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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Cayes well represented at the Belize Sagicor Visionary Challenge
The Belize Sagicor Visionary Challenge National Competition was held on Wednesday, December 3rd and saw the participation of two groups from San Pedro and one from Caye Caulker. The challenge is aimed at stimulating secondary school students to develop solutions to problems faced in their community using the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) method. Held at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City, this year’s competition saw the participation of 32 projects from 28 high schools across the country. At the end of the competition team Bishop Martin High School from the Orange Walk District took the first place win for the second year in a row. Although neither of the islands’ teams placed, they certainly did a great job and the team from Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy was even awarded the “Most Creative and Innovative Project” award.

Fall Fashion Show by Foreva Fancy is a Frozen Fantasy
Fashionistas were out in full force on Saturday night to witness Foreva Fancy’s fabulous Once Upon a Time Forever Frozen fashion show. Foreva Fancy boutique specializes in ‘high street fashion’, offering unique looks for the fashion conscious of La Isla Bonita. Local models opened the fun show wearing fantastic costumes, embracing the popular winter wonderland theme. With that spectacular kick-off, it was time for some gorgeous looks – just in time for the Christmas and New Year’s parties coming up!

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade returns with brighter vessels
The parade started shortly after 6PM from Wayo’s Beachside Beernet. All ten boats lined up, shining brightly on the water as they started to make their way south along the designated route. Spectators enjoyed the view, taking in the fun details on the boats. There came a bull shark! There went a sea serpent! At the municipal dock, the boats made a 360 turn, allowing the judges to take a closer look before tallying their votes (although frankly, they were all winners!). The parade then made its way down to Caribbean Villas before returning for the grand finale at Central Park, it was time for family fun, with lots to eat, drink and even shop! Children had the chance to take their picture with Santa Claus at the Saga Humane Society booth, which was great fun. After all the excitement, it was time to announce the winners of the parade. Taking the first place prize was Blue Water Grill. Second place went to Isla Bonita Elementary, while The Phoenix Resort took third place. The San Pedro Lions Club was the proud recipient of the Minister’s Trophy and the San Pedro Red Cross took home the Mayor’s Trophy. Certificates of participation as well as great prizes were awarded to every single vessel.

Ambergris Today

Mexican Luxury Hotel Development Group Purchases Caye Chapel
The Government of Belize, through BELTRAIDE, announced in a press release yesterday, December 9, 2014, the completion of the sale of the island of Caye Chapel on Monday 8. Caye Chapel, an island in the Belize District and just a 35 minute boat ride from Ambergris Caye, consists of 265 acres, was purchased by a leading Mexican luxury hotel development group.

New Partnership Between Condor and Tropic Air
Thanks to the cooperation with Tropic Air, Belize is now accessible to passengers from Europe in a faster, more convenient manner. Up until now, the journey to Belize involved catching connecting flights via the USA. Due to immigration checks and less than ideal connecting options, a fast onward journey to Belize was often not possible with passengers having to put up with total journey times of more than 24 hours. The new connection via Cancun means that Condor passengers can now enjoy significantly improved comfort and convenience. As a result, the journey time from, for example, Frankfurt to Belize has been cut to around 16 hours.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

MISSING PERSON
36-year-old Kifani Timmons of 8693 Curl Thompson Street, Belize City reported that at 6:00 a.m. on December 9th her 15-year-old son Steven Vernon, left home en route to work on Cemetery Road and has not returned. He is about 5’4” in height, weighs about 110 pounds and has two tattoos on his feet with the names Kiandra and Sherie. He was last seen wearing a long black jeans pants, a red and white shirt and a pair of red and white tennis.

Three dead after violent attakc in Corozal
There are reports of a violent attack last night in Corozal Town which has left three people dead. Reports are that a man viciously chopped another during an attack which happened on College Road. According to reports received, a second man who came to the aid of the man being chopped, was himself viciously chopped. Both chopping victims reportedly succumbed to their injuries. The man believed to have chopped the others, was himself allegedly fatally wounded by a gunshot. More information on this incident will be posted as soon as they are confirmed by Corozal Police.

