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 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Central Bank commissions commemorative Mayan coins
The Central Bank of Belize- December 27, 2012- The Central Bank of Belize, in commemoration of the sacred and historical milestone – Maya Mythical “End of the World” 21 December 2012, has commissioned The Royal Mint to strike a limited edition of gold and silver coins. The front of the coin displays drawings from the Hokeb Ha vase depicting the hero twins described in the Popol Vuh (Maya sacred book). The hero twins are in conversation, dressed simply in kilts, necklaces, ear flares and featured white cloth headdresses. The glyphs in the centre of the figures represent the Maya Mythical ‘End of the World’ date. This date, according to archaeologists, completes a ‘great cycle’ of 13 baktuns (periods of 144,000 days each) since the mythical creation date of the pre-Columbian Maya calendar. The back of the coins depicts the Jade Head discovered in a large tomb at Altun Ha, a Maya archaeological site. This tomb housed the remains of an elderly adult believed to be an elite ruler during his lifetime. For the Mayas, jade was the most prized of all stones. The Jade Head remains the largest single carved object yet discovered in the Mundo Maya (Maya World). This exquisite carving represents the Maya sun god, Kinich Ahau, one of the most important deities of the Maya pantheon. The Jade Head, which became known as the Crown Jewel of Belize weighs 9.75 pounds, stands almost 6 inches high, and is representative of an era between AD 600 and 650.

Ambergris Today

Santa Rita Maya Site to Become Official Maya Wedding Garden of Belize
The "Festival del Mestizaje" that was held at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park and Wedding Garden in Corozal Town on December 20, 2012 featured the re-enactment of the wedding between Tzazil-Ha, the Mayan Princess and Gonzalo Guerrero, the Spanish Conquistador. The festival was held at such a historic event of the Maya calendar to bolster awareness and raise funds for a project approved in January 2012 by NICH and the Institute of Archaeology (IOA). The project involved the development of the tourism potential of the Santa Rita Archaeological Park by transforming it into the "Official Mayan Wedding Garden of Belize." Historical information documents the Santa Rita Archaeological Park as the only place where a marriage took place between a Spanish Conquistador (Gonzalo Guerrero) and a Mayan Princess (Tzazil Ha). Hence, it is believed that the enhancement of this site will bring back the unique historical, cultural, social and the economic potential of this site. The revival of this center as an official Maya Wedding Garden will honor the culture and heritage and will greatly benefit the present and future generations of the area. The Santa Rita Archaeological Park and Wedding Garden Project is a comprehensive, cultural-based development. It engages in infrastructural and educational developments and very importantly, markets Corozal as a wedding destination.

Mama Vilma Family Home Faces Hard Times
Changes In Leadership For Mama Vilma’s Family Home - At the annual meeting of Mama Vilma’s Family Home, Vice President Eve Dirnback and Secretary/Treasurer Cheryl Bowen resigned from their offices and from the membership. In addition, Surendra and Carolyn Kumar resigned as members. Eve and Cheryl have been with the organization since its inception in February 2011. Mama Vilma’s Family Home was intended to be a safe haven for women, children and families. “Unfortunately, we did not learn until March 2012 that providing services to victims of domestic violence on the island was prohibitive,” stated a press release by Mama Vilma Family Home. “Several members attended the domestic violence seminar held at Fido’s, coming back to the group with this information. Since that time, the organization has been unable to define a focus. Shelly Huber, President of Mama Vilma’s Family Home stated at the annual meeting: ‘This home will be built…we will find a way.’” Cheryl told the group that she very much wanted to contribute in a positive way to the organization, but it is hard to be an integral part when the organization has done nothing except fundraising. In two (plus) years, even with the generosity of the community, the organization has not raised enough funds to purchase, build or maintain a facility.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Rough Road to Caracol Belize Archeological Site of Mayan

VIDEO: Travel Belize
Travel to a new destination. Travel to your next adventure. Travel to Central America and the Caribbean. Travel to Belize!

VIDEO: The Great Blue Hole (HD)
The Blue Hole in the Belize Barrier Reef, dove in December of 2012.

The End of the 13 B'aqtun Celebrations
One more image from the end of the 13 Ba'qtun celebrations in Santa Cruz Village. As the festivities started outside, everyone left the house except for this man. His job is to ensure that there is a constant supply of chicharron. Here he is dipping the finished pieces from the hot oil onto large plantain leaves to drain and cool. Just in front of him are large metal tubs full of the just butchered pigs. the pork will be cooked and feasted on throughout the night on into the morning.

