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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

3 more teams need to qualify for Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup upcoming finals
The tenth and final week of the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup is here, and only three spots are left for the playoffs. Five teams have already qualified, and they are: Catrachos, Progresso Boys, Peace Makers, Ambergris Divers and Belize Pro Team. More qualifiers will be taking place on March 18-20th, and fans are invited to come to the Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex to cheer on their favorite teams. Perhaps your favorite will take one of the three coveted spots!

San Pedro Tiger Sharks fight to stay on top
Now in the eighth week of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are facing some major challenges. In the most recent round of games, the Tiger Sharks experienced yet another loss against the Smart Belize Hurricanes, dropping to fifth place on the tournament ladder. The current leaders of the tournament are the Smart Belize Hurricanes who have won nine out 10 played matches. But hopes are still high that the Tiger Sharks will make a comeback and claim the third consecutive NEBL Championship. Facing off on Friday, were the Smart Belize Hurricanes and the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Two time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, traveled to Belize Elementary School gym to try and avenge their first loss in the season against Smart Belize Hurricanes. The home team took a 25 – 15 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Hurricanes kept the lead, as they finished the first half with a 37 – 28 advantage. At the end of the third quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was able to cut the lead to 51 – 48, and a 1-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, Smart Belize was able to pull away in the end, winning 78 – 69, to increase their first place seeding, by two games. The top scorer for San Pedro Tiger Sharks was Caleb Sutton with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Gene Myvett tallied 12 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, while Andrew Ortiz finished the game with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Smart Belize Hurricanes out-rebounded the visiting team, 52 – 43, while having the 20 – 17 advantage on second chance points.

Five-Year plan set in place to make San Pedro Town a Child Friendly Municipality
Children are raising the bar as they take on a big role in voicing their concerns and expressing their ideas towards improving the standards of life in San Pedro. Within the next five years, major changes are set to take place as our leaders of tomorrow contribute to structuring an effective plan. According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), San Pedro is one of four municipalities in Belize that has not been certified as a “Child Friendly Municipality”. That changed on Friday, March 11th when the Ministry of Local Government, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Belize’s Mayor Association held an assembly at The San Pedro Town Council’s conference room implementing the “Sustainable Child Friendly Municipalities” Initiative (SCFM). The San Pedro Child Friendly Municipal Developmental Plan is directed in several areas: environment, pollution, educational development and transportation. Presenting the plan was Keisha Rodriguez, an urban planner contracted by UNICEF, who has previously worked with seven other municipalities. Rodriguez organized a presentation with key points and strategies that will guide San Pedro through the years of 2016 to 2021. According to Rodriguez, children make up 50% of the population in San Pedro. School enrollment numbers are decreasing, and education data shows significantly less children enrolled in high school. Schools are at their capacity, having only six primary schools and one high school on the island. Rodriguez introduced concepts that took into consideration children’s top observations: opening other schools, the availability of healthy foods in school, bullying in school, drug use in high school and making education more affordable.

SPHS Softball male team dominates Northern Regionals
After the first round of games played on Friday, March 4th and following the postponing of the remaining games due to the inclement weather, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) softball male team finally captured the title of regional champion at the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals. The second round of the competition was held on Sunday, March 13th, at the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex on Ambergris Caye. Both male and female teams from SPHS joined the teams of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM), Orange Walk technical High School (OWTHS), Corozal Community College, and Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA). They all competed for the opportunity to represent the Northern Regionals at the anticipated NSSSA National Softball Championship. During the female championship game, SPHS took a good lead against ESTM who gave the impression that they were no match for the home girls. However, this might have been their psychological strategy, as near the end of the last innings they made a resounding comeback, claiming the victory with a final score of 23-13. The SPHS girls ultimately lost their chance to be in the National Tournament, but they sure put forth a strong effort.SPHS NSSSA Softball Northern Regional Champions-14

“Celebrating Women” Karen Brodie captures San Pedro women’s stories
On March 8th, women across all nations celebrated “International Women’s Day”, which is universally recognized for contributing to the cultural, social, political, and economical achievements of females. Not only is the 8th specially dedicated to our women, but the entire month is observed as “Women’s Month”. The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) and National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) promoted female empowerment in recognition of “Women’s Month”, by exhibiting a photo collection entitled “Celebrating Women” arranged by Canadian professional photographer, Karen Brodie. The initial launch was on Thursday, March 10th and will continue running until the end of this month.

Ambergris Today

Check out Super Buy Supermarket's new vehicle
Giving new meaning to the words 'Pimp Your Cart!' San Pedro loves the 'bling, bling'.

