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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant – Part I:
The brush dipped into the pot of shimmering powder. In the mirror, she could see the clothes that were strewn about haphazardly through the small, dark room. She squinted in the gloom, and expertly applied streaks of pretty powder along her brow bone. Pencil followed, lining her eyes darkly and bringing out the brown and hazel flecks in her eyes. She added mascara, and with a few quick swipes of color on her cheeks, she was done. The heat in the room was too much, and she turned the small fan by her bedside on, putting it to rotate as she walked all around picking up the discarded clothes. She wore her standard work outfit, fitted skirt that hit just above the knees, a colorful butterfly print blouse, and her hair short and swingy in a neat bob completed the ensemble. Her shoes were her only impracticality: they were sky high, strappy colorful wedges that matched the colors on her shirt. She teetered in them, but she wore them proudly.

The San Pedro Sun

SPHS honors male baseball team
The faculty, staff and students of the San Pedro High School (SPHS) took the opportunity to honor the male Softball team on Monday April 15th. The team won the National Secondary School Softball Tournament championship for the second consecutive year on March 16th. To celebrate the back to back win, the SPHS held a special award ceremony followed by a parade through the principal streets of San Pedro Town. Six seniors, who are expected to graduate at the end of the school year, were amongst the students that were recognized for their dedication to the team over the past two years. As their names were called, the student body applauded them one by one as they got on stage to be recognized. Following the assembly, the team members got on a truck and joined the other students in a school parade led by the SPHS marching band.

Offshore Oil contracts are null and void

Bishop Martin wins Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Bishop Martin High School has earned the top prize at the inaugural Sagicor Visionary Challenge, a regional competition showcasing science and technology. The Sagicor Visionary Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR (a regional insurance company), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). The point of the challenge was to encourage secondary school students to develop innovative ways to construct solutions to problems that their schools face. Orange Walk District’s Bishop Martin High School took on the Sagicor Challenge with their project “Coconuts for Life.” The team, composed of members Dovini Chell, Saul Osorio, team leader Angel Navidad and supervising teacher, Shakira Gonzalez, focused on the problem of high levels of consumption of artificially flavored drinks.Their proposal of a coconut plantation was aimed to not only eliminate the problem but to also provide a recreational facility for the school. The Bishop Martin students used the coconut tree and its fruits for food and drinks, recreation and to create ornaments to provide income for the school.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia
Oceana is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P.

Ambergris Today

Panama's Karen Jordan Crowned New Miss Costa Maya 2012
Miss Panama, Karen Jordan, was officially crowned as the new reigning Miss Costa Maya 2012-2013 on Saturday, April 13, 2013, during Belize Fashion Week runway show that took place at Fido’s Courtyard. Karen Jordan replaces Miss Mexico, Natalia Villanueva, who was unable to complete her duties as Miss Costa Maya 2012; Karen was the first runner up at the pageant. Miss Panama was invited to the island as a model for Belize Fashion Week and the Costa Maya Festival Committee took advantage of her presence on the island to officially pass on the title to her. Crowning Karen and presenting her with the official sash was Miss San Pedro, Naiely Puc.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel Heredia
Oceana, along with the rest of the country, is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P. Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

National AIDS Commission Held Health Fair in Caye Caulker
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee held its first ever Health Fair in Caye Caulker. Named “The Caye Caulker Community Health Fair”; the fair aimed at educating the Caye Caulker populace on the many health risk factors that exists while familiarizing them with the various services available within the country of Belize, at their disposal. The fair was held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court commencing at 10a.m. and ran through to 3p.m. on Saturday April 13. Further to this, the fair offered free first base testing such as Body Mass Index testing, Free HIV Testing with Pre and Post-test counselling, HIV Awareness, Breast Check UP, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Information, Down Syndrome Information, Mental Health Services and Blood Sugar Check amongst others. Residents of Caye Caulker took advantage of the fair and all the services and with music provided by Amador Magana of Caye Caulker, the court was soon bustling with residents receiving services.

