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Specials and Events

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

DFC hosts business detailing its many financial offers
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has been operating in Belize since 1963. With 50 years as a financial institution, and once owned by the private sector, DFC is now a government of Belize entity. Over the years DFC has been helping Belizeans toachieve personal milestones and develop businesses through their financial aid services.On Thursday March 27th, DFC held a business mixer at Hidden Treasure Restaurant in San Pedro Town. The mixer was the first of its kind for Ambergris Caye and saw a sufficient turn out from members of the small business community who came to be informed on the different finance plans and loan options DFC offers. Fredrick McGlore of DFC was the presenter for the night and gave a concise presentation on all that DFC offers, primarily focusing on plans that can benefit the island’s business owners. For the productive sector, the DFC aims to invest in the following: construction of buildings, the purchase of furnishings and fixtures, purchasing of machinery, equipment and vehicles, the upgrade of existing facilities, alternative and renewable energy plans (solar/wind), working capital (as part of a wider plan), refinancing (as part of a wider plan), feasibility/ market studies, and Retool (Retrain workforce).

Tigersharks on a winning rampage
In their second face-off on Saturday March 28th, the Corozal Heats succumbed to the basketball powerhouse the San Pedro Tigersharks. Week eight of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) saw action at the Andres Campus Civic Center in Corozal Town before a packed venue. However, the home team suffered a disappointed loss of 68 -86. The uninterrupted win by the San Pedro Tigersharks places the island’s team ahead, taking the overall lead in the NEBL. Opening the scoreboard was Tigershark’s Tyron Edwards with a beautiful three-pointer that set precedents for the game. A foul on Jason Grant awarded the Heats two free throws, but Grant was only able to capture one of the shots. Darwin Leslie of the visitors had the same fate as Grant when he was fouled a few seconds after. The Heats took a lead five minutes into the game when Marcel Richard’s combined three and two-point shots found their target. Teammate Alton Herrera also made a spectacular three pointer, and the Tighersharks were shaken out of their comfort zone as they trailed by six points. A determined Edwards responded by capturing another three-pointer narrowing the gap. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 19 to 17, in favor of the Heats.

8,887 square miles of Belize adventure awaits!
Right around the time the heat sets in, and the March winds start coming in full force, that itch starts back up. The need to pack a bag or two, jump on a boat or plane, then a bus or private vehicle and leave the structure of home and office – all to venture into the unknown for a little exploration. It’s like the breeze calls our name, insisting that we leave our worries and cares where they are; “Run away, even if just for a little bit” it seems to say, and like hummingbirds to nectar, we are drawn. No doubt there are many like me who are scattered in offices like mine, longing for that holiday to escape the confines of the jungle or the concrete of the city, ready to head out to sun, sand and sea. Wherever we are, the grass or sea is certainly greener/bluer from where we stand. But guess what? If you’re in Belize, it’s ALL better no matter where you look! Adventure is available in abundance, whatever your definition of fun is! As part of the My Beautiful Belize family, I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to many great places in my country. As I write this story however, I’m in the least glamorous setting: the office. To get in the zone, I’ve been browsing through our extensive photo library, pulling up the great shots of the places I’ve been, and clicking online to places I want to go. I could spend a lifetime chasing after each little corner and slice of this haven, yet I’ll probably not make it everywhere. But that’s okay; the fun is in trying and taking on the challenge and #adventure of exploring this country.

#throwbackthursday
Front page news on the Coconut Wireless, December 21, 1987: Mystery Plane, "A dangerous and highly suspicious incident occurred on the evening of December 4th at the San Pedro Airstrip, resulting in two Americans being arrested and jailed in Belize City." Other news - Airport Improvements and Cat Burglar Catnaps, "found sleeping in the room of a female guest at Ambergris Lodge in San Pedro with property belonging to the woman on his person."

Ambergris Today

Karen Bevans Appointed New Belize Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer.

Saga Humane Society Has a Handful of Work on Ambergris Caye
When issues are raised about the problematic stray dog population on the island, many are quick to point fingers to the Saga Humane Society of San Pedro for not doing a proper job at controlling the situation. But did you know that the organization conducted 639 Spay/Neuter procedures, vaccinated 503 animals, treated 335 animals free of charge and facilitated the adoption of 108 pets to new homes? These staggering numbers can give you a pretty good idea on how much pets are on the island and how out of hand the stray pet/animal population is. The Humane Society clearly has its hands full. And this is an organization that runs from voluntary donations, grants, and from services by its veterinary employee and sales from drugs and medications for domestic animals. They are doing a great job with the resources and volunteers that they have.

