s Message for 2016, warned that the most pronounced of the challenges that will confront Belize in the months ahead will be a continued reduction in PetroCaribe flows, which, he said, had already been slashed in half in 2015 due to plummeting world market prices for crude. “This, combined with the drying up of earnings from our own petroleum exports, will put a severe crimp in Government revenues,” Barrow added. “It is what, in the face of the coming step-up in super bond payments and the compensation award expected to be handed down towards the middle of the year, has caused us to raise the duty on fuel imports,” the Prime Minister added, explaining why pump prices have now gone up instead of down, on account of the new tax measure. At the start of the week, pump prices rose after Government increased taxes on premium and regular gasoline, as well as diesel. However, the taxes on kerosene, the least expensive fuel used by the economically marginalized for cooking and lighting, remained unchanged.

    Breadwinner gets 5 years for gun
    Moments after Bryan Davis was arraigned on charges for possession of an unlicensed firearm and unlicensed ammunition, to which the 26-year-old Sandhill resident pleaded “guilty with an explanation,” with tears in his eyes he hugged his common-law wife, Louise Melissa Meneses, pregnant with their third child, and said his goodbye: “I love you. Please take care of the children for me.” The couple’s emotional moment was brief, as Davis stretched out his hands, so that the court orderly could handcuff him and take him away. Fraser had asked the court prosecutor what he was going to do about the charges against Meneses, Davis’ common-law wife, since Davis’ guilty plea was accepted. The prosecutor agreed to drop the two charges against Meneses, who had been charged jointly with Davis. Meneses didn’t have to speak in the proceedings, which lasted only a few minutes. Davis, a first-time offender, explained to Magistrate Fraser: “I have never gotten a charge yet. This is the first time I am faced with something like this.”

    Fatal RTA claims life of Artemio Mendez, 35, BDF staff sergeant
    Artemio Mendez, 35, a Staff Sergeant of the Belize Defence Force and a 15-year veteran, lost his life and a lieutenant who was in his company was injured after the Mahindra pickup he was driving collided with an ADO passenger bus of Mexico, Orange Walk police told Amandala. At about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Mendez, a resident of Douglas Village, Orange Walk District, was travelling from Orange Walk to Ladyville along with Lieutenant Angel Flores, 31. Police said that upon reaching an area between Miles 40 and 41 on the Philip Goldson Highway, he lost control of the pickup and ran into the side of the approaching bus, which was traveling from Belize City. As a result of the impact, Mendez suffered massive head and body injuries and reportedly died on the spot. The front portion of the Mahindra was badly wrecked, trapping him behind the steering wheel, in the driver’s seat. He had to be removed from the mangled vehicle using the Jaws of Death equipment. Mendez’s body was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Cop, Kyle Serano, 26, remanded for sexual assault of girl, 13
    Less than 48 hours after Police Constable Luke Moriera—an officer of the San Ignacio Police formation who was declared Officer of the Month for November 2015—was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for allegedly raping a female detainee, another cop has been accused of a sex crime, this time against an underage girl. Ironically, Police Constable #1661, Kyle Hubert Serano, 26, of the San Pedro Police formation, who likewise received recognition as Officer of the Month for July 2014, was arrested and charged with 3 counts of sexual assault of a girl, 13. Serano was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today. He pleaded not guilty but the prosecution objected to bail, so he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 4, 2016.

    GOB shaves 20 cents off the price of regular gas, but keeps tax adjustment intact
    Following an unusual tax hike at the pumps at the start of this week, the Government of Belize has introduced new controlled prices for regular gasoline and kerosene, as a new shipment was expected to arrive from Venezuela this week. On Monday, December 28, the price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Belize City shot up by almost a dollar, from $7.55 to $8.52, but the most recent adjustment, which came into effect at midnight on Tuesday, resulted in a decrease of 20 cents at the pumps. Without the tax hike, consumer prices would have fallen, as they did in neighboring Mexico; however, the Government has said that the price increase is a fiscal measure to make up for shortfalls in revenue caused by plummeting prices for crude oil on the world market and reduced PetroCaribe flows, which mean millions less in revenues for the Government. Export earnings from crude oil fell by almost $60 million for the first 11 months of 2015, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize, while imports of fuel products have fallen by about $70 million.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belizean businessman arrested for money laundering in Honduras
    A Belizean business man has been arrested in Honduras for money laundering after he was caught with over US $16,000, which he failed to declare. 65-year-old August Henry Tabony, who carried a Belizean passport with the number P0291601, was surprised at the Juan Manuel Galvez […]

    Diesel price goes down
    A press release from the Ministry of Finance earlier today served to inform the general public of a $0.42 decrease in the price per gallon of Diesel Oil, dropping the price in Belize City to $6.58. This reduction comes as a result of lower costs […]

    San Pedro man granted bail on rape, wounding charges
    A San Pedro labourer accused of trying to rape his ex-girlfriend and wounding her appeared in court last week and was granted bail of $2,500 by Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. He is Allen Martinez, a resident of Swan Street, San Pedro Town, who was read […]

    Boat stolen in Caye Caulker
    A local businessman of Caye Caulker reported to police that his boat was stolen from in front of Anchorage Resort where it was docked, sometime between Sunday evening and early yesterday morning. Artemio Marin, the 36-year-old owner of ‘Anda De Wata Tours’ on Avenida […]

    Mechanic charged for statutory rape
    A Belize City mechanic of Evergreen Street has been slapped with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of grievous harm upon a 15 year old girl. 37 year old Denfield Davis is accused of having sex on four different occasions with […]

    Popular tamales stop destroyed in fire
    Stann Creek Police are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a popular structure on mile 25 of the Hummingbird Highway, known as “Bertha Tamales”, which caught fire around 6:30 p.m. on the evening of New Year’s Eve. Owned by 38-year-old Aurora Lisbey, […]

    Farmer loses almost $10,000 in theft
    An incident of theft from the farm of 58-year-old Charles Davison in Ontario Village, Cayo District, has left the American National almost $10,000 in the hole after several expensive items were stolen while he was away, visiting the United States. Davison, who exports and […]

    Canadian national found murdered in Cayo
    The body of a Canadian national is currently awaiting an onsite post mortem examination in Selena village of the Cayo District after it was discovered last night around 8:40, lying near the house in which the man lived. The body has been identified as 37-year-old Matthiew Klinck, […]

    Blogs

    From Ambergris Caye To Belmopan to….Ahhhhh….Sleeping Giant Lodge
    Sunday was absolute Caribbean perfection. The wind had shifted – and the sea was calm and flat and incredibly blue. Perfect for breakfast/brunch/RIBS at Estel’s on the beach. I was ready to head out west. GO WEST! I boarded the 8:30am San Pedro Belize express boat to Belize City. My ride arrived for my easy transfer to gorgeous Sleeping Giant Lodge. To stay in one of their newest rooms – suites built right up against the cliff – all with crazy amenities and a ridiculous view.

    Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
    Would you like to experience nature as it was before the industrial world began plundering forests and paving the earth with concrete? Plan to visit Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge, a destination that’s a jewel in Belize’s crown. Set aside as a national treasure by the government in 1944, Mountain Pine Ridge is a tribute to the nation’s commitment to keep as much of Belize pristine and natural—and for as long as possible. As the oldest and largest protected forested area in Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge (MPR) covers 300 square miles of area, but visitors are surprised to find a sharp contrast to the tropical landscape; here, pine needles rather than palm fronds, fill the landscape. This pine tree-dominated forest is more than just a vast wooded area: visitors find deep ravines, traverse dramatic granite expanses atop the Maya Mountains and observe meandering rivers, streams, waterfalls and pools amid the sweet fragrance of the evergreens.

    Blackadore Caye environmental report: Airport is out, eco-friendly construction is in
    Spoiler alert: The new Environmental Impact Report for the high-profile Leonardo DiCaprio resort on Blackadore Caye contains no smoking gun. At least, none that I could find as I perused the 430-page report recently at the San Pedro Public Library. A “public consultation” on the findings regarding the proposed high-end resort will be held Jan. 14 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Lion’s Den on Front Street in San Pedro. The report, meanwhile is available for reading at the town library, the Ho Chan Marine Reserve office, the Caye Caulker Village Council Office and at the Leo Bradly Library and the Turton Library Center in Belize City. The Department of Environment has a copy in Belmopan. You can also view it online at http://doe.gov.bz/index.php/eias

    Burger Benefit For Valladarez Family
    As many of you in San Pedro may know, 34 year old Ricardo Valladarez and his family lost their home and mechanic shop in a devastating fire on December 27, 2015. The Mechanic Shop was Ricardo’s source of income, so it is vital that they rebuild quickly.

    International Sourcesizz

    Gatineau filmmaker found stabbed to death in Belize
    A 37-year-old Gatineau filmmaker has been found stabbed to death at his Belize home, according to a report from Belize Breaking News. The victim has been identified as Matthiew Klinck, whose body was discovered on Monday night with a “cut wound to the neck” in a village in the Cayo District of Belize. Klinck’s house appeared to have been robbed, according to the report. Global Affairs Canada issued a statement on Tuesday night saying Canadian consular officials in Belize had been in touch with authorities there and were providing “consular assistance” to Klinck’s family. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Canadian Citizen who died in Belize,” reads the statement. Klinck, who was born in Aylmer, according to his IMDb page, ran Make-Belize Films, a Belize-based film and television production company. Klinck’s film credits include Mad Dogs, a television crime drama, and 2012: Curse of the Xtabai.

    Quebec filmmaker Matthiew Klinck found dead in Belize
    Aylmer-born filmmaker Matthiew Klinck was found stabbed to death outside his home in the Central American nation of Belize on Monday. Klinck, 37, was found with a cut to his neck just outside his home in San Ignacio, in the Cayo district of Belize. His house had been ransacked, and police told local newspapers they believe a robbery took place at the time of Klinck’s death. The Quebecer had been working and living in Belize since 2011. His production company, Make-Belize Films, had produced a number of movies and a soap opera that was shot locally and aired on Belize television. Daniel Guerrero, the mayor of the town of nearby San Pedro, said Klinck was well known in the area because his soap opera was shot in San Pedro using local actors.

    The Secret Cheese-Making Industry in Belize
    Three years ago, an entrepreneurial local lodge owner become one of the only artisanal cheese makers in the country. Today, after honing its craft, Caves Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge produces 12 varieties of cheese from a small batch factory on its property. The Cheese is used to feed its own guests and sold to other hotels in Belize. But more exciting, they offer cheese-making classes to their guests. I talked with Ian Anderson, Caves Branch proprietor, about his journey to becoming a cheese maker, how the property’s jungle-made varieties are gaining international popularity and how you, too, can make cheese in Belize. So, what initially inspires a jungle lodge owner to start making cheese? Heartwarmingly enough, Ian and his wife, Ella, initially got the idea after a philanthropic project they had established to help local at-risk children and seniors. “It all started through another program that my wife established nine years ago called the Belize national youth chess foundation,” Ian Anderson said. “We invited elementary school-aged children and encouraged them through the chess clubs.”

    Belize bonefish basics
    As soon as it snows, I think sand. I haven’t always had such gritty thoughts, but the fetish easily buried itself in my mental makings the first time I fished Belize in the winter. I kicked off my snow boots with reckless abandon and ran barefoot on the beach chasing bonefish. Fishing without freezing is a delight and I took to Belize winters well. I stopped shivering, I stopped layering and most of all, I stopped whining. Seven days of warm in the middle of seven months of cold is all I need to make it through an Idaho winter. I quickly learned the basics of fishing for bones in Belize with Nano, a patient guide who says ‘oi yoy oi’ a lot when I cast. That must be Belizean for terrific, or truth be told, horrific, but I cast on. I catch four fish off Nano’s flat boat with an 8-weight on day one. I also catch two bones wading the flats without Nano and the same 8-weight on day two. His ‘cast farther, strip faster’ mantra is burned into my trout-trained brain with repetitive success by the end of the trip. I live in freshwater country so I won’t claim to know it all when it comes to saltwater swimmers, but borrowed rods turned into bought rods and buffs now outnumber my bikinis because of bonefish. So, if you've never chased bones in Belize during winter break, it's probably safe to say this handful of tips will help when you finally do.

    Official: Belize Cruise Port Behind Schedule
    Norwegian Cruise Line’s $100 million Harvest Caye cruise port off Belize’s southern coast is behind schedule and may not meet a planned Feb. 16 opening, a local tourism official said recently. Harvest Caye’s opening “will be delayed,” said Valdemar Andrade, director, destination planning and cruise at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in a December interview on the 7NewsBelize.com website. Andrade said Norwegian officials “have informed me that they will have a press release soon to know the exact timing of what that will be. It was scheduled to officially be opened in February 2016. But it will be delayed.” Norwegian officials did not provide a reason for the delay, he said. Norwegian officials have not issued a statement on Harvest Caye since Andrade’s December interview. Company officials have not responded to several requests for comment on the port from TravelPulse.com. Indeed local media has described the project as “shrouded in mystery” as Norwegian has not offered press access to the development.

    Le réalisateur gatinois Matthiew Klinck assassiné au Belize
    Le réalisateur canadien Matthiew Klinck a été victime de meurtre au Belize, un pays situé entre le Mexique et le Guatemala. Le corps de l'homme de 37 ans, originaire de Gatineau, a été retrouvé lundi soir vers 20 h 40, heure locale, à l'extérieur de sa résidence située dans le village de Selena. Selon la police de San Ignacio, il a été poignardé à 14 reprises au torse et au cou. L'autopsie a révélé qu'il était décédé à la suite d'hémorragies internes et externes. « Nous faisons tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir pour trouver le responsable de cet acte odieux commis contre la personne de M. Klinck afin que justice soit faite et pour permettre à la famille de faire son deuil », affirme le surintendant de la police de San Ignacio, Andrew Ramirez. Il semble qu'un vol pourrait être le motif de l'agression, puisque sa résidence a été cambriolée et vandalisée.

    National Bird Day - time to take pride in your birds
    Everyone has some sort of pride in his or her roots —family, city, area, nation— and for some it may be that birds are the means. National birds are flagships for shared values, which typifies the country, and which we have a duty to protect. So, to celebrate National Bird Day here is a list of national or state birds from around the world. Although many nations have not yet taken the step of selecting a national bird, we have a long list here. And what a menagerie it is! The Common Loon Gavia immer is the national bird of Canada, each of whose states has its own bird (Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus for Alberta, Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri for British Columbia, Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa for Manitoba, Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapilla for New Brunswick, Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica for Newfoundland, Gyrfalcon for the Northwest Territories, Osprey for Nova Scotia, Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus for Nunavut, Blue Jay C. cristata for Prince Edward Island, Snowy Owl Nyctea scandica for Quebec, Sharp-tailed Grouse Tympanuchus phasianellus for Saskatchewan and Common Raven Corvus corax for Yukon)—Ontario double-dipping by having the Common Loon.

    Videos

  • Chuh, 4min. Ready for the music here it is Music for Belize Mastirius 1st song called "Chuh"

  • Nathan Bland drumming in Belize City, 1/2min. Get out of your comfort zone and start the New Year off with a bang!!! Our Political and Economic Chief Nathan Bland loves to get out in the community in Belize and experience what the local culture has to offer. Check out his drumming session with locals in Belize City below. What local and uniquely Belizean activities do you think he should try next?

  • Fishing in Belize at Glovers Atoll, 10min. NO // I 6 måneder bodde Vebjørn Kielland i en stråhytte som stod på pillarer ute i havgapet i Beilze. For Vebjørn var dette å følge den store drømmen; om å reise bort, ta fri fra forpliktelser, følge hjertet og jakte på tropiske fisker med fluestang.

  • Belize, 5min.

  • Belize Mission Trip Summer 2015, 7min.

  • Mexico and Belize, nov 2015, 5min.

  • Tree Frog in Car, Lamanai (Belize), 1/2min. After having visited the Maya ruins in the rainforest near Lamanai (Belize), we found this when we opened the door of our parked car: a cute brownish tree frog.

  • BELIZE MISSION TRIP 2015, 12min.

  • MIKE SALAZAR SPEAKS TO SHARON ABOUT POLITICS IN BELIZE, 12min. Maximum Radio 104.1fm

  • DJ Outkast countdown the New Year in San Pedro Belize, 9min. The Cut Creator, DJ Outkast from St Maarten counts down the 2016 New Year in his first appearance in Belize. Watch to the end when the Kategory 5 band calls him back on stage to dance Punta Rock. The turntabalist plays a wicked mixed format set with pop, edm, hip-hop, old-school, soca, dancehall and reggaeton.

  • Live Music at Club JJ's San Ignacio Cayo Belize, 1.5min.

  • Belize & Mexico, 2015, 11min. Kyndal and I spent two weeks over Christmas break traveling around Belize and then to Cancun, Mexico. Here's a short compilation of our trip.

  • Guatemala Belize Discovery, 11min.

  • Belize Mission Trip Summer 2015, 8min.

  • Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min.

  • Jaguar tracks . Southern Belize January 2016, 1.5min. I think these are photos of fresh Jaguar tracks as the Jaguar was hunting possums (opossums) or other animals. You should be able to see 2 or 3 kinds of tracks. These photos were made in southern Belize in January 2016. I have included a page from "A Field Guide To The Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico by Fiona A. Reid. You can compare this to my Big Cat foot prints to see if you think they are Jaguar. Perhaps a real tracker can give feed back. One photo shows an older human foot print. Most of the trail was covered with vegetation. This spot was bare and a little wet from a rain a few hours earlier. The cats are very shy and you will not see them even if they see you.

  • MANATEE STAMPEDE BELIZE IT, 2min. Manatee are spotted on occasion at Caye Caulker Cut and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Lucky for me to be at the rite place at the rite time. Hopefully you will too, first step you need to get there and get wet! Please practice the no touch rule as you only view from a distance these beautiful and graceful creatures.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 21min. Here's video of us snorkeling in Belize for a Norwegian cruise excursion. Corals, starfish and cool jellyfish. It was a great time!

  • Follow the Grouper - Half Moon Caye, Belize, 7.5min.

  • Man riding a horse on the streets of Belize City in the evening., 1min.

  • Belize Dive Trip December 2015, 2min.

  • Scuba Diving Belize, 9min. Scuba Diving Ambergris Caye and Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

  • XSITE BELIZE HOL CHAN & SHARK RAY ALLEY, 4min.

  • XSITE BELIZE LOCAL DIVE SITES, 3.5min.

  • XSITE BELIZE MANATEE SAIL SNORKEL, 2min.

  • Redlands In Belize Mission Trip 2015, 4.5min. A group of students and church family, traveled to Orangewalk Town, Belize. There, We helped built a portion of a building that needed to be finished, and provided the local community a small health awareness fair.

  • Belize 2015 Caracol, 1min.

    January 5, 2016


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - Beginnings of Sunbreeze Hotel and Development of South Ambergris Caye
    There was a time when the entire beachfront of Ambergris Caye looked like virgin land. Such was the case with this parcel of land immediately south of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. However one of the local pioneers in tourism, Seferino Paz Sr., decided to bring development to that area. Paz had had success with his first hotel, Sea Breeze Hotel, and was enjoying a boom with the once famous The Belizean Resort up the northern coast of Ambergris Caye. This success took Seferino Paz to commence the construction of Sun Breeze Hotel. The development has been impressive and given San Pedro luxury accommodation, relaxing patio swimming pool and pristine restaurant. Since then, the rest of the beach down south has followed suit with development. Even the small Catholic Primary School has undergone quite a metamorphosis. Look at the same spot as it exists today and be the witness of the massive development that has come to San Pedro, in part, thanks to the vision and passion of one man, the late Seferino Paz Sr.

    Prince of Belize Lova Boy Releases New Music Video
    Belizean Punta Rock Artist whose mega hit song ‘Tornado’ created a sensation in Belize and abroad just released his newest song ‘Pay Attention’ and a music video to go along with it. The song contains a positive message of perseverance, following ones dreams and pushing people to be someone important in life. “Hey guys... Hope ur new year is going great so far. I just wanna say thanks so much for your support on my new video PAY ATTENTION,” posted Lova Boy on his Facebook Profile Page. “We are at 15k views and counting, in only two days and that just off my page. Over all we are around 20k plus. Keep sharing. Thanks sooooo much once again.” “In the spirit of new beginnings, I humbly offer you my new record/music video....PAY ATTENTION feat. Tanya Carter & Tasia Woods. Thanks in advance for watching. Please feel free to share”

    Belize Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2016
    With a reduction in Pedrocaribe funds for the New Year, Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow acknowledged that 2016 will be significantly different than the previous year. He says that spending will decrease but that construction of infrastructural projects like the Lamanai Road, the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road, and the North Ambergris Road to the new Efrain Guerrero International Airport will proceed. Below is Belize Prime Minister’s New Year’s message to the country.

    Belize Welcomes Newest Cruise Line to MSC Divina
    On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015, Belize welcomed the inaugural call for a new cruise line. MSC Cruises had its first call today, with the MSC Divina landing in Belizean waters at approximately 8:00 am. The ship left from its home port in Falmouth, Jamaica on Monday, December 28th, making its way through Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize City, Belize. MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). It officially began operating in the cruise business in 1988. Between 2004 – 2014, MSC Cruises grew by 800 per cent, being today’s market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean. They offer a wide range of itineraries in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles, South America, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. In 2008, they were the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted “6 Golden Pearls” for outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of December 27th – January 2, 2016
    The wind was tough but the anglers persevered and got some good fishing in. New Year was celebrated with one of the largest group of guests El Pescador has hosted. The family atmosphere was wonderful.

    Robin Leanne (Greenway) Trockstad missing
    Since their disappearance Robin has been seen in the country of Belize, specifically in the Spanish Lookout & Belmopan area. Robin could possibly have changed her hair color to blonde and could be going by any of the following names: Robin Trockstad, Robin Greenway, Jen and/or Jen Friesen.