Belize Fashion Week Opens New Doors
The first annual Belize Fashion Week took place this past week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with a spectacular two-day runway fashion show that highlighted the event. Gathering local talent from designers, models and businesses within the country and mixing it up with international designers and models, Belize Fashion Week has officially opened the doors to the fashion industry in Belize. Enrique De Leon, one of the organizers of Belize Fashion Week, commented that the goal behind the event was to give Belizean fashion designers the opportunity to showcase their talent, learn new skills and become professional entrepreneurs in order to launch their careers. Fashion week was not only about the glitz and the glamour on the runway shows; what many did not see were the workshops and seminars that were prepared for the designers. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with The National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) and the Belize Tourism Board, were involved in workshops that were provided to the designers.

Financial Crisis in San Pedro, La Isla Bonita
Dear Residents of San Pedro. How aware are you of the financial crisis in San Pedro? This news week article serves to bring to your attention our concerns surrounding the present financial crisis that is affecting so many established businesses and private homes of the founding families of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. As you are aware, the global economic crisis is the worst that the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s and it has also overtaken our beloved Belize. We believe that nowhere in Belize is the effect of this reversal of fortune in business and financial well-being more devastating than among the members of the indigenous business community and home-owners of Ambergris Caye. We predict that it is only a matter of time until the entire country falls prey to what we believe are the causes of the present hardships that we are enduring. It is our belief and sentiment that while the local business person is forced to borrow from institutions which offer rates that are comparable to a loan shark’s, the foreigner is able to come onto our island and compete with investment capital that is obtained overseas at preferential interest rates and less stringent payment and loan agreements.

Flashbacks: World Renowned Fido's
It has changed ownership over the years since the 1970’s and it has changed its looks, but it practically remains the same casual “all-friendly” and “anything goes” and “exciting things are happening” ambience that it started out with. Fido’s is the brainchild of Mr. Wilfrido “Fido” Nunez, J.P (+) originally designed as a centrally located spot to drop in for a beer or rum cocktail, some entertainment, a little dance and a good party. Fido’s has boasted natural beach, a seawall, several platforms and a variety of amenities that the visitor and eager shopper would delight in. At Fido’s you can simply throw off your shoes, get up and make any spot a dance floor- after all you are at Fido’s.

Old Timer Or Modern Sanpedrano? Num. 19
Even by the name you carry, you can know whether you are an OLD TIMER San Pedrano or a modern day one. If your name happens to be Florentino, Genaro, Anselmo, Benigno, Gerononimo, Eustasio, Fabiola, Liduvina, Baltazar, Anastacio, Deodato, Bonifacio, Cleotilde, Cleotilda, Cleto, Fausto, Reynaldo,Hildo, Isidora(o), Nemencio, or Mauricio, you are very likely an old timer San Pedrano. YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN SANPEDRANO if your name happens to be Audry, Alex, Alexis, April, Betty, Bill, Dennis, Dymra, Dulce, Faith, Diane, Gricel, Grace, Sylvia, Tatiana, Cristal, Lindsey, Ronnie, Yanniqui, Mike, Smile, May, June, Savannah, Zoe, or Yara. If you believe that the road down south all the way to Victoria House and beyond have been there ever since, then it is quite likely that you are a modern day Sanpedrano or a new comer to San Pedro. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO if you remember that the entire way from Tropic Air down south was all bush and in some cases high jungle. There was not a single home nor building- no Ramon’s, Wine Divine, Island Supermarket, Fairdale Plaza, Island Plaza, Pepperoni’s Pizza, George’s Kitchen, Coconuts, Pete’s Gas Station, S P Supermarket, Marina’s, Banyan Bay, and no Grand Colony, Banana’s, Royal Palm, Victoria House, nada, nothing else but bush all along that route. That is what the old timers remember.

Misc Belizean Sources

Important Lecture on the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Boundary Convention, the 1931 Exchange of Notes and General Discussion on the Belize - Guatemala Relations
George Price Centre for Peace, April 17th at 7:00 pm

NRM Symposium Today
The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, along with the University of Belize, and the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, are having the 7th annual NRM Symposium today at the UB auditorium.