Next great Paranda album from Garifuna superstar Aurelio Martinez.
Stonetree Records is very proud to present the next great Paranda album from Garifuna superstar Aurelio Martinez. Aurelio will launch his new album, 'Lándini' in Belize with a special concert at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Friday December 12th. Aurelio returns to his Garifuna roots with Lándini - a swaying, bittersweet homage to his beloved home and people. In original songs crafted with his mother Maria, as well as traditional tunes, Aurelio mixes upbeat, Garifuna rhythms with heartfelt melodies and sparkling instrumentation, and carries forth the torch for Central America's indigenous Garifuna tradition. A narrow spit of land arcs into the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras, where a dark-watered river flows into the sea. There, in Plaplaya - a small village without electricity - Garifuna songwriter, singer, and guitarist Aurelio Martinez first learned music at his mother’s knee. At the end of the day, villagers would return in their boats to the river landing, setting aside work and gathering to hear paranda, the guitar-driven music of Garifuna troubadours who teased and taught, bemoaned and praised community life. Aurelio joined musical gatherings from a tender age, set atop a table by his uncles.

Belize Fishing Report: Nov 30, 2014 - Dec 5, 2014
Here we are, the first week of December! Thanks again to our returning El Pescador guests: Kathy and Bill, Bud and Ruth, Roy, Wade and Lawrence, and always our “honeymooners,” Matt and Kristen. It’s so wonderful to see you again. Our anglers were all good sports this week. They went out in the rain and found some fun on the flats. And when the sun came out, we had rainbows! We all worked on casting out on the dock and tied up some fun toads for tarpon. (Lately, tan toads are the ones getting the bite!). All the fish are here, we just need to keep pursuing and trying new ideas for getting that bite. This is fishing. It’s always nice to go out and have everything be perfect – the weather, our casts, corporative fish, but that’s not fishing. Those are good days fishing! Fishing – the act of angling, is all about going out and seeing what is going to happen. It’s the mystery that become memories filled with stories about the day, as well as the accomplishments. So keep practicing your casts, and be ready. The day will come when it all comes together. You just need to show up for the game.

Channel 7

Mayor Bradley Says BML Workers' Employment At City Hall Unsustainable
Mayor Darrell Bradley had a press powwow today – where the media got to ask him that burning question: will he run as Mayor in the next municipal election? It’s burning because of persistent and credible reports that he has packed up and left city hall. And the event that reportedly pushed him to do so was a meeting the Prime Minister held last week with two councilors where he put plans in motion to take over the operations of Belize Maintenance Limited, when their contract ends early next year. That includes, centrally, a commitment to take on all 170 of the BML workers at City Hall. It was a political decision made in the wake of the politically disastrous garbage protest in August – but a decision that the Mayor still cannot accept. Today, he repeated his renunciation of it – calling it a bad idea:… Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I think it is a bad idea for the city to grow it's staff by 35 percent. That's not withstanding the fact that something need to be done with the people. I understand the humanitarian aspect of it and I think we can deal with that in a different or a better way. I could see in the future, essentially what your going to have is a new BML because you will take on 170 people, you're going to realise as I have realised, and I'm not an idiot. I know how the city council works, so i've realised we have problems in terms of existing staff.

Chopping Incident Becomes Fatal In Corozal
Tonight, Corozal Town residents are reeling from a very gruesome display of violence on a very busy, well trafficked street last night. It involved 2 Corozal residents getting into a machete fight where one man was killed after being repeatedly chopped, and police had to shoot the other to subdue him. 29 year-old Mark Massam Jr. and 23 year-old Carlos Cassanova Jr., lived close to each other, but last night, they brawled on the street side as though they had been bitter enemies. It ended in murder and a police shooting, and now, two families are left to fix the damage that has been created by this incident. Our news team was in Corozal for most of the day, putting together the details and Daniel Ortiz has this report: The family of 23 year-old Carlos Cassanova Jr. and Mark Massam Jr. found themselves dragged into a simmering dispute today. That's the result of a violent incident between both men which ended with Massam being chopped to death, and Cassanova being shot multiple times by police.

