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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, and other specials

The San Pedro Sun

Maryurit Triminio crowned Miss SPHS 2017-2018
On Friday, May 12th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted their annual ‘Miss SPHS’ pageant. Serving as the school’s biggest fundraiser, the pageant saw hundreds packing the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for a night of beauty, elegance, and entertainment. After an intense competition, 15-year-old Maryurit Triminio was chosen as SPHS’s newest beauty ambassador. This year’s pageant featured a Central American theme, where Kiriany Caal (Panama), Babee Lopez (Costa Rica), Arianie Novelo (El Salvador), Nia Figueroa (Honduras), and Maryurit Triminio (Mexico) vied for the crown. While the five delegates made their first appearance with a dance, they each introduced their country. Taking the title of first runner-up was Nia Figueroa, while the new Miss SPHS was announced as Maryurit Triminio, to the delight of the crowd. She was crowned by the outgoing Miss SPHS Faith Edgar, after which she graciously waved from onstage and took a walk as the new Miss SPHS. She also won amazing prizes, including a one year scholarship to SPHS, a tablet, and several gift certificates.

Belize Defence Force Officer Excels in Pilot Training in Jamaica
The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the public that one of its Belize Defence Force Officers has excelled in a Pilot Training – code name Wings Course 1601- in Jamaica. Captain Francis Usher placed first in the course which lasted just over fourteen months. Officers from Belize and Jamaica participated in the course which was funded by the Canadian government. The Ministry of Defence and the Belize Defence Force congratulate Captain Francis Usher on his performance and wish him well in his career as a Pilot.

Over 500 lionfish caught in Reef Week Tournament
Estel’s Dine by the Sea hosted a Lionfish Tournament on Friday, May 12th, as part of the 12th annual Reef Week celebration. Not only was it an opportunity to win great prizes, but the tournament also raised awareness on the invasive species. Lionfish are an invasive species who are voracious eaters and have no natural predator. They are a threat to our marine life as they continue to gobble juvenile crab, lobster, conchs, and fish. Four registered teams and one fun group managed to capture a total of 554 lionfish. Amigos Del Mar, Ramon’s Village, C-Monkey, Belize Diving Adventures, and Passion Kite Belize (fun team) headed out to the sea, and by 3PM, began arriving with coolers full of lionfish. After all teams had come onshore, their catch was counted, and the largest and smallest lionfish were measured.

Social Security Board Public Service Announcement
On Thursday May 11, the Social Security Board (SSB) reported the existence of a trade dispute with the Christian Workers Union (CWU) to the Minister of Labour, Hon. Hugo Patt, in accordance with Section 11 of the Settlement of Disputes in the Essential Services Act, Chapter 298. The dispute arises out of the fact that SSB and CWU have been unable to reach agreement on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. SSB is hopeful that the pending mediation process will commence without delay in an effort to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. The public is hereby advised that some services at the SSB’s offices countrywide may be impacted in the event the CWU proceeds with any type of industrial action. SSB will strive, as best as possible, to maintain basic services at its offices in the event of any type of industrial action by the CWU.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Reef Week In Review In Case You Missed It
San Pedro's Reef Week, organized by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, took place last week from May 8 to May 14 under the theme 'Let's Protect our Greatest Treasure; So it's Enjoyed with Pleasure.' It is a week in which the Hol Chan Marine Reserve organizes various activities and events that involve the community to create awareness and knowledge of the reef's importance to Belize. In case you missed any of the events, here is a rundown of Reef Week 2017 in La Isla Bonita. Monday - The Swim to the Reef kicked off the week with participants taking the plunge at Amigos del Mar dive center and swimming to the reef and back during the early morning hours. It's a healthy activity to promote a healthy reef.

Maryurit Triminio Crowned Miss San Pedro High 2017
Ms. Maryurit Triminio was crowned Miss San Pedro High School 2017 over the weekend at the high school pageant that went under the team “Central America” at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Friday, May 12. Maryurit also won the title of Miss Congeniality, Eloquence and Elegance. First Runner-Up was Ms. Nia Figueroa who also won Ms. Photogenic and Ms. Kiriany Caal won the title of Ms. Social Media. Five beautiful young ladies including: Miss Panama Kiriany Caal, Miss Costa Rica Babee Lopez, Miss El Salvador Arianie Novelo, Miss Honduras Nia Figueroa, and Miss Mexico Maryurit Triminio graced the stage as the pageant proceeded throughout its four segments: an opening dance and introduction, costume competition, pProfessional attire, sports ware and the evening gown competition with questions and answers.

