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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Cop charged for extortion
San Pedro Police have arrested and charged one of their uniformed colleagues who is being accused of extortion. The accused is Police Constable No 1308 Elvin Nah, and he is currently attached to the San Pedro Police Formation. He was arrested and charged on Thursday July 24th following an incident that occurred on July 6th. According to Deputy Commanding Officer of the San Pedro Police Formation Inspector Henry Jemmott, on July 17th at about 5PM, a male person visited the San Pedro Police station and made a formal report against PC Nah. “He stated that on July 6th, at about 1AM while heading home, he was stopped by police officers in front of a store on Pescador Drive. A search was conducted on his person by a Hispanic police officer and as a result two small plastic bags with suspected cannabis were found. The individual was then taken to the San Pedro Police Station where the suspected drug was weighed and amounting to four grams.”

PADI expels Amigos del Mar Dive Shop
One of the oldest dive shops on Ambergris Caye has been expelled from the PADI dive organization network. The expulsion was made effective on Thursday, July 17th, and as a result, Amigos del Mar Dive Shop can no longer conduct any PADI certified courses or represent themselves as PADI members. Also expelled as a PADI affiliate, on the same date was Marciano Mendez who conducts dive training at Amigos. Due to confidentiality code, PADI cannot disclose the reason for the expulsion, but has assured that expulsion is the last resort when addressing issues with members. PADI Quality Management Manager, Linda Van Velsen told The San Pedro Sun that before any establishment is expelled, PADI follows an extensive process that includes fact checking, getting all perspectives about the issue including the members, and, when necessary, offers corrective retraining and cooperative compliance before expulsion is considered. The San Pedro Sun contacted the owner of Amigos del Mar Dive Shop, Albino “Changa” Paz but he declined to comment on the matter.

Government of Belize Compensates Public Officers and Teachers for the 1995-1997 Increments Freeze
The Ministry of Finance is pleased to announce that it has today authorised the Accountant General to transfer the balance of some $3.06 million held in a Government Savings Account to the Trustees of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust, which has been established to hold funds in trust for all public officers and teachers whose annual increments were frozen during the period 1st April 1995 to 31st March 1997. It may be recalled that in 1995, the Government of Belize had agreed to give the Public Service Union and the Belize National Teachers Union some 794,732 shares in Belize Telecommunications Limited (now Belize Telemedia Limited) as compensation for the suspension of annual increments of public officers and teachers during the fiscal period 1995 to 1997. These shares continued earning dividends which were kept in a separate Government Savings Account in trust for the affected public officers and teachers.

Second Annual Action Twenty 24 Summer Camp
Action Twenty 24 is back in San Pedro hosting a one week sports summer camp. The second annual summer camp started on Monday, 21st and is scheduled to conclude on Friday, July 27th and operates in partnership with Lighthouse Christian Radio. Over 70 children are participating in the camp which is being held at the San Pedro High School Campus. According the Action Twenty 24 organizer, Chris Burnette, the camp is held to teach sports skills to children while promoting love and community unity. “Many parents find it challenging to take care of their children during summer as they have to work. As part of the camp we care for the children and ensure that they are out of trouble and have a productive summer,” said Burnette. Throughout the week the children will learn basic skills in football, basketball, volleyball and baseball, all while learning Christian values. “Our aim for the camp is to simply put some smiles in the children’s faces, make them happy and keep them safe.”

Vince’s Warriors take the lead of the Island Cup Football Tournament
Football action is back to San Pedro with the official kickoff of the Island Cup Football Tournament. After several unfortunate delays, the tournament kicked off on Sunday, July 20th at the Ambergris Stadium. Eight teams entertained football fanatics in four thrilling matches, but at the end of the day it was Vince’s Warriors who took the lead of the tournament. The first game was between San Pedro High School (SPHS) Football Team and Dorados. The young athletes from SPHS stood their ground, but in the end it was the Dorados that took the win in a close 2-1 point match. Next to take the field was Joker FC against recent tournament champions, Legends FC. It was a tight match which saw Legends FC pull a few tricks to win the match in a 3-2 point game.

Caribbean Belle Weddings features stunning Conch Creative photography
The fabulous duo at Conch Creative photography has gotten a gorgeous spread in one the newest wedding publications: Caribbean Belle Weddings. A publication dedicated to all wedding things across the exotic Caribbean, Caribbean Belle gives a glimpse into the locales that so many adventurous couples opt for their special day. The six-page spread features photos by photographer Maya Papovic, and the pictures show the beauty of Belize’s Cayo District, in particular Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge and one of the prettiest Maya ruins in Belize: Xunantunich.

Ambergris Today

Top 10 Things To Do In Belize
Traveling around my own country has been one of the best experiences in my life. Belize has so much to offer to the daily traveler. Land, air and sea adventures, we got it! It is just amazing going around this country of mine, meeting people from all walks of life and observing the mixture of cultures leading to the endless dishes of Belize. Therefore, if it is your first or second visit to Belize, I have made your vacation a lot easier and much more fun by providing you with a list of the Top 10 things to do in Belize.