It Starts; GOB & AA Argue Of BTL At CCJ
Today at the Caribbean Court of Justice Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad attorneys for the Ashcroft Alliance and Government commenced arguments in a raft of appeals and cross appeals meant to settle at this highest court, whether the nationalization of BTL and BEL were legal or not. Appearing for Dean Boyce and the BTL Employee’s Trust, Lord Peter Goldsmith opened arguments dramatically, declaring that his clients, from the Ashcroft Alliance, have been waiting five years to have their rights vindicated:… Lord Peter Goldsmith, PC, QC - Attorney for Dean Boyce, Employees' Trust "It is 5 years, 3 months and many days since there property have been was expropriated back in Belize; And they have been waiting despite already 2 decision from the court. One which held the acquisitions unlawful over 3 years ago. They've been waiting to come to this court for that period of time, hoping and expecting this group will finally be able to give them justice and help to restore the rule of law in Belize.”

How the Petrocaribe Shift Will Affect Belize
For the past few weeks, international financial news outlets have been reporting that Venezuela is in trouble because of the falling price of oil on the world market. For a country that is the third leading oil producer in the world – the five year low in oil prices means major losses in revenue for their main export, and it’s causing crippling conditions in the already cash strapped country. So, reports say that Venezuela is being forced to sell some of that Petrocaribe debt – in a process that’s called securitization. The new owners of the debt would be US investment banks such as Goldman Sachs. That has sent a chill through some of the Petrocaribe countries because owing an arch-capitalist American bank is not quite the same as owing a friendly country with socialist ideals. But, today, John Mencias who is the Deputy Chair for the Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited, the Belizean company that buys the Petrocaribe fuel from Venezuela told us that it hardly matters to Belize who holds the debt:…

Hon. Briceno Denies That Million Dollar Rumour
Last week, we told you about how a family dispute over the late Anthony Gillett ended up with his body being exhumed from his grave a month ago to settle an internal family dispute over his estate. Before his death, he was the driver for PUP Orange Walk Area Representative John Briceno. He connection to the former Government Minister and Former Leader of the PUP has become significant because the narrative of his exhumation has taken on a life of it’s own. It was supposed to have been done so that his family can get a DNA sample to determine the paternity of a child he claimed as his own before his death. Still, there has been strange but persistent rumours that the Briceno family has a vested interest in the settlement of this dispute about Gillett’s estate. The speculation is that Gillett somehow may have had control of certain accounts related to the Briceno family business. And, according to it amounts to as much as 7 million dollars.

The Persistence of Violence Against Women
Today a national forum was held to launch a Project which focuses on the Prevention of Violence against Women, Femicide and Human Trafficking in Central America. Although there have been improvements opportunities afforded to women, women are still subject to abuse and discrimination in all forms – from sexual harassment in the streets to lower paying jobs than men in the workplace. But where does change begin? In the kitchen? The classroom? Or the cabinet room – where, until recently, there wasn’t even a ladies bathroom! Those are the questions we asked the CEO of Human Development at the forum today. Judith Alpuche - CEO Human Development "Violence against women is perpetuated because there's a level of acceptance. A level of acceptance of domestic violence and people don't want to talk about sexual assault, people don't want to talk about rape. People don't want to talk about carnal knowledge when it happens in their community or when it happens in their family because of the shame etc. It continues on because they are cultural and social factors that are push factors to this phenomena. They way women are seen.