VIDEO: Holiday Diving Belize, Christmas 2012
Join Guest Divers Sabrina, Ryan, Austin and Carmen as they dive Hol Chan Marine Reserve and snorkel Shark Ray Alley while celebrating family Christmas in Belize.

Channel 7

Electricity Rates Going Up By 17%
The PM said his Christmas Gift to Belize was the renegotiated Superbond - but the PUC's new year's gift is not quite as nice: it's a 17% increase in electricity rates! That's right, the rate that was reduced to 41.6 cents per-kilowatt-hour one year ago - is now going up to 48 cents per kilowatt hour! That's the upshot of an annual review proceeding which was concluded yesterday. Chairman of the PUC John Avery broke the bad news at a press conference this afternoon:.. John Avery, Chairman - PUC "The new approved electricity rate is now 48.86 cents which is approximate 16.87% above the existing 41.81 mean electricity rate." "Because this is a fairly big increase certainly it will put our productive and business sector at a disadvantage comparatively. It's not something we like to do and we try to minimize the impact on consumers while not putting any additional strain on the utility " And as Avery explained that strain on the utility is because of sharp, unforeseen increases in the cost of power coupled with very low rainfall leading to poor hydro-electric production. It got so bad that at some points BEL was forced to buy power for 32 cents more than they were selling it!:

Wild Shooting Results In Another Ladyville Murder
In 2012, Ladyville has emerged as the deadliest village in Belize - as it has recorded some of the most outrageous killings ever reported in Belize. Last night there was another wanton act of violence that injured 4 and killed one. 7news was on the scene and Monica Bodden found out more from one of the targets today:.. Monica Bodden reporting This quiet residential neighborhood known as the Milpa area in Ladyville was turned into a crime scene after 7:30 last night. Police officers responded after 5 persons - one of them a small child - were shot- one of their injuries proved to be fatal. Our news team arrived on the scene shortly after the shootout. Neighbors say they heard over a dozen gunshots ring out. Police officers stood guard at the entrance of the lane. While the police scenes of crime van rolled in from the City - Neighbors looked on from their verandahs and through the louvers of their windows as the police scenes of crimes team scoured the area for evidence for over two hours.

NEW OMBUDSMAN
For the first time in a year, Belize has an Ombudsman. Lionel L. Arzu, was officially sworn in as the new Ombudsman this morning in Belmopan by Governor-General Sir Colville Young. Arzu is expected to be in office on the first day of January, 2013. According to an official release, the PG resident leaves behind his job teaching at Julian Cho Technical in Toledo. Arzu holds a Master of Science Degree in International Commerce and Policy from Valparaiso University and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with Management and Computer Science concentration from Knoxville College. Will he be able to withstand the rigors of being the champion of the down-trodden? We hope to ask him next week.

Swaso Says Hon Finnegan Bad-Mouthed Him
Last week we told you all about Goldbourne "Easy Glen" Adolphus and his alleged partner in crime James Swazo. Now we stress "alleged" because Easy Glen hasn't been charged for anything - but Housing Minister Michael Finnegan says that Swazo and Adolphus teamed up to hustle business-owners using his honourable name. Easy Glen has already declared his innocence - and he has plausible deniability; after all, he hasn't been charged. But James Swazo was charged with two counts of obtaining property by deception from two businesspersons in the amount of $1,500.00. So what's his defence? Well in court he pleaded not guilty but today when we met him on the streets, he said it was politics:.. James Swazo "They are trying to abstract us big time. They caught us in Orange Walk, brought us to Belize City, took us to Belmopan and held us there for two days and a night and then they brought us back to Belize City and tell us that they have a charge for us. They held us for 94 hours and then they charge us." Jules Vasquez "You think that he was fighting against you; that Mr. Finnegan started up this thing against Easy Glen and yourself because of this whole confusion over who is supporting Faber and who is supporting Gapi?"

The Sage Of "Horse" and Pam At Court
Yesterday, we told you about the drama which unfolded at the Belize City Magistrate's Court involving the arraignment of Jermaine "Horse" Garnett and his wife, Pamela Garnett. It happened late in the evening, and because of that there were some elements of the story which were understated in our yesterday's coverage. So, Daniel Ortiz revisits the story tonight in a recap: Daniel Ortiz reporting There are now 3 people, 2 of whom are believed to be affiliated with the Southside Gangsters, who are on remand for the murder. They are 23 year-old Cassian Bennett, his step-father, 30 year-old Jermaine "Horse Garnett, and 35 year-old Kenneth Barrow. But yesterday at the courthouse, their families and supporters, who believe them to be innocent, escalated the environment of what should have been a routine arraignment. The proceedings, however, were far from ordinary because the DPP herself appeared on behalf of the prosecution, a very rare occurrence to make sure that the court appreciated the gravity of what was at stake.