Vocational School Launches Facebook Page and Essay & Poster Competitions
The European Union, through the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Chamberlain Consulting Limited, is pleased to inform the public of the launch of its Facebook Page Votech Belize and on-going poster and essay competitions open to students throughout the country. The Votech Belize Facebook page has been launched in an effort to keep the public updated on the many successes of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions and high schools. The page is managed by key players within the Ministry of Education and helps to showcase the positive factors of each of our vocational schools through thumbnails, updates, newsletters, etc. Like the page on Facebook and come to see all the wonderful things the vocational schools have to offer.

Why Would Belize Name an Island a After Hip Hop Artist?
It made news all over the internet, social media and in the music industry, Belize (the Belize Tourism Board) nicknamed its Snake Caye island “Mayor Caye” after DJ Khaled a Miami-based producer, radio personality, DJ and record label executive. Well, the Tourism Board said it was inspired by Khaled’s “love for the ocean” and “constant positivity,” and they nicknamed the island and invited him to come visit. The BTB chose to make the announcement via Belize’s Twitter account. The Miami New Times said, “His appetite for success is insatiable, and his people skills are impeccable. So when we learned that the country of Belize names an island in Khaled’s honor, we can’t say that we were shocked...Ok, maybe a little. But you can’t rule anything out when it comes to DJ Khaled.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces First Call and Reveals Details to Harvest Caye, Belize
The President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced on March 16, 2016, that the first call to Harvest Caye will be on November 15, 2016, and the caye will have calls four (4) times for the week. The announcement was made during a presentation at Seatrade Cruise Global – the world’s largest cruise industry event. Both the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr, and the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, were present for the announcement. President and Chief Operating Officer for NCL, Mr. Andy Stuart, stated, “Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways. There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven acre beach and watersports, to interactive wildlife programs. Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Lion's Club Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny!
Saturday, March 26th, 9am-noon, San Pedro Lion's Den Pancakes with fun toppings! Sausage, juice and fruit! Kid games, craft activities face painting and more!

BTEC Completes its 5- Star Tourism Trainings in Independence Village
On Tuesday,March 15th 2016 , The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service ( Beltraide), held the Certificate Ceremony for its 5- Star Wait Staff, Front Desk and Bartender Trainings at the Independence High School in Independence Village. This intense three- week training programme covered professionalism, ethics, an over view of Belize’s tourism industry; customer service and telephone etiquette as well as a technical component which fine-tuned the trainee’s industry-specific skills.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Anomalisa, Point Break, Snowtime!, Mockingjay part2.

" The Fair " on Caye Caulker will be opening Friday,March 18
From 11am-8pm ( across from Rainbow Hotel ... on the beach ) We will start with partial menu and will be serving the following menu items: Tornado Potato - 8 flavors, Deep Fried Chocolate Bars, Deep Fried Oreo Cookies, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Corn Dogs.

Chaa Creek Named as Top Venue For Corporate Retreats
The Lodge at Chaa Creek has long been known as Belize’s premier vacation haven for families, couples, groups and individuals. However, in naming the eco-resort as one of the world’s top five corporate retreats, a recent travel feature highlighted a lesser-known facet of the popular eco-resort, according to Chaa Creek. A March 10 2016 Travel Fantastic feature, “5 Mind-Blowing Corporate retreats” listed Chaa Creek’s Macal River Camp as one of the world’s top five “resorts that offer truly awesome settings for company getaways”. Chaa Creek was also the only resort not located in the United Sates; something that Ms Fleming said reflects on the high level of quality and service as well as Belize’s close proximity to North America. “We were delighted to be included among such distinguished corporate retreats, and took particular satisfaction in seeing that Chaa Creek was the only one not located within the United States. That’s something we attribute to the quality of our offerings as well as the fact that we’re so close to the US.

Easter Celebrations
All roads lead to Sarteneja this Easter Holiday. The traditional boat regatta is a MUST SEE. St. Francis Xavier Credit Union will have their canoe raffle on Sunday March 27th during the events. You can still buy your tickets at any of their branches.