Mayor Bradley: BWC's and City Hall's Animosity
Belize Waste Control and Belize Maintenance Limited – those are the two private companies that (sort of) keep the city clean – and, someday when the full story is told, that two headed sanitation monster and their prohibitive weekly fees – may play the starring role in the story of the undoing of Darrell Bradley. You’ve already heard how hiring the BML workers is taking Mayor Bradley through a sort of dark night of the soul. Well, Waste Control is putting him through another set of trials. The company ahs been suing the council to collect their arrears- and at one point event threatened Mayor Bradley with a bench warrant for his arrest and imprisonment. And then on Friday the company sent court officers to take re-possess his mayoral pickup – to settle unpaid arrears. They never did because the arrears had been paid that afternoon – but today the mayor said that there is indeed abiding bad blood on both sides:..

Coast Guard Officers Report Each Other To Police
And while they took it to court….two weeks ago, a pair of coast guard officers took it out with fists, and reportedly a gun butt – and then ran to the cops. Now, it’s an arm of the military – and fights do happen – but this time, both officers went to make complaints against each other. That’s very unusual and today Commander Elton Bennett commented on what they are doing about the fisticuffs in uniform:.. Elton Bennett - Commander, Belize Coast Guard "There was an altercation between a junior officer and a senior officer on the coast guard compound. Both officers went to the police station to make a complaint against each other and the police are doing their investigations. As it relates to us internally, we're doing an investigation also. From one side it appears though the junior officer was out of line and was confronted by the senior officer, trying to arrest the situation and there was physical contact between the two."

BTL's "Dalla" Phone Promoting
Cellphones: Everybody wants one, and those who have one, always feel another one wouldn’t hurt. And when getting another one only costs a dollar – hey, why not? That’s what the mad rush was for this morning at BTL headquarters on St. Thomas Street. Only about 10 people were in line when we got there this evening but Retail Sales Department Representative Thalia Myvett says they expect another crowd tomorrow. Thalia Myvett - Retail Sales Department "Today is the first day of our dollar phone promotion. It's on going country wide so all residents in Belize city can come to this location to purchase the dollar phone. To get the phone is easy, all you need to pay is 1 dollar for the phone and 40 dollars in top up. This morning we started at 7, we had a crowd this morning, up to about 12 o clock, I could say we had up to a thousand people that has pass through our boots so far. I would like to encourage our customers to keep coming out, the supplies are very limited. We'll be here while supplies last.”

Red Cross & The Challenges of Community Service
The Red Cross does plenty for those in need, but they also need – specifically willing and dedicated volunteers. That presents a major challenge because fewer youth are engaged in community service and the working adults – well they just don’t seem to have time. David Sobers, the youth and development officer from Red Cross has returned from a Red Cross Global Volunteer forum in Bangkok, Thailand and he explained how these challenges are not unique to Belize. David Sobers- Youth and Development Officer, Red Cross "We focused on the major challenge of trying to retain volunteers. We realise over the years volunteers have left the national society around the world, so we wanted to find ways to come up with to retain volunteers and to retain good committed volunteers. One of the things we realise is the culture of volunteering has changed and persons don't have enough time. So we try to figure out what are some ways we can actually gauge the volunteers without having enough time and money.”

The 2015 Inspiration Calendar
Today the Special Envoy for Women and Children launched her 2015 agenda and calendar. Each month in the calendar is designed using drawings of 12 talented children living with disabilities. Proceeds from the sales of the agendas and the calendars will go directly towards the Inspiration Center – Kim Barrow explained: If you are interested in purchasing agendas, you can contact McNab Designs at 223-1025. Calendars are also for sale at the Special Envoy’s office at the Withfield Tower on Coney Drive for $10 dollars.

Help Age's Annual Christmas Party
The residents at the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly were treated to a Christmas celebration today. For most of these older people, it is a refreshing experience to socialize and interact with others as their family members rarely visit them at the center. Chairman of Help Age Evan Dakers told us how important these activities are to the social and emotional well being of residents at Sister Cecilia. There are 43 residents at the Sister Cecilia home. Apart from the residents many other older people from the community were invited. A total of 150 older people were at the party.