Salesman Robbed
Yesterday evening, a 33 year old Santiago Castillo salesman was robbed of almost twenty thousand dollars in cash. It happened at 6:20 at Tommy's Store on Central American Boulevard where the 33 year old had gone to pick up proceeds from a sale. He stuffed $19,598 dollars and 13 cents into a carton box and jumped on his motorcycle. That's when two men - one of them armed with a handgun - approached him and snatched the box and his knapsack. It would have been a bonanza for the robbers, but police have responding quickly by detaining one man while they look for another well known figure from the area. In other news, we understand that there was a robbery this evening in the downtown area of Belize City. According to reports, a magistrate court staffer was going to deposit court money at the Belize Bank when he was pounced upon, knocked out and robbed.

Taylor is Belizean
40 Year old David Taylor - the Placencia resident accused of outrageous acts of child sexual exploitation - remains in prison tonight - where we understand he is in protective custody. Taylor has not applied for bail yet - and may end up waiting out the 90 days before he does so. But who is Taylor? We've been reporting that he is a British National - and so he is. But what we didn't know is that Taylor is half Belizean. His now deceased mother was Carmela Montejo, sister of the also deceased former PUP Representative Remijio Montejo - who was David Taylor's uncle. As we understand it, Taylor gained his citizenship - as all children of Belizean citizens can - by affirmation in 2008. He has been living in Belize since then. His mother Carmela married a British Officer in the 70's and they had two children. She died in 1993 of cancer.

Sales Were Slow Say Businesses
On Christmas Eve, 7News sampled public opinion on how the holidays were going. As you may have seen, many of the interviewees weren't particularly excited about the holiday because finance was low. And so what did businesses think? Well today, we went around to different business houses to ask them how the Christmas sales went. Again, we found out that the business community is facing a lot of challenges. Here's what a few owners told us: Shadheed Haulze, part time employee - A & R "I think that they were going to keep me here fulltime but business went bad, nothing is going on in the spot. People are not buying like one time. Look when the Mayor of Belize City choose to fix the streets when Christmas time, business went bad. I think that were going to keep me fulltime." Keith Slater - Managing Director - Unicomer "We had a very good Christmas to be honest with you. There were the usual challenges; late arrivals, some weather challenges around the country and here in Belize City we've had the challenge of the road being closed on the opposite side which has an impact on us but we had a pretty good Christmas, lots of customers coming in and I would say we are up from last year's figures. We have a lot of loyal customers that come back time and time again. We try to keep it exciting; this year we got a brand new D-Max car that we've got from Bravo Motors and this has created a lot of excitement at the Courts branches and that help to boost sales as well."

The Many Trials Of the "Chicken Dread"
For the man known as the "Chicken Dread" sales are the least of his problem. He's got plenty of that! What he can't seem to keep clear of is the law! This evening - during the news - the police came to shut him down again. That's because he went right back to the spot on the sidewalk in front of the Abdu Building where he had been sent form originally. Daniel Ortiz just came back from the mini melee on Albert Street. He was detained again by police and we'll follow up on Monday to see if this results in more charges being filed.

Channel 5

1 dead and 4 others, including a 4 year old, injured in shooting in Ladyville
While the guns were silent in Belize City on Thursday night, shots were ringing loudly in Ladyville.  At about seven-thirty p.m., five persons were shot in the village. A four year old child was among the wounded, but the man who was killed was shot over a dozen times. News Five’s Duane Moody was the [...]

Trade License Fees; a hot button issue within business community
The recent increase in trade license fees by the Belize City Council remains a hot-button issue within the business community. In some cases, business owners have seen a three hundred percent spike in charges, an upturn that many describe as “uncomfortable”.  On Thursday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an email forwarded to [...]

Electricity rates will go up by over 16% in 2013
The Christmas season normally means that a few pounds will be carried on the waists of Belizeans in the New Year, but it seems that your next electricity bill may also have quite a few dollars more added to it. Electricity rates are going up by sixteen point eight-seven percent. Residential rates will carry a [...]

But increase not quite what B.E.L. asked for
B.E.L. will get an increase in rates, but not quite the amount it asked for overall. In its December tenth submission, B.E.L. stated that the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) increased from point four-one-eight-one cents per kilowatt hour to point five-five-seven-eight cents per kilowatt hour. That would imply an increase of close to fourteen cents overall. [...]

UB students sign petition to prevent hike in semester fees in January 2013
Hundreds of students of the University of Belize are facing a significant hike in semester fees starting in January 2013 when the government says it will stop paying subsidies to the school. But in these tough financial times, that’s a blow that many of them are unable to handle and so the Student Government President, [...]