Tropic Air Announces Increase In Service Roatan, Honduras
Tropic Air announces, that effective November 1, 2014, it will increase service to Roatan, Honduras from four times weekly to daily. “We are very excited to be increasing our service to Roatan in response to the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of our passengers", said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Roatan has become an important part of our network, and a source of growing tourism and trade business to Belize. The next logical step is for us to increase the frequency to daily to allow traffic to grow even more”.

Belizeans Unite Against Italian “Mega-Luxury” Project On Remote Coral Reef
Belize’s largest conservation and tourism organizations, as well as members of the public, have joined forces in opposition to a proposed seven star mega-resort on Belize’s most remote coral reefs. The project, named Puerto Azul, would transform two private islands on the northern side of the Lighthouse Reef atoll. The brainchild of Italian promoter Domenico Giannini, Puerto Azul was launched during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival at a lavish celebrity-studded party. Belizean ministers of government were also flown in for the occasion. Opposition to the project is based on its massive scale in an undeveloped area that is over 50 miles from the nearest mainland supply depot. Lighthouse Reef, part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, is one of only four atolls in the Caribbean and is home to the world renowned Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye Natural Monuments; both are protected areas and World Heritage Sites. The developers want to build what they describe as a “citadel of luxury” inclusive of underwater suites, a golf course, amusement park, submarine base, hospital, super-yacht marina and Formula 1 race track, all serviced by a two mile long international airport to be dredged from the sands and productive sea grass beds of the Lighthouse Reef atoll. The resort’s proposed one thousand guests would be served by a small city of two thousand employees.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

One-day session for business owners and NGO's regarding waste management
Tomorrow, July 25, the Solid Waste Management Authority from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture will be having a one-day session for business owners and NGO's in the environment sector at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This session will contain various activities and methods of awareness in regards to waste management. The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority is currently implementing a project in four municipalities along the Western Corridor. These municipalities include San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize City, San Pedro Town/Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The project seeks to address the country's inadequate solid waste management practices by putting in place new and improved infrastructure for the management of solid waste, increasing public awareness and changing current behaiors and practices through communication and social mobilization and building capacity of local authorities responsible for solid waste management.

LEAP, a team of Plastic Surgeons will be at the Northern Regional Hospital treating patients with the following cases:

Part III - Belize Sugar Industry's and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association's arguments:
As mentioned earlier, the company has offered to pay the farmers .51 cents per ton of cane. How did they come to this figure? BSI basically utilized last year’s figures for cane production and payment for cane which Carballo placed at $74.20 per ton. Now, please recall that, out of the average of 29 percent of bagasse in cane, Bio-Energy said that not all of it is fiber. According to Carballo, last year, the amount of fiber found in the cane was approximately 53 percent of the total bagasse content. “So, based on the cane price for 2013, and taking the percentage of fiber that is in the cane which is 15.41% 29% x 53.14%), that amounts to a payment of $11.43 $74.20 x 15.41%) per ton of fiber and so based on the quantification of the amount of fiber that is used to generate electricity to BEL, we are valuing that fiber at $11.43 per ton of fiber, and that comes up to the sum of $550,000 = ( 48,119 tons of fibre x $11.43), or 51 cents = ( $550,000/1,078,000 tons of cane delivered in 2013) per ton of cane.”

TV Interview with PM Barrow Sunday the 27th
Tune in this Sunday, July 27th at 8:00 p.m. for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow. "Up Close and Personal: A Conversation with Hon. Dean Barrow" will air on Wave TV, Channel 7, Nortevision Channel 10, Channel 5, Love TV, and Krem TV. This is an interview you don't want to miss!

Belize Takes 3rd in Codicader U-12 Games
Congratulations to the Belize U-12 Football team for coming in 3rd place at the Codicader Games! Wilfredo Galvez scored the most goals - video of one of them - in the tournament, which was held in Guatemala. Excellent sportsmanship! "AWESOMENESS! PROUD BELIZEANS!! CONGRATS to the Belmopan Football School of Talent U-12 who won today's game against Guatemala 4-3 and took 3rd place in the Codicader Games in Retalhuleue, Guatemala. And that's your morning dose of awesomeness from some very talented young Belizeans! 2 Goals scored by Wilfredo Galvez Jr (Buddy), 1 by Brent Dubon and the other by Kelvin Gordon!! Buddy scored 9 goals in the Tournament. That's the most scored by any player in this Tournament! Pics to follow later! BIG UP to Coaches Leslie Flowers, Kenneth Budna, Jacqueline Pelayo and all the Parents who believe in these youths. The journey continues........"

Cayo Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm Sunday, July 27
from Unitedville to the Benque Viejo border, including, Benque Viejo Town, San Ignacio Town, Santa Elena Town, the villages of Esperanza, Georgeville, Unitedville, San Miguel, Duck Run 1 and 2, Billy White, Bullet Tree, Santa Familia, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Succotz, Corozalito, Arenal and surrounding areas. BEL to replace equipment on transmission line in area and carry out maintenance works at the San Ignacio Substation.