Make it a date & visit The Hotel's Restaurant & Bar for their Grand Opening

What's Up Today, Gerry? Guide to Easter Holiday Weekend in San Pedro (Belize)
Whenever I hear people say “Easter is coming”, immediately my mind takes me to the beach. It is one of the busiest and popular times of the year in Belize. Easter is the weekend that locals and tourists head out to the Cayes for some well deserved down time and fun under the sun. Not everybody is fortunate or wants to travel to the Cayes. No worries, Belize has many other places for you to unwind. For example: going on a fun tour in the mainland or Family BBQ alongside the riverside. That is lovely too, but I’m a young, energetic and outgoing islander. Let me inform and guide you on how to spend the Easter Holidays on Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Temperature Graphs for Belmopan, Belize 2003 -2014
Some find it easier to see and compare in visual form. I have put together all the Annual Temperature Graphs I have for 2003 to 20014. .. . You can see how different many of them are : This is the Average Temperatures and the Extremes Red, Monthly Average Max. each Day, over 10 years, Blue, Monthly Av. Min. Green, the 24 hour Medians. Orange, Month Max. Light Blue, Month Min. - The normal annual extremes are shown here as Dotted extremes - Rain Triangles..are the Monthly Rain Averages. . . .On this graph, they are the typical or average figures. . . Unfortunately I was not recording Rain for the earlier years, but Rain, is even more variable, than the Temperatures.

Ámuñegü; In Times To Come
This video vividly encapsulates the tensions between development and conservation in coastal mangrove habitat in Belize. Highly recommended. Ámuñegü, is a story told through the eyes of two communities, Placencia and Seine Bight, trying to defend a balance they have maintained for generations. The Placencia Lagoon is home to many species and is the nursery for local fish stocks, manatees, rays and dolphins, and is also the livelihood of several regional communities including people of Garifuna, Creole and Mayan desent. In recent years, a rise in unregulated development has damaged much of the Lagoon. Our documentary will follow community leaders and fishermen who are trying to protect what makes Placencia unique, culturally rich and self-sustainable. We will share their story at film festivals internationally because we believe that their struggle is echoed in other communities around the world. The villages of Placencia and Seine Bight, Belize, are not alone in defending sustainability and community autonomy, but they are unique. With such a diverse cultural background spanning from Garifuna, Creole, Mayan, and ex-patriots from around the world, the communities of Placencia and Seine Bight are an inspiration, and recently stopped efforts by a large cruise ship company to set up a cruise village within Placencia Village. With that momentum, both communities are now looking to make the Placencia Lagoon a protected area. This Lagoon has been a part of the culture, economic livelihood and environmental equilibrium for countless generations and recent unregulated development in the Lagoon is threatening all of that. My goal for this documentary is to share the story of these villages with a wide audience to inspire other communities around the world.

US Capital Energy says it plans to proceed with drilling in Toledo
Preliminary response from US Capital Energy to the decision handed down this morning by Justice Michelle Arana has been that the company will proceed with drilling at its site in Toledo. This is, according to attorney Michael Peyrifitte, is because the judge did not give “injunctive relief” which in layman’s terms means that Justice Arana did not explicitly order a stoppage of works at the drill site. Peyrifitte and US Capital Energy’s country representative Alistair King say they will review the judge’s decision but at first glance see no reason to discontinue drilling activities. Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, (SATIIM) Greg Choc, says that he has not abandoned the application for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from commencing drilling.

Judge rules in favor of SATIIM
Supreme Court judge, Justice Michelle Arana had ruled in favor of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM in a case challenging the government of Belize to affirm customary land rights held by the indigenous communities. The judge’s decision was handed down a short while ago in Belize City. SATIIM has bussed in a group of supporters for today’s court ruling and plans a public briefing at the Radisson Hotel. We will have more on this story shortly.

Belize Forms Education Excellence Society
“A founding committee has been formed to set up the Belize Education Excellence Society”. This initiative has two general objectives: 1. To provide a PULL-UP on general performance in education, by providing motivational, networking and material incentives, facilities and rewards for high performers, such that all others in our education system will want to perform higher as our wider society start to place higher value on high performance and performers in education. 2. To provide incentives and facilitation for socialization of the best minds in Belize…starting at the high school and sixth form level…so that high performers get to meet frequently and know each other better, to build their networks with each other and the wider professional community, and with continuous professional team-building exercises, develop a culture of cooperation, collaboration, coordination and cohesion. The group hopes to pool efforts and resources at home and abroad to meet its objectives.

Bandits Host Warriors
Tonight, the #1 Western Ballaz will host the Orange Walk Running Rebels. "Come out and Support our boys. Spread the the word. We want a full house. See you there!!!!"

Mount Carmel Painting Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had a painting project at Mount Carmel primary school. Cornerstone donated the paint. Thanks, Rotaract and Cornerstone! In related news, Rotaract is having a Grand Easter Raffle to raise money for a cancer patient's medical expenses. They have some nice prizes. "The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio embarked on a painting project at Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo Town on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in commemoration of World Rotaract Week 2014 celebrated March 10-16, 2014. The club painted concrete benches in the Infant Division around the children's playground and other areas that they utilize. The Cornerstone Foundation donated the paint towards this project in August 2013 but due to inclement weather late last year we had been unable to complete the project. Kudos to finally completing this project!"

