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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Dance Academy host free dance show
On Saturday, February 1st, the San Pedro Dance Academy held a free dance concert at Central Park. The show was a repeat performance of The Tropical Nutcracker. The purpose of the program was to allow those who missed the original show, which was a paid show, held on December 15, 2013. The audience was delighted to the see the colorful costumes and the well-choreographed routines. Proud family members and friends applauded the dancers at the end of the show which was a combination of tropical songs and Christmas carols. The dancers were clearly in their element doing what they love.

The San Pedro Cancer Society raises awareness as part of World Cancer Day
The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) conducted two activities to commemorate World Cancer Awareness Day. Their first activity was a food and pastry sale held on Saturday, February 1st. The second event was the Annual World Cancer Awareness Day Candle Walk on Tuesday February 4th. The food sale was held next to BOAZ Golf Cart Rentals, and was aimed to raise funds to assist patients battling cancer on the island. With the help of generous donors, the organization had a variety of cakes, cupcakes and pies to choose from, and even hot tamales on sale. The fundraiser was certainly a success, raising a grand total of $1,105.85.

Reading My Beautiful Belize in Jamaica!
A long overdue vacation to Jamaica was just what Santa ordered for our dear friend Andrea Polanco. Whilst in one of her favorite places, she visited the Bob Marley Museum with friend Lackeisha Ellis, who was introduced to My Beautiful Belize. The ladies had quite a bit of fun while immersing themselves in the wonderful world of the iconic Reggae master.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro AIDS Commission Releases 2013 Expense Report
The San Pedro AIDS Commission is one of the most active groups on the island and since its inception they have been working really hard to creating more awareness about HIV/AIDS on the island. The San Pedro Aids Commission would like to present the public its financial report from January to December 2013. Below is a detailed report about their expenditures which totaled to $8,020.73. The group is once again pleased to make public its most recent details on how they are spending the funds raised and distributing assistance to those in need. San Pedro Aids Commission Expenses as of January 1st to December 31st, 2013: *Donations to AIDS Patients - $4,499.83 - majority of the funds raised goes towards monetary donations for HIV positive patients. Stipends are delivered to these patients depending on their needs and specific cases.

San Pedro Shows Support at Cancer Walk 2014
It is not only during the annual San Pedro Cancer Walk that residents of Ambergris Caye show their support towards the non-profit organization. But it’s at the Walk that they come together on World Cancer Day, February 4, to show their solidarity to the community and share their common experiences with cancer. The San Pedro Cancer Society once again organized the Cancer Walk this year to show the community that there is a strong group of people who are assisting cancer patients, supporting families affected by cancer and spreading information about cancer and treatment for the disease.

Dorian’s Angels Try Wild Hibiscus Flowers at CG Esthetics
By Sofia Muńoz - Carole Goudreau of CG Esthetics is popularly known for her fine services offered at her beauty salon and Dorian’s Angels have been invited by Carole to get all dolled up on previous occasions. This time around Carole invited the Angels over to her salon, not to get pampered, but to try one of her newest products that she is offering her clients; and it is one that is becoming very popular. The product Carole is offering is not for your skin or hair; it’s a premier product that she offers to her customers for weddings or other events along with champagne – it’s Wild Hibiscus Flowers. What are Wild Hibiscus Flowers you might ask? Well it’s a sweet, delicious and unique garnish for food and cocktails.

Misc Belizean Sources

National Elite Basketball League (NEBL)
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) opens its 2014 regular season with its first week of competition this weekend with two games on Friday February 7 and two games on Saturday February 8. The games are as follows; Friday Feb-7-2014 9:00pm @ Bird's Isle in Belize City Belize City (Smart) No Limit vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks 9:00pm @ UB Gymnasium in Belmopan City Belmopan Bandits vs Orange Walk Running Rebels Saturday Feb-8-2014 9:00pm @ Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town Corozal Heats vs Cayo Western Ballaz 9:00pm @ Y-Not Island in Dangriga Town Dangriga Warriors vs Toledo Diplomats An opening ceremony will be held @ Bird's Isle in Belize City before tip-off.