CONGRATULATIONS to Belize's own Clayton "C-Wills" Williams on the numerous WINS at this year's Garifuna Music Awards in New York!
Clayton continues to make Belize proud with his beautiful music, a testament to the Garifuna culture and legendary musicians before him. WINS: 1. "Song Of The Year" - "Garifuna Nuguya" 2. "Producer Of The Year" 3. "New Artist" 4. "Best Musical Video" 5. "Album Of The Year" Keep up the GREAT WORK Clayton, from your friends at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB)

List of Religious Processions
7:00am Sunday March 20th Palm Procession RC school to RC Church. 9:00pm Thursday March 24th RC Church to Pescador Drive back to Church. 4:30pm Friday March 25th Procession around town from RC Church. 7:00am Sunday March 27th "El Encuentro" Barrier Reef Drive. We request the co operation of the driving public and ask they avoid driving in these areas during these times and use the car park. Holy Friday March 25th. Barrier Reef Drive Closed to all vehicles and PARKING from Midday , Pescador Drive closed to all vehicles and PARKING 5:00pm - 7;00pm. Any vehicles parked or trying to use these streets during these times will be ticketed, this includes bicycles.

Channel 7

Belize And Guatemala Back To Talking ICJ
How far will Belize go to preserve peace in the Sarstoon? That's what everyone wanted to know today when Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, flanked by opposition representative Assad Shoman briefed the press. Shoman and Elrington met on Tuesday in Washington DC with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales in a meeting mediated by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. It was an emergency meeting to discuss the confrontation between the Guatemalan military and the BDF, which happened last weekend at Belize's Forward Operating Base on the Sarstoon River. Elrington opened today by saying that there were actually three meetings: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "We had 3 meetings essentially in Washington; we had the meeting with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States and then we had a meeting with the group of friends, the people who help to finance the OAS office and then we had a meeting with the United States State Department. We like to think that the meetings went quite well. We appeared as national team. The team consisted of myself, Ambassador Shoman, Alexis Rosado, Pat Andrews, our ambassador in Washington and that comprised the team."

What About The BDF Report?
But, for the past two days, we've been showing you an internal threat assessment report from the BDF, which was done in October of last year to catalogue Guatemala's incremental aggression in the Sarstoon River. The report details each aggressive encounter the BDF has had with the Guatemalan Military going back to 2003. In their expert opinion, the BDF concluded that these encounters are calculated almost to force an armed conflict between both sides. It's a very different narrative from the one the government has been pushing - where the armed encounters are explained as exceptional events - but the BDF narrative shows that it is almost a program of provocation. Today we asked Elrington about that disparity: Daniel Ortiz: "The calculation of the BDF is that they've always been aggressive and that these aggressions seem to be to force an armed conflict between the Belize side and the Guatemalan side. In light of this, have both governments been downplaying the seriousness of that situation?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "I can honestly say to you that you have better strings with the BDF than I do. I've never seen that report."

Basketball and Bullets
Last night just as the news was winding down, we heard police and ambulance sirens scream past our Albert Street studio. They were racing to Cemetery Lane on the Yabra basketball court where a 31 year old had been shot multiple times. Godfrey Hemsley had his guard down, as he rested between games on a court he knew very well - when a shooter crept up on him. Just minutes before, Godfrey Hemsley was dribbling this ball on the court. He had challenged a few friends to a round of 5 games - he lost only one. But those are only 5 games out of the many Hemsley has played every evening on this court - right behind his house. Last night was no different. He went home after work, changed off and went to shoot some hoops. But after those games were over, he rested on the bleachers - getting ready to play a couple more. But that is when a gunman crept up behind him and shot him several times. The ambulance dashed over to the KHMH to try and save him. But shortly after his family got the news.

The Suspect Is 15?
Although police didn't catch those shooters in 2005, they have charged a 15 year old boy for Hemsley's murder. They also found 2 guns in the Yabra area - one is believed to be the gun used to kill Hemsley. Today Senior Superintendent Chester Williams gave us an update on this case. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Information we had obtained so far is that Mr. Hemsley was socializing on the basketball court along with some other friends when two gun toddlers came by and opened fire with a handgun which resulted to the injuries and subsequently to his demise. Subsequent to that police have conducted an operation in the Yabra area this morning and that operation also resulted in the recovery of two firearms one of which we believe is a weapon of choice in committing the murder last night." "From what we have seen, it could be gang related and it does not mean that Godfrey was out there involved in gang activity. We know that he have a past and like many others he was trying to put his past behind him. He was working, trying to make a living for himself. So by any account, I believe that he was chance out of his life."

Boy Charged for Murder
Another 15 year old boy has been charged with Mario Trotman's murder. As we told you on Tuesday, police found 18 year old Mario Trotman's body in the Jane Usher Area. Police believe that a friend lured him to that area and shot him to the head. Well police told us that they caught the 15 year old shooter and that he has been charged, but police are still searching for more answers to close this case. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "The only person they have charged is the 15 year old who actually lead us to the body. We have not charged anybody else in relation to that matter, but the investigation is still ongoing. Should we later gathered additional evidence that could put other person on the scene or have other persons as suspect having committed the act itself, then we will proceed with those information. But until now, we only have against that one person who took us to the location where the body was found."