    Starret D Greene, OAS Representative in Belize, shares the path to success
    In an address made to graduates of a training program sponsored by Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) in Collaboration with BELTRAIDE and other supporting partners, Mr. Starret Green, OAS representative in Belize highlighted the path to success. “If you have not done so as yet, please move with deliberate speed to confirm your career goals, and be serious about achieving it. Decide on where you wish to go when you exit these doors, and start your journey today. Be careful to identify distractions and work diligently to avoid them. Distractions can seriously derail your pursuits and damage your chances for success. If you have not done so as yet, start a conversation with family members, close friends and acquaintances, who are willing to support you in reaching your goals. Talk to them about what you wish to accomplish, and then lay out in detail the extent of the support you are going to need.

    San Pedro Town Dog Control Orders
    EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2016, by order of the Belize Dogs Act Chapter 153 Revised Edition 2000 and the San Pedro Town Dog Control Orders of 2012, all dogs must be leashed and have a proper and humane collar for identification. •Dogs must be restrained on private property by a fence, tether, or leash, in a humane manner. •Dog owners are required to keep their dog on a leash and under immediate control any time the dog is taken off their property and into public.

    ROAD SAFETY IN BELIZE by Belize Progressive Party-BPP
    "Road Safety Management Capacity Review Draft Report November 2011 (Issued January 2012) Version 1" Section 2.1 Between 2001 and 2005, death as a result of road traffic injuries have been identified as the leading cause of death for young men between the ages of 20-49 years. A total of 182 men died within this period on the major roads and highways. Based on the above mentioned, it can be summarized that male behaviour is an important determinant for road traffic injuries, therefore putting them at greater risk. Hence, it is important to ensure that any interventions aimed at reducing road traffic injuries must encompass a gender perspective and address such issues as masculinity. Women and children are often killed or injured as passengers. Data compiled from the Ministry of Health and the police revealed that there were 386 deaths due to road traffic injuries between 2001 and 2005. From the total number killed approximately 83 were females and 49 were children.

    Ardelle Sabido visited Las Cuevas Research Station
    Ambassador of Belize to Washington D.C, Mr. Patrick Andrews and Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Ardelle Sabido visited Las Cuevas Research Station in Chiquibul during the holidays to learn more about the actual situation of the forest. Thanks for visiting.

    Fund raiser for the fire victims of the DFC
    This Tuesday night, January 5th AKA Burger Night, Stella's Smile will be doing a fund raiser for the fire victims of the DFC area. They are a nice family and we have had a money box out and have collected some money and some household goods, but not enough. Can you please help us get the word out. The families name is Valladarez. A portion of Stella's proceeds will be donated as well. Thanks

    New Year's Countdown at Central Park 2015
    The San Pedro Town Council hosted yet another exciting countdown to bring in the New Year! The entire square was filled to capacity and even alongside the beach and the municipal pier. Everyone gathered at the Central Park to witness the speactuacular fireworks and to dance the night away with Kategory5 Band from Cayo and Popularly-known Caribbean DJ from St. Maarten, DJ Outkast! Dressed in their new year hats and tiara's the crowd waved their light sticks to the beat of the DJ - it was sure an exciting event! The San Pedro Town Council would like to thank everyone for coming out and being a part of this grand event. You sure made it special!

    Channel 7

    Well Known Businessman Charged for Double Fatal Traffic Accident in Orange Walk
    This morning in Orange Walk, well known business owner and executive of the Cycling Federation Perry Gibson was arraigned on multiple charges for knocking down and killing two people in Carmelita Village Orange Walk. It happened on Sunday at around 7:00 between miles 49 and 50 on the George Price Highway. Authorities could not say definitively but they suspect it was a hit and run. What's more there is strong belief that Gibson, who also manages the cycling team Benny's Megabytes, was under the influence at the time. Emanuel Pech went north today to find out more. Carol Jones- Mother of Deceased "They took everything from me, they took everything from me. I just want justice." [Sobbing] This resounding tone of grief hung over the halls of the magistrate's court in Orange Walk today as the family of Lea Crawford and Adrian Wade waited to hear the charges brought against 44 year old Perry Gibson of Belize City. According to reports 22 year old Adrian Wade and 27 year old Lea Crawford, were on their way to a wedding in Camalote when Gibson knocked them down; killing the young couple.

    Two More Die On Northern, Including Moneylender "Ms. Pam"
    A few hours after that double fatality in the Orange Walk District, there were two more traffic accidents the Northern Highway. Both of these accidents happened at the same curve at Mile 6, and the second accident claimed two more lives over the New Years Holiday weekend. That accident happened at around 9:00 yesterday morning, and our news team was on the scene shortly after. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday just before 11:00, Ladyville police were finally able to restore traffic flow on the Northern Highway. That's after it had been at a standstill for at least 2 hours after the second accident at the same mile 6 curve. The victims of this accident were not as fortunate as the first. 80 year-old Alfredo Navarrete of Burrell Boom Village, and the well-known Southside money lender Pamela Bennett-Cumberbatch died on the scene after the terrible head-on collision between this Grey Dodge Caravan, and this white Toyota Tundra Pickup truck. Her husband, 35 year-old Calvin Cumberbatch was rushed in a critical condition to the KHMH shortly after the accident.

    Mile Six Is Dangerous
    About 3 hours earlier, there was another 2-car mash-up right at the same stretch of road. The two collisions are about on a few hundred yards apart. Fortunately, the victims in this accident survived, and are receiving treatment at the KHMH. The Commander of the Eastern Division Rural also discussed that accident with the press at a briefing this morning. Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "The first involving a blue Chevy Equinox, license plate BC - C51091 and a blue Ford Escort with license plate BC - C50646. Both were extensively damaged and we had minor injuries to individuals in this accident. We had Mr. Andre Gordon, 30 years old Belizean security of Barakat Street who was driving the Chevy Equinox and we had in the blue Ford Escort Marvin Ramirez, 27 years Belizean laborer of Tibruce Street, Belize City." Reporter "Is there any indication what might have happened? We saw pictures of the vehicle. They were extensively damaged." Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "The investigation is revealing that the blue Ford Escort was in the wrong lane when the head on collision occurred."

    Snake-Man Snakebitten, "Very Critical"
    Gilbert Usher is known as the snake man of Belize. The Lucky Strike resident is a tourist attraction around the Altun Ha Maya Ruin where he engages in all sorts of scary maneuvers with snakes - putting them in his mouth, having them slither all over his head, and freely handling super poisonous snakes such as the Tommy Goff. Well, tonight the news is that a Tommy Goff bit him, and doctors say he might not make it. Police say that it happened on Sunday morning, and he was rushed to the KHMH. This is the scene at the Boom cutoff where he was transferred to an ambulance. Doctors say he is very critical and police report that he is on life support, and may be taken off that tonight.

    New Year Starts With Southside Homicide
    Belize City made it through December without a murder - but then January started - and five hours in - the Southside recorded its first homicide. A 21 year old was killed not far from his home. Police say Kieron Moss was walking with two females at 5:-00 in the morning on Levi Slusher Street in the Port Loyola when two men on a motorbike pulled up and executed him. His family is asking why. I found out more:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting A youth leader and a role model: That's what 21 year old Kieron Moss's friends and family describe him as. They say, Moss inspired the other kids with his charisma and his free spirit. He had a long life ahead of him but instead of embracing a new beginning in 2016. He was gasping for breath in the gravel after he was shot several times. He died right here on New Years Day. Voice of: Brother "Everybody was here gathering, deciding what was going to be the plan for the night and then I left before them and then everybody was supposed to meet up afterwards, but unfortunately, things didn't went as plan and some people came home, but Keiron didn't come he went to part with some friends and then everybody brought in the new year's regularly and then we heard the news later in the morning that he got shot."

    Her Mother Disappeared From Mental Health Facility, And No One Said Anything
    The Christmas holidays are officially over - and all of us that could, spent it with our family. And that's what Siera Hodgson had hoped to do. She's a 20 year old who was raised in difficult circumstances. For the first ten years of her life, she and her mother were basically locked up by her father right here in Belize City. When social services intervened, 10-year-old Siera didn't even know what the days of the week were. Her mother, Mary was sent to the Palm Center, which is the Ministry of Health's Acute Psychiatric Care Clinic, what used to be called "Rockview." Siera was luckier - she got adopted by Shaunna Hodgson, a woman from Scotland who first put her into private school in Belize. At 14, Siera went with her new mother to live in Scotland - where she has caught up - and is doing well in her second year of college.

    Guyanese Rice Rejected
    For the past 2 weeks, importer Jack Charles and his advisors have been waiting patiently for their opportunity to get before a Supreme Court Judge. Their position is that Customs and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority overstepped their mandate when they refused to give him a permit import Guyanese Rice. His attempt to get cheap rice unto store shelves in Belize has sparked a very serious debate about the price of this important staple. But today, he got a very swift and stern slap-down from Justice Sonya Young. The judge simply won't entertain his case. The hearing was done in chambers, and in the absence of the press. It was expected to be a hotly contested legal battle, but the attorneys exited about 20 minutes after the hearing started. They told us that Justice Young was very clear to Charles that he is trying to use the court to legitimize his illegal action when he imported the rice into Belize without a permit.

    93 Year Old Patrick Grant Back At Home, Recovering
    93 year old beating victim Patrick Grant was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. The senior citizen was beaten up on December 29th at his home on Fern Lane, in Belize City. While some say the hospital kind of rushed him out of the bed, tonight he is at home in his final stages of recovery. Most interestingly, even after the bloody beat down, old man Grant remained reluctant to move in with his daughter and son in law. Instead, he withdrew himself to the familiar comforts of his little house on Fern Lane. In an interview today with 7News this evening, Grant updated us on his recovery and gave us an insight into the moment the home invasion occurred. Patrick Grant, beat down victim "I am recovering. Feeling okay." Reporter "Is there anything in particular that hurts most of all?" Patrick Grant, beat down victim "Yes, but it doesn't hurt anymore. It sad you know to see people just getting along trying to do your best, mind your own business, looks at everybody as your friend. But there are some mean guys out there."

    OW Cops Made Major Weed Bust Valued At Over Quarter-Mil
    Authorities in Orange Walk made a major drug bust over the weekend. Acting on intelligence, police intercepted and confiscated 9 parcels containing suspected compressed marijuana weighing a total of 183 pounds. This has an estimated value of over $300 thousand dollars! Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police Formation Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett told us more. ASP Selwyn Tillett - O. C. Orange Walk Police "On Sunday 3rd day of January about midday Orange Walk police formation quick response team were conducted mobile patrol on the feeder off the Philip Goldson Highway between mile 42 and 43 where they met two male persons in the area. A search in the vicinity resulted in the discovery of 9 bales of rectangular packages covered with a black plastic bag. Police made checks and found out that the bales contained suspected cannabis. Both persons that were found in the vicinity were arrested and escorted to the Orange Walk Town police station. At the station the drugs were weighed and they total 83.3 kilograms."

    Firearm Found Close to Police Station
    Orange Walk Police also found a firearm, right inside their neighborhood. In fact it was only a few hundred yards from the police station. Acting on street information, police responded to an area in front of the Hunter Library in Orange Walk. Here's what they found. ASP Selwyn Tillett - O. C. Orange Walk Police "On the 3rd January at about 4p.m. the Orange Walk Quick Response Team conducted a search of an empty lot located on Hospital Crescent close to the Sandy Hunter Library where upon searching under a log they found a point thirty-two caliber pistol bearing serial number P055700 with an empty magazine. It was wrapped in a black plastic. The firearm was taken to the Orange Walk Police Station where it was deposited as found property."

    Easy Glen, Another Stellar Performance In Court
    Forty-four year old Goldbourne Adolphus, the man called "Easy Glen", put on another award winning performance in court today, when he broke down in tears before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she threatened to remand him to prison. Adolphus was charged with theft, escape, wounding and using threatening words. The charge stems from a domestic dispute on New Year's eve where Adolphus allegedly slapped his ex common law, beat her with a machete and took her money. When he was detained, Adolphus said he was sick and asked police to rush him to the hospital. But while Adolphus was in the observation room in the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital he asked to use the bathroom. And that was all he needed…shortly after, a security guard at the hospital alerted the police that Adolphus had escaped through the bathroom window. When the police looked they saw Adolphus running up St. Thomas Street. He flagged down a car which sped away.

    A New Year With New Babies
    On tonight's newscast, we've shown you the 4 persons who died over the New Years weekend. But, with the start of a new year, it should be celebrated with renewal, and so, we got a chance to meet the first babies born at the KHMH for 2016. The usual corporate citizens continued their tradition of providing their moms with a gift for those special children born on or near January 1. Here's what the mothers told us about the donations on Saturday: We've since found out that the very first baby born in Belize for 2016 is actually a baby born to an Orange Walk Family. That Baby, Nathan, was born at 1:23 a.m. on January 1 at Correa's Clinic.

    Gunmen Robbed Restaurant Right Beside Police Station
    Ladyville Police are reporting that on New Years Day armed robbers barged into a Chinese Restaurant right across the street from their station, and held up the owners. That's some kind of "ganas" to commit a crime right within walking distance of a large number of police officers, but that's what happened. The Commander of the Eastern Division Rural Police told the press that they are looking into this aggravated burglary: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "1st January, we had a report of a aggravated burglary which occurred a block away from the police station at Amy's Restaurant. This report was made by a business woman of Poinsettia Street where two individuals accosted her and her husband in the said restaurant and rob them of $7,000 worth of cash and other items. We have a prime suspect that we are looking for and this may have been a individual who had worked for them in the past."

    Belizeans Dominate Krem Classic
    New Year's Eve may be the big party night - but for sports fans and race watchers the real hype of new year's is on the day itself, January First - the date for the KREM New Year's Day Cycling Classic - which is the first big race on the annual cycling calendar. In it's 26th running, this 2016 edition was different: no foreign riders were allowed on local teams, which left the field wide open for Belizean cyclists. It also made for an exciting race out there on the road - our cameraman Codie Norales was with them on the back of a motorbike - and we put together this report:..

    Jawmeighn Jr Won Again
    And while that was the finish for the elite males, the junior race was much closer: it had a dramatic sprint - we have the call from Malcolm Hyde and Press Cadogan on KREM TV:... Winner Ernest Bradley, is the son of Ernest Jawmeighan Meighan - and wasn't inclined to brag about his victory. Alicia Thompson won the women's race - also in a sprint to edge out Kaya Cattouse.

    Peninsula Police Found Gun On The Beach
    Placencia Police are reporting that they found a handgun right on the beach. At around 11:20 a.m. the Placencia Quick Response team received intelligence that a gun had been spotted on the beach near The Placencia. They showed up, and retrieved a .38 special revolver which appears to have rusted over quite a bit. No one was in the area, and so, the gun was deposited as found property.

    The Queen Honors Belizeans
    Eight Belizeans have received the Queen's honours for the New Year. Michael Bowen, the CEO of Bowen and Bowen has been awarded to be a CMG, or Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. The OBE honour will be conferred on two persons: Educator, Eleanor Hulse. She is Godwin Hulse's wife. And Dilcia Christina Feinstein from the Benny's group will also get an OBE for Contribution to Business and the Community. Five persons will receive MBE's. They are Emelda August, for Contribution to Nursing, Sarita Westby for Contribution to Education and the Community, Juan Nunez, for Contribution to Education and Sports, Dr. Aaron Lewis, for Contribution to Science and Janet Gibson, for Contribution to Environmental Protection. The awards will be officially conferred at a date to be announced.

    Channel 5

    Cycling Honcho Perry Gibson Involved in Fatal Hit and Run Near Carmelita
    It was a bloody weekend on Belize’s highways. There were four separate accidents, three on the Phillip Goldson Highway and one on the George Price Highway, leaving multiple persons injured [...]

    Accident Near Haulover Bridge, Motorists Narrowly Escape Grave Injuries
    A near fatal road traffic accident along the Phillip Goldson Highway on Saturday morning preceded a deadly crash moments later.  Andre Gordon and Marvin Ramirez were traveling in opposite directions [...]

    Pamela Bennett and Alfredo Navaratte Die in Road Traffic Accident
    While there was no loss of life in that accident, another RTA occurred in the same vicinity near the Haulover Bridge on January second. Two persons perished instantly; money lender [...]

    Pam’s Siblings Incensed that Attorney and Unknown Person Entered Their Sister’s Home
    Even in death, controversy seems to surround Pamela Bennett.  Late this afternoon, police were summoned to the businesswoman’s residence where irate members of her family were gathered.  Their bone of [...]

    South Side Belize City Records First Murder for 2016
    The first murder for the year took place minutes after five o’clock on New Year’s Day. A young man was accompanying two females from the neighborhood on Jane Usher Boulevard [...]

    Supreme Court Rejects Jack Charles and Guyanese Rice
    In the Supreme Court earlier today, businessman Jack Charles lost his only option to legally examine the rationale behind a decision taken by the Government of Belize to confiscate a [...]

    What’s the Fate of the Three Shipping Containers?
    While Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents the Mennonite community, maintains that Jack Charles acted in open disobedience of the law.  As a result, the Customs and Excise Department, according [...]

    Attorney Eamon Courtenay Takes it to Jack Charles
    The importation of Guyanese rice was an issue that was in the headlines for the most part of December. The premise on which the shipment of rice was being imported [...]

    Baby Mama Drama, Easy Glenn Allegedly Beats Up and Threatens Sandra Belcove
    Tonight, forty-four year old Goldburn Adolphus, aka “Easy Glen” is in trouble with the law again for allegedly beating up and then threatening to kill his baby’s mother and then [...]

    Gunmen Open Fire on Unsuspecting Men on New Year’s Weekend
    We’ve told you about the shooting death of Kieron Moss, but there was another shooting that happened prior to his murder on New Year’s Day. Just minutes after the clock [...]

    Guatemalan National Rapes Ladyville Woman and Absconds
    An eighteen-year-old woman was sexually assaulted a little over a month ago in Ladyville.  A report of the incident was not filed until New Year’s Day.  According to Rural Eastern [...]

    A Sizeable Marijuana Haul for OW Police
    The Orange Walk’s Quick Response Team made a very large drug bust on Sunday, and it is believed that it was part of a cartel shipment. That’s because the marijuana, [...]

    One Less Gun on Orange Walk Streets
    Just a few hours after the Quick Response Team, acting on information received, made another discovery – this time a weapon. No ammunition was found with that weapon, but it [...]

    Armed Intruders Rob Chinese Couple in Ladyville
    An Asian couple, proprietors of Amy’s Restaurant in Ladyville, came under attack by a pair of armed robbers on New Year’s Day.  According to Xiao Zheng Lo, she was inside [...]

    The First Bundle of Joy to Arrive on New Year’s Day
    So far we have reported on the road fatalities, murders and other crimes. But there is some good news that prompted celebrations over at the K.H.M.H. The birth of babies [...]

    Sports Monday: Smart’s New Year Cycling Race
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Folks we start off with the 6th annual Smart New Year’s Day Race as presented by the Weekend Warriors [...]

    CTV3

    Three Motorcycles Stolen In Orange Walk
    Here in the north two motorcycles went missing on the 1st of January and one on December 30th. The first incident was reported by 66 year old Juan Perez of Bladden Village in the Toledo District. He told police that on 30th of December 2015 around 7:30 p.m., he parked his red Meilun motorcycle valued at $2,200.00 with his friend known to him only as Tino of San Jose Village in Orange Walk. Upon checking with his friend he discovered that his motorcycle was missing. The second incident was reported by 21 year old Emil Leiva of Smithsonian Street, Orange Walk Town. According to Leiva, on January 1st 2016, at around 12:30 a.m., he parked his Grey/Black/Red Meilun Ninja Motorcycle, valued at $ 4,500.00 in an empty lot near HI Five Night Club. Thereafter he went inside the night club and upon coming out of the club at around 3:00am, he noticed his motorcycle was missing.

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow Named President Of CARICOM
    With the firm resolution to strengthen the Caribbean Community CARICOM to provide greater benefits for its peoples, Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow, assumed the six month chairmanship of CARICOM effective January 1st 2016.In his New Year’s speech the newly appointed President of CARICOM stated and we quote “The resolution is to continue to strengthen our integration movement to deliver ever-increasing benefits to the people of our Community. We will continue our quest to improve our standard of living through providing a safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community. In so doing we will build on our successes and will be moving forward with a number of initiatives to achieve that aim.” End of quote. Making a commitment to build on past successes and to become more efficient in the face of the “sternest economic test that Member States have had to face in recent memory,” Barrow looked forward to increasing the pace both of the CARICOM Reform process and the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019.

    More Than 5000 marijuana Plants Destroyed By Corozal Police
    At the top of the newscast we told you about the major drug bust carried out by Orange Walk Police who confiscated 183 pounds of compressed marijuana valued at more than $300,000. While authorities are still investigating where the drug was headed to, in Corozal police have destroyed 5,580 marijuana plants. On Thursday 31st December 2015 while on an Anti-Drug Operation about 5 miles North West of Paraiso Village in Corozal, the team discovered the Marijuana field about an acre in size with Marijuana plants ranging between 6 inches to 5 feet in height. At the time of the operation no one was in the area and all the plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire. Police are still investigation and the total value of the drug is yet to be determined.

    Corozal Resident Caught Committing An Unnatural Act With A Female Horse
    Residents of Caledonia Village in the Corozal District were shocked today when they found out that a man had been caught having sex with a young female horse. We understand the individual tied the animal and then proceeded to commit the act. Reports are the Chairman of the Village witnessed the act and reported the matter to authorities who today were unable to release the name of the individual since the owners of the horse are not willing to take court action. The unnatural act of having sex with horses, dogs or any animal is known as bestiality but when a human has an erotic fixation on animals that may result in sexual excitement through real or fancied contact it is known as Zoophilia.