Celebrity Spotting: Kendis Gibson In San Pedro During Visit To Belize
He may not be a Hollywood celebrity but he is a celebrity in the eyes of Belizeans as Kendis Gibson, a Belizean native residing in the United States of America as made name for himself as a successful journalist. He just recently was named co-anchor of ABC’s ‘America This Morning’ & ‘World News.” This past weekend he was back home revisiting family and childhood memories. “Amazing weekend trip with family and friends in Belize,” commented Kendis Gibson on a Facebook post. “And met plenty of new friends. Great story to come in the next week on @abcwnn. See you all Tuesday am.” Kendis hasn't been back in Belize for eleven years and this weekend was his and his brother's first trip to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. They stayed at The Phoenix, spent the day at Portofino, enjoyed a sunset cruise with Tuff e Nuff and were hosted for dinner at Finn & Martini. Kendis spent just one overnight on Ambergris Caye, but was also in the mainland for a few days.

Misc Belizean Sources


Belize Fishing Report, May 8 thru May 14
Another awesome week of bonefishing with the Baton Rouge group. Alex and Bailey put together a fun group of fishermen and women to try their hand at bonefishing. Everybody had a great time and caught plenty of bonefish. The weather was beautiful and the fish were hungry. Belize is the perfect spot for the beginning bonefish angler. Come give it a try!

Mother's Day event on Caye Caulker
Mother's Day with my Mom, Electro Sounds, friends. Good job CCVC, the ambiance was great, music; service was good and so was the Pibil, Relleno; complimentary Sangria & wine!

Hi Guys since half the splashes are gone would you guys want to paint something I've done in the past that most of you missed? If you plan on being there Thursday post a picture of a painting you have missed but want to do. If not we can always paint from a picture. :)

>Orange Walk Gladiators vs. Belmopan Jewel Fury
Game 1 Result 1_1 .... Lets see what happens in the return match in Capital City Belmopan ......

Mr. Choo Choo at the Corozal Town Historical Walk
We are happy to announce Mr. Choo Choo will be on hand this Thursday morning May 18, as we inaugurate the Corozal Town Historical Walk. The service is available for small fee to our elderly citizens and residents who would prefer to ride the tour.

Rescued white fronts
These three little white fronts were inside a rotten tre that was (understandably) chopped down. Lucky the person chopping heard these chicks calling, rescued them from the wreckage and called us up to come and help. There was nothing of the tree or nest left to put back up, and no suitable trees nearby to rig up a new nest. Another human threat to wildlife along with fires is land-clearing or over-zealous gardening. Please, check for nests and cavities before you cut down trees or trim branches. "Look, look before you lop"!!

Today is 11 Kimi in the Maya Tzolk'in calendar
Kimi represents death. It is a day to commune with the ancestors.

The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the public that one of its Belize Defence Force Officers has excelled in a Pilot Training - code name Wings Course 1601- in Jamaica. Captain Francis Usher placed first in the course which lasted just over fourteen months. Officers from Belize and Jamaica participated in the course which was funded by the Canadian government.

2 Girls missing
14 year old Nayeli Cifuentes, a student of Dorothy Mendez Child Care Center was dropped off at her school on the 15th May 2017 about 7:15 a.m. Cifuentes is about 4’5” tall, Slim built, has long dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and she was last seen wearing a red checkered uniform dress with white blouse, white socks and black shoes. 14 year old Jocelyn Mancia, a student of Dorothy Menzies Center was reported missing on the 15th May 2017. The care officer from the center went to pick her up at school but was informed that she wasn't there. Mancia is 5’0” tall, has long curly dark brown hair, almond shape dark brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white uniform dress with red buttons, white socks and black shoes. If seen kindly detain and inform this control earliest or call 911 or 0800-2929-688.

The New Children's Agenda
Today is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Families under the theme, “Families, education and well-being.” In commemoration of this day, Belize through the National Committee for Families and Children made this 15th day of May quite monumental and symbolic as both the Prime Minster Right Honorable Dean Barrow and Leader of Opposition Honorable John Briceno made their global proclamation with the signing of the new Children’s Agenda 2017 – 2030. The Agenda is a results framework that looks at the development of children and adolescence age 0-19 over the next 14 years.