Customs' 7th Christmas Party for Disabled Children
The Customs Department held a Christmas Party part for 120 primary school students living with disabilities in the Corozal District today. It’s a tradition that the Ministry of Education and the Custom Department is developing, and this year’s party was the biggest yet. That’s because 37 of the 39 schools in Corozal responded favourably and were accommodated with transportation for an all-day party. 7News stopped in and got a chance to observe the children enjoying themselves. Here’s what the organizers told us about it: Customs and the Education Ministry thanks the businesses which helped to organize today’s party.

A Sea Cucumber Hustle?
We always hear loose allegations of low level corruption, but an unusual case came up today – it involves a cane farmer Pedro Guerra who is threatening to take out a lawsuit against a senior fisheries officer because he says that the officer made him costly promises which he couldn’t keep. The promise was that the fisheries officer could get him a permit to expert frozen sea cucumber. Great profits were promised and the fisheries officer did all this for a fee, or, more specifically, a bribe of thirty five thousand dollars which Guerra says he paid him in January of 2014. The deal was allegedly centered around this confiscated catch of sea cucumber which we told you about in February. That was for over three thousand pounds of the valuable seafood. Now usually this would be given away to a charity, but because no one in Belize really eats it – the Fisheries Department decided to sell the frozen sea cucumber to the highest bidder. That was Guerra who says he bid at a price which the senior fisheries officer told him to. That cost him another thirty thousand dollars - but he says he never got anything.

City Hall Renovates Buttonwood Primary's Facilities
Earlier on in the news, you saw our interviews with Mayor Darrell Bradley. Well we caught him at he reopening of the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School Library and Computer Lab. The school says it’s a special place which city hall and the central bank put together to spruce up and modernize.

Channel 5

OVER $20,000 WORTH OF PHONES STOLEN FROM CELLULAR WORLD in BELMOPAN
32-year-old Vishal Sabnani, Belizean businessman and owner of Cellular World, Belmopan Branch reported that between 5:00p.m. on 08.12.14 and 7:45a.m. on 09.12.14, his business place - Cellular World located in the Caladium Building, Belmopan was broken into and stolen were an assortment of phones totaling $20,833.00. Police investigations continue.

Chopping Incident in Corozal Leaves One Man Dead, Another Shot by Police
There was a brutal and bloody murder in Corozal Town on Tuesday night. It happened at around nine o’clock on College Road as residents of the area were getting ready [...]

Family Demands Justice in Murder of Mark Massam, Criminal Past Notwithstanding!
But Mark Massam Junior is no stranger to the law; he received a nine-year sentence back in 2005 for a string of robberies in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. [...]

Darrell Bradley’s Sanitation Woes
In mid-January 2015, a contract issued to Belize Maintenance Limited will expire, and one hundred and seventy workers from that company will be hired on by the Belize City Council. [...]

Will BML Employees Be Assimilated into CitCo Fold Come January 2105?
And that’s where the very real, very monumental problem arises. Bradley is the Mayor, and the boss of City Hall. He says he knows without a shadow of a doubt [...]

Will Mayor Bradley Run Again in 2015 Municipals?
So where does this go from here? The Mayor has put his foot down, and so has the Prime Minister. Who will win that cock-fight is a no-brainer, but the [...]

B.T.L. & B.E.L. Nationalizations Heard at CCJ
Hearings started today at the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad, which will determine the fate of B.T.L. and B.E.L., the two utility companies that were acquired from their owners [...]

Senior Fisheries Officer Fingered for Alleged Sea Cucumber Scam
Is there financial hanky-panky going on at the Belize Fisheries Department?  Senior fisheries officer Mauro Gongora is under fire for allegedly persuading a cane farmer from Corozal Town into paying [...]

All’s Well with City Hall’s Finances Despite Crowfooting of Mayor’s Vehicle
In December 2013 the Belize City Council owed Belize Waste Control over five hundred thousand dollars, and that was whittled down to fifty-nine thousand dollars. That’s the amount which resulted [...]