    Belize City Resident Charged For Double Fatal Traffic Accident
    There were two fatal traffic accidents that occurred this week on the Philip Goldson Highway, the most recent one involved twenty seven year old Lea Crawford and twenty two year old Adrian Wade who were fatally knocked down while on their way to a wedding in the Village of Carmelita. Today, the man accused of claiming the life of the couple, forty four year old Perry Francis Gibson, a businessman of Belize City, was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was read six charges. Selvin Tillett – Assistant Superintendent of Police “Two counts of Manslaughter by negligence, two counts of causing death by careless conduct, fail to stop and render aid, refusing to produce urine or blood sample, driving without due dare and attention.” Carmelita Perez – Reporter CTV3 “Now Sir with that there is no way to find out if he was under the influence of alcohol since he refused to produce a urine sample?”

    Three Babies Born In Orange Walk On January 1st
    While partygoers were bringing in the New Year, a handful of expectant moms and dads were busy at hospital delivery rooms welcoming the newest additions to their families. Among 2016's garner of First Babies for Orange Walk are, baby Nathan David Casanova who made his arrival at 1:23 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Excited mother, Carla Yasuri Casanova and father Jonathan David Casanova from the village of Calcutta in the Corozal District welcomed baby Nathan with warm hearts and open arms at Doctor Correas Clinic.Also born on New Year’s Day here in Orange Walk, this time at the Northern Regional Hospital was baby Ramirez and baby Cal. While baby Ramirez was born at exactly 1:30 am to Mother Kathia Ramirez, baby Cal was born at 11:29 pm. Our news team will work on getting interviews of the fortunate parents for tomorrow’s newscast.

    Corozal District's First 2016 baby born On January 2nd
    In the Corozal District the first baby for the New Year was born on the second of January minutes after midnight. The health baby girl weighing six pounds 3 ounces, was born to 20 year old Margareth Leibano. Today the first time mom told us she was happy she was able to give birth to a healthy child. “Me siento contenta porque fue el primer bebe que nació este ano aquí en Corozal. Todavía no tengo un nombre para ponerle aun, estamos planeando el papa y yo porque pensamos que iba ser barón y fue niña por eso tenemos que volver a pensar que nombre le ponemos.” Indeed, the arrival of the baby girl is a blessing as she becomes the first granddaughter for the family. Giving her a name however, will be a hard task.

    LOVE FM

    Loan Shark and Businessman Die in RTA; Traffic Officer Hospitalized
    In the Belize District, there were two road traffic accidents that occurred over the New Year’s holiday weekend. The first happened in the wee hours of Sunday morning and involved a blue Chevy Equinox SUV and a blue Ford Escort sedan. According to the Rural Executive Officer, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, the parties involved in […]

    Guyanese Rice Not Coming Into Belize Market
    At the close of 2015 there were concerns coming out of the rice industry as local farmers were anxious that the containers of Guyanese rice sitting at the Big Creek Port in southern Belize would have been allowed on the shelves for consumers to purchase, thus giving them, the local farmers, a disadvantage particularly because […]

    Police Records First 2016 Murder on New Year’s Day
    21-year-old, Keiron Moss is dead and investigators have one person detained for his murder. It is the first murder for this New Year and has left family and friends mourning the life of a young man who has been described by co-workers at Marelco Limited as being humble and always jovial. Moss met his death […]

    No Suspects in New Year’s Day Shooting
    2016 did start out with a bang as it had emergency and crime personnel quite busy following traffic incidents on the highways as well as petty crimes. In the old capital there was a shooting that left two young men nursing gunshot injuries following an incident on Cumberbatch Street in the Saint Martin de Porres […]

    Over 1/4 Mil Worth of Weed Confiscated by Orange Walk Police
    Over the weekend Orange Walk police confiscated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of marijuana. Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Orange Walk Police Quick Response team was conducting anti-drug operations on Sunday afternoon along miles 42 and 43 of the Phillip Goldson Highway. While there, the unit came across two individuals off […]

    Camalote Incident Leaves Several Hospitalized and Injured
    A number of persons had to seek medical attention following an incident at a farm in Camalote Village in the Cayo District on New Year’s Day. Correspondent Fem Cruz was called out to the area and filed tthis report. FEM CRUZ “Upon arrival at the scene, Police saw a red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck on […]

    Orange Walk Police Uncovers Hidden Weapon …. Investigates Stolen Cycles
    With the help of the community Orange Walk Police managed to remove a firearm off the streets. Commanding Officer, Superintendent Selvin Tillett told us more. SELVIN TILLETT “On Sunday 3rd January at about 4pm the Orange Walk Quick Response team conducted a search of an empty lot located at _______ Crescent near the Sandy Hunter […]

    First Newborns for 2016 Celebrated
    The authorities at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City have made it a tradition at the start of each year to honor the parents of the first baby born at their institution. A brief ceremony was held on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at the hospital with Bridget Rhys being awarded as the first […]

    Fer de Lance Bites Snake Man Leaving Him Critical
    He is known as the Snake Man from Maskall Village in the Belize District; mostly because he somehow has a fascination for the reptilian creatures and at most times is seen carrying one of his elongated pets with him. Tonight, however, Gilbert Usher is in the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital […]

    Police Seeks Guatemalan National in Rape Report
    A Guatemalan national is being sought by the Police after a report of rape was made against him. According to Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, the report was made on January 1; 30 days after the rape incident reportedly occurred. The 18-year-old woman told investigators in her report that she was in the Spanish Town area […]

    PlusTV

    ADO bus and Mahindra crash claims life
    A fatal traffic accident occurred sometime around 9:20 p.m last night , Wednesday December 30 in Carmelita Village at mile 40 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The accident involved an ADO Bus and a BDF Mahindra and claimed the life of one person who was in the Mahindra. Two persons were inside the ...

    Prime Minister says Belize poised for 2016
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow released his New year’s Day message today. In his message, the Prime Minister said that there were many things to be grateful for in 2015, including an economically good year. Hon. Dean Barrow, PM of Belize: Economically it was also a good year. Disease and the long...

    BEL Redeems $10 Million in Preference Shares from Social Security Board
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and the Social Security Board (SSB) today closed off a three-year preference shares purchase, which has proven to be a successful venture for both parties. At a signing held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters, SSB returned share certificates for 5 million ...

    San Pedro cop charged for sexual assault of minor
    Following the arrest of a San Ignacio cop for a rape inside the police station this week, the Department has arrested and charged another policeman, a constable from San Pedro Town, with three counts of sexual assault. 26 year old Kyle Hubert Serano, attached to the San Pedro Formation of Eastern Di...

    Tires purchased with forged check
    The Credit Manager for Caribbean Tires, Spanish Lookout reported that on December 29, she received a cheque by mail which was a Belize Bank cheque in the name of House of Salvation of # 3 Cahal Pech Road, San Ignacio Town in the sum of $5,103. This is a cheque for the sale of six tires made on the D...

    Drugs found near dump site
    On December 30, between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., police conducted anti-drugs operations in Seine Bight Village which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag and a black jersey shorts both containing Cannabis. Further searches near the dump site led to the discovery of two more black...

    “Mr. Program” sent to jail for unpaid court fines
    Popular artist Gilbert Alamilla, better known as “Mr. Program,” is spending the first five months of the New Year in Hattieville, at the Central Prison, after he was picked up by police for failing to pay fines which he owed the Magistrate’s Court. The local musician and well-known deejay was convic...

    Caye Caulker Chronicles

    A Tsunami Of Fun
    Back home I packed a bag for a day of adventure, culture and history all rolled into one. Heather Martin from Tsunami Adventures had booked my friend and I on an all day trip to go visit the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha then followed by Cave Tubing in the afternoon. The 7am water taxi awaited and we took the quiet stroll down Front Street to catch our ride. It was a smooth crossing thankfully and we made good time. Once we arrived in Belize City, Major Tom Greenwood was waiting for all the people that had booked a tour to the ruins and beyond. We were shown to our minibus and settled in to our seats awaiting our adventure. Thank goodness for air-conditioning is all I can say. Even though it was early, the sun was beating down on the minibus and turning it into an oven. It was less than an hour drive to the ruins of Altun Ha and Major Tom was an excellent host and his narratives on the journey there were full of facts with a little humor thrown in for good measure. As we all disembarked from the minibus, we were all encouraged to put on some insect repellent and take water with us which were provided by the company. The site of Altun Ha isn’t one of the largest Mayan ruins you will see, but it is steeped with history and its location made it a major site in its heyday. Major Tom described every structure in detail and its significance within the city. As with many Mayan cities, the buildings have an astrological alignment with most facing North South or East West.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Four killed in Orange Walk, Belize District accidents
    A new year did not mean the end of horror on Belize’s roads, as the start of 2016 was not kind to four Belizeans who lost their lives in separate awful traffic accidents over the weekend. Carmelita residents: 28-year-old teacher Leah Crawford and her […]

    Jack Charles “disappointed” but not giving up
    This evening we reached Jack Charles by telephone and he told us that he was “disappointed” in the ruling, because all he wanted was to help the Belizean consumer. But he says he has not given up on trying to get Guyanese rice into the […]

    Orange Walk Police bag over quarter million dollars of weed
    On Sunday Orange Walk Police’s Quick Response Team intercepted two men as they hauled a big shipment of cannabis. The men were caught on a feeder road off the Phillip Goldson Highway between miles 42 and 43 and found nine bales of weed wrapped in black plastic […]

    Placencia police find .38 on the beach
    Earlier today, at around 11:20 a.m., Placencia Police’s Quick Response Team were alerted by security officers near the Placencia hotel that a handgun was found on the beach. Police visited the area and saw a black handled Taurus brand .38 revolver which had signs of corrosion […]

    Second deadly collision near Carmelita Village kills two
    A Belize City man has been charged for the death of two persons following a fatal traffic accident over the weekend. The two were residents of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District and were reportedly double riding along the highway when they were hit. […]

    Special Constable shoots himself while chasing escaped prisoner
    On New Year’s Eve a prisoner from the Orange Walk Police station made a run for it and a Special Constable shot himself in the leg while trying to capture him. The incident played out early Thursday morning, December 31st around 6:15 when Special […]

    Orange Walk Police finds pistol near library
    On Sunday, about mid-afternoon Orange Walk police found a firearm tucked under a log near the Sandy Hunter Library on Hospital Crescent Street. Authorities report that the formation’s Quick Response Team searched an empty lot near the library and found a black .32 calibre […]

    New Year’s violence leaves one dead, two injured
    A pair of shooting incidents in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, landed two Belize City men in the hospital and ended the life of another who was shot to the head and body multiple times. Around 12:06 a.m. on that said […]

    Police investigate string of motorcycle thefts
    Police are investigating a string of motorcycle thefts across the country that have been reported over the past few days in the Toledo and Orange Walk districts. The first missing cycle was reported on December 30th in Bladden Village, Toledo District, by 66-year-old Juan […]

    Orange Walk police make huge drug bust
    Two persons are currently in police custody pending charges of drug trafficking after Orange Walk police busted them with over 180 pounds of suspected compressed marijuana. Information is still a bit sketchy but BMG was reliably informed that the illegal substance was well compressed in […]

    Slight cold front expected to pass
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly cloudy skies with a few showers or periods of light rain mainly over northern and inland areas this morning, then spreading to coastal areas this afternoon and tonight. Winds will be blowing from the West-Northwest […]

    More weed found in Roaring Creek
    Another discovery of cannabis was made by police on Saturday in Roaring Creek village when the Special Branch Tactical Response Team, while on anti-drug/firearm operations, searched an open area on an unnamed street. Behind a fence, a black plastic bag containing 127 grams was found by officers […]

    Court rejects Guyanese rice importation
    Supreme court justice Sonia Young has declined to grant leave to Jack Charles to file for judicial review of a decision by BAHA to decline to allow him to import the three containers full of Guyanese rice sitting at the Big Creek Port. Presiding in […]

    Police find 2 pounds of weed in Roaring Creek
    While on operation in the Roaring Creek village in the Cayo District on Saturday afternoon, the police’s Special Branch Tactical Response Squad found a school bag on the river bank near an unnamed street in the Hattieville area, which contained a large amount of cannabis. Inside the […]

    Police arrest two for weed in Roaring Creek
    Members of the police’s Special Branch Tactical Response Squad on anti-crime operations in Roaring Creek village, searched the residence of Andres Garbutt on Saturday and found a bag containing cannabis, which led to his arrest. Present at the time of the search were 39-year-old Garbutt and 37-year-old […]

    Belmopan police investigate motorcycle theft
    Belmopan Police are investigating one of the first thefts of the New Year, which was reported on Saturday by 20-year-old San Martin area resident, Michael Garcia. Garcia told officers that on Saturday, he parked his black and blue UNICO brand, 200cc motorcycle behind his house and went to […]

    Blogs

    Easy Granola Bars
    Granola bars made easy with 3 basic ingredients as the base. You can add any dried fruits and nuts to make it special.

    International Sourcesizz

    John Holm, 72, Dies; Opened Linguistics to Creole and Pidgin Tongues
    John Holm, a linguist who helped bring the study of creole and pidgin languages into the scholarly mainstream, died on Dec. 28 in Azeitão, Portugal. He was 72. The cause was prostate cancer, his husband, Michael Pye, said. While hitchhiking through Mexico and Central America as a teenager, Mr. Holm heard black Nicaraguans along the Caribbean coast speaking a non-Spanish language that seemed oddly familiar. They called it “pirate English,” a reference to its probable origin as a pidgin spoken on pirate and British Navy ships. Although Mr. Holm could barely understand what he was hearing, it planted the seed for what would become his life’s work: the study of creole and pidgin languages spoken by millions of people around the world, especially the English-derived creoles of the Caribbean.

    Victoria House Belize: A Top Accommodation Option on Ambergris Caye
    The Central American country of Belize, and in particular, its northern cayes are popular destinations for tourists. Caye Caulker is known for being the more budget/backpacker option, while those looking for more amenities and upscale accommodations are often drawn to the neighboring Ambergris Caye. In our opinion, there is only one resort to consider when coming to Ambergris, and that's Victoria House. Most of the resorts on this caye are set outside of the main town of San Pedro, and this resort is no exception. Although Victoria House is set two miles outside of town, you'll have no problems with transportation to the resort. The staff will be there waiting for you in a golf cart! If for some reason no one is there to collect you, hop in one of the many taxis lining the street and the resort will pay the fare when you arrive. A great perk of staying here is that they have free bicycles for use by guests for getting to and from San Pedro, or for simply exploring the area on your own steam. If you have a big group of people, or aren't up for the exercise, you can use one of the resort’s golf carts. They rent them hourly or daily. With your own wheels, you're never far from restaurants, sights and shops while staying here.

    Earth's Top Ten Weather/Climate Events of 2015
    The final numbers are not in yet, but 2015 is virtually certain to beat 2014's record as the planet's warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. Nine of the first eleven months of 2015 set new all-time monthly records for global heat in the NOAA database, and the two most recent months that have been catalogued--October and November 2015--had by far the warmest departures from average of any months on record. The new record was caused by the long-term warming of the planet due to human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide, combined with a extra bump in temperature due to the strongest El Niño event ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific. Record warm ocean temperatures in the tropics in 2015 led to a global coral bleaching event, which is expected to cause a loss of 10 - 20% of all coral worldwide. The lingering warmth from El Niño makes 2016 a good bet to exceed even 2015's warmth.

    When Did the Caste War End? Part 1 — The Power of General Bravo
    The Caste War of Yucatán officially ended, after fifty-four years of horror, when a Mexican army occupied the Maya capital on May 4, 1901. But the deep-rooted and lingering war really had no definitive final battle, no conclusive peace treaty. No Waterloo, no Appomattox. The end came several times. Or maybe not. The interethnic conflict began in 1847, raged ferociously for a decade or so, then settled into guerrilla clashes and murderous raids. The cost was about a quarter of a million lives and hundreds of towns destroyed. The Yucatán Peninsula lost a third to half of its population, killed or forced to flee from the violence. The rebelling Maya, defending their culture against subjugation and the advances of capitalist agriculture, established and maintained an independent nation, roughly today’s state of Quintana Roo, with their capital at Chan Santa Cruz.

    Barclays Raises Fortis Inc (FTS) Price Target to C$40.00
    Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) had its price target boosted by Barclays from C$39.00 to C$40.00 in a research note issued on Monday, StockTargetPrices.com reports. The firm currently has an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Barclays’ price target suggests a potential upside of 6.92% from the company’s previous close. In related news, insider James Spinney sold 27,103 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$39.00, for a total value of C$1,057,017.00. Also, Director Jamie Roberts sold 8,373 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$38.60, for a total transaction of C$323,206.17.

    The 2016 Annual Global Retirement Index—Results by Category
    Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting.This year, International Living scored each country across 10 categories used to compile our most comprehensive Index yet. Here’s a breakdown of the big hitters in each category. Belize, with its English-speaking population and established expat communities also makes it easy for new arrivals to fit in. Lynn Ann Snellman and Tony DiPiazza, from Michigan, found this out when they moved to Placencia. “We socialize with both expats and native Belizeans. We have many more acquaintances than we did in the States. In Belize it is easy for neighbors to become friends. “In Belize, we don’t hesitate to stop by strangers’ homes to find out more about a feature or plant we admire—and we are typically warmly welcomed.”

    Videos

  • Another film is ready to be filmed around Cayo: The Bottle.Like Kurse a di Xtabai, it'll be shot in Cayo, and the majestic areas surrounding it. They'll have local actors and local musicians in the movie, and they are trying to raise some money to cover the productions costs. If you can help them out, you'll be credited at the end of the movie. "People always ask me, 'when you making next movie' it's been almost 3 years since we made 2012 Curse of the Xtabai. Now we have a script cast and crew and we are ready to make next movie a Belize Soul project, space for the creative arts and MAKE-BELIZE FILMS collaboration. with your support we can make this movie, and your name will be featured in the closing credit." , 2min. Another film is ready to be filmed around Cayo: The Bottle. Like Kurse a di Xtabai, it'll be shot in Cayo, and the majestic areas surrounding it. They'll have local actors and local musicians in the movie, and they are trying to raise some money to cover the productions costs. If you can help them out, you'll be credited at the end of the movie. "People always ask me, 'when you making next movie' it's been almost 3 years since we made 2012 Curse of the Xtabai. Now we have a script cast and crew and we are ready to make next movie a Belize Soul project, space for the creative arts and MAKE-BELIZE FILMS collaboration. with your support we can make this movie, and your name will be featured in the closing credit."

  • Snorkling Belize, January 2nd, 2016, 2min.

  • Landing, Belize City, 1.5min.

  • Belize, 2.5min. Trip to Placencia Belize staying at Francis Ford Coppola's The Turtle Inn

  • Belize 2015-16, 4min.

  • New Years Day Race, 8min.

  • Lova Boy ft Tanya Carter, Tasia Woods - Pay Attention "Official Music Video, 3min. Belizean Punta Rock Artist whose mega hit song ‘Tornado’ created a sensation in Belize and abroad just released his newest song ‘Pay Attention’ and a music video to go along with it. The song contains a positive message of perseverance, following ones dreams and pushing people to be someone important in life.

  • Cayo Belize Summer 2015 Video, 7min.

  • San Ignacio, Belize, 3min. We spent out first half of our trip to Belize in the jungle of San Ignacio.

  • Honeymoon in Belize - 2015, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2015, 4min.

  • Ferrara Family 5th World Adventure-Belize, 7.5min.

  • Go Pro Belize; Mcgretty's Take Belize, 6min.

  • Belize 2015, 4.5min.

  • Can you Belize it!?, 4min. Étape Belize du voyage de Julie et Diane. Janvier 2016.

  • 12 28 2015 kiteboard belize, 4.5min. John Kiteboarding lessons in Belize 12/28/2015.

  • Belize Honeymoon, 5.5min. My wife and I went to Belize for our honeymoon in March of 2015. We split our time between the Cayo District (first half of the video) and Ambergis Caye (second half).

  • First Anniversary Cruise-Cave Tubing in Belize, 122min.

  • Belize's Abdul Marin Nunez & Afrocentric Social Work!, 25min. The term African Centered Social Work was coined by a black British social scientist, Dr. Makeda Graham, who visited Belize in 2000 and gave a series of lectures on the social work methodology at the University of Belize, School of Nursing and Social Work. The theory that children from communities that have experienced trauma through acts of violence and oppression whether it be past experiences like slavery and the new and present ones like gang violence, need to be administer to through approaches that take into consideration cultural and social backgrounds.

    January 4, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Essential Oils Class
    Join us January 7th at Om Shanti, Belize a center for Yoga and Healing Arts and learn the benefits of Essential Oils! Only $25 call us at 610-0882 to secure your space. We are limiting the attendees to 15 people only!

    Helpage New Years Party
    The older generation had a great time at this year's Helpage Benque Party, and they even got live marimba music. Are they beating up Santa Claus? "The Annual Helpage Party was celebrated on December 30th, at the Helpage Activities Center, a luncheon, games, and live marimba music was offered for this grand celebration. The Helpage Committee is extremely grateful for all the community support and collaboration to bring forth this event."

    The Reporter

    PM says 2016 will not be as robust as 2015
    The year 2016 will not be as robust as 2015 as loss of revenues in various sectors has caused the government to take certain measures. Prime Minister Dean Barrow highlighted the fiscal challenges in his New Year’s address: “I say at once that the landscape is changed and the dynamics will be different… “Among the challenges that we will confront, the reduction in PetroCaribe flows is perhaps the most pronounced. With the dizzying fall in oil prices, we expect to get much less from these Venezuela loan funds than we did in 2015. And already 2015's intake was only half of 2014,” Barrow said. But there will also be other areas where we will lose earnings, such as from our own petroleum exports, and an upcoming payment for the SuperBond and the BTL Compensation Award. These were what prompted the increase the duty on fuel imports, the Prime Minister stated. But he added that “this is the only tax measure we will take”, and that the government will be able to meet its debt obligations and pay for expansion in services in national security issues. Infrastructure development will also continue, he said, “though now there will be a mix of funding sources. There is enough that we have set aside from the PetroCaribe days of plenty, to complete the countrywide BIL sporting projects (such as the Belize City Center) and the tourism road network improvements that we began in the last quarter of 2015.”

