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The San Pedro Sun

Paul Thompson elected Vice President of COCABA
The Confederation of Central American Basketball (COCABA) held its yearly Congress meeting on March 8, 2014 in Tegucigalpa Honduras. COCABA includes the basketball federations of eight countries, Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. At this congress meeting the elections for the executive of COCABA was chosen and the President of the Belize Basketball Federation was elected as the Vice President of COCABA. Yamil Bukele of El Salvador was elected President of COCABA and Marcela Mejia was elected Secretary. The executive is elected to serve for 4 years from 2014-2018.

Belize Red Cross to host Regional Meeting
The Belize Red Cross Society is pleased to announce it will be hosting the 2014 Annual Caribbean HIV AIDS Program (CHAP) Regional Exchange Meeting during the week of March 17th to 21st 2014. The CHAP Program is an initiative, funded by the American Red Cross that looks at addressing prevention, education and organizational capacity strengthening in the area of HIV/AIDS. It also focuses on addressing stigma and discrimination against persons infected and affected by the disease. Some forty Red Cross National Society Delegates from Caribbean territories of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize will be attending the one week meeting at the River Hall of the Best Western Belize Biltmore Hotel on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Facilitating the CHAP meeting will be a six member delegation of the American Red Cross which supports the Caribbean regional project.

San Pedro High School Science Fair 2014
San Pedro High School (SPHS) students are known for their sports skills, but on Friday, March 7th, they showcased their intellectual abilities in the 2014 Science Fair. The fair, held under the theme “Young Minds, Crafting the Science of Today for the Technology of Tomorrow”, demonstrate the students’ creativity and potential in developing ideas that can be used to alleviate problems that affect their school and community. SPHS Science Fair-18The students were divided into groups of up to seven members and since the beginning of the school year in August have been working along with their Science teacher to develop experiments and projects using the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Method. On the day of the fair, students proudly displayed their final work to be judged and critiqued by a panel of experienced science professors.

Sea Therapy 911
The “sea” within us has the same saltiness as the Precambrian seas of three billion years ago. Rachel Carson, in her book The Sea Around Us, gives us a clue to our origins: “When the animals went ashore to take up life on land, they carried part of the sea in their bodies, a heritage which they passed on to their children and which even today links each land animal with its origins in the ancient sea.” I was missing something…I was feeling out of sorts and out of sync with my everyday life…my inner balance was off and I was in need of some serious equilibrium. Finally the little light went off in my head (and heart) and the fog suddenly cleared like murky waters settling into clarity…I was suffering from a severe case of Vitamin SEA deficiency! With hands shaking and sweat on my brow I made a frantic call to my sea doctor, the lovely and very attentive Mrs. Enes of Belize Diving Adventures before I went into full withdrawal symptoms!

Action Twenty 24 donates anti-microbial shoes to the residents of San Mateo
The unplanned development of San Mateo has come far from its deplorable conditions thanks to the continued support of missionary groups and volunteer workers from the USA. On Tuesday, March 11th, San Mateo residents received yet another generous donation in the form of 500 anti-microbial shoes from Action Twenty 24 volunteer group. The donation was facilitated by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), who along with the students of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School organized a cleanup campaign on the same day. The day started with a short opening ceremony that included the singing of Belize’s National Anthem and a short prayer, after which master of ceremonies Councilor Kenrick Bracket who is responsible for solid waste management, invited Mayor Daniel Guerrero to share a few inspiring words. Mayor Guerrero reiterated the council’s commitment to the residents of San Mateo by highlighting the efforts to better their living conditions. Guerrero also took the opportunity to announce that the electrification project for San Mateo will commence in the next coming weeks. “I ask that all the residents of San Mateo show their gratitude for the support and donations that they have received by taking take care of what is given to them,” said Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

Director of Tourism Laura Frampton Resigns
In a press release that was sent out on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, the Belize Tourism Board announced the resignation of Mrs. Laura Frampton from the post of Director of Tourism. Mrs. Frampton has served in that capacity for the past two (2) years and is resigning the position for personal reasons. In the release, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, sincerely thanked Mrs. Laura Frampton for her significant contributions during her time with the organization. It indicated that during her tenure, she conducted herself with integrity, genuine concern for the industry and fiscal accountability and that Laura's experience within both the financial and marketing sectors proved a valuable asset to the BTB over the last two years. Both the BTB and Minister Heredia wished her well in her future endeavors.

Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visits Ambergris Caye, Belize
Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visited La Isla Bonita, San Pedro Town on Friday, March 7, 2014. The purpose of her trip was to officially visit Mayor Daniel Guerrero and present to him the proposal of a sister city relationship between San Pedro Town and Roatan, Honduras. Mayor Daniel Guerrero met with Ambassador Sanda Rosales-Abella at the San Pedro Town Council where they discussed the forming of a sister relationship between both cities. Although a specific date of the signing of the sister city relationship was not established both parties are equally interested in forming this relationship. Also visiting was Mr. Carlos Villanueva Medina, Minister Counselor of the Republic of Honduras.

Footprints for peace
Hundreds stand strong at Footprints for Peace event as San Pedro residents rally against crime on the island. 'Justice for Jeffrey'

Misc Belizean Sources

Footprints For Peace
Despite the weather, a sizeable crowd gathered to rally for peace and Justice For Jeffrey with speeches and a march through San Pedro Town streets.

Police look for man accused of killing Jeffrey Eiley
Residents of San Pedro town have begun circulation of a photograph of Rafael Juarez, the man wanted by police in connection with the murder of Jeffrey Eiley. Eiley, 30, was shot and killed on March 6 a short distance from his home. Police say that prior to his death, Eiley was involved in an altercation with Juarez and he remains a person of interest for police in the homicide. Police believe that Juarez is still in Belize but may have left Ambergris Caye already. Rafael Juarez is of Hispanic descent, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds.

Sexual abuse reported in San Antonio, Cayo
The sexual abuse of our underage girls continues to be reported. The latest report comes from the quiet village of San Antonio in the Cayo district. A fourteen year old girl was preyed upon and sexually abused by a man on Friday night. The girl’s mother went to the San Ignacio police station on Wednesday morning to report the incident. According to police, the girl’s brother alerted their mother of what was going on. When the woman checked with her daughter, she was told that the man took the teenage girl behind the house where he had sexual intercourse with her. Police investigations continue.

Corozal man drowns after falling off ferry
An early morning incident in Corozal has resulted in the death of one man. 51 year old Artemio Vivas, who worked as a ferry man on the Pueblo Viejo ferry, reportedly fell off the vessel as it was enroute to Progresso from Corozal. The indicent happened around 2:10 this morning. Reports are that Vivas went to urinate as the ferry was at the midway point in the crossing and that was when he reportedly fell into the river. Reports are that efforts to rescue Vivas from the river were unsuccessful. His body was found around 7:25 this morning. The circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident are now the subject of an ongoing investigation, but it is understood that it might have been raining at the time of the incident.

New multi-purpose centre opened in Guinea Grass village
A new multi-purpose facility was inaugurated earlier this week in the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk district. Over 800 children stand to benefit from the opening of the facility in the village, which will provide an outlet for educational and cultural activities, such as reading. The Guinea Grass village multi-purpose Center was financed by the government of Belize at a cost of $368,099. Funding was provided through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The new Guinea Grass multi-purpose center houses the community library, the Village Council office, the Water Board office and a sewing project.

SPHS SCIENCE FAIR 2014 (18 photos)
On Friday, March 7, 2014, The students at San Pedro High School had their annual Science Fair where the students had sleepless nights and hard working days working together in groups to create very interesting projects that provided the supply of power through wind, water and solar energy. Master of Ceremonies of the event was Mr. Alex Nuńez who invited Mr. Ricardo Sedacy for the invocation. Following the invocation, Miss Elina Palma and Miss Martha Alicia Vasquez graced everyone with the singing of the National Anthem and the San Pedro High School's very own anthem. Principal Emil Vasquez welcomed everyone to the ceremony while Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Guest Speaker of the event, offered a few words of encouragement to the students. Mr. Sedacy was invited once more to the stage to announce the judges and the judging criteria for the projects. Miss Neslen Rivero also graced everyone with an excellent music rendition. After all the speeches, the event was open to the public for the project demonstration and viewing.

Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras visits San Pedro
On Friday, March 7, the Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras, Her Excellency Sandra Rosales-Abella visited Mayor Daniel Guerrero to officially and formally propose the formation of a Sister-City relationship between San Pedro Town and Roatan, Honduras. The date of the signing of the Sister-City relationship was not yet established but both parties are excited and interested in building this relationship.

Venezuela & Belmopan Women United by Poetry in celebration of The International Women´s Month
The Embassy of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize in conjunction with National Institute of Culture and History & Belize National Library Service and Information System, cordially invite you to the Poetry Evening: Date: Friday, March 14th. 2014 Time: 6:00P.M. Place: Venezuelan Institute for Culture & Cooperation Corner Orchid Garden #787 Floriana Avenue, Belmopan City

Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated on March 12th, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Isidoro Beaton Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, will be working closely with the Local Government Representative and local municipality for the area.