NICK OLMEDO passes away
THE BELMOPAN COMMUNITY MOURNS THE LOSS OF NICK OLMEDO, RENOWN FOR HIS HUMOR. To all whose lives he touched: You don't get over it, you just get through it. You don't get by it, because you can't get around it. It doesn't 'get better'; it just gets different. Everyday... Grief puts on a new face. Condolences to his family.

Weekend weather
Any idea what's expected for this weekend? I'm moving from Corozal to San Ignacio and hoping for no rain. Our present type of Caribbean Easterly winds, with influences from the North, such as cold fronts, South Tropical weather and the prevailing SW high level air stream, it can be hard to see that far ahead. But the indications I am seeing are that we are at last moving away from that long period of problematic rains.

3rd Annual Sailing Regatta
This weekend, come out and support the Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) as they compete with other Belizean youths in the 3rd Annual Sailing Regatta in front of Jam Rock this Saturday and Sunday. A great weekend to be out and having fun along the bay.

Dream for Belize Essays
The U.S. Embassy visited some Belmopan high schools, presented on MLK's 'I Have a Dream Speech,' and are doing a junior essay competition. Don't forget that the 'I Have a Dream for Belize' essay competition ends on the 9th. The winner gets a tablet, and has their essay published in the papers. "On Monday, the Embassy's Public Affairs Officer, met with students from two different local high schools in Belmopan to discuss the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s, 'I Have a Dream Speech.' The students will participate in a JUNIOR essay competition, much like the current essay competition we are offering to the Belizean public. Just a reminder that submissions are due on February 9th. That's just FOUR days away!!!"

Belize Tourism Board invites to meeting in Corozal
The Belize Tourism Industry Association cordially invites all stakeholders (tour operators, water taxi operators, hoteliers, restaurateurs, taxi operators, airline operators, tour guides, industry developers, land developers) and everyone concerned to a meeting to be held on Monday February 10, 2014 at 4:00 P.M. at Tony’s Inn and Beach Resort to update industry stakeholders on current and future plans for the industry and the Northern Districts, including Corozal.

Lost macaw
I've lost Dino. He's a big red Scarlet macaw in Corozal. I lost him near the block factory on an Andeas road. If you see him, please call Gary: 6327190

Tropic Air introduces their new flight Merida – Belize
Starting on March 3rd, you will be able to get to Belize in less than 2 hours, since the Belizean company Tropic Air is now offering 3 weekly direct flights from Mérida, Yucatan to Belize, according to the Tourism Promotion Secretary. Tropic Air is the largest and most experienced airline in Belize. Since its opening flight 34 years ago, Tropic Air has always been a forerunner in the promotion of the tourism industry within Belize and flies to 15 destinations within the Central America country, two in Guatemala, Cancun in Mexico, and San Pedro Sula in Honduras. They also offer charters to more remote and exotic places throughout Belize.

Western Ballaz vs. Galen Exposition Game
The Western Ballaz just played an exposition game against the Galen Eagles at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. It was a great game, and the Ballaz had 19 unanswered points in the first half. Galen was able to rally in the second half, and they won 71-60. The Western Ballaz will travel to Corozal to play against the Corozal Heat on Saturday.

Monica Gallardo's Little Pink Photo Contest
It's Valentine season, and Monica Gallardo, one of Belize's best photographers, is having a photo competition to celebrate the occasion. The winner gets a free photo shoot. Just send her a picture of you in pink to enter. If you want to see some of her great shots, they have a wall dedicated to her at Fuego Bar and Grill. Good luck! "Oh yes we have reached the month were we can wear lots of pink and no one can say anything! And whether you’ll be spending a romantic evening with your boo or enjoying a drink and sharing some laughs with your girls, I've whipped up a little game it for all the ladies and brave gents! Send me a picture of your best looks in Pink and share the link! That's it! Send your pictures to: [email protected] or post on my FB page and on the 10th of February I will announce the winner. The best dressed will receive a Photo shoot Package! It can be used for family, couples or even photos with your best gals ;)"

Jan 26 - Feb 1 2014 Fishing Report
Our Orvis Flats seminar ended with a bang with the nice tarpon from Mike with Capt. Cesar. Thanks again to Orvis for sending such a great group of folks. We have new friends forever. Kim and Doreen deserve some praise for their permit prowess.