    Loan shark dies in road traffic accident
    Well-known “loan shark”, Pamela Garnett Bennett, of Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City was one of two persons killed on Sunday morning in a road traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson highway. The accident occurred at around 9:00 and involved four vehicles. Bennett was in a white car heading towards Belize City when the incident occurred near mile six. The other person who died was Alfredo Navarette, a resident of Burrell Boom village. He was reportedly involved in one of the other vehicles. Reports are that there was another traffic accident at the same location earlier the same morning and that there had been a heavy downpour at the time, causing poor visibility on the slick road.

    Two men knocked down and killed while walking home from wedding
    Two men were knocked down and killed while walking home from a wedding in Carmelita village, Orange Walk on Saturday night. The men, Leo Crawford and Adrian Wade, were walking on the Phillip Goldson highway at around 8:30 p.m. when a black 4 Runner SUV struck them. Crawford died on the spot, while Wade died at the Northern Regional hospital. Police believe the driver of the vehicle, Perry Gibson, owner of a lending agency, was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred.

    Mexican mayor shot dead hours after taking office
    A newly-elected Mexican mayor has been shot dead on her second day in office. Gisela Mota was killed at her home in the city of Temixco, 85km (52 miles) south of the capital Mexico City, hours after taking her oath of office on Friday, police said. Reports said she was attacked by four gunmen. Police shot two of the attackers dead and arrested the others. A motive for the killing is unclear. Several Mexican mayors were killed last year by alleged drug traffickers. The left-of-centre former federal congresswoman, who was in her early 30s, had promised to try to clean up Temixco, an industrial city where problems associated with drugs and organised crime are rife.

    The Caribbean Community’s 2016 Plan
    Prime minister Dean Barrow outlines plans as he begins his chairmanship of Caricom. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has assumed the chairmanship of CARICOM, succeeding Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. The six-month chairmanship began Jan. 1. “Our resolution is to continue to strengthen our integration movement to deliver ever-increasing benefits to the people of our Community,” Barrow said in a statement. “We will continue our quest to improve our standard of living through providing a safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community. In so doing we will build on our successes and will be moving forward with a number of initiatives to achieve that aim.” Barrow said that push comes “in the face of the sternest economic test that our Member States have had to face in recent memory.”

    The January 6, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • NEW YEAR- NEW MANDATE:
      Thankful, Truthful, Realistic, Reassuring and Optimistic – that is how we must summarize and characterize Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s New Year’s Message for 2016. The Prime Minister starts out recounting the nation’s blessings in 2015, having been spared from hurricanes and social upheaval, and having as he puts it, “steered our way through the complexities of the relationship with Guatemala; and politically we capped everything with the peaceful and historic general elections of November.” Turning to economics, the Prime Minister notes that despite the challenges presented by disease and the long drought, which played havoc with shrimp and grains, and an earlier than expected decrease in the export price of sugar, the productive sector performed respectably well overall, as tourism saw record advances, cost of living fell markedly, and there was an overall spurt in the rate of employment.
    • Editorial: THE PATH AHEAD IS CLEAR:
      The physical transformation that has been occurring nationwide, which has become a hallmark of the UDP administration under the leadership of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was certainly a central cause of the party’s unprecedented political success which came to a climax in 2015 with four election victories in one single year. Politics aside, for the sake of the nation and development, most Belizeans are certainly hoping this transformation will continue into the New Year. And while there are financial challenges that have arisen and others that are anticipated, all indications are that the Government will be able to continue its transformation drive, even if a little less vigorous, in 2016. As Prime Minister Dean Barrow acknowledged in his New Year’s Message, there have been, and will likely continue to be, significant reductions in flows from Petrocaribe, even as revenues from local petroleum exports are drying up. The Prime Minister was also candid about the fact that stepped-up payments on the Superbond and the Compensation Award for public acquisition of essential utilities will further increase the demand on government’s finances.
    • Transformation: Highways and Bridges:
      In 2015 the Government’s Transformation agenda gathered full momentum, and the pace of development should continue in 2016. High on the list of important projects slated for 2016 is the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Phillip Goldson (Northern) Highway from the Airport Junction to Belize City, a necessity underscored by the deadly traffic accidents in that area over the New Year’s weekend. Construction also proceeds apace on the Lamanai Road, the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road, and the North Ambergris Road to the new Efrain Guerrero International Airport. Also on the list of ground-breaking projects is the new Macal River crossing, linking the highway at Santa Elena, through Loma Luz Boulevard and Joseph Andrews Drive, reconnecting with the San Ignacio - Benque Viejo Road.
    • BELIZEAN ‘GIANT’ PASSES:
      We note the passing of a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Attorney General, Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts, affectionately known as BQ Pitts. Pitts passed way over the Christmas Holidays as a result of complications resulting from a stroke and cardiac arrest. BQ Pitts served as Attorney General from 2010 to 2012, in accordance with an amendment which allows for the Cabinet position to be held by an official who is neither a member of the House of Representative nor the Senate. Pitts had previously served as Speaker of House during the UDP Manuel Esquivel Administration of 1993 to 1998.
    • MAJOR CRIMES DRAMATICALLY REDUCED IN SOUTHSIDE BELIZE CITY:
      Senior Superintendent of Police Chester Williams, back from legal studies and now a full attorney at law, was posted as the new officer commanding Eastern Division South, which is characteristically the most violent, crime-ridden part of the Country. Williams adopted a style of law enforcement with a heavy emphasis on community policing. It seems to be earning early dividends as the major crime rate in Belize City overall and Southside specifically has plummeted dramatically since Williams took charge. In fact, for the last two months of 2015, not even a single case of murder was reported in Southside Belize City.
    • THE FUTURE OF THE UDP: Who Will Preserve and Advance The Party’s Legacy?:
      The outcome of the 2015 general elections wasn’t any shocking news, at least not the overall results. There were a few surprises in specific constituencies, but that the UDP won a majority of seats to once again form the government was certainly no riveting head line. For both political parties, the real news of these elections is yet to come. It’s about who will emerge as the new leaders. For the PUP, it’s quite impending, Francis Fonseca having already announced his resignation after leading his party to a second consecutive general election defeat (although he has since indicated he will once again seek to become the leader). In the case of the UDP, Dean Barrow is riding the wave of his unprecedented accomplishment as the only Prime Minister to lead his party to three consecutive victories, a luxury he has already indicated he has no intention of bringing to an early end.
    • Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2016:
      My Fellow Belizeans: There were many things to be grateful for in 2015. We were spared from hurricanes; there were no social upheavals; we steered our way through the complexities of the relationship with Guatemala; and politically we capped everything with the peaceful and historic general elections of November. Economically it was also a good year. Disease and the long drought played havoc with shrimp and grains. And an earlier than expected decrease in the export price was unwelcome news for our sugar cane farmers. But tourism saw continuing record advances, cost of living fell markedly, and there was an overall spurt in the rate of employment.
    • Setting New Pace For National Transportation:
      As highlighted in our last edition, Minister of State Edmond Castro, having been assigned the additional responsibility for National Emergency Management, had hit the ground running, as he was pressed into active duty in response to flooding in his own constituency and other parts of the country, especially the southern districts. In that respect, it is generally accepted, he passed the first test with flying colours. With the floods having subsided, the focus now shifts to The Ministry of Transport, which also falls under Castro’s portfolio. It is an area which the Dean Barrow Administration intends to place great focus on in its third term, as signalled in the UDP 2015-2020 Manifesto, in which the government promises to “develop and implement a National Transportation Master Plan to address the need for efficient and cost effective movement of people and goods.”
    • 2,000 Strong and Growing, Belize Police Force Adds 167 New Recruits to its Ranks:
      When the Belize Police Department held its newest passing out parade on December 18, 2015, it was adding another 167 recruits to its national ranks, thereby doubling its size in less than three years. Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar highlighted this fact when he spoke at the graduation ceremonies for the new intake, Squad # 92, held at the Belize Police Training Academy in Belmopan: “Even though this is the sixth recruiting squad that I have had the privilege of addressing as Minister of National Security since my appointment in 2012, each ceremony, including this one, has been of great importance and significance to me. Important because every new squad we send out carries the collective responsibility of the entire Department.
    • 2015 - THE YEAR OF ELECTIONS:
      The year just passed could be described in various ways, but for Belize there is perhaps no better way to characterize 2015 than ‘The Year of Elections’. For the UDP that meant a year of unprecedented political success. It started off early in January with the bye-election in Cayo North which had become necessary after the PUP area representative in that constituency, Joesph Mahmoud, resigned, leaving the seat vacant. The political machines of both national parties, the PUP and UDP, faced off on January 5, the day of the bye election. But the PUP was clearly lacking in organization and motivation, proving to be no match for the UDP which was highly motivated and well organized.
    • Foward Operating Base In The South:
      Ground-breaking ceremonies were held on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 for the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at the mouth of the Sarstoon River which forms the natural boundary between the territories of Belize and Guatemala in the south. A delegation headed by Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar travelled to the location in a miliCoast Guard Commander Rear Admiral John Borland. They were accompanied by a group of police officers and two observers from the Organization of American States. This was the official ground-breaking contingent. In addition, the Belize Coast Guard transported members of the media in one of their Boston Whalers boats.
    • Belize Heads Caricom:
      Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow has just taken up chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Mr. Barrow chairs the regional organization for a period of six months starting January 1, 2016. Taking over from Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart of Barbados, Mr Barrow promises to improve the quest of the regional organization to improve the standard of living and to provide a “safe, viable, and prosperous Caribbean Community”. In his message to start the new year, Barrow said he looks forward to increasing the pace both of the reform process and the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019.“The plan, which is designed to build Caricom’s economic, environmental, social and technological resilience, has the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) as an important vehicle in that drive for greater resilience,” he said.
    • SUGAR CANE CROP-SEASON WELL UNDERWAY:
      The Sugar-Cane Crop Season is well underway. It began an entire month ago on Monday December 7, 2015 and quickly picked up pace. We had the privilege of witnessing first-hand some of the harvesting taking place in the Santa Marta area of Orange Walk, these farmers making their invaluable contribution to this essential local industry which is a major component of the Belize Economy. Speaking to the media at the launch of the season in early December, Chairman of the Sugar Cane Production Committee, Jose Novelo, commented, “It is a function of the wet period; we’re having a slow start, so to speak, in terms of delivery, but we expect that this will improve.
    • “Belize Feels So Much Like Home To M,e” National Geographic Filmmaker Warmly Welcomed By DPM Gaspar Vega:
      Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Sustainable Development met with Alexandra Costeau, National Geographic filmmaker, ocean explorer, Oceana Senior Advisor and granddaughter of the legendary Jacques Costeau. Jacques Costeau explored Belize's marine environment in the 1970's, becoming the first person to document and reveal the mysteries of our Great Blue Hole. Her week-long trip included a visit with the Deputy Prime Minister to discuss sustainability in management and greater protection for Belize's marine resources. Costeau said of Belize, “My husband and I fell in love in Belize and with Belize. This is where he and I took our first trip together. This is also where I taught him how to dive. Later, our daughter touched the ocean for the first time in Belize. Now, we’re looking forward to bringing our newborn son to Belize.
    • ANOTHER VITAL ROAD PROJECT, Upgrading The Highway From Haulover Bridge to Airport Road:
      The Government of Belize secured a Loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Fifth Road (Phillip S.W. Goldson Highway Upgrading) Project. This project, located in Belize City and Ladyville, is divided into several components, two of which directly address road infrastructure: Section A (Airport Road Junction to Haulover Bridge) and Section B (Haulover Bridge to Buttonwood Bay Boulevard Roundabout). Section A of the project involves the upgrading of Phillip Goldson Highway from its intersection with the Airport Road to the northern approach of the Haulover Bridge. Included in the scope of works is the construction of retaining walls in areas where there is the threat of erosion on the road foundation, the installation of erosion protection baskets and rock rip-rap, widening of the road cross section to include paved road shoulders, pavement restoration and re-surfacing. The project also includes installation of road lighting and safety features, such as signs, reflectors, road marking and improved visibility through the clearing of the road reserve.
    • Belize Appoints Ambassador to Cuba:
      On Tuesday, December 22nd, Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Annie Burns Martinez, participated in a ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana where she presented her credentials to Vice President and Comptroller General of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Mrs. Gladys Bejerano Portela and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Marcelino Medina González. Both parties discussed new areas for cooperation in Trade, Culture and Tourism. Ambassador Burns Martinez also recognized the contribution of the Cuban Medical Brigade and the general medicine and specialization scholarships that have helped to further develop Belize’s public health sector.
    • Queen’s New Year’s Honours:
      The Office of the Governor-General announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of NEW YEAR HONOURS 2016. To be a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G.), Michael Harwell Manfield Bowen, for Contribution to Business and Industry; to be Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), Mrs Eleanor Rubina Herrera Hulse, for Contribution to Education; Mrs Dilcia Christina Feinstein, for Contribution to Business and the Community; to be an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.), Ms Emelda Leticia August, for Contribution to Nursing; Mrs Sarita Elena Westby JP, for Contribution to Education and the Community; Mr. Juan Cansillo Nunez, for Contribution to Education and Sports; Dr. Aaron Paul Lewis, for Contribution to Science; and Mrs Janet Patricia Gibson, for Contribution to Environmental Protection. The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.
    • Five New Ambassdors To Belize, Credentials Presented To The Governor General:
      Five ambassadors presented their credentials to Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on December 7, 2015 at Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey; and H.E. Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua expressed pleasure at being representatives of their respective countries in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their governments. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that his country’s purpose is to continue to develop and maintain strong relations with the Nation of Belize. The Governor General graciously received their credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

    Blogs

    Here’s my wish from Belize for you in 2016
    At some time in your life, when you need it most, may you gaze out from a comfortable chair upon a lone palm tree. There are two types of palm trees that I like best. One is the solitary palm hugging close to the shore with its lapping waves, bent into the wind from a lifetime of resistance. These palms show the scars of battle and every twice records their resilience. They are inspirational. And relaxing. You just know that if you are string at a palm tree, you are already in a good place. The other kind of palms are the ones that grow up in the middle of dense tropical forests, fighting for supremacy among the competing growth. These really stick out among the Seagrape trees, Black Poison Woods, Banyans, deciduous this and that, pines and vines. Everything else is a muted green backdrop to their supermodel litheness and posture. They’ve got style. So do you. Go find a palm tree and make it your friend and role model.

    The Palapa Bar & Grill and the Original Palapa Bar & Grill? Now Both Are Open
    It’s all a bit confusing – even for those who have lived here a while, like me. 1. The palapa bar is a place – a physical location, a raised, two story palapa structure in the Tres Cocos area about 1 mile north of town and 2. a business – The Palapa Bar & Grill, registered to Scott and Jody, who ran #2 at #1 for years. And made the building bigger, better, UBER-popular, and just gorgeous. A landmark on Ambergris Caye. So #1 Great Building and Location Plus #2 Great Owners and Staff = Palapa Happiness in San Pedro. But then someone bought the land – the condo building – and the dock/bar was part of the deal. He cancelled the lease on Scott and Jodie…and gave them until the end of the year, Dec 31st to vacate. And then…as the time came closer for Scott and Jodie to vacate – these signs went up. I’m quite sure they were inspired by a kindergarten playground. Nanny nanny boo boo. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya. And so the end date came – and Scott and Jodie packed up EVERYTHING…and moved to a new location that they had spent months scouting. The huge and very popular bar/restaurant at the end of the Wet Willy’s Dock – at the north end of town.

    International Sourcesizz

    LEONARDO DICAPRIO IS TRANSFORMING HIS PRIVATE ISLAND INTO AN ECO-RESORT
    With sustainable efforts in mind, Leonardo is restoring his private island and opening it to the public. One of our favorite celebrity men has decided to build his own “eco-conscious” resort in Belize. If you're a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, or just flat-out in love with him, make sure to keep an eye on this spot that is set to open in 2018. Its been speculated that bookings for this new venture might open up as early as 2017. Back in 2005, as per the New York Times, Leonardo DiCaprio bought 104 acres of unpopulated land in the country of Belize, named Blackadore Caye for $1.75 million. His restoration of this island and creation of the resort is costing him millions at the moment - and for a very good cause. These 104 acres in Blackadore Cay include plush greens, mangrove trees, secluded beaches, and total privacy, as it's located off the mainland on a private slice of paradise. It essentially is DiCaprio's own private island, and he will be sharing it with the world as it transforms and is rebuilt. There are to be 68 villas (estimated as per Carib Journal) available for guests to book at Leonardo's new eco-resort. The soon-to-be resort sits along the second greatest barrier reef in the world - the MesoAmerican Reef - there are infinity pools to be built within the resort to maximize views of the beauty of Belize.

    Incoming CARICOM chair prioritises benefits for people in 2016
    Dean Barrow, prime minister of Belize, assumed the six-month chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January 1, 2016, succeeding Freundel Stuart, prime minister of Barbados. In a message to usher in the New Year, Barrow pointed out that there was a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. “People of the Caribbean Community, we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. Let us strive to make 2016 one to remember as a landmark year for our integration movement,” he said. “Our resolution is to continue to strengthen our integration movement to deliver ever-increasing benefits to the people of our Community. We will continue our quest to improve our standard of living through providing a safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community. In so doing we will build on our successes and will be moving forward with a number of initiatives to achieve that aim,” he continued.

    The World's Best Retirement Havens In 2016
    Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city ... or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting. Enter International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index. Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven. Belize, with its English-speaking population and established expat communities also makes it easy for new arrivals to fit in. Lynn Ann Snellman and Tony DiPiazza, from Michigan, found this out when they moved to Placencia. "We socialize with both expats and native Belizeans. We have many more acquaintances than we did in the States. In Belize it is easy for neighbors to become friends.

    Videos

  • I've been everywhere!, 2min.

  • Xanadu Island Resort., 1/2min. Few seconds from my morning walk.

  • Belize Cayes and Mainland 2015, 53min. A quick peak into our 2015 trip to Belize. This video shows us exploring Belize for the first time. We spent time checking out the cayes and the mainland of Belize. We found great snorkeling at both Hol Chan and shark ray alley via an amazing 8 hour sailing trip through Blue Tang Inn. On the mainland we really enjoyed hiking to Xunatunich, Cahal Pech, and Barton creek cave. These spots showed an excellent peak into the past.

  • Love is… a journey of a lifetime with you, 2min. Altun Ha (Mayan pyramids), Belize

  • Aquarium, Belize - Scuba Diving with Cowfish – by Kendrick Kaufman, 1/4min.

  • Aquarium, Belize - Scuba Diving with Scorpion Fish – by Kendrick Kaufman, 1/4min.

  • Landing on Caye Caulker in Belize, 1min.

  • Mike Miller GoPro Belize 2015, 7min. Diving in San Pedro, Belize 2015.

  • San Pedro, Belize-New Years Day 2016, 4min.

  • Caribbean Christmas Episode 4: Belize, 7min.

  • Eagle Rays near the Wall, diving Belize, 1min. From a December 2013 dive trip. There were two eagle rays gliding along in the distance, close to the reef wall near the Great Blue Hole, which is about 70km off the mainland of Belize, Central America

  • Secret Beach on Ambergris Bay Belize, 2min. This video shows drone footage of the Secret Beach area on the island of Ambergris Caye Belize.

  • Snorkeling with sharks in Belize, 1min.

  • Belmopan and Ambergris Caye, Belize 2009, 3.5min.

  • Honduras & Belize 2015, 3.5min. iving in Roatan, Honduras and Isabela in Belize.

  • Southern Belize butterfly, 1min. Made from a distance using still photos and slide show.

  • Molly & Grant Belize 2015, 7.5min.

  • HOPKINS, BELIZE Where Commerce Bight Lagoon and Hopkins Sea meet., 2min.

  • Scuba Diving - Belize, 5.5min. Animal Planet, this is not. I took these bits of video on several different dives in Belize. The depth was between 60 and 80 feet and since this isn't Animal Planet and I was using a point and shoot camera the color is more blue than it was to the eye.

  • Belize Prime Minster New Year Address 2016, 11min. With a reduction in Pedrocaribe funds for the New Year, Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow acknowledged that 2016 will be significantly different than the previous year. He says that spending will decrease but that construction of infrastructural projects like the Lamanai Road, the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road, and the North Ambergris Road to the new Efrain Guerrero International Airport will proceed. Below is Belize Prime Minister’s New Year’s message to the country.

  • highlights of our trip to Belize Dec 2015, 6min.

  • Snorkeling off the coast of Belize, 21min.

  • 2016 Mayan Village Project in Belize, 6.5min. When we admire the ancient culture of the Mayan people, we often forget the action steps to make sure that culture lives on through the people of the now. 'Can You BELIZE IT' Road Tour in Search of the Promise Land... has found a very needy and worthy cause to initiate and promote. We have decided to adopt the people of the San Antonio Village in Corozal Bay, Belize.

    January 3, 2016


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Belize Welcomes MSC Divina
    Today, Belize welcomed the inaugural call for a new cruise line. MSC Cruises had its first call today, with the MSC Divina landing in Belizean waters at approximately 8:00 am. The ship left from its home port in Falmouth, Jamaica on Monday, December 28th, making its way through Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize City, Belize. MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). It officially began operating in the cruise business in 1988. Between 2004 – 2014, MSC Cruises grew by 800 per cent, being today’s market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean. They offer a wide range of itineraries in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles, South America, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. In 2008, they were the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted “6 Golden Pearls” for outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Wildtracks Newsletter
    For all Wildtracks supporters - we have finalized the third Wildtracks newsletter - a review of the past year here at Wildtracks. Thank you to all of you for making Wildtracks and the Wildtracks rehabilitation programmes a success! Best wishes to all for 2016...