Condolences. Very sad love story
Charett Palacio Martinez got her wish to get married Friday, Stann Creek Palliative Care sadden to say she pass away last night

Rescued Mealy Amazon
This little blue-headed Mealy Amazon’s arrival into the clinic late last night reminds us of a serious threat to wildlife: the burning of agricultural fields and bushland. A common practice in the dry season, burning -- even controlled, small-scale burning -- causes stress and irreversible harm if not death to nestlings who cannot fly off to seek refuge from the biting flames, suffocating heat, and relentless smoke. Little Smoky was one of the victims of what was likely a 'mischief' burn. Fortunately, the amazingly alert landowners heard her cries through the flames and rescued her and brought her straight to BBR. It was touch-and-go for a few hours, as the nestling suffered smoke-inhalation, heat stress and shock. The whole night we kept her on an oxygen-enriched mixture and periodic medication by inhalation through a nebulizer. Incredibly, she made it through the critical 24 hour intake period, so we are cautiously optimistic for her survival. The medication and oxygen expenses for her treatment were $100 and her rehab is going to be close to $1000, but she is totally worth it!!! A reminder to please think before you start a fire, you never know just how many little bird or animal homes might be harmed. Big-up to Emile Mena and workers for this incredible rescue!!

Training in Natural Resource Valuation (NRV)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, The Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration under the GEF funded project “Capacity Building for the strategic planning and management of natural resources in Belize,” will be conducting a training in Natural Resource Valuation (NRV). The Ministry has requested expert services from Wolfs Company to conduct the capacity development activities in NRV. The specific objectives of this consultancy include developing a sustainable training program and materials to facilitate unbiased and cost-efficient assessments of public and private investments; sensitizing key stakeholders on NRV methodologies and their utility; and developing NRV expertise in Belize. The participants from government, NGO and academia will be participating in a 5-day intensive training program from 15-19 May, 2017.

Chocolate Wasted
Catch Casanova and friends Live !!! Saturday May 20th in Punta Gorda town for Chocolate Wasted inside Roots Rock Reggae Night Club after party for the chocolate fest weekend !!!

Corozal Public Library Tea Party May 19
Lets Celebrate Mom at the Corozal Public Library! . For more information Please call the number or come see the librarian at the Library. Thanks!

Art in the Park
Due to both April and May's scheduled Art in the Park being rained out ...we are happy to announce that Art in the Park will be held this Saturday May 20th!! Come on out and enjoy!

Scholarship Opportunities Available
: Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development under a KFW/MarFunds Project will be awarding sixteen (16)-one year (1 yr) Scholarships (4 for each Form-tuition only) for students among the communities of Sarteneja, Chunox & Copperbank Village. Students interested in applying for the 2017 awards please feel free to fill out the application form and submit to us as soon as possible!

Toyota Chiquibul Expedition
The Toyota Chiquibul Expedition is this weekend. They have a nice itinerary for the event. "The Toyota Chiquibul Expedition will take place May 20th & 21st starting in Belize City. The tour will visit sites in the Chiquibul Rainforest and Caracol Maya Ruins."

THE LIVING MAYA educational lecture series
NICH is happy to support THE LIVING MAYA educational lecture series by Ms. Chun in our schools. Please contact Ms. Chun or ISCR if you would like to book a presentation at your school. Belize Elementary School would like to thank Ms. Donatila Chun from San Antonio Village, Toledo for coming to school today to give our students a talk on Maya culture, dress, music and history. It was an educational experience for the students that will help them understand the people a bit more.

5 year Chiquibul National Park Management Plan
With support from the Key Biodiversity Area Project, an inception meeting for development of the next 5 year Chiquibul National Park Management Plan (2017-2022) was held today at the PACT office in Belmopan.

Channel 7

Trouble In The PSU - President Accused of Racism
Tonight, nine members of the Public Service Union council of management have asked President Eldred Neal to resign from the PSU and not offer himself as President in the upcoming August elections. The letter accuses Neal of racism against Garifuna members of the council, quote, "on the basis of statements you purportedly made to other council members." It further alleges, quote, "you are in the process of conducting an exercise to purge the Council of Management of its Garifuna constituents," and adds, quote, "We are now in receipt of information which...confirms...such are engineering a plan to replace executive members of the council on the basis of their racial background," end quote.

Belize Audubon Society’s Visitor Center In Crooked Tree Burns, Residents Not Grieving Its Loss
The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - established in 1984, it's one of Belize's first major reserves, and is one of only two sites in the country designated as "Wetlands of International Importance," what are known as RAMSAR sites. But, behind all those fancy titles, there's long been friction the ideal of preservation and the practical realities of traditional fishing and hunting practices. Basically, many residents of Crooked Tree "hold grudge" against the Audubon for cramping their long established patterns of using the land to eat. And that's why the community isn't exactly grieving after the Audubon Society building went up in flames this weekend. Daniel Ortiz has more on the fire and the background to it:...