'My Body is Precious' Tour
The Special Envoy for Women and Children is doing a book launch tour all around Belize for the new 'My Body is Precious' book, and they're coming to Cayo on Friday. They'll be in Belmopan, at the UB Auditorium, on April 19th at 10am, and in Benque, at the Marshalleck Stadium, at 2pm. "Launch of the Book by special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs Kim Simplis- Barrow together with author Starla Bradley- Acosta, donors Christine Norton and the children of Belize in attendance. An arm injury could not keep the US Ambassador to Belize away and the Hon Minister of Education taught us a new three letter rule for bedtime (ppb, figure it out;-) For more info on the fabulous work being done by the Envoy, go to https://www.facebook.com/SEWC.Bz"

SHJC at ATLIB Football Finals
The Sacred Heart Junior College male football team travelled to Corozal for the ATLIB football finals at Escuela Mexico. They took home the 4th place trophy. Great work, guys. Next year take first.

Photos of Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has beautiful grounds, and boasts the biggest and most diversified orchid garden in Belize. Nestled along the lush Hummingbird Highway, it's very close to the Blue Hole National Park, and their famous Black Hole Drop. Check out those amazing tree houses. "Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has some amazing grounds. They have an orchid garden which boasts the widest variety in Belize, if not Central America. They are known for having luxurious treehouses"

Belizean Cold Cake Version 1
This cake is similar to ambrosia or fruit salad. The Nestle's Crema is the distinctive ingredient in this cake. The Maria cookies are also unique and adds a wonderful taste to the salad.

Channel 7

Liquor With A Counterfeit Sticker?
This morning the Customs Department launched a major national operation on what can only be contraband liquor. But it’s an unusual case, because the imported, top-shelf liquor we saw customs impounding today at Vin Hong on Euphrates Avenue all bear the “Belize Market” sticker – which is only affixed to legally imported liquor, the stuff that’s NOT contraband. It is a specially designed sticker with multiple security features, given out by Customs along with the Supplies Control Office. That’s an important sticker because it identifies imported liquor that has been duly processed by the Customs Department – meaning it’s legit. In the past, the sticker was very primitive, but now it has been updated with security features. But, the owner of Vin Hong – who declined an on-camera interview - told us that Customs informed him that his stickers were counterfeit. He told us that he bought the assorted liquor legitimately from the agents. He wouldn’t comment further, but we know that the sticker has hidden features, which only show up under special illumination. While we were at Vin Hong this evening around 5:00, we saw Customs loading up two pickup trucks full of all imported top-shelf liquor. But neighbors told us they had gotten there from 1:00 pm, and had already taken a truckload back to the customs department.

How Bees Killed A Baby In “Little Belize”
Last night we told you about the tragic death of a four-year-old boy after he was swarmed by killer bees. It happened in Little Belize, a fairly remote Mennonite community in the Corozal District. Monica Bodden went there today to find out more, and speak to the family about the victims five year old brother who was also badly bitten:… The incident happened in the backyard of the Thiessen’s residents. 5 year old Pedro and 4 year old Enrique Thiessen were playing in some nearby bushes - when they were swarmed by killer bees. Their father Jacobo Thiessen was working in the yard and heard the commotion. He along with his nephew went to the boys rescue and in the process they were also stung. The boys were rushed from their home in the Little Belize Area to the Northern Medical Plaza - almost an hour drive. By that time, 4 year old Enrique had already died. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - Pediatrician "Yesterday around 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, there were four patients that reached, two adults and two children. The children were 4 and 5 years old. Unfortunately, when they came in some of them were in critical condition due to bees stings that they had experienced in Little Belize. The 5 year old had a lot of bee stings and of course they had to give him treatment and put him through an IV/Drips and some treatment that was provided. But the 4 year old came without a heartbeat.

OCEANA Gets Major Victory: Court Declares PSA’s Illegal
For several months now, 7News has been closely following Oceana’s Supreme Court challenge to 6 offshore oil drilling contracts which the Government Issued between 2005 and 2007. Today, that matter concluded in dramatic fashion when Justice Oswell Legall ruled in Oceana’s favor, vindicating the position they took in 2001 – that quite a lot of Production Sharing Agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The contracts under challenge were those issued to the companies Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd. After several months of court hearings, Justice Legall delivered the judgment against GOB along with very strict orders, which sends a clear message that the court did not agree with the procedure employed when they were granted by the then Musa Administration. Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was – in a word – ecstatic, and today, she spoke to us outside of court about how challenging it was to get to this outcome.