    New Year's Baby!
    Happy birthday to 1st born for 2016 Aiden Alexander Rhys - 8 pounds 14 ounces - at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Born to 32 year old Bridgette Rhys just after 2 a.m. on January 1st. Today the mothers, who gave birth to beautiful babies since December 31st, were greeted with great packages from SanCas. Brand Manager Aisha Rudon says that the tradition continues and this is the first of many activities in celebration of the company's 90th Anniversary. The mothers were all overwhelmed because they also received Johnson & Johnson products from Brodies and one mother received a cheque from the Belize City Lion's Club.

    2016 Caye Caulker Bartending training
    Starts at Roses Grill and Bar on January 5th -10th from 9am - 3pm daily. Both Introduction and Advanced are being combined. We are offering a combination of Introduction and Advanced Bartending training. Certificates will be offered for both trainings. Prices have been reduced as this is a sudden development. the full training will be offered just as per norm but the hours will be longer. 9am to 3 pm daily. Normal hours were 9am to 1 pm. Cost: $600 Inbox or call/text 664-1515 0r 626-7518. We will only take 15 persons so spaces are limited. We also help in finding jobs after successfully completing training.

    Christmas Full Moon Concert
    The SISE House of Culture had a great Christmas Full Moon Concert. Panerrifix was great! Our picture album. Happy New Year!

    Vivian's Grand Opening
    Vivian's has a new location, and it looks beautiful inside and out. They had their grand opening celebration yesterday, from 2pm until 10pm, and there were specials and face painting for the kids.

    The Reporter

    Another policeman accused of sexual offences, this time, against a 13 year-old girl
    San Pedro police have arrested and charged one of their own with three counts of ‘sexual assault’ in connection with a report by a 13 year-old girl. The charges against Kyle Hubert Serrano, 26, a police constable, followed the report that he assaulted the girl on three occasions between November 27th and December third. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser denied Serrano bail based on arguments from the court prosecutor that Serrano might want to intimidate the girl. Serrano was not charged until three weekes after the report was made because police had to secure further information from the girl in order to have sufficient grounds to bring about the charges against him. Serrano is remanded to the Hattieville Prison until January 26, 2016.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Old Capital’s residents are too fat: Ministry of Health
    A study done by the Ministry of Health’s Central Region Office has found that six in every ten persons in the Belize District are either overweight or obese, while 7.4 percent were underweight. The Ministry’s end-of-year health bulletin reminds Belizeans that being either overweight or obese increases the risk of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and hormonal issues. In fact, hypertension, asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cerebral vascular disease were the top non-communicable diseases treated by the Ministry’s various hospitals and clinics in 2015. The top communicable diseases were Gastroenteritis, Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Vaginitis, a

    GST wants your tax money
    Pay your taxes! That is the word from the General Sales Tax Department (GST), on the heels of reports denied earlier this week that the tax would be increased from its present rate of 12.5 percent to at or near 15 percent. While Commissioner of the Department, Betty-Ann Jones, concluded to the Reporter newspaper that the claim was “mischief,” she confirmed however that measures have been introduced to crack down on their collection efficiency. Jones explained that consumers are now being brought into the fray to assist with collections, since GST is a self-policing tax. That means making sure you have your receipt from your favorite grocer or business, that clearly shows how much tax was taken.

    Gifts for first baby of 2016; last baby of 2015
    Belize City’s first baby of 2016 came a little after two hours into the New Year at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Mother Bridget Rhys went into labour with baby Aidan around 8 in the morning on New Year’s Eve, which also happened to be her birthday. He was born at 2:03 a.m.on New Years’ Day. The second-time mom says she always knew her new son would be “something else,” but she had not expected this. The new baby is currently in the Intensive Care Unit for observation but is expected to do well, as is his mother.

    First murder of 2016 on New Year’s Day in Belize City
    21 year old Kieron Moss was the first shooting victim for the country of Belize, in Belize City on New Year’s Day. Details are sketchy but we understand that the Freedom Street resident, accompanied by a female friend, was on his way home from New Year festivities when he was shot at by an armed man passing on a motorcycle. He reportedly died on the scene.

    Blogs

    This is Belize: Chew on this ‘Shark Tank’
    For a fleeting moment as I drove east on Caribena Street in San Pedro, Belize, I had a blinding flashback to an old lost friend, Monkey Bob. Some of you may remember our earliest travel companion in Belize. He went where we went and never complained. Until he mysteriously disappeared without so much as a “See ya!” Looking at this sad excuse for a primate, I could almost see an older, disheveled , more-alcoholic Monkey Bob behind those blood-shot eyes. But no. It was not our Bob. I stopped anyway. I don’t know why. I’ve seen characters like this around town before. Sleeping it off in wheelbarrows. Hungover in the shade of a palm tree. Weaving down the road with a half-filled soda bottle of high octane home brew. It was January 2 already, for Cripes sake. Had he been partying like it was still 2015 all this time? Naturally I needed to take a picture. That’s when James popped up. The little man with angelic eyes looked up at me and said, “You going to take a picture?” “Sure,” is said, holding up my trusty Apple iPod.

    Should Belize be bracing itself for, gasp, mass tourism? Some think so
    Industry news website Travel Pulse sees a “reckoning” ahead for the cruise industry in Belize in 2016. The reckoning is triggered by the opening in February of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ $50 million Belize fantasy island, Harvest Caye, coupled with the country’s already “strong tourist arrivals growth.” So, I reckon that means Belize had better be bracing itself for even more tourism growth in the future? Travel Pulse sees NCL’s move to its own private paradise — floating dock, beaches, water sports in a protected cove, a life-like Belizean village — as a good thing for the country’s robust cruise tourism sector. “Harvest Caye’s debut will boost the country’s already strong cruise sector growth. Despite lacking a dedicated ship pier and terminal, Belize is on the verge of becoming the eighth Caribbean Tourism Organization destination to exceed one million annual cruise ship visitors,” says Travel Pulse in its 2016 Caribbean Tourism Outlook. In another story on NCL, Travel Pulse says “the cruise line’s website claims visitors will find both ‘solace and adventure’ in Harvest Caye” when it opens in February. We’ll have to take travel Pulse’s work for it because the Norwegian Cruise Line website link produces a page that ominously says “Action not found.” Although we’re pretty sure their cruise passengers will find plenty to do on the caye without ever actually stepping on to mainland Belize — to the relief of little Placencia, which at one point was the designated drop off point for thousands of passengers.

    International Sourcesizz

    A science preview of the year 2016
    After a year that saw the first close-up investigation of Pluto and the unveiling of a new human species, what scientific discoveries are likely to make headlines in 2016?

    Sean Paul Among Reggae Acts To Get Behind Climate Change Messaging
    After lending his talents to the song Love Song to the Earth, Grammy-winning artiste Sean Paul is looking to do more in the effort against climate change. Addressing a press conference at the recently concluded international climate talks held in Paris, Sean Paul signalled a commitment to gathering and sharing information on the troubling phenomena. And he is not alone in his resolve to promote information sharing and change in the effort to combat climate change. He is joined by other Caribbean acts, including another Jamaican, Aaron Silk, and Adrian 'The Doc' Martinez of Belize. Both men were themselves in Paris performing under the '1.5 to Stay Alive' campaign run by Panos Caribbean in collaboration with other key regional actors, notably the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Regional Council of Martinique, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and the St Lucia Ministry of Sustainable Development.

    ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ Campaign Hailed A Success By CARICOM
    The '1.5 to Stay Alive' campaign - run primarily in the lead-up to and during the recent international climate talks in Paris - has been given praise by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) chairman Freundel Stuart. "CARICOM's interests were strongly represented in a focused and coordinated manner by heads of government, ministers, the CARICOM secretary-general (Irwin LaRocque)and his staff, and a team of experienced and skilled negotiators led by Dr the Honourable James Fletcher. We are satisfied that our strong advocacy helped to ensure that the [final] agreement reflected the region's position on our major red-line issues," Stuart, who is also prime minister of Barbados, said in a release issued by the CARICOM Secretariat through Panos Caribbean. Caribbean artistes Aaron Silk of Jamaica and Adrian 'The Doc' Martinez of Belize were also on hand to spread, through music, the '1.5 To Stay Alive' message, and were big hits with participants.

    Videos

  • Pay Attention, 3min. New song by Lova Boy. n the spirit of new beginnings, I humbly offer you my new record/music video....PAY ATTENTION feat. Tanya Carter & Tasia Woods.

  • A little Belizean Hip Hop for 2016, 3min. DJ Khaled Voice

  • Belize 2015 - Elixir Travel Series, 1.5min. A quick look back at my trip to Belize. Stayed at the Maruba Jungle Resort and visited Caye Caulker, went cave tubing and explored the ATM Mayan site...Cool country, nice people, good food!

  • Belize, 4min.

  • BELIZE BABY!, 4.5min.

  • Belize December 2015, 8min. Backpacking in Belize.

  • New Years Eve Celebrations and Fireworks ~ San Pedro, Belize 2015, 12min.

  • Mating Butterflies at Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Belize, 1/2min. Mating butterflies at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of Belize.

  • Hummingbird in Belize, 1min. Hummingbird at the Mystic River Resort, Mountain Pine Ridge area, Belize.

  • Hummingbirds at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Belize, 1.5min. Different colourful hummingbird species at the hummingbird feeder at Green Hills Butterfly Ranch in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of Belize.

  • Fishing Belize 2015, 4min. Ambergris Caye July 2015

  • San Pedro Belize New Years 2016 Fireworks in 4k (Part 1), min.

  • San Pedro Belize New Years 2016 Fireworks in 4k (Part 2), 2.5min.

  • San Pedro Belize New Years 2016 Fireworks in 4k (Part 3), 8min.

  • Zipline Belize, 10min.

  • Belize, 8min. During the 1980s a detachment of Royal Air Force Police NCOs were stationed at Airport Camp, Belize in Central America, supporting RAF and military operations to deter Guatemalan aggression and invasion of Belize.

  • Fish and Stingrays at Swash Channel near Ambergris Caye, Belize 12-20-2015, 2.5min. Our first stop on a full day snorkel trip from Caye Caulker was a place called Swash Channel at Belize's barrier reef. It is covered with conch shells and shallow enough to stand with your head above water, and it is teeming with stingrays and big schools of fish.

  • Belize Final Movie, 12.5min.

  • St. John's Bill Schaefer House - Belize 2015, 39min. St. John's Bill Schaefer House - Belize 2015 Mission Trip.

  • Southern Belize . Insect and Bird noises. January 2016, 7min. Our videos will be both cute wild baby animals and wild animals in general made from a distance to avoid disturbing them. We will include what we think might be of interest related to the natural world including birds and plants.

    January 2, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Still no grants for BA-1 Project participants
    The year is finished and still 34 women from Ambergris Caye continue on the long wait to receive their grants in order to start or expand their businesses. The women were part of a training seminar called ‘Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Project BA-1’ which was designed for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. The program would assist the participants with the necessary tools, knowledge and a grant so they could expand their business ideas. Even though the financial assistance promised in the training has not been reimburse, the question that lingers is what use will the participants give to the grants if and when they receive it. So far, most of the women have done nothing or little to start a business plan that will depict how they will use the funds.

    Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2016
    There were many things to be grateful for in 2015. We were spared from hurricanes; there were no social upheavals; we steered our way through the complexities of the relationship with Guatemala; and politically we capped everything with the peaceful and historic general elections of November. Economically it was also a good year. Disease and the long drought played havoc with shrimp and grains. And an earlier than expected decrease in the export price was unwelcome news for our sugar cane farmers. But tourism saw continuing record advances, cost of living fell markedly, and there was an overall spurt in the rate of employment. Our public works program reached its high point, so that there was tremendous infrastructural development and huge knock-on effects in jobs, income and spending. Government and quasi Government salary increases, commercial bank liquidity, greater access to credit and lower interest rates, also helped to boost consumer confidence and well-being.

    San Pedro Police release end of year report
    The most committed crime for 2014 was theft. Police reported 144 incidents of theft occurring in 2015. Even though the number of reported cases is still high, there was a 29% decrease in theft when compared to the year 2014. Most of the theft incidents were reported in the first four months of the year. As for robbery and burglary, there were 14 and 67 reported cases in 2015, respectively. “We try our best to control the numbers of robbery, burglary and theft related crimes. But we need the community to understand that they play a role in this. Residents should be more aware of their surroundings and secure their belonging in order to avoid an incident. These incidents are crimes of opportunity and as citizens, we need to work together to reduce them by taking extra steps to be safe,” said Deputy Coastal Executive Officer, Assistant Superintended Henry Jemmott. San Pedro Police reported a single case of rape and five cases of unlawful sexual intercourse for 2015. Heading into the New Year, the San Pedro Police still face certain challenges in regards to vehicular resources, communication equipment, a temporary morgue, additional personnel, office equipment and a boat. To report criminal activity, immediately contact phone number 206-2022 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Queen's New Year's Honours 2016
    In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of NEW YEAR HONOURS 2016. C.M.G. To be a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George: Michael Harwell Manfield Bowen, for Contribution to Business and Industry O.B.E. To be Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Mrs Eleanor Rubina Herrera Hulse, for Contribution to Education Mrs Dilcia Christina Feinstein, for Contribution to Business and the Community M.B.E. To be an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Ms Emelda Leticia August, for Contribution to Nursing Mrs Sarita Elena Westby JP, for Contribution to Education and the Community Mr. Juan Cansillo Nunez, for Contribution to Education and Sports Dr. Aaron Paul Lewis, for Contribution to Science Mrs Janet Patricia Gibson, for Contribution to Environmental Protection The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.

    Belize FISHING REPORT: Weeks of December 20th – December 26th, 2015
    The wind was tough but the anglers persevered and got some good fishing in. Christmas was celebrated with one of the largest group of guests El Pescador has hosted. The family atmosphere was wonderful.

    Claudio Gongora AKA “Flame” Missing
    36-year-old Marisol Amoa of Ladyville visited the Ladyville Police Station on 29.11.15 at 4:00 p.m. and reported that on the 22.08.15 she visited her brother 34-year-old Claudio Gongora AKA “Flame” Belizean construction worker from San Mateo, San Pedro Ambergris Caye where she spent a week with him and then left. She has since made several attempts to reach him on his cell phone but to no avail. She stated the last time she was in contact with him via cellphone was on the 19th of December 2015 since then she hasn’t heard anything from her brother and his whereabouts is unknown. He is slim built, 5 feet 2 inches in height, of brown Complexion, has a scar on the left cheek, brown eyes, black low cut hair. Please contact local police should you have information regarding this individual.

    Trivia Night!
    Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,… Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, January 3, 2016, 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

    First CBC for 2015 done!
    190 species at Gallon Jug. Birds and numbers are killing my brain now... A huge THANK YOU to Chan Chich Lodge and Gallon Jug Estate for the continuous and very generous support.

    January 2016 Placencia Breeze
    Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 6 Turtle Inn Wine Room / Ms. Curlene’s 90 th Pg 9 Mariposa’s New Tree Houses Pg 10 Travel & Leisures List / Copa Inaugural Flight Pg 11 Coffee Culture / Marathon Pg 13 Bush Medicine / Point of View BBQ’s Pg 14 Christmas Pictures Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 23 Placencia Humane Society Pg 24 Events & Calendar / Save the Date Pg 25 Mixology / Evening with David Shaw Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Classifieds Pg 30/31 Paid Listings

    The Reporter

    Joel Borland of Team DigiCell wins Krem New Year’s cycling classic
    Joel Borland, a member of the DigiCell cycling team, won the 26th annual Krem New Year’s Day cycling classic in solo fashion, crossing the finish line in 3:55:42, well over 30 seconds before a group of riders came sprinting in for second place. The 90-mile ride started at the northern border and finished shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Central American Boulevard, near its junction with Mahogany Street. Gregory Lovell, also of Team DigiCell, edged out Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes for second place. In the female category, Belize Bank’s Alicia Thompson outsprinted C-Ray’s Kaya Cattouse in a photo-finish to successfully defend her title. Cattouse later blamed an escort police mobile of getting in her way during the sprint at the finish. Ernest “Jawmeighan” Bradley, the son of the late decorated cyclist, Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan, won the junior division race.

    Natalie Cole, American Singer, Songwriter, Dies at 65
    Natalie Cole, the American singer who overcame battles with substance abuse and the long shadow of her famous father to earn worldwide success of her own, has died. She was 65. Cole died Thursday night at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los AngeNatalie Cole dead at 65 Chart-topping R&B singer Natalie Cole, who followed her legendary father into the music business with hits like “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and “Unforgettable,” died at age 65. “Natalie Cole, sister beloved & of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace,” tweeted the Rev. Jesse Jackson on New Year’s Day. Cole, who had struggled with a variety of health issues in recent years, died Thursday night, according to publicist Maureen O’Connor. The cause of death was reportedly congestive heart failure. A physically weakened Cole, winner of nine Grammy Awards, was forced to cancel a string of concert performances over the last three months after a recurrence of hepatitis C linked to her earlier drug abuse. The daughter of music icon Nat (King) Cole scored a huge 1991 hit with “Unforgettable” — a virtual duet with her late father. Natalie was just 15 when her father died in 1965, a decade before his daughter launched her own solo recording career.

    Man in Orange Walk attempts to rape 5 year-old boy
    Last weekend, a woman of Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk District reported that on that day, a man was attempting to sexually assault her fuve year-son. The housewife reported that she was awakened by her mother-in-law’s screams, alleging that she had caught Kenrick Foreman in the process of sexually assaulting her son. Police have arrested and charged the laborer from Trial Farm Village and charged him with ‘sexual assault’.

    San Pedro introduces new law to register dogs
    A new law is to be implemented in San Pedro on January 4, 2016 to benefit the canine members of the island and their owners. A program that has been in the pipeline for more than two years, that bids dog owners to register and license their dogs at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) for a fee of $5, aims to reduce the number of stray and unwanted dogs. Dogs will be tagged with a special SPTC license tag, requiring all dogs to have a proper collar and leash. The regulation was enacted under the Belize Dogs Act Chapter 153 Revised Edition 2000 Section 3 (1): “Except where no dog license is required, every person who keeps a dog in town without being licensed for that purpose or who keeps in any town more dogs than the number he is licensed to keep shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten dollars for each period of seven days, or part of such period, during which he has so kept any dog.”

    American asking for public assistance to locate his Guatemalan fiancé
    David Edgar, a Vista de Mar resident, is asking the public to help him locate his 22 year old fiancé, Mindi Asucely Jordan Espino, who he last saw when she was traveling towards Rio Dulce, Guatemala. Edgar stated that Espino was going to visit her grandmother, father and brothers in the town, west of the Belizean border. He stated that he put her on the bus from Belize City to Belmopan and the last time he had contact with her was when she texted him to report her arrival in Rio Dulce. She was to get in contact with Edgar the following day and return to Belize on December 18, 2015. More than 10 days have passed and there has been no news on Espino. Espino is five feet tall, weighs about 120 pounds, has light brown skin, brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a colorful blouse and white leggings. She is a night school student at Gwen Lizaraga High School. The 68 year-old business man fears that Espino has come to harm, since he stated breaking contact with him in this fashion, is unlikely. He fears for her because a cousin of Mindy’s was involved in a confrontation and he was stabbed to death outside Blue Angels Night Club in San Ignacio in October.

    MOH addresses health issues with December publication
    The Ministry of Health (MOH) this month advised Belizeans on pertinent public health issues, through its December publication of its Health Bulletin. The latest edition of the bulletin, published by Central Health Region-Belize District, covered topics such as the top communicable and non-communicable diseases, the rising obesity trend, and infant mortality. The top communicable diseases were: Gastroenterritis, Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Vaginitis, and Scabies; while the top non-communicable diseases were: Hypertension, Asthma, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cerebral Vascular Disease. The report presented findings from a study done by the Central Health Region, which concluded that in 2015, 64.2 percent of the people living in the Belize district are either overweight or obese. The data also showed that some 7.4 percent were underweight. The MOH reminds Belizeans that being either overweight or obese increases the risk of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and hormonal issues.

    Punta Gorda Family helps raise fund to put young man through school
    A family from the United States opened a fundraising account on the popular website Go Fund Me, seeking pubic assistance to help a young man from Punta Gorda, Toledo attend college in Wisconsin USA. The story of Rodney Borland is one of resilience and courage that soon took the hearts of his friends. On the night of October 11, 2002 Borland was working in his parent’s grocery shop when a man, his face covered with a stocking, and armed entered and demanded money from the cash drawer. While attempting to retrieve the money, Borland was shot in the chest. His mother came to his aid and a nurse that was passing by at the moment provided first aid on him. The bullet that entered his chest broke two ribs, punctured his right lung and severed his spine. Borland would spend the next two years of his life from one medical procedure to the next to save his life. Borland spent almost eight months recovering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Wisconsin and later returned to southern Belize to continue his recovery. His life changed completely. The gunshot left him with restricted mobility and as a paraplegic and he had to use a voice amplifying device to speak.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    KREM Classic winners crowned
    Young Elite rider Joel Borland of Team Digicell crossed the line alone in the Old Capital to win the KREM New Year’s Cycling Classic in three hours, fifty-three minutes and forty-two seconds. Gregory Lovell claimed second place Byron Pope over with Justin Williams in fourth. In the junior male division, the race was dominated by eventual winner, Ernest Bradley of Team Smart, son of the late Ernest Jawmeighan Meighan, a former KREM Classic and Cross Country champion who was murdered last August.