With Boy Killers On The Loose, Police Set Up Curfew
Now there is one common factor in the murders over these past few days: the shooters are all minors, boys, actually, and police say they must do something about it. Today Williams told us about a new police program that should take these kids off the street and keep them there. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "As of tonight we will be going after children who are on the streets after 9 at night. Any child found on the street after 9pm at night without a parent or guardian with him/her, that child will be brought to the police station and be detained and the parent will have to come for the child in the morning. We will be getting the social services involved and we will see what we can do to begin to deal with some of the parents who for some reason or the other want to have the street raising their children for them. You will see that the last two murders for which we have made arrest, the one with then guy who we found in the creek behind Jane Usher Boulevard are, the suspect is a 15 year old. The murder we had last night, the suspect again is 15 year old. We are seeing that the age group of person who are creating this problem for us are these toddlers. I will not call them gunmen or gunboy. They are too young, they are toddlers. When we call them gunman, we make them feel like they are bigger than who they are. So I refer to them as gun toddlers and it is time that we begin to focus on these young people and see what we can do to help them by removing them off the street, but at the same time, holding the parents responsible for the action of their children."

Soldier Freed After Being Accused Of Stealing From BDF
In 2015 the name of Jamel Webster, a BDF private, was dragged through the mud when he was accused by his own of breaking into the BDF Special Assignment's Group's office, at Price Barracks in Ladyville, and stealing a 9 mm pistol. Today he appeared before the courts for his scheduled trial date but at the start of the session, Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith withdrew the case against him. The incident occurred on April 30th 2015 and the stolen weapon, which was the property of the BDF, was valued at approximately $2,000 dollars. We understand that investigators could not gather sufficient evidence in time to lead a successful prosecution, so the charges were dropped. If at any point police do gather enough evidence Webster could be rearrested and charged again for the same burglary, but for the time being Jamel Webster is a free man.

Did Cyclist Byron Pope Dope?
Byron Pope is one of the premier names in cycling and a perennial cross-country contender. But the news tonight is that he has been flagged for a banned substance based on a blood test taken after the 2016 KREM Classic - where he placed third. In short, Byron Pope has been accused of doping. If you follow cycling any at all, you're probably stunned to hear the news - and that's mainly because Pope has earned a reputation for a hard work, rigorous training, and consistent performances. But, this year he won't be taking all that into the cross country - and that's because he's been suspended for use of a banned substance, pending a full review of his results. This morning he came to our studio backed up by his Benny's Megabytes team management to tell us how it came to this:... Byron Pope, Banned From Riding Cross Country: "Further testing have revealed that they have found a steroid or a precursor to a steroid which is something like a family to a steroid in my system and ever since I got that news I was devastated, because I'm not the kind of rider who would go and use banned substance, and just to be on point Jules, the banned substance, I Byron Pope into he last 4 to 5 years I have been tested in Krem Classic at least 4 times I WON THAT RACE BEFORE. I came second in that race and I came third and each and every time I have tested I have never ever have to reach this point."

Major Accident Launches Couple Through Top of Jeep
There was a very major accident between miles 11 and 12 on the Western Highway this afternoon - but fortunately no one was killed. Two persons, husband and wife, Aldo and Nicole were very seriously injured when they were flung out the top of their SUV unto the shoulder of the road - where an ambulance driver who also got caught in the traffic pileup used his stretcher to get them to safety. Tonight the couple is in the Belize Medical Associates - with Aldo Chavarria in a critical condition. Here's what happened: this afternoon at 2:00, 34 year old Chavarria was driving a Jeep SUV to Belmopan when he clipped the side of an oncoming dump truck. That sent him barreling into the guardrail alongside the canal. The massive impact launched he and his wife out the top of the Jeep and into the canal. They were hurriedly pulled out of the water still alive and are tonight in Belize Medical Associates. He was bleeding profusely with severe head injuries.

Woman Knocked Down In City
A woman was knocked down on Central American Boulevard today. This morning before 10, she was riding her bicycle when a black truck tried to overtake her as she passed a vehicle parked on the side. A witness told us off camera what happened. Voice of Witness: "I didn't see anything really, I just heard. I came out and saw the vehicle speeding off behind her and just stopped. When I heard 'bam' after it stopped, I came by the door and heard someone was on the street. I just stayed inside and I couldn't see anything, but I just called 911. That's all. well it's evident if you're a driver and you see a vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road, you do an observation which is a distraction so you're to wait until the driver, rider or pedestrian proceeds and passes through whatever obstruction is there in the midst of the road before you pursue your journey."