A $350 increase to be implemented
Amadi says the affected students would be paying upwards of three hundred and fifty dollars more on their school fees and there are many who would not be able to afford it if the government cuts off its subsidies.   Hope Amadi “If the government of the day would say to its people, I am [...]

Salesman robbed of $20,000
A Belize City salesman was robbed of almost twenty thousand dollars in cash on Thursday night. The Evergreen Street resident reported to police that at around twenty minutes after six o’clock he was leaving Tommy’s Store on Central American Boulevard with a carton box containing the cash he had just collected, an Apple iPad and [...]

Crashed Bert ambulance sends you to prison
A Police Street resident, who had a little too much to drink over the weekend, now has to find over four thousand dollars to pay the court and the Belize Emergency Response Team, (BERT) after he took an ambulance for a joyride then crashed it. The incident was reported by Riceño Pook Junior, who says [...]

Ladyville bus conductor convicted for Harm
A bus conductor from Ladyville was convicted today by Magistrate Adolph Lucas for harming a female friend. The charge against forty-three year old Alton Fidel Flores, also known as “Spaceman” followed an incident in the wee hours of April twenty-first when the victim had asked him for a ride to her daughter’s house after a [...]

Taiwan holds luncheon and discusses territorial dispute in China
Today, the Taiwanese Embassy held their annual end of year luncheon. The event was to express gratitude on behalf of Taiwan to the Belizean government and people for their support and continued collaboration over the years. Taiwan has been a substantive financier for several ministerial projects that target the youth as well as the illiterate [...]

New Ombudsman, Lionel Arzu, sworn in
A brief swearing-in ceremony was held in Belmopan earlier today during which forty-five year-old Lionel Arzu was inducted as the new ombudsman.  Arzu demits his post as an educator at Julian Cho Technical High School to succeed former ombudsman Cynthia Pitts.  The formalities took place this morning in the presence of Governor-General Sir Colville Young.  [...]

Limited edition gold and silver coins to commemorate the end of Mayan cycle
The Central Bank of Belize has commissioned the Royal Mint to strike a limited edition of gold and silver coins in commemoration of the end of the Mayan cycle of thirteen baktuns on December twenty-first. In a press release today, the Central Bank explains that the front of the coin displays drawings from the Hokeb [...]

Belize Barrier Reef: a travel destination for tourists escaping winter 2013
The Mesoamerican Reef System is a six hundred-mile stretch of marine biodiversity, which includes the Belize Barrier Reef. The Belize Barrier Reef has been chosen by the editors of National Geographic as one of several travel destinations for tourists wanting to escape the harsh winter of 2013.  The Jewel’s three coral atolls, Glover’s Reef, Lighthouse [...]

Taiwanese Government donates $120,000 to Ministry of Nat’l Security
Earlier in the newscast we told you about a luncheon held by the Taiwanese Embassy for several persons including government officials, former scholarship recipients, persons who had visited the mainland, as well as the media. But there was also a substantive donation presented to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George [...]

LOVE TV

Toledo police say Christmas holiday was peaceful
The Christmas holidays were peaceful in the Toledo district this year. Correspondent Paul Mahung has a recap.

PUC makes initial decision on BEL application
The Public Utilities Commission today announced that the regulatory body has made its final draft of the 2012 annual review proceeding for Belize Electricity Limited. The government owned power company is asking the PUC to grant a thirteen cents increase in the mean electricity rate, which BEL says would assist the company in recovering additional cost of power this year, and an anticipated cost for the first six months of the new year. A press release issued this afternoon by the PUC says that its decision on the BEL submission made on December tenth, is that the increase it is approving is sixteen point eight seven percent to the mean electricity rate, to be applied during the period of January first to June thirtieth, 2013. The actual increase in the mean electricity rate takes it from forty one point eight one cents to forty eight point eight six cents. The final draft of the amendments to the 2012 ARP Final Decision is available for viewing at the PUC office on Gabourel Lane. Interested parties are being invited to offer comments on the draft of the amendments to the ARP by the close of business on Monday, January seventh.

Special Branch at work; makes drugs discovery and arrest
A shooting incident in Belize City on the morning of Boxing Day has left a man injured. Twenty year old Hugh Thomas was shot in the upper right leg just after one o’clock yesterday morning as he stood at the corner of West and King Streets. Police say that a man described as being of dark complexion and wearing a black shirt, came from the direction of West Street and fired a single shot at Thomas, injuring him. The Special Branch division of the police department continues to report drug seizures and arrests. On Monday afternoon, officers, assisted by the K-9 unit conducted a search of an abandoned lot on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City, which led to the discovery of a large crocus sack containing six thousand and fifteen grams, or thirteen pounds of marijuana. No one was found in the immediate area and the drugs were deposited and labeled as found property. On Boxing Day, Special Branch, acting upon information received went to the home of thirty eight year old Curtis Alexander York. A search of the premises led to the discovery of one hundred and eighty seven grams of cannabis inside a Milk Can. As a result York was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.