Outlaw “Fayuqueros” Close Federal Highway Leading to Bze-Mex Border In Protest
Belizeans returning from Mexico on Sunday afternoon experienced an unexpected obstruction. Defiant Mexican fayuqueros had blocked the federal highway leading to the Belize-Mexico border with tree branches and cement blocks and old scarps of wood. They did it in protest of the closure of the old bridge which we told you about last week. That bridge was closed in a joint effort between Mexican and Belizean authorities to stop illegal exportation across that bridge. Well, the fayuqueros run that operation and in protest they decided to block the Mexican Federal Highway to the new Chactemal Bridge. The Mexican Embassy confirms that the road was blocked for about 25 minutes between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm on Sunday. After that it was cleared by the Mexican military. The embassy says Belizean and Mexican authorities are collaborating to prevent any other incident. Now, the fayuqueros are saying that if the old bridge isn't opened they will block it again. Well, to that, the Mexican Embassy says the Mexican Customs Authorities are applying the law at the bridge and everybody has to follow the rules.

Honduran Gang Members Escape Jail, Could They Be Headed Here?
And in other regional news, Central American police and security forces are currently on high alert after news broke this weekend that 22 dangerous gang members escaped from one of Honduras' most overcrowded prisons. The members of the Barrio 18 gang were being held at the Marco Aurelio Soto prison just North of Tegucigalpa, a facility designed to hold about 8000 inmates, but currently houses 17000. The gangsters were scheduled to be moved to a higher security prison due to their heavy involvement in extortion, murders and drug trafficking within prison walls. However, according to reports, news of their transfer did not sit well with the gangsters, which prompted the escape. The inmates escaped last Thursday, but it was not reported until Saturday. The director and multiple guards at the military run prison have been put on leave.

Kids Escape Fire In PG
3 kids escaped a house blaze in Bella Vista, Toledo on Saturday. 40 year old Elvira Peck left her 3 kids - ages 2, 6 and 16 - home alone on Saturday morning around 7:00. She was heading to San Isidro Village. But later on around 11:00, Peck's neighbor saw the flames coming from Peck's wooden house. The neighbor raced over and snatched the kids away from the fire. The report is that one of the kids were playing with a lighter. The fire department has stressed many times before that parents NEED to supervise their children especially when lighters, matches and other incendiary items are in the home.

The Meaning Of Music Week
The 2nd Annual Music Week officially launched this morning. The Belizean public will get to enjoy performances by some of the country's most beloved musicians and vocalists, while the artists themselves will be able to attend seminars and workshops about copyright laws and compensation. Our news team attended a press conference with Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow, and some of the artists, here's Alex Courtenay with the story... Music week provides a platform for Belizean musicians to perform, as well as learn about strategies to help them turn their music into a business. This year's theme revolves around music and copyright enforcement, specifically in properly compensating musicians.

Tyre Pyre On Roadside For Dead Horse
This morning, anyone travelling to or from Belmopan would have noticed a a pyre of tires on the side of the highway three miles out from the city. Now, tyre fires on the road are usually associated with during protests or civil unrest, but that wasn't the case this morning. According to reports, some time on Saturday night a truck crashed into a horse on the side of the road, killing the animal at the scene. No one moved it, and because of the advanced state of decomposition, the Belmopan City County decided against transporting the entire body, instead opting to burn it on the roadside on a tyre pyre and discard of the remains.

Political Leaders Sign Unto Children's Agenda
Today is the International Day of Families and to mark the occasion, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition Johnny Briceno signed the Children's Agenda 2017 - 2030. The agenda looks at creating policies that support the development of children and adolescents over the next fourteen years. The document also focuses on raising awareness of the role of the family in promoting early childhood education.

Murder In South
Police have confirmed that there was a murder today on the Coast Highway in the Stann Creek District. This afternoon around 1:26 police visited the White Bridge area on the Coastal Road, Stann Creek. There they saw a gold colored Ford Explorer overturned with 4 wheels in the air. Beside it was fatally wounded 39 year old Guatemalan and resident of Hope Creek Stann Creek, Edwardo Samuel Caal Sub with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Police investigations continue.