GAIA Riverlodge in Belize is now Green Globe Certified and harvesting fresh produce
Tucked away in the Pine Ridge Forest and surrounded by the Five Sisters Waterfalls, GAĎA Riverlodge is an eco-tourism hotel dedicated to preserving Belize's natural beauty. span> In a series of environmental initiaties, GAĎA Riverlodge has announced that the hotel is now Green Globe Certified. As one of only five properties in Belize to receive this presitious certification, GAĎA Riverlodge is proud to uphold the highest standard of sustainability. The hotel has also developed a fresh vegetable garden on-site, which will harvest zucchini, cucumber, cilantro, basil, arugula, lettuce, tomato, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet pepper, mint and corn. Guests can now enjoy this hyper-local cuisine at GAĎA's restaurant.

Belize Tourism Enjoys Rise in First Half of 2014
Citing a recent article in Belize's Amandala newspaper, which used statistics released by the Belize Tourism Board, Chaa Creek's co-owner and GM Lucy Fleming said that continued strong growth in the tourism sector is providing benefits across Belize's economy and society, benefits that will in turn continue to make Belize more attractive to travelers. "Belize's economy is now tourism-oriented, so a rise in visitor numbers translates into a healthier, happier society, making Belize even more attractive," Ms Fleming said. "In short, more tourists mean a stronger tourism product, which will in turn attract more tourists. It's a very positive, self-perpetuating cycle," she added. The Amandala article, "Belize Draws 29.3% More Tourists for First Half of 2014" (July 18, 2014) noted that "Belize continues to draw more tourists to its shores, with overnight tourist arrivals up 11.8%, and cruise tourist arrivals up 36.9% for the first half of 2014, according to data released this evening by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). "That translates to 141,921 more cruise tourists and 19,693 more overnight tourists compared to the first six months of 2013, or an overall sector growth of 29.3%," the report concludes.

Healing through humanitarian assistance projects
Three international health specialists and three non-governmental organization personnel are participating in a humanitarian assistance project in Belize from July 21-25, which encompasses the Global Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instructor and Provider Courses. By participating in humanitarian assistance projects such as Global ALSO, U.S. military medical forces have an opportunity to broaden their experiences and support improvements for our partner nation medical professionals. “Humanitarian assistance projects, such as Global ALSO, help to provide a clear understanding of the medical capabilities of our partner nations, and a chance to identify areas of improvement and ways to advance skills,” said Capt. Ricardo Sequeria, family medicine resident assigned to the 96th Medical Operations Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. “You get a chance to know them, to really build relationships, and to leave with a sense of collegiality.”

Home Made Breakfast Burrito
An easy breakfast burrito. The wrap is very easy to make and you can put anything you want on the inside. No need to buy frozen breakfast burritos again.

Belizean Curried Fish
Joe shows us how to make Curried Fish as he use to make it when he was younger. This dish is spicy hot and absolutely delicious. If you love curry you will enjoy this meal.

BTB Tourism Statistics - July 2014
The Belize Tourism Board released the stats for the first half of 2014. "Tourist arrivals continue to go up!"

Rotaract School Drive
The Rotaract Club of Benque is organizing a school drive to get much needed materials for local students. Any school supplies you can donate would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rotaract! "Support our FILL A BACK PACK 1st ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE! Every child counts! Let's make a difference!"

July 14 - July 20 2014 Fishing Report
Special congratulations to some new double haulers, Elizabeth is a rocket, Tom can throw, Tonya doubled the length of her cast this week, throwing 70 feet by the end of the week, Bethany picked up the double haul on her third casting lesson and it was fun to see the enthusiasm and improvement in all who took part in the daily classes.

Channel 7

Private Prosecution Against Penner Thrown Out!
In March of this year, Elvin Penner made national headlines when he became the first elected area representative to be criminally charged for official wrongdoing during the tenure of his own Government. Tonight, however, he's at home with his family, and he has been cleared of all charges brought against him. As has been widely reported, he was implicated as the chief arranger in the issuance of the passport and nationality certificate of South Korean Won Hong Kim. Still, police never criminally charged him - and only launched a criminal investigation after the Supreme Court told them to do so. And when the police didn't charge him, COLA did launching a private prosecution against Penner. But, the private prosecution was short of a critical element, first hand evidence. And so, after only 4 short adjournments the case was struck out of court today. 7News was there in Belmopan when the disgraced former minister was acquitted and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting After 4 short adjournments, Former Minister of State Elvin Penner walked out of court a free man. The two immigration offences, brought against him by COLA's Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren were thrown out.