Senior Counsel says Justice Arana’s ruling is “enlightened”
The attorney for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indegenous Management, SATIIM, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay describes this morning’s judgment by Justice Michelle Arana as “enlightened.” According to the Senior Counsel what will happen now is that before applying for a renewal of their permit which expires on April 30, 2014, US Capital Energy must now get the informed consent from Maya people. Senior Counsel Courtenay further makes clear that SATIIM did not go after injunctive relief because in his opinion, Justice Arana’s decision makes clear that the Maya people should not have to go to court to enforce their right; but that it is the duty of the state, the government, to provide a framework for how the issue is to be approached.

Total eclipse of the moon coming later this month
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 15, not because it is a payday; but because that is when there will be a total eclipse of the moon. Incidentally that is also the full moon. The eclipse will be visible in Belize starting at from just after midnight, with the total eclipse starting at about 1 o’clock in the morning and lasting for a short time. The last eclipse of the moon was on October 18, 2013. An eclipse of the moon occurs when the earth shadow blocks the light of the sun from reflecting off the moon.

Maya communities win judgment in court
This morning the Maya of southern Toledo descended on the Supreme Court to hear the latest decision in their ongoing fight to gain respect from the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy, whom they say have invaded their communities without their consent while seeking petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. And it was another victory for them, as Justice Michelle Arana handed down her decision in their favour. Madam Justice Arana ordered the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to enter “good faith negotiations” with the Maya communities of southern Toledo before continuing to prepare to drill for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

Lake I Boulevard squatters fight to survive
It made national headlines in June of 2011 – a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and joined to Chetumal Street in Belama on the Northside along with a bridge. It is now nearly three years later and the Boulevard is under construction. The problem is getting much closer to their homes, and the squatters face a fight to survive. Residents such as Alirio Zavala, Karen Henriquez, and Jorge Velasquez say they have nowhere else to go and have not been told officially that they have to move, nor promised land elsewhere because they are squatters.

Two injured in late evening shooting in Belize City
A shooting incident in Belize City this evening has resulted in the injury of two men. It happened around 5 o’clock on Central American Boulevard. Those injured have been identified as 18 year old Anfernee Romero and 26 year old Troy Hyde. The shooting happened at a locksmith’s workshop.

Urban Budget
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Trick or treat money or sweet I got a headache listening to Shakespearian budget speech This clearly has no teeth! With a billion dollars being proposed to be spent Was there due consideration for the country’s development? Clearly it’s all about the UDP government Still trying to win the people’s confidence Mesmerizing Belizeans with so called infrastructural development Belizeans don’t need to be economists to see it This budget is just to ensure that UDP supporters continue to eat “Better cannot be done!” Remember! These were the words of the prime minister He forgot to say, “Then let worst continue!” Since this is the best that he and his technocrats can do Poor people’s punishment will surely continue

Mr. and Ms. SHC 2014
Congratulations to Emil Waight and Keisha Chavarria, for winning the Mr. and Ms. Sacred Heart College pageant!

Black Jaguars Head to JUDUCA V
The UB Black Jaguars are heading to Nicaragua to represent Belize in the 5th JUDUCA, which is a small olympiad for Central American universities that consists of many different sports and games. Good luck, UB! "On Friday, April 4, 2014 a contingent of more than 80 persons—including athletes and coaches—will represent the University of Belize (UB) and the jewel in the V Juegos Deportivos Universitarios Centroamericanos (JUDUCA V)—translated in English (The Sport Games of Central American Universities 5). 'Brotherhood, Solidarity and Integration' is the theme for this fifth edition of JUDUCA scheduled from April 07 – April 12, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. The delegation from UB will join counterparts from 21 other Central American universities to compete in the disciplines of chess, soccer/football, basketball, track and field, futsal, table tennis, swimming, karate, and volleyball. "

CACHE Lecture Series Starts
CACHE, along with the Benque HoC, is starting its lecture series tomorrow night at Benque's Centennial Park. The lecture will be given by Mr. Giovanni Pinelo, and it'll start at 8:00pm. "Come join us on Friday night at the CACHE cafe at the Centennial Park for the first of a series of lectures and discussions about our Community! First up is our local historian, Mr. Giovanni Pinelo presenting: 'Escaramusa al oeste de Belize a principios del siglo XX' ('A Skirmish in West Belize in the Early 20th Century')"

Cayo District BNYC Consultations
The Department of Youth Services is having their Cayo BNYC consultation next Thursday, April 10th, at CET, starting at 9:00am. They have a video out that explains more, and where to catch the buses to the event. "Please be informed that the Department of Youth Services (DYS) is presently working towards the establishment of the National Youth Council of Belize; a representative youth body that will serve as a platform for youth voices to be heard and will append to the development of Belize through the execution of youth lead programs... Transportation is being provide for the youth coming from Belmopan and Benque Viejo and surrounding areas who wish to participate and give their input at the consultation."