    Queen names eight Belizeans in New Year Honors
    Her Majesty the Queen has appointed eight Belizeans to a knighthood and membership in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of a new year. Appointed to be a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is Michael Harwell Mansfield Bowen, for Contribution to Business and Industry. Sir Michael Bowen is the son of the late Sir Barry Bowen, who died in a plane crash over San Pedro Town in March of 2010, and succeeded him as President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen Limited, bottlers of Coca-Cola products and Crystal purified water and fruit beverages. Appointed to be Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire are Mrs Eleanor Rubina Herrera Hulse, for Contribution to Education; and Mrs Dilcia Christina Feinstein, for Contribution to Business and the Community.

    Blogs

    Belize in February
    February is one of the best months to visit Belize. With delightfully warm tropical weather and endless sunny skies, February is a great time to escape the snow and cold up north and come relax on a beach or splash in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Whether you’re looking for the best place to walk hand in hand on the beach with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, getaway to a tropical paradise for your honeymoon, renew your vows, or tie the knot in an unforgettably beautiful setting, Belize in February is for lovers! The country comes alive with a variety of local and national celebrations, including: San Pedro, often nicknamed the “party capital of Belize”, outdoes itself in the week prior to Lent, with live concerts, food festivals, and plenty of dancing in the streets. Artists from all over Belize come to Placencia to display their finest creations, making the main sidewalk in town a huge open-air art gallery. Everything from homemade jewelry to handcrafted clothes are on sale, displayed between paintings, photographs and sculptures. With plenty of live music to enliven things, visitors can sample scores of different tasty local foods from sidewalk vendors as they browse the works of art showcased during this popular festival.

    This is how you end up sleeping through New Years Eve in Belize
    With the departure on New Years Eve day of my youngest son Chris and his wife, Katie, all three of my sons have now visited us on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Ryan was the first, back around Thanksgiving 2014. Brendan, Cami and Brody were here for two wonderful weeks this summer. My work is done here. Now all I need do is sit back and wait for each to reach the obvious conclusion: “Man that was fun. Let’s go to Belize again!” It will happen. People always come back to Belize. It is just a thing. One visit, however long, is not enough. Especially for family. I hope. Chris and Katie took the long way to the island: a flight to Cancun and buses to Belize City. From there they took a bus to Belmopan and a new eco-resort called Chaya Maya Jungle Lodge from which they explored the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave and donated much blood to the local mosquito population. I was supposed to join them but health issues kept me here on the island. Again! Last year I missed out on the ATM Caves when my son Ryan visited because of a heart issue.

    International Sourcesizz

    This Cruise Line Just Made Its First-Ever Call to Belize
    MSC Cruises has made its inaugural call to Belize. After departing its home port in Falmouth Jamaica this week and making its way through Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, MSC Divina landed in Belizean waters. “We welcome the new European cruise line, MSC Cruises, in their inaugural call to Belize,” said Director of Destination Planning and Cruise, Valdemar Andrade. “We are happy to have them as a new cruise line partner for our destination and we invite to discover how to be. The MSC calls are a part of initial calls to explore what the destination has to offer. The BTB and the Belize Cruise Port are working with them to increase calls subsequent to these. We certainly see the cruise industry remaining robust and well above 300 calls for the year at the Belize City Port. In 2016, there will also be an additional line calling as well.” MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company. “Belize Cruise Port is thrilled to host the first in MSC Cruises’ Fantasia Class, the Divina, in our magical destination,” Elad Aharon, General Manager of the Fort Street Tourism Village. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with MSC and we are looking forward to support their growth in Belize.”

    Caribbean and Latin America Outlook 2016: The Biggest Stories for The Year Ahead
    Caribbean and Latin America 2016: What We're Watching in the New Year. Tourism Reckoning Ahead for Belize: Norwegian Cruise Line is expected to debut Harvest Caye, a $50 million private cruise development featuring a floating ship pier, an island village, a lagoon for water sports and a beach area, in February. Located off the coastal town of Placencia, the project has been kept close to the vest by Norwegian officials, although it’s expected to have a significant impact on tourism to Belize, whose intimate character is undergoing change amidst strong tourist arrivals growth. Harvest Caye’s debut will boost the country’s already strong cruise sector growth. Despite lacking a dedicated ship pier and terminal, Belize is on the verge of becoming the eighth Caribbean Tourism Organization destination to exceed one million annual cruise ship visitors. Belize hosted 986,131 cruise passengers in 2014, an explosive 42.9 percent increase over the 677,350 cruise vacationers hosted in 2013. Despite a slowdown in 2015, Belize’s land-based tourism has also surged in recent years. Last year Belize recorded 321,217 land-based, overnight visitors, a 9.2 percent increase over 2013. While the 101,747 tourist arrivals hosted between January and March represents a slight 1.1 percent increase over 2014, the country is still considered on track to continue as a fast-growing Caribbean travel destination. Indeed in September Dean Barrow, Belize’s prime minister, said the government would seek to build a new international airport on Ambergis Caye, one of the country’s top off-shore island destinations. The question for Belize is how the transition to mass tourism will impact the once-sleepy exotic destination.

    Incoming Caricom chairman outlines vision
    Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow , has promised to improve the quest of the regional organisation to improve the standard of living and to provide a “safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community”. Barrow, who assumed chairmanship on January 1, taking over from Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart of Barbados, said the grouping will commit to building on past successes and to become more efficient in the face of the “sternest economic test that member states have had to face in recent memory.” In his message to start the new year, Barrow said he looks forward to increasing the pace both of the reform process and the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019. “The plan, which is designed to build Caricom’s economic, environmental, social and technological resilience, has the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) as an important vehicle in that drive for greater resilience,” he said.

    Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO) Trading Down 3.4%
    Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ:CWCO)’s share price was down 3.4% during trading on Thursday , Market Beat reports. The stock traded as low as $11.98 and last traded at $12.20, with a volume of 99,836 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $12.63. Several equities analysts recently commented on CWCO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Consolidated Water Co. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 3rd. Roth Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Consolidated Water Co. in a research report on Sunday, December 20th. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $11.67 and a 200-day moving average of $11.80. The company has a market cap of $180.54 million and a PE ratio of 26.61.

    Videos

  • Belize 2015, 3.5min. winter break 2015 spent in Belize in the jungle of San Ignacio and the beaches of San Pedro

  • A few days in Southern Belize, 4min.

  • Belize, la splendeur des Mayas | Documentaire 2016, 44min.

  • Fam Nibbering in Belize Black Rock, 8min. Beschrijving.

  • Planting Beans in the Community Little Belize, Belize, 1.5min. That is the way how the oldkolie people plant beans in the community Little Belize!

  • Snorkeling in the Belize Barrier Reef (HD), 8min. Got amazing footage from a snorkeling trip to the Belize barrier reef, 20 miles off the coast of the Placencia peninsula, December 2015. See various coral fish including Dory (couldn't find Nemo unfortunately), jellyfish, a barracuda, nursing sharks, the spotted eagle ray, the green sea turtle and more.

  • Belize Snorkeling, 2.5min. Snorkeling in the Cays off the coast of Belize.

  • Belize 2015, 10min. My buddies and I went to Belize at the end of 2015. Mayan ruins, river tubing, ATM Cave (not pictured; video was not allowed...it was the most amazing one too), coconuts, snorkeling, and spearfishing.

  • Amazing Belize Vacation Video San Pedro, 4min. My wife and I went to Belize on 12-27-15. We stayed at AquaVista Beachfront Resort.

  • Diving in Belize: Spotted Eagle Ray in Turneffe Atoll, 1/2min. Diving near the Turneffe Atoll December 19th 2015.

  • Cave tubing in Belize, 8min. We went to Belize and traveled in a rain forest to see these beautiful caves it was wonderful Tubing was tons of fun The tub nail I tried to film but it was not working when you hear the water falls that's where it is it was amazing

  • Diving Turneffe Atoll, Belize - December 2015, 12.5min.

    January 1, 2016


    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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro NY Eve Celebrations
    Happy New Year 2016!!

    Hermit Crab Races at Crazy Canucks
    Looking for a great way to add some excitement to your Tuesday night? Well, we highly recommend a good evening at the race track- the Hermit Crab Race track that is! The atmosphere is fun, energies are high and so are the stakes down at Crazy Canucks! Get in on the action and bet on your favorite crab for only $10Bz, and cheer on the little fella as he vies for a chance to win bar tabs and fun prizes from different sponsors such as Sand Bar, Lone Star, Caye Coffee, Palapa Bar, Belikin, Go Phones and much more! The first crab to make it over obstacle rope wins, while the first crab to crawl on each sponsor marks wins a prize from that sponsor! Talk about fun, and to make it even better, it’s all for charity! There are several races for the night but crabs sell out pretty quickly, so we recommend you get there early, and buy a crab or two, or three!

    San Pedro Officer charged with sexual assault
    On Wednesday the 9th December, 2015 at 5:58 p.m., a 13-year-old female reported that she was sexually assaulted by a police officer from San Pedro formation on three occasions (on the 27th, 30th November and 3rd December 2015). San Pedro Police have since arrested and charged 26-year-old police Constable # 1661 Kyle Hubert Serano of San Pedro Formation with three counts of “Sexual Assault”.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    From Team Belize
    We are Team Belize, and On Dec. 29, 2015, we read our San Pedro Sun and My Beautiful Belize Visitor Guide while relaxing between races, poolside, at Dayang Bay Resort Hotel, Langkawi Malaysia. We are competing against 75 other countries in the International Sailing Federation’s 2015 Youth World Championship Laser Radial Class Regatta. From Left to right, we are: Chaperone Eva Campos; 15-yr.-old San Pedrana Laser sailor Blanca Velasquez; Coach Juan Mazzini; 15-Yr.-old Belize City Sailing Club’s Laser sailor Antonio Recardez. Exciting doesn’t even describe it. Wish us luck!"

    New Year Honours
    Order of the British Empire

    Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, 2016 New Year's Address
    "I believe, then, that the symbiosis of new mandate and New Year will be not just symbolic, but a real spur to action."

    New Cruise Line in Belize
    Today, Belize welcomed the inaugural call for a new cruise line. # MSC Cruises had its first call today, with the MSC Divina landing in Belizean waters at approximately 8:00 am. The ship left from its home port in Falmouth, Jamaica on Monday, December 28th, making its way through Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize City, Belize. MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). It officially began operating in the cruise business in 1988. Between 2004 – 2014, MSC Cruises grew by 800 per cent, being today’s market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean. They offer a wide range of itineraries in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles, South America, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. In 2008, they were the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted “6 Golden Pearls” for outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

    BEL Redeems $10 Million in Preference Shares from Social Security Board
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and the Social Security Board (SSB) today closed off a three-year preference shares purchase, which has proven to be a successful venture for both parties. At a signing held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters, SSB returned share certificates for 5 million preference shares in BEL, valued at $2.00 per share. In 2012, BEL sought funding to meet its financial commitments and offered SSB a guaranteed minimum interest rate of 5%. SSB accepted the offer by purchasing $10 million in preference shares, despite skepticism from some sectors. SSB was also able to acquire $5 million in BEL debentures at 7% interest.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Hotel Transylvania 2, Creed, Concussion, Burnt

    Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle meet San Pedro Sun staff
    Today, the My Beautiful Belize and San Pedro Sun staff members, Janelle and Monique had the exclusive opportunity to meet two actors vacationing in Belize. Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle, along with three friends, are on La Isla Bonita enjoying the best our little jewel has to offer. Charles Michael Davis is best known for his role as Marcel Gerard in The CW's The Originals while Travis Van Winkle has starred in movies such as Transformers, Friday the 13th, Accepted and Meet the Spartans. The meet and greet was made possible by Belize It Yourself concierge services, which is facilitating the group's activities while on Ambergris Caye.

    Channel 7

    A Soldier's Misfortune
    There was a terrible accident just outside of Orange Walk Town last night which claimed the life of a career BDF Soldier, and put another in the hospital. The officers were driving a BDF truck on their way from Orange Walk to Belize City when they lost control and collided head-on into an ADO Bus which makes regular trips from Belize to Cancun, Mexico. The Bus had 34 tourists on it, including Belizeans who were heading to Cancun. Fortunately, none of them were injured. The soldier, Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, was not so lucky, and the impact of the vehicle smashed it to bits, trapping him in the driver's seat. It is believed that he died on impact or shortly thereafter, right on the scene. Our News team has been following the story since last night, and with the help of our colleagues from CTV3 News, Daniel Ortiz put together this story today. Here's what he found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting This wrecked vehicle was barely recognizable, but it's the remnants of an unmarked BDF Mahindra Pickup truck. The wreckage clearly shows the massive impact that it experienced when it collided head-on with this ADO Bus. The Mahindra was being driven by Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, and he had his fellow officer, Lt. Argel Flores, with him in the vehicle. These Intelligence Officers, were on official business when they slammed into the ADO Bus which was heading toward the Belize Mexico Border.

    Ssgt Mendez Missed At Price Barracks
    Artemio Mendez was a staff Sergeant at the BDF camp at Price Barracks in Ladyville where most of his friends and colleagues are still trying to come to grips with this tragic incident. A spokesman told us today that Mendez was diligent and steady:... Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "We understand is that these two gentlemen who are members of the Belize Defence Force were traveling from Orange Walk heading towards Price Barracks here and they were actually on official duty and unfortunately the incident took place around mile 40 on the Phillip Goldson International Highway, with an ADO Bus - those international buses that travel through Guatemala, from Guatemala through Belize to Mexico." Reporter "So they were on duty at the time?" Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "Yes, they were on duty." Reporter "Talk to us a little bit about him as a person, as a colleague? You said you knew him personally." Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "Yes I knew him personally. He works here with us at Force Headquarters. He loves playing football, he is a football player. He lives up north in Douglas Village in Orange Walk District. He's done several trainings with us as well. So he is well-known within the BDF."

    New Year, New Message For PM
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has released his 11 minute, 1,200 word, New Year's message - and there's some interesting stuff in there. The full message appears later in our newscast as a commercial, but for your benefit, we'll cut right to the good stuff. First, is the general outlook on government's sagging finances - which recently got a boost with new import duties on fuel. The PM acknowledged the Petrocaribe proceeds are down, and the dreaded Superbond step-up is approaching - so government needs the money - but, he made it clear, that does not mean new taxes:.. "Among the challenges that we will confront, the reduction in PetroCaribe flows is perhaps the most pronounced. With the dizzying fall in oil prices, we expect to get much less from these Venezuela loan funds than we did in 2015. And already 2015's intake was only half of 2014." "This, combined with the drying up of earnings from our own petroleum exports, will put a severe dent in Government revenues. It is what, in the face of the coming step-up in SuperBond payments and the Compensation Award expected to be handed down towards the middle of the year, has caused us to raise the duty on fuel imports. The CIF price of these is so low that we were able to judge the increase a bearable burden. And with this, which is the only tax measure we will take, Government will be able to meet debt obligations and pay for expansion in services, particularly regarding national security and the acquisition of assets such as the three BDF 3:04 helicopters and the two latest model Coast Guard boats."

    Attorney Blasts Heroin Arrest
    As we told you last night, 2 men have been charged in relation to the suspected heroin case. On Monday police found 11 kilos of what appears to be heroin on the floor of a vehicle they intercepted at the Bel China Bridge. As a result, Giovannie Requena and Richard Macdonald were both charged with drug trafficking. Well, after their arraignment today, MacDonald's attorney Herbert Panton told us that the case against his client is ridiculous because Macdonald wasn't even at the Bel China Bridge when the drugs were found. Panton told us there are many discrepancies in the police report and that after the case is concluded they will sue the police. "Your client has been accused of trafficking heroin. Tell us how the case is going so far?" "Well it's an offence that the magistrate at the level of the magistrate's court cannot offer bail. So my client is remanded. What is really unfortunate about that is that there is absolutely no evidence and I am sure you've heard this from every defense attorney out there, but the circumstances are ridiculous..."

    Cop Accused of Sex Assault of 13 Year Old
    Earlier this week, the biggest news was about police constable Luke Moreira who was charged for raping a woman in the san Ignacio police station. And while the police department is still reeling from the embarrassment of this allegation, tonight, another cop is facing an ugly charge. Twenty-six year old police constable Kyle Serrano is accused of the sexual assault of a 13 year old girl - and he's accused of doing it three times! It happened in San Pedro Town where Serrano was posted. The girl and her mother told police that on November 27 and on December 3, Serrano had inappropriate physical contact with her. She also reported that between November 1 and November 30, he put his private part on her body. Today when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of sexual assault. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offences are of a serious nature and the complainant is a minor. Senior Magistrate Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Serrano into custody until January 26.

    City Cops Catch Gun
    Last night we told you about the 3 pounds of weed that was found on Casuarina Street. Well, the South Side Strike Team also made 2 other gun and drug busts in the City. Yesterday afternoon at around 12;30 police searched an abandoned lot on Jones Street in the Martin's Area where they found a black 9 millimeter pistol, 2 empty magazines, a .38 live round and two 12 gauge cartridges. No one was found in the area so all the weapons were deposited as found property. Also later on at around 1:30, police searched an abandoned lot on Faber's Road and found a black plastic bag containing about one and a half pounds of weed and another plastic bag with less than an ounce of cocaine. No one was in the area so the drugs were deposited as found property.

    Mover Over Carnival, New Cruise Comes To Town
    It's cruise ship season, and we're used to hearing of arrivals from carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. But now, you can add MSC Cruises to that familiar lineup. The Swiss based MSC is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company and the three thousand five hundred passenger "Davina" made its first call in Belizean waters this morning at 8:00. The ship stopped in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize. Director of Destination Planning and Cruise, Valdemar Andrade, is quoted in a press release saying the MSC calls are a part of initial calls to explore what the destination has to offer. He adds that in 2016, there will also be an additional line making calls in Belize as well.

    Cicely Will Spend New Year's In Jail
    A 25 year old woman who says she is a newlywed is spending the new year in prison - after she took money which magically ended up in her account. Martinez was today remanded on a charge of handling stolen goods - what she handled is 3,500 dolalrs of what police say is someone else's money. She said that she was getting married on July 25 and on July 22 someone deposited the money in her account as a wedding gift. She withdrew $1,000 the same day then she withdrew $2,500 afterwards. But the money was somehow pulled from Karen Bevans account at First Caribbean Bank - and Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser remanded her today when she appeared in court. That's when Martinez burst into tears right in the courtroom. Nonetheless, she remains remanded until January 8, 2016.

    BEL Says SSB Took A Chance On Preference Shares And Won
    For the past few years, big businesses have gotten used to the reality that that banks - saturated by excess liquidity - won't take their millions - so they've had to find other ways to invest it. Social Security did just that when it bought preference shares in BEL three years ago. Today, it closed off that purchase for a handsome return - the kind that it surely couldn't have gotten at the bank. SSB purchased $10 million dollars in preference shares along with $5 million in BEL debentures, and earned $3.1 million dollars in return on its investment, amounting to an average of 6.6% annual interest. It was also well worth it for BEL, which got funding to meet its financial commitments - cheaper than if it had borrowed from the bank.

    What Made The Chicken (Truck) Cross The Road?
    There was a minor accident on the Boom Road this afternoon where a Chicken Truck barreled into a ditch. No one was hurt - not even a chicken, but as the photograph shows, the truck got badly mashed up.

    A Post Christmas Bash For Cops' Kids
    It may be the last day of the year, but It's not too late to get into that Holiday Spirit! That's what we learnt from Eastern South Division when we visited their headquarters today for their annual CHILDREN'S After Christmas party. Sure Santa has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the season when with him. Emanuel Pech reports. This is an annual event held every year for the officers of Racoon Street Police Station and their children.

    VOX POPS...
    It's New Year's Eve, and for us here at 7News that means it's time for us to sample street sentiment in downtown Belize City. Today our crew took to Albert street to ask one deathless, ageless question: "What is your new year's resolution?" It was a mixed bag of perspectives as usual, but most seemed to gravitate towards family and health. Emanuel Pech did the questioning.

    See Ya, 2015!
    And, here at 7News our new year's resolution is to be here for you daily, serving you better in 2016. So as we leave tonight, we hope you have a happy new year's celebration…. For you news fanatics out there waiting to see our year in review, you can catch that tomorrow - in all its sprawling nine hour glory - the show starts at 1:00 pm, and finishes many hours later. To warm you up for that, we close tonight with some of the images that made news in 2015, enjoy, and I'll see you back here on Monday…

    Channel 5

    B.D.F. Officer Dies in Fatal RTA Involving ADO Bus
    A Belize Defense Force officer lost his life of Wednesday in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Orange Walk District. The on-duty officer was driving a [...]

    Prison Officer Shoots Himself As Prisoner Attempts to Escape
    A special constable attached to the Orange Walk Formation of the Police Department is tonight in a stable condition at the Northern Regional Hospital after he accidentally shot himself in [...]

    2 Men Remanded for Heroin Bust
    Two men were arraigned this morning before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer after they were busted with over eleven kilos of alleged heroin on December twenty-ninth. According to reports, tour guide [...]

    Minor Says SP Cop Raped Her
    Another police officer is tonight accused of sexually assaulting a minor.  Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Hubert Serrano, an officer attached to San Pedro Police, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser earlier [...]

    Reduced Petrocaribe Flows Change Economic Landscape in 2016
    In his New Year’s Address, released on Wednesday, Prime Minister Barrow acknowledged that the landscape in 2016 will be different than that of 2015, and a significant feature of that [...]

    PM Says Infrastructure Works Will Continue
    Don’t go all melancholy just yet though. Government has successfully campaigned on massive infrastructure works, and Prime Minister Barrow says that for the most part, that will continue in 2016 [...]

    S.S.B. Returns Shares to B.E.L. After Major Return on Investment
    An investment agreement between Belize Electricity Limited and the Social Security Board concludes today, ending a three-year preference share purchase.  In 2012, S.S.B. infused much needed capital into the cash-strapped [...]