Maya Mopan Marijuana
Cops from the Intermediate Southern Formation destroyed a marijuana plantation in the Maya Mopan Nature Reserve on Tuesday. Acting on intelligence, the officers went to a farm 12 miles west of the Maya Mopan Village in the Stann Creek District. There, they found 20 marijuana plants ranging from 1 to 3 feet tall. The plants were uprooted and destroyed. There was no arrest because no one was in the area at the time. AND, Earlier this week, a Coast Guard team, which was patrolling Halfmoon Caye, came upon this plastic bag which contained 12 pounds of marijuana. It was brought in to the Coast Guard Headquarters, and it will be handed over to police. Another team, operating in northern part of the country's territorial seas, came upon this bag containing 15 pounds of marijuana. It was brought in to Coast Guard Headquarters, and these drugs will also be handed over to police.

Black is the Color, Love Is The Message
BLACK: Be Loving And Cease Killing, that was the message that was hoisted on flags and banners as 300 police officers and residents marched the city streets in the second annual BLACK parade. The movement was launched in 2015, with the idea of reaching out to the community with a positive message. The event was a precursor to the yearlong of activities in community policing, which the organizers say, will continue on in 2016. The march kicked off this morning at around 8 and we were there. Emanuel Pech Reports. It was difficult to count heads, but we'd estimate the number to be somewhere between 3 to 4 hundred people. Police Officers, were joined today by residents, students, and members of the city council - including the Mayor, for the second annual BLACK parade. The atmosphere was quite celebratory. And why not? The year has seen a significant decrease in the rate of City homicides since the last couple of years.

Infection App Launched
Keeping up with its mandate and with technology, the National Aids commission today launched its very own app. It's called "Infection" - and while the name may seem un-appetizing - it's a fun, interactive and information-filled game that you can download for free on any android device. The project has been over two years in the making and it started out as an app competition which a programming club from Escuela Mexico won. Since then, they have been in non stop consultation with the National Aids commission in finishing the proposed app- the product of which was seen today at the launch of "Infection." To download the free app, you can simply go to your google play store, search for "Infection Belize," click download and play on.

International Group Of Friends Wants To Know When Bze-Guat Dispute Going To ICJ
At the top of the news, we showed you the press conference with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, which finished around 6:00. He was discussing the meetings that the Belize Delegation had with The OAS and Guatemala, the Group of Friendly Nations, and the US State Department. You heard him say that it costs several million dollars to keep the Adjacency Zone office open. The Group of Friends are concerned that so much money, which are taxpayers' dollars from their countries, have been invested for 8 years now, and still, no ICJ resolution has happened. Well, Elrington went on to explain that he and the Guatemalan Foreign Minister have started a campaign to raise those funds. He said that it started just last night when the outgoing Taiwanese President was in Belize: "One of our major donors to the OAS would have been China, but we can't approach them because we are not diplomatically tied to them. So both the foreign minister of Guatemala and myself agreed that we would approach the government of Taiwan. I can say to the nation that in fact last night we delivered a note of request to the foreign minister of Taiwan who happily was in our country. In a private discussion which I had with him..."

The Y Is For Women
The YWCA celebrated its 60th anniversary today. Throughout all those years, the organization's main focus has been on women's empowerment. So we asked the president how their various programs and initiatives have improved the lives of Belizean women. The YWCA has launched another program entitled CASA - Creating a Safe Place Agenda. That project will focus on tutoring kids and training women in business skills among others.

Slight Citrus Relief, Still No Bridge Financing
Citrus farmers will get a little bit of a reprieve from very hard times tomorrow when CPBL comes up with money to pay them last week's cheque. But, it's just an interim relief because the Citrus Growers Association reports that the Heritage Bank loan still has not been approved - so that critical bridge financing is still being held up. So payment for this week will be deferred until funds become available.

A Festival Of Promise
And that's 7news this evening. We leave you tonight with highlites from the preschoolers festival of the arts. This is Saturday night's show from the Bliss Center where Belize Rural schools were featured.

Channel 5

A Brazen Murder at the Yarborough Green
A late evening press conference convened by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, upon his return from a meeting at the O.A.S. in Washington, has just concluded.  The brief was [...]

A 14-year-old is Arraigned for Murder of Mario Trotman
While police have two minors, ages fifteen and sixteen, in custody for the murder of Hemsley, a fourteen-year-old boy has been charged for Tuesday’s murder of Mario Trotman. This morning, [...]