Earth Day Art Contest
Earth Day is on the 22nd, and the U.S. Embassy is having an art competition to celebrate. This year's theme is 'green cities.' You can submit any artwork to the U.S. Embassy, and the deadline is April 15th. "Calling all Environmentalists and Artists! Earth Day is on April 22nd, and this month's theme is Green Cities. In what simple ways can you make your home, town, or city a better, safer, healthier and more environmentally sound place to live? We ask that you identify an environmental challenge in your community and suggest a solution. We will turn the winning submissions into posters for Belize Earth Day 2014. Send us your ideas in a beautiful work of art. The deadline is April 15. "

Top 9 Reasons to bank offshore
Over the years Offshore banking has been sensationalized and represented as being illegal and immoral. It has been publicized by the media and others as banking for those who are trying to evade taxes. All this negative publicity surrounding offshore banking has discouraged many from taking advantage of the offshore banking benefits that are being offered. Before going into the offshore banking benefits, we would like to answer the question “What is Offshore?” Offshore is simply any jurisdiction being country, state, crown dependency or island, other than the one in which you are living in. Offshore banking provides flexibility, security of funds and assets. It gives you the opportunity to benefit from better interest rates. It also gives you access to diverse products that may generate better yields. It’s simply an international approach to managing your funds. Offshore Banking is about having an account in a jurisdiction, such as Belize, which is politically and economically secure. A jurisdiction where the Belize Government has placed an emphasis on the Offshore Financial Sector by introducing progressive legislation to attract international business and investments. Thus below are the top nine reasons to take advantage of the offshore banking benefits.

12 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Tikal Maya Ruins
Tikal is just two hours away from the Belizean border and remains one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. Almost any traveler who visits the western part of Belize (San Ignacio Town) travels to Guatemala for the day to visit this majestic Maya site. Located in the Peten Region of Guatemala, Tikal is an early classic to late classic Maya City. Here are 12 surprising things about Tikal: 1.) Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. 2.) The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak’al in the Yucatec Maya language; and it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning “at the waterhole”. 3.) The Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes passed within a few kilometers of the ruins of Tikal in 1525, however he didn’t mention them in his letters.

Online Marketing by SBDC Belize & BELTRAIDE (Getting started with Constant Contact)
Date: April 10th, 2014 Location: University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences - Time: 9am to 12pm Whether you're just getting started, or fine- tuning the basics, you'll learn to create branded professional looking emails from start to finish. We will help you design an email to increase engagement, grow and target your contact lists and capitalize on reports. This workshop is limited to 7 attendees Computer is necessary Cost of workshop: $20.00bze For more information contact: Ms Helen Frampton, Small Business Development Center, Tel: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

Lionfish statistics Year to Date 2014
2,340 invasive lionfish removed from our waters!! 200 of which have been dissected, analysed and data recorded. The battle continues… Come join us!!

Support Belize Delegate Miss Yadira Argueta for MISS PJD2 CARIBBEAN QUEEN PAGEANT by liking the YouTube video
Please make sure to click on the link for the video and like the video on YouTube. These likes are being counted for a popular vote and it will count towards her final score. Let's go Belize!

Video: 7 Year Old's First Belize Snorkeling Trip
30sec. After practicing snorkeling in the pool in the previous video, here is a short clip of our seven year old son's first time snorkeling trip to the Barrier Reef in Belize. It was a beautiful day on the reef. The water was so crystal clear..This is over a sand patch as you can see and there were few fish . As we moved to a bit deeper water (another video), we snorkeled over a coral and rock bottom with a nice abundance of fish. The kids were excited.

Video: 7 Year Old Boy Snorkeling Saltwater Caye Belize Barrier Reef
30sec. After practicing his snorkeling in a pool and rivers in the states, our 7 year old boy is excited to do some snorkeling and diving on some corals at Saltwater Caye which is on the Barrier Reef in Belize. The waters of the Caribbean are nicely warm and protected from the open sea. For those that may not know, a "caye" is a low-lying, sandy island on the surface of coral reef. As the coral grows older the sand begins to cover the corals from the wave action and a small island is formed. Belize has hundreds of cayes.

Video: Towntrip, Ambergris Caye
4min. outta breath after 3 rd block , cool vid

Video: Shark and Ray Alley - Caye Caulker Belize
4min. Brown nurse sharks and Atlantic sting rays on Belize's barrier reefs

Video: Testing An Old Kawasaki Jet Ski In Belize
2min. Our neighbor had an old Kawasaki Jetski that did not run. He asked if I thought I could make it run. So I messed around with it for a while and actually got it to run. I took our son our for a quick test run. Boy, that old style of Jet Ski is sort of hard to handle. Perhaps I should mention (although it is probably pretty obvious) that I had never run a Jet Ski before... But we had fun, the owner was excited and a lot of the village kids had a lot of fun riding the jet ski up and down the bight. This is in Belize which is on the Caribbean.