Employee of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry drowns
The Corozal Daily has received an unofficial report of an employee of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry drowning in the New River early this morning. At about 2:10 a.m. March 13th, 2014 two employees of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry 51 year old Artemio Vivas of Corozal Town and his assistant Rolando Alcoser were crossing a B.E.L vehicle en-route to Progresso Village from Corozal Town. According to an unofficial report, Artemio Vivas slipped from off the barge into the New River after some rain had fallen on the barge. From all accounts Vivas was not a swimmer and all efforts that were made to rescue him were unsuccessful. His body was found about 7:25 a.m. this morning. The Corozal Daily is awaiting an official police report on this incident. We extend our condolences to the family of the late Artemio Vivas. May he Rest in Peace.

Streetlight power interruption Friday, March 14 downtown Belize City
North Front Street from 6:00 to 9:30pm, Albert Street from 6:30 to 8:00pm and Regent Street from 7:00 to 8:30pm. BEL will turn off streetlights in these areas in support of the Light the Night for Kids initiative aimed at raising funds for The Inspiration Center, scheduled to start 6:00pm on Friday, March 14 from Memorial Park through downtown Belize City, returning to Memorial Park.

Preschool talent show held in Georgeville
Preschool children from Georgeville, Unitedville and Esperanza took center stage on Wednesday for a special talent show. The event which was held at the Destiny Preschool in Georgeville is part of activities for Child Stimulation Month. Over 29 boys and girls accompanied by their parents took part in the talent show. It included dance presentations, songs and poetry. One of the presentations was by Jayden Ferrifino and his grandmother,

Two men arrested on marijuana charges
Weed in his boxers: a man from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala was arrested on Wednesday afternoon by Belmopan police after marijuana was found in his underwear. The man, identified as 22 year old Esvin Estuardo Garcia, was searched by Belmopan police yesterday afternoon and authorities say that a plastic bag containing 160 grams of cannabis was found inside his boxers. Garcia was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. Meanwhile, in Tuesday morning, a Belize City man ran straight into the arms of a police mobile patrol at the corner of Linda Vista Street and La Croix Boulevard. Officers on patrol stopped 31 year old Alaine Garcia who was seen running from the direction of Linda Vista Street. When the officers informed Garcia that they would carry out a search on him, authorities say Garcia then threw away a black plastic bag in some nearby bushes. The bag was retrieved and police say it was found to contain what they described as “leafy vegetable substance” believed to be cannabis.

Ferry operator drowns in Corozal
olice in Corozal do not suspect that foul play was involved in the death of a man who worked as a ferry operator. 51 year old Artemio Vivas fell off the Pueblo Viejo ferry just after two o’clock this morning and drowned in the New River. And while foul play is not suspected in the unfortunate incident, a sudden rain in the area may have contributed to Vivas slipping and falling into the river as he went to urinate. According to police, Vivas who lives in Corozal town, was accompanied by his assistant Rolando Alcoser as they ferried a utility vehicle for Belize Electricity Limited from Corozal to Progresso when the incident happened.

Double rainbow
Beautiful double rainbow over San Pedro yesterday afternoon!

Rotaract Races La Ruta Maya
The Rotaract Club entered La Ruta Maya, and they placed 8th in males. Great job for first timers. Looks like they also had some fun along the least, their support crew did. "A big thank you to Recino's Imports for making the participation of Alican/Rotaract in the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge possible. Thank you everyone who came out and supported the club, and last but not least, to the Rotaract Paddlers, Mani Matus, Christian, and Francis, who gave it their all in the competition and made the Rotaract Family Proud! Thank you all of you!"

Benque Cultural Fair
The Benque House of Culture is teaming up with Helpage Benque, and having a cultural fair this Saturday, March 15th. It'll start at 2:00pm at Centennial Park and the Benque HoC. There will be lots of food, and a decoration paper cutting workshop. "All these activities happening this Saturday March 15 @ the Centennial Park since 2:00 pm. Don't miss the watery tasty 'cocoyol, maja blanca, dulce de panela and much more' Also register now for the 'papel picado workshop' and let's end the day by watching the 'Passion of Christ Movie.'"

COMMUNIQUE - Ombudsman Reports Committee Meeting
Government of Belize Press Office

Louis Sylvestre passes away
It is with deep regret we note the passing of a political giant, Louis Sylvestre, widely known as "Cuzz". He died on Thursday night from complications of a debilitating stroke he suffered in 2008. He was 82. Sylvestre's political career spans the history of modern Belize starting in 1952 when he became involved in the Nationalist Movement with George Price. Under Price, he served in various capacities from 1957 to the 1984 when he was politically undefeated. Sylvestre came to be synonymous with his political stronghold in Rural Belize. Under George Price, Sylvester served variously as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Public Utilities and Minister of Local Government. He was also chairman of the PUP. After he became disillusioned with that party, he formed his own, with far less success, and late in life joined the UDP. At the time of his passing, he was the Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation. His funeral will be held at Holy Redeemer Cathedral on Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Interment immediately follows at Caye Caulker.