Channel 7

Hon. King’s Secret Recording Could Have Proved Pivotal At Today’s House Meeting
Today tension was high at the start of the House Meeting in Belmopan – and that's because of a major event that passed completely under the radar. Remember last night how we told you about the conversation with Minister of State Edmund Castro and businessman Kareem Berges that fellow Minister of State Mark King secretly recorded? Well we heard it was about questionable activity that would implicate Castro and King passed it on directly to the Prime Minister. But today we have information which says the conversation –secretly recorded after Castro had had a few drinks – was about Castro's loyalty to the PM and whether he would be attending today's house meeting. Why is that of any importance? Well, first, remember that the UDP government has a 17 – 14 majority in the house. And then factor in that Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan is out of the country getting back surgery – and he'll be out for a while. So he was not available for today's meeting. So that leaves the UDP side with 16 votes, but with Elvin Penner stripped of his house committee chairmanship and his vehicle last week, he can't necessarily be counted on for a vote – which brings it down to 15 – with Castro – which is a one person majority over the PUP's 14.

PM Going Through "Dark Night Of The Soul" With Misbehaving Ministers
And if that candor wasn't startling enough, the PM also spoke about the political difficulties within his own party. When asked whether he's spending time focussing on the opposition, or on internal problems in the UDP – the PM said it's the latter, and gave the clear impression that he's going through a kind of dark night of the soul: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "There are times when indeed I feel that my troubles are being caused more by the difficulties that the behaviour or the actions of some of my ministers, the difficulties, that sort of behaviour has resulted in. I am very worried indeed because I am absolutely convinced that the Government is doing a phenomenal job, with respect to the kind of public spending that I've told you about, with respect to the improvement in the quality of life, with respect to employment creation, with respect to the success against crime, with respect to being able to solve the huge issues of the day, ASR/BSI/BSCFA, the Superbond, matters that are extremely weighty and critical in terms of the national interests. And on that basis, I would have felt that notwithstanding the well-known difficulties of anybody trying to get a third term, and which would have to be present in any case. I would have felt that at this early juncture, we would have been able to feel pretty good about where we are, delivering goods and services, making sure that people can see tangible improvements. But, there is no doubt at all in my mind, that the scandals have threatened to swamp us, that they have threatened to cause us to come undone, and natural that is a source of great regret because to some extent, it is self-inflicted.

Teachers Will Get 4% Raise, Costing The Public Purse 28 Million
But it was like a tale of two polticial fortunes today. While the PM confessed grime foreboding about his party's political future, he also promised to hold all the UDP town councils in the next municipal election. And he also disclosed what the teacher's wouldn't say yesterday: how much their raise and that of public officers is working out to be: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Based on the numbers that we're looking at, they're likely to get something like a 4% salary increase. They cannot get 10%, and you, Said, know better than anybody else, man. That would be irresponsible. Look, Mr. Speaker, it is not just that they're getting a something like a 4% increase, you know. You look and see what's happening around us. In Barbados, 3,000 public officers are being laid off, in Grenada, a 3-year wage freeze. Notwithstanding that, this Government, is giving teachers and public officers - the way it appears now; caution, the final calculations aren't in - something like 24 million dollars in salary increases. And remember, when we do that in July for this fiscal year, that's locked in forever. So whatever happens with the recurrent revenue next year and the year after, it doesn't matter. The 4% will continue forever and ever amen."

Compre Girls Suspended As Facebook Fight Goes Viral
Tonight, the public embarrassment is mounting for 2 female high school students from Belmopan Comprehensive following a fist fight that has gone viral on Facebook. The students, who we are reliably informed are normally friends, got into a disagreement which escalated into a fight. There was another student who had a camera phone recording the entire scene, and he caught the fight blow by blow – even as a teacher tried in vain to break it up. That video ended up on Facebook, and by the end of the day, it had hundreds of views. It has caused considerable embarrassment for the girls, and for their school. Today, the Principal declined comment saying they are investigating. The girls have been suspended for two weeks pending the outcome of the investigation.