Video: TIDE Tours & Ridge To Reef Expeditions
Ridge To Reef Expeditions partners with TIDE Tours to show you Belize and involve you in conservation while working for a great cause!

Video: Ray & Sea Turtle - Silk Cayes, Belize
Footage from the ray we saw briefly and a cool sea turtle that we saw while snorkeling on our honeymoon.

Video: Ridge To Reef Expeditions - Belize
Ridge to Reef Expeditions - Belize offers unique opportunities to reconnect with nature and play a genuine role in the future of one of the most pristine parts of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Hotspot.

Channel 7

Mayans Claim Victory In Court, US Capital Clings To Status Quo On The Ground
In September of last year, SATIIM took the entire media to the Toledo District on a tour of a small section of the Sarstoon Temash National Park to see first-hand the oil exploration that US Capital Energy was building inside the park. As we showed you, the oil company built a road 10 meters into the park, where they a drilling platform was mounted for exploration. The organization along with the Buffer communities of the South argued that the company violated environmental laws set in place to protect the national park, and that there was also a violation of their customary land rights, affirmed by the courts in previous cases. That case began before Justice Michelle Arana in October, and today, almost 6 months later, the decision was handed down. 7News was present when the decision was handed down, and also when the Mayan Communities held a 2-hour press conference to discuss it. Daniel Ortiz spoke to both sides and has this report:

City Shooting Late In The Evening
At 5:00 this evening there was a shooting at the Eastern end of Central American Boulevard heading to the Port of Belize. At least two men were shot - one of them reportedly to the head. They were both rushed to the hospital and are reported to be alive - further details on their condition are not known. We have learned that they are 26 year old Troy Hyde from nearby Curl Thompson Street and 18 year old Anfernee Romero from Central American Boulevard. They both suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Tourists Survive Head On Collision
Two cruise tourists and their driver were involved in a serious collision within Belize City limits this afternoon. This picture provided to us by a viewer shows the tourists slumped over on the side of the road in front of the mashed up and overturned tour van they were in. The collision happened at around 2:30 at mile three and a half on the Western Highway - right at the spot where a new speed bump was installed just last week. The circumstances of the accident are unknown but it seems two mini-vans collided at the speedbump and the impact sent the gold van spinning across the highway, causing it to violently flip. The tourists were taken to a private hospital for treatment, while the condition of the driver is not known.

So Lawless, It's Laughable
Presently in Belize City traffic congestion is especially bad at rush hour because Central American Boulevard is under construction, so there's no free flow of traffic. And it seems one Haylock's bus just didn't want to have to deal with it during the morning rush. This video provided to us by a viewer shows how he cut straight across from Captain Eiley Street, across the flow of northbound traffic on the northern highway, gently mounted the median and then nicely cut into the backed up lane of southbound traffic. It's so lawless, it's laughable. The driver could have easily driven half a mile more to get to the roundabout and make his u turn into the southbound lane there, but that would have gotten him stuck in traffic - and who wants to deal with that, right?

The Bridge Cometh, The Squatters Goeth
In June of 2011, we told you about the mass removal of the squatters off the area which was called Chetumal Street South. It was to make way for the building of a road which would join the Western Highway with Belama's Chetumal Street. Since then, it has now become known as the Lake I Boulevard, and as we showed you the Government turned it into a pro-poor initiative where the contractors used 200+ Belize City men to spread the loads of sand by hand to provide employment while building the road. The project is fast approaching the area of the road where a new bridge will be built, but there's just one problem. There have been squatters living in the area, and now, they are being told that they need to move to make way for the development.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean and Central America Francisco Palmieri arrived in Belize this afternoon for a two-day visit. His first meeting was with the commanders of the BDF and the Coast Guard General Jones and Admiral Borland. After that he was whisked across to the Leo Bradley Library to inaugurate a Education USA Resource Center - which is an information resource to help Belizeans who are interested in studying in the US. Today we asked him what the visit and the center is about:... Francisco Palmieri, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State "It is very important to me to come to Belize because is really a key country is that it's the bridge between both regions; the Caribbean and Central America. I want to come here first hand. I knew that it would be a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how Belize is developing its role in the region and to see how we can do things like this; donate some books to the library and help people start thinking about what they might want to do if they would like to study in the United States. Belize is a strategic partner in the effort to combat all kinds of trafficking - not just drug trafficking and because there such an important partner along the transit route of drugs leaving South America. We are looking at how we can continue to cooperate with them and expand our program of assistance."

CPBL Board Votes For Singh As Chairman
The newly reconstituted board of the Citrus Products of Belize met yesterday at the company's headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road in Stann Creek. It was the first meeting held under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding hammered out by government with the stakeholders to move the company out of an impasse. The new board is comprised of Social Security Representative Douglas Singh, two Directors from Banks Holdings, Richard Cozier and Henry Canton, two representatives from the Citrus Growers Association, Henry Anderson and Denzil Jenkins, representative of Heritage Bank, Karen Bevans, and Representative of the Ministry of agriculture Jose Novelo. Canton was represented by an alternate Allan King. The first business of the new board was to elect a chairman and Banks Holding nominated Doug Singh, which was seconded by the Citrus Growers Association - probably one of the few things the often feuding parties have ever agreed on at the board level. Singh's nomination was unanimously supported, so he is the new Chairman of CPBL.