Video: Mrs Laura Framptom Resigns from Post of Tourism Director

Video: Belize Police Department Gets Steadier for Disaster Reaction Management

Video: Dr Billie Jean Mounts a One Woman Show at University of Belize

Video: Women In Art 2014 Opens at the Bliss Centre

Video: Punta Gorda, Belize 2014
Spring Hill College - International Service and Immersion Program trip to Punta Gorda, Belize.

Video: Belize: First Open Heart Surgery Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas Healthcare System goes to Belize to help upgrade medical facilities there. They speak of the importance of modern medical facilities and go on to p. Ron McGuirt and his doctors tell the story of his heart attack, surgery, and recovery at Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute in Charlotte, NC. Listen to this. Dr. David E. Newman discusses the benefits robotic surgery for OBGYN treatments. Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute is transforming the delivery of care with only one goal in mind - better outcomes for everyone.

Video: Belize ´14

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize Vacation
This place was just voted the #1 travel destination island in the world. Sun, sand, diving, fishing, sailing, all located on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. This place a little slice of Heaven. My thanks to the great people that live there that showed us a great time.

Video: Diving with Sea Turtles at Robert's Grove Beach Resort, Belize
Crystal clear video of a diving with sea turtles on a tour with Robert's Grove Beach Resort, Placencia Belize. Come see them for yourself.

Video: Belize City Tour Part 1
Tour of Belize City. Horse and Carriage.

Channel 7

UDP Land Hustlers Swindled Lease
Two weeks ago on the news Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos spoke with unusual candor about pervasive corruption in the Lands Department; he said that if he were moving staff for corrupt behavior, he would, quote, "have to move probably the entire department." True indeed it is a "hotbed of corruption" as the Prime Minister called it, but it's fine and well to speak about that in the abstract - but when it hits home - that's another story altogether. And that's what happened to Eric Bowen - he's a Belizean American who's returned to Belize - and 2 years ago, got the lease to a piece of land in the Belize Rural area, specifically lot #166 in the Sandhill area. It's nothing special, mostly swamp land really, and until a few weeks ago, Bowen hadn't even seen it yet because it was underwater. After seeing it, he went to pay the annual rental only to find that in its second year, his 7 year lease was gone. It hadn't been taken away by government, in fact it was swindled from him in a fraudulent transfer orchestrated by seasoned land hustlers with connections inside the Department. He explained:..

Church Blacklists BFLA, UNIBAM, NAC, Red Cross
The Catholic Church made news when it came out powerfully against the 20,000 Strong Women's Empowerment march. That was sent out on March fourth, but what escaped our attention was another major policy position sent out by the Church on March third. This one came from the Office of Bishop Dorrick Wright, and it laid down a hardline directive to all two hundred plus Catholic-managed schools: Catholic managed schools should decline "any and all invitations" from the Belize Family Life Association, UNIBAM, the National AIDS Commission and the Red Cross program of "Together We Can." The directive is to all local Managers of Catholic Schools, Assistant Local Managers, all Administrators, Principals and Teachers. These organizations have all been blacklisted because according to the Bishop the, quote, "foster programs that ultimately undermine our Catholic values." The directive accuses BFLA of fronting for "Planned Parenthood" which is says is, quote, "an international billion dollar business that profits from the killing of babies through abortion." End quote. He laments that, quote, "This agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition, is seeking to radically change Belize's Christian character. I call on all of you to be vigilant with me against this threat to Belize's moral foundations and family values."

The Curious Case Of The Guatemalan Smuggler
Over the long weekend, Customs busted a Guatemalan woman with 2 pounds of weed, and instead of going to jail like she ought to, she got off with just paying a fine. 23 year-old Luisa Oralia Lorado Alvarado, a resident of Melchor the Menchos in Guatemala, was caught trying to cross the western border into Belize with the illegal drugs on her, and she was charged with drug trafficking. Alvarado was arraigned on Tuesday before Magistrate Narda Morgan, where Alvarado pleaded guilty to the charge. Now, highly placed police sources tell us that Magistrate Morgan, as prescribed by the law, initially sentenced Alvarado to pay a fine of $10,000 and serve 3 years in prison. The sentence was already handed down, and Alvarado was then removed from the court room. Police then started to prepare her remand papers so that she could be transported the Belize Central Prison, but then, everything changed.