Is Waste Control Double-dipping with Lawsuits Against CitCo?
Last week News Five was also informed that another claim has been filed in Court against City Hall, in which BWC is claiming that it is owed over six hundred [...]

K.H.M.H. Audit Reveals More Irregularities
A special audit of the K.H.M.H. requested by the Board of Governors of that institution has revealed many irregularities in the purchase, procurement and payment of two X-ray units. Those [...]

Businessman Cecil Knowles in Court for Outstanding Income Tax Arrears
In the Magistrate’s court today, the case of the Commissioner of Income Tax versus businessman Cecil Knowles was heard. Knowles, a Belize City resident, owes the Income Tax Department seventeen [...]

Cellular World Hit by Thieves, $20,000 in Phones and Electronics Stolen
A well known Belmopan business was targeted by brazen thieves sometime after they closed for business on Tuesday evening. Thirty two year old Vishal Sabnani, businessman and owner of Cellular [...]

Accident Victim Kiran Moguel on Life Support at KHMH, Mother Faces Tough Decision
Tonight, a mother is faced with a decision which no parent should ever have to make. Esther Moguel will have to decide when to take her son, Kiran, off life [...]

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School Receives New Resource Center
Today, the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School proudly opened the doors of a new, fully equipped resource centre. This invaluable addition to the institution is the result of considerable lobbying [...]

Taiwan Foreign Minister on Working Visit to Belize
  A delegation led by Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin is scheduled for a working visit to Belize from the eleventh to the sixteenth of December.  The official [...]

2015 Inspiration Calendar Launched
The fifth edition of the Inspiration Calendar and agenda were launched earlier today; the calendar features the art work of special needs children who are clients of the Inspiration Center. [...]

Ministry of Human Development Introduces Project BA1
Today is international day of human rights.  Coinciding with activities being held was the launch of a SICA-led initiative to prevent violence against women in Central America.  This morning, at [...]

Bodybuilders Flaunt Medals from Regional Championship
On Monday, we reported that a delegation of Belizean bodybuilders won big at the Central American Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, a regional competition held in El Salvador.  The three athletes [...]

BBBFF President Comments on Victory
According to BBBFF President, Stanley Moody, Belize had been unable to place in previous competitions.  Despite the lack of funding, however, the trio has performed well.  Moody says that there [...]

2 Belize City Men Claim GSU Brutality
Two men claim they were badly beaten today at a house on Periwinkle Street in Lake Independence Area. The Gang Suppression unit was looking for drugs and firearm. They didn’t [...]

CTV3

Eight Year Old On Life Support, Family Contemplating To Pull The Plug
In last night’s newscast we told you about a tragic accident that left an eight year old boy in critical condition in a hospital in Chetumal City, Mexico. Tonight, the child is in Belize City at the KHMH but his prognosis is grim and doctors don’t think he will recover. The situation is an extremely unfortunate and sad one for the family as the child may very well be taken off life support tonight. A close family friend, Silvia Gillett told us over the phone what the situation is like for eight year old Kiran Moguel. Silvia Gillett – Close family Friend “The child Kiran Moguel was transferred from Clinica General from Chetumal last night over to the Belizean side to Corozal Hospital and the doctors upon reaching there decided to transfer him the KHMH because that hospital does not have a ventilator, immediately he was taken by ambulance to Belize City to KHMH and we been here since about 11:30 last night.

Man Chopped To Death In Corozal Another One Shot By Police
Tonight a neighborhood in Corozal Town is still reeling from a gruesome murder that occurred in the usually bustling but tranquil College Road. When the incident played out, many watched in horror as the perpetrator viciously attacked his victim. And while police are investigating the circumstances, they too are no closer to confirming what may have led the altercation to occur. We spoke to both sides of the families today but first; we’ll take you to the scene and share with you what information the authorities have been able to collect so far. Our Corozal Correspondent Victor Castillo has that report. Victor Castillo – Reporting Investigators are currently piecing the puzzle to a brutal attack that left one Corozal resident dead. 29 year old Mark Massam was viciously murdered a little after 9 Tuesday night. What onlookers witnessed last night was disturbingly real, a machete wielding madman inflicting as much as 30 chops to his victim. Peter Serano is the Deputy Commander at the Corozal Police Station.