The Ghost Of Novelo's Past Still Haunts SSB
It's hard to tally how much the Novelo's debacle cost the public purse in total - but when the company buckled under 48 million dollars in debt in 2004, it left a long trail of debt, and the ghosts are still haunting the Social Security Board. Apparently, the Novelo's group of companies had some social security arrears which totaled ninety three thousand eight hundred and twenty eight dollars ($93,828) spread across three companies, Novelo's, Belize Transit and Northern Transport. SSB Chairman Doug Singh told us it was written off because the money was an uncollectible bad debt that was either statute barred or the companies did not have any securities from which to recover the arrears. He says judgments exist to enforce collection of the debt, but there was nothing there to get from the bankrupt companies. He said the decision was taken to write off these and debts of other companies but not to forgive those debts.

Insurance Man Summoned By Magistrate
He sells insurance, but Phillip Gallaty needed more than that after he crashed into a judge's car! The 56 year old insurance executive was arraigned today after he crashed his pickup into a Magistrate's Vehicle. According to police, the incident happened on Saturday March 22 at Mile 2 and a half on the Northern Highway. Magistrate Stephanie Gillett says that Gallaty backed his white Toyota Hilux into her vehicle which was parked on the side of the road. Because of the report, he was charged with charged with drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, and he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty.

Dredging Dispute In Marine Reserve
The South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of the biggest in the country. 15 miles southeast of Dangriga Town, it is also a spawning ground and habitat for many of the marine life that make Dangriga's waters some of the most abundant in the country. And that's why the Stann Creek Fisherman Association is publicly complaining about a dredging operation that's happening within the Tobacco Caye Range. It's a private residential project spearheaded by locals but the president of the association told us it is contaminating their sea:.. Mark McKenzie, Chairman - Stann Creek Fisherman Association "When you dredge in that area, the currents in that area - right now there is not even any supervision as we took out the reporter yesterday. Imagine somebody sitting on the street side in your neighborhood where dust blowing in your face every - that's what the dredge is pretty much doing to all marine creatures in that area; the manatees, the habit areas as far as marine life. Imagine dust and mud coming on your head top, either you will die or you will move right. Yes we can say that after a certain time everything will settle down, but you will kill what's already there. The SI was signed by government since 1996; nobody can't say that they didn't know this is a marine reserve.

A Teacher Who Truly Tries
Tonight's profile is about Alberta August who is the principal and Std 6 teacher at Buena Vista Government School. Now, anyone with a child in school knows that all the pressure is on standard six teachers to make sure their students get high grades on PSE. Well, her school has moved from an average grade of F on PSE to a B. More than that, she has increased the number of students enrolling in high school from two to 25. And she did all that in just five years. Here's more in tonight's profile:..

Channel 5

A late evening shooting; 1 dead and another in critical condition
A shooting late this evening in the city has left one man dead and another in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-six year old Troy Hyde of [...]

Major court ruling in favor of SATIIM, but oil company says it will continue drilling
Representatives of Maya communities poured into the courtroom of Justice Michele Arana this morning where the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, was awaiting a decision in its latest [...]

SATIIM’s Attorney calls on U.S. Capital to denounce disparaging remarks made by its attorney
A week ago, while awaiting judgment in the suit brought against government and U.S. Capital by SATIIM, attorney Michael Peyrefitte candidly told the media that the argument between the parties [...]

Attorney Michael Peyrefitte maintains that SATIIM wants money
Despite being censured, Peyrefitte firmly stands his ground.  According to the lawyer, what was said a week ago is the truth of the matter, a position to which he remains [...]

Squatters at Holy Emmanuel threatened by massive infrastructural works
Progress brings problems, and in a city which is undergoing massive infrastructural works, those problems are cropping up frequently. Today, it was Holy Emmanuel Street, the site of a significant [...]

Green Tropics says they are not to blame for damage of crops in Valley of Peace
The verdict is in on the crops damaged near Valley of Peace in the Cayo District. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that Green Tropics’ verdict is in. The huge [...]

San Ignacio residents concerned about murky running water in their homes
Residents in San Ignacio are concerned about a recurring problem in the western municipality. It has to do with the supply of running water inside homes. On Wednesday for about [...]

Man freed of firearm offenses
A Belize City man who police had charged for Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition was set free today in the court room of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Police claimed that [...]

Dangriga Market Project – what of the 2 investors who stepped in when project was faltering?
The Social Investment Fund has turned a new page in respect of the Dangriga market. On Tuesday, it penned a new agreement with a new contractor to resume work on [...]