Did The State Protect Hon Penner?
But if, you've been following the case, as we have, it may have crossed your mind that today's outcome couldn't have happened any other way. That's because all the police evidence needed was being kept out of COLA's reach - and according to the expert in prosecutions - the DPP -from what she had seen of that there wasn't enough to bring a charge. Currently, their case file for the Citizen Kim passport is still within the Department, and the official line at this time is that the case is still under investigation. But, COLA lays blame at the feet of the Commissioner of Police for the failure of the private prosecution. How do they get to that conclusion? That's just what Daniel Ortiz tried to find out: Daniel Ortiz reporting In the days leading up to today's hearing, Attorney General Wilfred Elrington gave an interview to the press in which he spoke candidly about what he saw as the impending failure of today's case. Those remarks incensed those within the COLA ranks.

Where Is The Citizen Kim Passport?
One piece of evidence which surely didn't make it into the case today was the original passport which was issued to South Korean Won Hong Kim. Best information says the passport is in the possession of the Belizean embassy in Taiwan. It was supposed to be brought to Belize in May, but that never happened. And because it has not appeared - the true whereabouts of the passport has been opened to conjecture. The question of its whereabouts was put both to COLA and to Attorney General Wilfred Elrington, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and they gave two very different answers. Here's what they had to say: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Attorney General "As far as I know I haven't heard anything on that. But let me ask you this question since you've asking me so many question: why you want the passport to come to Belize?" Reporter "It's of public interest." Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Attorney General "People are just curious about it."

Fire Leaves 4 Families Homeless, 3 Structures Destroyed
There were two house fires this morning in Belize City - and children playing with fire caused both of them. The more serious one happened at around 10:00 am on Plues and Berkely Streets - right around the corner from our studio. Monica Bodden spoke to the 4 families in 3 houses who had lost everything.. Monica Bodden reporting The fire started from the upper flat of this two storey green building - and within minutes, the entire structure was up in flames. Fire fighters were called out to the scene on Berkley and Plues Street just after 10 this morning - and went into quick operation mode in attempt to control the blaze in the congested location. It wasn't long before the fire spread to this 14 by 14 one bedroom structure on the same premises. Concerned neighbours lined the area from front to back- while some even risked their lives to run inside the heated buildings to remove gas tanks and even animals.

Another Fire Set By Child
The first fire started an hour before that one - at around 9:15 am - and again, kids were the culprits. Luckily, it was a small fire, easily contained. Neighbors say it was started by a child playing with a lighter. One of the residents spoke with us off camera and told us how the community sprang to action when they saw the house ablaze. Voice of Neighbor "We were in our spot and then my sister ran out and said fire. When we came at the back we saw that the mattress had already catch fire. After that my brother-in-law, he has one foot and he actually pulls out this mattress while we were getting water to try and out it." Robin Schaffer "How did the fire start? Do you know?" Voice of Neighbor "Actually my cousin said that it's my little cousin light the mattress because no one was at the upstairs at the time where the fire started, only the baby and they said that he had a lighter and he lighted the sheet and the sheet catch fire underneath the mattress."

Kumul Charged For Common-Law's Murder
38 year old mother of two, Anabel Kumul was charged for the murder of her common law husband today in San Pedro. She was arraigned and remanded about 30 hours after she allegedly stabbed the 28 year old Felix Alamilla in his leg, chest and eye. The wound to the leg severed an artery and it is believed that caused him to bleed out. According to reports - Alamilla had gone missing from home for two days and that was supposedly what triggered Kumul to head out at dawn yesterday to find him at a house where he had been spree-ing with friends. She allegedly found him asleep, then jumped on him and started inflicting the stab wounds. Kumul is a Mexican resident on San Pedro and police say they caught her trying to take a flight off the island at 7:00 am.

Cop Charged For Extortion
She wasn't the only one San Pedro police took the court today - they also charged one of their own for extortion. Constable Elvin Nah was charged for extortion after an island resident complained that Nah shook him down for four hundred dollars. The complainant - whose name is not being released - alleged that at 1:00 am on July eighth, Nah stopped and searched him and found two small plastic bags containing cannabis. He took him to the police station where he weighed the drugs at four grams. Nah allegedly then told the complainant that he could set him free without charges if he paid him four hundred dollars. The complainant says he then handed Nah eight fifty dollar bills and was set free without charges. The report was made on July 17th and that's when police started reviewing security video at the police station and questioning officers who were on duty.

Hattieville Chairman Still Missing: Villagers Pray
Hattieville Chairman Kevin Carcamo has been missing for 4 days now, and today the extensive searches to try to locate him continued. The seismic testing company that he was working for when he went missing has stepped up their search and they are joined by the Police, the BDF, and now the Coast Guard. But though the searchers are numerous, as time goes by, the community is losing hope of finding him alive, and so they are organizing a prayer session to implore his safe return. One of the organizers spoke with us about it today: Vanesha Rhaburn, Friend of Kevin Carcamo "We call this event a "Hattieville Community Call to Prayer" because at this time we are desperate for answers about our chairman, he has been missing for 4 days. It's hard for us to believe that a man would be missing in his own terrain. We know that somebody knows something and they are not talking. At this point we have no one else to turn to but to God to help us and to speak to the persons that know what happened that day because we do not accept what is going on."