Family Says, Massam Was Not In His Right Mind When He Committed The Murder
And while Corozal police are investigating the circumstance surrounding the death of Mark Massam and have detained Carlos Casanova for the murder, family members of the victim claim that their loved one was set up. Doris Massam – Sister of deceased. “According to Police he was a target because he came out from jail in January and he got shot already and nothing came out of it, he got chopped already and nothing come out of it so now he is dead and I think they are glad.” Reporter “Do you believe that, we know that he has had his troubles with police but do you believe that because of that police didn’t treat him as a citizen who deserve justice and who deserve the protection of the law?”

Petro Caribe Program To See Cut Back Due To Dipping Oil Prices
The Petrocaribe program is to be cut back following cuts into Venezuela’s domestic earnings. The program which was started in 2005 has seen millions of dollars into GOB reserves. World oil prices that continue to dip is forcing Venezuela to take drastic measures and will be selling the debt to investment banks at rather big discounts to keep cash flow. Under the program, the country is owed about twenty billion dollars. So with Venezuela being forced to securitize the 3.5 billion dollar a year Petrocaribe debt some countries will be affected but Belize has not yet been named. Nonetheless, changes under the program will happen, says Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “What I am concerned about is I don’t know if you have been told but PDVSA has indicated that they will no longer be able to supply us with Premium…I think starting either now but certainly by the end of the year.

UDP Spreads Christmas Cheers With Petro Caribe Funds
The government has issued the Christmas cheer funds a program under which this year its minsters are receiving well over one hundred thousand dollars and PUP representatives are receiving thirty-five thousand to issue within their constituencies. This Christmas Cheer is being funded by Petrocaribe funds which has funded numerous other programs under the government and which the opposition has criticized and even challenged in court. But the opposition is taking part in this program and the PUP Leader Francis Fonseca has publicly expressed his reasons for supporting the program calling it quote, “the most transparent, the most accountable,” end of quote, since no representative receives actual money. In an interview with the Prime Minister on Monday, he was asked to comment on the PUP leader’s support of the program. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize "Well, Amen." Reporter "But at the same time does this in your opinion weaken your case strategically or in any substantial way legally?"

Mother And Child Knocked Down In Chetumal, Quintana Roo
A traffic accident in Chetumal, Mexico lands a Belizean mother and her son in the hospital but doctors say the child is the more seriously hurt. Reports indicate that around four on Monday afternoon, Esther Moguel and her eight year old son Kiran Moguel were along with two others heading back to Belize after doing some shopping in Chetumal, Mexico. Both were traveling in the back of a pickup truck driven at the time by one Zacarias Copo. At an intersection on Avenida Heroes, a little past the Mew Market a vehicle crashed into the pan of the pick-up truck. The hit sent the pick-up truck spinning and in the process flinging both Moguel and her son out onto the asphalt. Esther Moguel sustained a broken hand and a cut to her forehead. Eight year old Kiran was not so fortunate however and sustained serious head injuries.

OWTC Learn More About New Regulations
Today, approximately 84 workers employed at the Orange Walk Town Council were engaged in a discussion that featured a new legislature and regulation that will govern the working aspects of all employees, no matter what rank in the Town Councils. Town Administrator Alberto Guerro who elaborated on the legislature says the new regulation will become law in the coming weeks. Alberto Guerra – TOWN ADMINSTRATOR “The document is very lengthy, it has a lot of benefits and one of the main ones that I must say is that it is looking to depoliticizes town councils and not just Orange Walk but all nine municipalities, town councils has largely been viewed as highly political from the hiring to the way they operate, this piece of legislation is looking in removing the politics from the town councils leaving the politics to the Mayors and Councilors and having the management and administrators and managers to manage and govern the staff and it also looks to give the employees tenure, meaning not because elections come and parties change that employees have to change, employees will now remain it is to give them tenure which is very good to employees.”