15 year old student hospitalized after jumping off a moving truck
This morning, a student of the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute near Lord’s Bank on the Phillip Goldson Highway was involved in a traffic mishap. The incident, however, was caused [...]

LGBT groups address Inter-American Commission for Human Rights
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, and Belize Youth Empowerment for Change both made joint presentations before the Organization of American States earlier this week citing a list of violations [...]

Belize’s Ambassador to the O.A.S. speaks on behalf of G.O.B. on LGBT issue
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize was Belize’s Ambassador to the O.A.S., Nestor Mendez.  In making his presentation, Ambassador Mendez quoted from P.M. Barrow’s 2013 Independence Speech in [...]

Healthy Living has the tips on how to treat an embarrassing health condition for women
There are some bodily functions that – as adults – we are just expected to always be in control of. In fact, once you are passed the toddler stage, it [...]

CTV3

Rivero Found Not Guilty of Two Charges
After three days of trial, today Corozal resident, Javier Rivero, was found not guilty of assaulting and wounding former UDP Chairman Carlos Arana and Jorge Luis Que, both from the village of Consejo. The verdict was handed down after Rivero’s attorney, Marcel Cardona, filed for a case of no submission to the court. Marcel Cardona – Attorney “A no case submission was duly made to the court and it was duly accepted by the court that from the evidence presented so far by the Prosecution, the evidence was so inconsistent and the evidence was so tenuous in fact, against the defendant Mr. Jorge luis Rivero that is made absolutely so sense to proceed with the matter at this point in time so the court exercise its inherent right to strike out the matter and to declare Mr. Jorge Luis Rivero not guilty of both charges against him and that was the charge of wounding upon Mr. Carlos Arana and the separate case of common assault against Mr. Jorge Luis Que.”

Police Investigate Another Case Of Carnal Knowledge
The rising statistic of unlawful carnal knowledge cases around Belize is astounding. Every week we hear of such cases and this week there is another to report. Authorities in Corozal report that a 32 year old resident of Altamira Corozal, accompanied her 15 year old daughter to the Corozal Police Station to report that she had been molested. The incident dates back to October 2013 when the minor reportedly had sexual intercourse with a 21 year old Belizean construction worker. A medical examination conducted on the minor revealed that she is carnally known. Police have since detained the man pending an investigation.

Counsellor Assists Traumatized Students At Guinea Grass R.C School
Following the discovery of a deceased male person in the girl’s latrine on Monday, on Tuesday, classes resumed as per normal for faculty and students of the Guinea Grass RC School. And while the event is still fresh in the minds of students and teachers, today we caught up with principal of the school for an update. According to Principal Cano, since the incident, they have rendered the services of the catholic primary school counselor who has been in sessions with the traumatized students and the teachers. This evening when we visited the school, a counseling session was in progress amongst the faculty. We understand that management is still deciding whether they want to abolish the restroom facility or seal it off from students. In the meantime, students are utilizing the bathroom facilities at the Preschool, which also sits at the school’s campus.

How To Avoid Heat Stroke
The days when one could sleep without air-condition are over, well, at least for those who can afford to pay a high electricity bill. Those who can’t, have to rely on the breeze provided by the fan to cool their days and nights. Without a doubt, during this time of the year, the heat is unbearable and while most of us look forward to the days at the beach and fun in the sun, the heat also brings along negative experiences, including heat-related illness. During a heat wave, it's important to know and be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of these illnesses. There are different types of heat-related illnesses, ranging from those that cause temporary discomfort to the generally fatal condition known as heat stroke which we take a look at tonight. Carmelita Perez-Reporting Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.

Sugar Industry On The Right Track
March 30th 2014 marked the end of week 10 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 10 the factory milled fifty eight thousand four hundred and eighty one tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of five hundred and four thousand one hundred and forty one tons of cane. This is one hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred tons cane more than what was milled last year during the same period. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand nine hundred and twenty nine tons of the sweetener was produced for week ten. An overall of fifty two thousand eight hundred and sixty five tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced thirty eight thousand five hundred and seventy seven tons of sugar. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of eight thousand three hundred fifty tons cane per day. Overall, for the ten weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at eight thousand three hundred and fifty four tons cane. Last crop it was at seven thousand six hundred and thirty eight tons cane per day.

Former Golden Princess To Reopen Under New Management
In the Month of February, over fifty seven employees were terminated from the Golden Princess Casino located adjacent to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone and ninety six were relocated to the mother Princess Casino, also located near the free zone. Employees were terminated and management decided to close shop due to financial difficulties. The high cost of rent and moreover, the decrease of clientele from across the border, also contributed to the decision. Tonight news reaching our newsroom indicates that the casino may be reopening soon under new management. Early this year, Grand Belize Entertainment Group announced its plans of building a world class casino resort and spa. Reports are that the group has been granted a gaming license and has secured the location of the former Golden Princess Casino. Grand Belize Casino Hotel has said that it plans to operate approximately five hundred slot machines, twenty table games, a brand new fifty-room hotel, over twenty thousand square feet of event space, and multiple first class food and beverage offerings.