Quality Of Life Crime Crackdown Causes Court Congestion
On Monday we showed you just a sample of the vicious public backlash resulting from the police crackdown on so called quality of life crimes - those minor, always overlooked offences, such as riding a bicycle without a bell or light. And while there's been a public backlash, what we saw today was the administrative aftermath. Scores of people lined up at the police prosecution branch waiting for hours to pay their fines. It was not a happy scene as the queue ran up and down 2 flights of stairs and spilled outside the door onto the street. We spoke to one of those very many crammed into the office, Wilbert Meighan Jr. who told us about his experience. Wilbert Alfred Meighan Jr. Aka Beansie- fined for bicycle offence "Well there was a commotion here today. It was totally unnecessary, especially in my incident because it was Monday morning and I was on Cemetery Road. I did came out from West Street and was heading down Cemetery Road contrary to traffic. But I saw the police from Euphrates coming walking and I got off my bike went in the yard in front of Salvation Army where they sell journey cakes and powder bun and I went to

Man Busted For Bicycle Bell Carried Crack
But while many lampoon and lambaste the bicycle crackdown, yesterday, it led to a drug arrest. 45 year-old Stuart Smith was riding his bike contrary to the flow of traffic on Lizarraga Avenue, and that drew police attention on him. When they inspected his bike, they found out that he didn't have a bell or a light, so they began questioning him about it. He remained unusually quiet, and that made the officers suspicious, and so they searched him. They found out that the reason he wasn't talking is because he had a piece of foil paper under his tongue. When they took it out of his mouth, and opened it up, they found that there was an undetermined amount of crack cocaine.

And The PUP's Candidate For Albert Is ...
For months, there has been speculation about who will run for the PUP in the Albert division. There was supposed to have been a convention in May, and at the time three candidates submitted their name. But, the party brass asked them to stand down to make way for a candidate with a higher profile. Speculation was rampant that it would be Dickie Bradley, a former PUP candidate in Queen's Square. Well, tonight, we can confirm that it isn't Bradley. The likely PUP Standard Bearer for Albert is Paul Thompson, well known as the president of the Belize Basketball Federation. Thompson - who worked as Mark Espat's political officer in the Albert between 1996 and 2006 - confirmed today that he has put in his name as a candidate for Albert. We say he is the "likely" standard bearer because it is not clear if he will face a convention challenge. But, political insiders suggest that since the party brass directly courted his candidacy - they are expected to clear the way for him to be endorsed as a candidate who would not have to face a convention challenge.

Capital Police Still Looking For Stolen DOE Pickup
Last night, we told you about the Department of Environment Vehicle which was stolen in broad daylight yesterday from the busy market square in Belmopan. Today, investigators were no closer to figuring out how the thief managed to pull it off, but they were able to brief us on what they know so far about it's last known whereabouts: Inspector Dennis Myles, Acting OC - Belmopan "What we do know is that Mr. Edgar Eck reported to us sometime after 9 yesterday morning he parked his brown 2008 Toyota Hilux in front of the environment office and from there it was stolen. The person from the environment - we had recorded statements from those persons and there is no definite lead in regards to the investigation." Reporter "Is it a case where he did had his key with him and maybe the window was bashed in to get access or using duplicate keys?"

Alleged Robber Remanded
23 year-old Francis Arana, a Lavender Street resident who has been on remand since Monday for Firearm offences, was brought back to court today for additional charges. He's believed to be one of the men who targetted a Bowen and Bowen delivery team last week Thursday, but instead of taking money, they went for the security guard's gun. As we reported, the incident occurred around10:30 a.m. Marlon Wade, a security guard employed by Fort Point Security, reported to the police that he and two other security guards, Eddie Arnold and Chester Mclaren, were making a delivery in a Ford Ranger pick-up truck. When they reached Eleven Shop on Oleander Street they were approached by 3 men. Wade said one of the men wore a stocking mask and was armed with what appeared to be a .38 revolver while the others wore no mask and were unarmed. He said at gunpoint, they stole a 9 millimeter pistol with 12 rounds of ammunition in its magazine, which is owned by fort point Security and has a value of $3,000 dollars. Wade said they also stole a Samsung cellular phone belonging to Arnold, which has a value of $1,200. Because of the report from the security guard, Arana was charged with aggravated assault and 2 counts of robbery.

What To Do In Case Of Fire
There have been a rash of fires in the city recently - and apart from the massive loss of property - since May, two lives have been lost. But what should or can you do in the event that fire comes breathing down your door? It's a possibility that none of us would event want to consider, but it's real, and today Station Officer of the Belize National Fire Services, Orin Smith briefed the media on what to do when there is a fire and how to prevent one from happening. Here are some demonstrations - set to the very persistent din of a fire alarm. Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Service "Here I have in front of me a lighter gun, a candle, a cigarette lighter, a box of match - these are all tools that adults used. I am appealing to the adults to train the children. These are not toys for the children to play with and by all means do not leave these tools in easy-reach of children. Children have a natural way of learning. They will learn by imitating what they see adults do. If there are smokers in the home that use cigarette lighters, if they placed these things in easy-reach of children they will use them. Some home don't use matches, they either use a lighter or a lighter gun or have an electric stove that you can just press the button and that stove light up. If they have these tools, do not leave them in easy reach of children."