House Of Representatives Turns Into Madhouse As Orange Walk Representatives Run Amok
And it almost came to blows today in the House of Representatives. Debate turned to diatribe today when Orange Walk south Representative Jose Mai spoke on the adjournment about corruption in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Mai cited specific cases and urged that something be done about – and that started a string of recriminations: Hon. Jose Mai - Area Representative, Orange Walk South "But this cannot continue. Corruption then, and corruption now is now different. Corruption at a galloping pace, or at a trotting pace is corruption. Sin is sin. If you don't believe me, ask Denny Grijalva. Sin is sin." Hon. Gaspar Vega - Minister of Natural Resources/Area. Representative, Orange Walk North "Mr. Speaker, who is the Representative from Orange Walk South to talk. Let me tell you, yes." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House "Members, members, why are you all embarrassing yourselves." Hon. Gaspar Vega "You are the one who was caught red handed contrabanding beers. You are the one who your own party members were upset." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte "Members! Please sit down. Why are you doing this to yourselves? This is the last person to speak for the day and this is what you do? Come on, man. I am talking to two of them. When we behave like this, this is what we inspire."

Castro Defends Himself
That happened almost at the very end of the House Meeting. Before that, PUP Representative from Toledo West Oscar Requena made a statement alleging that his colleague Edmund Castro had violated the provisions of the prevention of corruption in public life law. He said it is actionable by the DPP – and that Castro had committed a crime: Hon. Oscar Requena - Area Representative, Toledo West "The member has broken the law. Mr. Speaker, this is not simply wrong or merely distasteful, as the Prime Minister has characterized it. It is absolutely corrupt and illegal." Hon. Edmond Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North "I've been accused of corruption. The accusation is coming from the Opposition, the Media, the Unions and other members in the public. The allegation is not that the Board of Directors of Belize Airport Authority wrote a number of cheques in my name or on my behalf. The Belize Airport Authority was under my portfolio. It is those circumstances which, according to my critics, constitute corruption. I readily accept and admit that BAA wrote a cheque to help me to defray some of the expenses associated with the death and burial of my mother. This is no corruption, Mr. Speaker.

PUP Suggests, UDP Agrees, To Re-visit Draconian Gun Laws
But it wasn't all bickering in the House today – there were a few things both sides could agree on. One of them was that the severe gun laws need to be revisited. The issue is in sharp focus presently because of the Gino Peck case and the Reynaldo Verde situation. The Leader of the Opposition urged the government to do something about it, and government appears ready to listen: Hon. Francis Fonseca – Leader of the Opposition "I am no fan of guns, Mr. Speaker, but it is clear that the laws as they presently stand, are leading to injustice and inequity. And I think that we in this Honourable House have a duty and an obligation to review when the citizens of the country are concerned and we these matters playing out nationally. We have a duty to pause and say, 'Let us review the legislation, and if necessary, let us revise it to take account of these concerns of the Belizean people.'" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security/Area Representative, Belmopan "My government will be looking very carefully having now gotten the reprieve from the crime situation. We will be looking more carefully to see how we can revise the firearm and other related law to make them fairer, as you would say, and review them with a view to satisfying the clamours of the Belizean citizenry with respect to these laws. Only yesterday, and again today, I met with the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as the Solicitor General, and we have begun a review of these pertinent laws with a view - like I said - to find some fair and less draconian laws. We are indeed looking at the jurisdiction of the Magistrate with respect to this current law, and looking at perhaps returning to the Magistrate the jurisdiction of deciding on bail matters."