Belize's Female Team To Compete In Central American Cup
Competition for the first time in Female football history, women's football will finally have its own tournament in the adult level in the Central American Cup, which is scheduled to kick off from May 30th to June 6th in Guatemala City. Group A comprises of teams such as Honduras, Panama and Belize. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica will fight for the two spots in the semifinals in group B. The calendar of games being played is yet to be issued to the media but is expected to be announced during this week. Will follow this story and bring more on the dates that team Belize would play.

BEL Seeks Reduction In Electricity Rates
Today the Belize Electricity Limited announced its submission for the 2014-2015 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to the Public Utilities Commission for the period July 1st, 2014 to June 30th 2015. A release issued by BEL states the application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour. BEL’s proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”

Queen Victoria Avenue Upgraded
If you managed to drive through town today you may have noticed that work is currently being carried out on Queen Victoria Avenue. The much anticipated work is being conducted by Central Government through the Ministry of Works who is in charge of elevating, scraping and grading the road. But while that takes care of the pot holes, the complete paving of the main road from the Bowen and Bowen Roundabout to the Establo roundabout won’t commence until after Easter, we were told.

Corozal Police Continue To Investigate Dennis Waltz Murder
Tonight, the murder of 77 year old American National Dennis Waltz continues to be investigated by Corozal Police. CTV3 News was made to understand that a team of investigators have been dispatch to the village to further gather evidence from the crime scene. As for Waltz neighbor who went missing on the day Waltz’s body was found, his vessel was found abandoned in the area of Consejo Shores. Police conducted further checks today on the vessel which led them to the discovery of (22) .44 live round of ammunition which are now in police custody.

Standard Six Students Preparing For PSE Exams
For standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the ‘PSE’ can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

OWTC To Launch Civic Pride Campiagn
The Orange Walk Town Council in collaboration with the Belize Municipal Development Project is embarking on a civic pride campaign in the town. The first part of the campaign is an educational one where the public will be encouraged to be more conscious of where and how they dispose of their garbage. Counselor Ian Cal who is in charge of the Civic Pride portfolio told us more about the initiative. Ian Cal - Deputy Mayor Orange Walk Town “The amount of garbage that we see that it is disposed on the streets and in public areas so as a council we feel that it is necessary for us to launch a campaign, a civic pride campaign, we did not wanted to do it alone as a council initiative and so we decided to invite different groups. On Tuesday we had a meeting and we invited BTIA, JICA a representative from Japan, we had Ministry of Education and those were some of the members that were present at that meeting and together we will be moving forward on a plan of action to start the civic pride campaign mainly to educate the public on what to do and what not to do when it comes to disposing of your garbage.”

Chapel's School Celebrates Family Fun Day Flying Kites With Students
Today, the BSI field was the venue for the Chapel School’s family day. Children along with their parents and class teachers enjoyed a nice outing where they flew kites in a competition hosted by the school. Our news team’s attention was captured by the many colorful kites that adorned the blue sky. It was a great turnout said Principal Julian Chi. Agreeing with him was one of the many students who took part in the event. JULIAN CHI – Principal, Chapels School “We have the infant, the middle division and the upper division, and the purpose of it is that this is fun day and we will have local made of homemade kites which we are inculcating in our students to use our resources and get their parents involve because this is a family day. They can get a family member, a friend and neighbor or anybody and as a matter of fact we recommend that the teacher would take an art class and do some kites. We are giving away some prizes and some very good prizes like speakers for laptops and computers, we have food at the restaurant and we have different things and other articles that were donated and this is chapels’ School family day and this is part of what we do and we have ten prices; in the infants we will have three prizes which includes the most beautiful, the largest and the one that flies the highest, in the middle division likewise and in the upper division and finally for those ready made one we have a prize also and the one who flies the highest on that ready-made one.”

Another Case Of Police Brutality Claims Resident Of Progresso Village
There have been countless reports on police brutality and abuse of power and there will be many more ahead of us and tonight we have another incident of alleged abuse of authority by police. This time around however, a couple alleges that they have been unable to find help even from the higher ups. Twenty six year old Maricruz Heredia, a resident of Progresso Village, says that their ordeal began on the morning of April first. She says the officer attached to the Progresso Police substation entered her house around five in the morning armed and furious. Maricruz Heredia “Yo estoy durmiendo cuando oí que están golpeando la puerta y se abrió y cuando yo me levante ya estaba abierto mi puerta y el entro y yo Salí con solo calzón y bracea y yo le pregunte qué, que hace acá y él me dice que adonde esta mi marido y le dije que mi marido no está porque él no queda acá y después de haya él dice que él tiene que rebuscar mi casa y le dije que él no puede registrar mi casa si el no trae un search warrant y él me dice que él no necesita un search warrant.”