Police Constable Remanded
Tonight, 29 year-old Police Constable Ronald Sutherland is at prison after his bail was revoked at Magistrate's Court today for charges of aggravated assault and wounding which he allegedly committed against his ex-common-law wife. Tanisha Ortiz claimed that on September 26, of last year, pulled a machete and wounded her, while issuing threats. As a result of her report, Sutherland was charged with aggravated assault, wounding, and threatening words, and he was arraigned in October before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. He was granted bail of a $1,000 which he was able to meet, but he was supposed to sign in every Friday at the Queen Street Police station. Well, it turns out that he hasn't been doing that, so when he was last seen, police detained him and took him to court this morning where Chief Magistrate Smith revoked his bail for non-compliance with the conditions she set.

The Tale Of The Tanker
This morning, word went out that a full oil tanker, belonging to Belize Natural Energy had an accident near the Sibun Bridge on the Hummingbird Highway. The concern was that because it was near the bridge, a spill could have happened and polluted a major water way, but we can confirm that nothing of the sort happened. We spoke with Daniel Gutierrez, the public relation's officer for BNE, who told us that the company is still doing it's investigation into the accident, so they don't have the full details. What they do know is that the driver of the truck was bringing back the tanker from Big Creek last night, and was empty. The driver reports that he almost had an accident with the driver of a motorcycle, and to avoid hitting the biker, he ran the truck off the road.

Siarsha, A Long Road To Wellness
3 year old Siarsha Alvarez is back home in Belize after three weeks in a Merida hospital. As you will recall, she's the 3 year old with the rare skin condition known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. As we told you on Tuesday, the doctors at Clinica Merida successfully brought her medical condition under control which means that her condition is normalized. But as we found out from her family today, while their short term crisis is over, a costly, long term ordeal awaits. Simeon Alvarez Jr. - father "The doctor will email me the rest of information to the standards of how the baby should live, but before we have to install an AC unit in the room because he said that the air conditioner kills bacteria and different things. Her lip is not healed, she still can't speak as yet, and her throat is still infected. It's a big change of life for her and the family. It's going to be a delay for her in school. Ten years is the least, they gave us 10 years - the syndrome will be in her system and the drugs will have side effects because the drug she is taking is powerful."

Stamp Helps Siarsha
And in another effort to try to help baby Siarsha and her family with the long road ahead, NICH's Joseph "Stamp" Romero is organizing a benefit concert for tomorrow night at the BTL Park where all proceeds will be donated to the family to help them with the medical bills. Today, Romero told us why he wants you to come out and support the concert: Joseph "Stamp" Romero "At 7pm at the BTL Park. We believe that this has to be an effort coming from artist and the entire country to give a child a chance from Belize - a chance to receive some kind of normalcy in her life and so tomorrow it's really about fundraising for her and giving all the proceeds - nothing goes to me or any of the artists who are coming out - giving them the opportunity to pay their bills. They can know that NICH is behind them. We feel that this is our child, this is like anybody's child who knows what it feels like to have a child be this sick and so tomorrow it's really about helping pay for those bills."

Sports Trainers From States
Today, Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Herman Longsworth held a press conference to outline a new opportunity for serious world-class sports training in Belize. It's a partnership with sports authorities from Northern Illinois University in the US, who are here to train coaches and athletes. The programme is funded by the US State Department, and facilitated by the US Embassy in Belize. At the press conference, Longsworth introduced the facilitators: Hon. Herman Longsworth "This initiative is one that really reflects where we are today and what is critical to development in Belize today, it is the kind of cooperation that we must have if we are to move. It is in line with the plans that we have been making for sports. Most of you will know that we are almost ready to launch our national sport policy and one of the three main pillars in that policy is inclusivity - is trying to ensure that we can create an atmosphere for sports where everybody regardless of where they come from or who they are can participate."

The Mexicans and Marion Jones
And before that press conference, Longsworth had a meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister and Mexican Ambassador to Belize. He's been trying to get them to partner with his ministry to add more facilities to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Today, we asked him about what came of that meeting, and he explained that the Mexicans have committed some 8 million dollars in funding for an indoor volleyball facility: Hon. Herman Longsworth "In terms of the meeting that I was in today I have said before that I've been in discussion with the Mexicans and they have agreed that they would do something at the Marion Jones Stadium. I was hoping for a building and a swimming pool. It works out that they can only give us the building because of the monies they have available and they will be giving us the FIFA standard lighting for the football field. That is what they came to present me today to show me what they've come up with and to get my concurrence on it for them to now go back start the process of getting the money out and that sort of thing. But they are now committed to get this done."