Bi-partisan Agreement On Banking Laws, Both Sides Agree To Comply While Complaining
But it wasn't all bickering in the House today – there were a few things both sides could agree on. One of them was that the severe gun laws need to be revisited. The issue is in sharp focus presently because of the Gino Peck case and the Reynaldo Verde situation. The Leader of the Opposition urged the government to do something about it, and government appears ready to listen: Hon. Francis Fonseca – Leader of the Opposition "I am no fan of guns, Mr. Speaker, but it is clear that the laws as they presently stand, are leading to injustice and inequity. And I think that we in this Honourable House have a duty and an obligation to review when the citizens of the country are concerned and we these matters playing out nationally. We have a duty to pause and say, 'Let us review the legislation, and if necessary, let us revise it to take account of these concerns of the Belizean people.'" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security/Area Representative, Belmopan "My government will be looking very carefully having now gotten the reprieve from the crime situation. We will be looking more carefully to see how we can revise the firearm and other related law to make them fairer, as you would say, and review them with a view to satisfying the clamours of the Belizean citizenry with respect to these laws. Only yesterday, and again today, I met with the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as the Solicitor General, and we have begun a review of these pertinent laws with a view - like I said - to find some fair and less draconian laws. We are indeed looking at the jurisdiction of the Magistrate with respect to this current law, and looking at perhaps returning to the Magistrate the jurisdiction of deciding on bail matters."

$10k Fine For Trafficking
29 year-old Donald Gaskin, a resident of Kraal Road is out tonight and he must come up with $10,000 for a drug trafficking fine, or else he will serve 3 years in prison. Viewers may remember that the police were on mobile patrol on April 5, 2013, when they saw him coming out of a yard on Faber’s Road with a knapsack in his hand acting suspiciously. When Gaskin saw them he went into a nearby Chinese grocery shop and tried to push the knapsack through the bars of the Chinese Shop. The shopkeeper saw what he was doing, and so, she shoved it back at him, and that’s when the police detained him. When they searched it, they found 433 grams – or just under a pound – of cannabis on him, so they charged him with drug trafficking. The officers testified to this, and after the trial concluded, Magistrate Dale Cayetano found him guilty of the offence. Gaskin was sentenced to pay $10,000 by May 30, and if he defaults he will serve 3 years in prison."¨

Belmopan Police Search For Escaped Prisoner
Tonight, Belmopan Police continue their third night of searching for the escaped prisoner, 29 year-old Edwin Paula, who escaped on Monday evening while in transit from the Belize Central Prison to the Belmopan Police Station. 7News has confirmed that Paula and the 3 other men he was jointly charged with were being transported to Belmopan where they would be held in custody to be taken to court for their adjourned hearing. At this time, it is unclear how he managed it, but when the police van he was in slowed down at a bump in Cotton Tree, he jumped out and ran off. Police immediately set chase, but he managed to escape. At this time, the manhunt continues. Paula was jointly charged with 19 year old Manuel Hernandez, 18 year old Rudy Santos and Rasheed Crespo with 3 counts of Robbery and 1 count of Murder, for the shooting death of Salvadoran Isabel Antonio Ballona. They were also charged with 9 counts of aggravated burglary for the brazen armed robbery of students at the UB Dormitory last year. The other 3 defendants were taken to court yesterday, and their case was adjourned to a further date.

UB's PR Man Resigns
UB President Dr. Cary Frazer is on the way out, and now the Director of Office of Public Information, Selwyn King is also leaving the University. 7News confirmed with King before news time that he has indeed tendered his resignation to the University, and he is going to remain in office until the end of the month to provide enough time for the university to find a suitable replacement. And while rumours are circulating around as to why he has suddenly made the decision, he told us that he is grateful for the opportunity to have served the university from since 2010 until now. He said that he has entered another chapter in his life.

High Speed Gang Chase On Canal Side
There was a high-speed chase this afternoon on East Collet Canal – which neighbours said involved a red jeep of George Street boys and a white car allegedly driven by a relative of a municipal politician. From what we understand, the incident happened just before 2 this afternoon. Eyewitnesses say they saw both vehicles reversing at high speed on East Colet Canal. Luckily for the man being pursued, the red jeep lost control and crashed into a nearby fruit stand- giving him enough time to escape on South Street. A gunman was seen running away from the red jeep. No one was injured in the incident.