    Jamaican Cruise Line Makes First Landing in Belize
    At about eight o’clock this morning, Jamaican cruise ship MSC Divina called to port in Belize City.  The inaugural voyage to the Jewel departed from its home port in Falmouth, [...]

    Record Low Murders in Southside Belize City at Close of 2015
    As we approach the final few hours of 2015, it is with the news that at least at this hour there have been no murders reported on the Southside of [...]

    Community Policing Vs Paramilitary Policing – The Results
    Interestingly, the decline in violence was not a result of strong-arm tactics by the Police, nothing to do with the infamous GSU breaking down doors and bones. Apparently, it’s quite [...]

    Did You Achieve All Your 2015 Goals?
    At eight o’clock tonight, we will be revisiting the ten most impacting news stories of the past year.  Indeed, 2015 was an eventful calendar which included four elections, massive overnight [...]

    PlusTV

    Bul’s Murderers found
    Police have made arrests for the murder of farmer Luciano Evaristo Bul. Earlier this week PlusTv reported on the cruel murder of the 55 year old farmer. Evaristo Bul of San Pedro Columbia Village was chopped multiple times and then shot multiple times. According to police, Bul was involved in a land...

    David Nanes Schnitzer’s bail is revoked
    The bail for international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer tonight stands revoked over a month after he was granted bail. Justice Herbert Lord this afternoon upheld an application to that effect made by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. The crown led by prosecutor Kileru Awich present...

    Eddy Sanchez passes away after being in critical condition
    Eddy Alberto Sanchez has passed away after being involved in a traffic accident. Earlier this week we reported on the accident of Eddy Sanchez and the critical condition that he was left in. On Saturday the 19th of December, Sanchez, a 29 year old Belizean Carpenter of Buena Vista was riding his gre...

    Prices for regular gasoline and kerosene decrease
    Prices at the gas pump increased two days ago but as of 12 a.m. today, there has been a decrease in prices for regular gasoline and kerosene. According to a press release from the Ministry of Finance, there was an arrival of another shipment of regular gasoline and kerosene over the weekend, and so...

    Delegates’ lists ready as PUP move toward National Convention
    The People’s United Party (PUP) is moving toward its National Convention scheduled for Belmopan on January 31, 2016. Yesterday, Tuesday, the final list of voting delegates for the Convention was produced. Party Chairman, Henry Charles Usher, told PLUS News via telephone today that all thirty-one con...

    Missing woman reports to police
    Yesterday we brought you the appeal of 68-year-old American businessman David Edgar of Vista del Mar over his missing 22-year-old fiancée Mindy Jordan Espino. He said she left home on December 11th to visit her grandmother in Belmopan and would also make a trip to her native Rio Dulce in Guatemala b...

    Brian Davis of Sandhill sentenced for firearm
    Twenty-six year old Brian Davis, a laborer of Sandhill, was sentenced to 10 years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Davis was sentenced to 5 years each for the firearm and the ammunition. But Senior Magistrate Fraser s...

    The Guardian

    No increase in electricity rates says PU
    Light bill will not go up, says the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). This was the commission’s response to a request submitted by BEL on December 10, 2015 for an 11 percent increase in the Mean Electricty Rates for the current Full Tariff Review Period. The rate increase would mean that the Mean Electricty Rate would increase from $0.35 per kilowat hour to $0.3885 per kilowat hour. According to BEL, the adjustment in rates is necessary to reflect the actual cost of power for the 2012 – 2016 Full Tariff Review Period (FTRP). The company says the current rates features “an underestimation of the Cost of Power (COP) impact of BEL’s Gas Turbine and an overestimation of the COP impact, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).”

    Honourable Bernard Q. Pitts passes
    Belize has lost another distinguished gentleman in the passing of former Speaker of the House and Attorney General, Hon. Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts Sr., who died on Monday morning, December 28. According to reports, the 80-year-old died of heart failure in Belize City after suffering a stroke last week and then a cardiac arrest on Saturday. Pitts was a humble servant of his country. He went to study law at a very late age and after obtaining his legal certificate he immediately started representing many of the less fortunate citizens of Belize. It was his service to the poor and marginalized that made the name B.Q. Pitts a household one in Belize. He was appointed to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998, during Sir Manuel Esquivel’s administration. Pitts later became the first Attorney General appointed in Belize’s history from outside the National Assembly in June of 2010.

    Police constable from Cayo charged for rape
    A police constable attached to the San Ignacio Police formation has been charged for rape. Police constable Luke Moreira, 21 years, from Santa Elena Town has been charged for two counts of “Rape” under the amended criminal code of 2014. This follows the report of a 25 year old woman from Bullet Tree Falls who reported that she was raped on December 20th while in Police custody. According to the woman, she had been taken out of her cell at 5:30 am and taken into a dark room, where the police constable had sexual intercourse with her against her will. In an identification parade at the San Ignacio Police station held at midday on Monday, the rape victim was given an opportunity to identify her attacker.

    A new road to Lamanai
    In his independence day address, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the government will be investing in the construction of a road to Lamanai via Lemonal village. Since that announcement the construction on the road has already commenced. The work commenced on November the 6th and work is well advanced to see the hotmixing of 7 miles of road from the intersection of Bermudian Landing to Lemonal Village. The contractor, Rodla Construction Company estimates that the road will be completed by April of next year. With the completion of the road, it will open a new access way to Lamanai which will significantly cut the travel time to this archaeological site.

    Was Geovanni replaced?
    According to a December, 23rd post appearing on Geovanni Brackett’s Facebook timeline he is in Charlotte North Carolina. Accompanying the post were some pictures of him getting some sort of SUGAR FIX at IHOP. What we saw on the table was a whole lot of starch. IHOP is not known for health food; on the contrary it is known for it’s pancakes, waffles, scones and the likes with plenty of butter and syrups on the side to add to the already rich dishes of eggs ham sausages and other niceties. IHOP is about huge breakfasts all day long. We could also conclude that there was also a lot of rice in his pocket. And by the way we would like to share some advice with our brother Geovanni, that amount of unhealthy food intake and Diabetes don’t mix. It is not that we want to put his business in the streets but it was he who told us about his diabetes during an interview he gave at the time when the gymnasium he goes to was closed down for nonpayment of trade license. Back to him being out of the country. Was he not engaged in the Guyana rice issue? Why then was he out of the country at such a crucial time? What about the poor indigent Belizeans whom he wants to get cheaper rice for? Then what about the importer whose noble cause Geovanni was standing up for?

    Council for Aging reacts to recent violence against
    Since October of this year there have been reports of violent crimes against older persons in different parts of the country. In each incident these heinous crimes have caused shock and disbelief among our citizens. The newscast coverage of the brutal and senseless attack of a 93-year-old man in his home in Belize City once again highlights the vulnerability of older persons across the country. Belize’s population of older persons continues to grow every year and with it challenges of care, security and safety remains an issue for many and their family. The National Council on Ageing would like to call on all citizens of Belize to take an active interest in older persons living in their community. This can be done through ensuring they are members of an older persons’ organization such as local church groups, HelpAge, and VOICE; through establishing neighborly relationships with them and reporting any suspicious activity in their area. We encourage older persons to build a network of relatives and friends who check on them regularly and who can provide home support during the night.

    Belize appoints ambassador to Cuba
    On Tuesday, December 22nd, Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Annie Burns Martinez, participated in a ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana where she presented her credentials to Vice President and Comptroller General of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Mrs. Gladys Bejerano Portela and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Marcelino Medina González. Both parties discussed new areas for cooperation in trade, culture, and tourism. Ambassador Burns Martinez also recognized the contribution of the Cuban Medical Brigade and the general medicine and specialization scholarships that have helped to further develop Belize’s public health sector. Additionally, the representatives spoke about the current Cuban migrant crisis and the role of human traffickers; in particular, the call by Hon. Wilfred Elrington for SICA states to coordinate a regional response that fits within a clear and legal framework and one in which all the parties affected were participating in the discussion, was appreciated. Both parties await the outcome of a follow-up meeting in Mexico with hope to move closer to a resolution.

    Increase in import duties on fuel products
    The Ministry of Finance hereby informs the general public that with the arrival of the latest shipment of fuel which is due to take effect at the pump on December 28, 2015, the Import Duties on Premium Gasoline and Diesel Oil increased by 65 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon while the Import Duty on Regular Gasoline increased by 57 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon.

    Looking back at 2015
    The year 2015 may go down as the most politically active year in Belize's political history. With 4 elections being held in 2015, it eclipses 1993 and 2003 when 3 elections were held. For the United Democratic Party 2015 may be a year it's members may want to emulate for all times, sort of a training manual. While on the other hand the People's United Party may want to do over 2015. Our old folks always told us not to pick a fight that you know you can't win. For the PUP that was exactly what they did with the 4 elections in 2015, they picked a fight they could not win. Remember their old battle cry "CALL ELECTIONS NOW"? And every time they chanted that, they started dropping left, right and center. They are even finishing the year without a leader or should we say a leader who is respected. The Political fortunes of the PUP would have been better served had they sat out those 2015 elections. Their explanation for doing so could have been that the party was sitting out those elections and was retooling to get it's house in order to live to fight another day. That may have been one option while another and maybe the better option would have been to DISBAND the party, there are open holes in the bottom and sides of that sinking ship called the PUP.

    Hon. Frank Papa Mena’s Christmas message
    Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, and to look back with gratitude, and to look forward with hope. In spite of our political differences, we are all one people and one country more confident and more united than ever. I am committed to keep working hard to create jobs and growth here in Dangriga, and we will keep promoting togetherness to unite us as Belizeans. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. During this holiday season let us reflect on how God has blessed us and remember those who are less fortunate. Let us honor our elders of our communities and extend a helping hand to all when and where it’s possible.

    Resolutions we break
    As the year 2015 draws to a close and 2016 dawns on us, we start to think of New Year’s Resolutions. Yes resolutions, those same ones we break sometimes as early as New Year’s day, some in the first hour of the new year and others we break later on. Sure there are people who are committed and carry throughout the year with their resolutions but they are in the minority. A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day. Then there are some of us who promise to lose weight. We may even set a benchmark as how much weight we will lose. On the second of January we get our gym clothes together and go to the market and buy those healthy fruits and vegetables. Next we start our exercise and diet routine only to fall short a few days or weeks down the road and we find a valid excuse as to why we stop and there goes that resolution out the door.

    Charged for stealing purse with $80 inside
    Jacqueline Williams, 45, of #43 Dean Street is out on bail after she was accused of stealing $80 from inside another woman’s purse as she was socializing at a Belize City shop. Sherlette Lamb, a 46-year-old janitor of #135 West Canal, says that on Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, she was socializing at Nikita’s Shop located at the Corner of #83 George and Dean Street when Williams took her handbag from off her bicycle that was parked in the area. Lamb says she saw Williams remove the bag and put it back. She says she also saw when Williams took the money out of the bag and left the area.

    93 year old man attacked inside his home
    Ninety three year-old Patrick Grant, a very senior gentleman who lives by himself on Fern Lane in Belize City, is in a coma after he was savagely assaulted in his own house by a thief who stole his TV. Police believe that thief is Grant’s own neighbour, Chester Noralez, 35. Grant suffered head injuries, and his family is hoping that he will recover from the beating which was inflicted on him. It happened on Sunday morning, December 27, just before 6 o’clock. Grant was asleep. That’s when an intruder, who police believe they’ve caught, entered the house, and attacked the law-abiding gentleman hitting him several times to the head and face.

    Toddler killed in accident in Orange Walk
    Genesis Medina, a 1 year-old child from the village of San Estevan in the Orange Walk District, was killed in a hit and run traffic accident. Police have since charged Eliseo Larios, a 28 year-old resident of Trial Farm Village, with manslaughter for her death. It happened just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 27. The toddler was playing with her older brothers in their yard which is normally sealed with a protective gate meant to prevent her from going out on the road unattended. Unfortunately, the brothers lost sight of her for a very brief moment, and in that period of time, she wondered into the street. That’s the time when Eliseo Larios is believed to have been driving by. Police suspect that he was under the influence of alcohol, and when he drove past the child’s house, his gold Mazda pickup truck struck the child, and dragged her tiny body along the road for about a hundred yards or so. The impact was massive, and the head and bodily injuries killed her almost instantly.

    Alert Police find ammunition in Belmopan
    Alert security personnel in Belmopan have been able to take off ammunition from a public place. On Thursday of last week at about 2:40 am, a Belmopan Quick Response Team was on mobile patrol on the Salvapan main road when their attention was drawn to two male persons on a red white and black Sky Go motorcycle, without license plate, travelling at high speed. They were signaled to stop, but refused to do so. Their fleeing from the law was short lived. Both men on the motorcycle were intercepted at the junction of Guatemala Street and San Martin Main where they were searched. Whilst searching one of the male persons, Police found in his back pocket a black plastic bag, which contained (4) 32 auto w-w brand live rounds of ammunition (2) 32 auto MRP brand live rounds of ammunition and (1) 9mm Aguila brand live round of Ammunition.

    Caught trying to enter woman’s bathroom window
    Belize City resident Mark Brown, 45, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison until February 26, 2016 after he was charged with attempted burglary with intent to steal from inside a woman’s house. Allegations are that on Sunday, December 27, he attempted to enter the home of Elaine Elizabeth Williams at #54 Racecourse Street, Belize City. Police say that the home owner caught Brown as he was attempting to squeeze his way through her bathroom window. She called police and Brown was detained. In court, Brown appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted burglary and told the court that he was never on Racecourse Street. Brown said that he was stretching to pick an aloe vera plant from a yard and he went too close to the gate causing it to open. When the gate opened it made noise and that was when a Hispanic man saw Brown and alerted the neighbours. Brown said he never entered anyone’s yard to steal anything.

    Murder in Toledo over land dispute
    Fifty five year-old Evaristo Bul, a resident from the village of San Pedro Colombia in the Toledo District, became the second murder victim to lose his life on Boxing Day. According to Punta Gorda Police, at around 9:21 p.m. on December 26, they received information of a body lying on the Jalacte Road between the villages of San Pedro Colombia and San Miguel. The officers responded, that’s where they found Bul, about a half a mile from the San Pedro Colombia Bridge. He had suffered multiple chop wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder. It appears that his attacker, or attackers, were especially violent, and they followed up with several gunshots to the chest and the right elbow.

    Cargo truck and bus collide in Cayo
    There was an accident involving a passenger bus and a cargo truck between mile 71 & 72 on the George Price Highway at about 4:15pm on Tuesday of last week. Benque Police visited the accident site and observed a white Isuzu cargo truck bearing L/P A-00504 on the left side of the highway, with its front facing Succotz. Also seen on the right hand side of the highway was a yellow and black Blue Bird bus L/P D-00108, facing Succotz village. Initial investigations have revealed that Ri Fu Feng 25 year old businessman of George Price Highway, Santa Elena was driving the cargo truck when he collided with the bus driven at the time by Florencio Perez, who was travelling in the opposite direction. The bus struck the cargo truck on the left side, causing extensive damage to the entire left side and rear and at the same time caused the cargo of dry goods to scatter. Ri Fu Feng and his passenger Hua Chen Xu, both sustained minor cut wounds above their right eyes and their helper Heri Cocom complained of pain to the left knee.

    Fight over a woman leaves teenager dead in Boom
    Lennox Pierreze Flowers, an 18 year-old Belize City resident, was killed on Boxing Day, in what looks to be a street fight. He was stabbed multiple times, police believe, by two or possibly 3 assailants in what looks to be a quarrel over a girl. According to his family, Flowers is a very hard worker who has 3 jobs. He went to the horse racing track in Burrell Boom Village with one of his bosses. They went there to enjoy some horse racing on December 26. There was an after party, where Ladyville Police officers were providing security. Police are still investigating, but they believe that at some point during the after-party event Flowers got involved in a quarrel with several Belize City men, believed to be members of the George Street Gang. It escalated to the point where 2 or 3 of these person got into a fight with Flowers, and during that time, he was stabbed multiple times to the body. As soon as the incident got to that point, the on-duty police officers were alerted, but by that time, Flowers had already been stabbed. Two of the men, believed to be the attackers, were immediately detained and Flowers was rushed to the KHMH, but he died on the way there.

    Rasheed Pollard in trouble for reckless driving
    Fabers Road resident Rasheed “Fresh” Pollard, 23, will not be allowed to apply for a driver’s license for a year because of his reckless driving on Sunday, December 27, that could have had a tragic end. Police say that they visited an area in front of the Michael Finnegan Market on West Collect Canal early Sunday morning, December 27, and found a grey 2007 Dodge SUV in the middle of the road with its wheels in the air. According to reports, the Dodge was being driven by Pollard and it flipped when he collided into a vehicle that was parked in the area. Pollard appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, December 28, to answer to two traffic offenses, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and failure to provide a urine sample so police could verify the alcohol concentration in his blood. Pollard pleaded guilty to both charges. Magistrate Rogers ordered that his license be suspended for a year for the charge of driving without due care and attention. She also fined him $250 for failure to provide specimen. Pollard has until January 29, 2015 to pay the fine or serve two months imprisonment.

    Shooting in Belize City leaves teenager fighting for his life
    Fifteen year-old Kurk Broaster, a resident of Pickstock Street, is in a critical condition after being shot at least once in the abdomen. It happened in the jungle area, of the city at the corner of Pickstock Street and New Road. He was standing on the street corner sometime around 4 p.m. on Monday, December 28, when 2 men on motorcycle rode up. Broaster was in the company of another minor, and a soon as the men on motorcycle approached, they fired a barrage of shots at both of them.

    Police United captures Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament
    The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament for 2015 came to an end on Sunday 27 December, 2015, out at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan where the second and final game in the championship series between the budding champions Police United FC and the former champions Verdes FC was played. The second and final game in the championship series ended in a 0-0 draw but the Police United FC won the championship on an aggregate score of 1-0. On Sunday 20 December out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Police United defeated Verdes FC by the score of 1-0 when Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez scored the only goal of the game in the 50th minute of play to give Police United the victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.

    Belize Athletics Association to hold 5K and 10 K runs on 1st January
    There will be two categories:- 15-19 – top 10 finishers in both the female and male categories will receive medals and gift packages. In the category 20 and up only the top 3 finishers in the female and male categories will receive 1st place $200.00 plus a medal and a gift package; 2nd place will receive $150.00 plus a medal and a gift package, while the 3rd place finisher will receive $100.00 plus a medal and a gift package. The next 7 top finishers will receive medal and gift packages. Interested participants can contact any member of the Belize Athletics Association or by email belizeathleticsassociation @gmail.com or at the BAA facebook page.

    Elite Basketball Competition to commence on 16 January, 2016
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence its third, annual basketball competition on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The opening game will feature the newly added franchise the Independence Thunderbolt verses the back-to-back defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks out in San Pedro. The 2016 Season will see the participation of eight teams which includes the San Pedro Tiger sharks (the back-to-back champions), Belmopan Bandits, Cayo Western Ballaz, Independence Thunderbolt, Dangriga Warriors, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes and the Belize City No Limit Team.

    Amandala

    Police are champions
    Police United held defending champions Verdes FC to a nil-nil draw yesterday at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, which was all the Police squad needed, having won game 1 a week ago by a 1-nil margin, to clinch the championship of the Premier League of Belize 2015-2016 Opening Season. The veteran Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez came off the bench in second half again for Police, after a nil-nil first half draw (Police had won game 1 by a 1-nil margin, courtesy of a goal by Leechi); but no goal was scored this time, although Leechi made his presence felt and created some anxious moments for the Verdes defense. But no goals were necessary for Police, as their iron clad defense, spear headed by the athletic phenomenon Trevor “Burger” Lennen, whose stopper role encompasses a swath of midfield, denied the Verdes stalwarts, including goal scoring king Deon McCaulay and last season’s playoff hero Jarret Davis, as well as dribbling magician Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton, and kept them scoreless for ninety minutes of regulation, until referee Christopher Reid signaled the end with his whistle, and the Police United celebration began.

    KREM New Year’s Classic this Friday
    The old year is winding down, and the new year is almost here, and it begins again, for the 26th year running, with the second biggest annual sporting event in the nation – the KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, “from the border to the boulevard”! According to the Technical Guide for the race, the event “is organized by KREM Radio under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB). It will be held on Friday, January 1, 2016. The Open Elite, U-23, and Masters’ (including 4/5) race will start from Corozal Town at 9:00 a.m. Female and Junior/Youth will start in front of the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town at 9:30 and 9:35 a.m., respectively.” And the “NADO anti-doping regulations” will be in effect for the event.

    New Year’s Competition in P.G.
    Season’s Greetings! The Concerned Committee for Football, in collaboration with the POLO Committee, continued its New Year’s Competition with games on Saturday and Sunday. In the first game on Saturday, Galaxy defeated Police by a score of 2 to 1. Steven Pop scored 2 goals for Galaxy, while Juan Ica scored the only goal for Police. In second game, Jah Youths defeated Jah Love, 6 to 1. Michael Ricketts and Enfield Arzu, Jr. scored 2 goals apiece, and Alex Terry and Ray Arzu scored 1 goal each for Jah Youths. Ralph Flores scored for Jah Love. In the nightcap, Jahroots/Estrellas and Ray FC played to a 2-2 draw. Aduan Usher scored 2 goals for Jahroots/Estrellas, while Clayton Fitzgibbon and Jaren Lambey scored 1 goal apiece for Ray FC.

    Chester – Man of The Year 2015
    This newspaper considers Senior Superintendent of Police, Chester Williams, to be the Belizean of The Year 2015. There are of course, other Belizeans who achieved great things in 2015. Belize City-based as the newspaper is, no doubt we have an urban bias. But Chester really jumped out at us, and we’ll try to tell you why. About twenty years ago Amandala developed a Southside model in analyzing the surge of gang violence which was dominating the news in the old capital, the population center, and the nation’s financial and educational hub – Belize City. Immediately, there were intellectual critics who went public with criticism of the Southside model, their main argument being that such a model was dividing the city folk. Our critics insisted that we were one city and one people, so no need for such analytical models to foment division. As the years went by, there were sincere, longtime Southside residents who also criticized our analytical model. Conscious of the proud and glorious history of the Southside, such sincere critics were finding it very difficult to face up to and accept the third millennium realities. The Southside, for whatever the reasons, had deteriorated: the Southside was in crisis.