BSI, The Bounce Back
The sugar crop season may have gotten off to a rough and much delayed start, but so far all targets for grinding, production, purity and efficiency are being exceeded, and despite the difficulties, the 2014 crop could be not such a bad year after all. And now the ASR Group-BSI has unveiled a new corporate logo and branding identity for Belize Sugar Industries. It incorporates the ASR logo and a release says it was developed to quote, "embrace its partnership with ASR Group and its family of companies." CEO Joey Montalvo says it projects a fresh identity and accurately reflects the company's modern outlook."

Instability Continues At Belize Amateur Athletic Association
Hugh "Pinnaz" Staine was elected president of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association in October of 2013. His term should have lasted four years, but it hardly lasted four months. Staine today confirmed to us that he stepped down quietly some weeks ago. He told us it is to devote more time to his job as a coach at ACC and because he felt the executive was not ready to work with him. Second Vice President Jaheed Smith is holding over as President until May 31st. when an Annual General Meeting will be held to select a new president. It's another major setback for the Association which was suspended by its parent body, the International Association of Athletics Federations last year as a result of infighting. Staine was not involved in the dispute, and his election was seen as a hope at a fresh start - hope which has now been dashed.

President Paul, COCABA VP
And while Staine is stepping down, the president of the Belize Basketball Federation Paul Thompson is stepping up. On Saturday in Honduras, at the yearly congress of The Confederation of Central American Basketball known as COCABA, Thompson was elected Vice President. Yamil Bukele of El Salvador was elected President of and Marcela Mejia was elected Secretary. The executive serves until 2018. Thompson departed today for Istanbul, Turkey to take part in an extraordinary congress of FIBA where he will join delegates from 200 of FIBA's 213 member federations.

More Chicken Than Ever
The Belize Poultry Association held its 18th Annual General Meeting at the Biltmore Best Western yesterday evening. According to President Landy Habet, in terms of poultry consumption, 2013 was a very good year:.. Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega was the Special Guest at yesterday's meeting.

Remembering The Reef More Than A Catchphrase
And while the poultry people were meeting at the Biltmore the conservation people were meeting at the Mexican Institute. OCEANA hosted a mixer to bring all the conservation types together to celebrate reef week. Country Vice President Janelle Chanona told us that Reef Week is more than a catch phrase; it's about ownership:.. Reef Week is observed under the tehem: Our Food! Our Jobs! Our Pride & Joy!.

Profile Of A Special Educator
As we told you last week, this year the I am Belize profile series will focus on teachers. This weeks; subject is Sylvia Soriano from the Cayo District. She's one of the few teachers in Belize who qualified to teach special needs children. She explained to the profile that it is about overcoming challenges..

Reparations and The Caribbean Population
AS we told you earlier this week one of the major initiatives coming out of the CARICOM Leader Summit in St. Vincent is the plan to proceed at the state level with claims of reparations for slavery against European states. The lead proponent of this cause has been Sir Hilary Beckles and today at the at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados will hosted a Press Conference to outline's the Caribbean's case:.. The CARICOM meeting produced a ten point plan, addressing reparatory justice.

Channel 5

Will the Marion Jones Sporting Complex be ready for Cross Country?
Since its groundbreaking in August 2009, the Marion Jones Sporting Complex has been slow to become a reality.  In fact, construction began on enclosing the perimeter before work could commence [...]

All’s well between Herman Longsworth and Phillip Willoughby
City councilor Phillip Willoughby has tossed his Superman hat into the political ring, where he will be challenging area representative Herman Longsworth in the Albert Division.  While Willoughby’s announcement came [...]

National Budget 2014 by the numbers
Debate of the proposed budget for the new financial year begins next week; both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives are going through the budget with a [...]

Coye family’s financial situation lies in the hands of the FIU
Last week, the Court of Appeal overturned a conviction on money laundering charges for the Coye family. Melonie Coye, on bail pending the appeal hearing, has been acquitted, but the [...]

Corozal ferryman falls off ferry and drowns
Early this morning, Police reported the tragic drowning of Pueblo Viejo ferryman fifty-one year old Artemio Vivas. Vivas’ body was retrieved from the river at around seven twenty-five am. Preliminary [...]

Cop remanded for assault charges
Interdicted police officer, Police Constable Ronald Sutherland who was charged in October 2013 with three criminal offenses including aggravated assault with a machete, wounding and threatening words upon his ex-common-law [...]

National Aids Commission says Roman Catholic Church has it wrong
The Roman Catholic Church has been roundly criticized as appearing less than spirited in matters of social and political concern. But it can certainly not be accused of remaining quiet [...]

Police looking for 2 men for the shooting Tarique Gillett
Belize City police are looking for a pair of men whom they believe can assist with their investigation into the near-fatal shooting of seventeen-year-old Tarique Gillett.  The minor was shot [...]