Fired At A Cop, Goes To Jail
29 year-old Alrick Smith is spending his second night of a 6 month jail sentence after he was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm on Police Constable Norman Anthony for opening fire on the officer while trying to escape. Anthony testified in the case that on May 11, 2011, Smith was accused of stealing cattle in Bermudian Landing. He received information that a van matching the description of vehicle used a cattle heist was located in the May Pen village, and he responded accordingly. He said that when he got there, he saw Smith in the vehicle after a police chase, and he managed to corner him. Anthony says that when Smith realized that he couldn't escape, he pulled a firearm and fired a shot at him. When Anthony took cover, Smith escaped, but he was later captured and charged.

Two More Years For Denfield
35 year-old Denfield Lemott, who is serving 5 years in prison for burglary had 2 more years added on to his jail time after he was convicted of a second burglary where he broke into a nurse's office at the Cleopatra White Health Center. Pauline Griffith testified in the trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith that on January 13, 2013, she left her office for a few minutes and when she returned she found Lemott in the office area by himself. When she questioned him, he said that he was waiting there, and she told him to leave, she saw her wallet, which contained $100 in cash in his back pocket. Lemott was detained by a security guard who was alerted, and when the wallet was taken away from him, she confirmed that it belonged to her. Lemoth was then charged with theft.

DPP's Full Take On How Gino Got Free
As we showed you in our last segment, the gun law came up in the House of Representatives, and there appears to be bi partisan consensus to move forward with reform. But, the Leader of the Opposition confessed that he doesn't know how Gino Peck's mandatory Prison sentence became a 600 dollar fine. The Prime Minister's body language when he said that seemed to suggest that he felt the same way. Well, for clarification, we go back to Monday's statement by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Here now are her exact comments from Monday, unedited to properly reflect her position. She said quote, "I also want to take this opportunity to address the issue of Section 54 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act which was invoked by the defence in Peck's sentencing hearing on Friday, as I have been asked about it by all and sundry today; I heard Senior Counsel's interview in which he mentioned that I had drawn it to his attention and I also heard it being characterized as a "surrender".

Full Integrity Will Be Appointed Tomorrow
The long delayed Integrity Commission will be properly appointed tomorrow by the Senate. It is comprised of chairman Marilyn Williams, accountant Breth Feinstein, Armeid Gabourel, Wilmot Simmons and opposition appointees who are both lawyers Phillip Zuniga and Kevin Arthurs.

Changing For Climate Change
Today, representatives of Government of Belize hosted a consultation workshop with the United Nations Development Program, the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance, and the Global Environment Facility on an assessment of the country's vulnerability to climate change. They're assessing the country's resilience to the effects on the agriculture, tourism, water, coastal development health, and fisheries sectors. Minister Lisel Alamilla was opening speaker at the workshop, and here's an excerpt of her comments to the local and international climate change and environmental experts present:

Giving the Gift Of Life
The Gift of Life programme for medical assistance to children across the country has been in existence since 1977, and the international doctors have since assessed over 1,000 Belizean children. An American Paediatric Cardiologist has been in Belize since Monday, and he managed to provide urgent medical attention to 2 very sick children. We caught up with him at the KHMH today assisting needy parents to see if their children are sick, and he told us more:

UDP Constanza Resigns After Convention Loss
At the very top of the newscast, you heard the Prime Minister's candid comments on the worrying state of his party. Part of his answer was in response to a question about the state of his party after the convention season has started. The UDP has had large turnouts at their conventions but managing the aftermath has proven difficult. That's especially true in Orange Walk East where Elodio Aragon beat David Constanza. He has posted a statement on FACEBOOK saying that he is resigning from the party. The statement says, "I ran under the UDP, not because I approved of the party but because I knew it needed change."ť After that, he says, "On Sunday, I did not go up against a candidate but against an institution many, many times more powerful than what I stood for. It is because of what I represent and because of the injustice and corruption that my supporters witnessed on Sunday that I would like to state publicly that I have, since Monday, resigned from the United Democratic Party. To all my supporters: we could not accomplish the change that we sought but at least we gave it a good try."ť Today, before we had seen that Facebook post, the Prime Minister alluded to the ill wind blowing from Orange Walk East.