9 O’clock Curfew to be Imposed on All Belize City Minors
Three minors have been detained as the gunmen in two of the recent homicides in the city; it’s a reality that is frightening because it is believed that minors are [...]

Be Loving And Cease Killing: A BLACK March Against Crime & Violence
Hundreds of Belize City residents participated in a BLACK March this morning. The procession is the second of its kind and seeks to create awareness on the effects of crime [...]

President Ma Bids Adieu to the Jewel
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou departed Belize around eleven o’clock this morning, following an overnight visit during which he met with various government officials, including heads of state from St. Kitts, [...]

Foreign Minister Holds Conference Following Meeting with Guatemala in Washington
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington is back in the country, following high-level meetings at the O.A.S. headquarters in Washington D.C. He was accompanied by Ambassadors Assad Shoman, Alexis Rosado [...]

Is BTV to Blame for Heightened Tension in Sarstoon?
The conference held by Foreign Minister Elrington was delayed because the Belizean delegation spent much of the afternoon briefing Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader John Briceńo. But we [...]

A Peaceful Solution for Age-old Territorial Dispute, is It Possible?
A government release issued on Sunday, after a military to military incident in the Sarstoon on Saturday made reference to tensions being at an all time high, and spoke of [...]

Assad Shoman Weighs in on BTV and Sarstoon Debacle
Ambassador Assad Shoman is a member of the current negotiating team, and negotiating teams of the past. In fact, he is perhaps the most experienced member on that team. He [...]

COLA Says Government is Finally Seeing the Light in Sarstoon Dispute
Across the country, much has been said in the wake of the most recent bout between Belize and Guatemala over access to the Sarstoon River.  Since the standoff at the [...]

A Ban on All Guatemalan Imports?
In the aftermath of last Saturday’s armed confrontation, the Belize Territorial Volunteers have come under heavy criticism for unsolicited visits to the Sarstoon area.  It is strongly believed that the [...]

Citrus Woes, Fruit Payments Trickling In Late
For the past several weeks we have been reporting on a looming cash flow crisis within the citrus industry.  Growers have not been receiving fruit payments from Citrus Products of [...]

HIV/AIDS Awareness Sees Launch of Mobile App
A mobile application to test your knowledge of HIV/AIDS was launched by the National AIDS Commission earlier today.  The product of two years of careful research, development and meticulous fine [...]

Infection – Get it Now on Google Play!
According to Chairperson Laura Longsworth, the rationale behind the development of the software was to come up with an interactive approach to sharing critical information about the virus with a [...]

Healthy Living: Belize Family Life Association’s Chit Chat
Chit Chat – a program executed by Belize Family Life Association since 2013. It connects curious youths with accurate and age-appropriate sexual reproductive health information using technology. In tonight’s episode [...]


Guatemala Releases Info On OAS Meeting
This morning the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales issued a release concerning the meeting in Washington with the Group of donor countries from the Peace fund which is responsible for the office of the OAS. In the release Minister Morales commended the efforts made by Foreign ministers of both countries to advance the solution of the territorial dispute and Maritime laws by strengthening trust and good neighborliness between the two countries. The release continued by stating that that a deadline has not been determined to carry out the referendum in which the people of both countries shall allow their respective governments to take the case to the International Court of Justice and that such discussion should be carried out at the most opportune moment for each country, to guarantee successful approval in both populations.

Two Parcels Of Weed Confiscated By Corozal Police
A routine checkpoint carried out by Corozal Police between miles 67 and 68 on the Philip Goldson Highway, resulted in the confiscation of two suspected parcels of cannabis and the arrest of one person.According to authorities, while on the checkpoint near the Village of Buena Vista in Corozal, they stopped a white Ford Escort car bearing Corozal Licence plates. At the checkpoint the driver was asked for his license which he immediately produced. But in sight that he was acting suspiciously he was asked to pull to the side of the road for a search to be conducted for drugs and firearms.In the vehicle police found two tightly wrapped parcels and a small transparent plastic bag containing suspected marijuana hidden in the glove compartment weighing 1,070 grams. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 45 year old Anthony Daniels of a Hall’s Layout address in Corozal, was escorted to the Corozal Police Station where a further search was conducted on the vehicle. Nothing else incriminating was found.