Artist Releases "Presshah"
Freddy Bencomo a 39 year old Belizean artist is making his debut tomorrow night at the Image Factory. He has been painting from about 2002, but has lacked the confidence to display his work - until now. We stopped in to see his exhibit called "Presshah" hoping to reveal the hidden talents of this local artist: Presshah launches at 7:pm tomorrow night and will be on display until the end of July..

City Closes Summer Camp
The Belize City Council today closed its summer camp. It happened at the Skills Center on Magazine Road and Councilor Alain Gonzalez told us what the camp focused on: And while at this afternoon's camp closing, we caught up with Major Darrell Bradley who is back in country after a visit from LA and LV, that is, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Mayor plans on keeping close ties with Belizean Americans living in the city of Los Angeles.

Belize Triathlete Fails To Finish Swim
Today, the 20th Commonwealth Games began in Scotland with 6 events, one of which was the Triathlon. Belize's only Tri-athlete, the defending Lion Man Champion, Kent Bob Gabourel competed against 40 other tri-athletes from across the commonwealth. But, it didn't go well. Regrettably, he was unable to complete the swimming portion - which is the first leg of the three stage event. In the end, England won both 1st and 2nd place with South Africa placing 3rd. Belize's Andy Wigmore will participate in the Shooting competition on Monday, July 28th. On another note, today Katy Sealy and Gregory Lovell joined 140 athletes from 70 other nations when they had lunch with the Queen.

BCVI Gets Major Boost
This morning the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired received a generous donation from the Lions Club International Foundation. There was a handing over of a 2 story addition for the Belize Lions club's existing building, which houses the National eye clinic. Eye care equipment for the Diabetic Screening and Treatment Project were also donated. Today we spoke with Deputy Director of BCVI, Carla Musa who told us more. Carla Ayres Musa, Deputy Director, BCVI "BCVI was very happy to have our official handing over from the Lions Club to us for two projects that we've been working on together since about 2011. We've gone through the process of submitting proposals and having them reviewed and actually implementing them and we did the official handing over today." "The first project that we worked on was a standard grant with Lions International and that allowed for the expansion of the facility that we are in right now. This use to be the outside space and people use to have to wait in the rain and in the sun and because BCVI and Lions have had a relationship over a few decades now, we have the same goal of preventing blindness and we thought that it would be great to team up with them because this is their building that we work out for us to be able to expand and offer more services. That was the first portion that we handed over today we were handed to."

Will Belize Accede To Munitions?
Belize may soon become the 85th country to accede to the convention on cluster munitions. Now, you're probably asking, why is this news since Belize has nothing to do with cluster munitions? Well, a UN activist group is trying to make Central America the first sub region which has acceded to the treaty and Belize is the only holdout. We spoke to a representative for the Cluster Munition Coalition, Hector Guerra, who explained to us why Belize's accession is important even though no cluster munitions have ever been used in the country. Hector Guerra, Rep. - Cluster Munition Coalition "Most of the countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are on board. As a matter of fact Central America is about to become the first sub region worldwide fully on board the convention of cluster munitions, the country that is missing is Belize. We know that it shouldn't be difficult for the country to accede to this treaty because it has never use, produce, and stockpile or transferred or being affected by cluster munitions. One way of showing the interest that Belize has for this would be to participate in the 5th meeting for states parties coming on in September in San Jose, Costa Rica. It will be the first international meeting around the convention Cluster Munitions taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean, but most important it's going to take place in Central America, so it's an excellent opportunity."

Channel 5

Former Minister of State Elvin Penner Freed of Charges, COLA Will Appeal Decision
Elvin Penner walks….A decision was handed down today in the case of Elvin Penner, who facilitated the issuance of a passport to South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim. The former [...]

Is the Won Hong Kim Passport Really Critical to the Penner Case?
The Won Hong Kim scandal erupted in September 2013. The catalyst was a Belizean passport issued to Kim. Kim received Belizean nationality and his passport while he languished in a [...]

Leader of the Opposition Says Penner Acquittal Is A Bitter Disappointment
P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca got the news about Penner shortly after the former Minister of State walked out the door of the Belmopan Magistrate Court, indicted now only by public [...]

COLA Excoriates Attorney General, Says He Should be Ashamed of Himself
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, on more than one occasion, has expressed his doubt that Elvin Penner could be successfully prosecuted, maintaining the difference between factual guilt and legal guilt. Attorney-General [...]

Francis Fonseca Says Sedi’s Comments Aren’t Surprising
P.U.P. Leader, Francis Fonseca, himself a former Attorney-General, also took issue with the comments of Elrington, but like the outcome of the case, he says they weren’t surprising. He says [...]