Catholic Schools Share The Joy Of Christmas
Students from sixteen schools convened at the Crystal Palace Auditorium this morning to share in the Christmas joy in what has become an annual event. We are talking about the Christmas Variety Show organized and held by the Catholic Principals Association. This is the third year that the event is being held and it sees the participation of sixteen catholic institutions. The event features different presentations from these schools which prepare weeks ahead. These presentations are performed by students of different standards depending on what the school decides to present for the occasion. The presentations include dances, singing and even drama. It is a great opportunity for participating students to meet new friends in a fun filled environment. Organizers say that the variety show is held to celebrate the occasion and also serves as a fund raiser for the association. Here is a look at some of the presentations. Enjoy.

Rigo Vellos Completes Central American Body Building
Tonight the spot light once more shines on Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos as he competed at the Central American Body Building Championship this past weekend in El Salvador. Vellos went up against body builders from across Central America and placed second place in the Light Heavy Weight 80 to 85 KG Competition. Competing along with Vellos were two other Belizean Body Builders well known to the Body Building Competitions in Belize, Clayton Greenidge who came in 3rd place in the Light Heavy Weight (80 to 85 KG) Competition and 2nd place in the Masters Competition. Oyinkro Akpobodor, better known as the African, won 1st place in the Under 23 Category and 2nd place in the Heavy Weight (over 85 KG) Competition.

Thieves Target La Inmaculada School
Some twenty-five infant two students were displaced this morning at La Inmaculada School, Infant Division as their classroom had been broken into. Well before classes begun this morning, police were called to the school to investigate the break in which according to school officials took place sometime between six and eight this morning. Two louvers were pried open and it is here that the perpetrator gained access to the classroom. While the classroom was basically untouched, the thief helped himself to over one hundred dollars that the class teacher had collected and was intended to finance the children’s end of term class party this Friday.

O/W Police Remove More Drugs Off The Streets
The police are tonight reporting another successful operation which yielded in the confiscation of drugs from off the streets. Around 5:50 p.m. on Monday, while police were conducting an operation on the Phillip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village, they intercepted a Joshua’s Bus with license plates -OW-D-4525 travelling from Corozal to Orange Walk. Police then conducted a search in a knapsack belonging to 35-year-old Tyron Alexander Williams, Belizean watchman of Lord’s Bank Village who was a passenger on the bus. The search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing one parcel wrapped in transparent plastic containing a total of 680.4 grams of suspected cannabis. Williams has since been detained pending charges.

Students Of BMHS Honor San Juan Diego
Students at Bishop Martin High School stepped out of class today to pay honor to San Juan Diego. For the third time a handful of students took part in a torch run and the rest of the student body held a procession this morning as part of the celebrations. Here is a look at that event. Dalila Ical – Reporting In keeping with tradition, students ran from the northern border to Orange Walk Town this morning where they were met by the rest of the school population. It is a celebratory occasion says High School Principal Luis Pook. Luis Pook - High School Principal “San Juan Diego as you know is the Patron Saint of Bishop Martin High School, he is a Mexican Saint and we embrace the activities that we do here today in honor of our Patron Saint.”

2015 May Bring New Electricity Rate
On Monday the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission in which the Company requested an amendment to electricity rates to reflect the savings it has realized in the cost of power it purchases from Independent Power Producers (IPP). This proposed amendment is aimed at passing on these savings to customers. If approved by the PUC, the amendment is expected to result in a 3.4% reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) from 43.47 cents per KWh to 42 cents per kWh for the period January 2015 to June 2015. The savings achieved are primarily due to lower than expected cost of power from Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) during the current tariff period, which has made it possible for the Company to provide electricity to customers at a reduced rate.