Who Will Win UDP Convention For First Deputy Leader?
Sticking to the subject of Gaspar Vega, his announcement leaves an immediate empty seat in the party, that of First Deputy Leader. The United Democratic Party has indicated that following the convention on Sunday, the UDP’s National Party Council will meet to decide on the procedure and timing for a special election to choose the new first deputy leader to succeed Hon. Vega. To date three persons have indicated that they are aspiring for the position, Patrick Faber, John Saldivar and Erwin Contreras. Today Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt was asked who of the three is best fit for the position. Here is his response. “All three are qualified, in fact any candidate that you have here in the UDP they are the best qualified that you can speak of about in term of leadership, in terms of character, in terms of honesty and more importantly in term of the service that they have given to this country and to their constituency but most importantly to the people of Belize, certainly at this point I am looking at the possibilities that we have but at the end of the day whosoever wins will stand behind that person and I am sure that any leader that we put any deputy leader that we put is going to be the best choice for us as a party and the best choice for Belize.”

CEMJC Celebrates 5th Annual Expo
Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College is a growing institution where students are taught that education is the key to success and to a secure future. Throughout the school year students engage in many carrier subjects and today to showcase what students have been learning, the institution held their 5th annual Open Day under the theme “Promoting Innovative Ideas, Partnering with Stake Holders, Paving the Way to Quality Assurance.” A total of 66 booths, including those from the business community, were set up each one with a different purpose saysDean for CEMJC, Hugo Gonzalez:“Today we are celebrating CEMJC’s annual open day under the theme Promoting Interactive Ideas Partnering with Stakeholders paving the way towards quality assurance, this is the fifth annual open day that we’ve been hosting and every year seems to be getting bigger and better, this year alone we have invited people to and organizations to come both from the business community and other NGO’s and together with them the projects that were developed from the students here at school we have a total of 66 booths here present today; we have agricultural entities like the BSCFA, PAO, we also have SIRDI, BAHA we also have others that deals for example with the sciences, we have FOCUS, we have EPI which is the Ecology Process International, we also have booths for example that deals with the businesses like the banks; we have Scotia Bank. Atlantic Bank, Credit Union, Belize Bank we also have other people like for example Emilio Ahmad Group of Companies.”

Trial Farm Government School Promoting Healthy Minds
The Trial Farm Government School here in Orange Walk has been engaging in a School Improvement Project that offers each student the opportunity to sign up for a club in which they are able to express themselves freely and expand their learning in many areas. Today an open day was held at the school grounds with the purpose of showcasing the many skills and talents that the children possess. Naira Romero – Principal, TFGS: “Today’s activity is to showcase what we have done, this year we are embarking in a school improvement project and as part of that we are doing Club, and in it children get to practice different talents that they have, for example we have the sports clubs, we have arts and craft, we have beading, we have environmental, land escaping and gardening club, first time for Trial Farm that we have done these clubs and we have incorporated it in the timetable so for one time period a week the students get to go to one Club of their choice and then they work on the different items this is what we want to show the public and show the parents that the child might not be gifted academically but the child can do something manually or the child has talent in dancing, singing or the child can also become an agriculturist and can grow his/ her garden at home.”

OWTC Awarded To Be a Child Friendly Municipality
The Child Friendly Municipality Initiative, headed by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), was created to promote and approve an international initiative aimed at confirming Mayors as Children’s Defenders. The idea is basically to provide infrastructure, amenities as well as the proper environment for children to be free, healthy and well-informed of what is happening within the community.The Orange Walk Town Council received the Child Friendly Municipality Award earlier this afternoon during a ceremony that was held at the Central Park where a number of invited guests were present. We spoke to the Minister of Labour, Local Government and Human Development, Hugo Patt, who expressed his views about the award itself and how pleased he is with the council for receiving such recognition.

Hugo Patt Surprised At Vega's Retirement
On Sunday March 20th the United Democratic Party will hold its National Convention in Dangriga where Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be endorsed as Leader of the party and Erwin Contreras will be endorsed as second Deputy Leader of the party. In that convention Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega would have been endorsed as the First Deputy Leader. That however, won’t happen since Vega does not want the position and has also indicated that he will no longer be seeking re-election in the next general election.Vegas decision to retire early from politics took many by surprise including Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt. “It is a huge lost for us here in the north but it is a decision that he has taken and we respect that decision as much as I can tell you that the Minister has indicated that he will supportive of our efforts and certainly as a party we have to move we have to make sure that we have the necessary kind of gear to be in ground personally I am so thankful for him to be his support and certainly Corozal we will miss him, Orange Walk we will miss him but I am sure that the party will move on as with everything we have to transition and we are gearing up practically for that transition in the upcoming weeks.”


Taiwan President Concludes Visit to Belize
President Ma Ying-Jeou of Taiwan ended his visit to Belize this morning. Renee Trujillo has been following his itinerary and filed this report.