Delroy Cuthkelvin accuses U.D.P. of fixing convention
In political news, the U.D.P. is getting set to finish its round of constituency conventions, but not without party feathers being ruffled along the way. On Sunday, longtime U.D.P. operative [...]

Athletes and coaches participate in teaching sports skills
Athletes and coaches across various sporting disciplines are presently taking part in a training seminar organized by the Belize National Sports Council, in collaboration with facilitators from Northern Illinois University.  [...]

B.B.F. president appointed as vice president of COCABA
President of the Basketball Federation of Belize, Paul Thompson, is the newly elected Vice President of the Confederation of Central American Basketball (COCABA). On Saturday, representatives from member states attended [...]

PASMO holds an open day
The younger population is mostly vulnerable in contacting sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. It is an issue that PASMO, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, has been targeting with a [...]

A private message from McAfee to his best friends engaged in treasure hunt
John McAfee…the eccentric millionaire whose escapades and raunchy sex-capades are now social-media legend in Belize, is a strange fellow by any definition, and his pranks run the gamut between hilarious [...]


Another Person Shot In San Pedro Police Look For Shooter
While authorities in San Pedro remain on high alert looking for the shooter in last week’s murder of Tour Guide, Jeffery Eiley, today cops have another shooting to investigate in that municipality. On Tuesday, at around 9:20pm, police visited the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town where they observed 21-year-old Darrington Louriano Jr. of San Juan Area suffering from one apparent gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Preliminary investigations revealed that Louriano was walking on Sandpiper Street from the direction of Pescador Drive towards San Juan Area when he heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot and realized that he had been shot. Louriano was escorted to the San Pedro Poly Clinic where he received medical attention and released. Police investigation continues.

Orange Walk Youth Talk About Development Of National Council
The National Youth Police was launched last year but that was only the pivoting point of the work for youth in Belize. What lies ahead is the full implementation of that policy and ensuring full youth participation across the country. Even after the launch of the policy, consultations across the country continue to get youth involved in structuring a district level youth council that will eventually lead up to the development of a National Council. Today, that consultation was held in the Orange Walk District where one hundred young people from rural and urban Orange Walk took part in. Dalila Ical has more on that story. Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC OW “I must Say and I want to say kudos to the representation and I have Trinidad, San Lazaro, San Roman, San Pablo, I have a large rural community and of course I have representation from all secondary schools here that reflects the audience for young people and it is pretty positive but today particularly was to give them the policy and have them look at the policy and having them come up with their interpretation in terms of getting a vision for themselves particularly in the Orange Walk District.”

New Multi Purpose Building Inaugurated In Guinea Grass Village
Though it took years to be completed, today Guinea Grass residents can boast of their very own multi-purpose complex building. This morning stakeholders converged at the village for the facility’s inauguration. Our news team was there to capture the highlights and filed the following report. Dalila Ical – Reporting This new multi-purpose facility was welcomed with open arms by the residents of the Guinea Grass community. The initiative was a collaborative effort from the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, The Social Investment Fund and the Belize National Library Service. Jose Hernandez – Chairman, Village Council “This structure represent a public laboratory for our children so that they may have a place of supplemental education, a meeting place for various committees, a social projects so that they may have stability and common community areas where they exchange productive ideas may be communicated an debated and the spirit of seeking general benefit for the people of Guinea Grass.”

Orange Walk Town Council Donates To Feeding Program
The Orange Walk Town Council has publicly announced that they are prioritizing on improving the infrastructure in town but this morning they diverted from this focus, just for a little, to make a significant contribution to Saint Peter’s Anglican School. Mayor Kevin Bernard and Deputy Mayor Ian Cal visited the school before the students left for their fun run event. During the visit Cal handed over a check to the school’s Principal that will go towards the schools feeding program. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “We as a council believe that it is important to give back to the community after all the monies that we receive and the council is for the people if Orange Walk and there are some that say that the children are the future and we believe that the future is now, we must start now with the young people. This donation particularly is coming from our stipend that we get so each councillor decided to give back a hundred dollars from their stipend and even the town administrator decided to give back and that is how we came out with a thousand dollars that we gave back to this feeding program.”

Cobb's Arm Wins Third Place On La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The annual La Ruta Maya Belize Endurance Canoe race concluded on Monday March 10th. The four day challenge is the longest of its kind in Central America and sees the participation of local and international teams. It involves a course of one hundred and seventy miles of paddling on the Belize River and has proven to be a true test of stamina. The race starts in San Ignacio Town and is carried over a course of four days. This year, first place was won by the Belize Bank team, second place by NICH and third by Cobb’s Arm, a team from Orange Walk. Today we spoke with Manager Grimoaldo Cobb who says the team is proud of the achievement as this is the first time they have landed in third place after being in the race for fourteen years.