President Eldred Says This Is a Takedown
And another story that will be developing into tomorrow is the one we told you about in our headline: the controversy surrounding PSU president Eldred Neal. He's accused of making racist remarks against Garifunas in the public service, and - in a leaked recording which was made without his knowledge - he also speaks about that ethnic groups control of certain aspects of the union's activities. Neal is a creole - and says he has only been trying to get parity across the board. Today he said the recording was released not because of the PSU, but because of the NTUCB where the PSU is objecting to the presidency of Floyd Neal - and certain unionists - who - in order to have their way - need his delegate Jacqueline Willoughby out of the way. Here is how he put it:

Armed Gunman Get Money in Cayo And City
Tonight, 21 year-old Christian Cal is at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court for armed robbery. Police say that he and another man held up a cosmetics store on Friday night and robbed the owner of over $2,000 in cash. According to police at around 8 p.m. on Friday night, the 23-year-old cashier of the Cosmetics Corner, on Orange Street, was winding down for the evening. That's when 2 Hispanic men entered the store and held him up at gunpoint. They went to the cash register, where they made off with approximately $2,900 in cash. Police worked quickly and today, they charged Christian Cal with robbery. He was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, where he pleaded not guilty. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Belizean Pilot Soars Above Peers
Today the Ministry of Defence issued a press release congratulating BDF Officer Captain Francis Usher on his excellent performance in Jamaica's pilot training, Wings Course 1601. Usher joined soldier from Belize and Jamaica in the fourteen month course, ranking first among his cohorts. The course was funded by the Canadian government.

A Court Of Dreams
It has been 21 years since the Iguana Street Basketball Court was built and it finally got a much needed makeover. Today the revived basketball court was inaugurated and the youth in the area didn't waste any time in trying it out. Now this is part of an initiative to keep youth off the street through sports. In early April we had reported on the first court that was opened on Faber's Road. Today at a short ceremony on Iguana Street, the Deputy Director of the National Sports Council Charlie Slusher discussed how impactful this new court space will be for the kids. The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council partnered on this project. The total cost of renovations is about $12,000.

New Catholic Bishop Ordained
Belize's Catholics welcomed the 2nd Garifuna Bishop of Belize, the Most reverend Lawrence Sydney Nicasio. He was ordained at the St. John's college gymnasium on Saturday morning, May 13. Archbishop Leon Kalenga, the papal Nuncio to el Salvador led the mass with six other bishops. Bishop Nicasio received the ring, miter and pastoral staff of his office from Arch Bishop Kalenga. The gym was packed to capacity by delegations from all the catholic parishes in the country, the largest delegations came from Orange Walk where Bishop Nicasio had served as the parish priest of La Inmaculada parish for 13 years, and from Dangriga. Deputy prime Minsiter Patrick Faber and Opposition leader Hon. John Briceno were among the guests in the congregation, as well as Minister Hon. Frank Mena, and the U.S. Embassy's Charge de Affaires Adrienne Kalanek.

Toledo West Rep Says GOB Needs To Stand Up
Earlier in the news we told you about the jail break in Honduras with 22 gang members from that country on the loose. Well, southern Belize already has enough to fear from Guatemala. On Friday in the House of Representatives Area Representative for Toledo West Oscar Requena spoke about Guatemalans making audacious incursions:... Hon. Oscar Requeña - Area Rep, Toledo West "It appears that Guatemalans have come all the way into Belize and are actually cutting trails and laying claims, you know, and wanting to get Belizeans out of that area. Now this is a serious matter madam speaker, and I want to make a special appeal to the Minister in charge of National security to ensure- and it's a pitty he's not here- to ensure that the relevant authorities go into that area and control that area. This is unacceptable we cannot have Guatemalans coming in and claiming sovereignty in our area. But I want to take it further Madam speaker. San Benito Poite, we were there over the weekend as well, and they are having similar problems where you have these apparent Guatemalan farmers coming in and setting up shop. They want to, you know, make pastures in Belizean territory. Belize is for Belizeans madam speaker and we must assert our sovereignty over our nation."

CDB Money For SIF Projects
And that isn't the only bit from the house meeting we didn't have time to air on Friday. A major part of the business of the house was a 10 million US dollar loan motion for 10 million US dollars to the Social investment fund. The money is form the CDB and government explained how it will be used:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "The project consists of the following components: 8 community subprojects, finance 24 small medium size community projects to improve the living conditions of approximately 35 thousand beneficiaries." Hon. John Briceno - Opposition Leader: "Which communities does the government plan to spend this $10 million US? Because, as I've said, there is so much need."

CDB Money For DFC
And that wasn't the only loan approved at Friday's House sitting. The Caribbean Development bank is also giving the DFC a loan, but this one is for 20 million US dollars. The Prime Minster outlined the priority areas for this line of credit:.. That bill goes to the Senate on Friday of this week.