60 Years of the YWCA
The Young Women’s Christian Association, YWCA is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year. A number of activities to highlight this momentous occasion have been taking place. Today a special ceremony was held at the headquarters at the corner of Freetown and St. Thomas Streets in Belize City. Guest speaker was the Special Envoy for Women […]

Town Hall Cashier Fired for Neglect
A tax collector from the Orange Walk Town Council has been fired for not handing in thousands of dollars collected for Property Tax. According to Orange Walk Town Mayor, Kevin Bernard, Oscar Tillett, collected the monies between late December and early January and did not submit the monies to the Orange Walk Town Council. As […]

BLACK March 2016 Sends Strong Message
An estimated five hundred persons took part in the second annual BLACK March, coordinated by the Belize Police Department. We join Renee Trujillo for that story.

FAO Targets Small Onion Farmers on Best Practices Training
Today, twenty eight farmers from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts were celebrated for successfully completing phase one of the Promoting Agribusiness Development Project in Northern Belize. The project is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization and it targets small time onion producers in the north. They were trained on how to properly prepare […]

New High School Planned for Southern Belize
A new High School will be established in rural Toledo. The announcement was made by Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “Plans for the establishment of the new high school in Pueblo Viejo Village was made at a recent well attended town hall meeting of education stakeholders in […]


Taiwanese and Eastern Caribbean leaders meet in Belize
Three heads of government and a head of state touched down in Belize this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). The Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; and St. Kitts and Nevis, Honorable Timothy Harris, and outgo...

COLA says Guatemalan aggression unchecked
Citizens Organized for Liberty thru Action (COLA) expressed its dismay over what it calls the “the continued and unchecked aggression shown by Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF)”. In a press release issued Wednesday March 16, COLA says it “…denounces any attempt by the Government of Belize (GOB) to insi...

Placencia residents sign petition to keep doctor on peninsula
Over 800 Placencia residents have signed a petition to have the contract of a medical doctor with NHI renewed. The doctor received a letter on March 4saying that his contract would be terminated as of March 16th. Residents say the doctor has been in the village for 14 years and they don’t see why he...

CPBL still delayed in payments to CGA
Citrus Growers will receive their delayed fruit cheque for fruit payroll from March 8, 2016 . That check will be ready on Friday, March 18th, 2015 at 8am. According to a statement from the Citrus Growers’ Association, they were informed that CPBL would be making the payment from CPBL’s Collaboration...

Five beat burglary charge
For want of prosecution, five Belize City residents including a female teenager saw charges of burglary dating back to June of 2015 dropped this morning. Released are 30 year old Brandon Errol Smith, aka “Battery;” 30 year old Devon Delon Smith, a Security Officer; 29 year old Leon Lee Smith, unem...

Group of 4 see sex charges dropped by DPP
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has directed the courts to withdraw charges of unlawful sexual intercourse against 4 males; 3 minors and an adult male identified as 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez. The group of four were accused of all having sexual intercourse, one at a time, wi...

Weed plantation inside Natural Reserve
A weed plantation was found inside a Natural Reserve. On Tuesday 15th of March, 2016 an anti- drug operation was conducted by personnel attached to the Independence Southern Formation 12 miles West of Maya Mopan village, Stann Creek District. There, the team found 20 marijuana plants ranging from 1...

Ex-employee charged with theft
Nineteen year old Ricardo Borje, a resident of New Road, who allegedly stole $6,000 from Ricky Perrera, was charged with theft when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Borje pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on bail of $8,000 and his case was adjourned until April 26....

Fisherman charged with undersized conch
Thirty-two year old Raymond Myers, a fish vendor of Conch Shell Bay, was fined a total of $9,020 today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza after he pleaded guilty to possession 444 undersized conch. He was given until July 29, 2016 to pay. if he defaults on payment he will serve 3 months. About 7:30 this m...

Belmopan ; a sustainable child friendly municipality
On Wednesday, March 16th, Belmopan was officially inaugurated as a sustainable and child friendly municipality. The inaugural ceremony was held at the Mae Gordon Field in Belmopan with primary and high school students. The child friendly initiative was formed in September of 2015 and aims towards g...

First game played on new synthetic field
Last night on Tuesday the 16th of March, fans flocked the newly renovated Isodoro Beaton Football stadium to witness the inaugural match of the new synthetic turf. Earlier Tuesday morning, the new stadium, which cost just under 4 milion dollars was ceremonially inaugurated but Tuesday night’s game ...

Poetry workshop at St. Johns
Students from Oklahoma State University under the leadership of Dr. Jen Sanders, along with Peacework, are conducting their annual visit to St. John’s Anglican Primary School in Belize City. For the third year running, they are practicing their skills in literacy on the students of the school, as we...