Belize City Fire Guts Berkley Street Residence
There have been four fires in the past sixteen days in the Belize District that have unfortunately been caused by children playing with lighters. The incidents have prompted the Fire [...]

Children Playing With Lighters Are Cause for Recent Fires
Prior to responding to the fire on Berkley Street, the National Fire Service had to respond to another fire, this time in the Conch Shell Bay Area. Smith also had [...]

What’s Next After Writ of Mandamus? Francis Fonseca Comments
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie continues to be the man in the hot seat, and the man under fire in the Penner immigration scandal. He did not hand over the [...]

SATIIM Says Penner Acquittal Is an Injustice to Belizeans
The reaction of the crowd outside the courtroom was immediate. As Elvin Penner and his family walked to a parked vehicle, there were cries of ‘thief’ and ‘you should be [...]

Greg Ch’oc Says There’s Still No Mediation between SATIIM and U.S. Capital Energy
On June sixteenth, Justice Michelle Arana ordered the government of Belize and SATIIM to engage in mediation where the exploration by US Capital Energy is concerned – mediation, but with [...]

Government Vehicles Missing…Again
If you’re the driver of a late model government ride, especially a Toyota Hilux, you may want to be careful where you park. That’s because there are some brazen thieves [...]

Tortilla Vendor Perishes In Road Traffic Accident In Orange Walk
There was a fatal road traffic accident today in the Orange Walk District.  Sometime around two o’clock this afternoon, two vehicles traveling in opposite directions along the Yo Creek Road [...]

Maurice Tomlinson To Be Represented At CCJ By Former Court of Appeal Judge
A case management conference was held at the Caribbean Court of Justice this morning in a suit brought against the governments of Belize and Trinidad & Tobago by Jamaican gay [...]

Belize City Restaurateur Fined For Undersized Lobsters
Belize City businesswoman Heidi Andrades appeared unrepresented in magistrates’ court today where she pleaded guilty to a fisheries offense after being busted with thirty-nine undersized lobster tails at her restaurant.  [...]

San Pedro Family Acquitted of Ammunition Charge
Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez this morning found a San Pedro family of four not guilty of the charge of possession of six rounds of unlicensed ammunition. This matter came to public [...]

Belize Off To A Rocky Start At Commonwealth Games 2014
The Commonwealth Games 2014 opened in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday night to much fanfare.  Belize is among seventy-one nations participating in the multi-sport event.  With a delegation that spreads across [...]

Belizean Athletes Upbeat About Commonwealth Outing
Belizean cyclist, Gregory Lovell, and Flag Bearer, Katy Sealy, were selected from the delegation to dine with Queen Elizabeth the Second and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Commonwealth Games [...]

CitCo Hosts Summer Camp for Belize City Kids
Summertime is extra special for children and youths who are attending interesting summer camps. Over at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road, the City Council wrapped up two summer [...]

BCVI Formally Handed Keys to New Office Space
BCVI and the Lions have been in partnership for decades. Today, the official handing over of two projects that BCVI was able to secure through the local Belize Lions took [...]

Healthy Living: Medical Mission Works With Inspiration Center
Currently, the Friends of Pediatrics N.G.O. is hosting a highly anticipated medical mission for Belizean children. Over thirty families will be directly impacted by the work of two visiting medical [...]


Corozaleno Arrested For Aggravated Assault
A custom official on duty at the northern border got a brush with death after he was nearly dragged by a fleeing Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. The incident occurred around 11:15pm on Monday. Martin Lino, assistant security for the Customs Department at the Santa Elena Border, reported to police that he was at the Customs Check point carrying out his duties; when a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driven at the time by 21 year old Benigno Loria, a laborer of San Andres Village approached the checkpoint. According to Lino, he was doing his routine search inside the vehicle and upon finishing the interior of the vehicle, he then asked the driver to open the hood of the engine for him to check the engine area. But what happened next took Lino by surprise. Upon sighting the police, Loria reversed the vehicle and managed to drive away from the checkpoint and headed back across the Mexican Border.

Felix Brothers Free After Eight Years
Brothers Maurice, 30, and Emory Felix, 27, are free men tonight after spending approximately 8 years behind bars and facing 3 murder trials. Viewers may recall that the brothers were accused of killing mechanic Mitchum Heredia, 29, at his T-Street resident on April 10, 2006. Main witness Romel Palacio Jr., had testified that he witnessed the brothers approach Heredia, who was in his Nissan Maxima vehicle, with guns drawn. One of them spoke to him and then both fired shots to his head and continued to fire, resulting in multiple gunshot wounds. In October of 2007 a jury found them guilty but the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after finding a material misdirection of the jury by Justice Adolph Lucas. A second jury sitting before Justice Herbert Lord four years later was unable to reach a verdict. For this trial, the prosecutor Sheiniza Smith successfully applied for a change of venue, citing alleged jury tampering in the previous trials to Justice Gonzalez.