Police Investigate Robbery and Burglary In The Corozal District
Tonight Corozal Police is looking for one Hector Kelly in relation to a robbery which played out yesterday evening in Corozal. Around 7:25pm 57 year old Ayonie Briceno, a teacher of Santa Rita Area, Corozal Town, was standing in front of Saint Francis Xavier Church having a conversation with a couple of church sisters, when she was approached by a male person of Creole decent. According to Briceno, she recognized the individual as Hector Kelly who was holding a knife on the right hand. Threatening his victim with the knife, Kelly managed to take away Briceno’s gold chain with a gold medal valued at $250.00 off her neck. Anyone with information on Kelly’s whereabouts is asked to contact the nearest police department. A man from the Corozal District is tonight out of more than $4,000 worth in goods. Thirty nine year old Harris Patten, Public Health Inspector, presently residing on College Road, in Corozal Town, between 8:00am on Saturday March 8th and 8:00am on March 9th, his house was burglarized.

Senior Superintendent Receives Belize Woman Of The Year Award
The winner of the fifth annual Belize Woman of the Year Award was announced today by the US Embassy. Taking the esteemed title this year is Senior Superintendent Dezerie Jacklyn Phillips. Philips has been an inspiration and integral part of the Police force here in Belize since her inception in 1985. Since then Philips has worked her way up the ranks during the course of twenty eight plus years to her current post of Senior Superintendent. She is currently one of two deputy officers commanding Eastern (Police) Division which is the largest division in the department and her duties and responsibilities are focused primarily on community policing enhancement and administration. The embassy’s release states that Phillips' passion is community engagement and empowerment and the level of energy and enthusiasm she holds so passionately in the concept, philosophy and implementation of community policing initiatives has proven to be a very effective tool in crime fighting efforts.

Corozal Honours Its Women
Honoring, Respecting and Celebrating Women is the theme for this year’s celebration of Women’s Month. In Corozal Town several activities are taking place in commemoration of the month one of them being a free beauty session for all women. Consuelo Hernandez - Women Development Officer “Today we are having a special day for women as part of the Women’s Month activities during this month of March. I am sure that you know that this is being done throughout the country and they have different activities and today we have this special day for women whereby we are doing manicures, pedicures and other services to beautify women and we are doing it at a price for $5 for the person that is doing it not for our department but them and with $5any women can have this service. The objective is to celebrate women for them to feel good about themselves, for women to be empowered, for women to do things that they have not done for example taking a day for them out of other things that they would like to do and as the theme for this year says; Honouring, Respecting and Celebrating Women and Girls, that is the theme for this year so that is the objective for this whole month of March, you know for women to feel good like I mentioned, to be able for them to do whatever they want and for them to be special and also for them to know that somebody thinks about them and that is why the Women’s Department take this initiative to do activities for women during the whole month of March.

Ferry Man Drowns In The New River
Tradegy struck a family from the Corozal District early this morning when their loved one drowned in the New River. Fifty one year old Artemio Vivas became the districts first drowning victim when he slipped off the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the wee hours of Thursday morning, apparently during the torrential rain. Vivas met his death while working his shift at the ferry. He and his coworker were ferrying a truck across the river to the road leading into Progresso Village when death came calling. Our news team followed the lead and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting For years this operational, manual transit known as the ‘Pueblo Viejo ferry’ has been the point of access for many commuters who travel to and from Corozal to Progresso, Sarteneja and other surrounding villages. And while this ferry has gone without any mishaps during its operations, it took its first casualty early this morning.Fifty one year old Artemio Vivas, a Corozal resident and worker at the ferry, met his untimely demise shortly after 2:00am. According to police, Vivas, who was accompanied by his assistant Rolando Alcoser, were ferrying a BEL utility vehicle that was enroute to Progresso from Corozal when tragedy struck.

Corozal Police Women Takes Course On Cancer Awareness
Cancer, it is a decease that fears no race, color or religion; simply it does not discriminate making men and women vulnerable to all types of the disease. In order to enhance public awareness on Cancer, today a group of female officials attached to the Corozal Police Department were educated on what has been dubbed as the silent killer. The informative session, which forms part of the activities for Women’s Month, was headed by Doctor Melanie Grinch. WPC Rosario Romero took part in the lecture today and told us how it will benefit her and her department. Rosario Romero – WPC Corozal Police Department. “Since it was in connection with the Women’s Month 2014, part of the activity was to get a free medical check-up for the police women, so at the beginning we got our free check-up when it comes to our cholesterol, blood pressure then we were given a short lecture on cervical cancer and the importance of getting a pop smear on time and breast cancer and symptoms and basically that.”