GOB Says “So What” To Judgment, But Still Appeals
But, how effective is the judgment? It’s a question not clearly answered because although the court has declared them null and void, 3 of the contracts were terminated last week, and 1 of them expired last year. So, the judgment affects only Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited which were extended long before today’s dramatic ruling. And more importantly, GOB still has the authority to issue new contracts to these same companies if they so choose. So, today we asked Godfrey Smith, attorney for the claimants, to explain what this judgment means for the overall mechanism that GOB has to employ when they grant these Production Sharing Agreements. He told us that it’s a major signal that the environmental checklists are there for a reason Godfrey Smith - Attorney for Claimants "The decision is welcomed because it's the first decision of it's kind involving Oil Exploration Offshore. I'm sure you're aware that there have been judicial challenges in court concerning onshore - the ones on land. This was the first to be challenged to production sharing agreement to offshore oil exploration. The main lesson is that decision makers should take care to ensure that before they enter into production signing agreement, that they are aware of all the full certitude of environmentally connected legislation whether it's the environmental protection act or whether it's some other piece of legislation and marine reserves.

Grant Charged For Killing Cabbie
Last night we told you about the weekend murder of 23 year old Charles Ariola – a Dangriga taxi driver. Police said that he was shot after he had a scuffle with 24 year old Herman Grant. Grant, it is alleged pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol and shot him in the chest. Police recovered the weapon and have now charged Grant for murder.

Terrifying Home Invasion In Cayo
There was a violent home invasion in San Ignacio town this morning – and tonight police have an all points bulletin out for the suspect. For much of this afternoon, Cayo and Benque police were on a manhunt for the suspect – but they did not find him. Reports tell us however that they did find a number of items stolen during the home invasion. According to unofficial reports, at 10:00 this morning, a single assailant stormed into a home near Rumours Resort, which is on the Benque Viejo road just outside San Ignacio. They badly beat up the female who was alone at home and stole a number of items. She has been hospitalized while the suspect continues to elude police.

Orange Walk Burn Victim Dies
A man died at the KHMH today after receiving massive burns in Orange Walk Town this weekend. On Friday night near the 45 year old Daniel Antonio Ayala was lying down amidst some boxes near the town’s old cemetery when he caught on fire. A group of men he had been socializing heard his screams and ran to help. They found him in flames and hurriedly put them out – but by then he had gotten massive burns to his left foot, back and abdomen. They report that the only flammable item he appeared to have in his possession was a bottle of what’s known as “red-top”, which is overproof rum, known to be highly flammable. Due to the severity of his burns, Ayala was rushed to the KHMH, but he succumbed this morning.

Marine Biologist: Why Crawl Caye Doesn’t Make Sense
Last night, 7News told you about the proposed development in the south by the cruise tourism company, Norwegian Cruise Line. The development plan includes building a cruise port on Crawl Caye, which is near Placencia. Crawl Caye is a privately owned island currently on sale on the internet. But because Crawl Caye sits inside a UNESCO World Heritage site, the environmentalists believe that GOB should not entertain the proposal at all. We asked Dr. Melanie McField about her expert opinion on the topic. She started by explaining that her organization has been having the very same difficulties our newsroom has been having in trying confirm the report. Dr. Melanie McField – Executive Director, Healty Reefs Initiative "We've heard bits and pieces mostly from the stakeholders in the Placencia area the resorts and the BTIA down there. People are beginning to talk about a deal or proposal that is under way for Crawl Caye which is primarily a Mangrove island ringed by coral reef. I think three sides of the island is surrounded by Coral Reef and it's inside the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve which is also one of the World Heritage site. The Tourist Board has commissioned two reports. One was in response to a previous discussion about whether or not to have a cruise terminal in Placencia a few years ago and they commissioned a consulting firm that came down and talked to people. There were consultations up and down the coast and all the communities. With the result of that it was very clear that the communities don't want it.