Murder in Hopkins mars Christmas holidays
The Christmas holidays came to a tragic end for one family in Hopkins village last night. Our Stann Creek correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Cayo family offers community support in Bullet Tree Falls
The spirit of community involvement in the policing of their village was amplified today when the Neighborhood Watch group in Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo district took receipt of a donated motor cycle. Mary Carriddi spearheaded the initiative, and she spoke with Love News via telephone this evening about the donation. Value of today’s donation in terms of dollar and cents is over five thousand dollars.

Regional actors and actresses to meet in Belize in January
The eight annual meeting of El Proyecto Lagartija Centroamerica is set to take place in Belmopan early next year. It will involve actors and accesses from all of Central America. Beverly Swasey is one of the participants and also am executive member of the organization. Swasey says that the three-week event which starts next weekend will also see the visiting actors and actresses going out into the community to share their talents. The delegates for the meeting are scheduled to start arriving on Saturday of next week.

Mahogany Heights without stable water supply
Water is a precious commodity in the sustenance of life. But for residents of Mahogany Heights, a community situated along the George Price Highway, they are facing a serious water shortage. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went west to bring you the following story.

Woman charged for attempted suppression of evidence
It was high drama late this evening at the Magistrate’s Court when forty two year old Money Lender, Pamela Garnett, was denied bail and remanded into custody until January 11th, after she was charged with attempt suppression of evidence. Garnett fainted as she was being taken out of the court room and an ambulance was called to escort her to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to the allegations, on December 23rd, Garnett offered five thousand dollars to Marie Alvarez for her to refrain from giving evidence at a trial in which her husband, Jermaine Garnett, and her son, Cassian Bennett are charged with the murder of Raheem Requena. Garnett pled not guilty to the charge and the prosecution, represented by the Director of Public Prosecution Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, objected to bail on the grounds that if granted bail she will interfere with witnesses. Garnett’s attorney, Dickie Bradley submitted that she’s not a flight risk and that the offense is a misdemeanor and she should be granted bail, but after a ten minute break, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart upheld the objection and remanded Garnett into custody. Garnett’s son, Mark Vernon, was also charged with attempt suppression of evidence. According to allegations, on December 23rd, he threatened Marie Alvarez to refrain from giving evidence at the same trial. He too was denied bail and remanded into custody until January 11th. Jermaine Garnett and Kenneth Barrow were charged with the murder of Raheem Requena. They were remanded into custody until January 30th. But there was also another twist to this story as special constable, Lisa Cayetano, was charged with allowing a prisoner to escape. This is in connection to an incident on 25th of December in which according to the allegations, Cayetano allowed Pamela Garnett to escape from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where Garnett was admitted to ward after she claimed that she was suffering from a heart attack. Cayetano was released on a bail of two thousand dollars and her case was adjourned until February 8th.

PlusTV

Shooting in Ladyville leaves one man dead and others injured
Last night, Thursday December 27th at around 7:40 pm, police in Ladyville visited the Milpa area of Ladyville, Beli...

Police seek man following chopping incident in Maya Mopan
Last night we told you about a Christmas day chopping incident which occurred in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan. (...

Men charged for murder of 19 year old Raheem Requena
Police say they have arrested and charged 30 year old Jermaine Garnett, a Caretaker of #2 Ceasar Ridge Road, Belize...

The paving of Lim Ni Puni Street will be completed by March.
Belmopan residents who shop frequently on the Lim Ni Punit street have,over the last few weeks, been subjected to m...

Belmopan Deputy Mayor promises more streets to be paved
Lim ni Punit is not the only street that is being upgraded. Belmopan residents in the Mountainview area, also affec...

Last Worship Together for 2012 is a time of reflection
The year is coming to a rapid close, but one group that has been laying the spiritual groundwork for 2012 and the u...

Arrests made by Police for Attempted Suppression of Evidence
Marie Alvarez,a School Warden of Belize City, reported to Police that on Sunday at 7:30am, she was talking to a man...

Gunman steals cash from salesman in Belize City
Police in Belize City have detained one man, and are looking for another, as they investigate an armed robbery. A S...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

FOR RENT
Small commercial space available on Front Street, Caye Caulker – $400.00USD per month. Serious inquires only. Contact [email protected]