    From the Publisher
    One of the issues we never discuss in Belize is the issue of health care. Because of cable television, we Belizeans know that health care is a really big, very controversial issue in the United States of America. On the other hand, relatively few of us Belizeans know that national, all-embracing health care is one of the major, major accomplishments of the Cuban Revolution. There was a point about a decade or more ago when the neoliberals in power in Belize reached the point of proposing that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital be privatized. It appeared to me then that we were entering the realm of insanity as a people, because it was totally inconceivable how the masses of the Belizean people would be able to access health care in a completely privatized medical system. If I remember correctly, the Minister of Health at the time, the man Joe Coye, was one of those in Cabinet who resisted the KHMH privatization proposal. But, the mere fact that such a proposal had arisen, like the separate proposals by private Belizean citizens to purchase the Caracol Maya site and the Belize Barrier Reef, meant that there was something seriously skewed going on in and around the elected Government of Belize.

    Consumers feel the pinch at the pumps, ONCE AGAIN!
    Dear Mr. Editor: With the holly and jolly of the Christmas season came tidings of shock, upset and outrage. This is mainly because as the holiday season was wrapping up came the distasteful news that once again, the cost of fuel would be going up. It created major stir and sent tidal shockwaves across the country, both to motorists and non-motorists. The cost of diesel, regular and premium fuel rose by .81 cents, .97 cents and .72 cents, respectively. This unprecedented spike at the pumps left Belizeans flabbergasted, as it comes at a time when world oil prices are at their lowest and have been consistently trending down for the past eleven plus years, and are forecasted to dip even lower. While the people were scrambling for an answer or at least an explanation to this unprecedented spike at the pumps, through means of a press release we were made aware that the reason for the sharp spike in fuel cost is because of an increase on the fuel import duty so as to try to clog the gaping hole of revenue losses from the almost depleted oil wells in the West. This basically means, in layman’s terms, that once again, undue pressure has been placed on the back of the Belizean people to rescue the country’s ailing economy.

    Belize’s 2015 import bill pushing past BZ$2 billion
    The country’s import bill as of November 2015 had reached approximately $1.9 billion, with a month of imports yet to be included in the tally, which, if the usual trend holds true, will exceed $2 billion by year-end with the conclusion of the annual holiday shopping sprees. Information released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) indicates that the country’s import bill for November alone was $190.2 million, up by 3.8% or $6.9 million, from the $183.3 million imported in November 2014. By last November, Belize had imported $1.82 billion worth of goods, up from roughly $1.7 billion for January to November 2013. According to the SIB, Belize imported $18 million worth of motor vehicle parts purchased during November alone, largely accounting for the rise in imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ by $26 million, from $34 million during last November to $60 million in November 2015.

    Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts, CBE, dead at 80
    Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts suffered a stroke and consequent heart attack and was hospitalized at Belize City’s Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where according to his son, Dr. Michael Pitts, the retired Director of Health Services, “he received excellent care.” BQ, as he was affectionately known by his close friends, passed away on Monday, December 28. Although he originated from humble beginnings in rural Belize District, Bernard Quentin, the fifth son of Roderick Augustus Pitts, was a Belizean nationalist and Garveyite whose phenomenal rise to positions of influence and power in the service of his beloved Belize earned him the title of CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s honors. After he graduated from Wesley College, BQ Pitts, as he is popularly known, began working in the British Honduras colonial civil service, beginning as a clerk, and worked his way up the ranks to become a traveling magistrate by 1964 and District Officer, explained Dr. Pitts. “He went to law school at the age of 35, with six kids in October 1970,” Dr. Pitts said. He did not get a scholarship, said Dr. Pitts, who related that since George Price refused to grant BQ Pitts a scholarship, he took vacation leave from his job and went to study law on his own.

    Literary genius, John Alexander Watler, dies peacefully at 77
    A foremost Belizean novelist, playwright, poet and orator, John Alexander Watler, known for his culturally exuberant and witty masterpieces, died quietly in his sleep in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on Wednesday morning, December 23, at the age of 77. According to Watler, he was born on November 6, 1938 in Monkey River, Stann Creek. Although he has been living in the USA for several years now, he always considered Belize his only home. Watler, who received a diploma in journalism in 1995, wrote, in a short chronicle of his life story: “I began writing at the tender age of 13 when a schoolmaster told me I had a special talent for writing. He encouraged me with private lessons in English and grammar; I excelled in both in elementary school and high school. “My parents could not afford to send me to a college but the writing bug was within me and I pursued knowledge with a passion, mostly by reading the great books of the Western World and anything else that I could lay hands on.

    PUC turns down BEL’s request for 11% hike in rates
    Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission John Avery issued a decision last Thursday, December 24, disapproving a recent request filed by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) for an 11% increase in electricity rates, which the company said would reflect the actual cost of power from 2012-2016, the full tariff review period. Avery said that the PUC “approves no adjustments to the Mean Electricity Rate and Tariffs previously approved for the period January 1, 2016, to June 30, 2016, and hereby orders the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to levy the currently approved Tariffs in respect of the relevant services it is licensed to provide…” He also said that the PUC had approved no adjustments to any other previously approved Regulated Values, Mean Electricity Rates and Tariffs, Charges and Fees. BEL had contended that its submission, made on Thursday, December 10, was based on an underestimation of the cost of power (COP) impact of its gas turbine and an overestimation of the cost of power impact, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in Mexico. The company, therefore, asked the PUC to increase the average electricity rate from 35 cents per kilowatt-hour to 38.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    Pump prices escalate due to hike in fuel tax
    Pump prices spiked at midnight on Sunday, December 28, largely due to an increase in import duties on premium and regular gasoline as well as diesel, resulting in an increase of up to 13% at the pumps. “This increase has become necessary as a fiscal consolidation measure to strengthen public finances at the start of the new 2016 calendar year and also to compensate for the decline in revenues linked to the decline in domestic crude oil production,” said a statement from the Ministry of Finance on Monday. When consumers buy regular or premium gas, 45% of the bill consists of taxes to the government. Consumers who buy diesel pay a little less, with 41% going to the government in the form of taxes. Many consumers who have been observing market trends and seeing oil prices tumble to as low as US$30 a barrel have been questioning why Belizean consumers have not seen the prices fall more substantially at the pumps. The latest information indicates, though, that while the cost of landing premium fuel in Belize fell by 7 cents on the gallon from $3.90 to $3.83, pump prices actually increased from $8.58 to $9.30, with the taxes at the pump increasing by 75 cents on the gallon.

    Keyren Tzib gets Supreme Court bail in time for Christmas
    Belize Coast Guard seaman, Keyren Tzib, 24, who had been on interdiction for a shooting incident involving a fellow Coast Guard officer in April and who was charged three months later, in July, with manslaughter following the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, was released on Supreme Court bail this morning. Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez released Tzib on a bail of $10,000 plus two sureties of the same amount. Gonzalez ordered that Tzib report to the Ladyville Police Station every Tuesday and Friday and that she surrenders all of her travel documents to the court. In addition, the court also stipulated that Tzib stay away from all prosecution witnesses in the case.

    Rice importer Jack Charles seeks writ of mandamus against BAHA
    Today, Christmas Eve, attorneys representing the parties in the rice stand-off between importer Jack Charles and the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) held a brief in-chamber hearing before Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young. Attorney Leroy Banner is representing Jack Charles, while Deputy Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, is representing the government agency BAHA, and another attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, is seeking to join the case on behalf of local rice producers. When the attorneys exited the court, Banner explained to reporters that the government side made an application to the judge for the case to be adjourned because they need “more time to be fully prepared for the case, and be properly apprised of the information.” Banner said that they will return to court on December 31 to make submissions, and then on January 4, there will be a hearing.

    Farmer “chopped up” and shot to death in San Pedro Colombia
    According to police, a San Pedro Colombia farmer died after being chopped several times and shot in the chest. Evaristo Bul, 55, of San Pedro Columbia, was seen lying in a pool of blood with multiple chop wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder and several gunshot wounds to the left side of the chest and the right elbow. Bul was declared dead on the scene. He was found lying on the ground on the road between San Pedro Columbia and San Miguel, in an area about ½ mile beyond the San Pedro Columbia Bridge at about 9:20 Saturday night, Boxing Day. Police reported that Bul was involved in a land dispute case at the Alcalde Court earlier Saturday evening, after which he was reportedly threatened.

    The Reporter

    Heroin/weed seized in busts in Belize City and Seine Bight
    An anti-drug operation in Belize City on Monday night yielded 22.5 pounds of heroin in a taxi, while police in Seine Bight village earlier that same day resulted in the discovery of just over four pounds of marijuana. The seizure in Belize City occurred on […]

    BDF staff sergeant killed in road traffic accident
    A head-on collision traffic involving an ADO bus and a pickup truck on Wednesday night ended in death when a Belize Defense Force (BDF) officer lost his life. The victim is Artemio Mendez, a staff sergeant of the BDF. Mendez was driving the Mahindra pickup […]

    Stevedores get “bukut” for Christmas, says CWU
    With the Government of Belize (GOB) passing a Statutory Instrument regulating the stevedores’ ability to strike, Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) President Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that GOB has given them the “bukut” for Christmas. Matura-Shepherd explained the stevedores’ strike action earlier this month came as a […]

    First Caribbean Bank closing its doors! Employees still have no exit package
    First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) has officially announced the date it will cease its operations in Belize. FCIB issued a statement saying it had received formal approval from the Central Bank of Belize to complete the sale of it’s assets to Heritage Bank by January […]

    Reform Area: Access to Credit
    Legal framework to support use of movable assets In the last “Strictly Business” we had commenced a discussion on the general role that movable assets can play in bridging the credit gap that is often cited as one of the leading constraints to growth of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises […]

    Veteran journalist needs financial assistance for urgent medical care
    Patrick E. Jones, known internationally for his up-to-the-minute posts and breaking news on his Facebook page entitled, “Breaking News, News at the Speed of Live”, needs assistance to undergo urgent surgery for Acute Pancreatitis. Jones told the Reporter this week that he has been […]

    Ladyville cops foil robbery attempt in high speed chase
    Ladyville police this week intercepted a vehicleand recovered a sub-machinegun. which they believe was intended for a robbery attack According to Eastern Division Rural Commander, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, police acting pn a tip that individuals in a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, were on their […]

    Belizean climate change specialist Carlos Fuller endorses Paris Agreement
    Amidst the ongoing controversy with the international climate change commitment, known as the “Paris Agreement,” Belize climate change specialist Carlos Fuller has endorsed the resolution. Fuller, the international and regional liaison officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5Cs), explained this week that in […]

    Year in review 2015
    Ingrid Fernandez Staff Reporter General Elections 2015 General Elections, were without a doubt, the most significant event of the year. In October, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called the elections only three years and eight months into the party’s second term, setting the date for November 4th, giving contending parties just […]

    Stranded Cubans get to move on
    Following an agreement reached by a group of Central American nations this week, some 7,000 Cuban immigrants will be able to continue their pilgrimage to the United States. The countries met in Guatemala City on Monday to discuss how to deal with the immigrants who […]

    Toddler killed in hit and run in OW
    A tragic accident in San Estevan village, Orange Walk town has left a toddler dead, two days after Christmas. At around 4:40 p.m. on December 27th, 15-month-old Genesis Teresa Medina wandered out of her house and into the street, without her parents’ knowledge. Witnesses told […]

    Teen stabbed to death at horse race on Boxing Day
    Lennox Flowers, 18, planned on viewing the horse races in Burrell Boom on Boxing Day but instead, met a violent death at the hands of three of his peers bearing knives. The youth, who lived on Partridge Street in Belize City, had gone with someone […]

    93 year-old man savagely beaten, sodomized and robbed at home
    A 93-year-old man, who lives alone at #12 Fern Lane in Belize City, regained conscious ness on Tuesday, but remains critical in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after being robbed, assaulted and possibly sodomized on Sunday. The family of Patrick Grant is furious over […]

    SIB comparisons highlight inflation highs and lows
    From January to November, the average prices for goods and services in Belize were lower than they were when compared to the same period in 2014, according to data compiled from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The SIB’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, which […]

    PUC says “no go” on light bill increase
    The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has rejected Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) request to increase the the price of electricity for the new year. The PUC, having reviewed BEL’s request for an 11 percent adjustment to the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) and Tariffs previously approved for […]

    Editorial
    The Government of Belize through its Ministry of Labour has placed waterfront workers under the Essential Services Act. This means that they are not allowed to go on strike without giving formal notice 21 days in advance. CWU stevedores called a surprise, unofficial strike ten days before Christmas. Port workers […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Soldier dead in bus accident
    34 passengers traveling on an ADO bus headed to Cancun, Mexico last night lived a harrowing ordeal when a BDF assigned Mahindra pickup crashed into the driver’s side of the bus at Mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway just before 9p.m. While the […]

    Two men charged in heroin bust
    39 year old Richard McDonald of Hattieville and 25 year old Giovanni Requena of Belize City, were charged with drug trafficking in respect to 11,155 grams of heroin when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. McDonald, a tour operator, and Requena, a […]

    Woman charged for theft over wedding gift
    A 25 year old woman, who allegedly took $3,500 that was stolen and deposited in her bank account, was denied bail and remanded into custody when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on a charge of handling stolen goods. […]

    Mr. Program” sent to jail for unpaid court fines
    Popular artist Gilbert Alamilla, better known as “Mr. Program,” is spending the first five months of the New Year in Hattieville, at the Central Prison, after he was picked up by police for failing to pay fines which he owed the Magistrate’s Court. The […]

    San Pedro cop charged for sexual assault
    Following the arrest of a San Ignacio cop for a rape inside the police station this week, the Department has arrested and charged another policeman, a constable from San Pedro Town, with three counts of sexual assault. 26 year old Kyle Hubert Serano, attached […]

    Prime Minister preaches optimism in New Years address
    It’s not quite 2016 yet, but Prime Minister Dean Barrow has released his official message to kick off the New Year. Prime Minister Barrow stated that there are still reasons to be optimistic that Belize will have another successful year despite reduction in Petrocaribe […]

    San Pedro police officer arrested for raping 13-year-old girl
    In connection to reports made by a 13-year-old female from San Pedro town, on December 9th a 26-year -old police constable attached to that municipality’s police formation, has been arrested and charged with three counts of “sexual assault”. The minor reported around 5:58 p.m. […]

    Belize City police make huge heroin bust
    It is common in this country that police make busts of cannabis, which is found and seized almost every day in different districts, but on Monday, December 28th officers of the Anti-Narcotics Unit made a huge bust in Belize City. While conducting operations, the unit […]

    Placencia police find four pounds of weed
    Placencia Police conducting anti-drug operations yesterday morning, made the discovery of more than four pounds of cannabis in Seine Bight village near a dump site. Between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., officers found a three black plastic bags and a jersey shorts […]

    San Ignacio police investigate fraudulent cheque
    San Ignacio Police are investigating the case of a fraudulent cheque received by Caribbean Tires in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday, December 29th in the name of ‘House of Salvation’ as payment for six tires that were sold on December 10th. The tires, each valued […]

    Toledo resident wins new truck from UNO raffle
    King’s Service Station along with UNO Gas Station in Punta Gorda Town, held its grand end of year raffle a short while ago in front of the UNO compound, where a brand new 2015 Ford Ranger pickup truck was handed over to its new […]

    One dead in Wednesday night bus collision
    One man is dead while a Mexican bus driver faces possible prosecution following a traffic accident on Wednesday night. Sometime after 8:00 last night a grey Mahindra pickup truck driven by Artemio Mendez, a BDF Staff Sergeant and an ADO bus from the Linea Dorada bus line in Mexico, […]

    Mostly cloudy skies heading into the New Year
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies at times today and tonight with a few showers mostly inland today and over southern areas, as well as some coastal areas tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and […]

    Blogs

    The Best of My Week and Others’ In Belize PLUS INDIA! You Are Killing ME!
    Merry Christmas and now…Happy New Year. Today is the very last day of 2015 but I’m just recapping the last week or so. A week that has been about The Holidays, INDIA and the wind. My three word summary for the last week of 2015. Now let’s get to Christmas…and then the weather both under and ova the sea. But quickly…let me show you this photo taken on one of the smaller southern cayes. A house (?) built of conch shells…AMAZING. I need more information! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! I’ll see you on the flip side If there is anyone going out tonight – all night – and wants to guest post…PLEASE let me know. But not after 10pm…I’ll probably be sleeping :)

    Pictures of Belize – The Best Belize Travel Selfies of 2015!
    Selfie, we are all guilty of taking them! And in 2013, when the word “selfie” entered the Oxford Dictionaries it quickly became the word of the year. The selfie is of course a photographic self-portait. Despite it’s recent popularity, selfies have actually been in existence for years, but technology has changed the game. When in Belize, you’ll most likely see tourists pulling out the selfie stick at some of the major attractions. Here we list some awesome selfie travel snaps that portray the fun and exciting things to do in the jewel.

    “Who Let The Dogs Out?” In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize
    For first time readers (where have you been?) I’m the real cute and good looking one on the right. Oh, and my full name is Ziggy BelizeEast. I’ve grabbed hold of John’s iPad to let you know what kind of Christmas I had. I was hopeful that Santa Paws would bring me an iPad of my own but I had no such luck. To say I’m gutted would be an understatement. I did get some great presents though but not before we all dressed up in our Christmas gear. I’ve got to admit it, I only kept it on because it had Arsenal’s badge on it. I wanted a snazzy Christmas T shirt like the rest of them.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Good and the Bad About Moving to Belize
    It sounds so perfect: a country with Caribbean islands where the principle mode of transportation is a golf cart, the people speak English and you are surrounded by crystal clear waters and gently swaying palm trees. But what is it really like to live in Belize? On our Web site, Best Places in the World to Retire, more than 50 experts (most of them expats) provided more than 1,000 answers to the most often asked questions about living in Belize. Bentley Wildman, who was born in Canada but who has lived most of his life in Belize, provided another example. "Yearly property taxes are very, very low in Belize. In Consejo Shores (Corozal), they run about $25 a year, either for a house, a bare property, or a mansion." Lisa McCorkle, daughter of the woman who opened the first hotel in Ambergris Caye, put the cost of living in Belize in context when she explained, "What causes us to live more inexpensively overall is that we don't have a lot of the costs you have in the US." McCorkle gave some examples in addition to how much cheaper it was to have a golf cart than a car and the almost non-existent property taxes. "We don't have any heating bills, and we don't have to pay to go on vacations to beautiful places. For many years I kept taking my kids to beaches in Mexico, until I asked myself, 'Why am I doing this? We live on the beach!'"

    Forbes 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens For 2015
    A great way to end the year. Forbes 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens For 2015! Belize at No. 3

    First Caribbean Bank to cease operations in Belize
    First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) will cease operations here the end of January to complete the sale of its asset to Heritage Bank. According to a statement from FCIB, it has received formal approval from the Central Bank of Belize to complete the sale of it’s assets to Heritage Bank by January 31 and based on this the bank will close its doors on January 29. However, questions surround the exit package to be offered to the more than 40 employees still working at the institution. President of the Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) Audrey Matura Shepherd on Tuesday said the bank has not met with the Union since October to discuss the exit package.

    The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2016
    Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting. Enter International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven. And our 2016 Index is our most comprehensive yet. We’ve crunched more numbers than ever before…asked more questions of more expats…all in a quest to bring you the best retirement havens in the world. And here they are. Among this year’s 23 countries you’ll find something to suit every lifestyle and budget…

    Videos

  • Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, 2016 New Year's Address, 11min. "I believe, then, that the symbiosis of new mandate and New Year will be not just symbolic, but a real spur to action."

  • 2015 Review: In the Net, 7min. Clips from 2015 adventures through Northern California, Nevada, Belize, Mexico and more.

  • CAVE TUBING IN BELIZE, 4min. Cave Tubing with Guide Omar Deras of Belize Inland Tours through Herman's Cave off Hummingbird Highway, Mile 42.

  • Belize 2015 Part 3 of 5: San Ignacio & Caracol, 5.5min. Visiting San Ignacio, Green Iguana Project and Caracol archeological site.

  • CAVE TUBING BELIZE, 4min. Cave Tubing with Guide Omar Deras of "Belize Inland Tours" through Herman's Cave off Hummingbird Highway, Mile 42.

  • Unusual Bonefish in Belize Manatee River, 2min.

  • Belize reef south of Tobacco Caye, 2.5min. Like coral reefs worldwide, the Belize reef is under threat and in places in collapse. Still, large parts of the reef are intact and healthy and full of life.

  • Fam Nibbering in Belize 2015, 7min.

  • News 5 - Top 10 Stories 2015, 53min.

  • 2016 New Years Message from Patrick Rogers BPP Political Leader, 2.5min. A warm greetings and a Happy New Year from BPP's Political Leader, Patrick Rogers.

  • Graphic video removal of a Belize Botfly, min. If you ever have the means to travel to Belize, don't pass it up. But try to pass up the opportunity the botflies will give you to be their human host; it's not as glamourous as it sounds.

  • San Pedro Fireworks NY Eve, 10sec. La Isla Bonita says goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016!

  • BEL employees honor the elderly, 1min. On December 30, 2015, BEL employees honored the elderly by serving luncheons and delivering care packages at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town and HelpAge in Orange Walk Town. In Belize City, lunch and care packages were distributed to the homeless.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 2min. Some dolphins drop by to say hello while we were diving in Belize.


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