Chetumal Street Now A Boulevard
About 20 years ago, Chetumal Street in Belize City wasn’t much to talk about – it led into a budding housing community called Belama Phase two. Since then, Belama’s population has exploded – it’s now up to Phase 4 and has hinterlands extending beyond that. Chetumal street has turned into a major roadway, a gateway into that suburban sprawl. More than that, the street bearing the name of your favourite Mexican City is also going to lead to a third bridge spanning the Belize River and connecting north and southsides. So, then, it wouldn’t suffice anymore as a street. That’s why the city council upgraded it – into Chetumal Boulevard, concrete pavement with a dual carriage-way. It was opened today, and the news wasn’t the street, but the politicians who joined hands to cut the ribbon. When the Mayor and the Leader of the opposition are shoulder to shoulder in the front row, you know it’s a major event – and, in this case, a major street transformed into a Boulevard. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I think that this particular thorough-fair is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area" Chetumal Boulevard is the major gateway into the Belama community and the pavement is white and fresh, even as the median is still a work in progress. It cost just under three quarter million dollars but that’s because of the drainage demands.

Ramdin Says Guatemala Won’t Display Offensive Map
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS Alberto Ramdin left Belize this morning after a quick round of meetings yesterday. He was here to talk generally about OAS matters – including the OAS General Assembly to be held in June in Antigua, Guatemala. Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington yesterday told the press that if the Guatemalans display their offensive map including Belize in their territory, his delegation will walk out. Today at the Airport VIP Room, Ramdin told the media that won’t happen – or at least it shouldn’t. H.E. Alberto Ramdin - Assistant Secretary General - OAS "Our position is that during an OAS meeting and the general assembly is an OAS meeing, nothing should take place, nothing should happen which can be offensive to any other member state of the Organization of American States so we will be clear to all participants in that regard. Not to go on that road or not to use that opportunity to be offensive or provocative in any way or means. So this is a commitment which we made as an organization to be very clear about that to all, including the Government of Guatemala. We will make sure that in any document presented, in whatever form, whether thats a video, a document or in whatever form that no such provocative or offensive statements or depictions are provided. That whatever is presented to the general assembly in terms of to be presented as a docment or as a video or on a screen needs to be submitted seventy two hours before so that we can see the content of it before. I will apply it as rule, very strictly to avoid things from happening which are not helpful in any process." Ramdin also briefly discussed the dispute about the referendum over the territorial differendum. If you can follow all that high tech diplomatic talk – what we’re referring to is the fact that the Guatemalans have rejected the agreed upon October 6th referendum date. They want Belize to change it’s referendum law and to change the date. And if we don’t? Well, their president Otto Perez has been making strident declarations in the press, saying most recently, that, quote, “if Belize does not accept, we will not go to a referendum and waste 2 hundred 60 million quetzales on something that, going in, we know we will not win.”

Battling For Battlefield Park
Tonight, the food vendors and taxi operators based around the Battlefield Park are preparing to move their operation from that area – but they aren’t doing it willingly. That’s because the Belize City Council has issued them with notice that they must vacate by Friday. And as you would imagine, this notice affects their businesses greatly because of proximity to the downtown area, and because their regular customers won’t necessarily follow them to their new location. These vendors are very angry with this decision, but need assistance from the council in finding a new location for their businesses. As a result, they didn’t particularly want to speak freely, for fear of victimization. We attempted to get comment from the Council’s PR Officer, Kenny Morgan, but he was unavailable.

Min Of Works Shuts Down Citco Plan For Northern Highway
In March when the city council celebrated a year in office, one of the big plans it revealed was to transform and put a toll on that part of the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover bridge. And while the mayor would have wished to start it, like, yesterday, 7NEWS has learned that the Ministry of Works put the brakes on the project? Why? Well, the highways entering Belize City and the Central American Boulevard for that matter are the responsibility of the Ministry of Works. The mayor told us its needless turf protection. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "The Ministry of Works had expressed the original issue that always fell on the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works. We have maintained always that this is a street. The speed limit along this highway is still 25 miles because it comes within the jurisdiction of Belize City. We've indicated to them and I wish to restate the sentiment mentioned by the leader of Opposition that all sectors of our Government and all political parties need to come together. There should not be an issue over turf war between the municipality and the Ministry of Works." Jules Vasquez "But right now it's at a standstill because of the no-go of the Ministry of Works."