GOB Unfreezes Increments From 1995 to 1997
Today the government announced the authorization to the Accountant General to transfer the balance of 3.06 million dollars held in a Government Savings account to the trustees of the public sector workers trust including teachers whose annual increments were frozen during April 1st, 1995 to March 31st 1997. For context, in 1995, GOB had agreed to give the Public Service Union and the National Teachers Union some 749,732 shares in Belize Telecommunications (now Belize Telemedia Ltd) as compensation for the suspension of annual increments of public officers and teachers during the fiscal period aforementioned. These shares say the release, continued earning dividends which were kept in a separate Government savings account in trust for the affected public officers and teachers.

Cigarettes Smuggled From Belize Confiscated In Guatemala
A few weeks ago Guatemalan Authorities confiscated a cargo truck carrying more than fifty cartons of contraband cigarettes believed to have originated from Belize and this morning authorities hit the jackpot again. According to today’s edition of La Prensa Libre, the bust occurred in the Municipality of Poptun, Peten. A total of seven hundred and ninety thousand cigarettes, smuggled from Belize into Guatemala were confiscated. The driver of the vehicle 33 year old Guatemalan National Calos Humberto Rodriguez Gomez was detained by authorities and now faces criminal charges. The cigarettes have a value of three hundred and ninety five thousand Quetzals.

Stolen Bicycles Recovered By Corozal Police
Keen observation and quick response by police has landed two in police custody and led to the recovery of stolen items. Superintendent Andre Ramirez, Officer in Charge of the Corozal Police Formation told us more about the detention. Andrew Ramirez - Officer in Charge of the Corozal Police Formation “This afternoon the police officers posted at the San Narcisco Sub-station upon detaining these two individuals they decided to apprehend them and during the process they referred them to the Corozal police station for interview as the main man wanted for the Corozal CIB for questioning as a result Corporal Valladares who is the newly appointed supervisor for the CIB section here in Corozal did the interview and as a result the police were taken to the Xaibe village where approximately five bicycles were found in a yard, now we believe that these bikes excluding one that has been identified by one of the victim, the other four are stolen good and they are requesting, asking the member of the public who had bicycles stolen especially here in Corozal, if they can visit the Corozal station and look at it and see possibly for identification purposes, several of the stolen bikes based on the interview were taken in Concepcion village and San Victor villages, so the persons in these villages had bought bicycles in the past we are requesting that these bikes be turn over to the police for further investigation because if the investigation leads to these individuals then mostly we would be proceeding with criminal charges against them because it is a crime to be buying stolen goods.”

Two Belizean Students Awarded For Environmental Poster Competition
Two Belizean students were awarded prizes in the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Environmental Poster Competition. According to the Belize Tourism Board, the Belize’s Junior Division representative, Amber McKoy of Grace Primary School, placed second at the regional level. For her entry, Amber was awarded $1,500USD. As the second place school, Grace Primary also won $1,500USD. Belize’s representative in the Senior Division, Dengry Hernandez of Ladyville Technical High School, didn’t place but his quality submission was recognized with a consolation prize of $200USD.

Three Men Charged For Beating Of Pregnant Woman
This morning three of the six men detained by Corozal Police for their involvement in a Sunday night scuffle in the Village of Chunox in Corozal, were arraigned at the Corozal Magistrates court. Eighteen year old Rolanie Mendez, 22 year old Jose Gonzales and a 16 year old male minor all from the Village of Chunox were jointly charged for one count of harm against 20 year old Mariacel Tun. The trio was offered bail of $800.00 each and a surety of the same amount and are scheduled to reappear in court on the 24th of September 2014. For context, the incident played out on Sunday at around 10:00pm. According to Tun, who is said to be four months pregnant, she was at home when she heard a loud noise coming from outside her residence. As Tun, her mother and some friends stepped outside to see what was the matter, she noticed that four male person were beating her common law husband, 19 year old Jose Danilo Monzon, with what appeared to be a shotgun. Upon seeing that her common-law-husband was basically defenseless, Tun tried to assist him but at that instant was stopped by two of the men who grabbed her by the hand and threw her to the ground. As if that was not enough the men hit her several times. Tun defended herself by biting one of her attackers who punched her on the left eye.

Man Stabbed In San Pedro By Common-Law-Wife
28 year old Felix Eduardo Alamilla was fatally stabbed this morning on Ambergris Caye allegedly by his common-law-wife. Alamilla was a caretaker and a resident of Mosquito Coast on the island. Initial investigations revealed that at around 6:15 Alamilla was sleeping on a coach in the living room of a house located in the Boca Ceiga Area, south of San Pedro when he was allegedly stabbed with a knife by his common-law-wife 37 year old Mexican National Anabell Cumul. Alamilla, who we understand was the caretaker of the building, was stabbed on the head, chest area and leg. It is alleged that the deceased had an affair outside their relationship and did not come home for two days; police are citing this case as a crime of passion.