Crazy Collision Caused By Streetside Shooter?
On Saturday night in Belize city, there was a crazy collision at the corner of Freetown and Salughterhouse Roads. A minivan heading west on Freetown Road, charged over a speedbump near Jusco Plaza and slammed into a car that was waiting to come out of Slaughterhouse Road. The driver of the van was neither drunk nor crazy, but he told us that someone on a motorbike started shooting at his van on Evergreen Street, and they kept chasing him right into Freetown. He believes it was prompted by someone who thought he had knocked down a bicycle rider. We have footage and interview captured on a cell phone. Voice of: Driver of Van, Fled Bullets "When I was turning i saw a guy coming on a bicycle and he fell" Daniel Ortiz "From where did you come?" Voice of: Driver of Van "From Mahogany Street. And I turned by WASA (BWS) then I stopped. A guy asked me 'what happened?' I told him 'I dont know but someone started shooting at me.''

Regional Port Meeting In Bze
Twenty delegates form Caribbean Countries are meeting in Belize this week under the auspices of the Belize Port Authority. The meeting is called the Port State Control Seminar about the 5th Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding. That doesn’t say much, and we found out that it’s really about ship safety. Dwight Gardiner - Chairman of Caribbean MOU1 Port State Control "It's about building capacity within the region so that our Port state control officers or ship inspectors can effectively and efficiently conduct inspections on all vessels entering the Port or Ports of each respective country. Basically our mandate as I indicated is for the elimination of sub standing shipping in the region. So the mandate of Port State control is focused on safety and security of a vessel. Hence, even if there is a breach in security or even a breach in the safety of a vessel based on the inspection then the Port State Control officer will have the authority to detain." The meeting concludes on Thursday.

Hon Hulse Speaks On Crawl Caye
Earlier on in the newscast we had marine biologist Melanie McField’s comments and concerns about the proposal for a Cruise Port in Southern Belize. Well, during her interview, Minister in charge of a Cabinet Investment Committee, Godwin Hulse called us. He told us that all the fuss that’s being raised is premature – because nothing has been agreed upon and talks are at a very preliminary stage. He said that the Cabinet Committee did meet with Norwegian Executives, but that was simply for government to lay out the regulatory parameters of what would be required for tourism, environment and fisheries before an investment is made. He said it is now up to Norwegian to take all this information back and decide if they want to proceed. He agreed that there is a draft Memorandum Of Understanding but that is a quote, “non-starter” because they “are not at that stage at all.”

Moving FASHION FORWARD
Since Rebecca Stirm’s big appearances in the local and international fashion worlds, 2013 has become the year of opportunity for models and designers to be recognized. And today, another opportunity presented itself to the local models. It involves 2 professionals from fashion entities based in Jamaica are in Belize to discover local talent and to give them an opportunity. They are Kingley Cooper, the Chairman and CEO of Pulse Model Agency, and Romae Gordon, the Fashion Director for Caribbean Fashion Week. Today, they got a chance to meet the Belizean models, and we got a chance to speak to them about their plans should they decide that a local model fits into what they’re looking for. Here’s what Gordon told us Romae Gordon - Fashion Director "Well we are interested in the development of the industry here in Belize obviously we know that talent abound everywhere, just walking about since I have been here in Belize we've seen lots of great faces, beautiful women and so we are hoping that we could discover some of that talent here in Belize and also on the designs side. We do Caribbean fashion week which takes place during June 6th - 10th in Kingston Jamaica this year and we are hoping also that we could find some talent who potentially could walk the runway of CFW or present collections at CFW from Belize"

Vansh Continues
The Vansh Charles Birthday Giveway continued today at Channel 7 with children who share his birthday coming in to get their gifts. As we’ve told you, the idea is for all kids born on April 19th who are 12 and under to come to Channel 7 and collect a gift from Vansh himself. We spoke to one mother who came all the way from Guinea Grass for her gift bag and gift certificate. Daniel Ortiz "Where are you coming from?" Mother of Child "Guinea Grass" Daniel Ortiz "And how do you feel about receiving the gift on behalf of your daughter?" Mother of child "Fine" Daniel Ortiz "Are you excited?" Mother of Child "Yes" Daniel Ortiz "Do you think that the trip was worth it?" Mother of Child "It is good because we will get to meet a lot of other kids that share the same birthday" The giveaway continues tomorrow until Friday. Again, all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 on Albert street – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate – free of charge and no strings attached.